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TD Africa Fetes Female Entrepreneurs on 2022 Int’l Women’s Day



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Women have been urged to wake up to the myriad of opportunities presented by a rapidly evolving 21st Century and take their rightful places in the highly competitive business environment, while making their voices heard.

The call came from a host of renowned female business leaders, seasoned speakers and resource persons as TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading distributor of technology, services and lifestyle products, formally flagged off The HERwakening, an initiative aimed at empowering female entrepreneurs.

Held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, the well-attended session was hosted physically at the impressive Yudala Heights located at 13 Idowu Martins, Victoria Island, Lagos and online via YouTube.

The event, which witnessed a gathering of women entrepreneurs and aspiring ones, provided a fitting opportunity for TD Africa to engage this critical segment and inspire women-owned businesses.

Speaking at the event hosted in partnership with Microsoft and Access Bank, Founder, Wholesome Inspirations, Dr. Ebere Njoku urged participants to take charge and own their space. Njoku, who was one of the keynote speakers at the event, disclosed that women have come a long way, adding that their voices must be heard.

According to her, “Own Your Space” means giving yourself permission to show up as your authentic self, to be present, to be important and to define your boundaries.

She defined elements of self-discovery to include, confidence, acceptance, responsibility, love, and ownership.

Earlier, in her address, Country Manager (Nigeria & Ghana) Microsoft, Ola Williams traced the evolution of technological development from the 4th Industrial Revolution, Steam and Water, Electricity, Electronics and IT, through Digital, Cyber, Internet and Networking. Williams, who spoke on the topic, “Staying Ahead in the Digital Age”, revealed that humanity uses one form of technology or the other as it touches every aspect of life.

Asking the women if they are prepared, the speaker said by 2026, demand for digital skills such as Web Development, Computer and Information Research Science, Data Science and Software Development, among others, will grow by 13 percent.

Further, she described Nigeria as the highest ICT investment destination by volume and deals.

Adducing fear of failure, lack of network and mentors, poor IT background and perception of the field as stressful, etc. among reasons women avoid careers in Information Technology, Williams identified key action areas for interested females to include regular use of technology, keeping abreast of technological advancement, getting mentors, mentoring other women and joining relevant communities.

On her part, Managing Director (Nigeria) Apple Inc., Teju Ajani, who counselled participants on the principles of thriving in a competitive environment, disclosed that the most important thing is to train and focus on one’s goal.

According to her, healthy competition can push one to success, even as she delivered tips to survive the competition.

Among these are need to understand your industry, studying the culture around you, paying attention to your environment, need to observe things, learn yourself, set your goal, dream big, work smart, lesser focus on other things, developing yourself and your team, learn more every day, adapt to changing times, unique value estimation, being ready for opportunities, changing your mood, learning to walk away and being bold, adaptable, strong and willing to reflect yourself.

Another keynote speaker and Founder, Wardrobe Merchant, Obis Oragwu bared her thoughts on the place of a woman in the 21st Century.

In her view, the evolution of technology, innovation, economic challenges and societal change have brought more jobs requiring additional skilled manpower into the workspace.

This, she said, brought about the need for ambitious women with special skills to take roles that were previously dominated by men.

She listed core areas where a woman who wants to succeed in the 21st century must focus on to include, finance, family time, career, networking, self-care, health and fitness, fashion, one’s goal, ethics & value and structure. She submitted that these factors must be balanced for a successful career.

Equally important, a representative of Access Bank and Group Head, Women Banking, Abiodun Olubitan spoke on the bank’s The ‘W’ initiative.

This initiative, according to her, is a platform by Access Bank for the empowerment of women in business with financial & lifestyle solutions and advisory facilities for investments.

Olubitan revealed that the focus segments include W in Business, W Young Professionals, W and Family, Millennials & Gen Z and W Quintessential. Value propositions include access to finance such as loans, access to network and mentoring, access to capacity and career development and access to market.

