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Wednesday 7th December, 2022

TechExtra

Pantami, Danbatta, Inuwa, Zoho, Ikenna-Emeka, Others Honoured With 2022 AfriTECH Awards

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L-R: Jude Ozinegbe, Founder and Convener, CyberChain; Chioma Oke-Aguguo (Mrs), Head, NITDA South West Zonal Office, receiving Digital Economy Ambassador award on behalf of DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, and Emmanuel Amos, UN World Summit Award National Expert for Nigeria, at AfriTECH Awards 2022

The Africa Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTECH) has conferred special honours on Professor Isa Ibrahim Ali (Pantami), Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Other special honourees at the award ceremony held during AfriTECH 2.0 are Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General, National Information Technology Agency (NITDA); Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, General Manager, Fixed Broadband, MTN Nigeria; and Dr. Ruth Oji, Faculty Member, Institute of Humanities, Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), Lagos.

Prof. Pantami received the Digital Economy Hero of the Year Award in recognition of his resilience and leadership excellence leading to Nigeria’s digital economy progress including the National Identity Database, Commercial 5G Rollout, enactment of the Nigeria Startup Act and the global branding his personality brought to Nigeria as the Chairman of UN-WSIS 2022.

Similarly, Prof. Danbatta bagged the 5G Core Leadership Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the African Telecommunications industry, especially his outstanding performance during the cause of the commercial 5G launch in Nigeria.

Digital Economy Ambassador of the Year Award was presented to NITDA boss, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, for his leading role in the enactment of the Nigeria Startup Act, deepened Government-Tech ecosystem partnerships, and international recognitions, amongst others.

Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka emerged as the AfriTECH 2022 Telecommunication Woman of the Year in recognition of her contributions to the telecommunications industry and leadership in driving transformational change in the sector, evidenced by MTN Nigeria’s innovative and cutting-edge communications, connectivity and collaborative solutions.

While Dr. Ruth Oji, received the special Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award as recognition of her contributions toward flawless writing in Media Practice, Dr. Krishnan Ranganath, Regional Executive, West Africa at Africa Data Centres (ADC), also received Data Centre Influencer of the Year as an influential personality in the West African data centre operations.

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PAN-Africa CyberSecurity Excellence Award was conferred on Dr. Adewale Peter Obadare, Co-Founder/Chief Visionary Officer (CVO), Digital Encode Limited, for his exceptional achievements and contributions to the development of cybersecurity in Africa, while Dr. Oluseyi Akindeinde, Co-Founder/Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Digital Encode Limited bagged Blockchain Technology Mastery Personality Award for his outstanding efforts in awareness creation towards the adoption of Blockchain Technology on the Continent.

Galaxy Backbone Limited received ‘Data Centre Company of the Year’ as a company that is contributing to building solid computing power for MDAs of government.

ZOHO Technologies Limited received the Africa Digital Enabler Award for technological impact on Africa’s digital economy through various products/solutions you offer; particularly the Zoho Africa Digital Enabler packages that help small businesses take steps towards digital transformation.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) received the ‘Best Digital Economy Project of the Year Award’ for its regulatory excellence and transparent processes leading to the commercial 5G launch in Nigeria.

The Best Crypto Exchange Platform of the Year was presented to TradeFada for distinguishing itself as a top Cryptocurrency exchange offering an actionable and easy-to-use digital currency trading platform’.

Medallion Data Centre received Excellence Award in Data Centre Operations for its leading role in building West Africa’s digital transformation with a keen interest in the future, cutting across data centre infrastructure deployment, amongst others.

CyberSecurity Company of the Year Award was conferred on ESET. The award screening committee identified ESET for its innovative solutions towards protecting individuals and businesses through robust security products, services, and awareness creation in Africa.

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The Africa Tech Alliance Forum awards ceremony aims to celebrate and reward companies and individuals on the African continent that have demonstrated excellence in the areas of innovative product/service development, and policy/regulations, amongst other areas.

