Science & Technology

Google doodle celebrates Buchi Emecheta 75th posthumous birthday

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Google on Sunday celebrated Nigerian novelist Buchi Emecheta with its Doodle on what would have been her 75th birthday.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages intended to commemorate holidays, events, achievements and notable historical figures.

“Born to Igbo parents in the Lagos suburb of Yaba on this day in 1944, Florence Onyebuchi (Buchi) Emecheta, moved to the U.K. in 1962, with her husband and first two children.

“She had another two, and, at the age of 22, pregnant with a fifth, left her husband and set off on her own.

Her son Sylvester Onwordi recalled that as an immigrant single mother battling poverty in the slums of 1960s London, she would draw her five small children around her, light candles, and delight them with what she called her “Moonlight tales”.

He said that according to her mother, the stories were what she had learned at twilight by the light of a hurricane lamp from her aunts in the village, or imbibed at her father’s knee during her family’s internal exile in Lagos.

For the young Nigerian girl who dreamed even then of being a writer, these tales were like umbilical threads connecting the lonely orphan she became with the lost world of mythical ancestors and her beloved home town of Ibusa.

Over the course of her life, Emecheta published 16 novels, including: “In The Ditch, Second-Class Citizen”, and “Slave Girl”, as well as her 1986 autobiography, “Head Above Water” and wrote several plays for stage, TV and radio.

Although she resisted labeling herself a “feminist” author, much of Emecheta’s writing addressed issues of gender and race.

“I work toward the liberation of women. My books are about survival, just like my own life,” she was quoted to have said.

During the 1970s and ’80s, she worked as a lecturer and founded the Ogwugwu Afor Publishing Company with her son. She was named an Officer of the British Empire in 2005, a remarkable accomplishment for someone who faced such adversity.

“Just keep trying and trying, if you have the determination and commitment, you will succeed,” Emecheta once said.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

Science & Technology

NITDA trains South-West women in ICT for job creation

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has trained 100 women in the South-West geo-political zone on Information Communication Technology skills to consolidate plans of the Federal Government to create jobs.

 

Mr Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General of the agency made the disclosure in a statement issued and signed by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Cooperate Affairs and External Relations of the organisation on Friday in Abuja.

 

Umar said Inuwa was represented by Dr Vincent Olatunji, Director, e-Government Development and Regulation Department of the agency at the capacity building training.

The director-general said the training would also close the gender digital divide, promote job creation, financial inclusion and provide women with the skills to participate in the digital economy.

 

He said the empowerment programme, which took place between Dec. 8 and Dec. 13, was aimed at leveraging on digital economy for national development at the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti.

 

The key objectives of the programme, he said include: boosting digital literacy, creating digital jobs, bridging the digital divide, promoting digital inclusion and using technology to address gender imbalance in economic opportunities.

 

“The programme is part of the agency’s continuous efforts aimed at implementing the administration’s key priorities of economic diversification, job creation, investing in Nigerians and achieving gender balance in economic opportunities.

 

“It is also part of NITDA’s strategy toward the realisation of Mr President’s promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

 

“We should know that women clearly have unequal access to economic opportunities in comparison to men and NITDA believes that technology can bridge the gap.

 

“The 100 women being trained are projected to create 300 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs,’’ Inuwa said.

 

He recalled that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), Federal Government programme, focused on restoring growth, developing human capacity and building a globally competitive economy.

 

According to him, meaningful growth can take place when citizens’ development is prioritised through increased social inclusion, creating jobs and improving the human capital base of the economy.

 

Inuwa, who noted that statistics showed that women’s participation in ICT was less than 24 per cent, pledged the commitment of the agency to increase the percentage.

 

Mrs Bisi Fayemi, Wife of Governor of the state, in a statement, commended the state government for promoting gender issues.

 

These she noted include women empowerment and promulgation of laws that could tackle socio-cultural and economic impediments against women.

 

Fayemi said that steps in the right direction needed to be taken for Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda of 2030,which include industrialisation and developing human capital.

 

“Technology has a lot of benefit and women in developing nations have a large proportion of illiteracy in the digital world.

