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DG NITDA Reiterates Needs for Safe and Inclusive Digital Environment

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To forge strategic partnerships and collaboration for the advancement of Nigeria’s digital transformation Agenda, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa has reiterated the need for a safe and inclusive online environment responsible for human and Artificial Intelligence (AI) practices in country.

Inuwa made the statement while playing host to a team from TikTok who visited Agency’s Corporate Headquarters in Abuja to seek alliance towards bolstering the country, which aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu priority area of strengthening national security for peace and prosperity.

The DG stated that content moderation strategies will help in addressing online problems like hate speech, misinformation, and cyberbullying in relation to the protection of minors across the country.

“With the Code of practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries in place, this has helped in ensuring digital safety in accordance with global best practice and content moderation to enhance security”, he said.

He further noted that “no organisation or institution can operate in silos, we need each other for the actualisation of our goals and objectives towards services delivery and for the advancement of the Nation.”

Highlighting some critical areas, Inuwa stated that leveraging on the platform will advance the country through Digital Literacy 4 All (DL4ALL), Capacity Building, knowledge sharing, trainings, and curbing misinformation, digital safety with the aim of creating a safer cyber space and empowering online environment for Nigerian users.

He added that the platform allows for creative expression through filters, stickers, and editing tools, entertainment and comedy are dominant themes, and informational videos on various topics are gaining traction which has become a launchpad for influencers and trends that can go viral.

Inuwa also explained that NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2.0 (SRAP 2024-2027) is structured around eight pillars which include; Fostering Digital Literacy and Cultivating Talents, Building a Robust Technology Research Ecosystem, Strengthening Policy Implementation and Legal Frameworks, Promoting Inclusive Access to Digital Infrastructure and Services, Enhancing Cybersecurity and Digital Trust, Nurturing an Innovative and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Forging Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations, and Cultivating a Vibrant organisational Culture with an Agile Workforce.

In her earlier remarks, the Head of Government Regulation and Public Policy TikTok Nigeria and West Africa, Mrs Tokunbo Ibrahim has revealed that NITDA is one of its biggest and critical stakeholders in Nigeria that has an outstanding strides and performance in advancing the digital economy sector.

Ibrahim commended NITDA for its various initiatives, programmes, and policies set in place and aligns with that of TikTok, providing the opportunity were Nigerians use the platform to market, sell and export their products and services as well as talents to the outside world and make a living out of it.
She pointed out that there are projects and programmes that TikTok platform has forge ties of collaboration with, like the Africa creator hub where they do campaigns for tech creator, support, empower, and educate them on how to create contents and explore other sections of the platform, changing their narrative and adding values to what they are doing.

Ibrahim also added that TikTok platform considers online safety as one of its critical areas to secure the cyber space by providing an avenue for users to thrive and be productive in their various activities.

TikTok is currently running African mall to push the narrative of Africa to the world and creators are being equipped with information that they can create contents for products and services in Nigeria, thus can be exported to other countries of the world attracting investments


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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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d.light Provides 10,000 Solar Home Systems to Refugees

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d.light, the global provider of transformational household products and affordable finance for low-income households, is providing 10,000 subsidized solar home systems to refugees who have fled conflict in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and who are now living in refugee camps in Northern and Western Uganda.

The 10,000 units are part of a wider initiative to supply 23,000 solar home systems to Ugandan refugee communities.

The project is being funded by a USD$3.4M grant from Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), a body made up of business associations, companies and public sector agencies in Uganda: and Energising Development (EnDev), an international programme by the German, Dutch, Norwegian and Swiss governments to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for delivering social, economic, and environmental change.

The project began in April and is scheduled to run for 12 months. Funds from the grant are subject to results based financing (RBF) and d.light will only receive funding for solar home systems that have been installed.

Each solar home system from d.light features three high-efficiency LED lights, an FM radio with MP3 playback, mobile phone charging capability, and a portable solar flashlight.

Commenting on the news, d.light’s Managing Director for Uganda Douglas Gavala said, “With this grant, we can expand the important work we’re doing to improve living conditions for underserved refugee communities from South Sudan, the DRC and elsewhere who are living in refugee camps in Uganda.

“A solar home system significantly improves the quality of life and wellbeing of a household – whether it’s providing entertainment or letting a family stay up to date on local and global news on the radio or enabling children to continue reading and studying after dark.

“As well as benefits at home, d.light products also bolster household income in Uganda’s refugee settlements by extending working hours for tradespeople and small businesses, and providing an income for residents who work as d.light salespeople in the settlements.

“By providing high-quality solar products at an affordable price, we are improving the quality of life for displaced people while simultaneously encouraging economic activity at a grassroots level.”

 


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Dr. Adesina, AfDB Group President Calls for Media Transformation to Uplift Africa’s Global Narrative

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Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group, delivered an impassioned plea for more balanced media coverage of Africa and its development, noting it was critical for changing false narratives.

Adesina said this on Thursday in a keynote speech to the All Africa’s Media summit in Nairobi, attended by nearly 300 participants from across the continent. He praised the crucial role the media plays in strengthening democracy and advancing inclusivity.

The Bank Group president said there were many positive developments in Africa yet the continent continues to suffer misrepresentations which undermine its economic progress and investment potential.

“Despite the significant progress within our continent, the prevailing media narrative often focuses on negative stereotypes, overlooking the substantial advancements and resilience Africa demonstrates,” he added.

