BrandArena: May 2013

Thursday 30 May 2013

Facebook Introduces Verified Pages and Profiles

Following the introduction of verified pages to ensure users are viewing the actual person or brand rather than fake parody pages of profiles by Twitter, Facebook as also announced its readiness to for suit.

According to the company the Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences. This update is rolling out to profiles as well.

“We verify profiles or Pages to help you be sure that they are who they claim to be. Keep in mind that not all authentic profiles and Pages are verified and that you can’t request to have your profile or Page verified”, a statement by the social media site reads.

Samsung Launches Galaxy S4 Mini To Take Shot At Midmarket

South Korean electronics giant, Samsung Electronics has announced the Galaxy S4 mini smartphone, which has a larger screen and a better camera than its predecessor, the Galaxy S III mini.

The Galaxy S4 Mini ia a slimmed-down, cheaper version of its flagship handset, in a bid to spread the Galaxy S4’s success to other parts of the market. The compact version of the Galaxy S4 comes less than a year after the company announced the Galaxy S III mini in October last year.

The smartphone runs Android version 4.2.2 like its bigger sibling. Like the Galaxy S4, it can also use the S Health app, which allows users to keep track of steps and monitor sleeping patterns. The phone can also control TVs, set-top boxes, and DVD players with WatchON's IR remote.

Availability of the Galaxy S4 mini supporting either LTE, HSPA+ or 3G with two SIM cards, will be determined by market, according to Samsung. The company didn't reveal what the phone will cost. No release date has been given for the Galaxy S4 Mini, though this will probably be revealed at its official launch in London on June 20. There’s no pricing yet, either, but it’s expected to come in at around $350.

British American Tobacco asks: “What would a world with no legal tobacco industry really look like?”

On World No Tobacco Day 2013, British American Tobacco has issued a series of images to illustrate what it believes the world would look like if the legal tobacco industry was forced out of existence.

Kingsley Wheaton, British American Tobacco’s Group Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, warned: “The reality is that people will continue to smoke. But instead of buying legal taxed cigarettes, made by legitimate tobacco companies and sold by reputable retailers, they’ll turn to black market sources to get what they want.

“The tobacco industry is highly regulated, sells a legal product and we have a legitimate business. We conduct our business in a professional and responsible way, abiding by the laws in all the countries we operate in, often going above and beyond our legal obligations.

“Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the sophisticated network of criminals ready and waiting to step-in and take over if the legitimate tobacco industry didn’t exist.”

The global black market for tobacco accounted for 660 billion (Framework Convention Alliance) cigarette sales in 2012, making it roughly equivalent in volume to the world’s third largest multinational tobacco company. It is not a victimless crime. Illegal tobacco is sold by well-organised criminal gangs, some of whom have recognised links to terrorism.

Mr Wheaton continued: “These people don’t abide by the law or follow government regulation, they don’t pay taxes, they don’t care what’s in their products and they happily sell to minors.
“If we didn’t exist to supply tobacco products legally, traffickers would fill the vacuum and this cannot be the outcome society wants.”

British American Tobacco makes a long term commitment to sustainability; strives to bring reduced harm products to market; continues to fight the illegal tobacco trade; generates excise revenue; and provides employment and enhanced livelihoods to hundreds of thousands of employees and suppliers. However, a world with no legitimate tobacco industry would see an end to:

· Significant investment in research and development of reduced-risk tobacco products: There would be no incentive for criminals to start doing this. In 2012 British American Tobacco alone invested £171m in our research and development activities – part of our responsibility to working towards reducing the health risks associated with our products.
· Responsible product marketing: We are clear that children are not and will never be our audience. Our marketing is aimed at informed adult smokers who are aware of the health risks associated with tobacco use. But the same can’t be said for the criminals who are already actively selling tobacco products outside schools, newsagents and playgrounds. Black market cigarettes are also cheaper, making them more accessible to children at pocket money prices.

· Industry support to tackle tobacco trafficking and associated criminality: We work closely with governments and law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal tobacco. Europol, Interpol and the FBI have stated that among those who traffic illegal tobacco some also deal in money laundering, drugs, human trafficking and fund terrorist organisations. In west Africa we collaborate with various government agencies including custom agencies, consumer protection agencies and the Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU) in tackling illicit trade in tobacco.

· Product quality and safety: It’s a worrying fact that illegal cigarettes have been found to contain dead insects and animal excrement. We work tirelessly to manage the integrity of our entire supply chain from the seed that’s put in the ground through to the packets of our products sold on the shelves.

· $200billion per year in tax: That’s the figure generated in tobacco taxes globally each year, more than seven times the profit of the global industry. In West Africa alone, the tobacco industry has generated more than $187million for governments, through income tax, excise and VAT on tobacco products in 2012.

· Fair treatment and prices for farmers: It’s very hard and dangerous for a farmer from a developing country to negotiate prices with criminals. British American Tobacco offers contracts to the 140,000 farmers we have direct relationships with, helping to provide consistent revenue and fair prices. We also provide advice regarding sustainable agricultural practices and crop rotation.

· Millions of employees would lose their jobs and have their livelihoods impacted: We create jobs and support business in West Africa through our own workforce and through entrepreneurs and employees involved in our supply chain. Our development of the industry has led to economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of West Africans; from the workforce of our distributors, wholesalers and retailers, to suppliers of materials such as tobacco leaf farmers, and providers of services such as haulage.

Photo: MasterCard Hosts UCL Final Fan Viewing Experience in Lagos

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Prepare for Highway Africa 2013

Highway Africa is gearing up for the 17th edition of Highway Africa Conference, themed 'Speaking truth to power?', will take place from 1-2 September 2013 at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

The conference will host the 12th edition of the Telkom-Highway Africa New Media Awards. With new categories, these awards seek to award individual journalists, bloggers and media houses who innovatively use Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in their reportage.

The awards also seek to acknowledge corporate and not-for-profit organisations who might not be media operators, but whose operations use ICTs to better communities within which they operate.

The awards are pan-African and media houses around the continent can apply. Organisations outside the African continent can apply only if the communities within which their ICT services are used is in Africa.


Panabiz Introduces Document Management Solutions in Nigeria

Panabiz International Limited, leading provider of Office Automation Solutions in Nigeria has recently launched its Document Management Solutions, to assist organizations in digitizing and managing paper documents while empowering  organizations to access their paper documents from anywhere and at any time. These solutions are sure to eliminate the hassles of paper storage, access and information security currently faced by organizations.

Speaking on this development, Mr. Diwakar Yadavalli, General Manager, Panabiz International Limited said with paper documents generated growing at 22% per annum, there is a growing concern of where to store all paper documents. Some of these documents can be discarded as they are not required by law, yet they take up expensive office space. With Document Management, companies can digitize, index, securely store and grant access for the retrieval of the documents files based on individual needs of staff.” Diwakar explained.

According to him, “Introducing Document Management Solutions further demonstrates our vision to be the Office Automation Solutions provider of choice in Nigeria as we put all paper documents just a click away. This enhances staff efficiency because they don’t have to spend hours looking for a single document that could potentially cost the company millions of Naira. By using the Savings Calculator on our website,, you can track how much you could save by implementing our Document Management solutions”.

