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Etisalat Nigeria, WAAW Foundation Reward Innovation in Schools

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Etisalat has sponsored this year’s Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation science camp for girls, in further demonstration of its commitment to empower young people through quality education.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Camp, whose 2013 theme was ‘Robotics and Renewable Energy for Africa’, took place at the Laureate College Mafoluku, for girls between the ages of 13 and 17.  The week long training ended with a colourful Award ceremony last weekend. 

The Robotics STEM camp, witnessed hands-on activities, lectures, tutorials and experiments, all led and presented by female facilitators from Nigeria and the United States.

Among them included a special education teacher from Ebele Agu,Honors Academy School in Texas; Dr. Kaye Smith, associate professor of Physics and STEM Education at St. Catherine University in Minnesota; and Frances Van Sloun, mechanical engineer from St. Thomas University in Minnesota.

Over 30 girls attended the camp and were educated on how robotics, computer science and programming could be used to solve significant problems in Africa, focusing on electricity generation and water purification, amongst others.

The participants were mostly drawn from government public schools across Lagos such as Airforce Secondary School, Gbaja Girls’ High School, Clegg Girls’ High School, Top Grade Secondary School, Bolade Senior Grammar School, Laureates College and Bosgram College.

Projects developed and presented by the girls included light-sensor robots to solve green energy challenges such as trash sorting, water purification systems, and renewable energy systems including solar cars and Windmill systems.

Leading teams received trophies while every team member was presented with a STEM certificate.

Okung Ebiefie, head, Data& Mobile Internet at Etisalat Nigeria, said: “our focus is to encourage young people to believe that they can do great things and be innovative solution providers. Etisalat believes that confidence and tangible skills can make them more impactful and viable. We are committed to giving them that gentle push needed to help them apply their energy into thinking up new ways to improve societies they live in. These girls have had valuable experiences that we hope will be sustainable and impactful”.

Etisalat is focusing on the next generation of young people who are the source of fresh ideas and tomorrow’s leaders, by equipping them with capacity to innovate, and develop their ideas into sustainable solutions.

Dr. Unoma Okorafor, Founder of the WAAW Foundation, who recently received the 2013 Anita Borg Change Agent Award, said the objective of the STEM camp was to ensure that girls think of science and technology as tools that can help them solve real problems in their communities.

“The focus is to encourage our girls to look around and use locally available materials for innovation. These are our future leaders. We need them to understand that there are no limits. The objective also is to influence them by giving them intense hands-on experiences during the Camp. We open up their minds to think of the problems in Africa and empower them to solve these problems through technology. We need to increase the number of girls that are engaged in innovation through science and technology,’ she said.

Etisalat presented Easyblaze modems to winners at the Awards Ceremony.

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Nuclear Programme to Give Impetus to Nigerian Economy

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Today, unfortunately, Nigeria’s economic potential is constrained by many structural issues including; inadequate infrastructure, foreign investment obstacles and economic flexibility. In 2015-2016 the nation’s economy was hit by low oil prices due to weaker demand. The situation was aggravated due to the fact that the country highly depends on petrodollars, which account for nearly 70% of its national revenue.

 

The country is currently recovering from its first major recession which took place in 2016. According to the World Bank estimations, Nigeria is moving from a recession to a modest 1.2% growth rate in 2017, gaining momentum to 2.4% in 2018.

Nigeria’s economic growth is also severely constrained by insufficient electricity generation capacity, which results in a lack of a reliable and affordable energy. At the same time, Nigeria flares considerable amounts of associated gas, a by-product of offshore crude oil extraction. This flaring generates significant greenhouse gas emissions and wastes a considerable amount of energy.

 

The current growth in Nigeria’s economy relies largely on its oil sector, which drastically minimizes its long term sustainability. The implementation of a more diversified economic policy framework could create a more favorable environment for short-term growth and generate more sustainable growth rates in the medium- to long- terms.

 

One of the most positive steps toward the implementation of the country’s recovery plan was the approval of the Power Sector Recovery Program in March 2017, which promises to restore financial viability to the power sector as well as improve its record for transparency and service delivery. In 2016 the Federal Government reaffirmed its plans to introduce nuclear power to diversify the country’s energy mix and help meet the energy needs of the country.

