Friday, 30 September 2016

Uber launches food delivery service, UberEATS in Johannesburg

Global ride-hailing service Uber is extending its service into the food business in South Africa with the local launch on Thursday of its food delivery platform‚ UberEats.

UberEATS is an on-demand meal delivery service powered by an Uber app. It is one of the first expansion products by Uber Technologies Inc., the technology platform that connects drivers and riders, and utilizes its existing network to deliver meals in minutes. UberEats however, is a separate application from that of the ride-sharing app.

According to Uber Operations and Logistics Manager Dave Kitley, “it will begin delivering meals in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, before moving across the Gauteng province and to Cape Town in 2017.”

Premium Steel & Mines Limited Renews Hope in Ovwian Aladja

…Donates library, generator and computer laboratory to primary school pupils

Nigerian integrated steel manufacturing giant Premium Steel & Mines Limited (PSML) brought smiles to the faces of Ovwian Aladja primary school pupils in the Udu local government area of Delta State when it recently donated a state-of-the-art computer laboratory and a fully stocked library room for the improvement of the educational prospects of the pupils.

The technology facility, equipped with 35 units of state-of-the art personal computers with internet access, was handed over to the Head teacher Mrs Dezzy Ighomi, who in the company of her teaching staff and a crowd of excited pupils, undeterred by the scorching temperatures, were full of adulations for PSML and hope for the positive changes the equipment stands to bring to the school.

Student representative and school library prefect Akeji Gbemisola said: “We are extremely delighted to have the new computer lab in our school as it enhances the library PSML has built for us. Also, their provision of a 20kva sound proof generator ensures we have continued use of the facilities. The best we can do as beneficiaries is to use them to improve ourselves while in the school.”

IS GOTHAM STILL COMING?

Without question, this is certainly not the best of time for Nigeria. With the drop in the global price of commodities, Africa’s largest economy seems to have taken a dive for the worst.

Unpaid salaries, salary cuts and mass sacks have become the order of the day and as expected Nigerians are at the receiving end of all these tragedies. However anyone conversant with Nigerians will tell you that they are among the toughest and most resilient people on earth. Whether this is a good or bad character trait remains an issue for another day: but, we are a nation of “long sufferers”.  An average person will think that we would naturally have a thriving psychotherapy industry; we don’t, we just go to church and listen to music.

Nigeria is a great music nation: we sing and dance to celebrate and to mourn. Music in itself is our therapy. I think it’s not a coincidence that we have the largest music industry in Africa. Recently however, music seems to have taken a backstage in the Nigerian healing process.  The reason is not farfetched; our artist have lost sight of the reason Nigerians love their music; its therapeutic functions, thus, a yearning for music with a higher purpose; an anticipation for the music of hope; music that will define a new nation, a music that can only come with GOTHAM.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Nigeria at 56: Role of Tourism to Nigeria’s Economy

October 1st is always an important day for Nigerians. It is the day we gained independence from Britain after many years of colonial administration.

The different sectors that make up the economy have performed well over the years. One of such sectors is the tourism and hospitality sector.

Although the successive Nigerian governments are yet to recognise that the tourism sector is a goldmine, the industry has copiously contributed to the economy. This is because of the overdependence on crude. And despite this anomaly and trending economy recession, the tourism/hospitality is still contributing.

In celebration of Nigeria’s independence, Jumia Travel takes a look at some of the significant contributions of tourism and the hospitality industry to Nigeria’s economy.

Manchester City extends EA Sports deal

English Premier League football club Manchester City has agreed a multi-year extension to its partnership with video game developer EA Sports.

EA Sports will retain its role as the club’s official gaming partner, with City fans around the world having access to exclusive content across the club’s various digital platforms.

The company will also support City’s official account on social media platform Snapchat, as well as sponsor the ‘man of the match’ award.

Africa Code Week: Judges Announced For Choice Award in the Corporate Initiative Category

SAP announced Thursday the receipt of the Judges' Choice Award in the Corporate Initiative Category for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition. In recognition of its impactful digital skills development programme, Africa Code Week (ACW), SAP was selected from more than 240 applicant organisations as recipient of the Judge's Choice Award in the corporate category, for its fast-track and creative approach to driving economic opportunity in the digital age, rated as best-in-class.

"We are honoured to have received this acknowledgement," says Claire Gillissen-Duval, SAP ACW Global Project Lead. "ACW is very close to our hearts and it was easy for the judging panel to see why". Founded in 2015, the initiative is Africa's largest literacy event which aims to simplify the face of software coding for Africa's youth. "ACW has the power to change Africa, acting as the driving force for digital literacy across the continent and shape tomorrow's skilled workforce." states Gillissen-Duval.

The goal of the IIC is to identify organisations that are harnessing digital innovations to create shared prosperity, creating a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable future for all. Award candidates were chosen based on their innovative support of people who earn middle- and base-level incomes.

Agility Announces Winners of Africa 2016 Photo Competition

Agility, a leading global logistics provider, today announced the winners of its Africa 2016 Photo Competition, a series of photographs that show how quickly Africa is modernizing, growing and even leading the way in new technology.

The annual contest, now in its second year, is a pan-Africa photography competition focusing on Africa’s rapid modernization. This year’s competition drew more than 2,500 photographs from professional and amateur photographers in 30 countries.

