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African CEOs Identify Advanced AI and Analytics as Success Drivers – IBM Study



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A new global study by the IBM (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value found that over half (54%) of African CEOs surveyed identify customer experience as their highest business priority.

Julia Carvalho

They also recognize productivity or profitability as key to achieving their business goals, ranking it their second highest priority (46%). However, they continue to face key barriers as they race to modernize and adopt new technologies like generative AI.

The annual CEO study*, CEO decision-making in the age of AI, Act with intention, found that African CEOs expect to realize significant value from advanced forms of AI and analytics such as cloud computing, automation, generative AI, deep learning, machine learning, advanced analytics, and more.

However, African organizations face influential external factors hindering their AI readiness over the next three years. Over half (53%) of African CEOs identify technology factors as the most impactful force that could significantly impact their respective AI adoption journeys.

Additionally, regional CEOs cite market factors (51%), regulatory factors (49%) and workforce and skills (33%) as leading external factors that are having the most significant impact on their organizations.

More than half (57%) of global CEOs surveyed cite concerns concerned about data security, and 48% worry about bias or data accuracy, barriers they indicate could slow their adoption of generative AI.

African CEOs face several data challenges, with nearly half of the respondents citing unclear data calculation and reporting across suppliers and partners (48%) and within their organizations (47%) as the most critical risks or barriers.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has presented Africa with an opportunity to leapfrog various stages of economic development.

“Consequently, African organizations are leveraging generative AI and emerging innovation models to accelerate innovation, enhance customer experiences, productivity and profitability, and environmental sustainability, to name a few,” said Julia Carvalho, General Manager of IBM Africa Growth Markets.

“However, it’s critical that CEOs in Africa establish and implement clear and consistent standards as it concerns the utilization of AI across all areas of strategic focus, as it will determine the level of investment and, ultimately, an organization’s success in a rapidly advancing digital economy.”

Key study findings include:

CEOs in Africa say customer experience and productivity, or profitability, are pressing priorities

  • Over half (54%) of CEOs surveyed pinpoint customer experience as a top priority for their organization, whilst productivity or profitability follows as their second highest (46%).
  • Additionally, CEOs surveyed say technology factors remain the top external force impacting their organization over the next three years.

CEOs in Africa are increasingly looking toward operational, technology and data leaders as strategic decision-makers.

Additional data gathered during the survey indicates the following:

  • When asked which C-Suite members will make the most crucial decisions over the next three years, CEO respondents identify COOs (63%) and CFOs (54%).
  • The influence of technology leaders on decision-making is growing – 41% of surveyed CEOs point to CIOs, followed by Chief Technology or Chief Digital Officers (39%), as making the most crucial decision-makers in their organization.

 CEOs in Africa expect to realize significant value from advanced forms of AI and analytics. However, the absence of consistent standards in strategic focus areas is affecting investment

  • Half (50%) of African CEOs report generative AI, deep learning, and machine learning will deliver the results they need over the next three years; 58% say they expect cloud computing to deliver the most results, while 51% bank on automation.
  • However, around 6 in 10 (60%) of CEOs in Africa report a lack of clear standards in one or more strategic focus areas and are delaying investments as a result.

 CEOs in Africa say sustainability is their top challenge amid their respective AI journeys, and they also face a balancing act when it comes to engaging in challenging public issues

  • 39% of CEOs identify environmental sustainability as their greatest challenge over the next three years, followed by cybersecurity and talent recruiting/retention, with 28% each.
  • However, CEOs are wary about taking a public stand on social, geopolitical and ESG issues impacting customers and employees. While 73% of CEOs believe they should take a stand, 39% say they regret a public stand they have taken in the past three years.

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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


ITU, WATRA Join Forces to Enhance ICT Infrastructure Mapping in West Africa



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In a landmark initiative, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) have announced a joint declaration aimed at strengthening collaboration on ICT infrastructure mapping across West Africa. This partnership is set to drive significant improvements in connectivity and socio-economic development throughout the region.

Both organizations emphasized the importance of comprehensive ICT infrastructure data and mapping in shaping effective infrastructure strategies. These data and maps are essential for connecting unserved and underserved communities, with Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) playing a crucial role in planning investments and making informed decisions.

Through this collaboration, ITU and WATRA aim to leverage their respective initiatives and projects, avoiding duplication of efforts and reducing costs. By harmonizing procedures for high-quality infrastructure mapping, the partnership will accelerate efforts to connect communities to the digital economy.

The joint declaration outlines several areas of cooperation, including joint advocacy, capacity building, and implementing ITU recommendations on geospatial information. Specific activities will include technical assistance, enhanced network planning, data analytics for decision-making, regional integration, and advocacy for transparency.

The collaboration aims to achieve multiple outcomes, including improved data consistency, informed infrastructure investment decisions, streamlined decision-making processes, increased regional integration, and enhanced transparency through web-based information access.

Aliyu Aboki, Executive Secretary of WATRA, highlighted the significance of this partnership: “WATRA is excited to partner with ITU on this vital initiative. Our collective efforts will not only enhance the quality of infrastructure mapping but also support our member states in making evidence-based decisions that will bridge the connectivity gap and foster economic growth.”