He disclosed that security of mission-critical documents is another important challenge being experienced by most blue-chip organizations. Panabiz Document Management Solutions offer access control feature, thereby making documents more secure than ever. Different access levels for employees can easily be defined based on their various needs and seniority. Furthermore, an audit trail feature helps to determine which employee accessed and modified a document at any point in time.

Google To Provide Wireless Networks Across Africa and Asia With Blimps

World's biggest search engine, Google has disclosed its intention to build huge wireless networks across Africa and Asia through the use of blimps and high-altitude balloons.
Image source: Isafmedia via Wired (Google Blimp)

The aim of the wireless networks is to serve the remote communities in from sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia that do not have the wired access to the internet that urban dwellers enjoy thereby connecting up to a billion people or more to the internet in the coming years.

Towards actualising the project, Google has been putting together an ecosystem of low-cost smartphones running Android on low-power microprocessors.

In a blog post, Google stated that the technology was "well-suited to provide low cost connectivity to rural communities with poor telecommunications infrastructure, and for expanding coverage of wireless broadband in densely populated urban areas". On Google Africa’s blog, "the white spaces trials are under way in Cape Town, where ten schools are receiving wireless broadband over a white space network".

adidas Showcases Future of Football at First 'adidas lab'

adidas has launched the 'adidas lab', the first in a series of innovation events that will showcase adidas products of the past, present and future.

The 'adidas lab' will focus on four leading innovations, where fans will be able to take part and test their skills. Visitors will get to experience the miCoach Elite Team System and the adidas Smart Ball, as well as getting a first glimpse of the 630g kitand 99g boot.
Image source: the 630g kit,

As part of the 'adidas lab', fans will also have access to 'The Track', a ground-breaking real time data visualisation experience that tests footballing attributes on a 15m Astroturf track by measuring speed, work rate and skill across three running challenges. As consumers take part their movement and vital stats dramatically come to life on the screens as they run past.

Herbert Hainer, CEO of adidas Group commented: "The 'adidas lab' is a fantastic opportunity for us to show fans the innovation, imagination and technological expertise that adidas consistently delivers at the cutting edge of football. Our pursuit of innovation is also a key success factor for our Group. It ensures that we continue to strengthen our market position in the global sporting goods industry."

Footballing legend Zinedine Zidane said, "I have been working with adidas for 17 years and throughout my career I have always known they have been leading the way when it comes to innovation in football. The adidas lab shows how the brand is shaping the future of football and is a great chance for fans to see it with their own eyes."

JODACY M&M Celebrates Nigerian Children

To connect and excite Nigerian Kids on their special day, JODACY M&M, a nascent but fast growing Media and Marketing Company has marked this year’s Children’s Day with over One Thousand school children in grand style. The event which took place at Kidszone Garden was supported by Milo, Ribena, Peak Milk and Beloxxi Biscuit.

Activities at the fun-filled event includes a match past competition amongst the schools, dancing, bouncing castle, swimming and others.  The children were given exciting gift packs to make the day special for them. Over 20 private and public schools as well as individuals were in attendance.

Speaking at the event, special guest and Editor BrandiQ Magazine, Ntia Usukuma said that, Children’s Day is a time where families and communities come together to celebrate the children in their lives.  It’s a day of fun, sharing and bonding.

Mr Usukuma revealed that, “one of the most important things we can do is to give them our time. Spending time, talking, and asking our children about their hopes and dreams do not cost a thing, but it sends a message that they are loved.  It is also a chance for us to learn something new about them – children are full of wisdom and can tell us lots about the things they need to be happy”.

The General Manager/Lead Consultant, JODACY M&M, Mr. Kingsley Ogbonna, revealed that, the party was packaged to promote affection between the brand and the children, and ultimately advocate love which is the focus the event. “We strongly believe in the uniqueness of the Nigerian children as they represent the future of our country. We therefore consider this event as a gift to the children on this special day to appreciate and give back in the spirit of the celebration”.

The schools that participated include: Intesida Nursery and Primary School, Agege; ST Bernadett Group of School, Ipaja; Little Treasure Private School; Precious Saviour Nursery and Primary School; Sure Foundation; The Glory of God Nursery and Primary; Pleasant Success; Matrix Leaning Field; Landrose Private School and Revolution Nursery and Primary School.

Nokia Asha Developer Competition Opens with € 230,000 in Reward

In line with Nokia’s mission of bringing affordable smartphone experience to developing countries, which led to the launch of Asha 501, the company has also initiated a global app developer competition inviting tech minds to come up with their fresh apps for the new affordable device.

According to Nokia, the competition is aimed at encouraging the international community of app developers to accept the challenge for three major reasons: experience, fame and glory, of course. The submissions are accepted in four major categories: Music & Entertainment, News&Info, Games, and Utilities & Productivity — through August 2.

The participants of the Asha Developer Competition will be competing for a chance to win € 230,000. Starting June 1st 2013 the first 250 developers who port an existing or create a new Java application or for the first 100 developers who port an existing or create a new Web App for the New Nokia Asha 501 will get a New Nokia Asha 501 phone. The apps need to be developed by using Nokia Asha SDK 1.0 or Nokia Asha web app tools 3.0 and they need to be also published to Nokia Store before they make an eligible entry for competition.

The company will select winners in each of the category, awarding cash prizes worth €25,000 for 1st position winner, €15,000 for 2nd position, & €10,000 for the third position winner. On top of that, winners will be specially promoted in Nokia-owned channels and presented in Nokia Devel-oper communications.

Google Africa Launches World’s First TabletCafé in Senegal

Image source:

In a bid to increase internet access in a more affordable, interactive way, Google Africa has launched the world’s first TabletCafé in Dakar, Senegal.

The switch has the benefit of lower operating costs in electricity usage, of which the savings will be reinvested in faster connectivity. Users are offered to use the tablets at their own comfort in a booth for video calling, or on a dock with a wireless keyboard. Tablets are equipped with popular, pre-loaded apps, while users can also download desired apps.

"That is why we decided to sponsor the Equinox cybercafé, a typical cybercafé located in Dakar’s vibrant Medina neighborhood, to try out the concept. They have replaced their fleet of computers with 15 tablets, and made them available at the same price as a regular cybercafe computer session at 300 XOF an hour (about $0.60)."

“When customers start a session on the tablet, they will find popular applications ready for immediate use, and can also directly download any application of their choice. They will be able to use the device comfortably seated on a couch, go to a private booth for a video chat or set their tablet on a dock and type away on a wireless keyboard".

"Once the session is finished, the cybercafé staff will help the customer perform a factory reset, to ensure that all of their private data on the device is fully erased.”, a post byAlex Grouet, Business Development Manager at Francophone Africa and Yomi Oyesiku, program manager at Emerging Markets Access on the Google Africa blog reads.

Firstbank Partners Lego To Promote Financial Discipline in Youths

In a quest to create a platform for Nigerian children to express their creative talents, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with LEGO, the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of children’s toys to commerce a new initiative aimed at deploying their innate abilities to something positive while also instilling in them the culture of financial discipline.

According to FirstBank’s spokesperson, Folake Ani-Mumuney said the partnership with LEGO signposts the Bank’s quest to create a platform for Nigerian children to express their creative talents.

“In choosing LEGO as our partner for this project, we considered their brand values of creativity, fun, learning, caring and quality. All these resonate with us because they are values we hold dear. We are passionate about impacting the lives of today’s children in a positive way because we believe the future of this country is in their hands”, Ani-Mumuney, said.

