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6 Nigerians to Represent Africa @ Huawei ICT Global Competition

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Nigeria, at the heart of development, is playing a key role in representing Africa on the global scale of ICT knowledge and capacity building.

With a growing youth population and rapid advancement in innovation and technology, Nigeria scales high and is noticeably growing in building technology hubs. The Yabacon Valley which attracts global presence is a typical example of how far Nigeria has come in its understanding of ICT and innovation.

This March, a team of Nigerian students emerged first place alongside Tanzania, Kenya and Angola to represent Africa at the global stage to compete for the world ICT title in Huawei Technologies’ flagship ICT development program set to hold in China, May 2019.

The Nigerian team of students ranked number one leading with a dominant score of 790.4, followed by Tanzania with 745.6, then Kenya with 737 and Angola with 700.8. The regional competition finals consisted of 14 teams (with 42 students) from 11 countries in Africa which participated in theory and practical examinations on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mobile networks and big data.

The Nigerian students, Abdulqadir Babagana Musa, Muhammad Mustafa Maihaja, Fahad Danladi, Shuaibu Abbas Usman, Kamaludeen Umar, Abdulqudus Adebayo Temidayo all from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) first emerged winners of the Huawei ICT national competition which involved a participation of 13, 600 students from 30 universities across Nigeria before proceeding to represent Nigeria at the just-concluded Sub-Saharan regional finals held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The regional finals consisting of 42 African students divided into 14 teams participated in theory and practical examinations on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mobile networks and big data.

Together with second prize winners, Angola and Kenya, the four teams will travel to China for the global finals which will see 40 teams from around the world compete for the championship title. The 6 Nigerian students have also been offered job opportunities in Huawei Technologies Co. Nigeria Limited to further improve their skills and experience.

This ICT competition developed by Huawei Technologies comprising of a national preliminary contest, regional semi-final and Global final was first launched in 2015.

It will be recalled that in October 2018, Huawei launched the ICT competition in Nigeria in partnership with local universities aiming at cultivating local ICT talents, promoting a greater understanding of and interest in ICT, and developing a healthy ecosystem for the sustainable growth of ICT sector.

The launch ceremony was graced with the presence of the Honorable Minister of Communications, Dr. Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu who commended Huawei Technologies for partnering with the Nigerian government to achieve a great feat in the history of the country’s ICT sector.

The Chairman of the Nigerian University Management Committee, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed; presidents of participating universities, and the representative of Ministry of Education also attended that ceremony.

Through this competition, Huawei Technologies seeks to improve comprehensive capabilities of students, transfer cutting-edge technologies information and explore the business requirement of the industry. Participating students cut across nationalities such as China, U.K, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Angola, Kenya, Singapore, Mexico, India, etc.

In a press interview with the representative of the Nigerian students’ team, Muhammad Mustafa Maihaja said “We owe our commitment to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Huawei Technologies. This has been a great opportunity to learn new cutting-edge technology and to prove ourselves as capable to represent Africa.

“The exposure is great and this is a dream come true for us. We have worked really hard and are glad on how far we have come. We are aiming to use this opportunity to announce the prominence of our institution, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), and Nigeria at large and to prove that we are a hard stone to conquer.”

“We look forward to using this knowledge to further improve ICT development in Nigeria. We also plan to pass this knowledge on to our colleagues in school and to the upcoming generation. We will try to put the icing on the cake on our blissful achievement and try to put Nigeria at the forefront.

Our team believes we can bring the global award to Nigeria from at the ICT competition in China. We have heard so much about China and cannot wait to visit while we meet new friends from all over the world.”

Speaking at the final award giving presentation, Mr. Xue Man, Vice President of Huawei Technologies, said “Huawei understands the value of a good talent ecosystem which is the foundation for a smart future.

“This ICT Competition is part of our innovative initiatives to support that and promote ICT skills. We believe that this event will inspire more students’ interest in ICT learning in Africa; it provides them with a world-class stage to showcase themselves and consolidate the vital ICT needed for Africa’s development”

Huawei’s vision is to build a healthy ICT talent ecosystem and its Huawei ICT Academy program is one of the important fundamental parts.

Until now, there are more than 400 universities and colleges around the world, which have joined the Huawei ICT Academy. Huawei trains more than 12,000 students per year, bringing the latest technology to its campus and transferring talents to the ICT industry.

Huawei hopes to achieve three objectives through the competition: to facilitate learning through Connection, to celebrate Glory and achievement, and most importantly, to foster talents that can shape our Future.

The 2018/19 event has attracted 80,000 students from over 1,000 universities in more than 50 countries around the world under the slogan “Connection, Glory and Future”.

 

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Buhari Extends Ministers Tenure Till Tuesday

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President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice Osibanjo
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President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari has asked his ministers to continue working till Tuesday.

 

He gave the directives during the valedictory Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday.

 

The President said, thereafter, they should submit their handing over notes to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

 

Buhari said: “ Although today is our last council meeting, continue to work until Tuesday.. Your handover letters should be submitted to the office of the SGF.”

 

The president commended the ministers for contributing towards the development of the country.

 

Yemi Osibanjo, Vice President and the 31 ministers took turn to deliver their speeches on their experiences working with the president.

 

The president would be sworn in on Wednesday May 29 for his second term.

