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Lessons for Nigeria from the Silicon Valley model

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Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, presenter of Tech Trends on Channels Television

Silicon Valley is known for its large concentration of Chip inventors, manufacturers, etc. In fact, many of the world’s largest tech corporations as well as Start-ups reside at the Silicon Valley.

I recently had a chat with Michelle Messina, the CEO of Explora International LLC, on what lessons Nigeria can draw from the Silicon Valley experience.

Michelle has been working at the Silicon Valley for the past 20 years and in that capacity, has been to about 50 countries all over the world.

On why the Silicon Valley has been successful so far, Michelle stated that Silicon Valley has a 50 year old story of refining models and growing Start-ups.

Two factors that has helped it to grow, she maintained, are cultural diversity of the people coming there from all over the world to set up their companies and then, the atmosphere in Silicon Valley is such that supports the Start-ups to grow and be successful within the ecosystem.

These atmosphere, she stressed, include Investment Capital, large corporations buying from Start-ups, availability of specialized service providers, etc. These, she says, have been refined over the years.

Responding to a question as to whether the government of the United States of America formulated policies that enabled the Silicon Valley to thrive that much, Michelle responded in the affirmative, stressing that government policies are really important as they impact on what happens in the industry.

She further explained that, although, the government of the United States of America does not take an active role in the at Silicon Valley, it, however, facilitates business, so that, the natural organic innovations and creativity can happen.

Michelle recommends this type of model for the relationship between the Nigerian tech ecosystem and government in Nigeria, we especially, now that the Nigerian government is trying to transit from a natural resources-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.

To achieve the transformation, Michelle posits that government should put all the necessary infrastructures in place, ensure IP protection, make it easy to set up and do business in Nigeria as well as shut it down in an order my manner if the it fails, etc.

Michelle is, however, of the opinion that it might be difficult to cut and paste the Silicon Valley model by other countries because of the style of communication, culture, way of doing business and other factors. Their factors, she reiterated, however, have to be dealt with uniquely to have a model in the mould of Silicon Valley.

Michelle wrote a book titled “Decoding Silicon Valley” basically to showcase what the Silicon Valley is all about and how things work there and making then to achieve. Important aspects such as pitching, overall fund raising strategies, etc., were discussed in her book.

Michelle, in answering another question, debunked some misconceptions about the Silicon Valley such as the ease of meeting with world-renown tech gurus and accessing easy funds. Your ideas and innovations.

She also stated that failure is a part of the process of Silicon Valley because it enables the tech enthusiasts to know what doesn’t work and this helps to get things right in the end. Failure, she opined, is part if the learning process.

CFA is the Founder, www.CFAtech.ng & Co-producer/Presenter,Tech Trends on Channels Television

 

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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Holla Taxi Allows Payment with USSD Code, Other Exciting Offers

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Holla App available on Google PlayStore

By peter oluka

Ease of payment is one of the reasons some Nigerians shun e-payment related platforms. Now, with the rise of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), payment has become even easier and on-the-go. That’s why, Holla Taxi, the new cab booking app, has delved into this space with a promise to allow USSD payments.

Holla Taxi, an on-demand hailing company uses it apps to connect riders with local cabs and private drivers in Nigeria, has made big intents for the market with a whole lot of ‘partner’ activation.

Holla Cab Services Limited is an Information Technology and Consultancy Firm that is fully mobilized and firmly positioned to provide up-to-date Information Technology Solution(s), Infrastructure and Financial Consultancy Services.

Holla Taxi is a fully indigenous company, with core competence in developing, implementing and supporting technology solutions.

Experience

The depth of professional experiences within the Group today spans in excess of 85 cognate years in the Sales, Management, Development and Support of IT solutions to diverse market segments of the Nigerian Economy.

Holla is relying on the experienced staff, with state of the art infrastructure, to deliver solutions of international standards and operational efficiency, starting with Lagos.

Strategic Partners

Holla prides itself as ‘Your Lifestyle Partners’. In keeping with the appreciation for quality and standards, and her genuine concern for the customers’ investments, Holla has established strategic alliances/partnership with leading industry solution providers of International repute to deliver best-of-breed and reliable solutions and services to the immediate market.

This derives from the appreciation for appropriate technology as a transparent driver for business processes with a view to delivering measurable benefits for the customer.

Hence the company’s Strategic Alliance Program – collaboration with some of the world’s leading technology owners.

Holla Lifestyle:

Digital Banking|Fintech:

Holla Digital pay has FinTech plugins and Agency Banking Platforms.

