Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Photo: General Electric Innovation Award and Dinner

L-R: President, United States African Development Foundation (USADF), Shari Berenbach; winners of the GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge, Afe Babalola University; and President and CEO General Electric (GE) Africa, Jay Ireland, at the GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Innovation Award and Dinner Ceremony in Lagos

L-R: President, United States African Development Foundation (USADF), Shari Berenbach; winners of the GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge, GVE Projects Ltd; and President and CEO General Electric (GE) Africa, Jay Ireland, at the GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Innovation Award and Dinner Ceremony in Lagos.

ZTE to launch smartwatch next year

Chinese smartphone manufacturer, ZTE is gearing up to enter the wearable device segment by launching smartwatches in the second quarter of next year.

Lu Qianhao, head of handset marketing strategy at ZTE, told The Wall Street Journal the smartwatch will offer similar features to the Samsung Galaxy Gear, but will sell for a lower price as the company aims for the "mainstream" market.
Image source: techspot.com

ZTE will unveil its smartwatch in the first quarter of next year and begin selling it in China during the second quarter, before entering the European and US markets.

The smartwatch will imitate the Galaxy Gear as ZTE plans to make it compatible only with its own smartphones. However, Lu claims the company may also release other smartwatches that are compatible with other brands that operate on the Android operating system.

Photo: Guinness Nigeria Courtesy Call on Oba of Benin

A cross section of Board of Directors of Guinness Nigeria Plc including Managing Director/CEO, Seni Adetu (2nd right); Vice Chairman, Nick Blazquez (3rd right); Chairman, Babatunde Savage (4th right); traditional chiefs and the Oba of Benin, His Royal Highness Omo n'Oba n'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa I during a courtesy call by the Board on the Oba, November 14.

Sportsbeat win British Lions & BOA briefs

Creative multimedia agency, Sportsbeat have been appointed by the British Olympic Association and the British & Irish Lions to develop content for their respective audiences.

According to sportindustry.biz, their brief with the British Olympic Association includes a focus on social media and assisting with pre and post Games media services, including the design and production of the team handbook and acting as part of Team GB's Sochi-based news team.

‘We have a trusted reputation for delivering high-quality content across multimedia platforms for our clients, and the BOA and the British & Irish Lions are two of the most prestigious brands in British sport’, the report quoted James Toney, managing editor, Sportsbeat as saying.

Sportsbeat, who specialise in creating shareable content for brands and sports, have been tasked with generating a range of videos and articles to drive engagement with consumer audiences. Sportsbeat has made changes to the senior management team with James Parsons appointed as managing director of the agency.

This follows strong trading for the first half of the year which saw agency billings increase 30% year-on-year thanks to a focus on using Sportsbeat's coverage of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as a springboard for future success.

Eurosport Gets New Deal To Show French Open Until 2021

Pan-regional sports broadcaster, Eurosport has reached a new agreement for the French Open tennis grand slam tournament - until 2021, according to sportbusiness.com.

The deal grants Eurosport exclusive live pay-television rights across Europe and also comprises all media rights in 13 markets. Eurosport will have all media rights in Denmark, Hungary, Israel, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine from 2014, and Italy from 2015.

The agreement excludes the event’s home market, France.

The broadcaster already had a three-year rights deal, from 2012 to 2014, for the French Open. Eurosport also has rights for two of the other three grand slam tournaments - the Australian Open, through to 2016, and the US Open, through to 2017.

Photo: LCA Conference for Media Use Held in Lagos

President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Babajide Ogundipe flagged by a Board Member of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) and Director, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Nigeria, Arnold Ekpe at the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) Regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference held recently in Lagos.

(L-R)- Board Member of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Fabian Ajogwu (SAN); President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Babajide Ogundipe; Director of the Lagos Court of Arbitration and Conference Chair, Bimpe Nknotchou; Director, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Nigeria, Arnold Ekpe and Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye at the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA) Regional Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference held recently in Lagos

Microsoft Partners The Future Project to launch mentorship programme in Nigeria

In a bid to provide web-based training to boost employability  for Nigerians, Microsoft has partnered with The Future Project to launch an online mentorship programme.

Aiki Nigeria seeks to guide young Nigerians in career planning, acquiring skills, entrepreneurship development, job sourcing and small business sustainability.

Microsoft said Aiki Nigeria seeks to create jobs for Nigerians through mentoring and will go live in December, hoping to reach 100,000 people. “In working with organisations, technology enthusiasts and governments at every level, we have emphasised the crucial importance of jobs for a new generation of Nigerians. This programme is a major step in leading a coordinated solution to this urgent problem”, Ugochukwu Nwosu, citizenship manager at Microsoft for Anglophone West Africa, said.