Technology category and grand prize winner: Stephen Simiyu, Kenya.
JUNA, UGANDA (Source of the Nile River): For more than 20 years. Mr. Atika’s fishing business on Lake Victoria has helped him provide his family with a comfortable life. Now they have joined the global digital world.
The winning images depicted a fisherman in a canoe on Lake Victoria on his laptop, a solar farm in Rwanda powering 15,000 homes, and the skyline of Harare, Zimbabwe.

A cash prize of $2,000 was awarded for each competition category. The winners were Stephen Simiyu, a photographer from Nairobi, Kenya (Technology); Henry Oliver Hakulandaba, an environmental consultant and photographer from Harare (Cities); and Esdore Hakizimana, a machine operator from Kigali, Rwanda (Industry). Simiyu also won the Grand Prize of $2,000 for his photograph of a fisherman using a laptop in a canoe on Lake Victoria, Uganda.

BlackBerry Will No Longer Make New Phones

Having struggled to turn around its phone business, BlackBerry said Wednesday that it will stop internal development of smartphones, relying on partners for any future hardware efforts.

The Ontario-based mobile company's CEO John Chen said the firm would minimize its involvement in hardware manufacturing as it seeks to redouble its software efforts.

“The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

The company reported a net loss of $372 million, or 71 cents per share, on revenue of $334 million. Excluding certain items, the company said it essentially broke even, on adjusted revenue of $352 million. That was five cents per share better than expected, but revenue was short of the $393.75 million consensus estimate.

36 Students Qualify For Cowbellpedia TV Quiz Show Semi Finals

The preliminary rounds of the 2016 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show ended last weekend and produced 36 semi-finalists who are set to battle for the 12 slots in the finals of both Junior and senior categories.

Out of the 47,000 candidates that participated in the Stage 1 written examination of the competition, only 108 qualified for the Stage 2, a Television Quiz Show which started on July 31st, 2016. This was made up of 71 males (66%) and 37 females (34%).

Out of the 36 semi-finalists, there are 17 males (47%) and 19 females (53%). The breakdown of the figure shows that out of every 10 females that participated in the preliminary rounds, 5 females qualified, while out of 10 males that participated in the preliminary rounds, 2 males qualified for the semi-finals. In 2016, to encourage Girl Child Education, the brand sponsor, Cowbell Our Milk made a humble appeal that Mixed Schools should nominate minimum two (2) girls for each category to represent such school. The above result validates the sponsor’s initiative.

Another outstanding highlight is that all the eight students that participated in the preliminary rounds from The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State secured the semi-final tickets.

How to be a Member of Andela's Student Ambassador Program in Nigerian Universities

Andela is developing a community of high-quality technology talent across the African continent that will drive the current and future phases of tech-enabled growth around the world.

The company has created a program to assist with this initiative in the university communities. The program is called Andela Student Ambassador program (ASAP).

This program is aimed at engaging resourceful Student Ambassadors to lead Andela campaigns and events in their universities and communities to create awareness about Andela and contribute to the development of technology leaders in Africa.

At Andela, we find the brightest young people in Africa, train them to be world-class developers, and connect them with employers around the world looking for top technical talent. Passion, excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, and rejecting the status quo are just a few of the things that Andela team members have in common.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Oracle and Kenya Commercial Bank Identify Developers as Integral for Driving Cloud Adoption in Africa

In an effort to grow the adoption of cloud services efficiently across Africa, Oracle, together with KCB, will hold a developers day targeting the firm’s ecosystem of customers, partners, independent software vendors, user groups and innovation hubs between October 4th and 7th at the KCB Leadership Centre in Nairobi.

The four day event will entail focused and in-depth sessions with experts on Oracle Public Cloud Services, hands-on demo sessions and a hackathon challenge to test knowledge gained.

Digital disruption has transformed how business is being conducted across the continent, and developers are tapping into this premise to develop products and services with an impact on the lives of the continent’s population. Oracle’s Vice President, Technology Regional Business Development for Europe, Middle East & Africa region Felix Del Barrio will give a talk on how developers can maximise on the new industry developments to build their enterprises.

Also giving a presentation will be Paula Craythorne, the Oracle Senior Director for Business Development East Central Europe, Middle East & Africa who will focus on Oracle’s contribution to developer communities.

On data, disruption and digital transformation

You've probably heard the terms 'market disruption' and 'digitisation' but there's a new concept that businesses are coming to terms with - digital transformation, which refers to the ability to identify opportunities in the market so that your business becomes the one doing the disruption. But what exactly is digital transformation and how do you achieve it?

First, the challenges
The majority of businesses today tend to treat all data - structured, unstructured, confidential, mission-critical, non-confidential - in exactly the same way. The store it the same way, access it the same way and protect it the same way. But data is as diverse as you and me - and we don't like being painted with the same brush. When data is treated as it should be and considered holistically, it holds massive value for businesses.

But most of the time, data is shoved away and never looked at again.

Another challenge is the often talked about business-IT gap. On the one end, the IT department is concerned with applications, hardware, databases and operating systems, while on the other, the business or CEO is under pressure to innovate faster, manage risk and monetise more.

Sesema PR Grooms Young Graduates on Public Relations and Digital Communications


Sesema PR, an integrated marketing communications firm, has held the maiden edition of its Corporate Communications Interactive Forum (CCIF). The one-day interactive session brought together undergraduates and graduates who have an interest in the Corporate Communications sector, to give them a practical introduction into the field. Participants also had opportunity to network with industry professionals and gain vital career insights.

