National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) commends Polaris Bank and Nerdzfactory for their remarkable efforts in empowering Nigerian corps members with essential digital skills through the Digicorper Programme.
The Digicorper Programme, which held its virtual graduation over the weekend was a high-impact capacity-building workshop, aimed to equip 5,000 NYSC members serving across 12 states with essential digital skills to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital world. The six-month training program, which commenced in November 2022, focused on empowering fresh graduates with the necessary skills required to excel in their future endeavors.
Through the strategic partnership between Polaris Bank, NYSC, and the facilitating firm, Nerdzfactory, participants were exposed to a comprehensive curriculum designed to enhance their digital knowledge and capabilities. The program provided practical training, equipping the graduates with in-demand tech and digital skills to succeed in their careers and businesses during and after their service years.
At the graduation ceremony, Polaris Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Adekunle Sonola, expressed his admiration for the remarkable achievements, dedication, and hard work of the Digicorper Programme graduates. He emphasized the Bank’s commitment to being Nigeria’s leading digitally-focused retail bank and the importance of nurturing a community of believers in digital advancement to strengthen society’s capacity to leverage opportunities available in the digital era.
Mr. Sonola congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments and highlighted the significant contribution of Polaris Bank in making society better and ensuring continued value for its customers. He urged the graduates to remain true to the core values that guided them throughout the training, encouraging them to stay focused, hungry for knowledge, and adaptable in the face of uncertainty.
Madam Osijuwa, a representative of the NYSC’s Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) program, commended the Digicorper Programme for providing a unique opportunity for corps members to acquire essential tech and digital skills. She emphasized the value of the training in equipping participants with the necessary tools to succeed in their careers and businesses.
Akpokiro Ejiroghene, expressing her gratitude, said, “I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our sponsors – Polaris Bank, Nerdzfactory, NYSC, and everyone who contributed to this remarkable achievement. It was a great privilege to be part of this program.”
Dipo, one of the Digicorper graduates, shared his experience, stating that he acquired valuable knowledge and successfully applied his newly acquired skills, which ultimately helped him secure a job.
Polaris Bank continues to earn accolades as Nigeria’s digital Bank of the year and a leading financial brand in innovation and digitization. The Bank’s digital banking platform Vulte provides an ecosystem for individuals, SMEs, and corporates to do transactions, access loans, and live their lifestyles. The Bank’s unwavering commitment to equipping young professionals with digital skills highlights its dedication to empowering individuals and contributing to the growth and development of Nigeria’s digital ecosystem.
Burna Boy Leads as Top Streamed African Artist in Sub Saharan Africa
Spotify has released Wrapped 2023, the annual data-led review of how people listened to music and podcasts, on the platform.
Drake is the most streamed artist in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Burna Boy, making him the most streamed African artist in SSA, for the second year in a row. Asake, Davido and Omah Lay all make an appearance in the top ten, showing Nigeria’s dominance in the music scene across the continent. Ayra Starr narrowly misses the top ten most streamed artists list, landing at number 11 and being the top streamed female artist in SSA.
When it comes to tracks that the whole region can agree on, Ruger’s Asiwaju takes the day, followed by Ayra Starr’s Rush. A host of other Nigerian tracks also make the list include Asake’s Lonely At The Top which is the most streamed track in Nigeria this year. Tyler ICU is the sole South African with Mnike, featuring DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA & Tyron Dee, and Libianca’s People is still making waves, almost a year after its release, landing it in the eighth spot.
Davido’s album Timeless was released earlier this year, after much anticipation from the fans, so it follows that it is the most streamed album in SSA, and two tracks from the album, Feel and Unavailable, featuring Musa Keys are on the top ten most streamed tracks in SSA. To say that Asake is living the dream would be an understatement, after all, the artist was relatively unknown a few short years ago, and now two of his albums, Work of Art and Mr. Money With The Vibe are in the top streamed list in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The top exported artist in SSA is Rema, thanks to the popularity of Calm Down, featuring Selena Gomez, which is also the most exported track from SSA. Furthermore, for the first time ever, an African artist-led track not only gained 1 billion streams on Spotify, it is also the eighth most streamed track globally. No small feat considering just a few years ago, African tracks were mostly confined to the continent. All the African artists whose music was felt not just on the continent, but also on the global stages, are featured on Spotify’s Gone Abroad Presents…Global African Hits of 2023.
Even though Ayra Starr leads in the top streamed female artists list, the only other African female artist in the top ten is Tems, with the rest of the list being occupied by American artists.
To further showcase local listening trends from around the world, Spotify this year has Wrapped Mapped, showing which songs have soundtracked throughout the year since January 1, all across the globe.
Eligible users can access their personalized 2023 Wrapped experience exclusively in the Spotify mobile app (iOS and Android) and also this year, via web view on mobile or Desktop by heading to Spotify.com/Wrapped.
Additionally, Spotify has also launched its Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists. With access to their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year. Check out Spotify for Artists and Spotify for Podcasters to learn more.