The partnership with Lego offers the children an exciting range of benefits, from the website, through to gifting, branded collateral and experiential engagements. Lego is an educational as well as a fun brand, which is in line with First Bank’s brand values, and with the additional benefit of being gender neutral.

Pictures Of The Week: Mouka, Guinness Nigeria and MasterCard

Guinness Nigeria courtesy visit to the Minister of Trade and Investment
L-R: Former Eagles Captain, Segun Odegbami; Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard, Omokehinde Ojomuyide; Vice President, Marketing, Sub-Sahara Africa, MasterCard, Tarek Abdelnabi, and ex Super Eagles Captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, at the UEFA Champions League 2013 final fan viewing experience hosted by MasterCard at the Eko Hotel Conference Centre, Lagos on Saturday, 25th May 2013.
L-R: Teacher,  Olusosun Primary School, Ojota,  Oluwakemi Shofowora; Chief  Commercial Officer, Mouka Limited, Jude Abonu; Teacher,  Local Government Primary School, Oworonshoki, Philomena Modupe; Managing Director, Mouka Limited, Peju Adebajo and Teacher, Agidingbi Primary School, Ikeja, Funke Anjorin at Mouka Baby Range Product Launch while celebrating Children’s Day at Mouka Head Office in Lagos, on May 27th, 2013

Sony's Xperia Tablet Z Berth in SA

Sony Mobile has unveiled its new tablet in South Africa as the company moves to capitalise on the hype of the Xperia Z smartphone.

Though, Sony wants users to focus on the user experience rather than the hardware specifications of the Tablet Z. Sony announced that it supports open standards with the tablet which now has a standard micro-SD card slot and has expanded the functionality of the tablet to use it as a TV remote.

The smartphone is available at the store of mobile operators MTN and Vodacom while it is expected to be in Cell C stores by the end of April.

The Xperia Tablet Z has a 25.6cm display and is powered by a 1.5Ghz quad core processor that puts it near the top in terms of mobile device performance.

"The unit is designed to entertain," Andrew Fraser, Channel Marketing Manager for Sony Mobile South Africa told News24 at the local launch.

Emirates SkyCargo Wins Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East Award

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, one of the fastest growing international airlines, has cemented its position as a leading global player in air cargo industry by winning the ‘Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East’ award for the 18th consecutive year at the annual Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA).

Organized by the market leading transport and logistics newspaper Cargonews Asia, Emirates SkyCargo was named the ‘Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East’ in recognition of its continued leadership and innovations in its regional air logistics.

Michael Qu, Emirates’ Cargo Manager China accepted the ‘Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East Award’ on behalf of Emirates SkyCargo’s during a gala dinner held in Beijing. "To win this prestigious award for 18 years in a row is a great honour and a powerful endorsement of our focus and dedication to providing the highest levels of service,” said Mr Qu.

Emirates SkyCargo currently serves a route network of more than 130 destinations in 77 countries, spanning six continents across the globe.  It will also launch flights to Tokyo Haneda in June, Stockholm in September and Clark in the Philippines in October.

The AFSCA award comes shortly after Emirates SkyCargo received the prestigious ‘Cargo Airline of the Year 2013’ award from Air Cargo News and the ‘Best Middle East Cargo Airline’ for the 25th consecutive year. 

Airtel Introduces 3G Network in Burkina Faso

Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, took a significant step towards building the largest 3G network across Africa by announcing the launch of its 3G mobile platform in Burkina Faso.

The launch of the 3.75G follows the award of a 3G license to Airtel by the Burkina Faso Government. The granting of the license is an important milestone since it will contribute to the development of the country and it will facilitate Internet access for all Burkinabé.

The launch of the 3G platform promises profound changes in the way Airtel subscribers experience the web on internet-enabled cell phones. The improved technology will enhance multimedia functionality, high speed mobile broadband and internet access; allowing users to make video calls, watch live TV, send and receive emails, and download music from the handheld devices.

This is the latest technology HSPSA being launched in several European and American countries. Reaching speeds of up to 21 mbps, Airtel’s 3.75G network is one of the fastest available globally and it will be immensely beneficial to multinationals, SMEs and the youth.

“3G technology will give our customers the opportunity to interact with cellular technology in a different way,” explains Tiemoko Coulibaly, CEO of Airtel Africa Francophone Region. “This is why Airtel doesn’t see 3G as a product, but rather as a platform that enables our subscribers to experience data better.” According to Mr. Coulibaly, Airtel’s goal is to build the largest 3G network on the continent, while continuing to provide innovative and useful services which will enable customers to take full advantage of this new technology.

Hervé-Njapoum Olivier, the Managing Director of Airtel Burkina Faso, said: "We are grateful towards the political and administrative authorities of Burkina Faso for the granting of the license through the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post. We share the same vision on strengthening the country's telecommunications platform. Airtel’s 3.75G network will enhance the social, cultural and commercial participation of the people of Burkina Faso and it will connect them with the global community. "

Thursday 23 May 2013

Otitan, Rule T Naves Top Heineken Sailing Regatta 2013

Two overall winners have emerged at the just concluded 2013 Heineken Lightning and Tarpon National Sailing Championships which took place at the Lagos Yacht Club over the weekend. The Otitan Dara boat which had Graham Gips at the helm alongside members of his crew, Kristiann Gips and Charles Weller, emerged overall winner in the lightning Regatta category.

While in the Tarpon category, the ‘Rule T Naves’ boat with crew members; Carol Khouri, Yosi Anisfeld and Precious Eyong emerged overall winner. The two-day event featured over 90 sailors from different nationalities taking part in the sailing competition.

The Heineken National Championships for Lightings and Tarpons is organized annually by the Lagos Yacht Club under the current International Sailing Federation racing rules for sailing. Only teams who are members of a recognized Sailing Club in Nigeria can compete in the annual Heineken National Championships for Lightings and Tarpons.

Roelof Segers, Innovation Manager, Nigeria Breweries Plc, who also took part in the sailing competition, stated that there is a perfect match between the Heineken brand and the sailing competition. “Heineken is the most international premium lager brand that is why we sponsor premium sports in Nigeria. For the Heineken brand, it is very important for us to be part of this national sailing competition.

Mr Segers also pointed out that The Lagos Yacht Club is the biggest sailing club in Africa. “It’s amazing. We have beautiful sailing conditions in Lagos. We also have over 4 world champions taking part in this competition. Sports are about excitement, resourcefulness and enjoyment and these are qualities that the Heineken brand is known for”.

Lagos Yacht Club Commodore, Michael Barnes commended Heineken for being one of the biggest supporters of the Club. He added that the event improved on previous ones with Heinekenbeing the most premium international beer brand of the LYC.

Winner in the single sailing category, Timi Amino, a first year student of Cashnob College, Northern American University, Benin Republic said, “I live in the Navy barracks where we have a sailing club. We were trained to sail and swim as well. My friends and I usually go to the pool and that was where I met a coach. He invited me over and he taught me how to sail. I have had two years of sailing experience and it has not been easy.”

