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Asoko, USAID-Backed NEXTT Sign MoU on Promotion of Nigerian Agro-Processors

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African corporate data provider, Asoko Insight (“Asoko”) and USAID-backed Nigeria Expanded Trade & Transport (“NEXTT”) Project have jointly signed an MoU which will see the two organisations collaborate on the transition of the NEXTT project to the Asoko platform.

Over the last five years NEXTT has focused on the provision of technical assistance – primarily market and capital access – as well as business advisory services to a pool of high-potential private Nigerian agro-processors.

A press statement by Asoko indicates that as custodian of the USAID Project Development Facility (PDF) fund, NEXTT has also co-developed business models and expansion plans for twelve agro-industries with an aim to attract investment and promote exports into the Nigerian agro-value chains.

After the official deadline of the project on 9th October 2017 Asoko and NEXTT will collaborate to sustain the gains made over the last five years.

Asoko will assimilate the NEXTT project into its existing corporate platform of more than 10,000 privately-held African companies, while also actively facilitating the companies’ access to an international audience of firms seeking investment and partnership opportunities with Nigerian firms.

Speaking on the signature of the MOU Obi Ejimofo, Asoko’s Chief of Operations, said: “It has certainly been a pleasure working with NEXTT – an initiative that shares our desire to expose Africa’s vibrant private sector to global investment and trade opportunities. NEXTT has done invaluable work in key agri-business value chains in Nigeria. Asoko hopes to do its best to build on this solid foundation, by leveraging our technology and global footprint”.

On behalf of NEXTT, Chief of Party Marc Shiman said “NEXTT is particularly excited to work with Asoko Insight, a Pan African firm that has launched operations in Nigeria. Asoko represents Nigeria’s vibrant private sector and epitomize NEXTT’s approach of working with entrepreneurs in a win-win arrangement that helps them grow while continuing to ensure the firms with whom we have worked over the past 5 years will continue to get high quality support in their quest for success.”.

Engagement on the partnership will officially commence in September with the exchange of publications and database access between the two parties.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Apple Begin Sale of MekaMons Built by Adekunle, Nigerian Engineer

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Silas Adekunle with his 4-legged MekaMon robot

Apple stores in the US and UK have begun the sale of MekaMons, a gaming robot built by Silas Adekunle, a Nigerian-Briton.

 

Adekunle, an engineer, graduated with first class honours from the University of the West of England in Bristol, with a bachelor of science in robotics technology.

 

He was born in Nigeria but moved to the UK when he was 11 years old.

 

His company, Reach Robotics, an augmented reality gaming company which creates robots for both fun and STEM education, struck the deal with Apple recently.

 

MekaMons has been on sale since November 16 for $299.95.

 

The four-legged robots can be controlled via an iPhone and other smartphone using a companion app for augmented reality gameplay.

 

“We’ve created an entirely new video gaming platform,” Adekunle said in a statement by Black Enterprise.

 

The 4-legged MekaMon robot

 

“MekaMon straddles both the real and virtual worlds while taking the gaming experience beyond a player’s screen and turning their sitting room into a limitless robotic battle zone.

 

“MekaMon represents a quantum leap forward in the leveraging of augmented reality. Players can whip out their iPhone to battle their multi-functional, connected battlebots in the physical and virtual worlds at the same time.

 

“When I was a student at UWE Bristol I spent some time going into schools to help inspire young people and it struck me that there was a huge untapped market for a consumer robot with a difference.

 

“We used to go in and explain simple robotics to try to inspire the young roboticists and engineers of the future and this experience set me off thinking about designing gaming robots.

 

“This is an exciting time for our company as now after years of development work we are finally able to bring Mekamon to customers across the UK and US and with plans to go global.

 

“UWE Bristol has given us an amazing start and we are so grateful for their support.”

 

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iSON Group Sparkles at 2017 SERAS Awards

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L-r) iSON BPO Team - Adebayo Bakare DGM – HR , Sujeet Matwankar – Head- Human Resource

iSON Group has bagged two awards at the 2017 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs) for Best Company in Poverty Eradication and Best New Entrant in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The award ceremony was held at the Shell Hall, Onikan, Lagos.

These awards were presented to iSON Group in recognition of its robust CSR philosophy, and its progress in eradicating poverty in Africa as it drives sustainable development across the communities beyond the bands of its operation.

The SERAS–CSR Awards is an annual event to celebrate organisations investing resources in the improvement of lives of stakeholders and through their social performance and investment programmes contributing to the development of Africa. This is the first edition to recognise individuals and organisations outside Nigeria.

Accepting the awards on behalf of Mr. Ramesh Awtaney, the Founder and Chairman, iSON Group, were Sujeet Matwankar Head of Human Resources, iSON BPO and Bakare Adebayo, Deputy General Manager – HR, iSON BPO and Ms. Olapeju Allison, Manager –HR, iSON Technologies and Mr. Henry Erigha Deputy Sales Director, iSON Technologies.  They expressed satisfaction for being part of a system that addresses the very essence of human existence. Sujeet Matwankar said, ‘’These recognitions on Responsibility awarded to iSON Group demonstrates the progress made by the organization in leading Africa’s IT and ITeS industry towards sustainable investments in human capital development whilst driving communities to achieve the global sustainable development goals’’.

As part of its CSR initiatives iSON is on a mission to build capacities focused on specialized training in IT-enabled services for the youth. Its “Welfare through Empowerment” program, in partnership with the local business communities, enables growth in IT and ITeS for the African youth. Its corporate social responsibility initiatives are directed at empowering the underprivileged and the youth.

According to media officer of The SERAS, Mr. Michael Ogunbanwo, “We are indeed delighted at the quality of participation thus far. Noteworthy for us is the fact that we have so many first time entrants for The SERAS this year. For us, this clearly is an indicator of the wide acceptability of the worksTruContact CSR Nigeria- initiators of the awards, in promoting and standardizing corporate social responsibility and sustainability in Nigeria and Africa’’.

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FG Inaugurates ICT Centres in Katsina State

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Federal Ministry of Communication established three Information and Communication Technology Centres (ICTC) in Daura, Katsina State, to promote the quest for improved information and technological education, Mr Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communication, said.

The minister made this known yesterday during a visit to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk.

Shittu said the three centres were located at the state’s College of Legal Studies, Government Junior Secondary School Daura and Federal Government College Daura.

He added that the centres were to assist in promoting ICT education among students in the area, as well as ensure wider coverage for the nation.

The minister called on the people to make optimal good use of the centres.

He said he was in Katsina for a stakeholders meeting on how to enhance information and communication technology for national development.

He noted that “the centres are equipped with ICT gadgets like computers, internet services and other accessories.

“The world has witnessed a paradigm shift from analogue status to digital one, hence the need for us to embrace the trend.’’

The minister reiterated Federal Government’s determination to change the nation from analogue to digital ways of doing things.

Shittu commended the emir “for the sustained contributions on nation building, especially on peace and regular prayers for the wellbeing of the nation.’’

Responding, the emir commended the minister for establishing the centres in his domain.

He called on the ministry to consider the possibility of expanding the scope of the centres by establishing same in other areas like Zango, Maiadua, Baure and Sandamu.

He assured the minister of the emirate’s support to mobilise students to begin to use the centres for ICT programmes.

The minister was in company of the 36 commissioners for information and other heads of federal parastatals, agencies and commissions.

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