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Monday, December 10, 2018

ICT start-ups contributed $101m to Nigerian economy in nine months - Ripples Nigeria

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that startups in the information technology sector contributed $101 million to the Nigerian economy in the first three quarters of 2018.

This was disclosed by the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isah Ibrahim, during a pitch by new ICT companies at a programme tagged Start-up Friday in Abuja.

The programme, organised by the NITDA, was meant to galvanise innovations in the ICT sector.

According to Ibrahim, start-ups in the industry contributed a total of $9m to the economy in the first three months of the year. The contribution of the start-ups went up to $57m in the second quarter but dipped to $35m in the third quarter of the year.

He said: “With the little efforts we have put in place, a lot has been achieved in the ICT sector today. In the case of our ICT start-ups, within the first quarter of 2018, start-ups generated $9m; in the second quarter, they generated $57m and recently in the third quarter, they generated $35m.

Read also: CBN to set up MFB for Agric, SMEs

“This is only within 2018. This achievement is unprecedented in the history of ICT sector in Nigeria.”

The NITDA boss further disclosed that the patronage of locally manufactured IT products and services had increased as a result of the implementation of buy Nigeria policy articulated by the Federal Government.

The NITDA boss said the agency had to report some defaulting agencies to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, adding that after EFCC had grilled some defaulting heads of MDAs, government purchase of locally made ICT products and services witnessed a tremendous increase.

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Start-ups boost economy in Q3 with $101m - The Nation Newspaper

THE Director-General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami, at the weekend, said over $101 million was contributed to the nation’s economy in the Third Quarter of 2018 by Information Technology start-ups.

Pantami, who made the disclosure at a “Start Up Friday Progamme”,  organised by the  agency in Abuja, said the feat was unprecedented in the history of ICT sector in the country. He said more amazing performances were expected in the  sector in the coming years.

Pantami said the ICT sector contributed 13.63 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the  Second Quarter of 2018,  assuring that this would likely increase by the third and fourth quarters.

“With the little efforts we have put in place, a lot has been achieved in the ICT sector today. In the case of ICT start-ups,  within  the first quarter of 2018, start-ups generated $9 million,  in the second quarter, they generated $57 million and recently in the third quarter, they generated $35 million.

“This is only within 2018. This achievement is unprecedented in the history of ICT sector in Nigeria,” Pantami said, adding that local IT content patronage had significantly increased as a result of strict enforcement of policies in the sector.

According to him, in 2013, over 82,000 ICT facilities of the local content were purchased, stressing that in 2014 and 2015, the purchase rose to 92,000, while in 2016,  the facilities purchased hit 150,000 mark.

The NITDA chief said the purchase rose to 300,750 in 2017, noting that the quantum leap in the purchase of hardware  component was largely due to the strict enforcement and compliance policy of the present administration on local content.

Dr Pantami said the event was organised to identify young innovators in Nigeria and encourage them on how to contribute their quota to the development of the nation’s economy, asserting that ICT and technological innovations are the way to go as far as modern economies are concerned.

“We call this event Start- Up Friday, but we are moving from one geo-political zone to the other;  we did one in each of the northwest, southwest, northeast and southsouth and this is Abuja, Northcentral and from here we will be moving to the southeast.

“The wisdom behind this is to identify our young innovators, who have potentials and see how they can be supported to achieve their dreams,“ he said.


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Economy Gained $101m From IT Start-ups In 3months – NITDA - Economic Confidential

Economy Gained $101m From IT Start-ups In 3months – NITDA

In the first three quarters of the year, start-ups in Information Technology contributed $101m to the Nigerian economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency, has said.

The Director -General of NITDA, Dr Isah Ibrahim, said this at a pitch by new ICT companies during a programme – Start-up Friday – organised by the IT development agency in Abuja to galvanise innovations in the ICT sector.

Ibrahim said start-up in the industry contributed a total of $9m to the economy in the first three months of the year.

According to him, the contribution of the start-ups went up to $57m in the second quarter and dipped to $35m in the third quarter of the year.

He said, “With the little efforts we have put in place, a lot has been achieved in the ICT sector today. In the case of our ICT start-ups, within the first quarter of 2018, start-ups generated $9m; in the second quarter, they generated $57m and recently in the third quarter, they generated $35m.

“This is only within 2018. This achievement is unprecedented in the history of ICT sector in Nigeria.”

The NITDA boss also disclosed that the patronage of locally manufactured IT products and services had increased as a result of the implementation of buy Nigeria policy articulated by the Federal Government.

Ibrahim said NITDA had to report some defaulting agencies to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

According to him, after EFCC had grilled some defaulting heads of MDAs, government purchase of locally made ICT products and services witnessed a tremendous increase.

Meanwhile, Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, has attributed the poor rating of Nigeria in the global ICT community to lack of integrated national broadband backbone infrastructure in the country.

Shittu said this at the meeting of the Nigerian National Broadband in Abuja.

The minister said that the council was required to provide periodic evaluation of the progress being made by the country in the roll out of broadband infrastructure.

