Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Instant noodles has maintained that innovation will continue to take centre stage in delivering quality products to the Nigerian market.
Data from the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA) reveals that Nigeria is currently among the largest consumers of instant noodles, with 1.92 million servings as at May 2020, ranking 11th position in the global demand for noodles, with Indomie Instant Noodles being the most consumed brand in Nigeria.
Speaking in Lagos, the chief operations officer, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr Adesh Jain, noted that, for any business to thrive in a dynamic market like Nigeria, churning out new ideas and product innovation is not only necessary but highly important.
According to him, the successful exploitation of new ideas is crucial to a business being able to improve its processes, introduce new and improved products and services to market, increase its efficiency, and most importantly, improve its profitability.
“Though we have maintained market dominance in the noodles market in Nigeria for close to three decades, we will not rest on our oars because we understand that market environments, whether local, regional, national or global are becoming highly competitive, hence, there is a need to do more,” he stressed.
He added that Dufil had consistently, adapted its products lines to the changing marketplace over the years.
It will be recalled that in November 2017, Dufil Prima Foods also consolidated its dominance in Nigeria’s noodles market by acquiring plants of Dangote Noodles Limited, a subsidiary of Dangote Flour Mills Plc.
The deal, which was said to worth N3.75 billion ($12.26 million) gave Dufil ownership of Dangote noodles factories in Ikorodu (Lagos) and Calabar (Cross River State) respectively. Also, in 2018, Dufil acquired 100 percent of the food production line of May and Baker Nigeria Plc, which operates its noodles business under the brand name Mimee Noodles. The deal was valued at N775 million.
GSMA Unveils Framework to Improve Digital Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities
To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the GSMA is launching the ‘Principles for Driving the Digital Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities’. The Principles aim to further inspire the mobile industry to help close the mobile disability gap.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are over one billion people with disabilities; of them, only 1 in 10 has access to the assistive technology they need to live independent lives. Furthermore, the WHO estimates that 80% of persons with disabilities live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). By combining multiple assistive technologies in a single device, mobile phones are cost-effective tools to enable greater inclusion and participation for persons with disabilities.
The ‘Principles’ set out a framework for action, together with recommended activities, to help address the barriers that currently prevent persons with disabilities from accessing and using mobile-enabled products and services. Research conducted by the GSMA in LMICs shows that persons with disabilities are less likely to own smartphones and use mobile internet than persons without disabilities.
Action is required to address the barriers and requirements of persons with disabilities, drive innovation, place persons with disabilities at the heart of the design process, and realise the social and commercial opportunity of reaching this underserved segment of the population. By doing so the mobile industry can make meaningful change and help ensure no one is left behind in an increasingly digital world.
“Removing the barriers faced by persons with disabilities requires informed action from all stakeholders,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “It’s time for the mobile industry to take steps to ensure our products and services are accessible, unlocking the power of connectivity so that all people thrive. I am delighted that Dialog Axiata PLC, Optus, Orange Group, Safaricom PLC, Telefónica Group, Turkcell, Vodacom South Africa and Zain Group have already signed up to the Principles, and I look forward to many more industry participants joining us in this commitment.”
The Initiative sets out three core principles for advancing the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities:
- Embrace disability inclusion at every level of their organisation;
- Understand how to reach and better serve persons with disabilities;
- Deliver inclusive products and services that meet the varied needs of people with disabilities.
Digital accessibility is recognised as a key priority across a range of global commitments, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy. The core ambition of all these projects is to ensure inclusion for all in a rapidly expanding digital landscape. Signing up to the GSMA’s ‘Principles’ is an important step towards achieving this goal.
The framework has been endorsed by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Mobile & Wireless Forum’s (MWF) Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI), Global Disability Innovation Hub, the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), PurpleSpace and The Valuable 500.
Access Bank Restates Commitment to Technology Innovation At Nigerian Fintech Week 2020
Access Bank has reiterated its commitment to advancing technological innovation with bank’s sponsorship of the Nigerian Fintech week 2020. The weeklong event highlighted Fintech as a solution to problems across different industries including health, agriculture and logistics.
Speaking at the event, Ade Bajomo, the executive director for Information Technology and Operations at Access Bank Plc, said, “Access Bank is committed to positively impacting lives and building the economy through technology. For years, the Bank has invested in several initiatives geared towards improving access to technological innovations while providing platforms for tech enthusiasts to innovate and make massive impact on the society.”
One of such innovation is Facepay which is a pioneer solution in Africa that captures the face of an individual and leverages same to grant access to financial services for the unbanked, make instore payments seamlessly at merchant locations and subsequently build queless branches.
