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Startup Ecosystem: NITDA Woos Global Tech Giants for Support, Collaboration

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National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced engagements with international bodies in ensuring that a formidable startup ecosystem is built in the country through resources that are harnessed from global tech giants for the sustenance of the country’s digital economy.

In achieving the mandate of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration towards rejuvenating the country’s tech startup ecosystem with a million tech jobs, NITDA has been proactively socialising with global tech giants by creating platforms for startups where ideas, programs and expertise can be shared.

Kashifu Inuwa, director general of NITDA, made this known when he received a delegation from the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) led by its Executive Vice President, Trixie Lohmirman to the corporate headquarters of the agency in Abuja.

Welcoming the visitors to Nigeria, the NITDA boss stated that collaboration is highly essential in creating a vibrant tech ecosystem globally. He further noted that big techs in the world need the talents in Africa to survive and thrive.

“When you talk about innovation and talent in the digital economy, Africa is the next frontier in terms of our youthful population. Even the big techs are coming to Nigeria and Africa to open their engineering departments because they need talents to survive”, he averred.

While applauding the visitors for organising the yearly Gulf Information Technology Exhibition in Dubai, Inuwa emphatically called on the Dubai World Trade Centre to consider the hosting of GITEX Africa in Nigeria as was done in Marakech Morocco 2023.

“Apparently, we are moving towards having strong conferences in Nigeria and we also need your participation. You should also come to Nigeria”, he added.

Laying more emphasis, he disclosed that the country would be organising 2 conferences in the year and he thinks it is an opportunity for the visitors to leverage their existing relationship and become core partners at the event.

Asides from the annual Digital Nigeria Conference being organised by NITDA in October, the DG stated that the agency is partnering with the USA consulate general to bring all the USA companies to Nigeria for a Pan-African conference in the country which is the Global Tech Africa in November.

“The doors are still open to partner with us because we already have Business Sweden, the German government and other European countries on board for the summit. So, you can also be a sponsor”, he urged.

Conclusively, while expressing the agency’s enthusiasm in understudying how GITEX was being organised, Inuwa said that “I think we can learn from you and explore how we can build this kind of conference in Africa. If we have it in Nigeria, it is not only for Nigerians but all of Africa”.

In her earlier remark, the Executive Vice President of the DWTC thanked NITDA for their usual support towards the GITEX, Dubai. She stated that Nigeria’s support has remained one of the reasons the conference has recorded tremendous success.

“On the back of your support and the global community, GITEX is now the largest tech show in the world”, she stated.

Giving assurances of their support to Nigeria which she says has the biggest market for startups, Lohmirman sought further collaboration with the agency by providing access to funding for startups in the country.

“This is why we are here to meet up with you as a strategic stakeholder in the Nigerian digital transformation strategy and see how we can extend our collaboration all together to give bigger opportunities and visibility to Nigerians to increase exportation as well as foreign direct investments”, she concluded.

“While addressing a team of startups at the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, she declared that

“Nigeria possess the secret army that will rule the world global tech ecosystem.”

Stunned by the passion in the young people she met at the centre, the Executive Vice President of the DWTC commended the effort of the Centre and pushed for a startup exchange programme between Nigeria and other countries including UAE.

The meeting provided opportunity for the startup to interact with highest body that manages GITEX global with a view of taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the world largest tech expo.

The highly elated team from DWTC also called for more collaboration and partnership especially in the area of AI, as the centre is poised to make Nigeria the AI Centre of 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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Nigerians Rush as Konga Slashes Prices of Starlink Satellite Internet Kits by 50 Percent

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Konga’s latest addition to its family of technology products, Starlink Satellite Internet Kits, has been met with overwhelming customer demand. The company is Starlink’s only authorised Shop-In-Shop eCommerce partner in Nigeria and provides immediate warranties on all Starlink kits bought from Konga.

Since the e-commerce giant broke the news of the price slash at 9pm on Tuesday night, shoppers in need of reliable, fast, low-latency internet services have trooped to konga.com to grab their share of the unbeatable deal on offer for the Space X engineered satellite kit. Until March of this year, the internet kits had been selling for N800,000 due to the devaluation of the Naira, and now go for N440,000 with the local currency regaining its strength.

As the clock races and limited stock runs out, our investigation confirms that those who purchased Starlink on Konga have begun to receive same-day delivery shipping for their orders in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Rivers State.

On its e-commerce website, the unprecedented surge in demand for the product saw web traffic triple in 4 hours as customers took advantage of the great pricing and seamless order process available via the authentic official Starlink store in Nigeria on Konga.

