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First virtual Google for Startups class graduates

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The first virtual class of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa is graduating this week. The first all-online iteration of Google’s accelerator program for African startups has seen 20 startups from 7 countries go through a 12-week virtual journey to refine their offering and undergo mentoring and workshops in key areas such as technology, product development and business growth.

“To date we have celebrated wins with one Nigerian startup playing their part in the fight against COVID-19 and three raising funding – one notable win being Franc raising a seed round of $250,000 after joining the program,” says Onajte Emerhor, Head of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa.

Class 5 of Google for Startups Accelerator Africa took part in three virtual bootcamps over the course of the program, covering technology, product, people and growth.

The Tech & Product bootcamp focused on assessing the startups’ value offerings and technology to ensure they were optimised to run efficiently with solid business models, not leaving any money on the table. The Tech & People bootcamp took the founders – considered major pillars of startup success – through the Founders Lab, which evaluated their current managerial styles and advised them on how to become better leaders.

The final week sees the startups preparing to meet investors as they graduate.

Google for Startups Accelerator Africa gives early-stage startups access to the best of Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies. The accelerator has trained participating startups on technology (AI/ML, Cloud, Android), product, data, business, design, people, growth and fundraising, through interactive workshops and labs facilitated by Google experts and mentors.

The selected pool of startups for Google for Startups Accelerator Africa 2020 are from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. The startups cut across an array of industries including logistics, transportation, education, agriculture, e-commerce, media, health and professional services.

The 20 graduating startups are:

Adi+Bolga (Ghana): Adi+Bolga uses technology to provide virtual skincare consultations and accurate personalised product recommendations to consumers.

AmiTruck (Kenya): Amitruck is a digital platform that seeks to bring trust, transparency and efficiency to logistics by using technology to connect cargo owners and transporters.

Beamm (South Africa): Beamm allows users to make Hollywood style CGI and VFX videos with ease.

BuuPass (Kenya): BuuPass works with transport operators to provide digital solutions that seamlessly facilitate convenient and reliable movement of commuters.

Crediation (Kenya): Crediation empowers tech startups to lend to their customers. It provides APIs and a dashboard to allow its partners to access funds for lending and process loans.

Credpal (Nigeria): CredPal develops consumer credit infrastructure to ease consumer credit purchases, and enable retail businesses to provide on-demand credit for consumers in Africa.

Crop2Cash (Nigeria): Crop2Cash is an offline accessible platform for farmers, making it possible for them to pay, get paid, and access agricultural credit via USSD while assuring financial institutions of their lending capital.

Curacel (Nigeria): Curacel is a Claims and Fraud Detection Platform for African insurers.

Festival Coins (Nigeria): Festival Coins is a suite of tools to help event organisers produce better events, with features including online ticketing, access control, cashless payments, and event reporting.

Franc (South Africa): Franc.app is an investment app that helps first time investors realise their dreams by providing access to the best cash and equity funds without minimums or restrictions.

Ilara Health (Kenya): Ilara Health brings essential diagnostic support and impactful software products to patients and providers across peri-urban sub-Saharan Africa, who currently are unable to access these basic life-saving tools.

Judy (Nigeria): The smart, comprehensive database of African case law and legislation.

Kaoun (Tunisia): Kaoun enables unbanked and underbanked individuals and businesses to access financial services through identification, payment and credit solutions.

Send (Nigeria): Digital freight forwarder and customs broker for Africa.

Stears (Nigeria): Stears is a trusted provider of high-quality African information that improves decision-making.

The Smarthub (Nigeria): A platform to build and develop smart ideas for social impact, scalability and investment.

Thumeza (Zimbabwe): A next-generation logistics platform utilising data in order to optimise the logistics function for enterprises.

Uzapoint (Kenya): UzaPoint is an enterprise resource planning tool that enhances the efficiency, profitability and business intelligence of small scale businesses in retail.

Zayride (Ethiopia): Zayride provides reliable, timely, and safe cab services using technologically enabled dispatch systems and integrated mobile money systems for payment.

Zuka Data Science (Kenya): A blended learning platform with engaging data science programs designed by experts to enable individuals and organisations at all levels become data fluent.

Since its launch in 2018, the Google for Startups Accelerator program has worked with 47 startups from 17 African countries: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. They have contributed to economic prosperity and empowerment by collectively raising millions of dollars in investment, and creating hundreds of jobs.

Google continues to support developer communities across Sub-Saharan Africa, through Google Developer Groups, Developer Student Clubs and Women Techmakers, providing training and support for developers aligned with real-life job competency requirements. Community groups engage in activities like Study Jams: study groups facilitated by developers, for developers. Today there are over 120 active developer communities across 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.


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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.

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NDPR to Safeguard Personal Data of Nigerians -DG NITDA

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Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has disclosed that the motive behind the issuance of Nigerian Data Protection Regulations, (NDPR) by the Agency was to safeguard the right of natural persons to data privacy, fostering safe conduct for transactions involving the exchange of personal data, enablement of Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant and competitive and to create jobs for Nigerians.

 

Mallam Abdullahi revealed this Friday while delivering the keynote address  at the 6th annual conference of Institute Internal Auditors of Nigeria, (IIAN) with the theme:, “Agility and Resilience” which was held on zoom conference platform.

