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Cisco, Deutsche Telekom & Intel Unleash Joint Startup Program

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On Tuesday at Mobile World Congress, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel announced Challenge Up!, a joint Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator for startups from the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

The program aims at helping innovative IoT startups go-to-market faster through joint projects, mentoring, high-value networking and corporate assets.

Selected companies would also be opportune to receive strategic investment and support commercializing their product or service for global markets.

Speaking on this, Elias Drakopoulos, Senior Vice President in charge of Europe B2B at Deutsche Telekom, stated that “With Challenge Up! We are giving a great signal to the startup world, bringing together the resources and know-how of three corporations. We will use our combined experience for the benefit of the Challenge Up! Program and the support of the startup community”.

Challenge Up! is designed for early-stage startups creating solutions for the Internet of Things/Everything (IoT/IoE) and related areas, including connected and smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy, connected cars, wearables, Industry 4.0), information security, big data, analytics, connectivity and cloud computing.

Key elements of the program are Acceleration Week (to be held June 22-26, 2015), which will be sponsored by Cisco EIR, Intel® Business Challenge Europe and hub:raum, and a tailor-made, 4-month incubation program (July to October) taking place in Krakow, Berlin and Vienna supported by Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and Intel.

Startups selected for the program participate for free with no equity required and keep their own intellectual property.

On his part, Christian Morales, Corporate Vice President and General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa at Intel,  said, “We are looking forward to the creative ideas for new products and services from across the region to improve how we live and work together. By giving startups access to the complimentary resources of our three global companies we can help them accelerate their ideas into commercial success”.

Mike Flannagan, vice president of Data & Analytics at Cisco, added that “With an expected 50 billion things connected to the Internet by 2020, the Internet of Everything opens up great opportunities. To help better address these opportunities, Challenge Up! brings together the best of the technology world in an ecosystem of open innovation”.

The program unites resources and experience from the startup initiatives of the individual companies, including Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR), Intel Business Challenge Europe and hub: raum powered by Deutsche Telekom. ‎


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E-Business

Nigeria inflation rate hits 34.19%

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Nigeria’s annual inflation rate increased for the fifth consecutive month to 34.19 per cent as Nigerians battle with high living crisis.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), released on Monday, the June figure is 0.24 per cent higher than the 33.95 per cent recorded in May. The lowest figure in 2024 was 29.90 per cent, recorded in January.

On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79 per cent.

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023),” the NBS said.

NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31 per cent, which was 0.17 per cent higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14 per cent) meaning that in the month of June 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is higher than the rate of increase in the average price level in May 2024.

According to the NBS, the food inflation rate in June 2024 rose 40.87 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25 per cent).


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Konga, CeraVe Ink MoU for Exclusive Launch of L’Oreal Product in Nigeria

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At long last, relief is here for the skincare enthusiasts in Nigeria! Konga Health, Nigeria’s premier digital healthcare distribution company, has sealed an exclusive partnership with CeraVe, a leading global skincare brand under the L’Oréal umbrella, to launch its product in the country. L’Oréal is the world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare and perfume in terms of quality, efficacy and safety.

Konga Health

Through Konga Health, a technology-driven healthcare solutions company focused on revolutionizing the healthcare value chain and a member of the Konga Group, this exclusive collaboration will debut with the renowned CeraVe line, offering unbeatable prices and free delivery to some locations Nationwide.

This enhanced partnership empowers Konga Health to onboard pharmacists, physicians, and other healthcare providers Nationwide to support the distribution of CeraVe’s product line. This initiative includes opportunities for recruitment, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure that high-quality skincare solutions are accessible to all nationwide.

This strategic alliance ensures that genuine CeraVe products reach Nigerian consumers swiftly and conveniently, leveraging Konga’s extensive e-commerce infrastructure. Concerns about counterfeit items that often plague the beauty and skincare market are now a thing of the past, as Konga becomes CeraVe’s official distributor in Nigeria.

CeraVe now boasts a dedicated official shop-in-shop (SIS) on Konga.com, serving as a one-stop destination for all authentic CeraVe products. Shoppers can directly access top-tier skincare solutions identical to those available globally.