UK agency wins Lego global brief

Mother London is understood to have won a contested pitch to create a global campaign for Lego, the Danish toymaker.

Mother won the brief, which is understood to have been run out of Lego’s headquarters in Billund, Denmark, after seeing off competition from a selection of agencies.

A spokeswoman for Lego would not comment on whether Mother had won the brief, but told Campaign: “I can confirm that Mother London has participated in a pitch for a single global campaign. Mother has made a good impression as a creative agency, but our global advertising agency remains our internal Lego agency.”

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R held Lego’s global advertising account between 2001 and 2004 but, apart from that, the brand has traditionally used agencies on a project-by-project basis.

Jumia brings PlayStation 4 to Africa

Online shopping mall, Jumia has announced the launch of the new PlayStation Console PS4. Jumia is the first company in Nigeria to offer the product.

Jumia continues to bring the best shopping experience to their customers in Nigeria by being the first company to offer PlayStation 4. The new PS4 is available in the Nigerian market with customers being able to start ordering and have it delivered anywhere in the country.

Ore Odusanya, Head Of Gaming & Electronics JUMIA Nigeria: “We are very excited to be the first company to have the latest PlayStation console available in Nigeria. Every day we strive to make the online shopping experience better for our customers and we are happy to now provide a requested world known product to the Nigerian market.”

Jumia celebrates the launch of the new console in Nigeria with a gaming competition for customers at the Nigerian Comic Con 2013. The gaming tournament is in partnership with Nigerian gaming network and Nigerian Comic Con where JUMIA customers will play series of PS4 games. The grand prize is a new PS4 Console along with new games.

Photo: Unity Bank Media Interactive session

From Left, Head Corporate Communication, Unity Bank Plc, Theodora Amechi, Acting Executive Director, South, Mahmud Elems, Senior Account Director/Group Co-ordination and Business Development, The Quadrant Company, Mrs. Tosin Adefeko and Acting General Manager/Divisional Head Quality Management, Unity Bank Plc, Aliyu Ma’aji, at the Unity Bank Media Interactive session held at the Protea Hotel, Isaac John in Lagos on Friday 22nd November 2013.

From Left, Acting Executive Director, South, Mahmud Elems, Head Corporate Communication, Unity Bank Plc, Theodora Amechi and Acting General Manager/Divisional Head Quality Management Unity Bank Plc, Aliyu Ma’aji, at the Unity Bank Media Interactive session held at the Protea Hotel, Isaac John in Lagos on Friday 22nd November 2013.

Etisalat Partners EDC for 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week

(L-R): General Manager, Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University, Olawale Anifowose, Deputy Director, Enterprise Development Centre, Nneka Okekearu, Specialist, High Value Events and Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Temitope Omole and Marketing Manager, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC, Alero Ladipo, at the Etisalat sponsored Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Walk, held in Lagos over the weekend.
Etisalat Nigeria in partnership with the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Pan Atlantic University, last week held the 2013 edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), targeted at youths and young entrepreneurs in the country, to help improve their chances of succeeding in their various chosen businesses.

Head, Business Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Bidemi Ladipo noted that it was important for business owners to have access to the right information needed to excel in business.

“At Etisalat, we have been relentless in supporting initiatives that go a long way in assisting young people to achieve their dreams as regards successfully setting up businesses. Some of the initiatives we have used to help develop businesses include Market Access which is in partnership with SMEDAN, our Etisalat Easybusiness package which helps SMEs to communicate at a reduced cost and our recently launched promo called Easybusiness millionaire hunt which gives an opportunity for people with great business ideas to win as much as N2 million. This is the 3rd Edition of the Global Entrepreneurship week which we are sponsoring and we are satisfied with the level of impact these trainings have had,” he said.

The 2013 GEW kicked off on Saturday November 16 with a 7km awareness walk in Victoria Island, Lagos and followed by a seminar on women entrepreneurship development which held at the American Embassy on Monday November 18.  The high point of the week was a seminar tagged “Africa Rising” which held on Wednesday November 20.

Ice Prince Visits Etisalat Experience Centres, Signs Autographs

Nigerian Rapper and Hip-Hop Artiste, Ice Prince on Thursday, November 21st had an autograph signing session at Etisalat Experience Centres at Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island;  E-Centre, Yaba; and Ikeja City Mall.

The session was put together by Etisalat as part of the activities to the build-up of his Fire of Zamani (FOZ) album launch which held on Saturday, November 23rd.