 

“This programme can make women active in the world of ICT and enable equal access to innovative ICT concepts,” she said.

 

Edited by: Dada Ahmed

(NAN)

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Science & Technology

Group commences ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ park rally, donates breathalyzer to FRSC

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The Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on Thursday commenced the “Don’t Drink and Drive” Park Rally across the country.

Mr Tony Eneh, the Executive Secretary of BSG, said the group donated breathalyzers to the FRSC during the rally at Ojota and Ketu parks.

The Nigeria News Agency reports BSG had earlier launched the ‘Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign to create awareness of the danger of drunk driving.

Eneh said the breathalyzers were for the FRSC to determine alcohol intake by drivers while driving.

According to him, the group was happy to give back to the country by creating awareness on the dangers of drunk driving through the “Don’t Drink and Drive” rally and by donating breathalyzers.

Also speaking at the occasion, The Lagos State Sector Commander, FRSC, Corp Commander, Hyginus Omeje, said the “ember” months campaign was an integral component of the FRSC’s strategic intervention to elevate the consciousness of Nigerians to the realities of road crashes.

The sector commander said dangerous overtaking and speeding remained the greatest risk factors on highways.

He said a survey it carried out showed that 204 motorists tested positive to alcohol use out of 2,058 randomly tested with breathalyzer within Lagos-Ibadan expressway command.

According to him, Driving Under Influence (DUI) was the highest among drivers who accounted for 154 positive cases.

Omeje said in Lagos State, road traffic crashes and fatalities recorded from the first to third quarters of 2018 stood at 225 and 74 respectively.

According to him, the statistics over the same period in 2019 currently stood at 419 crashes and 84 fatalities, which translated to 51 per cent increase in crash cases and 14 per cent fatalities.

“These are colossal human capital with frightening impact on health systems, sustainable development, city liveability and survivability of society.

“Available statistics have annually depicted increased road traffic crashes during the period of September to December.

“Risk exposure to road crashes during terminal months of the year, especially December, escalates due to increased socio-economic activities, inordinate traffic surge that over stretch road transport system,” he said.

The FRSC commander appreciated the different groups and individuals, who had contributed and supported the commission on its campaign on safe road system.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Salif Atojoko
(NAN)
(NAN)

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Facebook celebrates key milestones for sub Saharan Africa in 2019

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Facebook on Thursday released its ‘2019 Year in Review’ infographics, showcasing some of its investments across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director Facebook Africa, said in a statement that in 2019, Facebook trained over 7,000 woman-owned businesses in digital skills across sub Saharan Africa.

Ntshingila said that because the company was able to grow an ecosystem of developers, entrepreneurs, creatives, and many other communities as part of its commitment to give people the power to build communities.

He said that the company also celebrated 79 Community Leadership Circle meetups with over 2 ,650 people attending.

We have reached our 45th Developer Circle, with circles now in 17 African countries and representing more than 70,000 members.

Facebook also hosted the first-ever iD8 Nairobi Conference with over 400 African developers and startups in attendance.

Facebook has also expanded Third-Party Fact-Checking across 10 African countries,” he said.

The regional director also noted that Facebook announced the creation of the world’s most detailed population density maps of Africa, created by its AI researchers, to help humanitarian aid and relief agencies.

Ntshingila said that Africa was important to Facebook and they were committed to investing in its youth, entrepreneurs, the creative industries, tech ecosystem.

Our 2019 Year in Review highlights just some of our investments, and the impact we have been able make in the region.

I am excited about the future of Facebook and our family of apps here in Africa, as well as the potential of this young, mobile and dynamic continent.

And I am looking forward to creating more partnerships in 2020 and beyond,” he said.

Edited by: Edith Bolokor/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)
(NAN)

 

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5 female entrepreneurs win UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Pitch competition

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Five Female entrepreneurs on Thursday emerged winners at the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub pitch competition aimed at supporting gender inclusive economic growth.

Honey Ogundeyi, the Country Director of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, said that the programme was aimed at bringing 15 of the continent’s most ambitious development-focused women entrepreneurs to the United Kingdom in January.