Speaking at the Forum, the Managing Director of Sesema PR, Tampiri Irimagha-Akemu; noted that the CCIF program was birthed due to the gap we noticed in hiring quality PR graduates and professionals. “As an organization, we are actively involved in the growth and development of the Nigerian youth.
L-R: Tomiwa Aladekomo of Ventra Media Group and Tampiri-Irimagha Akemu at the CCIF
“We identified a lag and as an agency passionate about mentorship we are committed to making a lasting mark. This is why we have organized this program today, to improve the quality of manpower and give young people a chance at self-development”

As a creative agency, we are committed to innovation; the CCIF is another first for Sesema PR. We will continue to seek ways of impacting the society positively”. Mrs Irimagha-Akemu concluded.

Senate to probe alleged MTN transfer of $13.9b

The Senate agreed on Tuesday to investigate the allegation that South Africa’s MTN, Africa’s biggest telecoms giant, illegally transferred $13.92 billion out of Nigeria.

Senator Dino Melaye, who made the allegation in a motion submitted to the upper house, said $13.92 billion had been repatriated “illegally” out of Nigeria by MTN through its bankers between 2006 and 2016.

The investigation threatens to raise tensions between Nigeria and the South African firm just three months after MTN agreed to pay a reduced fine of 330 billion naira ($1.05 billion) in a settlement with the government over unregistered SIM cards.

The move comes as Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, is in recession for the first time in more than 20 years.

Jumia Travel Launches Holiday Packages in Nigeria

To celebrate the World Tourism Day, Africa’s leading online hotel booking company Jumia Travel, has announced the launch of its first holiday packages in Nigeria. The package rates are inclusive of hotel stays, spa treatment, meals, transport and a tour guide where applicable.

This initiative will focus on popular destinations such as Obudu Cattle Ranch, Olumo Rock and Ikogosi Warmspring in Nigeria. According to Paul Midy, Jumia Travel’s CEO, “the move is part of the company’s initiative to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria, as we approach the peak season”. He added that “this will therefore be quite ideal for families, couples, group of friends and even corporate groups vacationing in the months of August to December”.

Last minute plans will also be well catered for due to the flexibility offered by the packages; for instance, by either directly calling Jumia Travel’s Customer Service or by filling in a simple query form, the team will be able to organize for transport and/or accommodation at the same time, easing the hassle of travel and most importantly giving customers a memorable vacation experience.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Promasidor Nigeria to boost expansion with over N8billion

Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell, Onga, Toptea and Loya Milk, has concluded arrangements with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to inject a $25 million loan (over N8billion) into its production with a view to increasing efficiency and to produce more products for the benefit of Nigerian populace.

Olivier Thiry, Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited- PNL, explained that the capital injection would be used to support purchases of new machinery that will enable PNL to increase efficiency, expand production and develop new products, leading to greater availability of nutritious food products in Nigeria at competitive prices.

His words: “This is a very competitive market for food products. We expect that this investment will help us optimize production costs, enabling us to reach and nourish more consumers with our affordable range of quality products. We will also target our portfolio extension by gradual integration of more locally sourced raw materials from producers in Nigeria and widening our network of distributors.”

According to him, the investment became necessary in view of the numerous business opportunities in the Nigerian market.

Monday, 26 September 2016

GTBank Launches Virtual Arts Gallery

Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has announced the launch of ART635 (art635.gallery), a Virtual Arts Gallery created to reignite interest in African art and drive the growth and development of the local art industry.

Art635 is a foremost online repository of African artworks and is set to serve as a leading platform for the promotion of indigenous artists across the continent. It will serve as most budding indigenous artists in Nigeria and across Africa have little or nowhere to showcase their works and make a substantial living from their works.

The Gallery will significantly expand the exposure of these artists, provide an enabling platform for the marketing of their works and serve as a much needed motivation for the further development of their artistic skills and talents.

Cyber Criminals are out there. What are you doing about it?

Every 5 seconds there is a case of cyber crime, and this poses a threat to individuals and most especially organizations. Let’s build immunity, join the biggest holistic cyber security event in West Africa.

The CyberXchange Conference 2016 which will hold at the Landmark Event Centre, Lekki Peninsula, Lagos on the 2nd and 3rd November seeks to identify the key trends and technologies in Cyber Security; emerging from diverse industries such as Finance, Payments, ecommerce, Banking, Telecommunications, Law enforcements, Oil and Gas, Insurance, Digital Media, Energy, and emerging start-up companies.

So, are you an Academia, Professional, Researcher, IT guru, Developers of cyber security in the private and public sector? then you do not want to miss this conference that has a carefully selected agenda of interactives, B2B matchmaking, Hackathon, Workshops, Demos, Exhibition Live Hack and other fun filled activities that will avail you the opportunity to;

Nigeria's Minister of Health recieves Royal Fellowship from United Kingdom

Nigeria’s Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole inducted as a Fellow of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London in the United Kingdom.

The minister who is a past President of African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) received his Fellowship today in London.  A Fellow of the Academy of Science of Nigeria (FAS) since 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Sunderland in July 2015 for his outstanding academic achievement and worthy contribution to preventive medicine and cancer screening in Nigeria.
Professor Isaac Adewole
At a side discussion with members of the media, Prof Adewole talked about his Fellowship, “I think it is not really an award or honour to me as an individual. I think it is an award to Nigeria. An award to all for what we have done over the years not just by myself but my collaborators, co-workers, my students and colleagues done together across the world to promote the health and well-being of women and children.

