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Google Trains One Million Africans in Digital Skills

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich
  • Google Trains One Million Africans in Digital Skills

Google has announced that it has reached the one million milestone in its digital skills programme for Africa. Google had last April said that it would train as many as one million Africans on digital skills within a year. The company has kept to its promise.

“We have reached our target early, and we have committed ourselves to train even more Africans in digital skills in the coming year,” Google said on Tuesday.

In addition, Google is extending its commitment to the digital skills programme by assisting local communities further in several ways. First, Google will provide offline versions of its online training materials to reach individuals and businesses in low access areas where it is unable to hold physical training sessions. Second, Google will provide offline versions of the content in languages like Hausa, Swahili and IsiZulu.

The digital skills programme offers 89 courses through the online https://digitalskills.withgoogle.com/ portal, and Google works with 14 training partners covering more than 20 countries to offer face to face training. The programme will also be addressing needs for small business owners, who are looking to better understand how to take advantage of the web across Africa. Google will add web-focused skills training for SMEs across Africa as part of this initiative.

Speaking on the development, Google Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said: “The Web is a driver of economic growth, and is transforming society as a whole. People must be equipped, through training and reskilling to make use of the tools, and take advantage of it for entrepreneurship, employment and e-inclusion.”

According to her, their goal with this and previous web training initiatives is to enable more people across the continent better understand how to leverage the web tools for growth, to give them access to better employment and/or the skills to start their own businesses.

“A digitally skilled Africa is good for everyone – for our economy, for entrepreneurs and individuals. And yes, good for internet companies like Google,” she said.

Growth Engine and Brand Lead, sub-Saharan Africa, Bunmi Banjo, said: “Having one million digitally skilled young people in Africa is good for everyone. If young people have the right skills, they will build businesses, create jobs and boost economic growth across the continent.”

“As we expand this initiative to reach more local areas across the continent, we hope to see more impact in everyday lives of Africans,” Banjo added.

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Ecobank Upgrades Mobile App, Launches Cardless Withdrawal Service

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ATM at lagos

Ecobank Launches Cardless Withdrawal Service

In a move to reach the over 100 million unbanked Nigerians and Africans, Ecobank has launched a cardless withdrawal service to allow a large number of people outside the banking sector access bank services.

According to the bank, its mobile application was upgraded to an all-in-one bank account and payment/cash withdrawal tool.

In the statement released on social media, the lender said its ‘Xpress Cash’ functionality allows customers to access their cash ‘cardless’ at any Ecobank Automated Teller Machine (ATM) using only their mobile phone.

Customers can access cash via e-Token generated from their Ecobank mobile application, according to the bank. The innovation is seamless, secure and reliable.

The bank explained that the e-token can also be redeemed at any of its numerous agent locations across the country.

Speaking on the innovation, Ade Ayeyemi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ecobank, said “Innovating for customer convenience is in our DNA at Ecobank.

He added: “We have developed this fast, convenient and innovative mobile banking solution – cardless Xpress Cash at our ATMs and Agencies to embed our digital platforms within the lifestyle of our customers and improve the uptake of digital financial solutions by both banked and unbanked in Africa.

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9mobile Joins MTN, Launches E-Sim Service 

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9mobile

9mobile Launches E-Sim Service

Nigeria’s mobile network operators have joined the rest of the world in launching E-Sim, an embedded sim.

In July, MTN Nigeria set the ball rolling with the launching of its E-Sim trial. This was followed by 9mobile that launched its E-Sim earlier this month.

E-Sim is a form of an in-built sim that is embedded directly into a device without using a physical Sim.

Speaking on the new E-Sim, the Acting Director of Marketing, 9mobile, Layi Onafowokan, described the latest move as the most excellent experience that advanced technology provides.

According to him, the E-Sim is an in-built sim embedded in mobile devices in order to reduce the possibility of losing or damaging sim and eliminate the stress of dealing with the cutting of sim cards or finding adaptors.

It also enables multiple usage and adaptation of one subscriber profile across a broad range of mobile communication devices, internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) apps including smart commuting, metering, tracking, and surveillance, rather than the restricted single-device use of the conventional SIM card.

Onafowokan said: “Customers can walk into any of our select 9mobile Experience Centres to request E-Sim activation. A QR code will be provided to scan and download E-Sim profile and perform the usual SIM registration.

He added that customers that activate E-Sim service will enjoy up to 7GB data-free while those who want to change to E-Sim will only do a SIM swap at approved centres.

E-Sim is compatible with Google Device like Pixel 3, 3 XL, 4, and Pixel 4 XL. Apple Device like Iphone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, Xs, Xs Max and Iphone XR. Samsung S20 Series.

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Financial Institutions Owe Telecoms Over N17b in Unpaid USSD Service -NCC

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Telecoms

Banks Owe Telecommunication Companies Over N17b in Unpaid USSD Service

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said financial institutions offering Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service owe telecommunication companies over N17 billion.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, disclosed this on Thursday at a virtual forum organised by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

In the forum titled ‘Meeting the interests of government, consumers and telecoms companies in the era of Covid-19 and post COVID-19 pandemic for digital economy development’, Danbatta said the debt accumulated after the commission suspended its determination on USSD pricing in 2019.

However, the Chairman said in order to protect the interest of consumers and support the growing telecommunications sector, the commission has decided to revise the 2019 determination on USSD.

Speaking on the suspension of end-user billings Dr. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, said the decision was to ease customers’ burden and ensure justice across the board.

He said, “USSD is a service to banks and not telecoms consumers, and as such, banks should see themselves as corporate customers of telecoms operators with a duty to pay for using the telecoms networks and infrastructure, including USSD channels extended to them for service delivery to their customers.

According to him, “Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have no direct relationship with bank customers, and cannot therefore charge directly for usage of USSD channel,” he explained.

The NCC, therefore, asked Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and financial institutions offering USSD service to reach an agreement on a rate that works for both parties.

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