According to him, the council is also required to facilitate various collaborations for the delivery of broadband infrastructure in the country.



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Martinez to head technology program at Holy Trinity - The Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — Holy Trinity School's newest hire is retired U.S. Coast Guard officer Rodney Martinez, who is heading the Technology/Computer Science program as well as teaching Algebra and Geometry.

Martinez holds a bachelor of science degree in Information Systems from Kennesaw State University, a master's degree in Quality Systems Management, and an master's degree in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Martinez held the position of IT program manager and Emergency Operations Center manager during his Coast Guard career.

In December 2017, Rodney, his wife, Lynn, and their three children moved to the area from Georgia and purchased Willow Pond Farm in Sanbornton, selling Christmas trees, wreaths, swag, and garlands.



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'Plans underway to develop digital transformation' - Tehran Times

TEHRAN – The Information and Communication Technology Ministry (ICT) has several plans for developing digital transformation, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said on Saturday, IRNA reported.

An appropriate ecosystem in information technology paves the way for digital transformation, he explained.

The IT industry is one of the infrastructures for development of industry in the field of ICT, he said.

Azari Jahromi said that there is a great capacity for using Internet of Things (IoT) in Iran.

The ICT ministry is providing an ecosystem for urban services in the near future.

“We have also discussed the role of digital transformation during meetings with the health minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi,” he explained.

The IoT capacities for digital transformation in water and electricity industry are finalized, he said.

In July, the ICT ministry and the Ministry of Energy signed an agreement to boost job creation and improve efficiency in the field of water and electricity through technological advancement.

He named digital transformation in agriculture as another part of ecosystem.

Smart irrigation is a great method to deal with water shortage and environmental problems, he said.

According to an agreement signed by the ICT ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture in July, it was projected that at least 20 percent of the agricultural economy to be linked with the digital economy over the course of four years.

It covers smart irrigation and pest control via space technology.

Iran is heading to development of digital economy and the University of Tehran is responsible for research in this field, he said.

The ICT ministry holds about 50 workshops in different provinces in recent year to introduce digital economy, he said.

E-government not a claim 

The ICT ministry is providing infrastructures for e-government and it is not a claim, Azari Jahromi said.

Today people can register for smart cards for purchasing gasoline with three clicks, he said.

Iran started issuing smart cards for purchasing gasoline on December 3 through “Mobile Government” - the first phase of e-government services project which came on stream in May.

Through the project, the gasoline smart cards, which were used for rationing fuel in past years, is now connected to the bank cards for easy payment.

The government save 3.3 trillion rials (some $78.5m) through issuing the smart card by the Mobile Government, he said.

He said that the ministry plans to stop issuing paper bill for different services in near future.

The Mobile Government aims to facilitate some government services, reduce unnecessary expenses and ease traffic jam, which is the main cause of air pollution in big cities.

It is based on the National Information Network, an ongoing project to develop a secure and stable infrastructure network in the country. 

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Kenya: ICT Ministry Launches Investigations Into the Latest M-Pesa Outage - AllAfrica.com

During the outage subscribers of the mobile money service by Safaricom were unable to transact for an extended period of time.

The Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICT) has launched an investigation on an outage that M-Pesa subscribers were subjected to on Saturday.

During the outage subscribers of the mobile money service by Safaricom were unable to transact for an extended period of time.

Safaricom later issued an apology to its customers as the hitch persisted for more than five hours.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES

In a statement, the mobile company explained that the outage had been caused by a database degradation. The services resumed hours later.

However, the ministry on Sunday stated that such an essential services must not be disrupted.

"ICT Ministry has launched a probe on yesterday's (Saturday) M-Pesa outage, a firm like Safaricom which provides such essential services must ensure minimal disruption," the statement read in part.



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FEATURED: Wood, tourism and ICT exhibitors supported by Eco-Emploi programme shine at the Made in Rwanda Expo 2018 - The New Times

The fourth edition of the annual Made in Rwanda Expo 2018 recently concluded with significant interest from many visitors and potential clients for the locally produced wood and ICT products and tourism activities that were largely driven by their high quality.

The exhibitors displayed their skilled artisanship at the wood pavilion, informed visitors about the beautiful and diverse tourism experiences in the Kivu Belt Region at the Tourism pavilion and offered various ICT services. 

All the partners are supported by the German Development Cooperation through the Promotion of Economy and Employment Programme (Eco-Emploi) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which was awarded with the “Best Promoter in the Made in Rwanda 2018”.

Hon. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, the Minister of Trade and Industry together with H.E. Peter Woeste, The German Ambassador of German  to Rwanda inaugurated the opening of the ICT pavilion and lauded the support provided by the German Government, “We laud the German Government for supporting the ICT sector to drive our future growth, communication and technologies in which we even seek gender balance.”

Likewise, H.E. Peter Woeste, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Rwanda, added that “the German Government through GIZ supports Rwanda in digital initiatives since it is a cross cutting subject as we move into the digital world. Hence we support the exhibition of ICT products in the Made in Rwanda Expo 2018.”