Nigerian Economic Summit to drive ‘Made in Nigeria’ initiative at 22nd Edition

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has highlighted the need to embrace self- sufficiency as a viable alternative to improve Nigeria’s dwindling economy. The Group made the call during a press conference organised in Lagos to announce the 22nnd Nigerian Economic Summit. The summit appropriately themed ‘Made in Nigeria’, is scheduled to hold from the 10th to 12th October at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Speaking during the conference, the Honourable Minister, Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma Udo, assured that the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit will encourage more production and consumption of Made in Nigeria goods and services.

Representative of Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mrs. Wonu Adetayo; Minister for Budget and Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola at the World Press Conference to announce the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#22) in Lagos on Friday.

“We believe that with more patronage, Nigerian producers will be encouraged to improve the quality of their products. As the quality of our goods and services improve, international demand for them will increase. There is no doubt that the fastest route to grow our economy and to create jobs for our teeming population is by pursuing export-led growth. Export-led growth will add to our foreign reserves and stabilize the naira,” he said.

Explaining the rationale behind the theme, CEO, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Jaiyeola Laoye, described the ‘Made in Nigeria’ initiative as an economic growth and development strategy for Nigeria’s short, medium and long term development.

Njeri Kabeberi appointed as Greenpeace Africa Executive Director

Kenyan born Njeri Kabeberi, has been named as Executive Director for Greenpeace Africa after an extensive search for a combination of skills required to drive the organisation towards a people –powered movement.

According to the Greenpeace Africa Board, Africans are hungry for a new story, one with a better take on nature, on humanity, their livelihoods, their future and their connection to the earth. “It was critical to find someone who embodies passion, activism and understands the context of environmental justice in Africa and we are confident that Njeri represents that” said Greenpeace Africa Board Chair Brian Kagoro.

Greenpeace currently runs campaigns on four key issues on the continent, to protect the Congo Basin from large scale deforestation, stop overfishing in West Africa, promote ecological farming in the horn of Africa as well as demand a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in South Africa in order to reverse the impacts of climate change.

Google to introduce Google Wi-Fi router on October 4th

Ahead of the launch of its Pixel phones, Google is poised to release a new Wi-Fi router, simply called "Google Wi-Fi" on October 4.

According to Android Police, the Wi-Fi router will cost $129. The platform also gathered that the device will be launched alongside Google's Pixel phones, Google Home, and the 4K 'Chromecast Ultra' in San Francisco.

The device is said to be similar to Google’s current router, the OnHub, and offer smart features and enhanced Wi-Fi range.

The Internet of Things is here and it will change the world - Nick Imudia

The Internet of Things - an ecosystem of smart, connected devices and sensors that talk to each other and take independent, automated action - is here already and will become a part of our everyday lives within the next two to three years.

Nick Imudia
That's according to Nick Imudia, Regional Director, Nigeria and Central Africa at ALCATEL, who says that new research and data indicates that the Internet of Things is at an inflection point. The Internet of Things is already enjoying strong adoption for commercial and industrial applications - now there are strong indications that it is set to explode in consumer markets, too.

In the US, for example, mobile operators are currently adding new Internet of Things connections such as connected cars and smart meters to their networks faster than they are adding smartphones, according to numbers from Chetan Sharma Consulting for Q2 2016.

Another study by Morgan Stanley surveyed manufacturing firms and found that 90% are developing new chips and sensors with IoT in mind. These are likely to hit the market within the next 12 to 18 months, catalysing more growth in the Internet of Things.

Marriott International’s Expanded Portfolio of 30 Leading Hotel Brands

...Sets New Global Standard for Unrivaled Travel Experiences and Expanded Loyalty Benefits

On Sunday, September 25, the most iconic and visionary name in hospitality, Marriott International, Inc. expands to include 30 of the most desirable and prestigious hotel brands with the addition of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

At a time when travelers place even greater emphasis on enriching and personal experiences, they can now choose from the most diverse selection of hotel brands ever. With more than 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million rooms in over 110 countries across the globe, guests now have access to the best hotels and resorts wherever they travel.

Marriott International’s portfolio now includes a series of quintessential luxury and lifestyle names. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels and EDITION define a new era of luxury travel, with dynamic brands such as Westin, Renaissance and Autograph Collection occupying an evolving lifestyle category. Premium brands like Marriott Hotels and Sheraton anchor the portfolio and provide a broad array of choices around the world for business and leisure travel. And new, fun, accessible experiences at Moxy Hotels, AC Hotels and Aloft add to the portfolio, ensuring our guests have whatever they want, wherever they are in the world.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Facebook Admits It Exaggerated Video-Viewing Metrics For Two Years

Social media giant Facebook has confessed that it has overestimated how much video people have watched through its service for the last two years.

The error affected a Facebook metric called “average duration of video viewed”, which was supposed to tell publishers for how long, on average, people had watched a video. However, the metric did not include viewers who had watched for less than three seconds in the count. Discounting the shorter views – including people who had ignored a video in their news feed – inflated the average viewing times for each video.

Facebook’s previous “average duration of video viewed” metric was inflated by upwards of 60% to 80% because of the three-second cutoff, according to a letter ad agency Publicis sent to clients that was obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

VivaWomen Hold Maiden Quarterly Forum

VivaWomen, a Publicis Groupe internal women’s network within Troyka Holdings held its maiden quarterly talk session recently, at the head office of Insight Communications Ltd in Ikeja GRA, Lagos.