How Amstel Malta, Tuface Challenged Us: UNIPORT Students

Students of University of Port-Harcourt have commended Amstel Malta, the leading premium low sugar malt drink in the country, for providing the platform that has succeeded in bringing the best out of them. The students made the commendation at the campus connect tour of Nigeria’s mega star, Tuface and Friends who are currently touring some campuses in the country.

Thousands of students stormed the school’s gymnasium to be part of the historic event. It was the first time the institution would play host to such an ensemble of all-star music artistes in a single event.

While savoring a Can of chilled Amstel Malta drink which was given out freely to all students, Abasi-Ekeme Moses, a Basic Studies student, who was present at the event, expressed her joy for been part of the event. “I am so happy that Amstel Malta actually brought Tuface and other top stars to our school. It’s wonderful seeing these music stars perform live. I am having a great time here today. Amstel Malta is my favourite malt drink because of the taste and also the fact that it contains low sugar and because it encourages people to always bring their best in everything” she said.

Natha Chime, a Geology student of the institution, gave kudos to Amstel Malta for organizing a show of that magnitude in the institution. He said, “Uniport is proud to host Amstel Malta and Tuface & Friends. This is the first of its kind in this school and we are so happy about it. As you can see, the large turnout of students is evidence of the huge excitement in the school today because of this event. I am challenged to see Tuface who started his career and today he is one of the best; I can also be the best I want to be.”  

The crowd was thrilled with performances from ‘Ghostmode’ crooner, Phyno, Solid Star, Sheyi Shey, EFA, 2kay, ‘Born winner’ Vector the viper, Ninja Ninja Sound Sultan, Dammy Crane and of course Tubaba himself.

The emergence of Tuface on stage was the high point of the event. Students were thrown into a state of wild frenzy as Tuface gave a rendition of one hit song after another. The event was also an opportunity for talented Uniport student/artistes to showcase their singing prowess.

Mrs. Adedoyin Owotomo, Brand Manager Amstel Malta said the rationale behind the brand’s collaboration with Tuface, is borne out of a partnership that desires to encourage consumers at all levels to be the best in whatever they find themselves doing.

Oshiomhole hails N35bn Benin Brewery investment

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Friday, lauded Guinness Nigeria Plc. for investing about N35bn in expanding the capacity of its Benin Brewery. Comrade Oshiomhole described the company as a valued private sector partner with the best interest of the people and government of Edo State at heart.

He attributed the increased inflow of investment into the state from the company, to a great extent, to the enabling environment created in the state through focused and visionary leadership.
L-R: Corporate Relations Director Guinness Nigeria, Sesan Sobowale; Plant Manager Guinness Edo Brewery, Chris Erahgbe; Executive Governor of Edo state Adams Oshiomole and Managing Director Guinness Nigeria, Seni Adetu at a courtesy call made to the governor's office on 17th May 2013.
This came to the fore during a working visit to the Edo State Government House by the management of Guinness Nigeria Plc, led by its Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr. Seni Adetu.

Commending the management of Guinness Nigeria Plc., the governor said, “The sheer size of this new investment in the Benin Brewery indicates that Edo State is a safe haven for long-term investment. It is a strong vote of confidence in the state and in the economic development programme of our administration which seeks to fast track development and employment creation. 

“In spite of the challenges facing manufacturers in the country, Guinness Nigeria Plc has not only been thriving as exemplified by its increased investment in Edo State, but has also been giving back to our communities through its corporate social responsibility projects. On our part, we are making a firm commitment to providing necessary security to safeguard its investment and infrastructure to keep its manufacturing facility in the state functioning to its maximum capacity.”

Speaking at the event, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc., Mr. Seni Adetu congratulated Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on his reelection as Governor of Edo State and appreciated him for his staunch support to the company in recent times. According to Mr. Adetu, “Guinness Nigeria is a key stakeholder in the state and as such we are very appreciative of the efforts of the state government in partnering with us and supporting our efforts. Through the years we have enriched lives in Edo State through road construction projects, scholarships, healthcare, charitable donations and the Guinness Water of Life projects which aim to improve access to potable water and sanitary conditions in the state.”

CNN’s ‘African Voices’ Profiles Nigerian Prolific Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

African Voices, a weekly show that examines the diversity, dynamism and global influence of Africa’s people and culture; and highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities within and in the Diaspora will be featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, one of Nigeria’s most prolific writers.

Cheerfully pioneering the way for a new wave of Nigerian writers, renowned Nigerian Author, Adichie, narrates her award winning novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, as it tells a human story of a brutal and controversial civil war which took place in her homeland, Nigeria, in the late 60’s.

Highly influenced by her Mother, Ifeoma Adichie, who became the first female Registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Adichie is bold, vivacious, candid; a story teller living her truth. And that fulfillment translates into Award winning novels.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Describing her development as a writer, between her books Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americana, Adichie says ‘they are such different books, and I think I wrote them from very different places in my life, emotionally.’

According to her ‘For Purple Hibiscus, I was very homesick, I was in the US. Suddenly I was romantisizing the hibiscus flowers in our front yard and I wrote this book, about missing home, nostalgia. Half of a Yellow Sun was so different. I knew I was writing about this very intense, contested history and I did so much research, and I cried a lot when I was writing it. My grandfathers died in Biafra, and here I was kind of mining the pain of my family.’

‘Then Americana, I laughed a lot writing it. It's just very different, I don't so much see it as a kind of linear progression - the books. It's sort of more just like occupying different parallel spaces,’ Adichie concluded.

From uncovering historical atrocities to playing a role in shaping her country, Nigeria’s future, Adichie has also considered a career in politics.

Intel Sponsors Nigerian Students To International Science And Engineering Fair In USA

Renowned chip makers Intel Corporation, has sponsored nine Nigerian secondary school students to represent Nigeria with their urine-powered generator which at the 2013 international leg of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

In the National leg of the competition, secondary schools from around the thirty six states of the federation showcased their projects and inventions with the goal of addressing the challenges in their local communities.

According to the organizers, the annual event has been instrumental in encouraging secondary school students to develop an enquiry-based, practical approach to the Science and Engineering learning process.

Speaking on the need to drive and encourage innovation among youth, Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel Corporation, Mr. Osagie Ogunbor said “Intel has sponsored the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair since 1997 because Intel believes that fostering a passion for math and science in today’s youth is imperative for the global economy and the future of innovation.”

“At the competition, finalists are judged by hundreds of science, engineering and industry professionals who have a Ph.D. or equivalent (6 years of related professional experience) in one of the scientific disciplines; Animal Sciences, behavioral and Social Sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, Computer Science, Cellular and Molecular biology and others.

“Finalists’ projects tackle challenging scientific questions that address some of today’s most pressing global issues. Projects represent a wide range of scientific disciplines and are judged based various categories.” Ogunbor added.

He also mentioned that the top research project in the competition will receive the Gordon E. Moore Award – a US$75,000 grand prize from the Intel Foundation, given in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist. Two additional research projects will receive Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000.

Additional prizes, funded by the Intel Foundation with support from dozens of corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors, will be awarded to more than 600 other projects.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world’s largest high school science research competition.

YouTube Turns Eight, SA and Kenya Biggest African Markets

World’s largest video sharing platform, YouTube turns eight this week with a record 100 hours of video uploaded every minute. The portal was developed in 2005 by three American techies Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim and later acquired by Internet giant Google a year later.

