Connect with us

E-Business

Germany’s Strategic Tech Investments

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Recently, I had the privilege to visit the Federal Republic of Germany with a view to learning more about why she remains a leading country in virtually all areas of technology.

Yes, most people know Germany more for automobile innovations and technology with the likes of super brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Opel etc.

Germany has led the world for many years and still is a leader in this field. Personally, a German technology powered ride like a Benz or BWM is one that I’d love to own at some point in the future.

Be that as it may, I remember a top Government official in the ministry of Digital Infrastructure saying to me “yes the world may know us for automobile technology but the German economy is much more than that, we are investing billions of Euros to improve our infrastructure which includes ensuring that people in the rural community also have access to high quality broadband Internet”

I must state that I observed that there is an healthy competition going on among states and regions in terms of developing their respective startup ecosystem.

For example, I visited a number of hubs in various cities such as Berlin and Munich. While some of these hubs are not directly funded by Government, there are a number funds and grants that startups in these hubs have access to.

However, the model of Werk1 Hub, Munich is that the state of Bavaria funds the hub so that startups in and around Munich can make use of the facilities at a subsidized rate and most importantly to ensure that there is a strong startup community in that region.

This is in contrast to what a top Government official in Nigeria said to my hearing and I quote “my understanding is that Government has no business investing in hubs and co-working spaces, it should be left to the private sector” – a statement I find quite shocking.

My follow up question would have been, so what is Government’s business, share our National wealth? Well, fortunately for the gentleman, it was not an interview session.

It drives me nuts when people say leave it for the private sector – even in the United States, projects like Google’s search algorithm or even the iPad were initially projects funded in one way or the other by grants from the US Government – hmmnnn, let no one be deceived!

I like the fact that the Germans have admitted that if they do not ramp up investments in technology then they might be left behind and so they are not basking in the old glory of being a technology powerhouse rather they are enacting the relevant policies as well as the right investments to ensure that they take advantage of every opportunity available in today’s super competitive Tech space.

Let’s look at the gaming industry for example, each year the Government holds an annual German games award that is designed to recognise and motivate various categories of German game developers.

This is also why there is a conscious step to ensure that each year the city of Cologne welcomes a minimum of 100,000 gamers, investors, media and visitors to the annual Gamescom, unarguably the biggest gaming event in the world.

Think about the impact this event alone will have on the city of Cologne for those three days it will hold?

Germany already has what is called the Digital Agenda which is a strategic step towards ensuring that industries, businesses and the entire country makes technology and digital services a part of there everyday schedule and also a move to get the buy in of various politicians. There are no two ways about it.

If we want to play in the advanced digital game of tomorrow, then, we have to start making massive investments in the infrastructure that will support it. On top of that each year, the German government holds an IT summit and I am sure you will probably think about this IT summit as one where geeks will come to talk about the latest trends from out of space but that is not exactly the case. This summit is designed as a platform for political dialogue – designed for politicians to come together to discuss technology and digital Trends as it affects their Country! Isn’t that interesting?

Let me quote Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Alexander Dobrindt, …”digitalisation signifies a substantial economic and social revolution, it changes the conditions for growth, prosperity and the work of tomorrow – and revolutionises, in a disruptive process, industries and services, value chains and manufacturing processes, innovation and product life cycles.

This presents a great challenge but also, above all, a great opportunity. Digital technologies offer enormous potential in terms of quality, efficiency and speed.”

The trip to Germany has helped dispel quite a lot of myth that I previously held about Germany. For example, I had thought that not understanding the German language would be a big challenge but that has now changed because many of the Germans I had contact with spoke English quite well and we were able to communicate.

I also held the opinion that Germans were conservative and not quite open so to speak, again all that has changed and I hope that more serious business owners will get to explore the German business environment and also more media professionals will travel to experience Germany at some point in order to tell the correct story in their own words like I am telling now.

CFA is the founder of www.techsmart.ng and co-producer/presenter of Tech Trends on Channels TV


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

E-Business

FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Federal government has launched a Central Database under the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations (ARTM), 2019 and the Central Criminal Justice Information System (CCJIS) under the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2017 – 2011 to assist in the fight against corruption.