In her introductory comments, Mrs. Tosin Adefeko – Account Management Director, Quadrant MSLGROUP advised women in the group to take advantage of the benefits of a platform where they can share experiences, best practices, mentoring in thoughts and professional projects and network. 
L-R: Mrs. Tosin Adefeko, Account Management Director, Quadrant MSLGROUP; Dr. Ken Ikpe, Managing Director, All Seasons Mediacom; and Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, Chairperson, and Women in Management, Business and Public Service. (WIMBIZ) at the maiden edition of VivaWomen Quarterly Forum, which held recently at the head office of Insight Communications Ltd in Ikeja GRA, Lagos.
The well-attended forum hosted Mrs. Aisha Ahmad, Chairperson, and Women in Management, Business and Public Service. (WIMBIZ) as its guest speaker, and Dr. Ken Ikpe, Managing Director, All Seasons Mediacom as supporting speaker.

 Delivering a presentation on the theme ‘Superwoman: Myth or Model’, Mrs. Ahmad argued that the notion of a Superwoman is erroneous and misleading. She instead, advised that women should learn to focus on doing what is best at the moment as this ultimately puts them in the best place for the next moment.  

Lagos Cable Car To Handle 240,000 Trips Daily - Minister

Lagos Cable Car project, the ambitious $275 million initiative to ease transportation difficulties in the state is expected to be completed for operation next year.

According to Mr. Dayo Mobereola, the state’s commissioner for transportation, the cable will be able to handle about 240,000 trips daily.

According to him, the cable car project will have eight stations in three routes; starting from Ijora to Apapa and Victoria Island. Adeniji Adele will be the project’s central hub.

“It is privately driven and the private sector need to get all the permits, on the side of Lagos, we have given them all the necessary permit, they are talking to the federal government to get some level of guarantees and we have assisted them to write to the federal government. They have taken the advantage by starting to build from the Iddo side of Lagos,” Mobereola told The Guardian.

Nigeria ups resources for 2016 Africa Code Week

Over the next two weeks Nigeria will play host to a series of official train-the-trainer (TTT) sessions as the country takes on a leading role in the build up to SAP Africa Code Week (ACW) 2016.

Founded in 2015, ACW seeks to empower African youth with coding skills through hands-on and playful learning. Spearheaded by SAP, world leaders in enterprise software, and with the support of hundreds of partners across Africa, its inaugural year saw more than 89,000 youth across 17 countries introduced to software coding within a mere ten days - four times the initial goal. The aim for ACW 2016 is to double that, reaching a minimum of 150,000 youth throughout 30 African countries.

"However, the sustainability of initiatives such as ACW relies heavily on skilled volunteers," says Kudzai Danha, Managing Director for SAP West Africa. "In order to train a new generation of Digital Economy workers in Africa we need to have skilled and knowledgeable instructors in place to provide mentorship, leadership and skills transfer to our ACW participants.

Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics Congratulates its First Set of Live Sites

The Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics, a tool to support organisations and developers building for the Free Basics Platform, announces over half of the selected applicants and the first ten of its live sites.

Launched at AfricaCom in November 2015, the partnership between Praekelt.org and Facebook supports developers and social change organisations in their efforts to build accessible online services designed mostly by and for people living in the developing world. The Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics has received thousands of applications since the Programme was announced, and over 50 partners have been selected by an external independent international selection panel following a rigorous evaluation process.
Praekelt Foundation Founder and CEO, Gustav Praekelt and Ime Archibong, Facebook's Director of Strategic Partnerships
The organisations that have been accepted cover sectors including health, economic empowerment, youth, gender equity, agriculture, citizen engagement, and education, and are based in different regions of Africa and Asia. Many of these organizations do not have the technical background to take advantage of the Free Basics program. Through Praekelt.org's training, technical tools and support, many smaller as well as local organizations have successfully become part of the Free Basics Platform.

A few of the partners now live on Free Basics through the help of the Incubator include: She Inspires Her, HelpMeSee, SEED Madagascar, Edukayson, Da Subject Matter, African Trust Academy, WeFarm, doctHERs, Vahan.co, and We Dream Africa.

ADVAN Poised To Consolidate Growth of SMEs with New Awards Categories

The umbrella body for all advertisers in Nigeria, The Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) is poised to scale up its goal of growing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria with the introduction and expansion of some categories of this year’s ADVAN marketing excellence awards.

Commentators have indentified one of the new categories - Marketing on a Shoestring – with a strong capacity to appeal to serious –minded SMEs. This explains why ADVAN had specifically invited SMEs to submit entries for this special category that focuses on the maximisation of limited budget in achieving impact and measurable result.
 
L-R: Mrs Joan Ihekwaba (ADVAN 1st Vice President); Mr. Franco Mario Maggi (Marketing Director Nigerian Breweries and Chairperson ADVAN Awards 2016); David Okeme (Advan President); Mr Osamede Uwubanmwen (Advan Ex-officio) and Mrs  Ediri Ose-Ediale, Executive Secretary of ADVAN during ADVAN Executives courtesy visit to Nigeria Breweries Plc recently.

Commenting on ADVAN’s current focus on SMEs, ADVAN’s President, David Okeme explained that the decision to open the elite platform to SMEs was informed by lessons learnt during the World Federation of Advertisers global conference in Malaysia where bodies like ADVAN were enjoined to open a second tier membership to accommodate small scale businesses.

Okeme believes that relating with existing ADVAN members would be of immense benefits to SMEs as they would be interacting with seasoned analysts and experts who can conveniently dissect key marketing issues, insights and emerging consumer engagement trends. Okeme also believes that SMEs are veritable tools that can help Nigeria move out of her current recession.