See pictures from the session below:

(Second from left) Manager, Digital Media, Chinenye Faleye; Rapper, Ice Prince; and Specialist, Events, Dayo Adeyelure at the Etisalat Experience Centre in Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island.

Ice Prince signing autographs
King of Zamani with Etisalat T-shirt

Three Nigerian Companies Win N16million Each in GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge


Three Nigerian companies have emerged winners in the GE/USADF Off Grid Energy Challenge. The winners are Trans Africa Gas and Electric PLC, GVE Projects Limited and Afe Babalola University. They will receive 100 thousand dollars (about N16m) each for their innovative solutions to Off-Grid Energy in respective communities. 

The winners were announced at a grand event held in Lagos. The GE USADF Off-grid Energy Challenge was launched in Kenya and Nigeria with plans to expand to other African countries over the next 3 years. About 2 million dollars will be won in all.

The President of the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) Shari Berenbach said the judges carefully evaluated more than 150 applications to arrive at the eventual winners. She said judges particularly looked out for applications that demonstrated new business models to deliver sustainable energy to underserved marginal populations without degrading the environment.

She disclosed that more than 50% of the applications involved some form of solar energy, while others were based on hydro, wind, bio-fuels among others. According to Shari companies whose products demonstrate creativity and innovative approaches to metering, payment, collections or transmission also received special attention.

Photo: CEO Forum Nigeria organized by BudinessDay Conferences in collaboration with GE

From Left, President/Chief Executive Officer General Electric (GE) Africa, Jay Ireland; Director General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, Dr. Umar Bindir and President/Chief Executive Officer GE Nigeria, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, at the CEO Forum Nigeria organized by BudinessDay Conferences in collaboration with GE held at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday 21st November 2013.

Social Media Users To Earn From Posting Jumia Links

Kesiena, Prometh and JideNigeria’s leading shopping destination, Jumia is expanding its affiliate programme to include social media accounts, meaning anyone can earn commission from directing people to the e-commerce site.

Prior to this, JUMIA’s existing affiliate program was joined by over 700 partners running for almost one year. Now, JUMIA extends the proven concept including social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

If the direct link is then used to make a purchase, the associated get up to nine per cent commission. For the first month they will also get NGN500 (US$3.15) on top of the commission for each order.

“This new program opens up to all people – everyone is welcome to participate to boost their website, blog or social media channel with our brand and additionally profit from it,” Tunde Kehinde, co-founder of Jumia Nigeria, said.

Prometh Wins Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat 2013 Rap Competition

Kesiena, Prometh and Jide
Samuel Falowo also known as Prometh emerged winner of of Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat 2013 rap competition held on Friday November 22nd at 10 Degrees, Oregun, Ikeja beating down 9 other contestants.

Falowo who is a 300 level Biology student at the University of Abuja, thrilled the judges and teeming fans to become the winner at the grand finale, organized in partnership with Trace.

Prometh contested against HEC, Miekharry, Psychobarz, EM.A, Dusten Truce, Baysix, Jurggis, Golden and High M. The young lad smiled home with a mouth-watering cash prize of $20,000.

It was also a night of fun with electrifying performances from top Nigerian music artists; Wizkid, Olamide, MI, Lynxx, Phyno, Skales, Sean Tizzle, Jesse Jagz, May D and Blink.engaging.

L-R: Rap artist and judge for Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat 2013, Modenine; music artist, Niyola and Marketing Manager, Nokia West Africa, Kesiena Ogbemi at the grand finale of Nokia Don’t Break Da Beat rap competition held at 10 Degrees Event Center, Oregun, Ikeja on Friday, November 22nd.

Judges at the event

SA's StarSat adds 10 more channels

South Africa's On Digital Media's (ODM's) pay-TV offering - formerly known as TopTV, StarSat has announced the addition of 10 new channels to its line-up.

The new channels will not be available for subscribers until the end of December 2013, when ODM will eventually introduce new packages, giving customers the option of upgrading to a new package to continue watching.

ODM says it hopes to have over 100 channels on StarSat by January next year, as new channels are phased in and added to subscriber packages. TopTV relaunched as StarSat about a month ago, after ODM had undergone a year-long business rescue process that was concluded with the acquirement of a strategic equity partner, China-based StarTimes Communication Network.

The StarTimes group has an extensive African footprint, with over 2.5 million digital terrestrial TV subscribers across the continent. The company's main interest and activity is within the ambit of emerging television markets.

StarTimes president Pang Xinxing says the company believes diversity in the broadcasting space is the ultimate consumer benefit. "Now South African viewers will have a wider choice of TV services to subscribe to."

