Facebook Hosts Its First ‘Facebook iD8 Nairobi’ Conference Aimed At Celebrating And Growing The Tech Ecosystem Across Africa

Facebook today brought together over 400 developers, startups and businesses from across Sub-Saharan Africa in a first of its kind conference dubbed “Facebook iD8 Nairobi”. As part of its effort to create opportunities for innovation, community building and education throughout the continent, “Facebook iD8 Nairobi” created a space for developers and startups to showcase and celebrate talent from across the continent, while sharing their developer journey.

In his keynote speech, Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Global Head of Developer Programmes highlighted Facebook’s plan in partnership with Andela to train and equip thousands of developers from its Developer Circles across 10 countries in Africa with technical and non-technical skills in 2020. This follows Facebook’s successful three-month training programme with Andela across Nigeria and Kenya in 2019.

The conference featured a career fair aimed at connecting this year’s top developers from Facebook’s and Andela’s three-month training programme in Nigeria and Kenya with employment opportunities through meet ups with potential employers.

It also had the 2019 Facebook SSA Developer Circle Leads Summit which bought together 60 Developer Circle leaders, who represented 45 circles in 17 countries across the continent in a two-day networking event

Facebook iD8 Nairobi also highlighted the latest insights from Facebook, with new technologies and products for attendees to build and experiment with, and programmes to help them at any stage of their journey. There were hands-on demonstrations and discussions with Facebook product experts who provided guidance and help to unlock challenges developers face in their development process. The conference also provided an opportunity for developers and startups to learn how technology such as AR/VR, Messaging and Open Source can offer tangible solutions for businesses in Africa.

Speaking at the conference Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Global Head of Developer Programs said, “We look forward to reconnecting with the ecosystem to share the latest technology , product and program updates. Facebook iD8 is a two-way dialogue where we also have a chance to hear from our developer and startup community’ about their experiences and roadblocks as well as provide an opportunity for members of our community to connect with others who share their challenges and aspirations.”

Fatma Ali a Developer Lead for a Facebook Developer Circle in Eldoret stated, “This opportunity has enabled me to connect and get mentorship to build my career while equipping me with leadership skills to work with the developer community. Through my Facebook Developer Circle I have gotten exposure and recognition in the Developer ecosystem. The experience has been enlightening and I am confident that I will have a successful career in technology.“

Sewagodimo Matlapeng a Developer Lead for a Facebook Developer Circle in Capetown concluded, “My experience leading a Developer Circle in Capetown has enabled me to advocate for the inclusion of women in the developer community in Capetown with my circle having the highest female members in Africa. Through Facebook iD8, I gained insights on how we as developers, male and female can seize opportunities and curb challenges in the developer community.”

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Nigeria To Receive Free WiFi From Google; Aftermath Of Vice President Osinbajo’s Visit

Google has announced that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, will be the first on the continent to receive Google’s free public Wi-Fi service.

The company made the disclosure at its Google for Nigeria Event in Lagos stating that Google on initiative is already live in five countries globally and will connect millions of users via 200 Wi-Fi hotspots spread across five cities in Nigeria within one year.

Country Director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Chiazor, said, “Today, at our second Google for Nigeria event, we announced more products and programs to help more people in Nigeria and across Africa benefit from the opportunities the web has to offer.

“Google Station will be rolling out in 200 locations in five cities across Nigeria by the end of 2019, bringing Wi-Fi to millions of people. Sites will include markets, transport hubs, shopping malls, universities and more.”

Google also disclosed that they are not deploying their moonshot Project Loon to provide connectivity, instead, it is partnering with Nigerian fiber optic telecoms service provider 21st Century to roll out Wi-Fi spots at public places such as colleges, malls, markets and bus stations.

Moreover, the tech giant is not paying the service provider and venue owners for the internet access but they will be sharing ad revenues generated from usage of Google Station.

According to Web Foundation’s 2017 Affordability Report, only 17% of Nigerians with mobile internet users have access to public Wi-Fi, and the cost of a 1GB prepaid data plan is about 8% of a Nigeria’s average monthly income while the country’s mobile broadband penetration rate is below 12%.

