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Anambra, Lagos Forge Partnership for Advancement in Information Technology

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As part of efforts towards advancing Information and Technology (IT) development in Nigeria, Anambra and Lagos States have agreed to a collaborative partnership that will see to the strengthening of their respective IT ecosystems.

This collaborative effort which stemmed from bilateral meetings with the IT Ecosystem members during the Reverse Trade Mission in the United States of America, is geared towards addressing emerging challenges, fostering innovation, and enhancing the overall cybersecurity infrastructure.

This no doubt resonates with the Federal Government’s call, through the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, at the recently concluded meeting of the Nigeria National Council of ICT Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Abeokuta, Ogun State, for the digitalization of MDAs operations.

According to the Minister, there was a need for immediate provision of ICT Infrastructure that would aid data sharing among government agencies, which in turn, would not only aid proactiveness in the business of governance but would also block fraudulent activities, help improve Nigeria’s economy, and set government priorities right at all times.

The objectives and key highlights of the Anambra/Lagos partnership include Cybersecurity Collaboration, Protection of IT Assets, Cyber protection measures, and expansion of IT service platforms.

Both parties will implement new methods of cybersecurity to fortify IT infrastructure as well as Formulate strategies to comprehend and counter the evolving threat landscape in cyberspace.

Both states will also explore the Introduction of advanced cyber protection measures for safeguarding critical IT assets, familiarization with cutting-edge tools to mitigate and reduce cybercrime risks, and understanding new tools to enrich IT service platforms, including cloud solutions like AWS.

There is also the issue of aligning with digitization and customer service agenda, to enhance service delivery and developing initiatives for rapid onboarding of new skills in the IT sector as well as Upscaling the skill system to meet the evolving demands of the IT landscape. Both parties will equally seek joint efforts to bolster the pool of skilled professionals in the Information Technology sector.

Lagos State Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Tunbosun Alake, expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, “This partnership signifies a crucial step in fortifying our technological capabilities. By combining forces with Anambra State, we aim to create a resilient IT infrastructure that not only addresses current challenges but also anticipates and adapts to future advancements.”

MD/CEO of Anambra State ICT Agency, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, CFA, believes, “Collaborating with Lagos State is an opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and elevate our IT services market. Together, we can achieve technological excellence and contribute significantly to Nigeria’s digital transformation.”

This imminent partnership between Anambra and Lagos states is poised to make tangible strides in the Information Technology sector, setting a precedent for collaborative efforts in advancing the nation’s technological landscape.


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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

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Zipline Achieves One Millionth Delivery Milestone

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Zipline, the leading force in drone logistics delivery, has reached a monumental achievement with its one-millionth delivery to customers, signifying a significant leap forward in the logistics delivery sector. This historic milestone was marked by the delivery of two bags of IV fluid from a Zipline distribution center in Ghana to a local health facility.

Renowned for its innovative approach to designing, building, and operating autonomous delivery drones, Zipline’s zero-emission technology has garnered acclaim, covering over 70 million commercial miles across four continents.

Backed by investments surpassing several millions of dollars from notable supporters like Sequoia Capital, a16z, and Google Ventures, Zipline has firmly established itself as a disruptive leader in the industry. CEO Keller Rinaudo emphasizes the company’s commitment to key markets such as healthcare, quick commerce, and food delivery, envisioning a future where Zipline achieves 1 million deliveries per day.

“The three areas where the incentive really makes the most sense today are health care, quick commerce, and food,” underscoring Zipline’s commitment to partnering with top brands and institutions to transform the future of logistics using autonomous drones –  Keller Rinaudo Cliffton.

In Africa, Zipline has made a profound impact, forging significant partnerships across the continent. In Ghana alone, which accounts for about 54% of the one-millionth delivery milestone, Zipline’s collaboration with the government and health ministry has been pivotal. Since its inception, Zipline has completed over 540,000 drone delivery flights across Ghana, encompassing the delivery of crucial supplies, including 3,566,500 units of vaccines, 2,825,210 units of medical products, 14,807 units of blood products, and 18,289 units of animal health products. These deliveries have directly impacted the lives of over 17 million Ghanaians across 13 regions, saving 6,014 lives through emergency deliveries, including blood products and snake antivenom since 2019.

