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Africa Must Leverage Technology for Economic Transformation, Says Elumelu

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Tony Elumelu
  • Africa Must Leverage Technology for Economic Transformation, Says Elumelu

The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Group (UBA), Mr. Tony Elumelu, has described technology as a leading accelerator for economic transformation and development globally.

Owing to this, he stressed the need for policymakers and political leaders in Africa to leverage technology to transform the continent and empower the massive youth population in the continent.

Elumelu, who is the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), said this in a speech at the ‘Tech for Good Summit,’ organised by French President, Emmanuel Macron, that took place in Paris.

He pointed out that from efficient payment systems, to access to data that fosters connection and collaboration, technology remains a reality and offers a world of opportunity and promise.

“But Africa cannot be left behind. Africa needs this type of gathering – we are a continent with over 60 per cent of its people under the age of 30 – they need economic opportunities, they need hope. “They need Tech for Good and just as important, Tech for All,” he said.

Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, said he represented Africa at the summit, to draw attention, “to our young ones who seek economic hope and opportunity via technology.”

He emphasised that technology remains a great employer of labour, drives inclusiveness and helps in alleviating poverty.

“But we must not forget that in Africa we are just starting out and we cannot afford to lag behind. We need the world to pay attention to Africa so that young Africans are not disenfranchised and left behind in this new technology era.

“We need the world to pay attention to the plight of young Africans so that issues of migration can be addressed in a more fundamental way – by tackling the root cause, which is a lack of economic hope. “We must address these issues holistically to fight poverty which as we all know is a threat to everyone everywhere,” he added.

Elumelu challenged world leaders who gathered in Paris for the summit, to train and invest in young Africans, and to make capital investments in the continent, that would ensure that tech is truly for all. Tech is for good but we must make sure it is for all, he maintained.

“These commitments will make the world a more equitable and inclusive place. I reiterated to them that even as they gathered in the next G7 and G20 summits, they should prioritise tech for all on the African continent,” he said.

He told the participants that the Tony Elumelu Foundation remains committed to Tech for All.

“Our digital hub for African entrepreneurs, TEFConnect, demonstrates the possibilities that can be unlocked on our continent when we leverage technology in business, investment and social good.

“Our platform is a demonstration of what can be achieved when the digital revolution is democratised – personal empowerment, business growth, equitable bilateral relationships and a more gender balanced and inclusive society.

“Finally, on behalf of UBA Group — I have also joined other select global leaders to co-sign a diversity pact aimed at increasing participation of women in leadership and technology by 2022.

“The pact will leverage technology to bridge the gender divide in today’s fast-evolving workspace, drive a more inclusive work environment and accelerate innovations that will further simplify our lives and make us more efficient,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Brands

Rite Foods Affirms Commitment To High Standards

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Rite Foods Limited has affirmed that it produces under high ethical standards and hygienic conditions in line with global standards.

Its Managing Director, Mr Seleem Adegunwa, said the company compares favourably with other food companies such Leventis Foods Limited, UAC Foods and UTC.

He said the company is also gaining market share in the soft drinks and energy drinks’ segment of the beverage industry.

Adegunwa spoke during the Brand Academy organised for reporters in Ogun State by the company.

He said the company has a rich heritage of quality, having started production in 2012.

He said Rites Food is an institution that believes in hard work and dedication, adding that the company still has the potential for growth as it though the company has 20 percent of its plans earmarked for the future.

Assistant Brand Manager, Rite Foods Limited, Boluwatife Adedugbe said the company, established in 2007, is a world-class, Nigerian foods and beverages manufacturing company, and subsidiary of Essy-Ay Holdings Limited

She said the factory, which began operation in 2012, is another community, with world-class equipment responsible for the production of sausage and beverage drinks.

The reporters were taken on a factory tour by the Production Manager, Mr. Michael Ibikunle, which started at the state-of-the-art bakery that produces 27,000 sausages per hour and also the beverage factory which produces 37,800 bottles per hour. The tour rounded off at the energy section, which consisted of gas generators, and one mega watt solar.

“At Rite Foods Limited, we intensify the trail with our Bigi soft drinks, the family’s favourities in the soft drink segment, and we have added other exciting variants now comprising the Bigi Cola, Bigi Orange, Bigi Apple, Bigi Bitter Lemon, Bigi Soda Water, Bigi Lemon and Lime, Bigi Tropical, Bigi Chapman and Bigi Tamarind, Bigi Cherry Cola, Bigi Ginger Lemon, Bigi Ginger Ale,” Adedugbe said.

According to her, the Bigi premium table water is produced with global best practices in purification for hydration, freshness, and healthy living.

She said the company has highly nutritious brands that included the Rite Sausage and Bigi soft drink variants, introduced into the market in 2008 and the Fearless Energy Drinks in 2017.

“Since then, the brands have set the pace for others to follow, as the most preferred products by families nationwide, as well as addressing the market need of young pupils in schools,” Adedugbe said.

She said it was the company policy to comply with regulatory bodies such as the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other national and international standards.

“So, anything you see us producing is because somebody has made an order for it, if they don’t make order, we don’t produce because no customer will buy a product that’s not fresh, everybody wants to buy a product that’s fresh, some of the products are traveling far places like Onitsha and Port Harcourt, among others.

“It’s important that customers are getting it fresh and also the customer needs to get it the same day because if it’s getting late people may not want to buy it, they are losing before it get to the distributor, before it gets to the retailer in just within ten days, it has to be fresh so that the person buying it would buy it fresh as the first day it was produced.