Holla Cards:

The cards options allow customers to pick from the range of Visa, MasterCard, Verve or UnionPay. Thus, Holla Payment platform accepts Visa, MasterCard, Verve, UnionPay.

Holla Mobile POS:

Holla Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) will be available in all its cabs for ease of payments. This will be configured to work with the drivers phone.

Mobile Cash:

Holla Mobile cash is also another payment platform integrated in Holla Lifestyle. You can withdraw cash from any ATM without your ATM Card. Isn’t that cool!

Holla Mobile Order: Holla mobile order happens via mobile phone.

Holla PayCode:

Holla PayCode enables you take cash from any ATM without a card.

Holla USSD Payment Platform:

The digital platform will also receive and send money using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

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Expert Urges National Assembly to Pass ‘Digital Rights’ Bill

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'Boye Adegoke, the program manager at Paradigm Initiative

By peter oluka

A digital rights advocate, ‘Boye Adegoke has called on the National Assembly to expedite actions on the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill that has been before the House of Representatives since 2016.

The bill has been moving clawing its way through legislative process since then and is now up for third reading.

Mr Adegoke, the program manager at Paradigm Initiative, made this call during a radio interview on the Saturday Morning Show with Adaora Okoli on Nigeria Info in Port Harcourt.

“The Digital Rights and Freedom Bill was drafted to protect the rights of Nigerians online and there is no better time to pass the bill than now to ensure that Nigerians are adequately protected by the law when making use of digital tools. The bill protects the rights of everyone who is online. In fact, those in power today might soon find themselves in need of the protections provided by the proposed law when they are out of power,” Adegoke said.

“Section 12 of the bill makes provision for data protection and ensures that those collecting citizens’ data are held accountable. While Nigeria currently lacks a data protection law, not less than six government agencies collect citizens’ biometric data. This is clearly not acceptable as citizens. Also, Nigerian citizens will have a right to know how data collected about them online will be used by organizations,” he added.

Adeboye also pointed out that the recent outcry on hate speech could be solved by the template provided by Section 15 of the Bill.

Adeboye called on citizens to reach out to their representatives at the House of Representatives “to ensure the bill is passed into law, and digital rights become protected rights”

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Data Centre Services Boom as Internet Servers Head Home

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The business of hosting of internet servers is witnessing a boost as organizations in the country have in recent times started relocating their servers from abroad.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that relocation of website servers by private organizations to Nigeria data centres has recorded some 15 percent increase over the past one year citing better understanding of connectivity, presence of international content players in Nigeria among others.

 

Reacting to the development, Muhammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), said the movement can be seen with the increase of business activities of Data centre operators as well as the springing up of new commercial Data centre operators who encourage their customers to host with them by charging on local currency.

 

“Big Data centre operators’ charges are based on dollars which means you are expected to pay the equivalent in naira, but, these new Data centre operators charge in naira without clause of reviewing with change in foreign exchange rate,” he added.

 

Rudman also attributed the increase in website server relocation as well as domiciling it locally to understanding of connectivity by organization. “This means that if an organization’s server is located in the country it allows for faster service.”

 

He commended the efforts of office of local content under National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which have resulted in relocation of Federal government ministries and agencies to Galaxy Backbone. This, he said helps to keep local traffic local.

 

Ike Nnamani, managing director, Medallion Communications, a Data Centre operator, agreed that their business has experienced an upsurge in the past one year, which according to him could be attributed to increase hosting activities in Nigeria by international internet content providers.

 

“Google has increased its hosting business in the country and another big international content provider will go live next month. Organizations doing business with them will have no option than to peer with them here,” he said.

 

He however lamented the concentration of hosting services in Lagos and urged for spreading of the service to other geographical locations of the country.

 

“The closer the content is to the user, the better the user experience and more efficient service delivery. It is against this back drop that we at Medallion is extending this infrastructure to other geo-political locations of the country to offer organizations in those areas better user experience,” he added.

 

Engr. Sam Adeleke, chief executive officer of Steineng Nigeria Ltd urged Data centre operators to consider multiplicity of location of server.

 

“Multiplicity of location of server is where most of the hosting companies abroad provider multiple location in case there is disaster in one location they will move to another location without their customers suffering downtime.

 

He added that continuity of business in Nigeria is not certain because of harsh business environment.

 

” Suggesting Galaxy backbone as the only alternative is risky because in as much as it is owned by government there is no guarantee that it will not collapse one day, as government is not good business man,” he said.

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