TOP STREAMED ARTISTS IN SSA
TOP STREAMED TRACKS IN SSA
TOP STREAMED ALBUMS IN SSA
TOP EXPORTED ARTISTS
TOP EXPORTED TRACKS
TOP STREAMED FEMALE ARTISTS IN SSA
AFEX Launches FETC Product on New Digital Trading Platform
Africa’s commodities player, AFEX, has launched Africa Exchange, a digital platform for trading commodities. The platform follows AFEX’s first foray into digital commodities trading with the launch of ComX in 2020.
This new trading platform further transforms the commodities space in Africa by enabling commodities market players to meet and interact both in the physical and financial markets. Data and information crucial to decision-making are readily available on the platform, offering a comprehensive and informed trading experience.
Africa Exchange provides a structured marketplace duly regulated by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ensuring that users can participate in various trade or investment opportunities.
Africa Exchange will replace ComX, which has served over 80,000 investors in Nigeria and facilitated trades worth over USD 200 million since it was launched in 2020. The transition further bolsters AFEX’s mission of facilitating wealth creation for a new generation of Africans by providing them with alternative investment options to enrich their existing portfolios.
Additionally, AFEX aims to enhance intra-African trade by strengthening commodities trading within Africa and supporting the African Continental Free Trade Agreement’s (AFCFTA) mission to improve regional trade integration to boost economic development and food security across the continent.
Presently, only 14.4% of Africa’s exports come from trade between African countries. However, the AfCFTA could increase intra-African trade by approximately 33% and reduce the continent’s trade deficit by 51%, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 5, 8, and 12, the launch of Africa Exchange is a significant milestone towards achieving the AfCFTA. The platform promotes fair market prices that help farmers earn more and increase food production. It also enables investors to diversify their portfolios while supporting the financing of the food ecosystem.
Commenting on the launch, Akinyinka Akintunde, CEO and President of AFEX Nigeria, said: “As a team, we are excited and proud to launch Africa Exchange as another step in building the digital infrastructure to facilitate trade across Africa. With this launch, our goal is to boost the commodities market in Africa and allow more investors to participate with all the information that they need at their fingertips”.
He continues, “Commodities have been high-performing assets in recent years; in 2021, commodities were the third highest performing asset class, averaging about 37.1% in returns, while stocks averaged about 36.9%.
The commodities market has grown in sophistication over the years with the likes of commodity brokers and other institutional players making their mark and creating opportunities for trading. With Africa Exchange, we are opening the African commodities ecosystem to more investors and players.
Through the platform, users can directly trade physical commodities or invest in commodity-backed financial instruments.”
Alongside the platform launch, AFEX is also reintroducing its innovative Fair Trade ETC (FETC) product. The FETC is a commodity bundle in one contract designed to provide investors with exposure to the market in a way that maximizes the risk-return balance of the underlying commodities.
The instrument has a maturity period of 270 days and historically significant returns, with both tranches in 2022 returning 31% and 20%, respectively. The FETC is set to open on the Africa Exchange platform on the 1st of December at a unit price of just N1000, and for the first time in the product’s history, it will be tradeable within the tenor period, after a 120-day hold.
Funto Olasemo, Vice President, Financial Markets at AFEX, said, ‘For the last 8 months, we have been focused on improving our core infrastructure and delivering a better digital interface for commodities trading and investment on the continent. We have continued to also pursue product innovation, and the new tranche of our FETC product is a great example of that.”
“The FETC has been a hugely successful product since we introduced it in 2020, and we have structured a tradeable component into this tranche, giving investors even more freedom as they build wealth. The team is excited that we are facilitating wealth creation for a new generation of Africans by providing them with alternative investment options to enrich their portfolios.”
AFEX is committed to improving intra-African trade. To achieve this goal, the company has been bullish in pursuing its strategic Pan-African expansion plan since expanding into Kenya and Uganda in 2021 and 2022.
AFEX is set to expand to six other African countries within the next few years with the aim of promoting efficient trade in commodities across the continent while supporting the objectives of the AFCFTA to boost regional trade integration.
NCAA Suspends All Wet-leased Aircraft in United Nigeria Airlines
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended all the wet-leased aircraft in the operations of United Nigeria Airlines (UNA). The suspension may not be unconnected with the diversion of the Abuja-bound flight from Lagos to Asaba Airport on Sunday by the cabin crew of the airline.
A source close to the agency, confided in our correspondent on Monday that the regulatory body took the decisive action after an emergency meeting held at its headquarters in Abuja.
It was learnt that at the meeting, the NCAA inspectors were not convinced about the claim of the airline that its crew diverted to Asaba due to bad weather at Abuja Airport.
Our correspondent learnt that all the wet-leased aircraft in its fleet would remain suspended until after the conclusion of the investigation into the incident.
This position, it was gathered has been communicated to the airline via a letter on Monday.
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