Furthermore, Ade Bajomo spoke about how various Digital identity systems are leveraged across the world to provide economic inclusion for 1 Billion people who are estimated to lack access to financial services because they do not have a form of legally recognised Identity.
The foremost example was how India’s Aadhaar identity management programme which has 1.2 billion indians has been leveraged for financial inclusion, direct beneficiary programmes, humanitarian assistance, AML compliance and cost savings in government processes. He stated that Nigeria has a lot to learn from this and Access Bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital identity systems to promote economic inclusion.
Bajomo also added that “By partnering with the Africa Fintech Foundry and sponsoring a momentous occasion like the Nigerian FinTech Week, the Bank is contributing to the strides that we are experiencing in the Fintech landscape and to the growth of the economy at large. This is done through thought leadership, acceleration and incubation of tech start-ups, hosting of hackathons and delivering digital products tailored to the African market. Through these interventions, other sectors of the economy would be able to experience a 360-degree growth as well.”
Further cementing Access Bank’s involvement in the Fintech, Mr Ade Bajomo was inaugurated as the new President of FintechNGR at the 2020 AGM of the association. Speaking after his inauguration, he stated that he would work with members of the association and the industry to create solutions, employment, wealth and capacity, as well as position Nigeria as a leading market for global FinTech Innovation and Investment.
In his capacity as president, Mr Bajomo will be tasked with furthering the strategic mandate of the association to accelerate, connect and advocate with all stakeholders which includes Members of Fintech Association of Nigeria, innovators and Fintech thought leaders, techpreneurs, Venture capitalists, accelerators, the Regtech Community, other Fintech associations and other well-meaning partners who can help the association realise its ambitions.
ITU Honours Nigerian, 19 Others At 2020 Global Innovation Forum
A Nigerian, Ikechukwu Umezurumba was among 20 winners of the 2020 ITU Innovation Challenges and a virtual pitch session of seven winning projects to a global audience of experts.
The event collocated alongside the 2020 edition of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Global Innovation Forum, held from 26 to 30 October, and highlighted the critical role of entrepreneurship-driven innovation in the context of a global pandemic.
Twelve women and eight men received awards across three challenge categories: The digital change-maker, ecosystem best practice, and women in tech.
Tafadzwa Ronald Chikwereti (Zimbabwe), Carlos Eduardo Mosquera Reyes (United States), Mojca Karin Rehar (France), Ikechukwu Umezurumba (Nigeria), James Gachara Kiruri (Kenya), and Thomas Müller (South Africa) won the digital change-maker challenge category.
In the category of the ecosystem best practice challenge, the following contenders won: Dominic Chidiebere Nwaogu (Nigeria), Diana Artiom (Moldova), Nahel Muhammad Amirah (Egypt), Ivana Kostic (Serbia), Galina Dremova (Russia), Wilda Romadona (Indonesia), Laila Abdullah Khasib Al Hadhrami (Oman), Zainab Khan (Pakistan), and Franca Vinci (Italy).
Finally, the winners of the women in tech challenge category were: Nindya Miesye Agita Pasaribu (Indonesia), Calister Apollonary Simba (Tanzania), Achia Khaleda Nila (Bangladesh), Rani Mutiarawati (Indonesia), and Nabuyuni Ann Sankan (Kenya).
ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao noted that, “Supporting entrepreneurship-driven innovation has never been more important. Simply put, innovation pushes the boundaries of what is possible.
“It creates jobs, economic growth, and new ways to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. ICT innovators need access to the resources to take their ideas to market and access to a well-developed broadband infrastructure.”
While digital technologies have the potential to change lives and significantly accelerate sustainable development, many communities lack access to an enabling environment as key stakeholders often fail to understand, develop and renew the competitive practices that fuel digital transformation.
Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for countries’ transition to a digital economy by negatively affecting socio-economic conditions worldwide.
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau said, “Entrepreneurship-driven innovation has been a rising priority for ITU stakeholders since the 2014 World Telecommunication Development Conference in Dubai.
“This forum enabled participants to share insights and discover new practices. By bringing diverse stakeholders to connect with change-makers for more action-oriented outcomes, we hope that symbiotic relationships will develop to ensure sustainable and competitive digital ecosystems that unlock communities’ potential.”
During the five-day event, 175 experts in innovation, entrepreneurship and technology discussed how to accelerate digital transformation in their communities, mainstream entrepreneurship and find resources required for digital innovation, and bring resource, problem and solution owners together to achieve digital inclusion.
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