 

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2022 E-Waste Dialogue: ITREALMS, EPRON, Ecofeld Collaborate On Small E-Waste Collection

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The management of ITREALMS Media is partnering E-waste Producer Responsibility Organization of Nigeria (EPRON) and Ecofeld Nigeria Limited, for a day-long collection scheme of small electronic waste on Thursday, December 8, 2022.

The event is part of the activities marking the 2022 ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue in commemoration of the 2022 International E-Waste Day (IEWD) with the theme “e-Waste: Recycling it all! No matter how small” billed to hold at Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos.

Group Executive Editor, ITREALMS Media, the organisers of the 2022 ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue, Mr. Remmy Nweke, who disclosed this, encouraged mobile device enthusiasts to come along with their devices that have reached their end-of-life to the venue for proper disposition by professionals who would also be on ground to address some topical issues.

He said, the collection of small electronic wastes especially mobile phones and like-devices, would be carried out by EPRON member organisation, Ecofeld Nigeria Limited as facilitated by ITREALMS Media group as part of this year’s ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue on Thursday, December 8.

The exercise, he also said, would commence at Welcome Centre Hotel by 9 am till the close of work hours the same day.

Nweke revealed that the collection of small e-waste items would include mobile phones, pointers mouse, earpieces, rechargeable torches, and phone chargers, to name a few.

He further said that this initiative has become expedient because some people may have missed the earlier opportunity in October and since this awareness on e-Waste has to be continuous, ITREALMS came up with this scheme.

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Nweke enjoined Nigerians especially mobile phone users to leverage the opportunity in disposing of their mobile devices they no longer use, of course in exchange for a voucher or gift item.

Reacting to the collaboration, EPRON Executive Secretary, Mrs. Ibukun Faluyi, described the initiative as a great idea, capable of deepening the collection of end-of-life devices for proper disposition.

She also urged Nigerians to take advantage of this opportunity being made available by ITREALMS Media.

Faluyi recalled that last October, EPRON partnered with SLOT alongside some UN agencies for the collection of small e-waste items in Lagos, including the United Nations Information Centres (UNIC), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA).

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof. Aliyu Jauro, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the 2022 ITREALMS E-Waste Dialogue slated for Thursday, December 8, in Lagos.

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Fintech

Appzone Rebrands To “Zone”

–To Power Global Payments With Its Regulated Blockchain Network
–Zone becomes Africa’s first Layer-1 Blockchain infrastructure and protocol with a focus on enabling payments and acceptance of digital currencies.

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The Zone Team

Appzone, one of Africa’s leading Fintech Software Providers, has rebranded to “Zone”, a regulated blockchain Payment Infrastructure company.

By building Africa’s first layer-1 blockchain network, Zone will enable payments and the acceptance of digital currencies for Financial Service Providers globally.

Zone’s regulated blockchain network enables direct transaction flow between financial service providers without an intermediary, bringing reduced transaction costs, instant dispute resolution, and absolute reliability across Africa’s payment borders and beyond.

As part of its evolution, Appzone is pivoting from its cloud-based SaaS infrastructure to offer payments processing services that support both fiat money and digital currencies, with the intention to enable a hybrid interim period in finance where TradFi and DeFi will coexist seamlessly.

In the case of fiat payments, Zone connects some of Africa’s most prominent Banks and Fintechs within and across countries and utilises a native stable coin to provide real-time settlement for cross-border transactions.

In 2022, Zone was issued a ‘payment Switching and Processing Licence’ by the Central Bank of Nigeria, making it the first payment infrastructure company based on Blockchain to be licensed in Africa.

Following the rebrand, Appzone’s Banking-as-a-Service business has been carved into a separate standalone company, known as Qore, so it can continue serving existing clients and growing the SaaS platform’s reach.

This new standalone business will be led by some members of its elite leadership team, including Emeka Emetarom, Co-founder & Executive Director of Appzone and Mudiaga Umukoro, Co-founder & CEO of Appzone’s subsidiary, Appzone Core.