FG Launches Central Database for Stolen Asset Tracing

Mr Abubakar Malami, AGF

Mr Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of Justice, at the launch in Abuja, said the database will ensure uniformity of process, access and information feeding to deepen transparency and accountability in the management of recovered assets.

To ensure compliance, he said his office is developing legislation for the full implementation and operation of the CCJIS.

“We will work together to establish and re-enact transparency and accountability in governance and management of our resources which we have committed to do by way of strengthening International Cooperation of our membership of Open Government Partnership,” he said.

In his speech, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, represented by Mrs Ugonna Ozurigbo, chairman, House Committee on Justice, said the regulation on Asset Tracing, Recovery and proper management of proceeds of crime was signed on October 24, 2019, and took effect from November 1, 2019, replaced the proceeds of Crime Regulation of 2012.

The new regulation titled Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019 empowers the AGF to take charge of the custody and management of all final forfeited assets, approval and appointment of asset managers and operating and maintaining a database for the records of all recovered assets within and outside Nigeria.

He said, the AGF’s office, under the new regulation, is also required to coordinate inter-agency investigations into recovery matters within and outside Nigeria from all law enforcement agencies whose law empowers them to undertake recoveries and maintaining a depository for all forfeiture orders issued by the Nigeria courts and courts outside Nigeria.

Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management, according to the Speaker, is a core value of good governance and its effective management will serve as a deterrent to would-be fraudulent minded individuals who may find themselves in public offices.

According to him, states resources must not be allowed to be stolen but if that happened by fraudulent individuals, efforts must be taken to trace the proceed, recover same and manage for the interest of the generality of the people.

“When the proceeds of crime are traced and recovered but again looted by government officials, I dare to say such act amounts to the crime of tertiary capacity and must be avoided.

“Assets not accounted for are assets lost; loss of assets undervalues the economic potential of a country and will negatively impact on the net worth of a country. Accordingly, Asset Tracing Recovery and Management is a panacea to rekindling of the value system of a nation,” the Speaker noted.

 


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

E-Business

Konga Bulk Debuts Monday

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Konga, Nigeria’s foremost ethical and innovative composite e-Commerce brand is set to unveil a revolutionary new solution – Konga Bulk – which the company says will represent the new normal for forward-thinking businesses and consumers in the Nigerian corporate space.

Equally important, Konga Bulk, the latest innovation from the e-Commerce giant, is set to go live on Monday, September 21, 2020.

Through this initiative, Konga is rolling out a mega platform which has been touted a potential game-changer, offering manufacturers, distributors, resellers as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) an opportunity to take advantage of Konga’s world class assets including its secure regional warehouses, smart offices, cutting-edge technology, advanced logistics capabilities through an internally-owned subsidiary, Kxpress and its Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed payment platform known as KongaPay.

This is in addition to leveraging Konga’s e-Commerce engine and extensive marketing expertise in bringing their products and services to the consciousness of millions of Nigerians nationwide.

In other words, Konga is taking a huge burden off the shoulders of manufacturers and other business owners in Nigeria through this ambitious project.

By allocating physical office and warehouse spaces to partner businesses and placing its many other cutting-edge assets at their disposal, Konga is ushering many into the new normal by bringing succour to corporate entities, many of whom have been encumbered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Konga Bulk will play a very important role, bridging the gap to genuine products and services between manufacturers, distributors, resellers, bulk buyers and consumers.

Resellers and other bulk buyers can also take advantage of best prices available for genuine products exclusively through Konga Bulk.

Kalu Johnson, vice president, Strategic Business, said businesses who sign up on Konga Bulk have a lot to gain.

‘‘Konga Bulk is a very ambitious project which we have positioned as the new normal.

“It is a unique opportunity for manufacturers to take advantage of the huge assets and real estate, both physical and virtual, available at Konga.

‘‘We have invested significantly and strategically in various areas of our operations.

“Today, Konga owns arguably the largest single warehouse space in Lagos in addition to other similar massive infrastructure in other parts of the country such as Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Abuja, Owerri and other locations.

‘‘As a manufacturer, distributor or business owner signed up on Konga Bulk, you no longer have to worry about owning your own office or warehouse space. Nor do you have to bother about the heavy investment in logistics, delivery, payment solution, technology, marketing or activations.
“You can rely on Konga’s world class competencies and assets in these areas.

