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Etisalat Upbeat of Profitable Financial Year

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Etisalat

Etisalat Upbeat of Profitable Financial Year

Despite the harsh business environment crippling growth and profitability of businesses in Nigeria, Etisalat Nigeria has expressed confidence of achieving a profitable financial year while also assuring its loyal and esteemed customers of quality and innovative products in 2017.

The Head of Sales and Distribution, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Oluwatosin Olulana, explained that 2016 was a very challenging year for the business community, but stated that with innovation and quality partnerships with its channel partners, the company has continued to wax stronger providing quality and better services to its numerous customers in the country.

Olulana during the company’s annual channel partner conference, said: “Despite the challenging business environment, we believe innovation is key to business profitability and sustainability. We drive our businesses through creating innovative products. Innovation is about doing things differently. 2016 was very challenging, but in terms of initiatives that we deployed and the resolve of our channel partners, we were able to do very well in terms of our performance. Our channel partners are very happy about our performance.”

In his words, “Today is our annual channel partner conference which sets the tone for another business year and also to appreciate our channel partners because they are really important to us. The customer is the major thing for us at Etisalat Nigeria. Everything we do in Etisalat is all about the customers. We always look for ways to impress our customers to satisfy their needs beyond expectation. Customers should expect lots of innovative products and best customer service from us in 2017. Right now we are ahead in terms of experience and we intend to maintain that lead.”

A Virtual Airtime Distributor, Etisalat, Mr. Samson Isa, who has been doing business with Etisalat in the past five years, expressed delight partnering Etisalat, stressing that in a challenging economy like Nigeria, there are lots of opportunities for businesses if only they deploy innovative strategies to remain competitive.

“The year under review was challenging, but out of every challenge, there is an opportunity. We as virtual distributors, there are opportunities for us to grow, because the key value proposition for virtual airtime distribution is convenience and we have seen growth in the part of the business. We want to thank Etisalat for their support and we see more growth this year and years beyond,” he said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

E-commerce

Jumia Nigeria Appoints Sunil Natraj as CEO, Outlines Ambitious Expansion Plans

Former Jumia Ghana CEO to Lead E-Commerce Giant as Massimiliano Spalazzi Steps Down

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Jumia Nigeria, a prominent player in the e-commerce sector, has announced the appointment of Sunil Natraj as its new CEO.

Natraj, the former CEO of Jumia Ghana, will take the helm of the e-commerce business in January 2024, succeeding Massimiliano Spalazzi, who has been with Jumia Group for 11 years and will be stepping down in December 2023.

The announcement came during a media parley held in Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, with Francis Dufay, the CEO of Jumia Group, unveiling Natraj as the new leader.

Natraj expressed Jumia’s commitment to becoming a truly Nigerian company and continuing the initiatives started by Spalazzi.

“We want to continue what Spalazzi started,” Natraj stated, emphasizing Jumia’s vision to expand its presence beyond Lagos.

He disclosed plans to extend operations to additional Nigerian cities, with Akure and Ilorin on the radar and a focus on cities en route to Ibadan, Warri, and Benin in the first quarter of 2024.

The overarching strategy is to create a comprehensive network covering the entire country.

Dufay outlined the ambitious goal of targeting cities with populations exceeding 20,000 people, citing successful precedents in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.

He acknowledged the challenges faced by Jumia, including a workforce reduction in Q4 2022 and a 73% cut in advertising budgets in Q3 2023.

Despite the hurdles, Dufay highlighted Nigeria as Jumia’s largest market and affirmed the company’s determination to navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.

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Technology

Google DeepMind Unveils Gemini AI Chatbots to Rival OpenAI’s GPT Series

Gemini Ultra Outperforms GPT-4 in Text, Image, Coding, and Reasoning Tasks

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Google DeepMind has officially introduced its highly anticipated family of AI chatbots named Gemini, poised to compete with OpenAI’s renowned GPT series.