She identified the benefits of “The “W” Power Loan” to include flexible repayment plans, relaxed collateral requirement and competitive interest rates.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Managing Director, TD Africa, Chioma Chimere revealed that one of the value propositions of the HERwakening is to make it an initiative for vulnerable, voiceless and less privileged women.

She averred that TD Africa, born in 1999, is a child of necessity to sanitize the ICT industry, noting that it had become a big giant leading the trade revolution across Africa.

Chimere disclosed that the majority of the Board of TD Africa are women who have been in business for over 25 years. These women, according to her, have been empowered and are empowering other women.

She praised the untiring efforts of the Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, for inspiring and promoting women to top management cadre positions, adding that Ekeh represents a new breed of entrepreneurs who value the contributions of women.

The icing on the cake was the enduring words of Chioma Ekeh, CEO, TD Africa.
While recounting the agonies women go through in raising new generations, she described the modern-day woman as a trailblazer, a hard-working home builder, and a compassionate companion.

She, nevertheless, admonished the women to see their roles as not only divine but as a reward.

Expressing gratitude to her husband, Ekeh, for finding women worthy to head companies in the Zinox Group, she equally thanked the staff of TD Africa, the organizers of the event and the guest speakers.

Notably, Ekeh, Chairman, Zinox Group, who addressed the audience briefly, also reiterated the key advantages enjoyed by womenfolk, including their concentration power, financial prudence, humility, as well as their natural status of being better counsellors, less prone to fraud and spiritual soundness, among others. Ekeh restated his prediction that from 2026, women will take over in major spheres of endeavour.

He also promised to sow a seed to support the women-owned businesses selected for partnerships at the end of the event.

Other highlights of the event include a question-and-answer session, a memorable rendition of Beyonce’s Drop Challenge by some of the participants and high-level networking.

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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


Nigeria’s Public Debt Now N121trn – DMO



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Debt Management Office (DMO) says Nigeria’s total public debt has reached N121.67 trillion within three months.


The Cable reports that this figure represents an increase of N24.33 trillion or 24.99 percent from the N97.34 trillion as of December 2023.

Nigeria’s public debt profile consists of the federal and subnational governments’ domestic and external debt stocks — the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

According to the DMO, the increase was primarily due to new domestic borrowing by the federal government to partly fund the deficit in the 2024 budget as well as disbursements by multilateral and bilateral lenders.

“Total domestic debt was N65.65 trillion (USD46.29 billion) while total external debt was N56.02 trillion (USD42.12 billion). Excluding naira exchange rate movements in Q1 2024, only the domestic debt component of total public debt grew from N59.12 trillion on December 31, 2023, to N65.65 trillion on March 31, 2024.

“The increase was from new borrowing to part-finance the 2024 Budget deficit and securitization of a portion of the N7.3 trillion Ways and Means Advances at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Whilst borrowing, as provided in the 2024 Appropriation Act, will continue, we expect improvements in the government’s revenue to enhance debt sustainability.”

On June 13, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, announced the approval of two major “financial support packages” by the World Bank — valued at $2.25 billion. In May, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said the federal government has secured a $500m World Bank loan to boost electricity distribution in the country.

Prior to this, the federal government had received $750 million from the World Bank for humanitarian and social reforms and $1.5 billion for its economic stabilisation plan.

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Icasa Orders Shutdown of StarSat, StarTimes SA Arm over License Controversy



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Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has declined to renew the license of On Digital Media, the operator behind StarSat, the South African branch of StarTimes Media.

Icasa Orders Shutdown of StarSat, StarTimes SA Arm over License Controversy

The decision, communicated in a letter to On Digital Media, mandates the company to cease operations by September 18, 2024, leaving the reasons for this decision and the steps required to secure a new license unclear.

Despite the shutdown order, Debbie Wu, CEO,  StarSat assured that the company will not be closing its operations anytime soon and is actively liaising with Icasa to find a resolution.

