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Cisco Increases TelePresence Footprints in Nigeria

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Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking has installed Cisco TelePresence exchanges in its Lagos office.
The Cisco TelePresence solution unveiled last week offers a live, face-to-face experience that enables people from different offices and cities around the world to meet virtually using the power of the network.
This marks the second major deployment of Cisco’s TelePresence solution in Nigeria following the announcement, in April 2010, that MTN Nigeria had become the first service provider in Nigeria to offer public Cisco TelePresence rooms in three locations- the Southern Sun Hotel in Lagos, the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja and the Le Meridian Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Den Sullivan, chief technology officer, for Cisco Emerging Markets in a Telepresence Press conference to demonstrate the technology which connected the Cisco Lagos office, Brussel and London said: “The deployment of Cisco TelePresence technology can now be increased significantly throughout the sub-Saharan African region with the arrival of submarine cables, which now offer high bandwidth at attractive prices. Cisco’s vision is to be the leading enabler of ICT and broadband acceleration in emerging markets through innovative, scalable, high-value technology offerings and solutions.”
He said the Cisco TelePresence solution will not only transform the way business is conducted in Africa but also help make vital services like healthcare and education more accessible to those who need them most.
The Cisco office in Nigeria has been installed with the Cisco TelePresence System 3000 Series designed for large group meetings, creating an environment for up to six people to meet in one location and to be “virtually” joined by six additional people, for a total of 12 meeting participants. It is suitable for customer engagements, presentations to groups, supply-chain dealings, press briefings, operational or engineering reviews, negotiations, regular team meetings, and other gatherings. 
Richard Edet, general manager for Cisco Nigeria said the Cisco TelePresence solution will have a transformational impact on all sectors of the Nigerian society from healthcare and education to safety and citizen inclusion.
“Health care professionals, for example, will soon be able to collaborate more easily, regardless of location, thereby improving both the timeliness and the quality of care delivered and patients will be able to access physicians and specialists from remote locations. Likewise, for educational establishments, Cisco TelePresence will help transform the learning environment, providing a means to bring education to remote locations and also connect with colleges, institutions and tutors from around the world. With the adoption of TelePresence, Nigeria is set to mark its 50 years of independence milestone by becoming a truly smart and connected nation,” Edet said.
With Cisco TelePresence meeting,  participants can share content, create high-quality video recordings of events, consult with experts, and deliver powerful personalized services, all using the network for an immersive in-person experience.

Setting up a Cisco TelePresence meeting is as simple as making a phone call, and when participants sit down at the conference table in a Cisco TelePresence room, other participants appear to be sitting across the table, in life size, no matter where they are in the world.
Cisco Telepresence integrates three 65-inch plasma screens and a specially designed table that seats six participants on one side of the virtual table. The system, which features cameras, a lighting array, microphones, and speakers, all tuned to optimize the experience, supports life-size images with ultra-high-definition video and spatial audio. A multipoint meeting using Cisco TelePresence System 3000 can support up to 48 locations on a single call.
For businesses in West Africa, Cisco TelePresence technology will bridge geographical divides, by enabling highly secure virtual meetings with multiple locations inside or outside the corporate firewall. Ultimately, the solution will help to save costs and boost productivity by reducing travel and will facilitate a greener company environment by reducing its carbon footprint.
The ‘real-life’ meeting experience provided by Cisco TelePresence technology is delivered through ultra-high-definition video that reveals subtle facial expressions conveying nonverbal reactions. Spatial audio allows the transmission of every nuance of the conversation and enables participants to interact as they would in person.
Cisco has worked closely with JustStandout Limited, an alternative power solutions and energy consulting company to guarantee uninterrupted power supply even during power cuts.


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FG Unveils Roadmap for Africa’s Digital Trade Revolution Under AfCFTA

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The Federal Government on Friday unveiled a comprehensive strategy to lead Africa’s digital trade revolution within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The strategy is part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to harness trade as a catalyst for economic growth and continental cohesion in line with AfCFTA objectives.

To this effect, Vice President Kashim Shettima said Nigeria is in a unique position to spearhead the continent’s technological transformation.

He made the observation while delivering the keynote address during a Stakeholders Summit with the theme, “Digital Trade in Africa: The Renewed Hope Strategy,” held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We are in a vantage position because we are the continent’s largest ICT hub, and as such, we must lead the way to the future of this peculiar wave of the Industrial Revolution.

“Our collaboration must prioritize comparisons of our policy initiatives to those of developed economies and fine-tune them to sustain our place and fast-track our growth,” the Vice President stated.

