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Nigerian, Ethiopian Students Score Big at DStv Eutelsat Star Awards

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(L-r): Sunny Echono, permanent secretary: Ministry of Communications Technology; Rodney Benn, Regional VP Africa: Eutelsat; Claudie Haigneré, former Astronaut now special advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA); John Ugbe, Managing Director: MultiChoice Nigeria; Mr. Olufemi  Odubiyi, Hon. Commissioner Lagos State: Ministry of Science & Technology & Mr. Laurent Grimaldi, CEO: Konnect Africa

The winners of this year’s DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, the unique Pan-African competition that encourages young minds to explore innovative thinking in science and space technology were announced tonight in Nigeria.

The sixth edition shows sustained interest from African learners aged 14 to 19, attracting over 1000 entries from 20 countries. Levels of accuracy, creativity and originality were judged to be higher than ever before, both in the essay and poster categories.

Prizes from Out Of Space
Nearly 1,000entrants were inspired by the topic of the essay category, encouraging them to envision the role played by satellite technology in the Africa of the future.

The winner in the essay category, Leoul Mesfin from Ethiopia, his entry particularly struck the judges as it considers continental and country specific needs and closely aligns to the topic.

He has won a trip to Paris and onwards to a launch site to witness a rocket blast into space to place a satellite into orbit.

The runner-up in the essay category was Davids Bwana from Tanzania who wins a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African National Space Agency near Johannesburg.

In the poster category, first place went to Emmanuel Ochenjele from Nigeria for his depiction of a constellation of diverse satellites all contributing towards the advancement of solutions to challenges such as global warming, conservation of biodiversity, as well as stable energy supply. He will visit Eutelsat in Paris to understand how satellites are operated, as well as a satellite factory. Aobakwe Letamo from Botswana was the runner up in the same category. The four winning schools attended by the overall award winners and runners-up were also rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.

Claudie Haigneré, Europe’s leading female astronaut and now special advisor to the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), chaired the jury of the Awards for the first time.

She commented: “Taking part in the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards for the first time has been quite simply a mind-changing experience, especially as this year’s topic was particularly challenging. The visionary ideas on Africa’s future satellite landscape developed in essays and posters underscore how Africa’s youth expect technology to drive positive change for their continent. The Jury engaged in intense discussions to award the most realistic and creative proposals that deserve to stand out on the African stage. Our congratulations go to all the finalists for their work and to the winners for their brilliant ideas.”

She was assisted in her duty by a panel of international skilled industry experts: Ronke Bello, CEO at Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd (Nigeria), Elizabeth Ohene, journalist and former Minister of State to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (Ghana), Prof. Stephen Simukanga, Former University of Zambia Chancellor and now Director General of the Higher Education Authority, Jenerali Ulimwengu, well known writer, columnist and lawyer (Tanzania).

The winners were announced in the presence of the Hon. Permanent Secretary, his Excellency Mr. Sunny Echono, representing the Minister of Communication Technology who said: “To my mind, this sixth edition shows sustained interest from African youths, adding fresh impetus to the mission shared by MultiChoice and Eutelsat to encourage young minds to positively change their world via innovative thinking in science and technology. This can be attested to by the number of Ministries, Departments and Agencies present at this event.” The next edition of the competitionwill open for entries later this year.

 

 

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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Nigerians Ask NBC to Compel TSTV to Come Clean

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Some Nigerians have asked National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to compel the management of new pay-television, TSTV, to come clean on its business plan for the country.

 

Daily Post reported ever since the TSTV announced its arrival and November 1 take-off date, there has been controversies surrounding its operations, despite earlier excitement about the arrival of the company.

 

It could be re-called that TSTV’s launch was grand, raising a lot of expectations.

 

However, the first major controversy came calling as FOX Network Group (FNG), owners of the FOX television channels, was reported to have denied that it has any agreement with the new pay-television service provider, TSTV, to carry its channels in Nigeria.

 

The position of FNG was made known in a statement signed by Jeremy Griesel of Jeremy Griesel Communications on behalf of FOX Network Group Africa, TSTV’s advertisement of FOX channels on its platform is inappropriate.

 

“Despite advertised claims regarding FOX channels, FOX does not have any agreement with TSTV regarding distribution of channels, but remains confident that TSTV will normalise the situation prior to the launch of its service to ensure the consistency between platform content claims and subscriber expectation,” FOX had said.

 

Following these developments, some concerned Nigerians have asked the company to come clean on its plan for the masses.