It is believed that this initiative will benefit Nigerians using the internet for the first time and those that cannot afford Nigeria’s high data cost can now access Google services in spite of the high data cost.

Recall that Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, paid a visit to Google Headquarters recently where he led a team of Nigeria’s young tech entrepreneurs.

The entrepreneurs were drawn from the recently inaugurated the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity, a subset of theNational Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, who expressed excitements at the Vice President’s visit to Googleplex, stressed the importance of technology and innovation in Nigeria’s growing economy.

“Happy to welcome the Vice President of Nigeria @ProfOsinbajo to the Googleplex today – great to chat with him about the opportunities of Nigeria’s digital economy,” the Google boss took to his Twitter handle to say.

Discussions between Professor Osinbajo and Mr. Pichai revolved around bridging the gap between tech companies in Silicon Valley and highly qualified talent in Africa.

Professor Osinbajo, in a series of tweets stated that he is in the US for a Public-Private sector collaborative investment road show.

He said, “I am in the USA, leading a Public-Private sector collaborative investment road show. Today, I was received by senior executives of Google led by its CEO, Sundar Pichai, at the firm’s Headquarters.”

He added that he also met with LinkedIn management “In addition, I have met with groups of key tech investors here in Silicon Valley and will be speaking tonight at an interactive session at the LinkedIn headquarters.”

“At the Fireside chat with Allen Blue, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, I described the role the role of the recently inaugurated Technology and Creativity Advisory Group to drive policy in tech innovation and entertainment.”

The Vice President was also hosted in a series of investment forums in Silicon Valley interacting with key US technology firms promoting Nigeria tech firms.

This latest development by Google simply depicts the power and professionalism of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s interaction with the global world.

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NITDA Partners Arewa Tech Society For Sustainable Development Through IT

In appreciation of the effort of Arewa Tech Society, organisers of Arewa Tech Talks which held in the 19 Northern states of the federation, including the FCT, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has promised to give a helping hand in boosting the idea of using technology for development.
Revealing the plans of the agency at the Kano event which took place simultaneously in all the 19 Northern states and Abuja, the Northwest Regional Head of the agency Malam Abubakar L.S, revealed that the NITDA welcomes such initiative by groups such as Arewa Tech Society.
The Kano event was held at D.I. Hub, Lamido Crescent, Kano, Saturday, 21st July, 2018, with the attendance of many stakeholders from all sections of entrepreneurs, consultants and employees in the area.
Briefing the participants on the many benefits they could drive from the Agency, the regional head assured that, “Our agency will always welcome groupings of this nature. That you understand the importance and relevance of working as a team for the overall development of our society. This is a welcome development.”
“At NITDA we provide opportunities for students to go for their second degrees and up to PhD level. Ours is to always provide enabling environment for knowledge-based engagements,” he reminded.
He also encouraged them to strive hard and put in place structure that could be the foundation of the new development, “…through which you will excel and become assets for the country and for your individual self,” he said.
In his opening remarks, the convener Salihu Tanko Yakasai reveals that, “This idea came up just in the last one or two weeks. We thought that there is a need to establish a successful technology community. We need to talk to one another to have synergy, so that we can develop collectively.”
Yakasai said, “There is a need to make ourselves closer. Nothing is impossible, anyway. We came to also realise that the future of technology in the Northern part of the country is huge.”
“We want to use technology and solve our problems as a society. We can apply technology and solve problems of health, education, environment, name it. There is less appreciation of the services being rendered by the technology community. Hence there is the need to improve the market,” he advises.
According to him, they would do everything humanly possible to look at ways where stakeholders could be engaged, at the public or private sector.
Whereas funding of such efforts could be a bottleneck for successful take-off of the newly initiative, Yakasai believes that with the coming together of the technology community under one umbrella, all perceived difficulties could easily be dealt with.
He further said that, “We want see Arewa Technology in our universities and all other places. There is this strong need for us to come and find areas of improvement as a group with focus.”
Amongst the Panelists who discussed areas of their achievements and engagements are Maryam Gwadabe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bluesaphire, Usman I. Usman CEO of Flexisef,  Anas Yazid, CEO of Certis, Inusa Dangana, CEO of D.l. Hub and Sadiq Tanko Yakasai CISCO Engineer from United Kingdom.
They all briefed participants about how they started, grew up and what were their challenges. On his part the CEO of D.I. Hub, Dangana reveals that his company has partnership with both local and global stakeholders.
Gwadabe, said her company started since 2015 and their aim was to build capacity, such as mentorship services, consultancy service amongst others. According to her, they provide capacity building for people from 5 years up to 60 years of age.
Usman of Flexisef said they have more concern in the area of education. “We develop talent through  capacity building especially in the area of education. We identify the talent gap, especially among the less privileged ones,” he said.
Engineer Yakasai from United Kingdom argued that there was a need to put structure in place, so as to have focus in whatever they wanted to achieve, “… for us to also sustain the energy,” he said.
He further warns that, mass movement of the effort with abrupt arrangement would not be fruitful for the overall progress of the initiative. Hence, “…the need for baby-step. Not that of mass movement that can easily go into the thin air,” he maintains.
Other participants raised issues of challenges and way forward. Part of the challenges identified were that of digital divide and lack of proper awareness from the part of the public about the importance and necessity of using technology for development.
As a way forward, some of the participants advised for the inclusion of religious leaders to make use of sermons on the importance and necessity of IT in the society. Which also, according to them calls for the integration of businesses with IT.
In his closing remarks, the Convener Yakasai disclosed that more than 150 people registered with the Society in Kano, while over 950 have also been registered across the 19 Northern states and Abuja.
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FG Partners Facebook To Train 20,000 Youths In Digital Software

