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Huawei Committed to Better Connected Nigeria, Skills Dev- Li

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r. Frank Li, managing director of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited,

Qualitative health and education as critical sectors of Nigerian economy can be raved up with technologies, especially now the country is transforming to a digital economy.

Huawei as a company believes that with continued support from the Government, ICT industry will continue to transform other sectors, said Mr. Frank Li, managing director of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, in an interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, during the commissioning of Huawei Customer Solution Innovation & Integration Experience Centre in Lagos, recently.

e-Education
“Education, for example we saw a lot of teachers are limited by facilities at their disposal.  Knowledge is out there they would want to share from others in developed economies, but it has not been easy for them.
This is part of reason we established innovation and experience centre in Lagos. The digital platform offers users connectivity to technologies and innovations across the globe.
This platform also enables the user to have first-hand practical know-how about their field and even exchange their own ideas, thought, visions and motivations with the outside world. Looking at some rural areas; the classrooms, it is not easy for our teachers to have access to sufficient resources.
“Now, with what Huawei is doing through cloud technology; as the programmes are packaged, they can remotely access the contents. In other words, they can remotely access the e-education and tap into the knowledge and better equip the students with the latest technology.
If we flash back to when President Muhammadu Buhari visited China, there are twenty students who have joined our e-education programme, telling the President their experiences. They were excited about the platform telling the President that at home-base it was impossible.
                                              
e-Health
“Also, in health sector, there are issues with the Doctors still attending to health matters in the ‘traditional’ way. It has not been easy for them. Thus, we are initiating an e-health programme so that one can remotely access health solutions. Presently, a patient will first visit the hospital, obtain a card and join a very long queue.
This can be transformed digitally, leveraging mobile phones to attend to health documents and other matters.
The interesting part of the solution we are bringing is that through video chat you can remotely book an appointment with the doctor, and not to presently be there to book.
This will increase efficiency and quality, reducing cost of services too. It will enable the government serve the people more efficiently. Huawei’s major focus is on building a better ecosystem for our clients, and mostly, offer quality services to the citizens of Nigeria while working with the Government.

Technologies and Business Transformation
“This is where the changes have occurred in tremendous ways. In the previous times, the GDP was rated based on the traditional industries’ contributions.
But, nowadays, the global connecting index (GCI) report shows that for every twenty per cent increase in the ICT industry leads to over one per cent increase in the GDP. We do see that ICT domain is globally driving the digital economy.
Before now, raising capital was the main focus for businesses, because it is critical in value creation. But today, capital would become of no effect without knowledge. Knowledge fertilizes capital for growth.
For example, our lives have changed since the advent of mobile internet. Yesteryears, we walk outside to flank down taxies, but look at what companies like Uber, jiji, are doing. With your smart mobile it got easy to book for a taxi through an app; sell and buy online, saving costs and time. This is the way the digital economy has totally changed our lives.

ICT for Agricultural Transformation
As typical example of how the ICT industry changes the whole system in Nigeria. There is this ‘direct project’ that connects the Galaxy Backbone and the datacentre for the Federal Government. If we focus on the farmers at the rural areas, again, we see they lack access to predictions about the future economy; the kind of period to farm or carry out their functions.
But with the kind of projects we are collaborating with the government, these challenges are getting solved. Suffice to say that ICTs have become business enablers; for government to become e-government.
Now, they can have the e-platform in rural areas for farmers to have access to the internet. That means, ICT tools create more job opportunities, values and enhance lives.
Our innovation and experience centre is also a response to the Nigerian government’s call on driving digital economy; therefore, we are assisting the government and out partners to create that ecosystem to build a better connected Nigeria. It will not be long for the initiatives to begin to yield even more results and grow the GDP.

Huawei and Government’s Collaboration to Better Lives of the Citizens
“To me, the government shouldn’t relent on working with Huawei and other partners to have better understand the principles of digital economy.
They shouldn’t discontinue in the quest to understand what is digital transformation, digital economy and the benefits.
Another thing is having the policy to encourage partner-companies to form an ecosystem, because Huawei cannot do it alone. For example, if such policy to encourage more enterprise to embrace the technologies we have, then more private and public organisation will open their doors to more innovations.

Skills Development
“Talent is also key in this industry. We believe that government can open more channels to develop the ecosystem.
Huawei believes that the innovation centre we launched will go along way to showcase the technology we have to as many as would want to improve on their skills.
We are focused on practical realities. That is why we are partnering with universities like the University of Lagos (Unilag).
With government’s support, we have more programmes to train ICT-inclined individuals for skills development in the industry. In this transformation time, the sector needs more time and support to rave up the economy”.

 

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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Group Calls for Collaborations to Decongest Prisons

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A group has called for more support from well-meaning Nigerians to help decongest the prisons.

The group, Justice Development and Peace Centre made the call recently when it visited the Kirikiri medium prisons to secure the release of some inmates.

