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Ndukwe Says Review of National Broadband Plan Now Imperative

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By peter oluka

Dr Ernest Ndukwe, a telecom expert and former executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has called on the Ministry of Communications to review and update the National Broadband Plan 2013 – 2018.

Ndukwe said that the review has become imperative for digital literacy initiatives and public access targeted at populations that are unconnected, especially women and girls in urban-poor/rural settlements.

He made the call at a Workshop organised by World Wide Web Foundation and Paradigm Initiative on Closing the Digital Gender Gap and Mainstreaming ICTs into Women’s Rights Policy and Program Frameworks in Nigeria and held in Abuja recently.

Ndukwe, who is the current national coordinator of A4AI Coalition Nigeria, recommended the constitution of an apolitical committee that would be saddled with the responsibilities of updating the National Broadband Plan with activities that would pave way for connecting the urban poor and those in the rural settlements.

The emphasis on such committee being apolitical is to avoid the truncation that usually occurs with the transition in governments, especially from one political party to another.

Ndukwe’s position echoes the recommendation contained in a policy brief on the inadequacy of the National Broadband Plan prepared and published by Paradigm Initiative.

He also spoke on the need to replicate efforts of the broadband plan to deliver fast, reliable and affordable internet access by federating units of Nigeria, adding that the States and Local Government must commit to take similar measures alongside the Federal Government for meaningful results.

Also speaking at the workshop, Lanre Osibona, the senior special assistant to the President on ICTs spoke on the role of ICTs in education, health, financial inclusion and safety for women when speaking out on sensitive issues that affect their welfare.

He emphasized that perhaps the biggest of the barriers many women and girls face is illiteracy, and that inability to access or use technology further entrenches the limitation.

Osibona also spoke on the role of government stakeholders in working together to ensure the right mix of regulatory initiatives and intervention not only needed to encourage greater competition among market players but also to encourage deeper penetration and use of ICT services, without stifling innovation and sending the wrong message to investors.

The Paradigm Initiative team led by Mrs Tope Ogundipe, its director of programs, made presentations on various topics of interest to the participants of the workshop who cut across various government offices and civil society. Among the topics explored at the workshop are “Gender Responsive ICT Policy: An Overview”, “Digital Gender Gap Audit: Nigeria Scorecards”, and “Digital Equality in the Context of Sustainable Development Goals”.


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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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Betway Launches New BBNaija Predict and Win Promo

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Betway, premium gaming and online entertainment brand, and the headline sponsor of Big Brother Naija has launched a new Predict & Win promotion to thrill fans of the show.

 

The Betway Predict & Win promo plugs into viewers’ love for BBNaija, and enables them to turn their passion into fun games with the opportunity to win cash while at it.

 

To play the game, viewers of the show will predict the winner of the weekly Betway Arena Challenge to win a share of N5 million.

 

Every week, bettors will get the chance to earn up to 10 points by correctly predicting which Big Brother Naija housemate will win the Betway Arena Challenge.

 

Viewers can also win a grand prize of N3 million if they top the weekly leaderboard.

 

As Big Brother Naija’s headline sponsor, Betway continues to promote a spirit of competition among the housemates, as well as fans and viewers of the show.

 

Betway will also add to the thrill of the BBNaija experience through a variety of gaming activities, both on the TV show and on Betway platforms – all of which give viewers the chance to play and win.

 

For more information on the various promotions and activations Betway will be running throughout the fifth season of BBNaija,

 

please visit www.betway.com.ng. You can also follow Betway via their social media platforms on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BetwayNigeria/ or on Twitter at @BetwayNigeria.


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International Youth Day: Paradigm Initiative Calls for Empowerment of Underserved Youth

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Paradigm Initiative, PIN, joins the world in commemorating International Youth Day under the theme – Youth Engagement for Global Action.

 

The day was endorsed in 1999 by the General Assembly after a recommendation by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth.