The federal government has disclosed that twenty thousand Nigerian youths will be trained in Digital software job creation by Facebook; a US-based Social Media outfit.

Director-General of the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami stated this while speaking to newsmen on the recent visit of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the Silicon Valley, United States of America, USA.

Dr Pantami said the Nigerian delegation led by the Vice President held a fruitful meeting with about sixty-seven ICT based companies who indicated interest to invest in Nigeria through youth skill acquisition in ICT.

Dr Pantami said the ICT industry which was vibrant is attracting the interest of some of the biggest ICT companies in the world.

The NITDA Director General said Nigeria expects to attract ICT investments worth over one billion Dollars to Nigeria.

Recently Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had led a delegation to the United States to solicit foreign investment from the United States ICT industry to Nigeria.

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8m Nigerians Activate Do-Not-Disturb Code – NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed that about eight million Nigerians have activated the Do-Not-Disturb (2442) code.

The Executive Vice Chairman of  NCC, Prof. Umar Danbata, stated this at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Technology Innovation and Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Danbatta noted that the level of activation of the code increased from nearly a million, after the declaration of 2017 as the year of consumer in March, to the present figure.

He however attributed the achievements to NCC’s massive campaign and consistency with its eight-point agenda which include projection and empowerment of telecommunication consumers.

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President Buhari Reiterates FG’s Commitment To Leverage On ICT To Drive Economic Reforms

President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), if effectively harnessed, will provide job opportunities for teaming Nigerian youths, and  enhance the quality of locally produced infrastructure.

President Buhari stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2017 e-Nigeria Conference, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, ICT has come to stay, and has being a major driver in developmental governance and economic reform plans of the CHANGE agenda of the federal government.

In his address, the President revealed that almost all sectors of Nigeria’s economy now leverage on ICT to increase efficiency, productivity and performance. These sectors, according to him, has recorded huge investments and contributes over 10% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and we are making conscious efforts to see that this contribution continues to grow in the next few years.

The President narrated how his administration has leverage on ICT to transform our government especially in the areas of strategy, policies and digital infrastructure investments.

His words: “You may recall that on assumption of office, we enforced the policy on Treasury Single Account (TSA). Today, we are all witnesses to the impact it has made on our financial management.

