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Technology News Update – 1st October to 6th October

Weekly tech news update by ITSA

Umar Danbatta: AI Can Solve Africa’s Problems

 

Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has expressed his optimism that Africa can overcome its challenges of poverty, food insecurity, healthcare, and more through the adoption and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

He made this statement at the 11th Edition of the Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, under the theme “Artificial Intelligence and Africa”. According to Danbatta, AI is a powerful technology that can provide solutions to some of the most pressing issues that African countries face, such as limited access to healthcare, food insecurity, financial inclusion, and infrastructure development.

He said that AI-powered solutions can improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery, enhance decision-making and problem-solving, and create new opportunities for innovation and growth.

However, he also pointed out that for Africa to fully harness the benefits of AI, several critical factors need to be addressed.

He emphasized the importance of building the necessary digital infrastructure, such as expanding broadband connectivity, ensuring reliable power supply, and creating a conducive regulatory environment. He also stressed the need to prioritize digital skills development, as AI technologies require a skilled workforce that can develop, deploy, and maintain these systems. He also highlighted the importance of ethical considerations in AI deployment, such as transparency, accountability, fairness, privacy, data security, and human rights.

Danbatta called for collaboration and partnership among various stakeholders, such as governments, regulatory bodies, academia, private sector, and civil society, to share knowledge, pool resources, and leverage expertise for driving innovation and creating an enabling environment for AI adoption. He assured Nigerians and Africans of the NCC’s readiness to fully support the adoption and deployment of AI, emphasizing their commitment to creating an enabling regulatory framework, collaborating with stakeholders to establish AI research and development centers, incubation hubs, and startup ecosystems to nurture homegrown AI talent.

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For more on this check out the links below-

(1) Africa Can Tackle Poverty With AI

(2) Africa can tackle poverty with AI – Nairametrics.

(3) Danbatta Urges Africa To Embrace AI For Societal A….

(4) AI will address Africa’s healthcare, food, and infrastructural challenges ….

(5) Danbatta Urges Africa To Embrace AI For Societal A….

 

 

Chipper Cash CEO joins Biden’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora

 

The President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States is a new body created by President Biden in December 2022 to strengthen the dialogue and collaboration between the U.S. government and the African Diaspora in the U.S.

The Council consists of 12 members who represent the diversity of the African Diaspora from African American and African immigrant communities, including leaders in various fields such as government, sports, creative industries, business, academia, social work, and faith-based activities. One of the members is Ham Serunjogi, the co-founder and CEO of Chipper Cash, a cross-border payment app that allows people to send and receive money in and between Nigeria, South Africa, the U.S., Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, and the U.K. Chipper Cash also offers virtual dollar cards and fractional shares of global companies for its users.

Serunjogi is a Ugandan-born entrepreneur who moved to the U.S. for his education and worked at Facebook before launching Chipper Cash in 2018. He is one of the youngest members of the Council and will provide his insights and expertise on how to foster economic opportunities and innovation for the African Diaspora.

For more on this, check out the links below:

(1) President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the ….

(2) Executive Order on Establishing the President’s Advisory Council on ….

(3) Chipper Cash.

(4) Chipper Cash | Company Overview & News – Forbes.

(5) Virtual Dollar Cards: Chipper Cash vs Payday, which is better?

(6) Chipper Cash – Apps on Google Play.

(7) US Creates Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement.

(8) US Creates Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement.

(9) Biden to Unveil Council on African Diaspora in United States.

 

A New Opportunity for Nigerian Tech Startups: The NGX Technology Board

 

The NGX Technology Board is a new platform launched by the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to attract and support technology-based businesses in Nigeria and Africa. The Board aims to provide these businesses with access to capital, visibility, and mentorship from the NGX and its partners. The Board also offers incentives such as reduced listing fees, relaxed listing requirements, and enhanced post-listing support.

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, has expressed its intention to collaborate with the NGX to stimulate startup listings on the NGX Technology Board. The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, said that the Ministry would work with the NGX to create awareness and provide support for tech startups that want to list on the Board. He also said that the Ministry would leverage its existing initiatives and policies, such as the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy, the National Block chain Policy, and the National Broadband Plan, to create an enabling environment for tech innovation and growth.

