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5 Core Business Areas where AI can Drive Revenue



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By Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria.

According to the United Nations, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 – of which $1.2 trillion could be generated by Africa. With the potential to unlock significant growth and development in key industries across the continent, AI is fundamentally changing how businesses operate, driving innovation, improving efficiencies, and transforming lives.

Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager, Zoho Nigeria

Businesses of all sizes that have already invested in AI are reaping its benefits, from increasing business productivity and agility to improving customer experience and decision-making with McKinsey noting that AI leaders are outperforming their industry peers by a factor of 3.4.

But if businesses are to make the most of the opportunities offered by AI, it’s also important that it be deployed in the areas where it will have the greatest impact. Here are some areas and subsequent examples of how businesses can use AI within those areas to drive revenue.

1. Finance and billing

One of the most obvious places AI can help drive revenue in a business is in finances and billing. Having an accurate, up-to-date overview of finances can help an organisation know when to invest in growth, for example. And if a business wants a steady revenue flow, it must send out bills, invoices, and payment reminders on time.

Here, AI can help in several ways. When it comes to expense bills, for example, an AI tool with built-in image recognition would allow a business to scan its bills with the system, then auto-generate the amount, place, date, time, and category of expense, helping save loads of time and effort. For billing, meanwhile, AI can greatly speed up the onboarding process for new clients by automating large parts of it. AI-powered tools can also extract relevant information from invoices, including customer details and product descriptions, and automatically populate billing systems, creating further efficiency.

2. Lead prioritisation

Another key area is new business leads. More specifically, AI can help assess the calibre of leads that the sales team is bringing in. After all, two or three great leads can be more beneficial than 10 weak ones.

Using a points-based system, AI can help score leads according to their quality. That allows the sales team to better evaluate which leads are worth pursuing. In turn, that should allow them to make more sales at a more meaningful level.

3. Improved customer experience

Customer experience (CX), rather than product or price differences, has been the major differentiator for businesses for some time now. Customers are willing to spend more, are more likely to stay loyal, and recommend a business to friends and family if they have a good experience with it.

Businesses, therefore, need to pull out more stops than ever to ensure that their customer experience really stands out. Here again, AI can be helpful. Take sentiment analysis, for example. AI can help identify the most disgruntled customers, allowing customer success teams to focus on their needs and turn their experience of the business around.

4. Better targeted marketing

The most effective marketing today is highly personalised and targeted. AI can make it significantly easier to achieve the level of targeted personalisation necessary for marketing success today. Once integrated with a company’s data, an AI marketing tool can create and hone personalised marketing content based on each individual customer’s CRM data.

5. Enhanced employee productivity

There is a strong correlation between employee productivity and revenue. Employee productivity is in turn driven by positive employee experiences. The more productive your employees are, the higher your revenues and profit margins will be. AI can help improve both productivity and the overall employee experience by automating repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on the kind of meaningful work that drives increased revenues.

Embrace AI, but use the right providers

While AI can add immense value when it comes to driving revenue within organisations, it’s also critical that businesses know what they’re getting into when embracing AI. That means doing comprehensive background research and ensuring that they choose tools that meet their needs and adhere to privacy best practices.

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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd


Oriental News 2024 Summit: Muda Yusuf to Lead Discussion on Nigeria’s Path to Green Economy Transition 



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Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Center for The Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, would drive discussion on Nigeria’s policy direction to establishing pathway towards economic recovery in line with global green economy initiative.

Muda Yusuf

Muda Yusuf

Yusuf, a renowned economist and former Director General, DG, of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, is the chairman of the 3rd National Conference being put together by Oriental News Nigeria, coming up on July 25th, 2024, at Radisson Blue GRA Ikeja, Lagos by 9am.

In recent years, economies all around the world have been experiencing a protracted slowdown driven by structural, global, and cyclical factors. Economic strategies that have been implemented to tackle recession and achieve rapid economic development have endangered sustainable growth by contributing to environmental degradation, global warming, and other negative repercussions.

Changing the paradigm to a green economy will boost natural capital stocks, safeguard the environment, and ensure social justice by providing practical tools and approaches to achieve sustainable growth while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

A transition to a green economy, however, faces challenges such as a lack of an appropriate policy framework, inadequate capital expenditure, varying levels of development, and resource endowments.

Therefore, for green sustainable development, newer business models, strategic changes and innovation in the use of resources, responsible and cleaner business practices, and green technologies are needed.

Above issues will form part of discussion to be spearheaded by Yusuf, who will further highlight challenges and how to accelerate the process.

Also, the Ag. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MD/CEO of the Rural Electrification Agency, REA, Abba Abubakar Aliyu, will be addressing key energy professionals and other government officials on the Agency’s current drive towards delivering clean and reliable electricity across Nigeria.

Aliyu, who has confirmed his participation at the conference will take audience through World Bank approved Nigeria Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project

At the event also, the Director General, D-G of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, would be x-raying key policies and options available in the country’s drive to strengthen her national economy while aligning with global push towards promoting green economy.

All of these will be the high point at the 3rd National Conference.

Oriental News Nigeria a leading digital media platform would gather key policy makers, Government and non-Governmental Organisations, industry experts in Nigeria’s financial sector to the conference which revolves around Nigeria’s Green Economy Initiative.

The theme of the 2024 Conference: ” Green Economy, Sustainable Growth and Infrastructure Transformation” considers various options available for Nigeria to sustain economic development and growth.

Sub-themes of the conference include, Green Finance, marketing, and supply chain, Strategies and Policies for a green economy, Renewable energy and Ecosystem for a green economy and Digital economy Entrepreneurship.

Agama, who has confirmed his attendance, expressed the belief that opportunities in terms of green economy are linked to the enormous possibilities for sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, ecotourism, and coastal development.