Photo: BATN Factory Tour and Recreation Centre Commissioning by Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi

From Left, Area Director British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), Keith Gretton, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Operation Director BATN, Francisco Toso, at the BATN Factory Tour and Recreation Center Commissioning by Oyo  State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan on Wednesday 20th November 2013.

From Left, Human Resources Director British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), Mrs. Jumoke Fagbemi, Operation Director BATN, Francisco Toso, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Area Director British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), Keith Gretton, at the BATN Factory Tour and Recreation Centre Commissioning by Oyo  State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi in Ibadan on Wednesday 20th November 2013.

BlackBerry announces boardroom shake-up

BlackBerry has announced a further boardroom shake-up following the departure of chief executive officer, Thorsten Heins earlier this month.

The Canadian smartphone manufacturer has now said three top executives, including its chief financial officer, are stepping down from its board. Brian Bidulka will be replaced as CFO by James Yersh, while chief operating officer (COO) Kristian Tear and chief marketing officer (CMO) Frank Boulben will also leave, with their replacements yet to be named.

“BlackBerry has a strong cash position and continues, by a significant margin, to be the top provider of trusted and secure mobile device management solutions to enterprise customers around the world,” said interim CEO John Chen, who said there would be more management changes in future.

“Building on this core strength, and in conjunction with these management changes, I will continue to align my senior management team and organisational structure, and refine the company’s strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management through BES 10, provide multi-platform messaging solutions with BBM, and expand adoption of QNX embedded systems.”

As part of the shak-up, earlier this month, BlackBerry appointed Yudi Moodley as its new managing director (MD) for Africa, in place of Alexandra Zaguy.

British Airways Set to Recruit More Female Pilots

BA pilots Cliodhna and Aoife Duggan2 (C) Nick Morrish, BA.jpg
British Airways’ cadet training programme is in its third successful year and with just a week to go until applications close, the airline is appealing for more female applicants.

The airline’s ‘Future Pilot Programme’, an 18-month pilot training course, has proved extremely popular and has attracted around 5,000 applicants for less than one hundred places in its first two years. The programme helps applicants to gain a place at an approved flight training school, with successful candidates landing a job as a British Airways pilot.

British Airways’ director of flight operations, Captain Stephen Riley, said: “This is an exciting period for our Future Pilot Programme initiative. We are taking applications for the third year running and I’m proud to say our first ever cadets are also in the final stages of their course.”

Competition is stiff, but for those who are successful, they will ultimately join the airline’s team of over 3,600 pilots in a rewarding and exhilarating career. Sisters Aoife Duggan (27) and Cliodhna Duggan (35) from Dublin, are both British Airways pilots. Aoife said: “It was my sister that inspired me to go into the industry, buying me flying lessons for my 18th birthday and I’ve never looked back. I encourage anyone with an interest in flying to go for it and apply.”

Applications can be made through ba.com/careers – open until 26 November.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nokia Don't Break da Beat Grand Finale To Hold Nov. 22

Finally, the much awaited Nokia Don't Break da Beat Rap Competition grand finale is set to hold on Friday, November, 22, 2013 at 10 Degrees Event Center, Lagos.

So, who’s up for a night of fun and good music? Come watch, as we make Africa’s next top rapper. It’s going to be 1 stage, 1 mic, and 1 winner under the spotlight. Who will that be? it’s your choice to make.....Don't miss it!!!

Visit www.facebook.com/NokiaNigeria for more information.

Gennii Games, Efiwe Mobile Application Emerge Winners of Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation

Genii Games and Efiwe Mobile Application have emerged winners of the second edition of the ‘Etisalat Pan-African Prize for Innovation’ organized by Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat.

This award which is aimed at encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market was presented at the Africa Com awards Gala Dinner held at the Waterfront Lookout, Cape Town South Africa, on the 13th of November 2013 as part of the Africa Com 2013 Conference.

The ‘Etisalat Prize for Innovation’ was awarded in 2 categories: The first prize of $25, 000 for the most innovative product or service was presented to Genii Games (Asa), a growing collection of interactive culture teaching mobile app for African children, and a second prize of $10,000 for the most innovative idea presented to Efiwe Mobile application, a social education network that provides a simulated learning environment with in-depth resources in every field of study and subject of study.  

“We are delighted at the creativity shown by all the entries and this is a clear indication of the importance of broadband in Africa. Innovative broadband projects, products and services have improved the way we live and work and so we launched this award last year because we realise the importance of broadband in the industry. Innovation is core to our business strategy at Etisalat Nigeria and we see ourselves as a young and innovative business setting the pace for others in the Nigerian telecommunications industry”, said Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, while speaking on the success of the second edition of the competition. .