Kenya and Uganda are the only East African states that have a dedicated YouTube country channel that was launched in 2011 to encourage users to load local video content.

In January this year, the Kenya Elections YouTube Channel was launched, a portal where voters, journalists and campaigners could easily track news, trends and information related to the March 4 poll. The channel aired live the two presidential debates, helping connect leaders with Kenyans in the diaspora.

“Millions of partners are creating content for YouTube and more than 1,000 companies worldwide have mandated a one-hour mid-day break to watch nothing but funny YouTube videos. Well, we made that last stat up, but that would be cool (the other stats are true),” YouTube said in a blog post.

Data from Google shows that South Africa leads the region with most playbacks followed by Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.

Golden Penny Expands Brand Equity with Sugar Variants, Celebrates Distributors

In a quest to continue to satisfy its teeming consumers, Golden Penny Foods, has introduced the Golden Penny Sugar variant into the market.

The new product was unveiled at the 2013 edition of the customers’ forum at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The theme of the forum tagged ‘Bigger, Stronger and Sweeter’ was aimed at celebrating the progress and excellence achieved over the years.

The new Golden Penny Sugar comes in a trusted high quality pure white colour; fortified with vitamin A which is convenient and hygienically packed so it’s easy to use daily. The new sugar comes in two variants, which are the cube sugar in 500g package and the granulated sugar in 500g and 1kg packages. It is ideal for bakers, confectioners, bottlers, industries and a perfect sweetener for cereals, tea, custard, pudding amongst others.

According to the Group Managing Director, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc (parent company to Golden Penny), Mr. Paul Gbededo, “the theme of this years customers’ forum which is bigger, stronger and sweeter makes up the goal of our company, because we want grow, expand and spread our network further and further reaching every tent one can imagine”. He said the bigger the company becomes, the more responsibility being incurred which will propel the improvement of products, services, processes, margins and the promise of quality to consumers.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Officially hits 10 Million Sales Milestone

Samsung announced its latest milestone today just eight days after confirming that it had shipped over 6 million units of the S4 since its international launch on April 26. According to Samsung, this is the fastest ever sell rate for any of its smartphones.

In a statement, Samsung said: ”It's worth noting that hitting this milestone doesn't necessarily mean that there are 10 million Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone’s in the hands of consumers, as Samsung announced the number of units shipped to retailers and operators.”

Samsung had revealed that it is selling roughly four S4s per second worldwide.

Thursday 16 May 2013

'Why IBM Is Extending Business in Africa'

Increasing signs of a growing innovation ecosystem across Africa, has been revealed as one of the reasons tech company, IBM has chosen to extend its business and deepen market penetration in the continent.

According to IBM General Manager for Central East and West Africa Mr. Jean-Christophe Knoertzer in an interview with BrandArena, Africa is in a unique position to do what no other region in the world has done, which is to leapfrog technologies.

"Because Africa is relatively unburdened by legacy technologies, businesses and governments are able to take best practice case studies and best of breed technologies from around the world, tweak them to their needs and successfully implement working solutions without the need to invest heavily in legacy systems. This gives them an unprecedented edge in order to compete more effectively in the global market."

"Africa’s collective GDP is expected to rise to $2.6 trillion by 2020 and it's IT market is expected to grow to be worth over $40 billion this year, up from $30 billion last year. This represents a huge opportunity for any company and IBM is committed to being part of this continuing growth story. We see huge potential in the market which forms a pivotal part of our overall growth markets strategy".

Knoertzer said the company is actively engaging in laying the foundations for a major presence across Africa and also have a broad program of investment in place covering the creation of new facilities, offices, training and recruitment, sales and marketing. "For example, in 2012, we opened our first research laboratory on the continent, in Kenya, and more recently this month we opened an Innovation Centre in Nairobi".

He stated that like every environment, company has been able to overcome most of its challenges in Africa. "There are no challenges that are unique to Africa - we typically face similar challenges in any emerging market, for example, finding the right talent or being able to forge new relationships in territories where we may not have been present.

"We overcome these challenges by, for example, creating tight bonds with academic institutions in key markets so that we are able to better understand the talent availability in various markets. We also have increased our direct presence in Africa from just four main locations in 2006 to over 20 across Africa currently. This puts closer us closer to our customers and gives the unique stand-point to understand their needs and the solutions that will work best for them more intuitively".

Commenting on the expectation of Africa's customers on IBM services, Knoertzer submitted that same level of services that could be find anywhere else in the world should be expected. He added that as a globally integrated company, part of IBM strategic growth play in Africa is geared towards ensuring that our customers have the same access to our unique brand of services, products and expertise as they would in any other market.

Nobel Carpet Rewards Distributors Across The Nation

In demonstration of one of its core beliefs that distributors constitute major bastions to any business, Lucky Fibres makers of Nobel Carpet, Nigeria’s premium carpet and rugs brand, has recently dazzled its ever reliable trade partners across Nigeria to grand receptions to appreciate their support.

The Distributors’ parties which held in four key cities across Nigeria started in Lagos and covered for the company’s Distributors within the South West Zone, Port Harcourt branch party covered for the entire Eastern Zone while the Kano branch party covered for the whole Northern Zone.

The high points of the events were the presentation of the star prizes to a total of 5 winners, Mrs. Adesina Olukemi (Kess Carpets) and Mr. Surajudeen Oladokun (Obokun Carpets), winners from Lagos & Ibadan, got a brand new Honda City and Hyundai Elentra cars respectively. Sir R.C Oforukwuga (RC Ofor Carpets) and Mr. Tony Ogu (Tony International Carpets), winners from Port Harcourt zone event got a brand new Honda City and Hyundai Accent cars respectively, while Alhaji Lawan Abubakar (Beli Ventures Nigeria Enterprises), winner from Kano party got Hyundai Accent.

Speaking at the Lagos party, Mr. Kunal Malhotra, General Manager, Nobel Carpet & Rugs stated that, Lucky Fibres Plc has decided to reward these distributors for their continuous and unparalleled support for the brand, Nobel Carpet. He also emphasized that the success the brand has achieved is heavily hinged on the support enjoyed from the Distributors.

“We are here today to celebrate our valued partners who have proven themselves consistent and reliable over the years. Our brand, Nobel carpet is the preferred carpet and rug brand not only in Nigeria but also in the entire Sub-Saharan Africa. We can boldly affirm that that this achievement would be impossible without the continued support of our distributors”, he said.

Commenting at the event, Mrs. Bunmi Odunoye, Assistant Sales Manager, Nobel Carpet & Rugs ‘‘we congratulate and celebrate with all the distributors who have won the star prizes at this year’s distributors’ party, we are very happy to be associated with them and we hope it will continue to be a mutually beneficial relationship’’. Incorporates P&G Products In Online Retail Store, Nigeria’s foremost online retailer is partnering with leading consumer goods company - Procter & Gamble Nigeria. This partnership is aimed at making P&G’s products easily accessible to consumers on’s very convenient online retail platform.

Dr. Olumide Olusanya, Chief Execution Officer for, in a statement disclosed that the partnership was a natural fit as online retailing is set to play a critical role in the future of the FMCG industry in Nigeria. This is due to the ease with which consumers can procure their essential FMCG products through platforms such as

Dr. Olusanya went on further to say, “Online retailing, as deployed by, allows for delivering of better value to end-users; for example, convenience, low pricing, shorter time lag between when a product is needed and when it can be utilized, personalized service, as well as wider selection under one roof.”