Anna-Maria Innocenti, Development Advisor to the Chamber of Tourism, Ellen Kallinowsky, Principal Technical Advisor of Eco-Emploi Programme and Gilbert Rubangisa, Deputy Principal Tecnhical Advisor of  EcoEmploi posing with the award of best promoter in the Made in Rwanda  Expo 2018.

Ms. Ellen Kallinowsky, Principal Technical Advisor of the Eco-Emploi Programme remarked that supporting the wood, ICT and tourism sector will boost Rwanda’s efforts to create off farm jobs.

“We appreciate how companies are performing since they are collectively branding the products in these sectors so as to promote Made in Rwanda products. Making quality products under Made in Rwanda policy will drive to economic growth,” she said.

She further added that GIZ’s support looks at the whole value chain. “We look at where wood come from, we look at forest management and conservation, its economic management, investment promotion, supporting TVET schools in wood production and processing and provide high machinery maintenance, amongst others. We are working with Rwanda Standards Board on standards that guide wood value chain”..

The exhibition is an exposure to a wider market

Hugues Masabo, the Head of Production at Wood Habitat Company cited that “People are increasingly becoming aware of the quality of products. Had I not been supported by GIZ/Eco-Emploi, it would not have been possible to exhibit our products at this expo”. He further added that the training Wood Habitat received has helped them in wood production and management of workshops and improved skills. Likewise, the opportunity to participate in the exhibition offers them the prospect of expanding their business.

“This platform has helped us to prove to local and international consumers that they can get high quality interior design products from Rwanda,” said Cedrick Cyiza, the Chief Operations Officer of M N Lucky Ltd., which specialises in interior designing.

Some of the products at the Expo (Emmanuel Kwizera)

At the tourism pavilion companies exhibited tourism products of the Kivu Belt Region. The visitors were informed about various tourism packages including community based tourism experiences, hiking and biking opportunities, camping, touring tea and coffee plantations, boating, night fishing and Rwandan culture experiences, amongst others. Conscience Umubyeyi from Beyond the Gorillas Experience Company exclaimed, “I have secured five bookings from tourists from Canada. They are here for their Christmas holiday. I would not have secured them if I would not have received support from GIZ to participate in the Made in Rwanda Expo.”

The exhibition also offered services in the ICT sector such as trainings for example, WeCode courses for women, internet services and usage of e-commerce platforms amongst others, which informed the wider range of visitors about the uptake of ICT in Rwanda.

Local companies increase their visibility due to the exhibition

Various companies from across the country such as Kawira Safaris, Rwabambii, Beyond Gorilla Experience in the tourism sector, Manumental, M.N. Lucky Ltd., Wood Habitat, Mpanda TVET school in the wood sector and WeCode, Digital Transformation Cluster, MobiCash Ltd. from ICT exhibited their products. These exhibitors stated that the support of GIZ/Eco-Emploi has helped them in increasing their visibility and create market linkages, which has further enhanced their production and created jobs.

For Fiston Nyayiha from Murukali Market Smart, an e-commerce platform for food products, in addition to the opportunity to participate in the expo, the company was also supported to access other platforms such as ICT competitions. “For instance we recently won Rwf 6 million in a competition that had gathered young female entrepreneurs in ICT solutions of which GIZ is a partner. For a company that is just two years old, it is a huge achievement.” he said.

The importance of the Private Sector

Organised by the Private Sector Federation in collaboration with MINICOM, the exhibition aims at promoting locally made products by encouraging local producers to exhibit their products to a wider market. According to PSF, the number of exhibitors has gradually increased from 260 exhibitors in 2015 to 460 exhibitors in 2018.

Kenneth Abaho, the local trainer in community arts and crafts at Amahoro tours. (Emmanuel Kwizera)

Hon. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, the Minister of Trade and Industry said that the growing number has been due to the efforts made in changing the mind-set of consumers and producers towards embracing locally made products. She further added that, “this is an indication that the awareness efforts are bearing fruits. We shall sustain these efforts so that as many people can proudly buy Made in Rwanda products as well as push local producers to increase and avail quality products.” The Minister remarked that they would continue to devise appropriate measures to promote local industries, as the private sector is a key to a thriving economy.

About Eco-Emploi Project

The Programme of Economy and Employment promotion (Eco-Emploi) is joint Rwandan-German Development Cooperation programme funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The main purpose is that selected partners implement employment-generating measures. Eco-Emploi contributes to the national development strategies through enhancing competencies of selected institutions in the economic sectors of information and communication technology (ICT), e-commerce and logistics, wood economy, tourism and creative industries (audio-visual).

The programme target to create 5,000 qualified jobs through economic growth in the selected sectors.

For more information, visit the programme’s website: www.ecoemploi.org.



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ICT start-ups contributed $101m to Nigerian economy in nine months - Ripples Nigeria

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that startups in the information technology sector contributed $101 ...