Over the past decade the global life sciences sector has experienced healthy growth. The world market for pharmaceuticals, for example, has doubled within a decade, reaching a value of about $1 trillion, and is expected to grow by another 3 to 6 per cent per annum until 2016 (IMS 2012a).
This huge demand, which has been particularly strong in the mature markets of Europe and North America, is now infiltrating the more dynamic emerging markets including China, Russia and India, but is particularly relevant in Africa, which is positioned as the next frontier for the healthcare sector.
This is according to Sumesh Rahavendra, head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa who said that Africa has seen tremendous growth in the life sciences and healthcare sector over the past years, as well as investment into the development of healthcare, especially in the logistics sector, as a result of this shift.
“Companies are increasingly turning to Africa due to the opportunities that the continent offers as it is one of the few locations that can still obtain double digit economic growth. The life sciences logistics model in Africa is therefore changing drastically as, in the last two and a half years, we have seen major growth in hubs like Kenya, servicing East Africa, and South Africa, which plays a key role for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries; in addition to direct shipments into specific countries, as the capabilities grow within the region.”
Referencing DHL’s recent report on key logistics developments in the healthcare sector for 2020 and beyond, entitled Key Logistics Trends in Life Sciences 2020+, Rahavendra said that this growth in Africa can be attributed to Sub Saharan Africa’s increased life expectancy, rate of urbanisation and rise of the middle class.
“While Sub-Saharan Africa comprises of 12% of the global population, the region comprises of 24% of the global healthcare burden.”
Rahavendra said that another contributor to this shift is ecommerce growth in the pharmaceutical industry. “The healthcare sector will ultimately follow the technology sector as where there is communication, there is ability. Therefore, as technology capabilities roll out in the country, so will healthcare capabilities.
“With technology continuingly evolving, there is talk that consumers will likely soon be able to self-medicate and order over the counter drugs via their cellphones or the internet. These sorts of developments have the potential to drastically change both the healthcare, and logistics, sector.”
However with the current shift in the sector, Rahavendra explained that there are key challenges that need to be met based on the current developments. “Increasing differentiation of supply chains and the need for companies to keep their supply chain flexible to adapt to requirements of innovative products is a key challenge.
“As innovation in the pharmaceutical industry shifts towards specialties and biotech products, so does the need for temperature controlled, and monitored, cold chain transport and storage, historically only required for shipments of vaccines and blood fractions.”
He said that due to the combination of increasing regulatory demands, the focus on emerging markets, and new product requirements, notably around temperature management, and cost pressures, the life sciences and healthcare sector is accelerating its emphasis on driving supply chain transformation and differentiation.
“Despite these hurdles, we are confident that the life sciences and healthcare sector will continue to flourish in upcoming years due to the on-going investment and development on the African continent,” concluded Rahavendra.
“The future is bright for Africa, and the healthcare sector will be one of its star performers.”
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.
The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.
The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.
They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception
“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said
The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.
It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.
Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.
“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.
“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.
Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria
Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.
Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.
Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.
Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.
Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.
The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”
Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.
The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.
On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”
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