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MainOne Powers Up MEST Incubator with High-speed Internet

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West Africa’s leading connectivity and data centre services provider, MainOne, has partnered with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to provide high-speed internet access to the MEST Incubator in Ikoyi, Lagos.

MEST is a not-for-profit organization which provides technology training, seed investment and mentorship for the next generation of globally successful African software entrepreneurs.

This partnership will leverage MainOne’s fiber connectivity, as well as MEST’s seed fund and incubator to foster the growth and success of entrepreneurs by providing work space, high-speed internet, hands-on support, resources and a vibrant community to help start-ups succeed.

According to Funke Opeke, MainOne Chief Executive Officer, MainOne remains committed to powering up the startup and technology ecosystem in Nigeria which remains underdeveloped, to foster socio-economic development of Africa through the creation of sustainable businesses and enterprises.

“We will continue to support initiatives like the MEST with investments in fibre-optics infrastructure to deepen broadband penetration and create enabling environment for these companies”, she said.

“Our expansion into Lagos was in response to the vast amount of talent present combined with the surge in the development on technology in the country. Our Pan-African network of incubators is aimed at discovering the best tech talent on the continent and providing our existing entrepreneurs the support they need as they expand into new markets across the continent”, said Neku Atawodi-Edun, Director of Investor Relations at MEST.

Speaking on the partnership she applauded MainOne’s support in enabling the hub with the capacity to meet the requirements of entrepreneurs who just need the space to focus and work on their big ideas.

“The MEST Incubator is a hub where different tech and digital start-ups, are availed seed funds and resources essential to the success of their business. We wanted to create a space to enable entrepreneurs in Africa build scalable businesses by providing access to work-spaces, electricity, a community of ideators and super-fast reliable internet, thanks to MainOne.”

Elaborating on the company’s efforts towards innovation in ICT, Tayo Ashiru, Head Marketing, stated, “We are able to relate to the challenges start-ups and small businesses experience in this economy and support them by improving the quality of access and accelerating the digital transformation of small businesses. It gives us immense pleasure to play such a vital role in growing this very important ecosystem.

MainOne’s goal is to empower every West African who has a great idea for a business to turn that idea into a reality which in turn can help the community, Nigeria and the continent as a whole. The company supports innovation through partnerships with start-ups including Co-Creation Hub, Andela, PagaTech, ImpactHub; and MEST and Hackerspace in Ghana among others.

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E-Business

Millions Exposed in Facebook Data Protection Failures

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Passwords of millions of Facebook users were accessible by up to 20,000 employees of the social network, it has been reported.

 

Brian Krebs, Security researcher, broke the news about data protection failures, which saw up to 600 million passwords stored in plain text.

 

The passwords that were exposed could date back to 2012, he said.

 

In a statement, Facebook said it had now resolved a “glitch” that had stored the passwords on its internal network.

 

In a detailed expose, Mr Krebs said a Facebook source had told him about “security failures” that had let developers create applications that logged and stored the passwords without encrypting them.

 

Commenting on Mr Krebs’s story Facebook engineer, Scott Renfro said an internal investigation started after Facebook had uncovered the logs had not revealed any “signs of misuse”.

 

In public comments, Facebook said it had discovered the issue in January as part of a routine security review.

 

And its investigation showed that most of the people affected were users of Facebook Lite, which tends to be used in nations where net connections are sparse and slow.

 

“We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users,” the company told Reuters.

 

But it added it would enforce a password re-set only if its taskforce looking into the issue uncovered abuse of the login credentials.

 

The news caps a long period of trouble for Facebook over the way it handles and protects user data.

 

In September last year, it said information on 50 million users had been exposed by a security flaw.

 

And earlier in 2018 it revealed that data on millions of users had been harvested by data science company Cambridge Analytica.

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Konga Rated in Top League of Globally Viable Start-Ups

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E-commerce giant Konga has emerged among an exclusive list of globally viable start-ups and corporate organizations after achieving top scores in a rating by Early Metrics, an European based independent rating agency for start-ups and innovative SMEs.

 

The rating places Konga in a rarefied club of the top 14% of the 2,100 startups rated globally as at March 2019, further justifying the elevated standing of the company as one of the most promising ventures in the Nigerian and African business space.

 

A European-based global rating agency, Early Metrics assesses the growth potential of innovative and early-stage ventures. Their ratings support decision makers such as investors and corporates to identify innovative start-ups worthy of their time and money.

 

Their ratings also help the organizations themselves, as it allows them to critically examine their strengths and weaknesses, gain credibility and give their investors added confidence by being audited by a third party.

 

Konga, acquired by the Zinox Group about 12 months ago, has been undergoing strategic restructuring and expansion to position it as the first and largest Omni – channel e-Commerce group on the African continent.

 

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NITDA says Only 4.7% of Nigerian Govt. Institutions Use IT Effectively

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has criticised government institutions for underutilising enterprise technology saying only 4.7 per cent of federal institutions use IT “in somewhat effective manner”.

In contrast, over 66 per cent of such institutions are at what the agency called “emerging stage” of IT utilisation, maintaining only websites “offering basic information online”.

The agency, which is responsible for formulating and supervising government’s IT policies, bemoans the low compliance with modern technology by government ministries and agencies.

NITDA’s director general, Isa Pantami, however said with the presentation of Nigerian Government Enterprise Architecture (NGEA) framework to stakeholders yesterday, the agency is setting the tune to changing the current reality.

He sought the support of the stakeholders, arguing that “public institutions for a big critical enterprise that must be managed efficiently to ensure its resources including IT are maximized to create value for stakeholders given the prevailing political, legal and administrative contexts.”

Mr Pantami, who was represented at the event by NITDA’s director of e-Government Development and Regulation, Vincent Olatunji, however, acknowledged improvement in IT systems of some public institutions which, he said, however, come with other challenges.

He listed some of the challenges to include inefficient IT environment, poor interoperability of IT systems, poor information sharing across agencies, maintenance of unnecessary multiple sites and unstandardized communication channels.

Other challenges he outlined are high cost of IT investments and poor sustainability of IT projects by host institutions.

“In addition to the previous challenges mentioned, ICT adoption and implementation in Nigeria naturally faces a lot of challenges ranging from inadequate basic infrastructure such as electricity, broadband and other digital technologies to insufficient human capital and the required skills in the public sector effectively implement and utilise ICT solutions.

“We also have unfriendly and weak institutions; inadequacy of finance for ICT projects as a result of competing demands and inability to properly align government businesses and ICT deployment, among others,” he said.

Mr Pantami said the implication of those challenges on the sector resulted in the inability of public institutions to fully translate national or organisational visions, policies and programmes into effective enterprise change and add value.

“This has prevented IT, to some extent, from becoming an asset shaping strategic future opportunities of public institutions and the government as a whole,” he said.

The official, however, commended ICT adoption as exemplified by the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), Government Information Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), Bank Verification Number (BVN), e-Taxation, e-Passport and e-Wallet system for farmers.

In his presentation on the draft NGEA document, Soji Adegunwa of Goldberry Systems Ltd said enterprise architecture is a recommended technology system that is being accepted by governments all over the world.

He said the adoption and harmonisation would help the government reduce costs in IT investment, as it cuts multiplicity and allows for collaboration.

He said with common platforms, there will be a reduction of “administrative headache” among agencies.

Mr Adegunwa also allayed fears of government institutions saying the technology is only making things more efficient without “taking powers away.”

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