 

The commemoration for 2020 comes at a time when the world is battling against the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects are adverse on vulnerable youth such as refugees, those in rural areas, migrants and more so, youth in the informal sector who live from hand to mouth due to high levels of unemployment in many African countries.

 

According to the UN/DESA Policy Brief #67: Protecting and mobilizing youth in COVID-19 responses, young people are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. With many African countries on lockdown guidelines in response to the pandemic, PIN calls for policies that ensure that social safety nets are afforded to youths to ensure they are able to get access to improved livelihoods and to be able to actively engage in any global action.

 

As we reflect on the reality that globally in 2020, more than one in five (22.4 per cent) young people aged 15–24 are neither in employment, education or training (NEET), PIN calls for African States to provide youths with equal opportunities for education and employment. We stand committed to empowering young people with skills that capacitate them to serve their communities and to improve their livelihoods.

 

Through the PIN Life Skills, ICTs, Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship (LIFE) training program, many youths are being empowered to access digital platforms that enhance their prospects of employment and starting businesses.

 

This empowerment equally capacitates them to receive information and to be able to participate in national processes and beyond.

 

As we pay tribute to the youths in our communities, we urge African States to continue to take strides to ensure the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 which urges States in part 4 to increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship in ensuring  inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all .

 

We encourage States to ensure that youth have access to the internet in keeping with  Principle 37(2) of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Declaration Of Principles On Freedom Of Expression And Access To Information In Africa African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights which provides that States shall recognise that universal, equitable, affordable and meaningful access to the internet is necessary for the realisation of freedom of expression, access to information and the exercise of other human rights.

 

Internet access provides a platform for the enjoyment of human rights. Providing youths with internet access is critical more so now during the pandemic.


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HMD Global Appoints Alain Lejeune Former OneWeb Advisor in Global Operations Leadership Role

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HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced the appointment of Alain Lejeune in the new Global Operations Leadership role for the company. Lejeune brings with him more than 25 years’ experience in telecommunications and is a seasoned global operations leader.

He joins HMD Global from OneWeb, where he was a special advisor focused on the operations strategy. Alain will be responsible for overseeing all operations for HMD Global and leading engineering and supply chain management efforts for the company. He will report directly to Florian Seiche, Chief Executive Officer at HMD Global.

Alain Lejeune, Global Leader of Operations at HMD, says: “I’m delighted to take on this new challenge at HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones. Having worked in the mobile industry for over two and a half decades, I’ve witnessed huge shifts in the ways companies operate on a global scale. The need to adapt and move quickly has never been more business-critical as companies adjust to a world post-COVID-19.

“Steadfast operations play a pivotal role in maintaining equilibrium for a nimble startup such as HMD Global, and I look forward to helping the business maintain momentum and navigate change now and in the future.   Nokia phones have a loyal and fast-growing fan base, and I’m excited to help the company continue to deliver the high levels of quality and affordable mobile innovations people have come to know and love.”

Florian Seiche, Chief Executive Officer at HMD Global, says: “I am delighted to announce that Alain Lejeune is joining our team as Global Leader of Operations. Alain brings a wealth of experience with a deep understanding of the mobile industry. His blended and unique expertise, which spans operational excellence to fostering creativity in R&D, is one of the reasons we are confident he will make a tremendous impact on our journey.”

“Alain will play a pivotal role as we transform our business and expand our products and services. His appointment will further bolster our leadership team. I look forward to seeing our business gather pace under Alain’s leadership.”

Prior to OneWeb, Alain worked with TCL Group – joining as part of the company’s acquisition of the mobile phone division of Alcatel. This was one of the first international acquisitions in this sector by a Chinese company. He successfully led the integration, as well as driving the company’s research and development and product creation efforts.

Alain was also responsible for managing the acquisition of global licensing rights from Canadian-based BlackBerry Limited by TLC. Following a successful acquisition, he became President of the BlackBerry Mobile business division created within TCL and re-launched BlackBerry smartphones as a premium professional brand to global markets.


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