- FG Moves to Improve Investment Climate
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, has announced that the Federal Government is collaborating with Microsoft to digitally transform the delivery of services to the investor community in Nigeria and evolve the regulatory and procedural environment governing business incorporation.
He stated in a document obtained by our correspondent on Friday that the collaboration was through Microsoft’s Africa Open4Business programme.
Enelamah said by harnessing advances in cloud technologies, “the ministry aims to transform the reach and scope of government-to-investor services in the country, creating an agile and investment-friendly environment.”
According to him, the ministry believes that digital technologies play a pivotal role in evaluating and changing the landscape for reforms, “with e-reforms becoming the next big thing for Nigeria, for government operations and services, and for the economy at large.”
The minister said, “Our partnership with Microsoft is designed to drive business model innovations, which will transform the delivery of services to current and prospective investors in Nigeria.
“The objective is to deliver self-provisioned, expedient and technology-driven services to the highly-valued constituencies of investors that we are mandated and keen to serve.”
Industry players said that the partnership between the ministry and Microsoft would tap into the portfolio of services availed through the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative to jointly drive digital transformation and advance Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business ranking.
The World Bank compiles the Ease of Doing Business ranking annually in partnership with governments, and Nigeria is currently ranked 169 out of 190 economies.
The Ease of Doing Business report stated, “Country rankings are highly observed by the global investor community, as they generally reflect not only the conduciveness of the regulatory and procedural environment facing new market entrants, but also how businesses interact with government regulatory agencies throughout their lifecycle.”
Speaking on the support from Microsoft, the Public Sector Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Hakeem Adeniji-Adele, said, “The Africa Open4Business programme helps to tackle one of the main challenges deterring investors: a lack of credible and timely investment-related information.
“By helping the MITI modernise and digitise this information, we will enable it to engage with investors on a frequent and timely basis to increase investment levels and, ultimately, the pace of job creation.”
The Director, Government Solutions, Microsoft Africa Initiatives, Azza El Shinnawy, added, “By integrating cloud technology, we will be able to cut down both the time and costs investors spend to incorporate and maintain their businesses in Nigeria.
“Cloud technology will also help the MITI to proactively communicate opportunities to a global community of investors, expanding investment horizons and showing that Nigeria is indeed open for business.”
Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0
The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.
The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.
MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.
The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.
The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.
According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”
“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.
MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.
Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.
Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria
Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.
Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.
This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.
Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.
Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”
Chevron To Invest In The Offshore Wind Sector
Chevron’s venture capital arm and Moreld Ocean Wind have agreed to invest in Ocergy Inc.’s development and commercialization of floating offshore wind turbines.
The investment by Chevron Technology Ventures is it’s first in offshore wind. The size of the investments wasn’t disclosed. Floating turbines would be useful in ocean areas that are too deep for fixed turbines.
A senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Anthony Logan said: “To my knowledge, this is the first investment by a U.S. oil major in offshore wind”
Logan said, floating wind turbines will become important as the U.S. electrical grid increasingly depends on offshore wind power.
“If you can get into those deeper waters, chances are you can build a system of offshore wind production that isn’t vulnerable to low wind or no-wind events.”
The investment will also fund the development of an environmental monitoring buoy that will gather data and support biodiversity, Ocergy said in a news release Tuesday. The company has previously invested in onshore wind. Moreld is owned by HitecVision, a private equity investor that specializes in European renewable energy.
Chevron’s deal with Ocergy doesn’t mark a strategic pivot to renewable energy, but part of a $300 million-a-year plan to invest in early-stage technologies that may play a future role in the energy transition. The company is unwilling to erode returns by investing aggressively in an unfamiliar business where it doesn’t have a competitive advantage and sees oil and gas as its core products for years to come.
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