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Need to Ignite Tech Consciousness among Women and Girls in South East

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By Ugwoke Udoka

Technology has come to stay. People from their homes can pay for their children’s school fees, buy items and get them delivered at their doorsteps or even sell their wares and get money paid to them instantly.

With the deluge of technology start-ups in the South East, it is disheartening that women and girls are seemingly oblivious of technology.

Many of them are not interested in partnering with these start ups neither do they want to be pioneers of any invention. This may be attributed to the Nigerian girl child mentality of her “duties ending up in the kitchen”.

Besides, the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria believes that the duty of his wife is only in the kitchen. Could it also be that women and girls are resistant to change? Does this really explain why in a Mechanical Engineering class of about a hundred students, less than ten are women?

There are women all over the world that have created or partnered with inventions that have made life easier for the world. Margaret Wilcox in 1983 created a combined clothes and dish washer. Dr. maria Telkes and Eleanor Raymond in 1943 created the first home entirely heated by solar power.

Sheryl Kara Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and the founder of leanin.org. Tracy Chou is the lead soft ware developer at Pineterest; Virginia Marie “Ginni” Rometty, an American business executive is the CEO of IBM.

As a country, we have women who are leading from the front too: Dr. (Mrs) Omobola Johnson, was the first Minister of Communications (Nigeria); Funke Opeke is the founder of MainOne. Nkem Okocha is the founder of Mamamoni, a social enterprise and FinTech startup that empowers poor rural and urban slum women with free vocational/financial skills and micro-loans; Juliet Ehimuan is Google’s Country Manager, a position she assumed since 2011. But, they are mostly based in either Lagos, Abuja or operating outside the radius of South East.

These are technology driven women, who have identified problems and solved them with technology.  It amazes me that women in the South East Nigeria are not towing this path enough. Many of the tech start-ups in the South East are owned by men. Take for instance Raadaa.com, Teneece, TechEconomy.ng, Genesys Tech Hub, CfaTech.ng and many others. You could argue that Linda Ikeji is one of us; Adanma Onuegbu is the CEO of Signal Alliance. How about if more of our women and girls were more technology conscious?

To an extent, women are blessed with patience and the sixth sense to go through various processes. What if this quality was put into technology? Just like Sheryl Sandberg, many women and girls in the South East are gifted and can improve our tech world if they can get interested. That’s why I was very happy when Awka, Anambra State based start-up, extraclass.ng, has emerged winner of the N1 million Taiwo Bankole Ogunyemi prize at the Techtiary Forum 2017. This is a morale booster for women/girls in the technology space- developers, start-ups, etc.

The Forum was put together by Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise, which connects youths with ICT-enabled opportunities.

The Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, Gbenga Sesan, presenting the N1 million cheque (mock) to the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Extraclass.ng, Onyinyechi Nmecha, applauded the innovative platform and urged them to work harder; making good use presented by the prize money. Now, that’s cheering news, but Onyinyechi and her team are starting from scratch; in a region that seem alienated when it comes to women and girls in technology.

An article , The Real Reason Most Women Don’t Go Into Tech, published by Gene Marks on Forbes.com on the 16th of arch 2015 stated that in many software development companies, startups, construction firms and other businesses that employ engineers, developers, database experts and other technology types, there are always more males than females, with the feminine number almost inconsequential.

He identified that most graduate degree taken by women lean towards Education, Nursing, Social work and Counseling. This is majorly because women love to be ‘stay at home moms’ as it offers more flexibility than a typical technology job.

What greater output it would be if women are ignited with the passion for technology. Greater problems would be solved majorly in collaboration, which does not necessarily have to be only between the make folks.

If women in the South East can be more technology conscious, it would spur a passion for technology in women in other regions of Nigeria, which would make Nigeria more competitive when it comes to technology.

Igniting the technology passion in women takes education, awareness, sensitizations and opportunity creation.

I look forward to a Nigeria that can compete with Japan, USA, China, Germany and other tech countries if only women can be more conscious.

Ugwoke Peace Udoka, writes from Lagos


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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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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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