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IBM Chief Urges Nigeria to Invest in Data Science against Infrastructure

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Dr. Uyi Stewart, a US-based Nigerian leading data scientist and Chief Data Scientist, IBM, has urged Nigeria to invest more in data science rather than infrastructure in order to achieve development.

He stated this at a workshop for Data Science entrepreneurs in Lagos, according to him, ‘We have a lot of challenges as a nation whether is in public sector, healthcare, agriculture, financial inclusion or education across every walk of life.

Even in Lagos, look at mobility, our ability to travel from one place to the other, we need to star to make smart decisions.

Farmer need to make smart decisions in other to farm better, worker need to make smart decisions in other to be able to reach at work on time. Even parents need to make smart decisions about their finances so that they do not just stay at the same level.

“Across all these dimensions that I have talked about, the key is really the ability to have the right data, run the right kind of insight of the data, generate the right kind of decision support and then let the humans make the decision. Even in government, government also needs to be supported in order to make the right kind of decision for the population and that can only come from data. We can’t formulate policy on emotions; we have to formulate policies based on data. So across every work or life data is valuable but the key is our ability to mine and analyse the data,” he said.
 
On the challenge of access data, he said that he key is the time to value. “Let’s take a scenario, I have data, I am company X and you come to me and you say ‘Give me your data’. I am going to ask you, what’s in it for me? I believe people are willing to share their data. But, innovation has to be two sides; it has to be business model and technology. We always go to them and say “Give me you data, I want to build this App” without laying on the table what’s in it for them. If you can show what business model underlying what you are doing and you can show value for the person you are asking data from, you will get the data.”
 
Stewart further explained that the issue of data credibility borders on data quality. “Actually they are two sides – data quality and data provenance. Provenance means when I get the data, it can percolate all the way and be consistent without somebody changing it. These are issues that machine learning thankfully allows us to address. Even if you say, “I don’t want to go into machine learning”, there is something that is called crowdsourcing which is also an approach to do data quality. It’s inexpensive. What that does is that it brings people together to validate an imprint in a democratic way. All of us cannot agree to lie. So, we need to focus on instruments either through technology or simple innovative ideas like crowdsourcing to ensure we have the right kind of data quality. It is central otherwise garbage in, garbage out.”

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E-Business

Andela Launches The Power of “X” Campaign

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Andela the company building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software engineers, is recruiting mid and senior level developers in 2019, as part of a new Power of ‘X’ campaign, as it looks to scale its operations and meet growing demand. This comes as more companies seek to enhance their technology teams via distributed workforces.

Since its launch in 2014, Andela has received over 140,000+ applications to it’s Technical Leadership Program and has trained 1,000+ software engineers, who have worked with global companies including Safaricom, Invision, Viacom, and Skillshare. Andela now accepts applications from experienced software engineers who are proficient in Ruby, Javascript

(React, Node, ES6+, Angular), Python (Django or Flask) and Native Mobile Technologies for iOS or Android. The move to recruit more senior technologists is an expansion of the company’s business model.

Andela engineers work on global challenges, within global engineering teams, yet play an important role in their local ecosystems. The 1,000+ Andela Software Engineers are central to Africa’s growing tech community, and are leaders or members of Forloop, Teencode, Startup Grind, Progate, Facebook Developer Circles, to mention a few. Andela is a gateway for experienced and talented engineers to become part of Africa’s most expansive network of technologists.

“The most effective way to become the best in your field is to work on the most complex problems and work alongside the best people. Andela’s value proposition is that our engineers work on global problems, within global teams, and are connected to the best engineering community in Africa. By this, we are empowering people to grow exponentially and accelerate their careers” says Omowale David-Ashiru, Country Director, Andela Nigeria.

She continues, “we are excited to be part of the first generation of limitless software engineers in Africa who will play a significant role in transforming the future of technology, which we hope will be central to Africa’s economic development.

“At Andela, we expect our Software Engineers to gain the skills, experiences and networks that will enable them to become innovators and tech leaders in Africa and we are excited to now open up our recruitment funnel to diversify and enhance our talent pool”.

The Power of “X” campaign was announced officially in Lagos this week. Titled, “An inclusive future for the next generation”, and attended by key industry stakeholders, leading technologists and media, the event saw the likes of Bankole Oluwafemi, Editor in Chief at TechCabal and Prosper Otemuyiwa, Co-founder of Forloop share insights about the future of

technology in Africa during their fireside chat session. Andela’s Director of Developer Programs, Jolomi Otumara and Director of Partner Engineering, Olawumi Onawumi who also featured in the chat session, talked about Andela’s plans for the next generation of tech talent in Africa.

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CoinCola Bitcoin Platform now in Nigeria

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Blockchain Technology is rapidly growing in different continents and many more people beginning to see the importance and relevance of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in their different fields of life.