“We have so far consolidated over 20,000 accounts, resulting into about N4.7 billion monthly savings. In addition the policy facilitated transparency, accountability and ease of transactions and payments between Government and businesses as well as Government and citizens.

“Another initiative leveraging on ICT and making huge impact on the economy is the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Bank Verification Number (BVN). Its implementation has helped to eliminate the menace of ghost workers thereby reducing waste in the system by saving government over N20 billion monthly.

“This administration recently issued an Executive Order mandating all ministries, departments and agencies to give preference to locally manufactured goods and services in their procurement of information technology services.

“Such measures are part of the deliberate efforts at encouraging local manufacture of ICT infrastructure, creating job opportunities, providing investment opportunities as well as strengthening our currency. We commend NITDA’s efforts on fostering the patronage of indigenous IT products and services through continuous engagement with indigenous OEMs, relevant stakeholders and other laudable initiatives.

“ICT plays a pivotal role with agencies of government such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which have leaned on ICT in improving public service delivery in an efficient and transparent manner. So far, 31 reforms have been completed by the Council and these reforms are already making noticeable impact on our economic diversification efforts.

“The Agency’s efforts at enforcing Federal Government’s directive on ensuring that all ICT projects in the country are cleared by it before implementation are highly commendable. These efforts will ensure that government’s ICT procurements are transparent, they are aligned with government’s IT shared vision and policy, save costs through promotion of shared services, avoid duplication, ensure compatibility of IT systems thereby improving efficiency across government and enforce the patronage of indigenous companies.”

The President, who declared the conference open, urged participants to come up with practical, viable solutions and recommendations to further develop local content in ICT as well as how the administration can best regulate the deployment and use of ICT systems to foster a digital economy in Nigeria.

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UBA Introduces Video Live Chat With Co-browsing Technology

In recent times, customer behaviour and expectations are ever-evolving and with this challenge, comes the need to meet their needs as well as ensure, new offerings are at the forefront of technological evolution. On the back of this development, UBA a leading innovative player in Financial Services is finding new ways to communicate and engage with their customers.

With the growing mobile consciousness, customer demand for online services is on the rise and it is imperative to meet this demand with digital self-service platforms. However, to meet this demand, the role of human interaction in the process cannot be underestimated. It fits into our creed to continue to foster our unlimited dedication and access to the customers.

In this regard, the United Bank of Africa, in its unrelenting effort to raise the bar, likewise the levels of ease and convenience in customer experience through innovation, has introduced Video live chat with Co-browsing technology.

Firstly it enables Customer Experience Experts to help customers in real-time, enabling a support experience centred on visual engagement. Why is this important? 65% of the world are visual learners. Not only can enquiries and issues be resolved more efficiently and swiftly, but co-browsing can complement other channels, improving the overall customer experience

UBA is differentiating with Customer Experience and use of Video Live Chat and Co-browsing to improve customer acquisition, service and to improve x-sell & retention by enabling more meaningful contact with customers.

Video Co-browsing enables customers to virtually have a one-on-one interface with the bank through co-browsing application via video live chat, text chat, and through real time document exchange. This makes it easier for bank staff to assist customers through a number of difficulties; from filling intricate bank forms and even helping them resolve much more complex transactions. Sometimes, the platform simply facilitates directing the customers to the exact information they need.

It provides a secure file-sharing, compliant, real-time communication solutions that enables the bank hold co-browsing sessions to expedite troubleshooting as well as ordinary enquiries.

This without a doubt moves light years ahead of the old customer service where interaction is purely through phone calls; this method which has proven to be frustrating especially when it involves fixing a problem urgently. It also comes resourcefully as a quick and easy fix for those who do not have enough time for a physical visit to the bank to take care of their transactions.

Other benefits include:

o       All session actions are accountable

o       Secure collaboration

o       Navigate the web together

o       Control access

o       Collaborate online, effectively

With this latest innovation, UBA can engage visually and digitally with customers while maintaining human interaction at any given time, in a bid to continue to virtualize customer experience. It offers faster solutions in response to customer enquiries on a more personalised basis anywhere, anytime and from any device. UBA as always, is committed to ensuring greater efficiency and better customer satisfaction. To experience the Video Love chat and Co-browsing technology, visit ubagroup.com .