GE Africa President Appointed as Chair of Obama’s Advisory Council on Business Priorities for Africa

Jay Ireland, President & CEO of GE Africa was named as chair of the second President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

PAC-DBIA members – representing small, medium, and large companies from a variety of industry sectors – advise the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.
Jay Ireland

"Building stronger commercial relationships with some of the world's fastest growing economies in Africa continues to be a top priority for the Obama administration," said Secretary Pritzker. "Private sector engagement through initiatives like the PAC-DBIA is driving our efforts to expand trade, speed investments, build new technologies, and grow new and transformative industries across Africa."

The appointments are announced in conjunction with the second U.S.-Africa Business Forum. This historic event connects hundreds of American and African chief executive officers and business leaders, along with African heads of state, to discuss overall economic growth and to stimulate additional trade and investment between the United States and Africa.

Nigerian Government Support can help Small Businesses thrive in Recessionary Times

With the Nigerian economy in recession, support for Small & Medium Businesses could be one of the key ingredients to carrying the country through these tough times. Assisting them should become a priority for big business and government.

That’s according to Magnus Nmonwu, Regional Director for Sage in West Africa, who says that Small & Medium Businesses in Nigeria face challenging times, even as the economy slides. In addition to the country entering a recession – defined as a decline in GDP over two consecutive quarters – the upcoming Communication Service Tax Bill could also affect Nigerian businesses.

Yet Nigerian businesses and entrepreneurs are creative and resilient – and might play an instrumental role in lifting the economy out of recession, given the right support and business environment. “Nigerian entrepreneurs and business owners are the engines that drive the country’s economy,” says Nmonwu.

“During recessions, big companies are able to adjust by downsizing and cutting costs. Small businesses, however, keep going and carry the losses. They need our support, as they can contribute to turning the economy around, far more quickly.

Samsung officially postpones launch of Galaxy Note7 in Nigeria

Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited has announced the postponement of the planned launch of Samsung Galaxy Note7 in Nigeria on September 30.

Samsung had on September 2, 2016, announced an official Galaxy Note7 replacement programme due to a rare battery cell manufacturing error which had led to a few reported incidents.
Samsung in a statement said: "since customers' safety is our top priority, all Galaxy Note7 purchased are eligible for replacement despite the original place of purchase." Although the Galaxy Note7 has not been released in Nigeria, the current Galaxy Note7 users were also advised to visit the nearest Samsung authorised service centre for immediate assistance about the replacement programme.

"We acknowledge the inconvenience this may have caused in the market, but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to Samsung customers. Samsung is completely committed to fixing this problem and ensuring the highest level of safety and satisfaction for its customers."

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Elumelu wins Africa Investor ‘Person of the Year’ Award in New York

Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, while receiving the ‘Person of the Year’ award at the Africa Investor CEO Institutional Investment Summit hosted alongside the UN General Assembly in New York, extolled stakeholders in the public and private sectors committed to improving access to power in Africa.

He first acknowledged the staff and management of Transcorp Power, the biggest producer of thermal energy in Nigeria, providing about 18% of national output: “In accepting this award, I want to dedicate it to Transcorp Power staff who remain committed to realizing our dream of improving access to electricity in Nigeria and making our vision of a well-lit, fully powered Nigeria come true.”
Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holdings and recipient of the Person of the year award (3rd left) flanked by other award recipients; Mr. Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom (left), Ms. Vicki Fuller, CIO, New York State Common Retirement Fund (2nd left) and Dr Daniel Matjila, CEO, Public Investment Corporation of South Africa at the AI Investment Summit in New York.
Transcorp Power has supported U.S. President Obama’s Power Africa initiative with a $2.5billion commitment. He thanked the broader coalition of investors in the African power sector, as he urged other institutional investors to consider long-term opportunities on the continent. “I also dedicate this to all stakeholders working hard to improve access to power in Africa. I call on others to please join us in this journey to powering Africa out of poverty.”

Wizkid, Cassper, Aka & Sauti Sol Top MTV Africa Music Awards Nominations

Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest, AKA and Sauti Sol lead the pack in the first round of nominations for the forthcoming MTV Africa Music Awards Johannesburg 2016 (MAMA), with an impressive nine nominations between them.

In lifestyle category Personality of the Year, Pearl Thusi goes up against soccer player Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), middle distance runner and Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya, blogger Linda Ikeji (Nigeria) and musician Wizkid (Nigeria) vie for Personality of the Year.

The MTV Africa Music Awards Johannesburg 2016 is brought to you by Joburg Tourism in partnership with Absolut Vodka and Google and in association with MTN and DStv.

Fifty MAMA nominees including artists and achievers from 18 countries were revealed in 9 key music and lifestyle award categories by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa and MTV Base (DStv channel 322) at a star-studded reception at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, South Africa last night.

Say Hello to Google's Smart Messaging App, Allo!


It appears Google is finally ready to to battle WhatsApp owned by Facebook with its messaging app, Allo. The app is now available for download on android and iOS phones.
Google had announced earlier in May that it will soon introduce its messaging app which combines Google search with the normal chat features that users are familiar with.
Some of the unique attributes of the App include group chatting, stickers, photos, doodling, and emojis. You can send SMS messages to people not using Allo, but if these people are on Android, they will get an App Preview Message prompting them to download Allo. Also, SMS do not come from user number, but are instead relayed through Google Servers.

Five Shifts Set to Shape the Future of Africa’s Entertainment & Media Industry


The Internet, video games, television, and filmed entertainment segments of sub-Saharan Africa’s entertainment and media industry are projected to continue to grow in the following years but the publishing industry is having to work very hard to make any headway, according to PwC’s Entertainment and media outlook: 2016 – 2020 report (South Africa – Nigeria – Kenya) released yesterday.