Beyond mere statistics, the company has facilitated the delivery of 12.2 million vaccine doses, including 2.8 million Covid-19 vaccines, leading to a 21% increase in vaccination coverage and a 44% reduction in missed opportunities to vaccinate in Ghana. These efforts have potentially saved 727 lives due to increased vaccination coverage. Additionally, Zipline’s infrastructure expansion in Ghana, with six distribution centers strategically located across the country, has enabled swift and efficient on-demand drone delivery services.

Not only this, the technology has facilitated the vaccination of 104,000 cattle against Anthrax in northern Ghana, safeguarding both human and animal lives. Such interventions have also extended to the agricultural sector, where 10.4 million doses of poultry vaccines have been delivered to poultry farmers nationwide, combating diseases such as Newcastle disease, Fowl pox, and Gumboro.

But Zipline’s impact in Africa extends far beyond Ghana’s borders. Operating in Rwanda, Kenya, Côte D’Ivoire, and Nigeria, the company has become a beacon of hope for healthcare accessibility and disease prevention. In Rwanda, Zipline serves as a lifeline, delivering 75% of the country’s blood supply outside of Kigali, drastically reducing maternal mortality rates due to postpartum hemorrhage by 88%. Additionally, the company’s deliveries of agricultural products have elevated farmers’ fertility rates by 10% compared to the national average.

In Kenya, Zipline’s collaborations with the Elton John AIDS Foundation have facilitated the delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment products, empowering individuals to manage their health effectively. Similarly, in Nigeria, Zipline’s expansive coverage encompasses over 500 health facilities in Kaduna, more than 350 in Cross River State, and 200 in Bayelsa. Teaming up with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Zipline focuses on reaching children in remote regions, ensuring equitable access to life-saving immunizations.

Zipline’s adaptive approach and tailored delivery services reflect its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of populations and sectors. The achievement of the one millionth delivery milestone underscores its dedication to enhancing healthcare outcomes and addressing societal needs across Africa. As Zipline continues to innovate and expand its reach, it is poised to shape the future of healthcare delivery on the continent and beyond.

 

 

 


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Telcos Record N27Bn Loss from Damaged Fibre Cables

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Repairs and revenue losses from damaged cables are estimated to have cost Nigeria’s telecom industry almost N27bn ($23m) in 2023, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg.

Telcos Record N27Bn Loss from Damaged Fibre Cables

MTN Nigeria, the biggest wireless operator in Africa’s most-populous nation, and Airtel Africa Plc bore the brunt of the costs, the documents show.

MTN suffered more than 6,000 cuts on its fiber cable last year, the documents show.

On Feb. 28, a cut in its network in three different locations by a road construction firm, an oil serving company, and someone burning rubbish in a manhole meant customers faced more than five hours of data and voice outages.

The operator relocated 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) of vulnerable fiber cables between 2022 and 2023, at a cost of more than N11bn —enough to build 870 kilometers of new fiber lines in areas without coverage.

Broadband fibre optic cables form the backbone of modern communication infrastructure, enabling the high-speed data transmission that underpins a wide range of personal, business, and societal activities.

On several occasions, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the industry regulator, has acknowledged this challenge and expressed willingness to work on measures to address it.

These measures include stricter regulations to deter vandalism and improved collaboration between telcos and government agencies responsible for construction activities.

According to the NCC, the telecom sector will make up more than a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product by the end of 2027, up from 13.5 per cent in the third quarter of last year.


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NCAIR Relaunch: Pantami, Tijani Fight for Credit

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Isa Pantami, former minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has voiced his discontent over the relaunch of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) by Bosun Tijani, his successor.

Isa Pantami, former minister of Communications and Digital Economy,

Tijani announced the revitalization of NCAIR, highlighting enhancements in its capacity and partnerships with global tech firm Cisco.

However, Pantami took to social media to assert that NCAIR was already established during his tenure in November 2020, dubbing it “the first of its kind in Africa” and emphasizing its effectiveness in training numerous Nigerians.

Tijani responded by detailing the new initiatives accompanying the relaunch, including increased computing infrastructure, dedicated research labs, and remote connectivity for AI hubs across the country. He also unveiled outcomes from the Ministry’s National AI Workshop, such as the country’s first Multilingual Large Language Model and partnerships aimed at accelerating AI development projects of national significance.

The exchange between Pantami and Tijani underscores ongoing efforts to advance AI research and application in Nigeria while navigating questions of continuity and leadership transition within the Ministry.

 


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