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Facebook Hosts Leading Women In Nigeria’s Technology Industry

The premier edition of Facebook’s Women in Technology event held on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba, Lagos. The event was designed by Facebook to engage with influential Nigerian women working in Lagos’ technology ecosystem and to share Facebook’s mission on diversity.

Guests at the invite-only event shared personal experiences of how they ventured into technology, the importance of women taking more active roles in technology and the countless number of opportunities for women in the tech space.

According to Jennifer Fong, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Middle East and Africa, Facebook: “We designed this event to engage female tech influencers in Lagos on ways we can come up with solutions that will encourage the participation of more women in technology.”

Speakers at the event include: Bolanile Afuye, Head of Digital Services 9Mobile; Mayokun Fadeyibi, Head of Business Development and Strategy, OLX; Gbonjubola Amuda, Software Engineer at Flutterwave; Bolanile Olatunji, Country Manager, Mara Group, and Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, founder, Futuresoft.

Also present at the event were Cynthia Obioma, Product Growth Manager at Facebook; Barbara Mbanefo, Software Engineer, Facebook; Cynthia Obioma, Product Growth Manager at Facebook; Nana Akyaa Amoah, Head of Platform Product Operations at Facebook and Cynthia Obioma, Product Growth Manager at Facebook.

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Data Theft: Abiru, Skye Bank CEO Urges Close Collaboration between Tech, IT Security Experts

Skye Bank CEO, Tokunbo Abiru has advocated practical strategies, concerted efforts and close collaboration from technology, Telcos and IT security experts to prevent current proliferation of clone apps with its attendant impact on safety of smart phone users in the country.

Abiru made this suggestion in a keynote note address on the topic: ‘Strategizing against Malicious App Clones’ delivered at 3rd quarter General Meeting of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) held in Lagos to review the activities of the body and work out a more proactive means of mitigating electronic fraud.

The Skye Bank Boss, who was represented by the Bank’s Executive Director Technology & Services, Innocent Ike noted that “one of the strategies to deal with this menace was the enactment of the Cybercrimes Prohibition, Prevention Act, 2015 which is meant to regulate the cyber security space in the country and provide for the application of stiff penalties for internet infractions”.

Unfortunately, the top Banker was of the opinion that more still needs to be done by all stakeholders, even as he went ahead to outline other steps part of which “is to ensure that innocent app users never download apps from untrusted third parties adding that “users should always download apps from official app marketplaces like appstore for Apple phones, Google play for Android phones, and windows phone store for Windows phones to dramatically reduce the risk of downloading mobile application malwares”.

“Users of mobile devices not enabling the option to accept apps from any source or app market on their devices and avoid giving administrative access/privileges to apps where possible, and listed the need for installation of anti-malware tools to detect malicious apps installed on their devices.

“The best way to protect oneself from these malicious apps, is to avoid accepting or installing mobile apps originating from unfamiliar sources.

While asking for vigilance on the part of smartphone and computer users, Abiru pointed out that “the intent of the developers of malicious app clones is to deceive smartphone users and get them to download the malicious app onto their phones and these apps are designed primarily to steal information, track users’ activities, send un-solicited content, re-configure the target device or carry out sundry malicious activities such as Smishing (short form for SMS Phishing).

“The explosion in the development and distribution of “apps” has increased the risks associated with the use of smartphones and one of such risks is the Malicious App Clones which is a discourse at this meeting”.

In the process, the experienced banker opined that “information such as individual and corporate emails and data, banking transaction data and personal data on social media sites, WhatsApp, SMS amongst others do get compromised with devastating consequence

Earlier in his address, Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking & Payments System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Chairman, NeFF spoke of the readiness of the regulator through NeFF to confront emerging threat in electronic payment with introduction of USSD mode of payment by Banks working in concert with NCC and by co-opting relevant stakeholders on preventing fraud incidence through sim swaps.

