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Lagos Lauds SAP, Tips Africa Code Week to Bridge Digital Skills Gap



(L-r): Olu Familusi, head, Business Operations, West Africa at SAP; Femi Odubiyi, commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology; ‎Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology‎ and Olajide Ademola Ajayi, Nigeria’s Coordinator of Africa Code Week, at Africa Code Week 2016 held at Lagos State Digital Village, Alausa, recently.

The Lagos State Government has identified ‘Africa Code Week’ (ACW), a continent-wide initiative to spark the interest of African children, teenagers and young adults in software coding, as a digitally revolutionary approach to get the youths acquainted with the required skills set to face future workplace/ technological developments.

Spearheaded by SAP as part of its social investments to drive sustainable growth in Africa, Africa Code Week (ACW) is the story of hundreds of schools, teachers, ministers, community centres, code clubs, NGOs, businesses and non-profits getting together to give birth to the largest digital literacy initiative ever organized on the African continent.

Speaking at the week-long AfricaCodeWeek 2016 in Lagos, Mr. Femi Odubiyi, Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, said that with SAP’s long-term goal through ACW, to empower over 200,000 teachers and positively impacting the lives of five million children and youth within the next 10 years, the programme is appropriate and critical to the State’s plan to empower the youths.

Odubiyi said, “One of the things that drive this government is the action to grow and empower our youths. One of the areas through which we can articulate that, is through the information and communication technologies (ICTs). We are in the era of digital revolution. This government wants to ensure that we do not miss out of that revolution; we want to empower our future leaders who are the youths of today.

“We want to help them to develop their creativity and be able to think out of the box. Today they are using coding tools; tomorrow they will be empowered to do more than that, by developing programs on e-health, security apparatuses and so forth.  What is been imbedded in them today are skills required for the future.”

In reflecting on the ICT/coding curriculum for Schools in the State, the Commissioner said that ICT is consistently changing the environment; hence the State is moving with the trends. “This is the principal reason the State adopts programmes like Africa Code Week. We want to enhance the capacity of our teachers to be relevant”.

To the participating teachers the Commissioner had the following message: “The teachers are the first beneficiaries; thus, they are being empowered. What they are doing now is to get the required skills to develop the future cognitive thinkers.  They are trail blazers who are going to lead the digital revolution in Lagos State”.

Also speaking at the event was Mr. Olu Familusi, head, Business Operations, SAP West Africa, who said that with businesses increasingly digital and globally connected, coding is the new language for individual and economic growth.

With the distinction of being the fastest growing digital consumer market on the planet, Africa continues to quickly embrace new technology and digital trends as estimated. For example, there will be 360 million Smart Phone users in Africa by 2025, there are 100 million African people active on Facebook every month, 40% of African businesses are in the planning stages of a big data project and 31% of all Africans live within 25kms of fibre node.

To this end, Familusi said, “We have to emphasis ‘Digitization, Youth and the Skills Gap in Africa. Today’s millennial generations are truly digital natives. Over the next 25 years, it is estimated that Africa’s working-age population will double to one billion, exceeding that of China and India, with 122 million people to be added to the workforce by 2020. It is also estimated that less than one percent of African children currently leave school with basic coding skills.

“Moving forward, coding skills will almost become like the math and English. That is what we see and we are trying to address same. At this point in time in Africa, less than one percent (less 1%) of school leavers has this skill. So we have this metric around people who are coming on board, huge workforce, but how prepared are they to face the future.”

Africa Code Week (ACW) is aligned with SAP’s skills development program launched in 2013. Investing in IT skills for young people is critical to SAP’s commitment to build sustainable growth in Africa. SAP has launched successful IT skills development programs around the world touching the lives of children and youth at various phases of education from primary to graduate. ACW builds on the success of government driven Code Week across the EU, which SAP strongly supports as a private sector partner.

Speaking on the significance of ACW, Mr. Olajide Ajayi, Nigeria’s Coordinator of Africa Code Week,  emphasized that by sparking interest in creative computing through hands-on, playful learning,

Africa Code Week simplifies the face of coding for the young generation.

“When it comes to accessing higher skills development, training thousands of teachers, parents and educators across 30 African countries and providing access to them online with courses beyond the actual event time allows to multiply efforts and impact.”

Even the results recorded in 2015 speak for themselves. The 2015 edition went viral with over 89,000 youth introduced to coding across 17 countries in 10 days only (over 4 times the initial goal of training 20,000).

What makes ACW unique is that, by sparking interest in creative computing through hands-on, playful learning, Africa Code Week simplifies the face of coding for the young generation.

ACW is aimed at spreading digital literacy across the continent and start shaping tomorrow’s skilled workforce for sustainable growth in Africa.

SAP already invests in Skills for Africa, which provides additional business and IT skills to recent university graduates.

ACW reinforces that commitment to graduates while extending it to primary and secondary students, creating a full lifecycle of skills support for young people in Africa.

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 to Train 5,000 North East Youths on ICT



Arewa Young Leaders Initiative, a group of youths from the 19 northern states and Federal Capital Territory campaigning for a drug-free north, says it plans to train 5,000 youths on ICT in the northeast.

