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Youth Groups, 9 NGOs Honour New Horizons CEO For Youth Empowerment

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Mr. Tim Akano. the CEO of New Horizons Nigeria, has been honoured by Nigerian youths for his relentless commitment and unparalleled passion for youths’ empowerment.

The nine groups with over 60 million strong memberships cut across Nigeria, Africa and in diaspora came through their representatives to recognise and honour the CEO with various awards at New Horizons Head office in Lagos.

Among the groups are the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Northern Nigeria Students (ANNS), Nigeria Youth Representative Council (NYRC), Coalition of Nigerian Young Patriots (CNYP), Nigerian Youths Initiative for Peace and Good Governance (NYIPGG), Students Coalition Rebirth of Nigeria (SCRN), Inter-Faith Youth Council of Nigeria (IFYCN), National Association of Mathematical Science Students of Nigeria(NAMSSN) and League of African Development Students (LEAD Africa).

Recently, the federal government of Nigeria named Akano as Nigeria’s Icon of Youth Empowerment through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Skills Acquisitions and Empowerment Department (SAED).

Similarly, over 120 national, continental and international organisations including the Students Union Council (Nigeria Universities Students), Northern Youth Council, Oodua Youths Parliament, Trans Africa Youth Initiatives (TAYI) and Nigeria Committee of Vice-Chancellors have conferred different honours in appreciation of his contributions to mankind.

Speaking for the Association of Northern Nigeria Students( ANNS), the national secretary, Amb. Nafiu Danlami, said, “We want to appreciate you for what you have been doing for Nigerian and African youths. You have given us a better platform to showcase Africa to the world through what we produce on the continent and also earn money from it.

“With this, I am challenging everyone that we can make Nigeria a force to be reckoned with again because you are a man of substance and we encourage you to leave your comfort zone and seek political office to liberate the youth from the shackles of poverty”

Also speaking, the president of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Sunday Asuku said Akano has proven that he has the interest of the youth at heart even when the leaders of the country are not looking at the youth.

“I want to tell you that you have rekindled our hope with all you are doing for us and we are glad. So, on behalf of 20 million Nigerian students home and abroad, we honour you with the most prestigious NAPS award, The 2022 Beacon of Hope award, which is given yearly to just one most outstanding Nigerian,” he said.

Vice President, Inter-Faith Youth Council of Nigeria (IFYCN), Daniel Friday, on his part, said: “We are here to honour Tim Akano with the Ambassador of Peace Award because we see him as a leader with an innovative mind and the impact he has made in the lives of youths that once took to violence but now living in peace with others. We appreciate him for that.”

Receiving the awards from the groups, an elated Akano said he appreciated the thoughts and the thinking that went into it and assured them that it would challenge him to do more. He said many people have seen the work his company has been doing to transform the lives of youth and this prompted them to give him the awards.

Akano, however, said he was not doing it because of the recognition but narrated a story of how he met a Nigerian graduate refugee graduate seeking employment many years ago in Switzerland which challenged him to stand in the gap for millions of Nigerian youths who need help and mentorship to identify their talents and guide them to success.

“Over the last two years, I have been receiving dozens of awards from all over the world, and they [these groups] validate the decision I made 18 years ago to leave my job at Coca-Cola and dedicate my life to youth empowerment. I do not do it for the recognition, but it feels good to know that we are truly making an impact in the lives of these young people”

“This forms the imperative of the establishment of One Africa Initiatives Academy where we Mentor African youths from over 50 countries worldwide. The soon-to-be-unveiled FABAAW is the platform set up to bring prosperity to Africa, especially to the youth. With FABAAW, African youths can network, showcase their talents and do genuine businesses with the global community on mutually beneficial terms, better terms than what is obtainable today on e-commerce and social media platforms”

The New Horizons Nigeria CEO believes that poverty and unemployment are Africa’s twin problems. “Our problems in Africa are the same. Go to Uganda, South Africa, or Nigeria it is the same. Africa has the largest unemployment rate in the world”

Akano said across the globe, African people are known for going to school, graduating and earning certificates. “If you want to be successful in life today, the youth need 4th Industrial skills in Data Science, Cloud Architect, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence, among others.

“For instance, India’s raw materials are its population and it decided to develop along software line. China toed the line of manufacturing, Israeli owns military security, and Germans are known for their machinery. So for us in Africa, what we can bring to the table that would make our youth prosperous are 4.0 skills.”

He said there is a solution to every problem and the solution to this present generation’s problem is knowing how to use technology to solve the poverty problem, using the newly created FABAAW platform due to be launched in July.

“I have committed the rest of my life to concentrate on the transformation of Africa by raising and grooming the Youths that will take Africa to the promised land before 2063,” concluded Akano.


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AfriLabs, Korea-Africa Foundation in Strategic Partnership to Boost African Innovation

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African hubs network AfriLabs has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea-Africa Foundation for a strategic partnership aimed at driving innovation and economic growth across the continent.