The 6th annual Africa Com Awards provided an evening of entertainment that attendees described as the best yet.

Emirates Announces Largest-ever Aircraft Order

Emirates airline has again rewritten all records in civil aviation with an order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights; and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.

Together, the Boeing and Airbus orders, excluding purchase rights, are worth an estimated US$ 99 billion at list prices. This is the largest ever aircraft order in civil aviation and also Emirates’ largest order announced at any event to date.

The agreement was signed today at the Dubai Air Show by His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, with Jim McNerney, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ President and CEO. The signing was witnessed by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Emirates’ Boeing 777X order is the single largest aircraft order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation, and the additional A380 order cements Emirates, already the largest operator of this aircraft type, as the principal customer for the A380 worldwide.

These latest orders bring Emirates’ total firm order book to 385 aircraft (excluding options or purchase rights), comprising 214 Boeing 777s, 101 Airbus A380s, and 70 A350s, at a total estimated value of US$ 166 billion.

Photo: Official Launch and 1 year anniversary of adidas in Nigeria

From Left, Senior, New Business Manager Adidas, Astrud Meintjes, Retail Director, Adidas, Warren, Executive Director Mopheth Group, Mrs. Odunola Oyegade, Managing Director Mopheth Sport Adidas Retail Partner, Mr. Kunle Oyegade and Sidney Esiri, (Dr. SID), at the official Launch and 1 year anniversary of adidas in Nigeria held at the adidas store in Ikeja City Mall, Lagos on Saturday 16 November 2013.

Airtel targets more subscribers with Radio Express partnership

Airtel has announced a partnership with Radio Express to launch weekly shows on local radio stations across 17 African countries.

The countdown shows, dubbed Airtel Music Express (in English) and Airtel Musique Express (in French), will be hosted by Big Brother’s IK and Jed respectively and will feature music from different artists from across the continent.

“Radio is the world’s most accessible and personally engaging mass medium, and it was a natural choice to work with Radio Express and these popular radio stations to bring Airtel Music Express and Airtel Musique Express to music lovers across these 17 countries,” said Andre Beyers, chief marketing officer in Airtel Africa.

“We think listeners will love the mix of world music and local music hits in the shows’ engaging countdown format.”

Royco Unveils New Television Commercial

Royco logo
To further connect with consumers and get more people to avail themselves of its unique value propositions, Royco seasoning – from Unilever Nigeria PLC – has unveiled a new and exciting television commercial tagged ‘Great Taste of Home.’

Speaking at the media launch which took place at the Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria PLC, Thabo Mabe, said that the new campaign commercial captures the essence of the new Royco by bringing its ‘Great Taste of Home’ theme fully to life and delivering on a promise of taste that is ‘Now Meatier than Ever’ for all Nigerian dishes.

‘At Unilever, we are proud to say that one of the pillars of our vision is to continue to improve the lives of our consumers’, said Mabe. ‘We are confident that with the introduction of the New Royco Chicken in addition to the existing variants of Beef and Goat flavours, our teeming consumers will be delighted with the exciting array of flavours from Royco that now come in new and attractive packs.’

‘Consumers can now choose their preferred flavour from the three Royco variants of Beef, Chicken and Goat which are now more meatier with the best aroma ever,’ Mabe added.

Brand Building Director, Unilever Nigeria PLC, David Okeme, explained that: ‘With Royco, everyone can prepare and enjoy great tasting food with irresistible aroma every day.’

Microsoft signs partnership deal with PSG

United States software corporation, Microsoft has signed a partnership with French Ligue 1 football club, Paris Saint-Germain that will run until the end of the 2013-14 season.

Microsoft will use the tie-up to promote its Xbox One games console, which launches on November 22, and Surface tablet. The two products will become the respective official game platform and tablet of the Ligue 1 champion.

PSG’s official app is now available through Microsoft’s Windows Store for use on Surface tablets. The VIP sections at the Paris venue will be equipped with Surface tablets and Xbox consoles as part of the initiative.

Microsoft will benefit from heightened visibility around PSG matches and a variety of promotional opportunities, while it will also work with the club to enhance the game-day experience at its Parc de Princes home.

Dangote Extends SAP Relationship as it Drives Growth Agenda

Aliko Dangote
West African-based industrial conglomerate Dangote Group has extended its relationship with SAP, market leader in enterprise application software, by signing a deal to use SAP’s OpenText ECM (enterprise content management) and Invoice Management offerings on top of its existing SAP infrastructure.

