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Minister of ComTech Endorses 2017 Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition

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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Technology, Barr. Adebayo Shittu has announced his ministry’s support and endorsement of the 2017 edition of the Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition. The Conference themed “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Getting Africa Ready” is billed to hold June 6-8, 2017 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, FCT.

Speaking in his office in Abuja while welcoming a delegation from Digital Africa Global Consult, organizers of the annual flagship continental tech show, who were on a courtesy visit to the Minister, Barr. Shittu, noted that the support of the ministry should be taken as very much assured as any sufficiently good initiative that will engender grand benefits not only to the Ministry but to the country will be wholeheartedly supported.

According to the Minister, “We are committed to support Digital Africa in its laudable endeavour for Africa and vision to bridge the gap between her and the rest of the world in ICT. We therefore extend our goodwill not only to Digital Africa but also to Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition 2017. Let me reiterate that an end must come to Nigeria being a dumping ground, therefore, the Ministry will support the establishment of companies or organisations in the area of hardware and software by ensuring that they are protected through regulations or otherwise.

“We will assist them to grow. We have accepted that Nigeria must take the leadership role in Africa’s ICT ecosystem. Therefore, we are amenable to PPP relationships to drive the Ministry’s project; 2017 must be a year of action.”

Barr. Shittu said it was part of government’s preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is predicted to happen globally in the near future that the Federal Government had planned to build a national ICT park and Exhibition Centre in the Federal Capital Territory. The minister stated that the establishment of the centre will encourage investment in the ICT sector and complement the proposed ICT University which will also produce the required skilled manpower for Africa to partake in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Earlier in his speech, Dr. Evans Woherem, chairman of Digital Africa Global Consult had told the Minister that the delegation was in his office to brief him about preparations for the 2017 Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition, and to formally invite him to the event.

He said the theme of this year’s event was chosen because of the anticipated challenges and disruptions that are going to be caused by exponential technologies such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Analytics, Biotech and Virtual/ Augmented reality that are ushering in the 4IR and the need for Africa to be a functional member of the 4th Industrial Revolution era.

He further pointed that the rapid urbanization of African cities will put lots of pressures and challenges on transportation and urban roads. Technology will serve as a solution to these challenges. The advent of driverless/connected cars provide solutions to road accidents as these vehicles would be intelligent enough to detect and avoid road accidents.

Dr. Woherem noted that it was in this light that Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition was created to build a platform for an annual technology show aimed at bringing together exhibitors from Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world to Abuja to showcase their new innovations.

He added that the event also provides a platform through which organizations can come to showcase and speak on their innovations, as well as a platform for people to gather to listen to presentations from experts from across the world and discuss how to evolve Africa’s technology ecosystem.


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Rivers State, Shell Inaugurate Cluster Development Board for Assa North Gas Project

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The Rivers State government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), energy company, recently inaugurated the Egi/Igburu Cluster Development Board (CDB) for pipeline communities to SPDC’s Assa North Gas project, which has a capacity for 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and the potential to be one of the largest domestic gas projects in Nigeria when completed.

Rivers State, Shell Inaugurate Cluster Development Board for Assa North Gas Project

Barrister Elloka Tasie-Amadi, State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, at the ceremony, urged the Comrade Orikoha Ekwueme-led newly elected officials of the CDB to use the opportunity of leadership to make positive impacts that will improve living standards in their communities.

He said, “The state government is always available to support you. Always speak with your people, including the Community Trust Committees (which were also newly inaugurated). Adequate communication will ensure the buy-in of all your stakeholders”.

He decried those who see leadership as opportunity for self-seeking gains. “Leadership is more of sacrifice; not an opportunity for personal benefit”, The Commissioner said.

Also, at the inauguration, Mr. Igo Weli, SPDC general manager External Relations,  said, “The Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), that you signed today, sets the framework for long-term partnership between SPDC JV and the Egi/Igburu Cluster. The GMoU runs on the principle of community-led development. Today, SPDC JV commits to providing funding to help you realise your community development aspirations.”

Represented at the ceremony by Dr. Banji Adekoya, SPDC External Relations Manager for Projects and Opportunities, he asked the CDB to “be prudent and implement projects and programmes that will deliver maximum benefits to the Egi/Igburu communities. Note that government, SPDC JV and the communities that you represent will hold you accountable for the judicious utilisation of the development funds.”

“With the inauguration, SPDC reiterates the company’s commitment to the Assa North Gas Project and to making it an exemplary one, particularly in Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency, for power generation and industrialization”, he said.

On its part, the new CDB committed to use SPDC’s award-winning GMoU agreement, which is a community-led sustainable development and interface management model that puts the communities in the driving seat in setting development priorities and implementation of programmes and projects to meet their needs.

The GMOU is a proven winning approach introduced in 2006, adopted across SPDC’s operational areas and provides a secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice.

With the inauguration of the Egi/Igburu CDB, SPDC now has 40 active GMoUs in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers States. Since 2006, SPDC JV has disbursed a total of $252 million to communities through these GMoUs.

The Assa North/Ohaji South gas project is a joint venture project involving the SPDC, the NNPC, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company, and will result in a new SPDC gas processing plant.

The development will help the federal government deliver on its ambition to provide enough gas for domestic consumption, power generation and gas-based ammonia and urea fertilizers for farmers.


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African Entrepreneurs Vying for Anzisha Recognition

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The Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, has revealed its top 20 finalists for 2020. Winners will be announced at this year’s Anzisha Prize Conference on 27 October 2020.

Organisers say this year’s application season saw a record 1 200 applicants vying for a chance to join the Anzisha Prize fellowship.

From these applications, 20 businesses emerged that were 45% percent female-owned and represented sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and education.

Young entrepreneurs from Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania displayed impressive ventures that are tackling critical issues within their communities while also turning a profit. Through their businesses and entrepreneurial leadership skills, these job starters are paving a way for other young Africans to pursue entrepreneurship.

Selected as a top 20 finalist is 21-year-old Alaa Moatamed who is the co-founder of Presto, a company she describes as one of the leading delivery management platforms in Egypt. The venture provides business owners with an affordable and convenient delivery service for their customers.

Joining Alaa is 20-year-old Benjamin Mushayija Gisa from Rwanda who manufactures and packages natural organic products for consumption and for cosmetic purposes in the form of lotions and coconut soap.

“2020 has seen a global shift in the future of work. This year’s applicants have personified the resilience and innovation that Africa needs as we navigate our way into a post-COVID-19 future,” says Melissa Mbazo-Ekepenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

The Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, has supported 122 entrepreneurs and 77 of those businesses have created over 2 000 jobs, with 56% of those being employment provided for young Africans under 25.

Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer, Mastercard Foundation says, “The success of the Anzisha Prize over the last decade stands as a resounding testament to the creativity and entrepreneurial potential of Africa’s very young people—a hugely under-tapped resource.

Through Anzisha, we’re reminded of what they can achieve when challenged and enabled to own and solve the problems they see around them. Now, as ever, the innovations that have emerged through the Anzisha Prize inspire and renew our faith in and commitment to their promise.”

This year, the top 20 will gather virtually from their various countries to share knowledge and learn from expert coaches and mentors as they prepare for their final pitches to a panel of external judges.

All the entrepreneurs will receive a cash prize of US$2 500. The grand prize winner will receive US$25 000, while the 1st runner and 2nd runner receive US$15 000 and US$12 500 respectively.


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FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

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Federal Government has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria.

FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

This is part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of Aviation, confirmed this via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to Sirika, the decision was taken following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and European Unions (EU).

The ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban.

“The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” Sirika tweeted.


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