Also, other stakeholders have highlighted that Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its natural resource potential could make the country a pioneer in promoting green economy development, hence the choice of the theme of the conference.

The conference is segmented into two main broad areas, with the opening programme to address the key thematic topic through the guest speakers intervention and chairmans remarks with comments from participants which centers around the conference theme.

The second segment is round-table discussion through wider engagement by select professionals to discuss the main theme and sub-themes of the conference.

The conference will draw together and engage researchers, eminent practitioners, and policymakers from across the country who will form part of the plenary (Round-Table) session that will deliberate on the latest findings on practices and policies for a green economy and sustainable growth through strategic change and identify priorities for action by stakeholders to pursue the most promising policies and practices.

The conference will also serve as a venue where academic peers may exchange information, share experiences, collaborate, and develop management answers to pressing business issues.

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NBC Grants C54News Nod to Operate in Nigeria



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National Broadcast Commission (NBC) has granted approval to Future One Africa Television (FOA TV), a pan-African television station, to begin operations.

NBC Grants C54News Nod to Operate in Nigeria

This followed a significant investment of $7 million by Idris-Etanami Abiodun Usman, network’s CEO, to establish a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility.

With NBC’s approval, C54News is now cleared to launch its innovative programming, showcasing the diversity and richness of African cultures, talents, and experiences.

The network promises to deliver high-quality content, including news, documentaries, entertainment shows, and more, catering to a diverse audience across the continent.

FOA TV’s cutting-edge technology and creative approach aim to redefine the television landscape in Africa, providing a platform for African voices, stories, and perspectives to shine.

The network has assembled a team of experienced professionals, including renowned journalists, producers, and presenters, to drive its vision forward.

As C54News prepares to take over the airwaves, audiences can expect a fresh and exciting broadcasting experience that reflects the complexity and beauty of Africa.

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True financial inclusion calls for smaller markets to receive equal attention to larger ones



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By John Ngari, Director, Africa MNOs at Onafriq

The potential for mobile money and digital payments to drive financial inclusion is immense. We can see this potential being unlocked on the African continent as it accounts for 70% of the world’s $1 trillion mobile money value and registered a 12% growth in mobile money accounts to 1.75 billion in 2023.

John Ngari,

This is opening a number of new opportunities for economic growth and development as more robust and connected payment networks are breaking down geographical barriers, opening up access to new markets and enabling anyone to send and receive payments quickly and easily from and to anywhere in the world.

However, these significant benefits are largely being realised and felt in Africa’s larger, and key, markets such as Nigeria, South Africa, and of course Kenya- where mobile money was first launched and popularised on the continent. While these markets have reached greater levels of digital payments maturity, smaller and more underdeveloped markets are often passed over, leaving many still excluded from economic participation and financial freedom.

And yet, the truly transformative power of mobile money and digital payments can be most realised in these overlooked economies where the reliance on cash, a lack of traditional bank accounts due to limited infrastructure and access, and the substantial penetration of smartphones and increasing internet connectivity has created the ideal confluence of circumstances that will pave the way for a more inclusive and resilient financial future.

Realising the enabling power of digital payments

The biggest drivers of mobile money adoption in Africa is its accessibility and ease of use. Unlike traditional financial services, there’s largely no need for extensive paperwork, a credit and financial history, or a physical presence within a brick-and-mortar branch in order to gain access to these services.

This low barrier to entry, along with mobile money’s ability to enable economies beyond just transactions and empower both individuals and enterprises, makes it particularly impactful for underserved markets. Within these regions, mobile money and the digital payments ecosystem has the power to serve as catalysts for economic growth, poverty reduction, and enable marginalised communities with the financial freedom to manage their day-to-day lives, start or expand their businesses, and invest in their futures.

A concerted effort towards a single goal

It’s important that all levels of an economy work towards achieving the crucial objective of financial inclusion. Collaboration is a key component in creating and maintaining an environment that creates more opportunities for inclusive growth and ensures economic resilience.

Not only do governments play a pivotal role in developing and implementing the policies and regulations that foster a supportive framework for financial services, but investment from both the public and private sectors are essential to building the necessary digital payments infrastructure that will underpin financial inclusion on the continent. Meanwhile, fintech firms can continue to drive innovation in this space that will achieve the desired convenience, speed and accessibility within the payments space.

We can see this value already starting to be realised across smaller markets like Eswatini where the Central Bank established a FinTech unit to spearhead the development of digital payments in the country in 2018, in South Sudan where the introduction of mobile money in 2017 has enabled development organisations to distribute cash assistance securely, and Somalia which recently enabled digital payments to be made between the country’s banks, making payments easier.

And, in Ethiopia, non-banks were enabled to provide mobile money services in 2020 as mobile money services could lift 700 000 people out of poverty, add $5.3 billion to the country’s economy, increase tax revenue by $300 million, and essentially position the country to adapt to economic downturns according to the GSMA’s 2023 Mobile Money in Ethiopia report. Recognising this period as a key moment in the country’s transformation into a financially inclusive economic powerhouse, Onafriq has also strengthened its presence in Ethiopia through a number of partnerships with financial institutions, mobile network operators, and other key decision makers. This includes partnerships with Ethio telecom and M-PESA Safaricom to enhance and streamline remittance flows and address the shortage of forex while providing customers with much-needed funds.

It’s clear then that when all these elements work in harmony, they can break down barriers to financial access, enabling people and businesses to participate more fully in the economy, thus driving sustainable development and economic growth in these underserved regions. And, investing in these smaller, underserved markets – which represent a significant portion of the continent’s population – is simply integral to realising true financial inclusion across Africa.

When everyone is able to access financial services we can foster inclusive growth, stimulate local economies and open up access to new markets and opportunities, connecting the continent through sustainable economic development.

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