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Huawei Awards Nigerian Students for Excellence, Launches 2019 ICT Global Competition

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L-R: Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Tank Li, Managing Director, Enterprise Business, Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited

Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited held an award ceremony at Sheraton Abuja to celebrate the achievement of some Nigerian students for their remarkable performance at the Huawei Global ICT Competition held in China, as well as launch and sign the MoU (between Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited and National Information Technology Development Agency) for the 2019/2020 next edition.

 

The award and launch ceremony had in attendance the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Vice Chancellors and representatives from 30 Nigerian universities, Ministry of Communication and the Ambassador of the People Republic of China to Nigeria.

 

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA),  commended Huawei Technologies saying “I would like to express our gratitude to Huawei Technologies for your commitment in promoting ICT development in Nigeria.

“This initiative aligns well with one of our seven (7) pillars – the capacity building pillar which is in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration”.

 

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 being positioned on the world map for its ICT talents.

 

In May, three Nigerian students emerged among the top three winners in the Global Final of the Huawei ICT Competition, held at the company’s headquarters in Dongguan, China, competing with 49 other teams and a total of 147 students representing 30 countries racing for the global trophy.

 

Signing the MoU between Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited and National Information Technology Development Agency for the 2019/2020 next edition, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), DG, NITDA, expressed the need for a renewed partnership saying “We look forward to a new relationship and partnership between NITDA and Huawei that will foster ICT for inclusive sustainable national development in Nigeria.”

 

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications, M.F. Istifanus, represented by the Director of ICT, Federal Ministry of Communications, Dr. Moni Udoh, applauded Huawei Technologies for increased partnerships with universities and colleges across Nigeria in the last twelve months which has resulted to “more than 55 MoUs signed with partners to be Huawei ICT Academies and giving more than 13,000 students opportunities to participate in the recently concluded Huawei 2018 – 2019 ICT Competition.

 

“We appreciate the attention Huawei has paid to this program, by focusing not only on the students but also, building the skills and capacities of our Universities and lecturers.

 

“We strongly believe that the skills transferred through this programme will enhance the quality of our educational system and provide economic opportunities to individuals as well as the broader economic development of not only Nigeria but the whole of Africa.” She said on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications, M.F. Istifanus.

The Ambassador of the People Republic of China to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, observed the growth Nigeria has experienced in the past 20 years since Huawei Technologies came into Nigeria.

 

He said “twenty years ago, there were 27 thousand mobile phone owners in Nigeria. Today, that number soars to 17o million. Twenty years ago, for one minute talk in Nigeria, it would cost 1 US dollar, today, that same call costs 2 US cents.

 

“Twenty years ago, Huawei began knocking the door of Nigeria, today, Huawei grows with Nigeria as a most reliable business partner in Nigeria. We are proud of the Chinese Huawei, the Nigerian Huawei and the global Huawei.”

 

Tank Li, managing director of Huawei Technologies (Abuja Office), Nigeria, said “this year marks the 20th Year of Huawei operating in Nigeria, within that period, Huawei has made progressive achievements through both collaboration with the public and private sector in Nigeria.”

 

“Huawei through its many CSR programs have strived to reach many lives in Nigeria, especially the education sector.

“Some of these programs also include the Seeds for the future Program, where we send 10 students are sent to China for 2 weeks, all expenses covered by Huawei, which we have done for the past 2 years.”

 

“Huawei will continue to invest in this collaboration with universities, this number is expected to increase greatly within the coming months, and continuously supply excellent candidates to Huawei’s ICT talent eco-system.

 

“Huawei’s vision in Nigeria is to create an ICT talent Ecosystem that will form the foundation in the digitalization plan for the nearest future.”

 

Huawei launched its global ICT competition in 2015, and Nigeria joined in 2018. In Nigeria, the competition had over 13,000 students from more than 30 universities who participated.

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

 

The total number of students participating globally was 80,000 including 28, 000 students from Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

 

 

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Huawei Unveils Ascend 910 AI Processor

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Huawei has officially launched what it is calling “the world’s most powerful AI processor” – the Ascend 910 – as well as an all-scenario artificial intelligence (AI) computing framework, MindSpore.

“We have been making steady progress since we announced our AI strategy in October last year,” said Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman.

“Everything is moving forward according to plan, from R&D to product launch. We promised a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. And today we delivered, with the release of Ascend 910 and MindSpore. This also marks a new stage in Huawei’s AI strategy.”