Despite a relative slower growth projection for the industry, the Outlook forecasts that South Africa’s entertainment and media industry is expected to grow from R125.7 billion in 2015 to R173.3 billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6%.

“In spite of widespread disruption in the entertainment and media industry, as well as intense competition for consumer attention, there are growth opportunities aplenty for companies to capitalise from in the new media landscape,” says Vicki Myburgh, Entertainment & Media Industry Leader for PwC Southern Africa.

The Outlook presents annual historical data for 2011 – 2015 and provides annual forecasts for 2016 – 2020 in 11 entertainment and media segments for South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya: the Internet, television, filmed entertainment, video games, business-to-business publishing, recorded music, newspaper publishing, recorded music, magazine publishing, book publishing, out-of-home-advertising and radio.

Oracle Announces Platform Innovation Award Winners

This week at Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle honored the winners of the 2016 Oracle Cloud Platform Innovation Awards. This prestigious group of recipients is using Oracle’s PaaS and IaaS services in new and innovative ways to transform their businesses, drive innovation and gain a competitive advantage.

Thirty-one customers were chosen from around the world, spanning small and medium businesses to the largest enterprise, across a wide range of industries. This year’s winners include:  Ambev, Avaya, BAMF, Calix, Cima Global, Cisco Capital, City of Hope, ClubCorp, Cummins, Inc., DX Marketing, Dubai Airports, Elbooq, ENEL, HCPA, Helsana Gruppe, IDEA Cellular, IDEXX Laboratories, La Caixa, Manchester Airport Group, Nacional Monte de Piedad, National Pharmacies, The Procter and Gamble Company, Rakuten, Renault, Safexpress, State Bank of India, SuiteBox, Tippett Studio and YellowDog.

“These awards recognize customers that are using Oracle’s PaaS and IaaS together in unique and innovative ways to transform their businesses. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen our customers make a wholesale move in using the Cloud for just simple dev/test scenarios to running serious, enterprise workloads in the Cloud,” said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of Cloud Platform and Integration products, Oracle.  “We’d like to congratulate all customers on their well-deserved awards.”

CMC Connect Marks PR Measurement + Evaluation Month

CEO, CMC Connect Burson Marsteller,
Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya
Nigeria’s leading public relations firm, CMC Connect Burson Marsteller, in partnership with Ornico, a brand intelligence research company in South Africa, is set to hold a workshop on measurement and evaluation of communication to further enlighten communications experts on how public relations adds value to overall success of businesses.

The workshop themed ‘Can You Measure Up?’ is the first ever gathering endorsed by the International Association for the Measurement & Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) for communications and PR professionals, focusing on measurement and evaluation in the industry.

The thought-leadership initiative put together by the PR firm is scheduled to hold on Tuesday 27th September, 2016 at The Bridge House, 77, Oduduwa Crescent, GRA Ikeja, Lagos. It will be facilitated by Francois Van Dyk – Head, Operations, Ornico, while Mr. Niyi Yusuf, Country Managing Director, Accenture Nigeria, will be the Keynote Speaker. It will also feature a special video presentation from the AMEC CEO, Barry Leggetter.

Nigerian startup, ToLet.com.ng raise US$1.2 million to expand across the country

ToLet.com.ng, a Lagos-based classified property platform, has raised US$1.2 million in a Series A funding round to expand across the country over the next 12-18 months.

The investment was secured from Frontier Digital Ventures, a Malaysia-based investment firm that has invested in several classifieds companies in Africa such as Ghana’s meQasa and Cameroon’s Afribaba.

The startup will also use the funds to improve the platform’s tech offering to both property seekers as well as that used by listing agents, and for improved marketing efforts.

Launched in 2012, ToLet.com.ng provides users the best property search experience, be it online or offline, through a fast and smooth online search system.

Nigeria's Oldest Female Judge, Bank Chief, Others To Be Honoured At 2016 Nigerian Legal Awards

Reputable legal luminaries and respected personalities from all works of life would on Friday 7th of October, 2016 converge at the Grandball Room, Civic Centre, Lagos for the 2016 edition of the prestigious annual Nigerian Legal awards, an event organized to celebrate honour, recognize and celebrate the important contributions to the growth of businesses in Nigeria.

In a chat with journalists, Lere Fashola, CEO of Legal Blitz Limited, Publisher of Esq Legal Practice Magazine, and convener of the award, stressed the significance of the event in the life of the country, the legal profession and businesses. According to him, the event is simply a bridge between economy and law.
Hon. Justice Dulcie Ethel Adunola Oguntoye OFR. Source: oguntoye.com

Since its maiden edition, the NLA has expanded in focus, scope and fanfare, with the introduction of the ‘40 Under 40 category, the Awards has opened a novel chapter in the life of the country, especially by organizing a unique platform committed to celebrating impactful and value-added young lawyers who are cutting their teeth in the profession.

Beyond the fun that comes with the event, this year’s award has been taken a step further by organizing a platform for discussion. Consequently, a value-added and solution-proffering panel discussion has been organized to bring together professionals, experts and economic regulators to brainstorm on charting a new course for the economic recovery of Nigeria. The discussion, which will have in attendance, captains of industry and leading legal icons will focus on the theme: Restructuring vs Rebuilding: Bringing Life Back to the Nigerian Economy.” This theme will explore the economic imperatives to restructuring of Nigeria beyond the political rhetoric.