Nations and companies are gradually adopting cryptocurrency in exchange for goods and services instead of fiat. However, the African continent seems to be lagging behind in the adoption of this upcoming technology resulting from the lack of political will to accept the risk of innovation (in Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency). This can further be perceived in the reluctance to adopt the use of cryptocurrency in day-to-day transactions.

Though based in Hong Kong, Coincola aims to provide trustworthy trading and exchange services to all its users all around the world with Africa being a key place of interest.

Coincola believes that Blockchain technology will be essential to providing secure banking and payment services in the future and also that cryptocurrency will greatly improve the convenience of daily transactions and help to create a world that is financially borderless. Hence, our mission is to “connect everyone to this new digital asset economy.

Coincola is an OTC cryptocurrency marketplace and exchange designed to offer the best cryptocurrency trading experience for users and also offer fast and secure trading services at competitive fees and exchange rates.

In the OTC Marketplace, the trading platform allows people around the world to use their local FIAT currency to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH) ,Tether (USDT) and Ripple (XRP). This is done on a person-to-person (P2P) basis. Users can post adverts for free and are only charged a trading fee of 0.7% of the traded amount once the transaction has been completed.

In the exchange market, CoinCola offers Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) as base currencies and supports crypto-to-crypto trading pairs with Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).  A trading fee of 0.2% is charged for an exchanged amount. However, there is a fixed withdrawal fee.

The new feature which allows users to trade bitcoin with gift card was added recently to fulfill a highly desired request by African users. Users can now buy bitcoin in Nigeria, Guana and everywhere else in Africa. They can buy bitcoin with gift cards, whether it is iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Google gift cards, Steam gift cards and more.

At Coincola, security is of utmost priority hence there are multiple layers of security including bank-level encryption, cold storage and SSL, ensuring that customers can trade with 100% confidence.

CoinCola provides an intuitive and easy verification process by building trust and transparency in the Blockchain ecosystem and ensuring compliance using KYC/AML regulations.

A mobile app is available to enable users to transact and trade comfortably while on the move.

Compared to Paxful trading fee which is 5% for every traded amount, CoinCola charges a fee of 0.7%, now, a lot is saved. Trading of your cryptocurrencies can be done via our mobile app or web version however Paxful only has its web version.

CoinCola supports BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP, USDT, and Dash but Paxful supports only BTC.

Security and users’ satisfaction are our priorities, therefore CoinCola provides a 24/7 full support and inquiry on their platform as well as on their Telegram channel.

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MainOne Pledges N25billion to Digitization of Lagos

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MainOne has launched its “Digital Lagos: Broadband for All” campaign initiative to enable the digital transformation of Lagos state through deployment of ubiquitous broadband infrastructure across the state.

MainOne’s ambition for Lagos is inspired by the vision of Lagos Governor-elect Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who noted presciently that “Technology will improve the rule of law, education, ease of doing business and government processes of Lagos”.

At the campaign launch organized in Lagos to announce its plans earlier in the week, Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, said, the company is keen to collaborate with the Lagos State Government and all other relevant stakeholders to build Digital Lagos and help citizens from all walks of life realize the benefits of broad, sustainable economic growth, modernized education, health, and other services delivery, and improved quality of life.

“MainOne is pleased to have the opportunity to present its plan for Digital Lagos, a proven path to ubiquitous broadband connectivity. This plan will involve the investment by MainOne of over N25 billion over the next 2-3 years to develop critical fiber optic infrastructure to enable broadband services across Lagos state,” she said.

A presentation was made by Mr. Judah Levine, CEO HIP Consult, a Washington DC based, independent, management consulting firm with specialization in ICT in emerging markets. HIP Consult worked with MainOne in developing a concept paper and implementation plan for Digital Lagos. Mr. Levine touched on the research done for Digital Lagos, its implementation plans and subsequent impact in Lagos State.

Opeke said MainOne has pioneered investments in critical internet-enabling infrastructure across West Africa, Nigeria, and Lagos. To date, the company has invested over N120 billion funded by leading African banks and has proven its capabilities in expanding and densifying localized fiber networks in neighboring Ogun and Edo States by deploying almost 1,000kms of fiber in partnership with Facebook to expand broadband access and connect government institutions and other areas of interest.

Opeke said, as the licenced InfraCo for Lagos zone, the resulting network to be built by MainOne would provide essential connectivity to critical State institutions, cover over 300 government agencies, up to 10,000 State CCTV locations, Telecom operators and ISPs, public Wi-Fi hotspots, Smart City components / IOT devices, in addition to Enterprises.

In Lagos, MainOne’s existing 700-kilometer network already covers major population centers and Yaba, where it provides connectivity for the majority of the Yabacon ecosystem and has connected startups like Andela, ccHub, Paga, and Flutterwave and others that have raised up to USD500million Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria.

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