Dangote Group was founded by Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, and its interests include steel, cement, real estate and telecoms. The Group generated revenues of more than $2.6bn in 2011 and includes four companies that are listed on the Nigerian stock exchange. It operates in 14 African countries, and is on an aggressive expansion drive across the continent, with plans to double its cement output, thereby positioning Nigeria has the largest cement producer in the world.

Dangote’s relationship with SAP dates back to 2005. As part of Dangote’s drive to modernise all its systems and business processes to support expansion into new markets across the continent, and to lay the groundwork for a potential listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2017, in 2012 Dangote signed a three-year deal with SAP to use the SAP Business Suite to increase transparency and efficiency across the group. The new solutions are expected to accelerate Dangote’s move from manual-based systems to one that is more integrated, automated and transparent.

“Dangote is the first company in West Africa to use SAP’s OpenText ECM and Invoice Management solutions, highlighting its leadership amongst African companies who see the wisdom of leveraging IT effectively to further their business objectives, in this case with world-class records management and governance, said Prasanna Burri, MD of DANCOM. “Ours is the first company in Nigeria to have an agreement of this nature that spans across several other African countries including South Africa, Senegal and Ghana. Partnering and co-innovating with SAP is helping us drive further efficiencies in our operations and deliver best-in-class products for our customers.”

Photo: 2013 1st Africa Legislative Summit

R-L:  Executive Director, Oluwasoromidayo George , Former  Director,  Dr. Ladi Hamalai  and General Manager, Abimbola Okoya, all of the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) at the just concluded 2013 1st Africa Legislative Summit in Abuja

Google, Microsoft Block Searches for Child Porn

World's largest search engine site, Google and Microsoft said on Monday they will block online searches for child abuse images.

In a rare display of unity, both Google and Microsoft have introduced new algorithms to prevent searches for child abuse imagery, stating that as many as 100,000 search terms will now fail to produce results and trigger warnings that child abuse imagery is illegal.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said these changes would be introduced in Britain initially and then rolled out to another 158 countries in the next six months.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said deploying technology improvements to identify and eliminate Internet content that portrays child sexual abuse was a team effort.

Both companies also agreed to use their technological expertise to help in identification of abuse images and give technical support to Britain's Internet Watch Foundation and the U.S.'s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Some anti-child porn campaigners, however, argued the proposals did not go far enough and called for greater funding to wipe out sharing of child porn through peer-to-peer networks.

Nokia Shareholders Approve Microsoft Deal

Nokia’s shareholders have approved the sale of its devices and services unit to Microsoft at an EGM held today in Helsinki, the FT reports.

The transaction is still expected to close in the first quarter of next year, with Nokia in a caretaker role of its own mobile making division until early 2014.

The acquisition of Nokia’s mobile making division was announced at the start of September, with Microsoft agreeing to pay €5.44 billion ($7.2 billion) in cash to acquire ”substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services”.

Nokia has also entered into a mutual licensing agreement (the “Patent License Agreement”) with Microsoft that will become effective upon consummation of the Sale of the D&S Business and a payment to Nokia of EUR 1.55 billion, and, as consideration for Microsoft’s unilateral right to extend the term of the Patent License Agreement to perpetuity, an additional payment of EUR 100 million to Nokia.

Under the Patent License Agreement, Nokia will grant Microsoft a 10-year license to certain of Nokia’s patents and Microsoft will grant Nokia reciprocal rights to certain of Microsoft’s patents for use in Nokia’s HERE business. 

Introducing the Porsche Design P'9982 Smartphone from BlackBerry

Porsche Design and BlackBerry today announced the elite, new, all-touch Porsche Design P'9982 Smartphone from BlackBerry and a second Crocodile model strictly limited to just 500 devices worldwide. Uniquely designed and expertly crafted, the P'9982 is exquisitely fashioned from high-quality materials and features a customized version of the BlackBerry 10.2 Operating System to give you the ultimate personal experience.

The P'9982, which extends the Porsche Design luxury brand's range of modern luxury smartphones, features a satin finished frame forged from the finest quality stainless steel, complemented by a hand-wrapped genuine Italian leather back door. The back door of the limited edition model is hand-wrapped in genuine Crocodile leather. Distinguishable by its special series of PIN numbers, owners of the P'9982 will be instantly recognizable in the exclusive world of Porsche Design smartphone owners. The smartphone carries Porsche Design's luxurious, iconic styling uniquely through the BlackBerry 10 experience to give you an exquisite handset purposely built to excel at mobile communications, messaging and productivity.