P&G’s Specialty Channels Leader, Miss Chioma Ede in a formal disclosure mentioned that, “Recent findings indicate a growing presence of Nigerians online, with more and more Nigerians doing their shopping online. Hence, P&G’s partnership with is a strategic alliance to enable convenience and the delivery of more value to P&G’s cherished customers with’s rapidly growing platform of online retailing”. is Nigeria's leading online supermarket dedicated to delivering direct to the doorsteps of her clients on a same-day basis and at very affordable prices, a wide variety of high quality brands of groceries, beauty & personal care, household essential items and appliances.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Kagiso’s MSN moves into Nigeria and Kenya

Howzit MSN, one of Africa’s largest portals with 3.3 million unique browsers per month, is set to launch dedicated versions of its site for Nigeria and Kenya.

Howzit MSN, operated by Kagiso Media in partnership with Microsoft, is the South African version of the popular Microsoft MSN portal. The site plans to expand into East and West Africa to bring users in those markets local news that is tailored to their needs.

The Kenyan and Nigerian MSN portals will be first, with the official launch happening on 1 July.

Initially, these portals will offer dedicated news, entertainment, sports and lifestyle channels as well as property and careers content. Further channels will be added to the mix as the new portals evolve. The content will be produced and curated by MSN’s African editorial team, led by Kate Hodges, African Editor in Cape Town.

MSN Africa will be placing a heavy emphasis on mobile access to the news and will create mobile versions of the sites that can be accessed from feature phones as well as smartphones. This will allow it to serve continent across multi screens meeting the demand for many people who are getting online for the first time through their phones.

Says Marcus Stephens, GM of Howzit MSN: “There is a growing hunger for localised content across Africa as undersea cables, mobile broadband and falling Internet access costs bring more people online. We aim to address this need with the same formula of locally relevant, easy to digest content that we offer our audience in South Africa.”

“We want to be as local in content, look and feel as possible. The many readers we already have in Nigeria and Kenya are sure to be delighted when they go online on 1 July and are greeted by fully local content rather than the American version of the site they are used to seeing. This is just the start for our business in Africa - we aim to bring more content to this market and to launch in other countries over the next few months.”

Quote Of The Week

'In the 'intangible revolution', the brand is not a finished work that is sent out to the world. The role of brand manager is more akin to that of a performance artist whose work can only exist and have any real worth for as long as it has the involvement of a willing audience of people who don't consume it, but instead participate in it.' - Ian Kirk, Senior Strategist, The Lab

Nokia Unveils Nokia Lumia 925

Nokia has unveiled the Nokia Lumia 925, a new interpretation of its award-winning flagship, the Nokia Lumia 920. The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces a metal design and showcases the latest PureView camera innovation, new features and third party applications coming to the Nokia Lumia range.

The Nokia Lumia 925 includes the most advanced lens technology and next generation imaging software to capture clearer, sharper pictures and video, including the best low light images.

The Nokia Lumia 925 also introduces the new Nokia Smart Camera mode, coming as an update to all Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones. Nokia Smart Camera offers an easy way to capture ten images at once and edit the pictures with options like Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus for creating the perfect high quality image.

"We keep innovating," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices in a statement by the company. "We’re advancing experiences on the Nokia Lumia portfolio whether that means great new benefits for an existing Lumia owner, or bringing new showcase devices like the Nokia Lumia 925."

The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces metal for the first time to the Nokia Lumia range, bringing appeal and unique benefits like increased robustness. The polycarbonate back comes in white, grey or black. A wireless charging cover can be clipped onto the back of the phone to take advantage of Nokia’s extensive wireless charging accessories and ecosystem. Covers, sold separately, come in white, black, yellow, and red.

...Behold BlackBerry Q5 Smartphone

Innovative mobile phone company, BlackBerry has introduced a youthful and fun BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, running BlackBerry 10 with a QWERTY keyboard and a confident design.

The new BlackBerry smartphone has been built to provide a fast, effortless experience that helps you explore, create and share while on the go.
BlackBerry Q5
In a statement by the company, Thorsten Heins revealed "the device onstage at BlackBerry Live, but we’ve got all the details ready to share with you below.  I’ve been using this device for a few days now and I’m already in love. It fits into my lifestyle perfectly offering the powerful experience I need and allowing me to flow seamlessly from task to task throughout my day".

Speaking on the new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone, Thorsten said: “BlackBerry is excited to bring the new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone to our customers in selected markets around world,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry. “The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected.”

The new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone will be available in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with availability beginning in July.

The BlackBerry Q5 features a classic BlackBerry Keyboard with discrete keys that has been re-engineered and elegantly designed to help you type fast, accurately and with the least amount of effort. Plus with Instant Action shortcuts you can type to perform tasks faster. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone gives you the best of both worlds – a classic QWERTY keyboard for optimized communications and a 3.1” touchscreen for all the rest.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Shareholders approve Berger Paints rights issue

Shareholders of Berger Paints Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading paints and allied products manufacturing company, has authorised the board of directors of the company to raise fresh equity by rights issue.

The shareholders approved a proposal of the board to raise fresh equity from existing shareholders on the basis of one new share for every three at the 53rd yearly general meeting held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Tuesday. 

About 30 per cent of the rights issue will be underwritten by underwriter(s). The shareholders also approved a dividend of 70 kobo per share.

The company yesterday also commissioned a N650 million building materials and related products shopping complex in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as part of its diversification strategy as well as consolidate the transformation agenda of the Federal Government of providing housing for all Nigerians. The complex is located in the Wuse II District of the FCT and the income from the investment will have great impact on the company’s income in 2013.

Berger Paints reported a profit after tax (PAT) of N179.9 million on a turnover of N2.5 billion in 2012 as against a PAT of N227.8 million on a turnover of N2.6 billion in the corresponding period of 2011 despite the difficult operating environment that pervaded the 2012 fiscal year.

Earlier, in his statement, the chairman of the company, Mr. Clement Olowokande told the shareholders that Berger Paints has entered into partnership agreement with KCC Corporation of South Korea in a bid to enhance its product offering in the Nigerian paint and coating market in the next few months. KCC Corporation is one of the largest paints and chemical manufacturing companies in the world.

Olowokande said in order to maximise the full benefits of the anticipated improvement in the company’s product offering, the company would also commit substantial investment towards a major improvement in its present distributing channels in order to serve customers better.

Orange launches the Third Edition of Orange African Social Venture Prize

Following on from the success of the first two programmes, run in 2011 and 2012, today Orange is launching the third Orange African Social Venture Prize. The project promotes social innovations in support of development that use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Orange, which is present in 18 African countries and boasts over 70 million customers, is seeking to become a major player in the economic and social development of every one of these countries. The Group has decided to contribute to the development of the local markets for new technologies through its ‘Orange for Development’ programme and to propose innovative solutions which meet the needs of the local population. In this context, and as part of its innovation strategy as well as its Corporate Social Responsibility policy, that the Group has decided to launch the Orange African Social Venture Prize.

In a release on its official site, the call for projects has received more than 1,000 applications over the past two years, a figure that reflects a true entrepreneurial spirit and the potential for telecommunications on the African continent.

