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Nelson Mandela University Confers Honorary Doctorate on Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho

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Nelson Mandela University has conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Information Technology on tech expert, Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, in recognition of her impactful contribution to technology ecosystems and policy development across Africa.

Nelson Mandela University Confers Honorary Doctorate on Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho

Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho,

 

The institution in a statement released on Friday said that the award will be conferred at the University’s graduation ceremony on 13 December.

Uwaje Begho, CEO of the Nigeria-based Future Software Resources Ltd., one of Nigeria’s leading digital and technology solutions companies, is a renowned digital transformation and brand marketing expert.

Over the years she has served on the leadership of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group Digital Economy Thematic Group, the Nigerian National IT Software Committee; and the Nigerian Electronic Voting Think Tank.

Her accolades include being on the Forbes List of Top Ten Female Tech Founders in Africa in 2014 and being selected as one of the Obama Africa Leaders in 2019.

She said, “The Honorary Doctorate is very unexpected and it is most gratifying to receive it from a Pan-African institution of Nelson Mandela University’s stature.”

Uwaje Begho said: “We can be proud of Fintech unicorns like Interswitch, Flutterwave and Paystack that successfully paved the way for Nigerian and pan-African payments. However, as a continent our focus should be on innovating around emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, and IoT as they hold immense potential as drivers for sustainable socio-economic development.

“We need to invest in young talent in Africa and a tech-supportive policy environment to ensure we move from consuming technologies to creating them. It’s exciting to see generative AI companies like CDIAL.AI emerging from Africa, founded by Nigeria’s Olayinka Lyinolokan.”

To create an enabling tech environment, “requires policy-making tailored to Africa’s unique environment, not copy-and-paste from countries like India or elsewhere,” she added.

Addressing the international dimension, Uwaje Begho calls for internationally-recognised and enforceable laws and policies, facilitating confidence for investors in companies registered in African countries.

She highlights the missed revenue opportunities when policies and laws governing technology and the startup ecosystem are not consistent, thus forcing startups to register and raise investment in other jurisdictions.

To expand digital access, she stresses the significance of last-mile broadband penetration, to reach all areas in every country in Africa. She underscores the role of private telecom companies in extending broadband infrastructure to rural areas, emphasising the importance of forward-thinking leaders and reasonable right of way charges.

“I am pleased to see an increase in well thought through policies – like Kenya’s broadband plan, which is focused on enabling healthcare and education through the democratisation of Internet access.”

Quality education is an essential for talent development says Uwaje Begho who attended the German International School in Lagos before moving to Germany to further her studies, and in 2006 she graduated with a BSc. Hons. in Bioinformatics from Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) & Technical University Munich (TUM) in Munich.

She emphasises the need for educational institutions to keep updating their curricula to remain relevant and keep pace with global IT and digital development is of equal importance. To those who have just graduated in the IT field she says: “There are so many opportunities for problem-solvers and critical thinkers. What you need to know, however, is that your learning journey has only just begun and you need to commit to lifelong learning.”

A firm believer in mentorship, Uwaje Begho regularly mentors founders in accelerator programmes such as Google for Startups Africa, WIA, W.Tec and Founders Institute Lagos.

“The increasing numbers of women in technology is a welcome development and we need to continue to put in the effort to get young African girls into technology and more importantly to ensure that they stay,” says Uwaje Begho who calls for more gender-lensed funding to empower and support female entrepreneurs on the continent.

“I am a proud member of the women only angel investment network Rising Tide Africa – a unique, trans-border women-oriented investment network funded by private investors who believe that they will bring about positive change by investing in the continent’s exciting start-ups and next generation to create a New 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. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Court Dismisses Base Stations Lawsuit Against ATC, MTN

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ATC Nigeria, a subsidiary of American Tower Corporation, and MTN Nigeria scored a major victory in court last week over constructing or operating base transceiver stations “within close proximity” to stations owned by IHS Towers Nigeria.

The lawsuit against the two had been filed by non-profit organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, in November 2023.

Additionally, HEDA also filed a contempt of court case against ATC Nigeria’s CEO, Errol Ambler-Smith, seeking his arrest, which HEDA later withdrew.

ATC Nigeria announced that on Friday, June 21, 2024, the court struck out HEDA’s suit against ATC Nigeria and MTN Nigeria on the grounds that it was speculative and failed to disclose any reasonable cause of action.

American Tower said it has “always been and remains committed to upholding” the highest standards of legal compliance and operational integrity in all its activities.

“We are pleased that the court recognised the speculative nature of HEDA’s lawsuit, and we are hopeful that this outcome will send a message to other similar potential speculative lawsuits. We appreciate the support and understanding of all our stakeholders as we continue to invest in, and provide critical infrastructure for, Nigeria’s telecommunications industry,” ATC Nigeria said in a statement.


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Airtel Boosts Sickle Cell Awareness with CrimsonBow Initiative Collaboration

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In commemoration of this year’s World Sickle Cell Day, Airtel Nigeria partnered with the CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative to host a well-attended sickle cell awareness and clinic over the weekend, at Dansol Primary School, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event which aimed at improving sickle cell education and supporting individuals living with sickle cell disease, featured free counselling for sickle cell patients, free medical testing, drug dispensing, and sensitization sessions to educate the public about the sickle cell disease.

Through the partnership, much-needed support and resources were provided to affected individuals while promoting early detection and proper management of the condition.

Commenting on the involvement of Airtel in the program, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, emphasized Airtel’s dedication to good health as part of the telecommunication company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals.

“We are proud to partner with CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative in this important endeavour, as it reflects our commitment to corporate social responsibility and improving community health outcomes. The goal of this partnership is to provide crucial support to individuals living with sickle cell disease and to help raise awareness about the condition.

“Through this partnership, we strongly hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative, Timi Edwin, expressed gratitude to Airtel. In her remarks, “This partnership with Airtel Nigeria allows us to extend our reach and provide essential services to more individuals living with sickle cell disease. We appreciate Airtel Nigeria for their support in making this event possible.”

Airtel Nigeria has continued to reinforce its position as an organization committed to the well-being of the society through various corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Asides initiative partnerships like this to combat the challenges faced by individuals living with sickle cell disease, they continue to make strides under several CSR initiatives, contributing to the overall effort to enhance the general wellness of Nigerians.

 


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Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as CEO of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has appointed Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice-Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday, noted that the appointment is pending confirmation by the Senate.

He said that the President expects that the new Chief Executive Officer of this important agency will ensure the holistic realization of the Commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interest and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

Bello, who is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist, is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos.

“He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002,” the statement read.

“Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor; Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor, National Concord.

“He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed the Chairman, Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

“He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.


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