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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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Nigeria’s Online Travel Booking Space in Search of Real Value

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Although boasting a lot of potential, Nigeria’s travel and tourism industry has remained in a state of near-misses and failed projections occasioned by the glaring gap and huge vacuum in the online travel booking space.

 

According to available statistics, the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was N2,29bn, approximately 1.9% of total GDP in 2017 –  a figure that is expected to rise by 2.9% in 2018 and 4.3% per annum from 2018-2028, to N3,605.7bn, effectively representing 1.9% of total GDP in 2028.

 

On the other hand, the total contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP was N6,205.8bn representing 5.1% of GDP in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 1.6% in 2018 and 4.8% per annum to N10,094.5bn from 2018-2018, representing 5.4% of GDP in 2028.

 

While the figures appear promising, it is worth considering where the Nigerian travel industry stands in the global scheme of things.

 

Ranked on a global list of 185 countries, Nigeria presently stands at positions 48 in total contribution and 163 in relative contribution respectively to GDP from the Travel and Tourism sector. In terms of expected real growth in the sector, Nigeria stands at a poorly 168 position and 59 in long-term growth forecast (2018-2028) in the sector.

 

Compared with global indices, Travel and Tourism represents 10.4% of global GDP while one-tenth of jobs worldwide are supported by the industry, representing 9.9% of global employment. Furthermore, one-fifth of all of all global net jobs created in the last decade have been within the Travel and Tourism sector.

 

It is an open secret that travel and tourism is an important global economic activity, with the potential to contribute significantly to a nation’s GDP.

 

Added to this is the immense employment-generation opportunity it holds when harnessed efficiently – a point aptly embellished by Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council when she enthused that “inclusive growth and ensuring a future with quality jobs are the concerns of governments everywhere. Travel & Tourism, which already supports one in every ten jobs on the planet, is a dynamic engine of employment opportunity.”

 

Here in Nigeria, the engine of economic prosperity inherent in the Travel and Tourism is yet to be unleashed, owing predominantly to the vacuum in the online travel booking space which holds the key to transforming the sector.4

 

In real terms, only a small proportion (about 13%) of Nigerian air travelers currently book travel products online – a damning statistic for a country boasting a population grossing over 190 million.

 

For the four components of the Travel and Tourism sector which include Leisure travel (inbound and domestic), Business travel, Domestic travel and Foreign travel, the outlook remains the same: total contribution of the sector to GDP is nearly three times greater than its direct contribution.

 

Aligned to this is the poor experience of most Nigerians, many of whom have expressed their dissatisfaction with the level of service in the online travel booking space, despite the existence of a glut of players. For many corporate travelers, a segment that represents the overwhelming majority of online travel service consumers, the prevailing opinion is a glaring lack of real value. Same sentiment dominates among leisure travelers – many of whom are frustrated by sub-standard service and the limited choices of packages/offers available among current players – two of the most recurring pain-points that have drained confidence among customers in the sector.

 

Considering the nexus between technology and value-offerings in the online travel booking space, there is a growing need for a strong player backed by cutting-edge technology to fill the vacuum in the sector and take the industry to the next level. Further justifying this need is the undoubted influence of a world-class online platform and innovation in service delivery which has transformed the entire value chain of an allied sector such as e-Commerce in Nigeria, as seen in the rise and dominance of strong local players such as Konga which has re-defined the scope of offerings and customer experience in the industry.

 

The global travel and tourism industry is a multi-billion-dollar establishment which relies heavily on innovative technology and world-class customer experience in delivering a wide range of value offerings to all classes of travelers.

 

Nigeria is due for this disruption which has the potential of growing the sector’s contribution to GDP. Digital innovation is the way forward.

 

 

 

 

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TechX Innovation Hub Unveils Office in Enugu

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Technology Extra, TechX, Innovation Hub, a global organization that is concerned with the slow adoption of technology in the developing countries especially Africa has opened office in Enugu, South Eastern part of Nigeria.

Tech X is focused on four key areas of technological advancement; Awareness, Access, Adoption and Application.

Speaking at the unveiling of the office, Tony Ojobo, founder, TechX Innovation Hub, said that a key strategy that addresses the issue of low ICT penetration is awareness.

“People need to be aware of the power of ICT to transform lives, businesses and the economy at large. The most capitalized firms in the world today are playing in the ICT space. The capacity of technology to lift peoples and nations out of poverty is phenomenal.

In recognition of these tested facts, we decided to start from the area where penetration is low and scale up to other regions in the country.

“Nigeria however, has the market, the people and local innovations that can disrupt business models around the world. We are on track to making this happen,” he stated.

According to him, “TechX shall create a platform for people with ideas to incubate, startups, business developers, coders, programmers and techies to perfect and scale up their innovations through a structured mentoring process, training and knowledge development programs.

“Our focus will encompass the following; Coding, Gaming, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT’s) Robotics, Digital Innovations, Business Development, ICT Training, Software Development, Cyber Security, Digital Marketing etc.

“Our teeming youths can focus their creative energies more positively with a platform such as TechX Innovation Hub to give them a head-start in live. ICT has become the new oil and countries that have depended on oil as the economic main stay are beginning to embrace technology.”

“We have examples from UAE, Qatar and other countries in the Gulf region. The federal government has been making efforts towards diversification of the economy; however more still needs to be done through the encouragement of innovations, startups and SMEs.

“In realization of this need, TechX was set up to play our part towards the economic development of our people and thus contribute to poverty reduction in the region in particular and the country at large,” he said.

Ojobo noted that TechX will be collaborating with relevant Stakeholders, such as; the Media, Regulators, Hub owners, Tertiary Institutions, State Governments, Federal Government, SME’s, Multilateral Agencies, Embassies, Equipment Manufacturers, Ministries Departments and Agencies.

 

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NSE Trading Platform Suffers 4 Hours Technical Glitch

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Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday encountered a technical glitch which impacted trading activities for about four hours.

 

Mr. Bola Adeeko, head of Shared Services Division, NSE, said the glitch was resolved and market transactions continued at 1:45pm.

 

Due to the lost trading time, Mr. Adeeko explained that a decision was taken to extend the trading hours on Monday to 3:30p.m, from the usual time of 2:30p.m.

 

He further confirmed that the root cause of the disruption has been fully rectified.

 

According to Mr. Adeeko, NSE has a robust business continuity framework in place with processes designed to forestall and reduce the impact of such unpredictable technical glitches when they occur.

 

“The Bourse has a solid track record of high availability and systems resilience, whilst working with some of the cutting edge technologies required to power up a modern Exchange and will continue to work to enhance this”.

 

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