 

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UBA’s Africa Conversations: Leaders Emphasise Importance of History to African Development

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l-r Chairman of Ghana’s Convention People’s Party, and daughter of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ms Samia Nkrumah; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; Group Chairman, UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Guinean Historian and playwright, Professor, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Afro musician, Mr. Femi Kuti; and Legal Practitioner and Moderator, Ms. Ayo Obe, during the panel discussion themed ‘Africa’s History Redefined, our past, the path to the future,’ organised by UBA to mark Africa’s Day in Lagos on Wednesday
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African leading minds have called on Africans to be mindful of their rich history, which according to them creates the path towards the socio-cultural, economic and political development of the continent

 

The strong African voices which included Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; Professor emeritus and authority in Sahelian history, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Ghanaian Politician, Samia Nkrumah and Famous Musician, Femi Kuti spoke during the first edition of UBA’s Africa Conversations, a symposium organised by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc at the UBA House in Lagos, as part of activities marking this year’s Africa Day celebrations. The theme of the panel session was “Africa’s History Redefined, Our Past, the Path to the Future”.

 

Opening the conversation, the Group Chairman, UBA, Tony Elumelu stated ‘UBA understands the past- that Africa as a continent has always been united by the struggle for identity. UBA is a symbol for the development of Africa, for the economic empowerment of our people, the Small and Medium Enterprises as well as the big corporations. Thus, identifying with Africa and indeed Africa Day is synonymous with who we are as a bank. It presents us the opportunity to remind ourselves, the world and indeed Africa that we owe ourselves the duty of making Africa the continent of our dreams.”

 

Elumelu added that it is important for Africans to remember history as this will help prepare for the future. ‘Our past provides a veritable tool to fashioning the continent’s development, renaissance and economic growth’ he emphasised.

 

Speaking strongly on the issue, professor Wole Soyinka, who commended UBA’s initiative for opening up discussions on these pressing topics decried the growing erosion of history from the curriculum in African schools, adding that the lack of knowledge of our past makes children’s growth on the continent truncated. “How can we cope with the modern phenomenon if we do not know the past? We should never forget the importance of history as it is not just an academic exercise,” he enthused.

 

Corroborating Soyinka’s position, Professor Niane opined that reminiscing about Africa’s rich history is important as there is no people without history. He said, “A lot of work has been done by Africans and we have to be happy about it. There is the need to continue the conversation about African unity. Policies  have been put in place and our democracy can only get stronger. Peace will reign and Africa will be reunited. Economic transformation is also important but it is not the only thing we should concentrate on.”

 

 

Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who commended UBA for prioritising African entrepreneurship, called for a renewed attempt at African unity, which according to her, has to be a collective effort of the people.

 

Nkrumah said, “As we work in our individual smaller countries, it will be easier to achieve more if we work together and complete unification can only come if we work together; we won’t go anywhere unless we use unity as a political project.’ She added.

 

On his part, Femi Kuti emphasised the importance of History, saying “Our children need to learn this history so that they can come up and build the continent. We need everyone – both boys and girls to work towards this vision.”

 

The UBA Conversations, an initiative of the Pan African financial institution, aims at aggregating discussions necessary for the growth and development of the continent. It is being held as part of the activities to mark the 2019 edition of Africa Day celebrations by the bank.

 

With presence in 20 African countries as well as in the United States, France and The United Kingdom, UBA’s passion for Africa’s growth is part of who they are.

 

The bank is set to continue conversations around these important topics that are required to galvanise the African economy with the aim of attracting the much needed support that will boost SMEs and support business growth on the continent.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Celebrates One Year of NG_Hub

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Celebrating exactly a year to the day since the doors of NG_Hub opened in Lagos, and Facebook further cemented its ambitions to train users across Nigeria in digital skills, Facebook released an infographic highlighting key milestones over the past year.

Created as part of Facebook’s ongoing commitment and investment in growing the start-up ecosystem, and in partnership with CcHub, NG_Hub is a multi-faceted space which connects and bring together developers, start-up’s and the wider community to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas. With a number of expert training and events with partners across Nigeria, undertaking in the hub and externally, the aim is to equip individuals and businesses to grow.

Some highlights over the past year includes: Trained over 50,800 SMBs in digital skills across 20 states in Nigeria

– Delivered 526 events with over 11,490 attendees at NG_Hub, including programmes such as AR/VR meetups, FbStart Accelerator Programme, Facebook Community Leaders Community meetings (CLCs), Developer Circle gatherings etc.

– Directly supported businesses in 11 different industries from agriculture, through to catering, education and fashion

Speaking of its one-year anniversary, Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy, West and Central Africa, said: “I’m proud of the incredible impact that NG_Hub has had in its first year, and continues to have on the lives of young Nigerians.

“We remain committed in deepening our engagement, increasing skills development and supporting the next set of innovators, tech entrepreneurs, start-ups,in our collective bid to change the face of technology and grow the economy.”

Commenting on the partnership Bosun Tijani, Founder/CEO of CcHub, added: “We’re glad about the tremendous impact Facebook’s investment in NG_HUB has had in such a short period and the ecosystem is already seeing the fruits of this commitment. We’re committed to working with Facebook to position NG_HUB as a major platform that drives smart application of technology innovation for economic prosperity across the region and beyond.”

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