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African Business Heroes: Jack Ma Foundation to Host Media Roundtable for 2020 Top 10 Finalists

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African Business Heroes: Jack Ma Foundation to Host Media Roundtable for 2020 Top 10 Finalists, SiliconNigeria

The Jack Ma Foundation will host an online media roundtable discussion and Q&A to allow accredited journalists exclusive access to the Top 10 Finalists of 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes(ABH) prize, ahead of the grand finale in November.

The 2020 ABH prize competition is a flagship philanthropic program created by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative(ANPI)to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs regardless of age, gender and sector, who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent.

 Speakers at the event which will hold on Wednesday, 21st October 2020 include the Top 10 finalists, Jack Ma Foundation’s representative and the competition’s semi-finale judges.

In invited journalists should are to register here to receive Zoom log in details for theirattendance:https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TOg8uJocSv2MVkS_TCYO4wDetails:Meet the ten finalists of the Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition, the flagship programme of the Jack Ma Foundation.

This exclusive virtual event is an opportunity to hear directly from the ABH 2020 finalists on their journey in the competition so far, their businesses, and how they are working to solve the most pressing problems in their respective countries.

Learn more about the ABH competition and the drive behind Jack Ma Foundation’s passion to inspire, train and support entrepreneurs in Africa. The 10 entrepreneursrepresenting 8 African countries (including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe)have been selected from over 22,000 applications across all 54 African nations. Their businesses span key industries across Africa including agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, renewable energy, financial services, and retail. On November 13 and14at the competition’s finale, theywill pitch the finale judges including Jack Ma, Founder of the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group, for a chance to win their share of the US$1.5 million prize pool.

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MTN Named Most Valuable Brand In Africa As Value Hits $3.3bn

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MTN Named Most Valuable Brand In Africa As Value Hits $3.3bn, SiliconNigeria

MTN Group has been named the most valuable African brand in the Brand Finance Africa 150 2020 ranking, which ascribes a brand value of $3.3 billion to MTN.

 Brand value is the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. In its survey, Brand Finance said: “Over the last year, Africa’s largest mobile operator has celebrated solid profits and impressive subscriber growth.”

 The survey assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the enterprise value of all brands in its survey, compared to their values on 1 January 2020. It categorised the telecoms sector as ‘limited impact’, which it said meant “minimal brand value loss or potential brand value growth”. This was due to the increasingly important role that mobile operators have played in keeping people connected in the time of the pandemic.

 In July, Brand Finance named MTN Group the most valuable South African brand, a result of the group’s focus on improving the customer experience for subscribers, as well as uniting 19 000 employees around a shared belief, which is that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.

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Airtel Selects Ericsson to Modernize its 4G Network in Kenya

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Airtel Selects Ericsson to Modernize its 4G Network in Kenya, SiliconNigeria

Airtel Africa is expanding its strategic partnership with Ericsson to enable 4G coverage in Kenya. With Ericsson’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and packet core products for 4G, Airtel subscribers will experience enhanced quality of voice and data.

The network modernization deal, signed in August 2020, is in line with the Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030 which aims to provide robust connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms. The modernization deal will drive the simplification and upgrade of the existing network and future-proof it for the anticipated rapid mobile expansion in the country.

With Ericsson Radio System and Packet Core solutions, Airtel Kenya’s network will have 4G coverage, while driving enhanced use cases in both the consumer and the enterprise segments. Ericsson technology shall make the network in Kenya ready for 5G deployment.

Prasanta Das  Sarma, CEO at Airtel Kenya says: “Robust and secure communications are an essential component of a digital society in Kenya. We are firmly anchored to the strategy of delivering reliable connections across the country and are looking forward to expanding the high-quality mobile broadband services to our subscribers.”

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Together with Airtel, we will implement this project that aims to establish an advanced LTE network in Kenya, providing Airtel’s customers an enriched experience – both in the consumer and business segments. Through this partnership, we reaffirm our ambition to set #AfricaInMotion by partnering with Airtel to grow and support an increasingly digitalized society in Kenya.”

Furthermore, Ericsson will deploy its Kathrein Mobile Communication Antenna portfolio which will help provide additional enhancement to the network’s robustness whilst Ericsson’s technologically advanced network management system, Ericsson Network Manager will be utilized to support Airtel in managing the network seamlessly by integrating various network elements on single platform.

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Africa Region

Google, NTDC Partner to Launch Tour Nigeria Collection

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Google NTDC Partner to launch Tour Nigeria Collection, SiliconNigeria

A partnership announced by Google and the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation seeks to help the Nigerian tourism sector recover and grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Google and the NTDC are partnering to provide training for small businesses, digital skills initiatives for individuals and the launch of a new Google Arts & Culture collection called ‘Tour Nigeria’.

Google Arts & Culture has worked with the NTDC over a number of months to create an online exhibition of imagery, stories and commentary highlighting some of Nigeria’s beautiful, hidden gems – from the Awhum Caves of Enugu, to the Farin Ruwa falls of Nasarawa, the Osun Osogbo sacred grove of Osun state, and the Wikki Warm spring of Bauchi state. The project also features stories and photos from some of the most colourful cultural festivals in the country including the Yauri Rigata Festival, and the Kano Durbar Festival.

Google Arts & Culture and the NTDC have also launched a new ‘Explore Nigeria’ video series featuring top Nigerian social media influencers and YouTube creators. This video-based series highlights the best of Nigeria through the eyes of these influencers and can be found here at http://goo.gle/TourNigeria

“Rich heritage, natural beauty and vibrant cities, Nigeria is a destination we all need on our travel shortlist soon. Even though 2020 continues to be a challenging year for Nigerians and travellers from around the world, I hope that this unique online experience – created in collaboration with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation – can contribute to further promote Nigeria’s iconic sites and capture its stories. And even though I can’t travel, the project inspired me to start that journey by exploring the country through the works of Africa’s first literary Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka,“ says Amit Sood, Director, Google Arts & Culture. 

“The tourism sector is a key pillar of Nigeria’s economy. Initiatives that support and promote domestic tourism are critical, not only for the sector but also because a stronger tourism sector will help Nigeria’s economy recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. An expanded tourism sector will be able to drive employment and stimulate economic growth. Initiatives like Google’s – that are grounded in data-driven insights into how the sector can be supported and grown – strengthens NTDC’s ‘TOUR NIGERIA’ strategy, which seeks to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria. We are even more convinced now of the validity of this strategy and the rightness of our path, and are excited to kick start this with the ‘TOUR NIGERIA’ collection with Google Arts & Culture”, says NTDC Director-General, Folorunsho Coker. 

The partnership with NTDC will provide support for the local tourism sector including providing training programs to enable businesses to leverage online tools they can use to grow their businesses. The program also features a digital skills program aimed at helping individuals to skill up so they can find jobs or further develop their careers within the tourism industry. SMBs are being assisted by way of digital migration programs to help them get online, and expand their audience reach. And, lastly, the partnership will create exposure for Nigeria’s tourist attractions through Google’s technology offerings including virtual reality, 360° videos, Street View, ultra-high-resolution “gigapixel” images and Google Arts & Culture initiatives. 

“We’re always looking for new and creative ways in which technology can foster connections between people and the arts,” says Google Nigeria country director Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor. “‘Explore Nigeria’ is an expression of that desire and a tangible program that demonstrates our economic support of and commitment to Nigeria.” 

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