For more on this check out the links below:

(1) FG pushes for tech startups listing on NGX – Nairametrics.
(2) Home – www.commtech.gov.ng
(3) FMCDE – Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

 

NITDA Launches Tech Startup Accelerator Fellowship for Nigerian Innovators

 

The NITDA Tech Startup Accelerator Fellowship is a new initiative by the Federal Government of Nigeria to support and promote technology-based entrepreneurship and innovation in the country.

The Fellowship is organized in partnership with the Founder Institute, Abuja, a global network of entrepreneurs and mentors. The Fellowship aims to train 30 tech startups in various domains such as AI, Robotics, cybersecurity, E-commerce, Software, FinTech, Ed-tech, IoT, GovTech, Agritech, and Biotechnology.

The Fellowship will provide the startups with access to funding, mentorship, networking, and exposure to potential investors and customers. The application deadline for the Fellowship was October 2, 2023.

For more on this check out the links below:

(1) NITDA launches Tech Startup Accelerator Fellowship.
(2) FG opens applications for tech startup accelerator Fellowship. 
(3) APPLY NOW: Applications open for FG Tech Startup Accelerator Fellowship.

 

How Nigeria Can Bridge the Digital Divide and Achieve Broadband Penetration

 

The “2G network” is the second generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology that was launched in the early 1990s. It offers voice and text services but has limited data transfer and internet access capabilities. The 2G network operates at a speed of up to 64 kbps and has a bandwidth of 200 kHz.

The “4G network” is the fourth generation of wireless mobile telecommunications technology that was introduced in the late 2000s. It offers high-speed data and internet services, as well as voice and video calls. The 4G network operates at a speed of up to 100 Mbps and has a bandwidth of 20 MHz.
According to the latest statistics from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), 60.3% of subscribers in the country were still on 2G as of August 2023, almost eight years after the rollout of 4G by network operators. The telecom industry statistics further show that 10% of the over 220 million subscriptions were on 3G, a higher generation of network launched in Nigeria in 2007. Subscriptions for 4G still stood at 28%, while the latest technology launched in 2022 accounted for 0.83% of subscriptions in the country.

The low pace of migration by subscribers from 2G to higher networks is attributed to device constraints, as many Nigerians still use 2G and 3G devices that are not compatible with 4G or 5G. The network operators have also faced challenges such as high cost of infrastructure, spectrum scarcity, regulatory hurdles, and security issues in expanding their coverage and quality of service.

The NCC and the Federal Government have expressed their intention to collaborate with the network operators and other stakeholders to improve the telecom sector and bridge the digital divide in the country. They have also initiated various policies and initiatives, such as the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy, the National Broadband Plan, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, and the Digital Nigeria Project, to create an enabling environment for digital transformation and innovation.

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For more on this check out the links below:

(1) 60.3% of Nigerian telecom subscribers are still on 2G – NCC.
(2) Over 60% of Nigerian telecom subscribers are still on 2G, says NCC …..
(3) 60.3% of Nigerian telecom subscribers are still on 2G – NCC.

 

 

X CEO Said the Company Has Paid $20 Million to Content Creators on the Platform

 

The CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino, said the company has so far paid almost $20 million to content creators on the platform. X, formerly known as Twitter, is a social media platform that was acquired by Elon Musk last year.

X began paying creators in July for a share of the ad revenue they earned from ads served in the replies to their posts to other verified users. To be eligible, users must subscribe to X Premium, have more than 500 followers, and have earned more than 5 million tweet impressions for the last three months.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that telecommunications subscribers in Nigeria consumed a total of 655,879.86 terabytes of data in August. This is an increase of 26.6% from the 518,381.89 terabytes of data consumed in 2022.

The NCC attributed the growth in data consumption to the increased availability and affordability of broadband services in the country. The NCC also reported that Nigeria’s active internet users reached over 140 million with broadband penetration at 40.01% as of the end of September.

 

For more on this check out the links below:

(1) X (Twitter) has paid almost $20M to creators, CEO says.

(2) Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, says she has autonomy from Elon Musk to run …..

(3) $20 million paid by X to content creators so far: CEO.

(4) Yaccarino says X has paid almost $20 million to creators.