The joint advocacy efforts will focus on promoting the importance of gathering and managing infrastructure data for decision-making. Capacity-building initiatives will include sharing resources and conducting joint training sessions for member states to improve their infrastructure and broadband mapping capabilities.

Technical assistance will be provided to review and update infrastructure data, while capacity development efforts will enhance network planning insights, impacting infrastructure investment decisions across the region.

The partnership will also facilitate regional integration by sharing insights into network interconnection gaps and opportunities, promoting new infrastructure investments and partnerships. Additionally, it will advocate for improved transparency and stakeholder engagement through accessible web-based information on infrastructure.

The ITU-WATRA joint declaration marks a significant milestone in enhancing ICT infrastructure mapping in West Africa. By working together, ITU and WATRA aim to drive connectivity improvements and socio-economic development, ensuring that communities across the region are better integrated into the digital economy.

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Get Exclusive Rewards with TECNO’s Mid-Year Sales



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As we find ourselves right in the heart of the year, TECNO invites you to embark on an exhilarating journey with the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo! From June 10th to July 20th, 2024, get ready to immerse yourself in a world of incredible rewards that will make this season truly unforgettable!

When you choose any model from the TECNO CAMON 30 series, prepare to be amazed. Not only will you receive a fabulous CAMON Gift Box, but you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy the convenience of Easybuy with a 0% interest rate.

Opting for the incredible TECNO POVA 6 NEO comes with an exciting N10,000 discount, a unique TECNO Accessory Gift, and the same 0% interest rate on Easybuy.

And if the TECNO SPARK 20 catches your eye, we’ve got something special for you too – 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a fantastic headset. Meanwhile, purchasers of the TECNO POP 8 will receive 15GB of free data from GENENIX and a delightful gift.

Participating in the TECNO Mid-Year Sales Promo is a breeze. Head to any of the authorised TECNO stores and get your hands on any of the fantastic TECNO devices mentioned above.

Alongside your purchase, you’ll receive your well-deserved gifts and a raffle ticket, granting you an incredible chance to win in the thrilling weekly draws across Nigeria.

This is your golden opportunity to enjoy mind-blowing discounts and exciting gifts, as well as being part of a lottery with extraordinary prizes.

During the weekly draws, luck smiled upon seven fortunate customers who were presented with rams on June 14th, marking the joyous celebration of Eid-el-Kabir. On June 28th and July 19th, fourteen weekly customers will also walk away with delightful food packs.

This promo is all about exceptional offers that elevate the joy of your festivities and make your mid-year shine brighter.

Visit TECNO-authorised stores to acquire your new TECNO device and enter a season filled with rewards and celebrations. TECNO is committed to making your mid-year more radiant and fulfilling.

Come and be a part of this festive season and let TECNO bring you more joy and rewards.

Remember, the more you purchase, the greater your chances of winning. For more information, follow TECNO on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

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MTN Foundation Leads Successful Anti-Substance Abuse Advocacy Walk in Lagos



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The MTN Foundation, through its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme (ASAP), recently held an advocacy walk in Lagos aimed at raising awareness and combating drug abuse.

The walk started at the NDLEA Office in Gbagada and ended at the Ikeja Military Cantonment on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland, covering a distance of 10.2 km.

This event saw the active participation of the Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mobolaji Ogundele; Assistant Commander General, Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Dr. Segun Oke; Executive Director, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya; among other key stakeholders.

The Lagos advocacy walk is part of a broader campaign by the MTN Foundation to discourage first-time use and casual substance abuse nationwide. The campaign has already seen a successful walk held in Port Harcourt and Abuja, with upcoming events planned for Kano.

Community-based approaches to advocacy walks are crucial as they engage local populations directly, cultivating a sense of ownership and collective responsibility in addressing substance abuse. Such grassroots initiatives can effectively tailor messages and interventions to meet the specific needs of the community, ensuring a more impactful and sustainable outcome.

The Lagos advocacy walk, by involving diverse stakeholders and sectors, exemplifies this approach, promoting widespread awareness and encouraging proactive measures against drug abuse.

Commenting on the success of the advocacy walk, the Executive Director of the MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, stated, “The Lagos advocacy walk was a resounding success, showcasing the power of collective action in addressing the critical issue of substance abuse.

“The strong turnout and enthusiastic participation reflect our community’s deep commitment to building a drug-free society.

“At the MTN Foundation, we believe that through continued education, empowerment, and collaboration with key stakeholders, we can create a safer and healthier environment for our youth.

The advocacy walk not only served as a platform to raise awareness but also as a call to action for all members of the community to join hands in the fight against drug abuse.

As the MTN Foundation continues to expand its Anti-Substance Abuse Programme across Nigeria, it remains steadfast in its mission to promote preventive measures, engage communities, and implement evidence-based strategies.

Through these sustained efforts, the Foundation aims to build a resilient and drug-free generation, contributing to the long-term socio-economic stability and well-being of the nation.

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