Starting Monday, July 15th, CeraVe’s flagship products, such as the Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser, Foaming Cleanser, SA Smoothing Cleanser, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer with 3 Essential Ceramides & Hyaluronic Acid, Barrier-Reinforcing Moisturizing Cream, Night Cream with Niacinamide, Exfoliating Salicylic Acid Foot Cream, Retinol Serum, Eye Repair Cream, Facial Moisturizers, Hyaluronic, and Vitamin C Serums, will be readily available on the Konga Health and Konga.com platforms, offering customers a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

Nnenna Emenyonu, Senior Vice President of Konga Health, expressed her excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner with CeraVe, a brand synonymous with quality and scientific excellence in skincare. This collaboration allows our customers access to top-tier skincare products that are dermatologically tested and proven effective.”

Rabah Deroueche, LID LDB SSA and Business Development Director at L’Oreal, shared similar sentiments, noting, “Our partnership with Konga marks a significant milestone for CeraVe in Nigeria. By leveraging our commitment to quality skincare products and Konga’s platform, CeraVe can reach a wider audience and address the skincare needs of Nigerian consumers. This collaboration ensures Nigerian consumers can easily access our products and experience the benefits of our dermatologist-developed formulations.”

CeraVe has earned its stellar reputation globally through scientifically backed formulations. Developed in close collaboration with dermatologists, CeraVe products meet the highest standards of skincare and are celebrated for using essential ingredients that ensure optimal skin health.

The partnership between Konga and L’Oreal establishes Konga’s standing as a trusted e-commerce platform offering only high-quality products. As the official distributor of CeraVe, Konga is dedicated to maintaining the brand’s integrity by providing shoppers with authentic products that meet their skincare needs.


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TD Africa Partners CISCO on Tech-Skills Development in Africa

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In its continuous drive to bridge the widening skills gap in Africa’s technology sector, TD Africa, Africa’s largest technology distribution company, has partnered with Cisco on its month-long inaugural training program.

TD-CISCO

The program, the first of its kind in the TD Academy training series, was aimed at empowering young minds with technical skills and professional exposure.

The initiative, titled “Introduction to Cisco Networking Solutions and Workplace Professional Skills,” exemplifies TD Africa’s comprehensive and futuristic approach to technology education and professional development, empowering individuals and businesses to thrive in the digital age.

This innovative series of pooled training aims to equip the participants with the foundational knowledge of Cisco networking solutions, which is critical for building and managing robust IT infrastructure and workplace professional skills, recognizing the importance of soft skills in today’s dynamic work environment.

This combined focus on technical competence and professional development aligns with TD Africa’s robust approach towards impacting appropriate skills set into young people.

Cisco’s extensive portfolio for this first leg of TD Academy encompasses carefully curated programs in cybersecurity, data analysis, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address the most sought-after skills in the African technology market.

For Mrs. Chioma Ekeh, CEO of TD Africa, the company’s dedication to bridging the skills gap is not a one-off training program nor limited to knowledge transfer.

Her words: “We understand the critical need for a skilled workforce to propel Africa’s digital transformation. Through our collaborative training programs with industry leaders like Cisco, we are committed to equipping individuals with the right tools and knowledge to succeed in this exciting field.”

Amblessed Ubong, one of the beneficiaries of the training program, said, “I recently completed a four-week training at the TD Academy; it was enriching and transformative.

“The sessions were thought-provoking, the trainers were passionate, and the environment was highly supportive. Collaborative projects enhanced my teamwork skills and made learning enjoyable.

“I left the TD Academy with a wealth of knowledge and a renewed enthusiasm for my career.”

Impressed by the exceptional talent emerging from the program, Africa’s number one tech distribution company immediately recruited some of the top graduates who participated in the training program.

This commitment to recognizing and nurturing talent further strengthens the technology ecosystem in Africa, creating a pipeline of skilled professionals for the future.

By empowering individuals and businesses with the necessary skills and knowledge, TD Africa is further stamping its foot in the sand of time, playing a pivotal role in Africa’s digital renaissance.


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