P+ Measurement Services Partner Media Monitor Ghana to Co-Host AMEC Measurement Month in Ghana

AMEC’s Measurement Month is a global programme of activities to spotlight attention on the importance of PR measurement. It’s a simple idea which benefits members, clients and the industry by putting measurement on a world stage. And any AMEC member, irrespective of size, can take part!

P+ Measurement Services, the first independent Communications Measurement Agency in Nigeria and also the only member of the International Association for the Measurement & Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) in Nigeria, will be partnering with Media Monitor Ghana,  to Co-Host  “Measure what Matters”.

The forum will be facilitated by the Lead Consultant,  P+ Measurement Services Nigeria, Philip Odiakose and Chief Operating Officer, Media Monitor Ghana, Ms. Abena Kwadwo.

Venue: Hululu House, K. Nkrumah Av., Adabraka, Accra, Ghana
Date: 26th & 27th  September 2016.
Time: 11am

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

DUFIL NAMES JUDGES FOR 2016 INDEPENDENCE DAY AWARDS

As the countdown to the 2016 Indomie Independence Day Awards (IIDA) for Heroes of Nigeria draws near, Dufil Prima Foods, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles have announced selected members of the panel of judges for the 2016 IIDA. The judges sitting holds on September 22nd, 2016 in Lagos.

The seven judges, who will choose the three winning stories for this year’s edition, are as follows: Mrs. Olufunto Igun, the Executive Director, Corona Schools; Mr. Jimi Disu, a resident analyst on FRONT PAGE NEWS on Classic FM and Mr. Abraham Obomeyoma Ogbodo, Editor, The Guardian newspaper. Other members of the panel include: Mrs. Sarah Boulos, Chief Executive officer/Founder, the Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN); Dr. Yemi Oke, a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos; Mrs. Ngozi Igbokwe, Founder and Executive Director, Bales of Mercy Orphanage Home and Mr. Taiwo Akinlami, a social empowerment advocate and child protection specialist.

In a statement by the company, the judges are expected to sit to adjudicate and select the three winners for the three award categories - Intellectual, Physical and Social bravery. The select stories will be decided on from the top 15 stories already penciled down by the selection committee, having met the set down criteria.

Nominations for the 17th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards

The Latin Recording Academy announced nominations for the 17th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards in all 48 categories. Leading with four nominations each are Julio Reyes Copello, Djavan, Fonseca, Jesse & Joy, and Ricardo López Lalinde.

Reflecting an international blend of talented music makers, this year's nominees were selected from more than 10,500 submissions that were registered during the eligibility period (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). The preeminent award for excellence in Latin music is the only peer-based music accolade, voted on by a membership body. The winners will be revealed Nov. 17, 2016, live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and broadcast on the Univision Network from 8–11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central).

"Nominations day is always a proud moment for The Latin Recording Academy because it reminds us of how much growth and diversity Latin music and its global community have achieved throughout the year," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "This year's group of nominees showcases the craftsmanship of the artists in front of the microphone and behind the soundboard, a true testament to the dedication of our voting body and their commitment to recognize creative individuals on all levels."

Game of Throne: Nike Prioritise Digital Marketing As Sportswear Competition Gets Tougher

As competition between in the sportswear market get tougher especially in North America, Nike believes it can can "win back dominance from Under Armour in the US" with "digital will play a big role" in achieving that.

According to Nike's global head of digital ecosystem design, David Greenfield, “If we look at our recent marketing activity for the NMD brand it was 100% on social. It wasn’t a 30-second TV spot or some slogan but a digital-only strategy that made us sell out of those shoes in a matter of hours,” he told Marketing Week last week at the Dots 2016 event in Brighton organised by agency Brilliant Noise.

“We want to apply a value exchange model. If you get coffee or your hair cut, you are willing to pay extra for a good service or somewhere you trust, right? That’s because of the experience that’s built around those products.

Emirates revamps corporate loyalty programme

To provide more value added incentives for business travellers, Emirates has revamped its corporate loyalty programme, Emirates Business Rewards. The new programme has been simplified and made more competitive to allow for easier redemptions and upgrades even on last minute bookings.

One of the biggest features in the newly improved programme is the ability to use Business Rewards Points to book any commercially available seat at any time giving members cash-like convenience. Emirates  is the first and only airline in the region to offer such flexibility as part of its corporate loyalty programme – improving cost-effectiveness for business travel.

Emirates recently commissioned an independent survey on the perception and habits of over 800 business travellers and decision makers of business travel in the UAE[i].  The key findings reiterate the need for cost effectiveness and flexibility in corporate travel which resonates with the new features of Emirates Business Rewards. According to the survey, the top 3 factors considered for airline selection were fare (30%), flight timings (26%), and value for money (23%).

Samsung calls for partnerships to deliver better access to quality education

Consumer electronics giant, Samsung Electronics Africa, said that sustainable partnerships are key to providing quality education, a goal paramount if the continent is to achieve global competitiveness and growth.

During its discussion with various African ministerial delegation at Innovation Africa 2016, the company expressed its willingness to help governments build capacity and provide educational solutions where needed.
Abey Tau, Corporate Citizenship and
Public Affairs Manager, Samsung Electronics Africa
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Abey Tau, Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager, said: "As a global citizen, we understand how important it is for us to use our technology to give back to society. And we have done just that through the various education solutions we've launched in Africa. But for the continent to truly achieve economic growth, we implore both the private and public sectors to work closely together so that it can address the continent's pressing issue around access to quality education."