- FG to Establish Regional ICT Hub in Yola
A regional humanitarian hub on Information and Communications and Technology will be established in Yola, Adamawa State, in June this year, according to the Federal Government.
According to the government, the ICT centre will bring young people in the North-East together in order to create solutions to address the challenges in the region, using technology.
The Special Assistant on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to the Vice President, Ife Adebayo, disclosed this in Abuja on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Gallery of Code, a research, development and creativity laboratory.
Adebayo said, “What is happening here at the Gallery of Code is quite amazing because these are the things that the government has continued to push. As a government that is very interested in young people and in the capacity and opportunities that young people are given, we’ve proven this by the various activities that we push.
“For instance, we have the North-East technological project, which will culminate in the establishment of a humanitarian innovation lab in the region that will also have an IoT (Internet of Things) and 3D printing lab. We also have the support for the innovation hubs, which are currently going on, as applications are out for the North-Central, South-East and South-South regions.”
He explained that the North-East project was a process that started as part of the government’s social investment programme to discover young people from the region, who had innovative solutions to the problems in the area.
Adebayo stated, “Beyond that, it is part of the Federal Government’s overall objective of supporting technology and innovation across the country. The Vice President announced this in 2016 and we’ve gone forward to make that happen and the key part of that for the North-East is this humanitarian innovation lab.
“This lab will provide opportunities for young people with innovative ideas to come together and build social innovative solutions to the problems in the North-East. But beyond that, they will be getting the support of the government, because we are partnering schools like the American University of Nigeria and our key partner for now is the International Committee on the Red Cross.
“The commencement of this project is in June this year and the Vice President will handle it himself. This will be in Yola, Adamawa State, and it is going to serve the region, meaning that there will be a lot of collaboration with institutions of higher learning in the North-East.”
He thanked the Austrian government for its support for the Gallery of Code, adding that “the things that are going to be built and developed from here are things for the future, which is where Nigeria should be going.”
The Founder, Gallery of Code, Oscar Ekponimo, said the centre was set up to develop solutions that would address Nigeria’s needs in various sectors of the economy.
He stated, “We run a research, development and creativity laboratory that is put together with Ars Electronica and a few other partners, including MIT Media Lab and some foreign universities, and we operate right here in Abuja.
“This centre offers tools, training and advanced technology to empower people with the skills to be able to create solutions for the society. This could be solutions in health, education, agriculture, etc. We want a situation where people can use tools and equipment to develop solutions to our local problems.”
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
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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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
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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