 

One of the concerned Nigerians stated that: “The new pay-television provider has been forced to move the commencement of its commercial operations to November 1, a whole month after it promised to roll out. Sales of its hardware also appear to have been suspended. This calls for question.

 

“These developments have no doubt left Nigerians in a doubt on whether the TSTV was indeed prepared to provide the needed competition in the Nigerian market.

 

“In a September 25 post on TSTV’s Facebook page, the company, responding to a question said it will broadcast the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and UEFA Champions League. But when asked about the frequency and the percentage of league games to be shown, no response was issued.

 

“A writer on the TStv Facebook page had called the attention of others to the fact redistribution of sport content is jurisdictional. beIN Max, one of the range of channels being offered airs foreign league matches in the Middle East and North Africa to Arabic-speaking audiences. The company pretended not to see it.

 

“As it stands, it appear that TSTV is trying to get in its excuses early in anticipation of failure to meet the stratospheric expectations it has created. It looks like a victim of its own success at failure.

 

Similarly, another Nigerian, Festus Igeniwari, said: “I maintain that the PayTV industry in Nigeria is a level-playing field for everyone serious and capable enough to offer Nigerians the best value for money in world-class content.

 

“First of all, it is important Nigerians realize that – as a rule – you don’t start off a marathon by sprinting; and when a claim sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

 

“So, we are calling on the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, to as a matter of urgency, tell Nigerians what they need to know as far as the TSTV if concerned. Let Nigerians know exactly what they have come to offer.

 

“There is a lot of confusion and we should not wait until things get too late before the right thing is done. “

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Gov. Ikpeazu Dangles Film Makers with N10m to Shot Films in Abia

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As part of the efforts to develop tourism sites and promote tourism potential in Abia, the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has pledged N10 million as grant for any film shot in the state. Ikpeazu made the pledge when he received Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, the Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), in his office in Umuahia.

A statement signed by Mr. Brian Etuk, Head of Public Affairs, NFC, in Jos on Friday, quoted the governor as saying that the production `should be 100 per cent shot in Abia.’

The statement said the governor charged film practitioners to improve on the quality of their production so as to compete with the global market. It stated that Ikpeazu promised that his administration would participate in the capacity building offered by NFC, saying that Abia played a key role in the revolution of the market and sales of Nollywood movies which has had multiplier effects on the nation economy.

“We have a policy to open up our market to genuine investors, private and public agencies amongst others through promoting `Make in Abia` instead of Made in Abia, proliferating more industries in the state,’’ the statement quoted Ikpeazu.

The statement said, Maduekwe had commended the governor for approving office accommodation for the organisation’s South-East Zonal office in the state.

It noted that Maduekwe said the gesture would create more employment opportunities for the youths, saying that corporation was also working toward establishing two more zonal offices in the North-East and South-South.

NFC currently has three zonal offices in Lagos, Kano and Abuja with headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.

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Ikorodu Agog for Glo Mega Music Tour this Weekend

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The ancient city of Ikorodu in Lagos is agog already as the Glo Mega Music Nationwide Tour gets set to hit the city today.

It is the 27th edition of the 27 week-long mega concert that has gone round some of Nigeria’s major cities such as Awka in Anambra State, Aba, Calabar, Asaba, Benin, Victoria Island, Ajah, Ikeja, Benin, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Ekpoma, Enugu, Kubwa, Abuja, Suleja, Makurdi, Lokoja, Anyigba, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, where the show was held twice each, Akure, Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode.

The Ikorodu edition is billed to hold at the Ikorodu Musical Village at 4.00 p.m., and will feature some of Nigeria’s most interesting musicians such as the new hip-hop sensation, Axterix, Marvin records queen, Di’Ja, scintillating vocalist, Kiss Daniel, the Nabania crooner, Flavour, the Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa, Timaya, and the Nigerian king of pop, Tuface.

Globacom said that in addition to the A-List artistes billed to perform at the concert, the show will also be graced by Nollywood greats such as Juliet Ibrahim and Uche Jombo, who will compere the show, Patience Ozokwor, a.k.a. Mama G, Kanayo O. Kanayo (KOK) and Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) who will be there as celebrity guests.

It is the fifth of such shows happening in Lagos in the current tour of the show. Globacom said this underscores the importance it attaches to Lagos.

Subscribers willing to attend the show need to have recharged their phones with a minimum of N2,000 in the last one month either by way of voice calls or data usage. They then need to send a text message “MUSIC IKORODU”  to a short code 207. They will subsequently be sent a message inviting them to attend the show.

Those who do not meet the criterion are requested to visit the venue with N2000 to purchase Glo recharge card that will entitle them to enter the hall.

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