Any entrepreneur aged 21 or over, or company that has existed for less than three years at the time of the competition, regardless of nationality, can enter the awards free of charge. The projects submitted must have plans to deploy their service in at least one of the African countries where Orange is present and make innovative use of information and communication technologies to contribute to improving the living conditions of people in those countries.

Applications may be submitted between 14 May and 20 September 2013 using the Orange portal in Africa:

Amstel Malta, Tuface Shutdown UNIBEN

Barely few weeks into the new semester, students of University of Benin, one of Nigeria's prestigious higher institutions of learning, had cause to be extremely excited when Africa's singing sensation, Tuface in collaboration with Amstel Malta, the number one premium low sugar malt drink in Nigeria stormed the campus.

The university was already agog when the news filtered through that Tubaba as Tuface is fondly called by fans, would be performing in the school in the ongoing Campus Connect Tour of Tuface and friends.

As expected, it was a complete shutdown as the event witnessed a mammoth crowd. Over five thousand students were in attendance and the University sports complex -venue of the concert - was a beehive of heightened activity.

Giving the rationale behind Amstel Malta'a partnership with Tuface and friends, Mrs. Adedoyin Owotomo, Brand Manager Amstel Malta, said, “Our partnership with Tuface is borne out of the desire to encourage our consumers at all levels to be the best in whatever they find themselves doing”.

After a thrilling performance that kept the students on their toes for hours, an excited Tuface Idibia, thanked the crowd for coming out to listen to him and his friends and promised to revisit the school again.

Some of the students commended Tuface for coming to perform and for "warming" them up as the new semester begins. Harrison Pius, a 200 level student of Political Science, Jackson, a 300 level student of Chemical Engineering and Lima, a 100 level student of Bio Chemistry showed their talents too.
Tubaba is stomping the yard with a line-up of friends that guarantees an unforgettable experience for fans. Hypertek’s hot boys Dammy Krane and Rocksteady alongside Vector, and long-time collaborator Sound Sultan are rearing to go.

The next show is billed for May 14 at the University of Port Harcourt and Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu on May 16, while University of Abuja will come alive on May 23.

Sony Targets US$1.4billion African Market Share As Nigerian Office Comes On Stream

Sony, the leading consumer electronics and entertainment brand has set a US $ 1.4 billion target for the African consumer electronics market. The company made this known while  unveiling its extensive blueprint for expansion across the African continent in Cape Town, South Africa.

Defined by a rigorous 360 degree immersion plan, Sony will look to transform the African consumers’ experience in the electronics sector through launching the latest technology products, introducing experiential Sony brand stores, and setting up authorized service centers in almost every country in Africa.

On the operational front, Sony plans to establish new zonal offices in Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria and Angola, employing local human resources and identifying new business partners with the capacity to compliment the Sony growth strategy in Africa.

The announcements, which came at an exclusive dealers’ conference, highlight Sony’s global ambitions and the significance it places on Africa in the international marketplace.

Speaking at the conference, Hiroyasu Sugiyama, Managing Director, Sony Middle East and Africa, said: “Africa is undoubtedly one of the most important markets for Sony. By 2015, we hope to achieve a $1.4 billion share in the consumer electronics space, including the fast-growing mobile phone business. The numbers certainly look exciting, but our immediate focus is to identify tactics that help us move towards our target. The Sony roadmap for Africa constitutes a four-pillared strategy based on ‘product’, ‘customer’, ‘community’ and ‘operation’.”

Sony’s new expansion plan is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to its long term vision for Africa. At a time when the region’s electronics market is evolving rapidly, with more and more users looking for intelligent solutions to match their entertainment needs, Sony is poised to deliver an extraordinary offering to suit varied expectations, and bring the ‘Best of Sony’ to every corner of the African continent. 

Africa Domain Name System Forum To Hold in Durban

In an attempt to establish a platform for the Domain Name System community across Africa and to advance the domain name industry and domain name registrations on the continent, a DNS Forum is set to hold on 12 - 13 July 2013 in Durban, South Africa.

According to a report on African Press Organization, the DNS Forum will foster cross-border collaboration between registries, registrars, registrants, DNS experts, Government representatives, and policy makers. Topics covered during the 1 ½ day event include trends, opportunities, and challenges of the DNS industry; strategies for registries and registrars; legal issues with cross-border domain registrations; ways Governments can support domain name growth; and benefits of standardizing accreditation to attract more cross-border registrars and registrations.

“The Internet Society’s African Regional Bureau has been working to strengthen the ccTLDs in Africa by improving sustainability, encouraging the implementation of automation solutions at ccTLDs, and promoting the use of technology such as DNSSEC at registries,” APO quoted Dawit Bekele, Internet Society Regional Bureau Director for Africa.

Monday 13 May 2013

MasterCard to Thrill Customers with Amazing Trips to Wembley

As part of its continued support of the Cashless Nigeria initiative, MasterCard, proud official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, is running a spectacular consumer promotion that will bring all the action and excitement of the UEFA Champions League right into the heart of Nigeria.

The promotion which debuted in Nigeria in 2011 provides MasterCard cardholders an opportunity to win the four tickets to watch the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, live in London at the legendary Wembley Stadium.

Announcing the promotion, Omokehinde Ojomuyide, Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, MasterCard, revealed that in addition to the four tickets to watch the Final live at Wembley, there are an additional 500 double tickets to watch the game at the exclusive UEFA Champions League Fan viewing event in Lagos. “To enter the competition, all a cardholder has to do is use his or her Debit MasterCard, the more they use their Debit MasterCard card, the more chances they have of winning,” she said.

The participating banks in the promotion are Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank Plc, Skye Bank, United Bank of Africa, First Bank, Wema Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Unity Bank, Ecobank, Keystone bank and Enterprise Bank. 

According to her, ‘the passion of Nigerians for football is tremendous and that is why MasterCard is committed to giving its card holders an unforgettable football experience this year’. “This event is one of the many incentives we have in store for Nigerians in support of the Cashless Nigeria Drive” she added.

Nigerians were treated to an evening of lots of fun and excitement in Lagos during the UEFA Champions League 2012 Final Fan Viewing experience hosted by MasterCard.

Samsung Launches Galaxy S4 in Nigeria

Samsung Electronics, recently launched its new product, Galaxy S4 smartphone in Lagos, Nigeria. The new Galaxy S4 is now on sale at Samsung stores and accredited dealers across the country.

Currently, the company is partnering with major telecomm service providers in the country via a pre-order service, in a drive to spur consumers to be one of the first to own the smartphone.

While addressing newsmen, Director of Hand Held Products, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas, said: “At Samsung, we understand the unique needs of our customers and this is another value-added service we are introducing to provide them with comprehensive service assistance in the event of accidental handling damage to their devices. We are very excited to be the first mobile device manufacturer to come out with this level of service,” he said.

According to to the company, the introduction the introduction of the ADH warranty on the Galaxy S4 smartphone is a testament to its commitment.

Samsung’s ADH is now available in Nigeria , South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Sudan,  Mozambique, Angola, Tanzania, Namibia , Zambia, Mauritius, Uganda, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire,  Botswana and Ethiopia.