‘‘Businesses must find a way to rebound from the difficulties occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Konga Bulk, which is focused on ushering in the new normal, is one of the innovations we have come up with to provide a way out,’’ he concluded.

Konga Bulk goes live online at www.konga.com and offline in every Konga retail store nationwide on Monday, September 21, 2020.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

E-Business

Access Bank Reaffirms Support for An Innovative, Smart Lagos State

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Mr. Herbert Wigwe, managing director and chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, has said that Access Bank Plc will not relent in supporting innovative programmes aimed at transforming Lagos into a 21st century State driven by technology innovations.

Wigwe spoke yesterday during the finals of the Lagos State Smart Meter Hackathon design held at the Bank’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos.

An initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Hackathon is aimed at providing affordable electricity meters to the populace by facilitating the design and production of meters that will accelerate efforts towards achieving improvement in energy distribution, monitoring and prevention of revenue leakage.

Wigwe who was represented by Mr Ade Bajomo, executive director, IT & Operations at Access Bank, said that supporting the Hackathon once more reinforces the Bank’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of the society.

“Having Hackathon and innovative programmes like this, has always been part and parcel of our DNA in Access Bank. We are forever looking for new things to do to solve real problems in Africa and beyond; new things that would move the life of our people forward.

“We are always looking forward to doing things that would make more people financially independent, driving and enhancing the well-being of the entire society,” he said.

He noted that now the world is witnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and there are Africans working with the rest of the world and using technology to solve the problems of the people.

Wigwe stressed that Access Bank does not exclude the rest of the world when it comes to using technology innovations to address the problems of the people.

“That is why this Hackathon is very important because it’s our people solving our problems and leveraging global solutions to finding our answers to our own problems.

“And that is why at the Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), which Access Bank is promoting, we want to have more innovators and innovations that will help in transforming our society for the better,” he said.

The Access Bank boss stated that to see this Hackathon come to light shows the commitment of the Lagos State Government to not only the project, but to the actualization of a smart Lagos, where electricity is accessible and affordable.

He pledged Access Bank’s continued support to the Lagos State Government’s efforts at building a smart state.

Mr. Olalere Odusote, convener of the Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon and the State’s Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said that there were very many talented people who applied for the Hackathon, noting that there were 65 submissions in all, out of which its panel of experts reduced the number to the five finalists that participated at the finals of the Hackathon.

“We had the hardware yesterday and we were very impressed with what we saw. We are expecting no less from the software side. We are going to get engaged, look at what they have to offer and then integrate it into our future.

“We are trying to solve our own problems by ourselves. This is just the start; it is not a one-off project. At the end of the event, we will take the product to our prototype mode; we will take the product to a commercial development process,” he said.

The Commissioner said they were not just doing the Hackathon for the sake of it but are looking for solutions that will contribute to making Lagos a 21st Century economy.

He thanked Access Bank for its generosity, support and partnership with the State government. He also thanked other partners for joining in the journey of making Lagos a great state.

Five contenders each emerged from both categories of the competition, and the two winners are expected to share the prize money of seven million naira.

Finalists were shortlisted after a transparent, rigorous and competitive process.

The Hackathon attracted 274 registrations or entries, 127 of which bid in hardware category, while 147 competed in software group.

The five software finalists for the Hackathon on Thursday were Magnitronics, Vectorians, Zeena Platform, Chosen Soft Tech and Gideon. 

It would be recall that during the launch of the programme on July 30th, 2020, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu noted that the Smart Metre Hackathon Initiative marked a significant milestone in the implementation of the State Government’s plan towards improving access to electricity.

He said it aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the United Nations, targeted at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 was convened by the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, curated by Eko Innovation Centre, and sponsored by Access Bank Plc, Egbin Power, and Ikeja Electric Distribution Company.

Other sponsors include Mojec International, Eko Electric Distribution Company, MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company, ElSewedy Electric, Royal Power & Energy, Venture Garden Group, InfraCredit, and Axxela Limited.

They were supported by the Lagos State Office of Innovation and Technology, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), Oracle, IBM, General Electric, Business Day and Accelerate TV.

The Grand Finale of the Hackathon holds on Friday, September 18, 2020 at Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Social

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending