- IBM Expands Quantum Computing Programme to 16 Varsities
IBM has announced the expansion of its quantum computing efforts to Africa in a new collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in South Africa.
As part of the partnership, a statement from the company said, IBM would collaborate with 16 universities across the continent to train students and professors on the functionalities of the new computing paradigm, equipping future generations with the necessary skills for next era of technology.
According to the statement, three Nigerian universities – University of Lagos, University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University lle-Ife – are some of the universities in Africa, selected for an opportunity to access IBM’s quantum computing and software for teaching.
Others are Addis Ababa University; University of Ghana; University of Nairobi; University of Rwanda; University Cheikh Anta Diop; University of Cape Town; University of Kwa-Zulu Natal; University of Pretoria; Rhodes University; University of Stellenbosch; University of the Witwatersrand; University of Dar es Salaam and Makerere University.
To gain access to the IBM Q quantum cloud service, the statement said African Research Universities Alliance scholars would be required to submit quality research proposals to a scientific committee of Wits and IBM experts for approval.
It said the Wits University was the first African partner on the IBM Q Network and would be the gateway for academics across South Africa and to the 16 universities, who are part of the African Research Universities Alliance.
“This is the latest outcome of the joint partnership between IBM Research and Wits, which started in 2016 when IBM opened its second lab in Africa in Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Johannesburg. To expand the IBM Q Network to include Wits will drive innovation in frontier-technologies and benefit African-based researchers, academics and students who now have access to decades of quantum computing capabilities at the click of a button,” Wits Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Postgraduate Affairs,Prof Zeblon Vilakazi said.
IBM described quantum computing as a technology that was capable of solving problems such as chemical simulations and types of optimisation – that were beyond the practical reach of classical machines.
It said the company first made quantum computers available to the public in May 2016, through its IBM Q Experience quantum cloud service and had doubled the power of its quantum computers annually since 2017.
IBM said it established the IBM Q Network™, a community of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, academic institutions and research labs working with IBM to advance quantum computing and explore practical applications for business and science.
Researchers at Wits, according to the statement, will investigate the use of quantum computing and machine learning in the fields of cosmology and molecular biology with a specific focus on HIV drug discovery.
Exporters Say CBN Pre-export Requirements is Frustrating Export of Goods
Exporters have said the recently introduced pre-export requirements by the Central Bank of Nigeria is creating unnecessary bottlenecks for exporters and the movement of goods out of the country.
Exporters, who spoke under the aegis of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), said the electronic Nigeria Export Proceed Form now required by financial institutions from exporters had come with so many challenges.
Ahmed Rabiu, the President, NPNEN, explained that the new policy had several requirements that often led to delays and loss of income on the part of exporters.
He said, “We acknowledge the CBN’s desire to ensure that all exports out of Nigeria are documented in order to ensure that the proceeds of such exports are repatriated.
“However, the reality on the field shows that the process is causing undue delays and consequently, encouraging corruption.”
According to them, in the new pre-export requirements, the Central Bank of Nigeria wants an export transaction to be initiated through eNXP processing on the trade monitoring system.
After which exporters are expected to have a pre-shipment inspection agent, the Nigeria Customs Service and other designated government agencies carry out their pre-export inspections.
The exporters said the pre-shipment inspection agent was expected to issue a clean Certificate of Inspection while Customs would issue the Single Good Declaration. All these they said takes time and delay goods from leaving the country on time.
Pointing to a recent report, they said about N868 billion worth of goods bound for export were stuck at the ports due to the new policy.
Speaking further Rabiu said, “For example, for the PIA to issue the CCI, the exporter is required to upload a certificate of origin as one of the supporting documents for the eNXP.
“The PIA is also required to upload the CCI to the TRMS(M) and until this is done, the Customs service will not issue the Single Good Declaration.”
He added, “After issuing the SGD, the customs is further required to upload it into the TRMS before the goods are allowed to be gated into the port and loaded on the vessel by the shipping line.”
Ardova Plc in Talks to Acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited
Ardova Plc, Nigeria’s leading integrated energy company, has commenced discussions to acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.
According to the statement issued and signed by Oladehinde Nelson-Cole, Ag. Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc, Enyo is one of the newest and fastest-growing retail and supply companies in the downstream sector.
It stated, “This announcement is pursuant to the acceptance in principle of AP’s offer and acquisition framework by the shareholders of Enyo, it is subject to the successful completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.”
“This announcement is pursuant to the acceptance in principle of AP’s offer and acquisition framework by the shareholders of Enyo, it is subject to the successful completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.”
Speaking on the yet to be completed deal, Mr. Olumide Adeosun, CEO, Ardova Plc, said upon completion, Ardova will retain the Enyo branded stations which will operate side by side with the Ardova brand while simultaneously leveraging on the strengths of Ardova and its group companies.
He added that the two companies are determined to conclude the deal by the end of Q1 2021.
Enyo presently operates over 90 stations across the nation and attends to over 100,000 retail customers on a daily basis.
Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited promised to furnish stakeholders with more information on the progress of the deal.
Obozuwa Takes Charge as Coca Cola Vice President on Communications
Patricia Obozuwa on Monday resumed as the Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Africa at The Coca-Cola Company.
Obozuwa was appointed in December 2020.
Prior to joining coca-cola, Obozuwa worked as the Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer for General Electric, GE Africa for six years.
At GE Africa, Obozuwa established a corporate social responsibility platform, GE Kujenga, to better empower people by building valuable skills, equipping communities with new tools and technology and elevating innovative ideas that are solving Africa’s challenges.
Obozuwa’s unique commitment to Africa did not start with GE Africa, prior to joining GE, she led Procter & Gambler as the Head, External Relations, Nigeria and Corporate Communication Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa.
She was also the Arts and Sponsorship Manager for the British Council in Nigeria in 2005 before joining P&G.
Obozuwa is a non-Executive Director of The Water Trust (US-Headquartered Non-Profit Organisation).
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