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Huawei Launches Africa Cloud and  AI Innovation Centre

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Huawei has launched a South Africa-based Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation Centre to drive innovation, knowledge transfer and economic growth through app development in the AI industry.

Huawei Launches Africa Cloud and  AI Innovation Centre

The announcement was made by Ray Rui, president of Huawei  Cloud Africa Region, during the Huawei  Cloud summit Africa 2020, an online event to unpack the opportunities of cloud computing for African business under the theme “Building an Intelligent Africa”.

“AI will be critical to social evolution and industrial growth in future,” said Mr Rui.

“We also believe that when you grow economic opportunities, everyone benefits. For this reason, we are opening the Huawei Cloud & AI Innovation Centre to application developers across all economic sectors.”

The new centre will be based at Huawei’s South African headquarters in Woodmead, Johannesburg, but developers across Africa will be able to access the centre remotely.

It will teach AI application best practice, link developers to markets, support AI supply chains, develop talent and support application innovation.

Several speakers at the summit described how AI is transforming industries – a process only being accelerated by the challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Innovations such as smart cities, connected cars, automated mining and precision agriculture are already driven by AI, and oil exploration, finance and retail are also leveraging machine learning to be more effective.

Enabling developers is the best engine for AI growth,” said Mr Rui.

“The new centre is part of this approach.” As part of Huawei  Cloud’s “Inclusive AI” strategy, the company has an open development ecosystem to enable collaboration and tech support. The new Huawei Cloud & AI Innovation Centre will feed into this by providing training in Huawei’s full-stack, all-scenario solutions, and platforms like Model Arts.

Other summit speakers included more than a dozen Huawei  Cloud partners from across Africa, outlining how cloud technology was transforming their industries.

“Our Huawei  Cloud partnership has enabled us to offer simple, fast, secure payment solutions for clients in Africa and Asia,” said Eddie Ndichu, CEO and founder of the WapiPay payment platform

“It’s a modular, end-to-end solution that positions us perfectly for future growth into new services and new markets.”

Kabelo Makwane, managing executive of Cloud, Hosting and Security at Vodacom Business, described how partnerships were helping to drive secure transitions to the Cloud for businesses across the continent.

“Huawei  Cloud has been a key component of how we get to market with multi-Cloud capabilities in a highly data-centric business environment,” he said. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is likely to be characterised by massive, large-scale communication via the Internet of Things, with Cloud as the foundation of these mass-communication capabilities. Africa’s data-centre capacity has doubled in the past three years. However, it still accounts for less than one percent of global availability.

“Data demand is soaring, as remote work and e-commerce become the norm,” said George Thabit Ayad Thomas: Senior Solutions Manager of Huawei  Cloud Africa Region.

“In this context, Cloud computing, with its instant IT availability, has been a fundamental support system for African organisations. But it is also a key business driver.” “We look forward to continuing to build Africa’s AI future by expanding the continent’s Cloud capabilities,” he said.

 


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SystemSpecs Presents Prizes to Children’s Day Essay Competition Winners

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SystemSpecs, Africa’s leading provider of innovative financial and human capital management solutions, recently presented prizes to winners of its first Children’s Day Essay Competition, themed, “Nigeria of my Dream: Making it Happen with Technology”.

SystemSpecs Presents Prizes to Children’s Day Essay Competition Winners

L-R: 1. Akor Akpenyi, SystemSpecs CSR Lead, Mr. Fikayo Aremu (Awardee’s father), Master Toluwalase Aremu (Blooming Lights Montessori School, Lagos), 2nd place winner, Junior Category.

The initiative, which has been lauded by members of the public, including parents, and stakeholders in the technology and educational sectors, was organized to keep children productively engaged during the lull in academic activities, and to create opportunities for children to share innovative ideas capable of driving the attainment of a sustainable, technology-driven economy in Nigeria.

Of the submissions of about 2000 entries received within two weeks from over 500 public and private secondary schools across 29 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, 11-year-old Onuoha-Okoro N. David of St Anthony Grammar School (Private) in Esure, Ijebu Imushin, Ogun state, emerged winner in the junior category, while 15-year-old Kalu Derrick Ugochukwu of Fosla Academy, Karshi, Abuja emerged in the senior category.

“We believe that the development of the country lies not only in the hands of our leaders, but also in those of our children. This competition is one step towards helping our youngsters express qualitative thoughts that would enhance life as a Nigerian,” Akor Akpenyi, SystemSpecs’ CSR programme administrator remarked.

 


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MTN Creates API Marketplace to Empower African Developers

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MTN has launched a pan-Africa application programming interface (API) marketplace it believes will foster innovation and collaboration across developer and business communities.