Among the key highlights is Gemini Ultra, the largest and most advanced model, which Google claims surpasses OpenAI’s GPT-4 in various domains, including text-based, image-based, coding, and reasoning tasks.

The announcement also shed light on the meticulous development process, emphasizing that Gemini Ultra is undergoing rigorous “trust and safety checks, including red-teaming by trusted external parties.”

This stringent evaluation process aligns with Google’s commitment to ensuring the reliability and security of its AI technologies.

Accompanying Gemini Ultra are two additional models, Gemini Pro and Gemini Nano. Gemini Pro is now accessible to the public through Google’s Bard chat interface, while the smaller Gemini Nano is designed to run on Google’s Pixel 8 Pro smartphone.

All three models exhibit the capability to process text, images, audio, and video, providing comprehensive outputs in both text and image formats.

Google envisions the integration of Gemini models into various products and services, including internet search and advertisements.

Developers will gain access to Gemini Pro through an API starting December 13, with Android developers empowered to build with Gemini Nano.

The Gemini suite is set to face competition from industry rivals, including OpenAI, Anthropic, Inflection, Meta, and Elon Musk’s xAI.

Google DeepMind’s ambitious move reflects its dedication to advancing AI capabilities and establishing a strong presence in the burgeoning field of AI chatbots.

This unveiling marks a significant milestone for Google DeepMind, a company born out of the fusion of DeepMind and Google Brain in April 2023.

The incorporation of Gemini into Google’s AI portfolio signifies the tech giant’s determination to close the gap with competitors and assert itself as a leader in AI innovation.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Expands Financial Frontier: Acquires Money Transfer Licenses for 13 U.S. States

Africa’s Leading Payments Tech Firm Facilitates Faster, Affordable, and Secure Transfers between the U.S. and Africa

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In a significant move towards advancing financial connectivity between Africa and the United States, Flutterwave, Africa’s premier payments technology company, has proudly announced its acquisition of money transfer licenses for 13 key U.S. states.

This strategic expansion aims to expedite, streamline, and secure the transfer of money from the U.S. to Africa and back.

The states covered by the newly acquired licenses include Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland, Michigan, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

These additions, combined with Flutterwave’s existing partnerships and licenses, now empower the company to serve customers seamlessly across 29 states in the U.S.

Money transfer licenses, issued by state regulators, play a pivotal role in enabling financial technology companies like Flutterwave to engage in the transmission of money.

The acquisition of these licenses fortifies Flutterwave’s commitment to regulatory compliance, safety, and the soundness of its services.

Stephen Cheng, Executive Vice President, Global Expansion and Partnerships at Flutterwave, emphasized the significance of this milestone.

“Getting these licenses expands our regulatory footprint, demonstrates our ability to deliver services with safety and soundness, and fosters trust among regulators, partners, and customers,” stated Cheng.

“We’re growing and are committed to servicing customer needs in as many geographies as possible, particularly with a significant African diaspora.”

Flutterwave’s popular solutions, such as the Send App, are set to benefit greatly from this expansion.

The Send App facilitates easy and secure money transfers between the U.S. and Africa, catering to both individual users and enterprises that rely on Flutterwave for global last-mile payouts.

“Sending money between the U.S. and Africa has been challenging for the African diaspora. These licenses pave the way for Flutterwave to make the Send App available to the African diaspora in the U.S., offering a super user-friendly money remittance experience,” explained Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO at Flutterwave.

“Our mission is to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa by simplifying payments for endless possibilities. These licenses move us one step closer to our vision, and we will continue to expand this feat to ensure coverage for all states in the U.S. and beyond.”

Flutterwave remains steadfast in its commitment to providing accessible remittance services across the U.S. and has outlined plans for further expansion of licensing coverage in the near future.

This ambitious endeavor reflects the company’s dedication to fostering financial inclusion and creating a seamless financial bridge between continents.

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