Appzone’s products currently process over $2 billion annually for 500+ banks, Fintechs and MFIs in seven countries – this includes payments processing for six of Africa’s top 25 banks.

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Speaking on the rebrand, Zone Co-founder and CEO Obi Emetarom said, “We have led Africa’s fintech sector in global firsts for over a decade. At Appzone, we launched the first core banking and omnichannel software on the cloud as well as the first multi-bank direct debit service based on single global mandates.

“With this transition to Zone, we are utilising the power of blockchain technology to connect every monetary store of value and enable reliable, frictionless, and universally interoperable payments. In doing this, we are building one global network to pay anyone through any means, in any currency, which will ultimately maximise financial inclusion and accelerate economic prosperity for Africa and the rest of the world.”

Co-founder and CTO for Zone, Wale Onawunmi, added, “At Zone, we’ve always been early adopters of innovative technology with the potential to transform industries – in this case, the finance industry.

“Our next-generation decentralised payment technology, which is the first of its kind, will challenge the status quo and become the future of payments for the world. We are encouraged by the pace of adoption we have seen so far and remain passionate about enabling financial services providers to reach their full potential.”

According to the United Nations, Africa’s population will grow to approximately 1.7 billion in 2030, with a potential for $91 billion in cross-border payments and a retail value of over $1.5 trillion.

But at an $8.97 fee per transaction, cross-border payment within sub-Saharan Africa still has one of the most expensive remittance structures. In addition, beneficiaries typically cannot have value delivered instantly to their Bank accounts or mobile wallets.

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Zone’s Layer-1 blockchain network will allow payments initiated from one country in one currency to be received instantly in another country and currency at a fraction of prevailing costs.

Blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that provides users with traceability and security without the need for middlemen. Using blockchain, Zone is working on completely digitising and decentralising payments, thereby paving the way for a cashless society where payments transcend borders.

Formerly known as Appzone, the Google for Startups Accelerator alumnus, now known as Zone, is on a mission to connect every monetary store of value using blockchain.

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MDXi Appolonia Achieves Tier III Constructed Facility Certification (TCCF)

-Now Most Certified Data Centre in Ghana
-With this new milestone, MDXi Appolonia becomes the leading data centre provider in Ghana with the top 4 certifications in the industry

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MDXi Appolonia, the data centre subsidiary of MainOne, an Equinix company in Ghana, has just received its Tier III Constructed Facility certification (TCCF) from the Uptime Institute.

With this new milestone, MDXi Appolonia becomes the leading data centre provider in Ghana with the top 4 certifications in the industry; the Tier III Constructed Facility certification, TCCF; the PCI-DSS certification which certifies the Data centre to process payment card information; ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certifications which assures information security and quality management at the MDXi Appolonia Data Centre.

This further reinforces MDXi’s position as the leading data centre provider in West Africa.

The MDXi Appolonia facility received this TCCF following onsite testing by the Uptime team and is a progression from the Tier Certification of Design Documents (TCCD) that was issued by uptime following the review of designs of the facility during construction.

“MDXi Appolonia Data Centre receiving this certification just a year after launch provides assurance of the quality of the data centre infrastructure and ability to manage disruptions even under unprecedented circumstances,” stated Emmanuel Kwarteng, Country Manager, MainOne Ghana.

The data centre which features private data centre suites, enterprise-grade 24×7 multi-level security and video surveillance, precision cooling, safety and fire suppression systems with multiple redundancies built into the power, cooling and security infrastructure has maintained 100% uptime since launch and is managed by highly trained, best-in-class engineers operating from a state-of-the-art Operations Centre matching international standard.

MDXi Appolonia data centre offers open access connectivity options to all the leading telecom networks in Ghana and direct access to MainOne and other submarine cable systems.

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It offers access to various Internet Exchanges including the GIX (Ghana), IXPN (Nigeria), LINX (London), DECIX (Frankfurt/Lisbon), and Cote d’Ivoire Internet Exchange (CIVIX), as well as the West Africa Internet Exchange (WAF-IX).

 

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