Malam Ibrahim Yusuf, Drug-Free Campaign Coordinator, disclosed this in Gombe on Thursday after a rally which terminated at the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu’s palace.

The coordinator said the training was to discourage drug consumption among youths by engaging them in meaningful ventures.

He said the training would be in collaboration with Microsoft and will commence before May.

The campaign coordinator said the group would also establish a skill acquisition centre in Gombe to serve the entire region.

Yusuf said the campaign was one of the key outcomes of the 2nd Arewa Youth Leadership Summit held in January at the Nigeria Airforce Conference centre Abuja.

He said drug abuse in the Northern region, especially among young people was an issue of concern which needed to be tackled.

He said the project was intended to be continuous in the span of five years.

“The campaign was structured and tailored to be holistic and all-encompassing with series of activities that are knitted together, for the benefit of youth,” he said.

The coordinator said key influential statesmen would be identified to disabuse the mind of young people on drug and inspire them for leadership.

Also, Mr. Aliyu Adole, Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Gombe, said the prevalence of drug abuse among youths in Gombe was high.

He called on the emir to facilitate the furnishing of the rehabilitation centre in Gombe.

“We have a befitting structure which was constructed by the state government but not equipped with standard facilities,” he said.

In his response, Shehu said it was his responsibility as a father to all to ensure drug-free society.

He appealed to youths in the states to desist from social vices capable of destroying their future.

“Drug abuse kills development because the population engaged in it is supposed to be the future leaders of the country.

“I want to assure you of my commitment as a father to all, in ensuring a drug-free society,” he said.

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Jumia Launches All-in-One Mobile App



Jumia, has announced the launch of Jumia One, a new Android all-in-one lifestyle App that allows customers to conduct all online transactions – such as, Airtime recharge, DSTV & Electricity payments, and access all Jumia services – on just a single App.


Paul Midy, the company’s new Chief Executive Officer said, “Our mission is to bring every online service in one place and make them easier, more secure and more affordable to everyone.”


Jumia One is in line with Jumia’s mission of improving people’s lives through the internet.


“We have built a one-stop shop for Africa where people could fulfill their daily needs or payments online on a single App,” added Midy.


Kushal Dutta, managing director of Jumia One Nigeria, noted that small-scale businesses and full-fledged companies can use the App to attract more customers, as it provides them with a free opportunity to download (for customers) and install (for businesses).


Dutta stated, “The new App is useful to both customers and entrepreneurs looking to sell everyday goods and services.


“You can sell or buy airtime, make payments across different banks, pay your church offerings, pay for your betting games or favourite sports, book Uber, pay for internet data, and most importantly, access all Jumia services, be it shopping for grocery or buying gadgets; ordering food online; or booking flights or a hotels.”


The icing on the cake, Dutta added, is the fact that customers who purchase airtime on Jumia One App will get instant 5% cash back, and those who choose to make payments through Jumia Pay will get 10% cashback.


Commenting on Jumia’s long-term goal for the continent, Midy said, “Hundred of thousands of local African companies are doing businesses on the Jumia platform daily.


“We are taking the entire economy online and enabling small, medium, and large African companies to find new customers and serve them in a new way.”

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Phase3 Joins Efforts on Access to Healthcare for Indigents in FCT



Phase3 Telecom said that its grant access portfolio has been expanded to support local high impact health based initiatives nationwide; principally those that are designed to combat the disproportionate access of the poor to affordable and quality healthcare services.


This is as part of its increased corporate social responsibility (CSR) drive

Stanley Jegede

According Stanley Jegede, chief executive, Phase3 Telecom  “in the past four years, the scope of Phase3 health based grants have significantly increased to a greater percentage almost at par with its ICT grants portfolio, due to the obvious alarming increase in the death rate of the nation’s citizenry from causes that are less terminal or natural; and it is quite disconcerting  that chief causes of death beyond security and social crises often stem from treatable causes that only requires timely, effective and affordable medical care’.


Phase3 also believes that the nation’s low global ranking in terms of human development, especially in the area of access to affordable and quality healthcare as well as standard medical facilities or clinical health centers would improve quicker if more individuals and organizations support credible programs that focus on equal access to healthcare and its outcomes; as government and allied agencies alone cannot resolve this.


Thus, Phase3 will once again ride on its partnership with Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC) to provide financial assistance to indigent patients in the capital’s general hospitals with Gwagwalada being the first stop; as GIPLC is a credible NGO and an organization that thrives on collective actions and is well versed in building networks that can sustainably combat healthcare disparities beyond Nigeria such as South Sudan.


More so, since the scope of this partnership is to cover the medical expenses of the most vulnerable indigents at each target medical facility or centre per quarter – Phase3 resolved to deploy its health based grant for this program through GIPLC due to the fact that the NGO understands the criteria of assessment and measurability of such near complex medical aid initiatives as well as the integrity required in ensuring that grants are disbursed in the names of each beneficiary.


And it is a Phase3 chief objective that as it continues to advocate greater quantification of individual access to affordable healthcare, and less disparity in the quality of healthcare available to especially indigent women, children, elderly, and persons with disabilities in rural areas; disadvantage communities or hubs – more corporates will join efforts for quicker results and to positively change the course of Nigeria’s healthcare sector.


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