 

Globally, nuclear power is considered a viable base load alternative, producing power 24/7 with very few maintenance shutdowns, which makes it the ideal source for powering industry and growing an economy. Nuclear power is also environmentally friendly, emitting far less greenhouse gases during electricity generation than coal or other fossil fuel power plants.

 

The construction of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Nigeria will not only assist with the current energy crisis, but will also stimulate a great deal of investment in the country and local business.  The direct and indirect economic and socio-economic benefits of NPP construction are immense.

 

There is a great deal of opportunity for direct localisation during the construction phase of an NPP. This includes: engineering services and the manufacture of components including pumps, valves, piping, tubing, insulation, reactor pressure vessels, pressurizers, heat exchangers and moisture separators. Construction will also provide a substantial boost to suppliers of commodities such as concrete and steel.

 

This entails a major boost for local manufacturers and job creation. Not to mention the business opportunities in unrelated industries as a result of the economic spinoffs, such as the needed external infrastructure in the region of the plant, accommodation for workers, hospitals, schools, agriculture as well as the retail sector (due to an influx of workers and higher salaries in the region).

 

The construction of Kudankulam NPP in India with the help of the Russian state owned nuclear corporation Rosatom has led to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs in the region, not to mention new jobs in equipment-manufacturing companies and other related industries. Moreover, tax proceeds from the plant go to neighboring towns and villages, making it possible to implement social projects such as the construction of schools and sports facilities. In the Czech Republic, two nuclear power plants annually allocate about USD 6 million for the development of the regional economy and infrastructure, including the food sector.

 

NPP construction spurs a huge chain reaction in the countries they are built, providing massive benefits (added value) to the economy. If we assume a NPP project based on 2 power units 1,2 GW each (and local industry involvement of 20-30%) on every invested dollar the nation would receive USD 1.9 as local industry income, USD 1.4 as extra taxes inflow, USD 4.3 of GDP growth.

 

Investing in nuclear projects stimulate cash flows to the regional and national budget that often surpass direct investments by a significant margin. The actual amount of investment depends directly on technologies involved.

 

A recent analysis conducted by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) found that nuclear plants create some of the largest economic benefits when compared to all other generating sources, this due to their sheer size and the number of workers needed to construct and operate the plants.

 

According the NEI the operation of a nuclear plant requires the highest number of skilled workers when compared to any other technology and on average these jobs pay 36% more than the average salaries in the area where the plant is constructed.

New plant construction creates a direct demand for thousands of locally sourced skilled labourers, such as; welders, pipefitters, masons, carpenters, millwrights, sheet metal workers, electricians, ironworkers, heavy equipment operators and insulators, as well as engineers, project managers and construction supervisors.

 

There will also be thousands of indirect jobs created through localisation, including engineering services and the manufacture of components including pumps, valves, piping, tubing, insulation, reactor pressure vessels, pressurizers, heat exchangers and moisture separators.

 

Construction will also provide a substantial boost to suppliers of commodities such as concrete and steel. From the analysis done by the NEI it was determined that a single new nuclear power plant requires approximately 300,000 cubic metres of concrete, 66,000 tons of steel, 70 Km of piping, 500 km of electric wiring, and 130,000 electrical components.

 

 

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AfDB, OpenOil Launch Report on How African Governments Manage Extractive Resources.

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African Development Bank (AfDB) and OpenOil, a Berlin-based financial analysis firm, have jointly produced a report on how African governments use financial models to manage oil & gas and mining projects.

 

The report was launched at the 13th Annual General Meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Over 150 experts and representatives of international development institutions, governments, civil society and extractives companies attended the launch.

 

These included the World Bank, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

 

Mining companies and miners’ associations such as Newmont Mining Corporation, AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American and International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) also attended.

 

The joint report was presented by Pietro Toigo of the AfDB’s African Natural Resources Center and Olumide Abimbola from OpenOil.

 

“This report is the first of its kind in Africa and we hope that it will stir debate within the continent’s mining sector and contribute to countries getting more out of their mining projects,” they told the participants.

 

The report, Running the Numbers: How African Governments Model Extractive Projects, analyses the capacity of 19 African resource-rich countries to use financial models, which simulate a simplified version of a real-world project in order to determine their financial benefits to the countries.