"Engineered Luxury meets Powered Performance - what has been true for the first Porsche Design smartphone is even truer for the all-touch P'9882," says Juergen Gessler, CEO of the Porsche Design Group. "Once again the collaboration with BlackBerry has led to a device that implements our Iconic Style credo without compromises. With the P'9982 we extend our range of modern luxury smartphones and establish ourselves as a market leader in this segment."

"The new all-touch P'9982 smartphone combines a unique design from an iconic brand with the power of BlackBerry 10," said Alistair Hamilton, Senior Vice President of Design at BlackBerry. "Every aspect of this smartphone has been purposely designed and built for a powerful premium experience."

Photo: Lagos Photo/Etisalat Photography Competition Prize Presenattion

(From left) First Prize Winner, Adeniyi Ayodele; Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher; and Director and Curator, African Artists' Foundation (AAF), Azu Nwagbogu at the prize presentation of the Lagos Photo/Etisalat  Photography competition at Oceanview, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island....recently.

(L-R) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher; First Prize Winner, Adeniyi Ayodele; and Director, Brands & Communication, Etisalat Nigeria, Enitan Denloye at the prize presentation of the Lagos Photo/Etisalat Photography competition at Oceanview, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island....recently.

Royal Philips Unveiled New Brand Positioning And New Design Of Philips Shield

Royal Philips today shared its new brand positioning, which builds on the company’s heritage of creating innovations that matter to people. As part of its new positioning Philips introduced the new brand line “innovation and you”, which is rooted in Philips’ strong belief that innovation is only meaningful if it delivers on people’s unmet needs and desires.

At the same time the company presented a new design of its well-known shield on the façade of the company’s headquarters in Amsterdam.

“Innovation has been in our DNA since we introduced our first light bulb more than hundred twenty years ago”, said Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten. “We believe that the new brand positioning much better reflects Philips’ mission to improve people’s lives through meaningful innovation.

"As a technology company, our commitment is to deliver innovation that will drive our future growth and matters to people. We will make healthcare more affordable and accessible through innovation. Our energy-efficient LED lighting solutions will improve people’s wellbeing and make the world more sustainable. Our locally relevant consumer appliances and services will improve people’s lifestyle, health and wellbeing. This is what our brand stands for.”

The brand positioning the company announced today is brought to life by the launch of a digital storytelling platform, showcasing a wide range of Philips innovations that have a positive impact on people’s lives, such as MRI-guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound therapy to treat tumors while avoiding damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

Emirates Flight Academy will help address Middle East pilot demand

Emirates Flight Academy will help address the need for 40,000 pilots in the Middle East over the next two decades in support of a fast growing aviation sector.

Representatives of the academy have been explaining the latest developments at Dubai Air Show, running from 17 to 21 November at Al Maktoum International, Dubai World Central in Jebel Ali. 

At the show, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai viewed an eye-catching holographic video, the centrepiece of the academy’s air show display, which highlights the importance of training the next generation of airline pilots. 

The 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects a requirement for nearly half a million pilots globally over the next 20 years, with 40,000 of those required in the Middle East.

“With the dramatic growth of the aviation sector, the demand for new pilots is clear. Emirates is taking the lead and planning for the future. This academy is a major commitment by the airline to the UAE’s aviation industry, and it supports the global industry’s need for a new generation of pilots,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President & Chief Operations.

Etisalat Leads Development of Innovation Culture in the Mobile App Ecosystem

Etisalat Nigeria has once again demonstrated its industry leadership and continuing support to the growing community of local application developers in the country by partnering with 70TH Precinct on the maiden edition of the Nigeria App Summit 2013.

The summit which held recently at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island was organized to provide a structured platform for discourse on growth and development of the Nigerian App ecosystem.

Working with the central theme: “Unleashing the Power of Mobile Applications”, speakers and delegates all agreed that for the Nigerian App ecosystem to reach its full potential, the Apps must be able to address the needs of their target audience. To achieve this, speakers at the summit charged local developers to come up with innovative ideas that will drive usage and ultimately change the face of mobile App technology in the country.

Manager, Data Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Bankole Alao reiterated Etisalat’s commitment to partner with brilliant application developers and technology start-ups. According to him, Etisalat is concerned about the growth of indigenous Apps and is ready to provide the necessary support in terms of exposure to the appropriate target subscriber base and enabling infrastructure to make the apps work. “We have been able to grow our sub base to 16 million subscribers in just over five years due to our firm commitment and belief in delivering value through innovative products and services. We believe that App developers should embrace the same culture and provide users with unforgettable interactive experiences,” he said.