“That’s to imply that we produce only when a customer makes an order, it has to be fresh, because some are going to majorly South-East, South-West, and South-South because we can’t go to the North for now because of the distance, it takes days to get to the northern parts of the country,” Adedugbe said.

On transportation, she said the company has three models of transportation but blended the three models into one loading bay. She said the palletized was for those who actually want it, for the Eastern part of the country they dwell more on the containerized body, while the Northern part prefer using their vehicles, so irrespective of tribe, race and region, the company is ready to give what customers want.

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Plant Power: Nestlé Launches Dairy Free Milo in Asia

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As consumers in Asia are including more dairy alternatives in their diet, Nestlé is launching plant-based versions of some of its most-loved brands in the region.

That now includes a new plant-based version of Milo, the world’s leading chocolate malt beverage that is enjoyed in many Asian countries.

It will be launched in Asia, starting first in Malaysia, a country with generations of Milo fans going back 70 years to its launch there in 1950. Nestlé Malaysia will also be introducing a range of plant-based Nescafé lattes. Both will appear on shelves this April.

Chocolate malt plant-based deliciousness

People are deeply passionate about their Milo, so the development teams worked hard to deliver the ionic Milo taste while using only plant-based ingredients.

This new version replaces the milk in the original recipe with almond and soy, but the other two core ingredients – malt and cocoa – remain the same.

Each bottle offers 6.5 grams of protein and is also low in sugar, with a combination of vitamins and minerals to support effective energy release.

It follows the launch of a plant-based Milo powder in Australia in 2020, a launch that created huge excitement in the country where Milo was first introduced in 1934.

Mayank Trivedi, Head of the Dairy Strategic Business Unit at Nestlé, said: “Milo is an iconic brand in Malaysia and across Asia, and much-loved across generations. We want to provide consumers with on-trend alternatives in formats they want. That’s why we’re delighted to launch Milo Dairy Free to support people’s lifestyle choices.”

A whole ‘latte’ flavor

Nestlé is a pioneer in innovate plant-based coffee mixes, and Nestlé Malaysia is now introducing a plant-based version of another iconic brand – Nescafé oat and almond lattes.

Plant-based coffee mixes are a popular and growing category. Nestlé has already launched them cross a number of countries in Europe, Latin America and Oceania, and most recently launched a range of plant-based Nescafé and Starbucks lattes in Japan.

The Nescafé Dairy Free Almond Latte combines almond and pea, while oat and soy are the main ingredients for the Nescafé Dairy Free Oat Latte. Both are blended perfectly with smooth Nescafé coffee and can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Plant-based discovery

Using its expertise in dairy products and plant-based proteins, Nestlé is focused on developing a wide variety of dairy alternatives that complement the everyday diet of people. This includes products made from pea, rice, oat, soy, coconut and almonds.

“We’re expanding our offerings across Asia by developing a variety of great-tasting, nutritious and sustainable plant-based products.” says Guglielmo Bonora, Head of Nestlé’s R&D Center in Singapore. “We want to make it easier for people to embrace plant-based alternatives in their diet, while also reducing our carbon footprint across the supply chain.”

Nestlé’s R&D center in Singapore serves as the regional innovation hub for the development of plant-based dairy alternatives in Asia. The center collaborates closely with Nestlé’s global R&D network of around 300 scientists, engineers, and product developers who are active in the research and development of plant-based products.

A rising trend

According to a recent survey by GlobalData, over 40% of consumers in the Asia region are shifting to more plant-based diets, with 11% opting for vegetarian and vegan food, and a third moving to a ‘flexitarian’ diet that is lighter on meat and dairy products.

The need for plant-based dairy alternatives that taste great and offer strong nutritionals is rising, as more families are following this trend. In particular, many consumers cite environmental reasons, as plant-based proteins are produced with significantly lower emissions, land- and water usage.

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Brands

MoneyGram Advances Payments As A Service Offering With Sigue Partnership

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MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, today announced a partnership with Sigue Corporation, a leading U.S. based transnational P2P and B2B payment company. 

The partnership enables Sigue’s U.S. customer base to access MoneyGram’s domestic and international receive network, adding scale to Sigue’s existing global footprint.

“Over the last few years, we’ve built a modern, mobile, and API-driven organization that enables companies to seamlessly plug into our global network to provide expanded services for their customers, and we’re thrilled to announce our latest partner integration with Sigue,” said Alex Holmes,MoneyGram Chairman and CEO.

“Opening our global platform to companies like Sigue enables us to increase payment volumes through our network and process additive transactions. MoneyGram has built an extremely valuable, tech-enabled, and scalable global payments infrastructure that can absorb significant volume at very low marginal cost. As other companies plug into our platform, we have the opportunity to create meaningful processing revenue in the years ahead, and I’m excited about the momentum in the market leading to a strong partnership pipeline.” He added.

The MoneyGram and Sigue partnership is the most recent successful integration in the new MoneyGram as a Service business line. Partnerships such as this expand processing volume by enabling other financial institutions to access the Company’s global payout capabilities through its powerful API-driven infrastructure and best-in-class technology.

“We are very enthusiastic about our partnership with MoneyGram, as it allows us to scale further, quicker and keep our resources free to focus on creating the best money remittance experience in the business. It strengthens our market presence as the world’s leading privately owned remittance business and confirms our credentials as a leading technology innovator for the global money services industry,” said Guillermo de la Viña, Sigue CEO and Founder.

“This reaffirms our commitment to serving millions of families through our secure, reliable, and innovative services, with the dignity and respect our customers demand and deserve. The partnership further enables Sigue to better serve our customers by expanding our commitment to provide the value-added services that our customers and agent base expect, which is the cornerstone of our success.” He added

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