The Chenosis marketplace will enable developers to tap into a spectrum of API products and services from across the continent, ranging from telecommunications, e-health, e-government, Internet of things, fintech, e-commerce, identity and authentication.

MTN says the Chenosis marketplace allows businesses and developers to publish their APIs so that other developers can discover and consume them.

“The marketplace also provides the tools for publishers to monetise and promotes their APIs by creating subscription plans and product bundles that developers and businesses can purchase.

“The portal has dashboards for publishers and consumers to track revenue and credit balances, view consumption analytics and API performance, and lots more,” it says.

Additionally, Charles Molapisi, MTN Group chief technology and information officer, says: “Chenosis is a separate brand and entity, and will have an arms-length relationship with MTN so that it remains open to all mobile network operators, fintech start-ups, payment service providers, mobile wallet operators, financial service providers, and more.

“We have exciting pan-African and international partnerships lined up to publish and monetise their APIs in the marketplace over the coming months. These partnerships will enable Chenosis to become the largest and most diverse developer ecosystem on the African continent.

“This is one of the ways in which MTN is investing in the emergence of an open African API ecosystem that is powered by African ingenuity and innovation.”

MTN says the power of the platform will be in the creation of mashup APIs, which will connect cross-industry APIs and facilitate innovation and the ability to build new services and new business models.

“Mashups are new product and service orchestrations created by developers from two or more existing APIs.”

The Chenosis marketplace will be open to the public from 10 August.


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Konga Eyes Listing on Global Stock Markets as Part of Africa Expansion – Prince Ekeh

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Konga, foremost retail giant, has invested well over $120m since it was acquired two years ago in Nigeria alone and now strategically structured to take on other African countries.

Konga Eyes Listing on Global Stock Markets as Part of Africa Expansion – Prince Ekeh

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, co-chief executive officer, Konga Group

Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, co-chief executive officer, Konga Group, who stated this also said that ‘‘Though we started with a monthly loss of N400m, but with new systems, structure and energy put in place, we have gradually been reducing losses and now about N100m loss per month. E-Commerce is an expensive project but we are best positioned to deliveras a very innovative technology company,’’ he disclosed.

Equally important, Prince Ekeh made the disclosure on Kaleidoscope, an interview programme aired on Channels TV on Sunday, August 2. The young business leader, who described Konga as a technology company revealed that Konga employs directly and indirectly over 150,000 Nigerians. Most of them are merchants, logistics and other service providers.

‘‘We partner to create a trusted and sustainable digitally-driven ecosystem and working hard to scale this to about 250,000 before the end of 2020.

‘‘We see ourselves as more than just an e-Commerce company. Konga is a technology company and as a technology company, we are positioned to leverage that status in deploying new solutions and innovations. Indeed, no one should be surprised if tomorrow, Konga starts launching space ships into orbit. Although we have received several offers from interested investors, we are content with the group that is currently funding Konga. The group is highly ethical and want us to maintain the highest level of integrity.Our investors have assured us of enough capital to survive the next five years atleast. This was why we did not accommodate a valuation of $300m from a consortium of global investors last year.

‘‘However, we are also keen to expand into other African markets after taking charge of the Nigerian market. The e-Commerce market in African is still a largely untapped one. Therefore, any company that makes the right in-roads will reap huge benefits from it,’’ he said.

‘‘We have also received enquiries from the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange to list on these markets. It’s something that will happen as part of our African expansion plan when Konga becomes a multi-billion-dollar business.’’

Continuing, he stated: ‘‘Our strategies and tact are 21st century influenced, but also taking cognizance of deficiencies in our country and that was why we spent the first two years rebuilding technologies, setting up secure but robust warehousing facilities and delivery logistics nationwide. With these under our control and owned by us,we are driving towards profitability.  It is important to note that at Konga, we do not believe in just hype

‘‘In addition to our status as a technology company, Konga is also Nigeria’s first ever marketplace andcomposite e-commerce group. The company is on the verge of rolling out a suite of cutting-edge solutions and services that will excite the market very soon.

‘‘But that is not all. A lot is happening behind the scenes at Konga. We recently announced the re-launch of the Konga Affiliate programme. Also, we developed a solution for corporate procurement which has helped procurement managers in major establishments. Konga boasts the largest collection of merchants and because of this, pricing is very aggressive, thereby helping procurement managers get the best deals on Konga while also promoting transparency. We are committed to our vision and clearly understand that it is a long term and highly ethical race,’’ he concluded.

Acquired by the Zinox Group in December 2018 and having achieved over 1000% growth, Konga has grown from a position of strength into arguably Nigeria’s leading e-Commerce brand, with a long list of innovative strategies and solutions setting it apart in the sector.

 

 

 

 


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