Summit Director, Mr. Osa Umweni said the objective of the summit was to bring together the stakeholders in the mobile technology industry to proffer solutions to the creation and adoption of locally designed Apps. He lauded Etisalat for its role in driving these conversations, saying that the company understands that the future of mobile technology lies in Applications. He also implored other network service providers to work on putting Nigeria on the global map as far as mobile Apps are concerned.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

British Airways rolls out Christmas Special to UK, Europe

For customers of leading global airline, British Airways, especially those traveling to the United Kingdom and Europe, this year’s Christmas can as well begin in November. The airline today announced a special Christmas price discount on its popular World Traveller (economy) cabin for its Nigerian customers.

Known as the Christmas Sale Special, the offer comes just a few weeks after the end of the airline’s 53rd Independence Anniversary Special and the Companion Fare Special which offered customers special discounts to UK, Europe and North America.

Giving details of the offer, British Airways Commercial Manager for West Africa, Mr. Kola Olayinka said that the Christmas Sales Special presents the airline’s customers the opportunity to travel to London, the United Kingdom, and selected destinations in Europe from Lagos and Abuja for as low as $360!

He, however, advised customers to hurry to confirm their bookings, as these amazing return fares are limited. These fares, he said, are available for purchase until December 23 and return by 31 January 2014.

“We know it’s not Christmas yet, but we just can’t wait to share our gifts with our customers this season. This is why we are announcing our Christmas Sale Special this early. Apart from enabling our customers to make fantastic savings while travelling on our award-winning World Traveller (economy) cabin, we also believe that it will also help them plan well ahead for their Christmas travels this season,” Olayinka said.

He said that all fares are exclusive of taxes, fees and surcharges, and advised all customers and potential customers to always visit www.ba.com before they make their travel plans or contact their IATA certified travel agents.

More details on the offer are available on www.ba.com.

Photo: Turkish Cosmetics Delegates Visits Nigeria

Top delegates of Turkish Cosmetics during a photo session

Cross section of participants and the delegates at Turkish Cosmetic
Trade to Nigeria at Sheraton by four point Lekki Lagos

New Managing Directors announced for BlackBerry Africa and UK

Yudi Moodley (Image source: techcentral.co.za)
BlackBerry has continued to experience several shake-up in management structure since the recent news that Thorsten Heins would be stepping down as CEO and John Chen taking his place. This time, the mobile phone company announced the appointment of Yudi Moodley as Managing Director for Africa.

With this appointment, Yudi Moodley will be responsible for overseeing and driving the overall business strategy and growth for BlackBerry across Africa. Yudi Moodley is replacing Alexandra Zagury who is taking up a new role at BlackBerry as Managing Director for the UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment, Yudi Moodley said, "Africa is one of BlackBerry's key markets. As I take up this new role, I will continue to work with our local partners to serve all of our customers and focus on driving the ongoing adoption of the BlackBerry 10 platform as well as BBM, which is popular among Africans across the continent.”

Previously, Yudi Moodley was BlackBerry's Business Management Director for the Middle East and Africa, a diverse general management role spanning commercial management as well as business planning and forecasting. Yudi Moodley joined BlackBerry in 2010.

Before joining BlackBerry, Yudi Moodley spent four years with Cell C, where his last position was as senior national retail sales manager. He started his career with Caltex Oil.

Nokia Named Mobile Phone Brand of the Year At 3rd Marketing World Awards

L-R: Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, Mr Nick Imudia; Chairman, Troyka Holdings, Mr Biodun Shobanjo and Managing Director, The Quadrant Company, Mr Bolaji Okunsaga during the 3rd Marketing World Awards held at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island on Friday, November 8th
Global phone manufacturer, Nokia, has been crowned as the Mobile Phone Brand of the Year at the 2013 Marketing World Awards organized by Nigeria’s highly respected marketing magazine, Marketing World.

Reacting to this development, Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, Nick Imudia, noted that the award is a good representation and recognition of Nokia innovative products which includes its popular Nokia Asha and Lumia smartphones designed for various segments of its ever increasing market.

“We thank our numerous consumers who are passionate and belief strongly in the Nokia brand. It is our promise to continue to connect people through innovative devices that gives them the opportunity to connect and share moments with loved one and friends across the globe”, he said.

Reiterating the relevance of the award, Marketing Manager, Nokia West Africa, Kesiena Ogbemi said “this award validates Nokia’s efforts in reaching out to its customers with the kind of device they produce and how they reach out to the customers especially youths through exciting marketing activations to help them understand what they stand to get using any of Nokia’s devices.