Ogundeyi made this known during the Africa-UK Female Tech Founders 2020 programme held at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s Residence at Ikoyi, Lagos.

” The five entrepreneurs who emerged winners during the pitch competition are: Damilola Emuze, founder of Scholarx, Damilola Olokesusi,  of Shuttlers mobility and Dr Funmi Adewara of Mobihealth.

The two others are: Ifeoma Uddoh of Shecluded and Keturah Ovio of Limestart, “Ogundeyi said.

NAN reports that other participants at the pitch competition were Agorite, Easyshop Easy cook, Mumspring, Roving Heights and 9IJAKIDs.

She said that the entrepreneurs would gain access to world-class mentoring time with UK investors and expert training to help scale their companies.

Harriet Thompson, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Nigeria, said that UK-Africa Investment Summit would take place six weeks from now.

Thompson said that the winners would be in London during the summit, adding Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) would cover all costs and programmes to help support them grow their businesses.

We are pleased to be hosting an event that brings support for women, whose empowerment is vital for Nigeria’s future prosperity and stability.

Nigeria’s tech sector accounted for over 11 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2018 (compared with 9 per cent from oil and gas) and is the fastest growing part of Nigeria’s economy.

In 2018, Nigeria’s technology companies attracted $300 million (+167 per cent YoY) in funding, mainly from foreign investors, “she said.

Thompson said that the UK was supporting and looking forward to strengthening its partnership further in Nigeria.

She said this was necessary because technology could be a key enabler to boost Nigeria’s growth, tackle poverty and create jobs.

‘The UK is trying to build and expand that eco-system in different ways.

We now have our very own Tech Hub here in Nigeria and the Director is Honey Ogundeyi. The hub is funded by our Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

‘’The UK-Nigeria tech hub focuses on three key areas: skills and capability development, digital ecosystem building and facilitating innovation collaborations between Nigerian and UK tech businesses.

“This will help to build skilled, entrepreneurial and networked populations which will create jobs and address digital inequality.’’

She said the tech hub had supported companies such as Riby, Innovation Corner, Social Lender and Farmcrowdy to grow their businesses, build links with the UK’s thriving tech sector.

Thompson, who noted that Nigeria was one of the most exciting technology sectors in Africa, said the hub would support the growth of thriving digital eco-system in the country.

According to her, the outfit will also provide support to scale innovations and drive growth in tech investment in Nigeria.

As Europe’s leading tech hub, UK is credible partner. We generate more billion-dollar tech businesses than any other country on the continent.

We have a network of regional tech clusters which reflect a dynamic and growing industry across the whole of the UK with London as the centre of Europe’s technology sector.

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in 2019 launched the UK-Nigeria Tech hub as part of international Tech Hub Network in partnership with the British High Commission in Nigeria.

Edited by: Dada Ahmed
(NAN)
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Kaduna govt offers digital skills training to 360 youth

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Kaduna State Government has offered digital skills to 360 youth expected to start up businesses in digital technology.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the 360 youth participanted in the Click-On Kaduna and Kad-DIP digital training programmes, funded by the World Bank and Rockerfeller Foundation.

The programmes are to support ICK skills training and equip the youth in digital technology and entrepreneurship.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who attended the graduation of the trainees on Wednesday in Kaduna, said equipping Nigerian youths with digital skills will make them tap into the digital economy, which will create jobs and grow the economy.

Obasanjo thanked the World Bank Group and Rockefeller Foundation for partnering with Kaduna state government to launch the programme and urged them to extend the training to other states.

In her address, the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, said the state owes its bulging young population a duty to provide them with the tools that will make them highly employable.

She added that when combined with entrepreneurial spirit, the ICT skills acquired by the participants will propel them to greater heights.

Already, participants have started earning income from the skills they acquired while some have gained placement opportunities with global ICT tech companies like IBM, Outsource Global, Andela,” she said.

NAN reports that 32 of the participants were presented with cheques to enable them startup ICT entrepreneurship.

The money was from a $40,000 grant set aside to encourage ICT startups in Kaduna State.

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