AfriLabs is a network organisation that is committed to driving innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent by bringing together technology hubs, startups, investors, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Having recently announced the admission of 16 new hubs, AfriLabs now has a network of 478 hubs across 260 cities in 53 African nations.

The Korea-Africa Foundation, meanwhile, aims to serve as a platform for collaboration between the private and public sectors, and to strengthen exchange and cooperation with African countries.

The collaboration between the two aims to bridge the gap between Korean and African startups by leveraging each other’s expertise and resources. This will be achieved through the exchange of insights on youth development, the launch of joint research initiatives, and the fostering of a dynamic ecosystem that cultivates talent and entrepreneurial spirit in both regions.

“At AfriLabs, we are dedicated to unlocking Africa’s full potential and generating wealth through strategic alliances. This partnership with the Korea-Africa Foundation unlocks a treasure trove of opportunities for startups, granting them access to a global network, invaluable resources, and unparalleled industry knowledge.

“Together, we will empower the next generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs, paving the way for sustainable development and a thriving economy,” said Anna Ekeledo, executive director of AfriLabs.


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$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

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Federal government may reintroduce the controversial telecom tax and other fiscal measures to fulfill one of the conditions for The World Bank’s fresh $750 million loan to Nigeria.

$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

Experts have however strongly opposed new taxes, calling them harmful to the sector’s survival and the larger economy.

But The World Bank in programme appraisal document, dated May 17, 2024, on the loan disbursement to Nigeria, said that $750 million loan to Nigeria will support the federal government’s policy reforms.

A copy of the plan’s document posted on the World Bank website indicated that the government might reintroduce the excises on telecom services, and EMT levy on electronic money transfers through the Nigerian Banking System among other taxes.

Recall that on June 13, Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, announced the approval of two financial support packages by the World Bank valued at $2.25 billion.

The loan consists of $1.5 billion for Nigeria’s reforms for economic stabilisation to enable transformation (RESET) development policy financing program (DPF) and $750 million for Nigeria’s accelerating resource mobilisation reforms (ARMOR) program-for-results (PforR).

In the programme appraisal document, the World Bank said the ARMOR programme contains revenue policy measures such as raising pro-health taxes on tobacco, and alcohol.

The Bretton Woods institution also said the programme contains the introduction of taxes on online betting and gambling, as well as new excise on telecommunication services.

Experts have however warned that these taxes would have severe consequences for investment and the operational viability of telecom companies.

According to them, higher taxes would hinder digitalization efforts, which are crucial for economic growth.

The proposed tax measures, according to the industry, are not only damaging to the telecom sector but also to the broader economy.

 

 


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EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Flutterwave, unicorn payments technology company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to establish and a state-of-the-art Cybercrime Research Centre.

EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, policy development, as well as youth empowerment.

The fintech company with fortunes worth over $1bn headquartered in San Francisco with footprints in Nigeria and other African countries said the centre would also provide a “sustainable lifeline to youths across the country”.

To this effect, the Silicon Valley-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the anti-graft agency in Abuja.

Ola Olukoyede, chairman, EFCC; Olugbenga Agboola, founder, Flutterwave; Christopher Gray, director of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and other senior officials from both the EFCC and the FBI witnessed the signing of the MoU

Specifically, the MoU was signed by Mohammadu Hammajoda, secretary, EFCC and Agboolaof Flutterwave.

Olukoyede said, “This partnership marks a significant leap forward in our efforts to combat financial crimes and ensure a secure financial landscape for Nigerians. The Cybercrime Research Centre will significantly enhance our capabilities to prevent, detect, and prosecute financial crimes.”

On his part, Agboola said, “This initiative underscores our commitment to creating a fraud-free financial ecosystem and leading the charge in safeguarding transactions across Africa.

“We applaud the EFCC’s relentless efforts to combat internet fraud and other illicit activities in the financial sector.”

The Cybercrime Research Centre, to be established at the new EFCC Academy in Abuja, would serve as a hub for advanced research, training, and capacity building in the fight against financial crimes.

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, collaborative research and policy development, youth empowerment and capacity building, technological advancement and resource enablement, among other key areas.

“Advanced Fraud Detection and Prevention: Developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to detect and prevent financial fraud. The centre will offer comprehensive training for law enforcement and industry professionals to combat modern financial crimes effectively.

“Collaborative Research and Policy Development: Engaging in joint research initiatives and policy formulation to enhance the understanding and regulation of financial crime. The centre will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices between the public and private sectors.

“Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building: Providing high-end training and research opportunities for 500 youths, equipping them with the skills needed to navigate and excel in the digital economy.

“Technological Advancement and Resource Enablement: Creating a repository of advanced tools, technologies, and resources to support financial crime investigations, including protocols for addressing emerging threats such as cryptocurrency-related crimes,” the statement concluded.

Birthed in 2016 by Agboola, fondly referred to as GB, Flutterwave, with its corporate headquarters in San Francisco and operational head office in Lagos State, grew within a short time, penetrating the African market with customisable payments applications through its unique Application Programming Interface.

 

 


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