Konga is yet to reveal how many units of the product it will be releasing to the market at the current discounted price; however, insider reports indicate that there is limited stock available for a short time at this amount. For this reason, customers are encouraged to place their orders immediately.

According to the Head of Business for Konga’s commercial unit, Emmanuel Ekwedike, the online shopping platform always delivers deals that make sense. With the Starlink kits, while customers can buy online and have the orders shipped to their homes and offices nationwide, they can also visit any Konga retail outlet around the country to make an instant purchase.

In February, Konga announced the launch of Starlink kits on its platform with an initial selling price of N378,000 to great reviews. As the month advances, the excitement is still running high as users get high-end quality experiences from purchasing genuine kits and other products with global warranty at its retail outlets and online via the e-commerce portal.

Konga.com is Nigeria’s largest customer centric omnichannel online mall. It launched operations in July 2012 and is on a mission to become the engine of commerce and trade in Africa.

Starlink kits provide high-speed internet services to users around the world through advanced low-latency satellite technology, as a solution to internet disruptions caused by fibre cuts.


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New Salesforce-WhatsApp Integration brings Marketing and Service Conversations together

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Salesforce, the #1 AI CRM, announced the general availability of Unified Conversations for WhatsApp, which transforms one-way marketing promotions or service requests into dynamic, two-way conversations from a single WhatsApp number.

Instead of managing separate threads for promotions and support, customers can automatically receive personalised opt-in marketing promotions and individual support all within a single WhatsApp chat between a brand and customer.

This allows companies like Agibank to use data stored in Salesforce from across their more than 900 hubs within WhatsApp to deliver personalised loan proposals, resolve concerns faster, and better support customers — all in a single conversation.

Why it matters: Seventy-nine percent of customers expect consistent interactions across departments and 75% want to communicate with brands using messaging. However, businesses aren’t meeting these expectations. Customers report that disconnected experiences are their top frustration when dealing with an organisation.

Salesforce perspective: “With more than two billion people using WhatsApp today, Salesforce’s new Unified Conversations for WhatsApp enables brands to connect with their customers where they are and have a single, connected, and trusted experience,” said Steve Hammond, EVP and GM, Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

“This helps brands break down barriers across their company and build stronger relationships throughout their customer’s journey, including natural handoffs from marketing to service teams, by driving the right personalised engagement, no matter where they are in the customer journey, at the right time and in the right context.”

Go deeper: Unified Conversations for WhatsApp is powered by Salesforce Data Cloud. Data Cloud allows companies to bring all of their trapped data into Salesforce and build a unified customer profile across all products, services, and interactions. This allows marketers and service agents to work off the same, shared customer profile and provides them with the relevant context needed to deliver trusted experiences across both departments in a single chat thread.

Innovation in action: By combining marketing and service conversations together in Unified Conversations for WhatsApp:

  • Marketers can segment audiences and create content for marketing campaigns while giving service agents a window into customers’ interactions to provide recommended next best actions using a single WhatsApp number.

  • Inside one WhatsApp conversation, healthcare organisations can schedule, confirm, and provide follow-up support for procedures and appointments.

  • Financial service institutions can prevent fraud by offering a single experience in WhatsApp to proactively verify and provide assistance for unusual transactions.

  • Travellers can respond to personalised trip offers and book experiences through chatbot-powered prompts in WhatsApp.

 


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Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

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Meta the owner of Instagram is introducing a new safety feature to help protect teenagers from seeing unwanted nude photos in their direct messages.

Meta to Blur Nude Photos on Instagram for Teen Safety

The feature will automatically blur out nude images if the recipient is identified as a teenager.

Meta said this safety measure is aimed at addressing three main problems.

First, teenagers sometimes receive nude photos that they didn’t ask for and don’t want to see.

Second, sending nude photos of teenagers, even if it’s the teenagers themselves sending them, can be against the law. And third, there are scams where teenagers, especially boys, are tricked into sending explicit photos and then blackmailed.

The tech giant is under mounting pressure in the United States and Europe over allegations that its apps were addictive and have fueled mental health issues among young people.

Meta said the protection feature for Instagram’s direct messages would use on-device machine learning to analyze whether an image sent through the service contains nudity.

Meta, the company that owns Instagram, will use this technology to detect nude photos in direct messages. If the recipient is flagged as a teenager based on their birthdate, the photo will be blurred, and a warning message will appear.

Attorneys general of 33 U.S. states, including California and New York, sued the company in October, saying it repeatedly misled the public about the dangers of its platforms.

In Europe, the European Commission has sought information on how Meta protects children from illegal and harmful content.

 

 


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