Last week, reports manifested of a newly announced partnership between Cheyney University and the soon-to-be-built Oboseke University of Excellence. Within the partnership, the American college, which is situated only thirty miles from Philadelphia, will help the new university in Ghana set up a program focused on aquaponics and aquaculture. In exchange, Oboseke University will provide space on its campus for projects of joint interest.
“For folks unfamiliar with food production, they are often unfamiliar with the extensive use of technology employed in the industry, particularly in the realm of aquaponics. My understanding is that Cheyney’s existing program grows tilapia, and then they use the waste as fertilizer for their basil. Ghana currently imports a significant portion of its tilapia from China, so this aquaponics program is a great way to help provide real value to the local community. However, the partnership could go beyond aquaponics,” suggested Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.
“You’re sitting on a new university that really has yet to define itself. It’s already looking into how its programs can provide real value to the people of Ghana. It has established a relationship with a college in the United States which would presumably like to continue to build its footprint. Notably, Cheyney partnered recently with a biochem company, leading to the opening of a laboratory on its campus. This new partnership would be a great cornerstone for Oboseke University to build on, and to develop and serve as an incubator for young innovators who attend as students,” opined Gardner.
“To be able to share our experience and knowledge with this emerging African university, and potentially help the people of Ghana develop a more accessible food supply, is an extremely significant opportunity for us, a tribute to our academic excellence, and an honor,” Cheyney President Aaron Walton has been quoted as saying.
“First, start with food supply. Then look at technology. Ghana is currently leading the way in its region, as it works toward developing a central bank digital currency. That program relies heavily on blockchain technology, and it appears that Ghana is well-ahead of its neighbors on this issue. They’re starting to build a culture of innovation, and this partnership with Cheyney really allows them to further develop that. If the universities collectively brought in a few advisors from both sides of the ocean, they could offer a workspace to innovators in Ghana who are building technologies based on blockchain concepts or in other similar avenues, such as artificial intelligence or within MedTech,” Gardner says.
Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.
“Sometimes, we think of an incubator as an institution with hundreds of millions of dollars in backing and the most prestigious minds in the industry serving as advisors. But, sometimes, it can all start with folks who want to volunteer their time and expertise to help the next generation build something really cool. In a world filled with venture capital raises, it is easy to forget that, sometimes, all innovators need is a little conceptual guidance to bring their vision to life,” said Gardner.
Nigerian Energy Startup Secures $2M Investment From Shell-Owned Fund
Nigerian startup Infibranches Technologies, which helps solar energy providers manage their operations and receive payments, has secured US$2 million funding from All On, an impact investment company backed by oil major Shell.
Founded in 2019, the Lagos-based Infibranches has developed two flagship products – OmniBranches and Green Energy Plug – that help companies with large distribution networks, particularly solar home system distributors and mini-grid developers, manage their operations.
OmniBranches is a management platform with features that include agent hierarchy management, commission tracking, transaction records, transaction analytics, and profile management, while Green Energy Plug is a single point of integration for payments and other financial services for service providers in the Nigerian renewable energy sector.
So far the company has served over one million customers and processed over US$120 million in transactions, and the US$2 million All On investment will be used to support the next stage of its growth by financing inventory, agent acquisition, and product and technology development, as well as providing working capital for Infibranches’ plans to distribute solar home systems for households and commercial users across Nigeria, with a special focus in the Niger Delta.
“Through this investment, Infibranches plans to speed up customer acquisition in its current markets. This will also improve existing products like Omnibranches, which has served over a million customers and introduce new products and services to address energy distribution issues,” said chief executive officer (CEO) Olusola Owoyemi.
Dr Wiebe Boer, chief executive of All On, commended Infibrances for its innovative business model that solves payments and collections problems solar system distributors and mini-grid developers face across Nigeria.
“This partnership merges fintech and renewables in a way we haven’t seen in Nigeria before and will enable tens of thousands of new electricity connections,” he said.
Verve Partners NIMC to Improve National Identity Management System
Positioned as a torchbearer for inclusive digitization, Africa’s leading payment cards & token business, Verve has thrown its support behind the Federal Government’s efforts to create a robust digitization framework for comprehensive identity management for Nigerians.
The Nigerian government ramped up its digital identity management campaign to ensure a proper and foolproof identification system, as obtained in most countries across the globe.
In 2019, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) joined the coalition calling for the recognition of September 16 as International Identity Day to further consolidate its target of a comprehensive digital identity management system.
Verve, on its part as a leading card & digital payment scheme in Africa and a champion of digitized identity management solutions, has lent its support to this national undertaking of strategic importance.