“We can assure you and the public that On Digital Media/StarSat will not be closing its operations anytime soon” Debbie Wu, CEO, On Digital Media.

“There’s been no notice to staff and StarTimes is still selling StarSat decoders to new customers,” an insider told TVwithThinus.

Reports that Icasa hadn’t renewed StarSat’s licence surfaced in early June 2024.

Icasa claimed it had sent a letter in mid-March to Wu and Ronald Reddy, general manager for legal, risk, and compliance, On Digital Media indicating it may issue a statement to inform subscribers, content providers, and financial stakeholders about the shutdown.

“Take note that Icasa may publish a notice on its website and/or in the Government Gazette advising affected subscribers, content providers and stakeholders about the winding up of ODM’s broadcasting services“, the regulator said.

Icasa clarified that it does not have the mandate to consider transfer or renewal applications for expired licenses and instructed On Digital Media to share its plan for notifying subscribers, content providers and stakeholders about the service cessation.

Wu stated that the company is exploring all regulatory and legal issues surrounding its licensing and reiterated that StarSat will continue its operations for the foreseeable future.

“Should such an event materialise, which we doubt will happen, we will respect our obligation in terms of the law to notify all interested parties,” Debbie Wu said, according to TVwithThinus.


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Climate Action Africa Reinforces Africa’s Urgency for Climate Change @CAAF24 Event in Lagos



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Climate Action Africa Forum 24 (CAAF24) held in Lagos, Nigeria marked a pivotal moment in the global effort to address climate change, organized by Climate Action Africa (CAA), a leading environmental advocate in Africa. CAAF24 aims to galvanize action and underscore the urgent need for climate action across industries and communities across Africa.

The event, held at the prestigious Landmark Center, brought together a diverse array of stakeholders including government officials, business leaders, academics, civil society representatives and the media.

The theme of this year’s forum, “Green Economies, Brighter Futures,” highlights the imperative for immediate and collective action in mitigating the effects of climate change in Africa and achieving global sustainability goals.

“CAAF24 serves as a critical platform for dialogue and collaboration,” said Grace Oluchi Mbah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of CAA.

“With the event, we aim to increase education and awareness on climate change, showcase innovations and projects driving Africa to a sustainable future, and more actively contribute to the expansion of Africa’s green economy.”

The program featured addresses from Her Excellency, Madame Ramatoulaye Diallo Ndiaye, Former Minister of Culture Mali and Founder and CEO of the Great Green Wall of Africa (GGWoA) Foundation who was the special keynote speaker.

There were breakout sessions for panel discussions and workshops that focused on key issues such as the potential of forests and carbon credits, climate financing, Nigeria’s carbon market activation, mobilizing private capital for climate-positive investments in Africa, building resilient and livable African Cities and more. Sessions were designed to encourage interactive participation and exchange of ideas among participants from diverse backgrounds and sectors.

In addition to formal sessions, CAAF24 included networking opportunities and showcased the selection of outstanding innovations from over 800 registerations through the Deal Room, a platform that connected high-impact climate innovators in Africa with potential investors seeking to accelerate sustainable solutions.

Other highlights at CAAF24 were the audacious launch of the Billion Trees for Africa Initiative as part of CAA’s community programs and the unveiling of the Pan-African Green Economy Program (PAGE), a partnership with IDEA AFRICA and the Founder Institute that seeks to grow a new generation of 5,000 green innovators across Africa by 2035.

The selection of Omoniyi Praise (1st position), Treasure Nwosu (2nd position) and Alabi Abimbola (3rd position) as winners for the Climate Champion Quest organised by STEAM Funfest also stood out at CAAF24.

As Africa faces increasingly severe climate impacts, CAAF24 is a platform that is committed to unifying the participation of diverse stakeholders in advancing and achieving climate action in Africa. By reinforcing the urgency of climate change through meaningful dialogue and collaboration, CAAF24 inspires concrete steps towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

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