According to a recent report published by Allied Market Research, the global AI chip market size was valued at $66 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $91 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 45.2% from 2019 to 2025.

AI chips are powerful to handle large and parallel operations efficiently, the research firm says, adding that various chip makers companies are acquiring AI start-ups to enhance and strengthen their AI chip product portfolio.

It notes that the growth of the global AI chip market is driven by increase in demand for smart homes, development of smart cities, and emergence of quantum computing.

The Ascend 910 is a new AI processor that belongs to Huawei’s series of Ascend-Max chipsets. Huawei announced the processor’s planned specs at its 2018 flagship event, Huawei Connect.

After a year of ongoing development, test results now show that the Ascend 910 processor delivers on its performance goals with much lower power consumption than originally planned, the Chinese tech company says.

According to Huawei, for half-precision floating point (FP16) operations, Ascend 910 delivers 256 TeraFLOPS. For integer precision calculations (INT8), it delivers 512 TeraOPS.

It notes Ascend 910’s maximum power consumption is 310W, much lower than its planned specs (350W).

“Ascend 910 performs much better than we expected,” said Xu. “Without a doubt, it has more computing power than any other AI processor in the world.”

Ascend 910 is used for AI model training. In a typical training session based on ResNet-50, the combination of Ascend 910 and MindSpore is about two times faster at training AI models than other mainstream training cards using TensorFlow.

Moving forward, Huawei says it will continue investing in AI processors to deliver more abundant, affordable, and adaptable computing power that meets the needs of a broad range of scenarios (eg, edge computing, on-vehicle computing for autonomous driving, and training).

Huawei also launched MindSpore, an AI computing framework that supports development for AI applications in all scenarios.

AI computing frameworks are critical to making AI application development easier, making AI applications more pervasive and accessible, and ensuring privacy protection, says Huawei.

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MTN, Glo Hit More by Vandalism to Equipment

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MTN and Globacom, two leading network providers, are said to suffer more cases of vandalism in Nigeria than other telecommunication firms which resulted in productivity downtime.

 

Blueprint reported that a  source from MTN noted that most of the attacks took place in the South-East region of the country.

 

The source also claimed that despite MTN’s quick detection technology that notifies the company of cases of vandalism, issues of fibre cuts have been very high, especially from construction companies.

 

Important components like generating sets, batteries, automatic voltage regulator and radios are commonly reported stolen on a daily basis while the company also records arbitrary fibre cuts as reported by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).

 

In the case of Globacom, it suffered losses resulting in over 40 per cent downtime on its services. This was responsible for the poor network services the network provider has been experiencing nationwide.

 

According to Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, ALTON, , apart from theft and damage caused to infrastructure, there have been injuries to security personnel at sites, “and in some cases, maiming and even killing by hoodlums. While the focus has been on the impact of this menace on quality of service, there is need to find out how much operators are losing to this challenge.”

 

The huge impact of these losses double down on operators who bear the losses and subscribers who suffer network setback and continuous service disruptions. The impact is continuous as it results in increasing dropped calls, aborted and undelivered short message services (SMS), and countless failed calls, among others.

 

Adebayo called for the passage of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Bill, which he believed would go a long way to bring sanity to the sector by ensuring that offenders are prosecuted, and adequate protection of facilities identified as important national assets.

 

In his own reaction, Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC, in a reaction to the losses said that the situation affected network users, created huge losses for telecom operators and lower revenues for the government.

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NCC Urges Regulators to Prioritise Consumer Protection

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Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has charged telecom regulators on the African continent to prioritise consumer protection by putting in place relevant regulatory measures.

 

Danbatta said this has become necessary owing to the rapid advancement in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) where telecom consumers are on a daily basis exposed to new digital devices and solutions with potential for the telecom consumers to be short-changed by service providers.

 

Danbatta, at the just concluded second edition of the Conference of African Telecommunications Regulators on Consumer Affairs (CATCO), said the conference provides a unique opportunity for African telecoms regulators to build on the principle of Pan-Africanism within the ICT space.

 

Represented at the event by Henry Nkemadu, director, Public Affairs, NCC, Danbatta said NCC strongly believes that service delivery on the part of the licensees in the current era of technological evolution should be the totality of how telecoms operating companies package, provide and deliver those services to their consumers from the point of ensuring the right Quality of Service (QoS) to the point of delivering the service to the consumer in a satisfactory manner.

 

He charged participants to leverage the opportunity of the forum to collectively reach concrete resolutions on how regulators can better empower the growing population of ICT tools and services in the light of technological advancement in the industry.

 

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