 

The Conference aimed at preparing participants across Internal Audits, Internal Controls, risk management, revenue and Government assurance and other business professionals to learn how to leverage on new technologies and procedures towards actualisation of the organisation’s goals and objectives.

 

The NITDA DG who was represented Director e-Government Development and Regulations, Dr Vincent Olatunji stated that since inception of the Agency in 2001, it has been playing a catalytic roles to spur the infusion of technology into nation’s work processes reiterating that the Agency plays “critical roles in capacity development, provision of working tools for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

 

“NITDA also has an existing arrangement with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to aid the office in the discharge of its activities.”

 

Mallam Abdullahi said, “The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) was issued on 25th January, 2020 by my predecessor, DrIsa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

“As part of his think-tank then, our thinking was that Nigeria needed to quickly provide a regulatory framework for the processing of personal data.

 

“This was even more pertinent in consideration of the global implications of non-performance.

 

“Businesses where losing bids because investors felt there was no data privacy regime in Nigeria.

 

“The Agency’s implementation of the NDPR has been innovative and impact oriented. For the first time in data protection implementation, auditors became recognised as Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCO)”.

 

He maintained that NITDA has 72 licensed DPCOs among which are members of this “august body,” adding that “this posture is not as a result of lack of professionals in the IT industry, rather, we have made conscious efforts to carry every relevant stakeholder along in our developmental regulatory strategy.

 

“ I hope this noble institute would repay NITDA’s generosity by imbibing ethical and professional principles on your members for better implementation of the Regulation.”

 

Earlier in his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, New Capital Cooperatives Society Mr. Benedict Anyalenka while commending the organisers of the conference affirmed that data privacy and protection should be a requisite skill needed for development of the Information Technology Sector as it would create platform for protection of information against unauthorized usage.

 

Anyalenka, however, called for proper awareness on the importance of data privacy among organisations and stakeholders across the country to safeguard citizens’ data.


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FG Reveals Plans to Deploy Technology in the Health Sector

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As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deploy information and communications technology (ICT) in the country’s health sector.

This is part of the plans to achieve transparency and accountability in health care delivery across the country.

Dr. Ngozi R. C. Azodoh, director, Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Health, who represented Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health, revealed this while speaking at MTN Nigeria’s Revv Programme masterclass on Thursday, September 17, 2020 .

The virtual session themed ‘Bridging the healthcare divide through technology and partnerships’ had in attendance health sector experts including Chief Executive Officer, Hygeia HMO Limited, Obinnia Abajue; Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder, Afya Care, Kola Oni; Managing Director, Ingress Health Partners, Dr. Orode Doherty and Chief Executive Officer, Tremendoc Limited, Ugochukwu Chikezie. The session was moderated by the General Manager, Business Development, MTN Nigeria, Omotayo Ojulatayo.

According to Azodoh, the federal government has put structures in place to utilise ICT as part of efforts to standardise the healthcare system.

“The government is working hand in hand with state governments across the country to maintain transparency and accountability, adding that ICT and other forms of electronic platforms are currently being improved and expanded following the federal government’s COVID intervention”.

She also shared that the ministry is willing to support small businesses in the sector imploring the participating SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by The Revv Programme.

“I want to ask everyone who is listening to write to the MTN Revv team and say this is one thing I want the Federal Ministry of Health to do to help my business then we can engage on how to proceed,” she enthused.

In her parting remarks, she also commended MTN Nigeria for providing a platform for SMEs to expand their capacity. “I must commend MTN for this excellent initiative. It has been very productive for me and an opportunity to transfer knowledge.”

The Revv Programme is an initiative from MTN Nigeria to help small businesses rethink and retool their operations in order to withstand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic using a four-pronged approach that includes masterclasses, access to market, productivity tools support and advisory initiatives.


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Peace House Charity Foundation Seeks for DCTC Intervention

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Mallam Kashifu InuwaAbdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), asserted that if we do not empower our people, they become a problem to the society in future.

 

He made this know on Friday while receiving a delegation from Peace House Charity Foundation,Yola who were at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarter, Abuja to seek for interventions in the areas of ICT.

 

The representative of the Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, Director eGovernment Development and Regulation stated that one of the mandate of the Agency is the deployment of ICT infrastructure as such the Foundation’s visit at this time is very apt as the Agency is relentlessly working on the implementation of the Digital Economy strategy.

 

MallamAbdullahi affirmed that Agency at the moment is looking for organisations to partner with to sustain Digital Capacity Training Centres deployed across the country.

 

He commended the effort of the organisation in assisting orphans with not only providing basic education but also the provision of skills, mentorship and moral upbringing.

 

Speaking earlier, Mr Mohammad Bello, a Director with the Foundation said that the organisation was at the Agency to seek for ICT intervention and to commend NITDA’s effort in promoting ICT knowledge across the nation.

 

He stated that the organisation supports education for the orphans and the less privileged,  promote health care delivery especially among women and children, provide sensitisation workshop for parents (mothers) on parenting and matrimonial home, promote unity and encourage self-reliance among the populace.

 

 

 

 

 


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