Speaking after the release of the prisoners who were convicted for wandering and street trading, Mr. Onyema Onyenankeya the Festac Deanery Coordinator of the group, said, “The release of these 8 prisoners today is part of the centre’s efforts at decongesting our prisons. We would have loved to release more of them but we do not have the capacity to do that.”

“We try as much as possible to make sure they go back to their respective homes and then we empower them when we have any of our empowerment programmes. All these require funding”, he said.

“We were told that some people still come on their own to also help release some prisoners. This is what we’re talking about. The person there doesn’t have to be your relative or someone you know before you help such person(s) regain their freedom”.

Onyema added that with the state of the prison facilities and the fact that a facility built to cater for 1,700 inmates now has over 3,600 is cause for worry.

“As at when we visited the prisons, we were told that there were 3,603 inmates out of which 3,080 were awaiting trial and 523 already convicted. We do not know those we secured their release, they’re not related to any one of us but we believe that in doing this we’re helping them secure a better future because they have committed lesser crimes, though it is crime against the state,” he said.

In dismay he noted that even as some prisoners were being released, more were being brought in. “This shows there’s a serious problem that we need to deal with. We must have to continuously decongest these prisons and provide better lives for our teeming youth”.

He however asked that the government do well to upgrade its prison facilities, while also admonishing the released prisoners to desist from all forms of crimes and to at all-times obey the laws of the state.

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 CSO Sends FoI Request To NCC

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Following the alleged plans to block online news sites, the Paradigm Initiative has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Nigerian Communications Commission asking the Commission to provide it with information on the matter.

The request was filed by the digital rights advocacy organisation on Friday at the Abuja headquarters of the Commission, giving the Commission seven (7) days as stipulated by the Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act 2011, to release information on the alleged attempts to block domain names of online newspapers.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Tribune exclusively reported on Sunday, October 5 2017 “that the government, through the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), has engaged the services of a firm in Lagos to block the domain names of “several identified websites threatening national security.”

The newspaper further alleged that Commission wrote a memo to the firm, directing it “to immediately take steps to restrict access within the Nigerian cyberspace in respect of 21 (twenty one) additional websites by blocking the domain names. (The list of websites is attached).”

According to Adeboye Adegoke, Paradigm Initiative’s Program Manager, “the phrase “additional websites” in the memo indicates that there are other websites already marked for illegal censorship through an equally illegal blockage of their domain names. If this is true, then this would be a clear indication of this government’s anti-free speech agenda”

“It has been six days since Tribune published its story and NCC has not come out to deny the story. This is why we have filed this FoI request. NCC cannot wish this report away; the commission has to come out and address Nigerians on the issue”

In the FoI request, Paradigm Initiative asks NCC to provide it with answers to the following questions: Is the Nigeria Communications Commission or at of its agents in the process of taking steps or block or restrict the domain names of certain websites? If yes, what websites would be affected? What criteria were employed in selecting these websites? Under what legal provision is this being carried out?

According to Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programs, “it goes without saying that blocking the domain names of newspapers is a brazen violation of the right to Freedom of Expression as guaranteed not only by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also by international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

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Web4Africa Celebrating 15 Years of Operations In Africa

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By peter oluka

Web4Africa, the Pan African Web Hosting Company, has reached a milestone this October, celebrating 15 crystal years of business.

The company, offering web services physically from Nigeria, has grown from the dreams of the founders, serving 40,000+ clients across over 120 countries.

Today, the giant strides of Web4Africa is felt across the region with the peculiar nature of customer-centric services to hundreds of domain types as well as hosting solutions from four datacentres across Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Established in 2002, Web4Africa is one out of the only two ICANN Accredited Domain Name Registrars in Nigeria and boasts of young- professional team (average age of 28) who are skilled and motivated deliver a happy experience to the clients.

“It gives me great pleasure in joining Web4Africa employees, clients and host of business partners South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana; in fact, across the Continent, in celebrating the company’s 15th anniversary. We have come a long way since commencing operations in 2002 and are very excited about our future as the company continues to thrive in these difficult economic times,” said Oluniyi Ajao, the President and CEO, when discussing the celebration.

Web4Africa’s ability to engineer solutions based on customer’s specific needs has helped the company to continually grow over the past 15 years. For instance, the Company is among the few that accepts Bitcoin, Perfect Money, Skrill, Payza, and more for Domain Registration, Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers.

“Our strongest area has always been the mass market. It so happens that to cover that large number of people, our price has to be reasonable. We make our pricing to be within reasonable range to attract the right people”, Mr. Ajao said, while speaking on 25% discount offering to customers as part of packages to mark anniversary.

Clients’ fondness for Web4Africa’s is not far-fetched, but due to its affordability and cost-effective carrier-neutral environment; local cloud hosting (in Nigeria), offers promise for future growth and 100% uptime.

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