Yookos Launches New API at WMWWA 2013 Conference

To give developers in Africa the opportunity to create applications that suite the trending and emerging social media landscape, Yookos a social network site that focuses on providing users the best platform to connect, share and interact has launched their Application Programming Interface (API) at the World Mobile Web West Africa 2013 Conference in Lagos.

The announcement was made during the company’s presentation to key industry leaders as well as various sponsors from every part of the continent.

The release of the APIs will now enable developers, including techprenuers, to create applications for the cross-section of social media channels that can be used on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Speaking at the event, Group CEO for Yookos, Mr. Tomisin Fashina, said that “We are particularly pleased that as a company we have reached yet another momentous milestone in the development of our platform. What makes this remarkable is that it facilitates the crowdsourcing of innovative ideas and solutions that will not only expand the functionality of the platform but also make its usage an exhilarating experience.

In his comment, General Manager Yookos Nigeria, Mr Gboyega Adelowore, revealed that, we have created a very rich and interactive API to help in the management of eco-system and to ensure that developers get the best as they experience it.

The global social networking site was officially launched in Nigeria in 2011 and currently boasts over 13 million registered users worldwide with Nigeria accounting for more than 60% of that base.

Second Loya Milk Promo: Third Car Winner Emerges

Promasidor Nigeria staff presenting the brand new Hyundai i10AT car to winner, Miss Mercy Okiyi
Mercy Okiyi, a final year NCE student, has won a brand new Hyundai i10AT car in the on-going Loya Milk ‘It’s What’s Inside That Matters’ promo in Aba state.

In an interview with our correspondent, Miss Okiyi said she was unaware of the promo until she bought the milk but she is very excited she won the car for her family.

“I did not hear about the promo from radio or television. I just bought the Loya milk and I saw what they wrote on the cover of the milk ‘look inside’ and when I opened the milk I saw a coupon inside. When I saw that I won, I didn’t believe it so I called the number on the coupon and they told me that the promo is on and that I have won a car. So I was very excited. I don’t know how to drive yet but I will learn how to drive with this car and it’s going to be a family car.”

She further made known that she initially had doubts about the promo but was assured after she called the customer care number. “When I saw the coupon I took it to my sister and she said that it’s fraudulent so decided to just try. That was when I called the customer care number and they told me congratulations that they will get back to me. So I waited and afterwards my dad came here to confirm that it is real. My dad believed immediately he saw it but I didn’t because that people are usually fraudulent they say you have won something and when you call afterwards you discover that it is a lie,” she said.

Speaking at their Lagos office, Commercial Director, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Kachi Onubogu said “At Promasidor, when we make commitments we keep them that’s why we have been in business for over 20 years. Apart from the fact that we do what we say we will do, we also want to remind people that we live to our promises. We know that between now and May; we will give out all the 12 cars.

He stated that the promo still runs till the end of May urging customers to keep buying the product, look inside any Loya 400g or 900g promotional pack, "you may see a prize, because it’s what it’s inside that matters.  For those who have not won, you can go to our Facebook page, and still win tins of Loya milk brand.”

Thursday 9 May 2013

MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Program

L-R: Chris ‘E Onyemenam, Director General and Chief Executive of the National Identity Management Commission; Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy in Nigeria; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank;  Daniel Monehin (Division President, Sub Saharan Africa, MasterCard).
The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and MasterCard today announced at the World Economic Forum on Africa the roll-out of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability as a pilot program.

The National Identity Smart Card is the Card Scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System (NIMS). This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.

As part of the program, in its first phase, Nigerians 16 years and older, and all residents in the country for more than two years, will get the new multipurpose identity card which has 13 applications including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments.

The Project will have Access Bank Plc as the pilot issuer bank for the cards and Unified Payment Services Limited (Unified Payments) as the payment processor. Other issuing banks will include United Bank for Africa, Union Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic, and First Bank.

The announcement was witnessed by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy in Nigeria, who stressed the importance of the National Identity Smart Card Scheme in moving Nigeria to an electronic platform.

“MasterCard has been a firm supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Cashless Policy as we share a vision of a world beyond cash. From the program’s inception, we have provided the Federal Government of Nigeria with global insights and best practices on how electronic payments can enable economic growth and create a more financially inclusive economy”, said Michael Miebach, President, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard.

Chris ‘E Onyemenam, the Director General and Chief Executive of the National Identity Management Commission, said “We have chosen MasterCard to be the payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the National Identity Smart Card project because the Company has shown a commitment to furthering financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the Nigerian economy.”

Photo of the Week: Presidential Power Reform Transactions Signing Summit in Abuja

President and Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE) Nigeria, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo and President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Nokia, UNESCO Empower Nigeria’s English Teachers with Nokia Life+

Image source:
As part of its commitment to providing mobile learning opportunities to help boost the quality of education, Nokia through its Life+ service has partnered with UNESCO, British Council and the National Teachers Institute of Nigeria.

The Nokia Life+ ‘English Teacher’ service is the one of the first initiatives in Nigeria to use mobile technology to help teachers nationwide. The new service features content developed by the British Council, which complies with the requirements of the primary grade English program of the country.

“Our aim from the beginning was to develop a service that teachers working in difficult conditions and without a great deal of support could access quickly. Mobile technology is a promising avenue and, in some instances, the only option”, said Steven Vosloo, the project coordinator for UNESCO while speaking at the launch event for English Teacher in Abuja, Nigeria.

Also commenting on the innitiative, Nick Imudia, Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, also said: “It is a great privilege for us at Nokia to develop the ‘English Teacher’ service in partnership with UNESCO and British Council. This mobile phone service provides teachers across Nigeria with the opportunity to positively impact both spoken and written English language skills in pupils in primary grades.

IBM Innovation Center Opens in Kenya

IBM Country General Manager for East Africa Tony Mwai demonstrates a visualization of the city's traffic patterns to Jessica Colaco, Managing Director iHub, a Kenyan startup incubator at the opening of the IBM Client and Innovation Center for East Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday May 8, 2013. The Smarter Cities technology, part of the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, is integral to the center's efforts to help the region's IT businesses, developers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics drive innovation and growth. (Dai Kurokawa/Feature Photo Service for IBM)
IBM has opened its first East Africa launched innovation centre in Nairobi, Kenya where clients could meet with experts to access knowledge, expertise and innovation.

 the center will help fuel growth and innovation in the region, providing IT partners, developers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics .

The innovation centre focuses on new technologies and approaches to modernising East Africa’s systems-transportation, water and public safety and make them smarter. It is co-located with a new IBM Client Center that brings IBM's expertise to clients in the region.

According to Tony Mwai, country general manager at IBM East Africa, the centre is to build the solutions and skills needed to succeed which will enable clients, business partners, entrepreneurs, academia and IT professionals to walk in and discuss their innovation plans with access to the latest enterprise software and hardware, training and business and marketing support.

“The centre will help IBM understand the region’s opportunities and the best path to success,”  Mwai said.

"Technology is playing a critical role in building stronger Kenyan and East African economies," said Mugo Kibati, chief executive officer, Kenya Vision 2030.  "IBM is an essential partner in helping us create a vibrant network of highly-skilled individuals and businesses, who are driving innovation for Africa and the world."

Nairobi is also home to IBM's first Research Lab in Africa which is driving a program of Pan-African research designed to help solve some of the continent's biggest challenges such as urbanization, next generation public sector and human capacity development.