Adesina said there was plenty of positive news to report about and highlighted the continent’s economic resilience regional and amid global challenges. He said that in 2023, Africa’s growth rate surpassed the global average, with 11 African nations ranked among the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Adesina referenced a 2021 Africa No Filter Report, which revealed significant adherence to outdated and negative clichés in media reports about Africa. “It’s time for change,” he declared. “We must reshape the narrative about Africa to reflect its true spirit and potential.”

He emphasised the critical nature of information and its ability to have a profound negative impact on development and investor perceptions even though an in-depth investigation by Moody’s Analytics had shown the continent was much less of a risk than many other continents.

“We must promote a balanced view that highlights both the challenges and the many successes of Africa. It’s about changing perceptions and showcasing Africa as a continent rich with opportunity and innovation.”

The Bank Group President also spoke about the challenges and transformations within the media sector, highlighting the impact of digital technology.

“The media landscape has dramatically shifted with the rise of the internet and mobile technology, leading to a proliferation of digital platforms,” Adesina declared.

“While this has democratised information, it has also complicated issues, the distinction between fact and fiction can become blurred.”

To counter unfair and unbalanced narratives, Adesina urged the creation of a powerful, globally respected African media and proposed strategic collaborations among regional financial institutions to support this cause, emphasising the need for media to act as a catalyst for development.

“We need to celebrate and promote the continent’s successes, turning the tide against the longstanding stereotypes that have clouded the global view of Africa… What you call yourself, is the name others will subscribe to you.”

“For as long as we continually denigrate ourselves and play into the hands of those who control the narrative about Africa, we will be stuck with a label that does not belong to us,” he concluded.

He highlighted the African Development Bank’s own successes which included maintaining a AAA credit rating and launching groundbreaking financial initiatives that have earned it respect as an innovative and successful multilateral development bank.

“We have proven that Africa can lead with innovation and strength in the global financial landscape,” the President remarked. “Yet, these achievements receive minimal attention compared to the persistent focus on Africa’s challenges.”

Adesina added that just one month ago, the Bank launched a landmark $750 million hybrid capital instrument, again with a Triple A rating, which was oversubscribed eight times. He described this as a huge “testament to the confidence and trust in Africa’s burgeoning financial capabilities.”

He pledged that the African Development Bank remained committed to supporting initiatives that would help the media present a more balanced and progressive portrayal of Africa and support its economic development.

In a discussion with Julie Gichuru of the Mastercard Foundation after his address, Adesina said Africa was blessed with energy sources, but millions remained without electricity. “This must change,” he said.

“We cannot industrialise in the dark, we cannot develop in the dark. Our children cannot be competitive in a world of darkness,” he concluded.


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Brands Jostle for CVA 2024 as Consumers Vote

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Ongoing voting for brands on the Consumers Value Awards portals, consumers expressed brand satisfaction with their votes.

Over 40 categories of brands are listed based on consumers’ nominations on the Consumers Value Awards portal for voting as Value-for-Money brands in the 2024 edition of the award.

Consumers cast votes for brands to express satisfaction among various brands.

Presenting the one-month result, Akonte Ekine, CEO of BrandXchange, said the initiative is transparent and objective. It’s the consumer position on brands as nomination and voting drive the platform.

According to him, in the Telecommunications category (MNOs), MTN leads with 51.1% of the votes recorded in the first month, Spectranet has 47.6% of the votes in the Internet Service Provider segment, and MTN has 69.2% votes for ISP under the MNOs.

In the ongoing 3rd edition voting, two new categories of sanitary pad and Ice Cream are experiencing consumers’ attention as Always Sanitary Pad leads the segment with 63.6%, Just Delight Ice Cream at 36.2% and Viva Detergent at 41.7%.

Other leaders on the voting platform of Consumers Value Awards based on consumer preferences in the first month under home appliances (Television, Refrigerator, Air conditioner and washing machine) are Samsung 40%, Haiier Termocool 40%, Lontor 40% and Haier Termocool 42.9% respectively.

Trophy leads Alcohol Beverage with 50% of the votes, and Pepsi takes 62.5% of ⁠Carbonated Drinks. It is a tie among consumers on the cooking oil and regular Toot paste as Kings Oil and Power Oil achieved the same vote of 50%, Colgate Toothpaste and Close Up Toothpaste also tied with 26.7% votes each in the categories while Dabur Toothpaste leads in the herbal toothpaste category with 55.6%.

Lafarge Cement leads with 62.5% in the Cement, Dangote Sugar has 55% of the votes in Sugar, Leadway Insurance has 57.1%, Eva leads the Table water category with 38.5%

Other leaders in various segments based on consumer votes on the Consumers Value awards platforms are Maltina 40%, Dettol 37.5%, Peak Milk 80%, Golden Penny Spaghetti 80%, Indomie Noodle 85.7%, Checkers 90%, GTB 66.7%, OPay 62.5%, Morning Fresh 62.5%, and Gala Sausage Roll 94.4%.

Also, knorr Cube 57.1%, Lipton Tea Bag 83.3%, Vaseline 71.4% and Golden Morn lead their sectors, Milo and Bournvita tied with 50% of the vote each as leaders alongside MTN and Cadbury tying with 40% votes under Consumer-Friendly brands.

Vitafoam 44.4%, Guinness Stout 83.3%, Mobil Engine oil 100% (International Engine Oil Brand), Oleum Oil 100% (Made in Nigeria Brand), Hypo and Harpic 50%, Fearless 33.3%, Abidec 80%, Reload Kids 60% Reload Adult 66.6%, and Bet 9ja 50%

The voting will close on 30th June 2024.

 


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