 

AfDB and OpenOil conducted a survey of nearly 50 government officials to illustrate not only how widespread use of financial models is, but also how their results are utilised to inform policy.

 

“Financial models are essential throughout the life-cycle of extractive projects,” said Johnny West, Director of OpenOil.

 

“They are not just important during the development of the fiscal regime, but also for the negotiation of fiscal terms with companies, for revenue forecasting, and for auditing and tax-gap analysis.”

 

“This report not only stresses the need for African Governments to make efforts to close the information gap with extractive companies, but also shows where there are capacity gaps and how those gaps could be addressed,” Traore said, urging development partners to invest more in capacity building.

 

Also, there is a substantial gap in access to data that are key inputs for financial models in African countries, with the largest gaps in assessing information on capital costs and operating costs of projects.

 

In addition to the need to build in-house financial modelling capacity, the report suggests that governments need to improve internal business processes and address the large gap that the report shows exist between information available to different agencies, departments and ministries.

 

“This study forms a crucial part of the Center’s support to African countries in realising the full potential of their natural resources”, Traore said.

 

“How are countries supposed to enter into negotiations with extraction companies that use financial models  if the governments of such countries are not in possession of the latest and best models to calculate what a potential project is worth?” Toigo asked.

 

The report also encourages development partners to make capacity building in financial modeling a more significant part of their support to the management of extractive resources.

 

Partners doing so already were encouraged to not just supply financial models as part of isolated technical assistance, but to also invest in equipping government officials with skills to create and use models.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cloud Energy Launches Multi-Function Solar Home System

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Engr. Theophilus Nweke, managing director, Cloud Energy middle with team

Cloud Energy, Nigeria’s outstanding energy solutions provider 2016, has launched a Multi-Function Solar Home System, Nigeria’s first with a 30 Watts solar panel.

 

The Multi-Function Solar Home System is designed with a 9AH battery to provide dependable basic electricity solutions to the poor and under-served in the society.

 

Launching the Solar Home System at a Resellers’ Forum at the weekend, Engr. Theophilus Nweke, managing director, Cloud Energy, revealed that the Multi-Function Solar Home System would provide LED Home lighting, charge phones, power fan, radio and MP3 player, and other basic electricity functions with an advanced battery protection and maintenance system. The Solar Home System comes with an optional fan.

 

Addressing participants from across Nigeria at the Resellers’ Forum, Nweke announced that Cloud Energy in partnership with Power Africa would launch in the first quarter of 2018, higher specifications of the Multi-Function Solar Home System to provide electricity for more levels of the underserved population.

 

He assured that the new systems, currently being domesticated in the Cloud Energy Research and Development, would have the capacity to power basic equipment including television and laptops.

 

Nigerians, the Cloud Energy MD said, would have the choice of comparably more durable Multi-Function Solar Home Systems on a pay as you go or rent to own scheme.

 

The introduction of the Multi-Function Solar Home Systems are in fulfilment of the Cloud Energy management’s determination to create affordable access to solar energy for all segments of the Nigerian society.

 

In his contribution at the event, Mr. Isaac Whiskey, general manager, Cloud Energy,  urged the Resellers to rise to the challenge presented by the deep and rich bouquet offered by Cloud Energy.

 

The task ahead, he said would be to devise marketing schemes that reach all segments of the society at the same time. As Resellers in Solar Energy “we must be prepared to provide solutions for the weak and poor while catering for the pampered and rich class”.

 

Mr. Whiskey assured the Resellers that the partnership with Cloud Energy would help them to achieve their corporate objectives – provide sales support and LPO financing, grow the capacities of their staff, shared logistics – generally lean on the muscles of Cloud Energy to improve profitability. He informed Resellers that the Cloud Energy outlet at Ichida Mall, Alaba market, Lagos is designed to offer experiences on solar technology to all while affirming that Cloud Energy would always provide the original quality products and sterling after sales support that guarantee end-user satisfaction.

 

Responding on behalf of other participants, Augustine Ibe from Abuja expressed his gratitude that Cloud Energy is committed to growing the solar market via the empowerment of Resellers.

 

He said that he was impressed by the technical depth of the forum while noting that the experience and interactions at the Resellers’ Forum would help their performance in the market.

 

 

 

 

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