According to the NIMC, the digital identity ecosystem includes players in both the private and public sectors to improve the commission’s reach across the nation. Players in the sectors include qualified private vendors who will provide data collection services and issue National Identification Number (NIN) under the National Identity Management System (NIMS) programme.
The commission seeks to enroll all Nigerians and legal residents in a centralized identity database, with the aim of creating an authentication channel that would foster seamless and safe local and foreign transactions.
Verve, as a provider of safe and seamless payment solutions, through its technology framework possesses the expertise and capacity to provide contemporary digitized identification solutions. This positions Verve as a suitable partner in the ongoing public identity digitization drive, providing structures that will advance the goals of the NIMC.
Marking this year’s National Identity Day at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Divisional Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) for Payment Cards and Digital Tokens, Interswitch Group, Vincent Ogbunude, restated the firm’s commitment towards supporting a digital ecosystem in tandem with the aims of the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
Ogbunude said, “Verve is proud to be supporting the federal government on this project. This partnership underpins our commitment and investment to grow the digital identity management system in Nigeria. At Interswitch we understand the critical place for identity, indeed we believe that a person’s identity is a fundamental human right that should not be trifled with.”
Emphasizing the importance of having an identity management database for Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and the 7th most populous nation in the world, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said that a comprehensive identity database was important in identifying the total number of residents in the country.
He also noted that a digitized identity management system would aid the government in crafting a proper national budget to better cater to the needs of Nigerians.
The minister pointed out that the digital national identification exercise would serve as a convenient substitute for frequent census exercises, “if the database is updated”.
Flutterwave, 9PSB Partner to Boost Growth of Inclusive Financial Services in Nigeria
Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company and Nigeria’s very first payment service bank, 9PSB on Monday entered into a partnership agreement that will help facilitate seamless financial services for Nigerians.
In a joint statement issued by both companies, the partnership seeks to create a seamless payment ecosystem by aggregating and simplifying transactions for banking agents, merchants, and consumers.
The partnership will also support the drive for economic growth through empowerment of the SME sector, entrepreneurs in FinTech and other industries, as well as contribute to the transformation of the informal sector to formal.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, held at the 9PSB head office in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka Mracajac remarked that the collaboration between 9PSB and Flutterwave represents an important milestone in making banking services accessible to all.
According to her, the partnership supports both companies’ commitment to expand accessibility and serve as last-mile delivery of solutions to the unbanked, under-banked and underserved. She said, “9PSB, being focused on the presence in unserved, rural, and remote areas, has a unique business model that provides Agent Banking as a Service to our partners to drive financial inclusion. Expanding on our promise to deliver relevant products, with this partnership, our existing agents, partners, and customers will have a single point of entry to enjoy various products and services provided by Flutterwave.”
With this partnership, Flutterwave and 9PSB are jointly launching a suite of products to enable other corporate entities, FinTech, technology and other industries to take advantage of the robust end-to-end system available for payments, collections, and transactions for both the banked and financially excluded Nigerians.
Commenting on the choice of 9PSB as its settlement bank, Founder and CEO, Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola noted that both companies share the same vision and are committed to one goal of powering seamless financial services. “At Flutterwave, we believe in an ecosystem of shared value that transforms and impacts society. We are showcasing the power of strategic partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration in advancing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem,” he said.
A paper published by the CBN—Financial Inclusion in Nigeria; Issues and Challenges, admits that there is global consensus on the importance of financial inclusion due to its key role in bringing integrity and stability into an economy’s financial system as well as its role in fighting poverty in a sustainable manner. The partnership between 9PSB and Flutterwave keys into various calls for interconnectivity and interoperability amongst stakeholders in the financial sector in accelerating the country’s financial inclusion drive to create prosperity and grow the economy.
Naira3 weeks ago
Naira Plunges Further, Exchanges at N530 to U.S Dollar
News2 weeks ago
Taliban Says Men and Women to Study Separately in Gender-Segregated Universities
News1 week ago
Terrorism Sponsors: UAE Names Six Nigerians, 47 Others
Economy1 week ago
Senate Receives Buhari’s Request For $4.054B, €710M, $125M External Borrowing Approval
News3 weeks ago
Buhari Terminates Appointment of Power and Agriculture Ministers
Economy4 weeks ago
Nigeria Economy Grows 5% In Second Quarter, Its Third Consecutive Growth
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
Zenith Bank Launches Intelligent Chatbot, ZiVA
Energy4 weeks ago
NNPC Made A Net Profit of N287B in 2020 – Buhari