 

 

 

Nigeria Podcast Boom: Spotify Revealed the Growing Appetite for Audio Content

 

A podcast is a form of digital audio content that can be downloaded or streamed online. Podcasts usually consist of episodes that cover various topics, such as news, entertainment, education, sports, etc. Podcasts can be accessed through platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and others.

Spotify, the global streaming platform, has revealed that Nigeria ranks as the second-highest consumer of podcasts in Africa. According to Ncebakazi Manzi, Spotify’s Podcast Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, podcast listenership in Nigeria has increased by 222% between 2021 and 2022, (Wow!).
This places Nigeria behind South Africa, and ahead of Kenya, Ghana, and Angola. Manzi attributed the growth of podcast consumption in Nigeria to the diversity of content and the preferences of Generation Z (“GEN Z”) listeners.

Some of the popular local podcasts among Nigerian listeners are The HonestBunch Podcast, I Said What I Said, Menisms, So Nigerian, and Tea with Tay. These podcasts appeal to Generation Z and Millennials because they discuss relevant and engaging topics in a candid way. Most Nigerian listeners tune in to podcasts between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., possibly during their commute or morning routine.

 

(1) Spotify ranks Nigeria’s second highest consumer of podcasts in Africa.

(2) Spotify Reports Nigeria as the Second-Largest Consumer of Podc…..

(3) South Africa, and Nigeria top countries consuming podcasts in Africa.

(4) Spotify ranks Nigeria’s second highest consumer of podcasts in Africa …..

 

 

OpenAI’s Chatbot, ChatGPT, Is No Longer Limited to Data before September 2021

 

“ChatGPT” is a Chatbot developed by OpenAI, a research organization that aims to create Artificial Intelligence that can benefit humanity. ChatGPT uses a deep learning model called GPT-3, which is trained on a large corpus of text from the internet. ChatGPT can generate natural and coherent responses to various types of inputs, such as text, images, voice, and emoji.

ChatGPT was limited to data before September 2021, which means it could not provide up-to-date information on current events, trends, or facts. However, OpenAI has announced that ChatGPT can now browse the internet to provide users with current and authoritative information, complete with direct links to sources. This feature is available to users of the paid versions of ChatGPT, such as Plus and Enterprise. Users can access this feature by selecting the “Browse with Bing” option, which allows ChatGPT to use Microsoft’s Bing search engine to find relevant information on the web.

This feature enables ChatGPT to go beyond the fixed dataset it was initially trained on and access current information on the internet. This can improve the quality and accuracy of ChatGPT’s responses and make it more useful for users who want to learn new things, get answers to their questions, or have engaging conversations. On the flip side, this feature also raises some privacy and ethical concerns, such as the potential for ChatGPT to access harmful or misleading content, bypass paywalls or copyrights, or leak personal or sensitive information.

 

To read more, check out the following links:

(1) ChatGPT can now browse the internet for updated information.

(2) ChatGPT’s latest development is it is no longer limited to September …..

(3) JUST IN: OpenAI’s ChatGPT can now browse the internet and is no …..

(4) OpenAI’s ChatGPT can now access the internet, no longer limited to …..

 

Hustle Academy SMB Fund” The New Initiative Created By Google for Nigerians

 

The “Hustle Academy SMB Fund” is a new initiative by Google to support and promote technology-based entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria. The Fund is part of Google’s Hustle Academy, which provides SMBs with business and management education, mentoring, and networking. The Fund aims to offer N5 million each to 15 Nigerian SMBs that have a clear and scalable business plan, a track record of commitment to growth, and operate in sectors aligned with the digital economy or have a digital enablement strategy.

The Fund is open to Nigerian-founded businesses that have been operating for five years or less. The application deadline is October 12, 2023. The selected SMBs will receive the funding as well as tailored mentorship from Google and its partners. The Fund is designed to help the SMBs succeed and drive economic growth, creating jobs and opportunities for all Nigerians.

Thank you, Google! For more on this check out the links below:

(1) Google opens applications for $100k Hustle Academy Fund to empower …..

(2) Google announces N75 million Hustle Academy fund to empower Nigerian ….

(3) Google offers N75m funds to Nigerian SMEs.

(4) Google to support small businesses in Nigeria with ₦75 million Fund.

 

Credit: Ebuka Adimora and Aya

 

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