He then disclosed that “through a shared services initiative with key stakeholders across the e-payment channels, that will be domiciled with NeFF by first quarter 2018 through which incidence of electronic fraud would be curbed.

He expressed joy that this was the “first time we are having representatives of Airtel, MTN, Glo and 9mobile join us at this quarterly forum to enable us work in unison and jointly explore and look at issues that would make the USSD mode of payment, threat free”.

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Accelerate Labs Programs kicks Off With Opening Sessions Across Six States

The opening sessions for Accelerate Labs, an initiative by The Future Project in partnership with Microsoft Nigeria to galvanize and boost youth entrepreneurship in Nigeria, was held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria from 18 – 28, September, 2017.

Starting the eleven-week accelerator program for stream 1, 2017 at different zones in Abuja (North Central), Bauchi (North-East), Kaduna (North-West), Edo (South-South, Anambra (South-East) and Lagos (South-West), the events had in attendance industry leaders including Professor Adesoji Adesugba, Vice-President, ICT Abuja Chamber of Commerce; Bishop Feb Idahosa, President, Ben Idahosa University; Mr Femi Oye, Co-founder, SME Funds, among others.

 “About 3,987 applications were received for the first stream of the sessions, with 150 participants selected per zone through our SME jury. We are excited to be part of their success stories and look forward to working with them to build competitive and viable businesses,” said Bukonla Adebakin, Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “This can fundamentally change the lives of many youths and reduce unemployment in the country as we gear towards entrepreneurship and drive inclusive economic growth and development.”

 The opening session in the six geo-political regions concluded with the commencement of the 3 weeks taught session, mentorship, research classes and demo week for all participants of the Accelerate Labs project across regions.

 “Microsoft Nigeria is proud to support this important initiative that brings together a diverse group of youth entrepreneurs entering the accelerator program,” said Olusola Amusan, Philanthropies Lead, Microsoft Nigeria. “Entrepreneurship has always played a critical role in development of countries and reduction of unemployment, we believe at the end of this program a significant positive impact will be made in our economy,” he added.

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Why You Should Stop Charging Your Phone Overnight

Charging your phone while you’re sleeping results in the phone being on the charger for 3-4 months a year, Hatem Zeine, founder of Ossia, has said.

According to the developer, the process inevitably lowers the capacity of phone’s battery.

Experts also warned that leaving phones to charge overnight can actually make the daily battery life struggle even worse.

A recent report has explained that batteries depreciate from the moment they’re first used, according to The Sun, including the ones in our smartphones.

Plugging them in overnight increases the time your phone’s connected to a power supply, which effects the battery’s long-term ability to hold charge much faster than if you just charged it for the amount of time needed.

The Independent

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FG Partners Ireland On ICT Innovation

The Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu  has said that Nigeria is a country with great potentials in ICT/Telecom Industry, stating  the country’s readiness to partner with the Government of Ireland.
He disclosed this in his office during a meeting with International Development Ireland (IDI) led by the Ireland Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sean Hoy.
The Permananent Secretary, Abdullaziz .M. Abdullahi who represented the Minister enumerated some of the areas the Ministry would need Ireland intervention to include the establishment of ICT University, the Smart  City Project, ICT Hubs Centres and ICT Parks, which he said were some of the components of the National ICT Road maps, adding that the actualization of the second and third Nigeria Satellites in orbit would need the support of foreign partners.
Ambassador Sean Hoy, who led the delegation, said they were in Abuja to seek for areas of collaboration with the Ministry, especially in Smart City Innovation and ICT Parks which his country had earlier established in some African Countries like Ghana, Gambia, Gabon, Sudan etc.
Making their presentation, Greg Hogan of International Development Ireland (IDI), said his team are practitioners who were involved in extremely successful economic transformation in some countries , adding that the team also specialises in prompt projects, capacity building and implementation.
He said the key drive is to partner with the country’s investment promotion agency that would have vital role to play in the establishment and implementation of National ICT Road Map.
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