Senator Shettima outlined key components of the roadmap to include implementation of AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Protocol and the development of expansive technical talent hubs.

The plan, according to him, also focuses “on enhancing digital infrastructure investments, promoting disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensuring the alignment of multiple government agencies to support digital trade initiatives.”

The VP stressed the need for strong synergy between the public and private sectors in implementing the AfCFTA’s Digital Trade Protocol, just as he assured that the federal government remains committed to investing in digital infrastructure and human capital development to drive the process.

He continued: “Our collaboration must prioritize comparisons of our policy initiatives to those of developed economies and fine-tune them to sustain our place and fast-track our growth. For a sector upon which all others rely to survive, digital technologies hold the nation together, and we cannot afford to slow down.

“Our programmes, from the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) to the ongoing intervention to train 3 million technical talents by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, to the Outsource to Nigeria Initiative (OTNI), are lifelines in our digital economy.

“They offer us an avenue to not only maximize our potential but also commit to the adoption of the Digital Trade Protocol within AfCFTA,” VP Shettima further explained.

Earlier in his remarks, Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijjani, said the Tinubu administration is investing significantly in every aspect of the digital trade protocol, with a view to harnessing opportunities in the country and continent at large.

He explained that through innovative policies and programmes such as the 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) programme, data protection policy and improved investments in digital infrastructure, the administration is equipping the country’s young population for the opportunities of the present and future.

Underscoring the significance of technology in trading across the continent, Dr Tijjani said opportunities that exist within the single market area are unprecedented and could best be harnessed through effective collaboration and networking facilitated by digital technology.

In his welcome address, the Special Assistant to the President on ICT Policy, Dr. Salihu Dasuki Nakande, thanked President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima for their commitment and dedication to the Renewed Hope Agenda, which he said has laid a solid foundation for the digital transformation journey in the country.

He said their continuous support has led to the discourse on digital transformation which will equally lead to a prosperous Nigeria.

Quoting the Vice President in his address at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, Dr. Nakande said, “Looking ahead, there is a need for speed and cohesion among African countries, the idea of AfCFTA must be revived and there is no hope in keeping waiting in this world, we must act swiftly and together ensure that the AfCFTA succeeds.


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Cybersecurity Firm Uncovers Scams Targeting Olympic Games Fans

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The first in-person Summer Olympics since the lifting of pandemic restrictions is set to begin on July 26, attracting millions of sports enthusiasts.

Kaspersky experts have noted a surge in scamming activity surrounding the event, with fraudsters targeting users’ money and data.

To understand how scammers are exploiting viewers’ interest, Kaspersky experts analysed Olympic-related phishing websites and identified the main schemes currently in use.

Fake Tickets

With the Olympic Committee warning of fake ticket offers and news of a UK swimmer’s family being scammed out of £2,500 while attempting to purchase tickets for the Paris Olympics, Kaspersky’s telemetry confirms that fraudsters are actively crafting phishing websites.

These sites offer tickets for Olympic competitions at exclusive prices or claim to have seats for sold-out events. This well-tested yet effective fraudulent scheme has resurfaced during many Olympic seasons, and Kaspersky’s experts expect such websites to proliferate during Paris 2024 events.

In this scenario, users fill out a data form and transfer both their personal information and money to scammers. As a result, they may receive invalid tickets or, more likely, nothing at all, leading to financial loss and their data being sold on Dark Web forums.

Fake Corporate Giveaways

Many organisations host giveaways for their employees, partners, and customers during major events. Recently, Kaspersky experts uncovered a fraudulent page impersonating a French bank, falsely promising a chance to win event tickets.

Employees are enticed to fill out a form with personal details, including their Internet account login credentials and passwords. This allows fraudsters to infiltrate victims’ corporate resources and potentially spread malicious content further.

Fake Merch Stores

Kaspersky experts have also discovered fraudulent online stores selling merchandise such as shirts, uniforms, accessories, and more. Needless to say, those who were enticed by these offers never received the items they ordered.

Special Cell Phone Plans

Fraudsters have set up phishing websites offering a free 48 GB data package for all networks. These sites entice users to provide personal information, such as phone numbers and payment details, under the guise of activating the data package.

Once submitted, this information is harvested for malicious purposes, leading to potential financial loss and privacy breaches.

“During major events like the Olympics, the sheer volume of offers can be overwhelming and deceptive,” says Anton Yatsenko, security expert at Kaspersky. “Scammers prey on the excitement and urgency people feel, making it crucial to approach every offer with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to verify the authenticity of offers and protect your personal information. Your vigilance can be the difference between enjoying the event and falling victim to a scam.”


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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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