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Nigeria Can Compete With Developed Countries In ICT- Engr Daudu



Nigeria Can Compete With Developed Countries In ICT- Engr Daudu, SiliconNigeria

The incoming permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Engr. Festus Yusuf Daudu said Nigeria have the potential to compete with developed countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Russia in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector based on available human resources in the country.

He said this during the official handing over ceremony between him and the outgoing permanent secretary, Mr. Musa Istifanus which took place today at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

The permanent secretary stated that Nigeria has passed the stage of comparison in the area of ICT with other developing countries within and outside the region adding that Nigeria should be competing with the likes of the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Russia.

He said the renaming of the Ministry as Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was designed to be in line with global development noting that Nigeria cannot be left behind in the ICT world. The world is moving forward, we need to move with the globe”. Engr. Daudu stressed.

The permanent secretary requested for maximum cooperation from the management staff of the Ministry and urged them to work as a team in order to achieve the mandate of the Ministry for digital Nigeria.

According to him “a tree cannot make a forest. You need a collection of trees to produce a forest and I believe that all of you seated here are a collection of diverse human resources require to make the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy achieve its  mandate”.

He noted that finances are the most difficult challenges in the system and urged the staff to maximize the little available in order to achieve the Ministry’s numerous policies and programmes for digital Nigeria.

The Outgoing Permanent Secretary, Mr. Musa Istifanus thanked the management and staff of the Ministry for their cooperation and support in the implementation of the policies and programmes of the Ministry.

He said, the new challenges before him now is to use the experience he acquired in the ICT sector and collaborate with his counterpart in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to promote surveillance technology that would enhance the efficiency of Nigeria troops in cubing the issues of kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism in the country.

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23 Content Creators From Nigeria, Kenya, SA Make Inaugural #YouTubeBlackVoices Grantees



23 Content Creators From Nigeria Kenya SA Make Inaugural #YouTubeBlackVoices Grantees, SiliconNigeria

YouTube has released its inaugural class of African content creators set to receive a grant for the development of their channels from the global #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund. 

In addition to the grant earmarked for content development, the 23 YouTubers (from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) will also take part in an intensive three-week incubator programme followed by bespoke training, workshops and networking programmes. These creators are part of 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021.

YouTube also announced that top African artistes; Fireboy DML, Sauti Sol and Sho Madjozi have been selected as part of 23 artists to join the #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021. The artists join others selected from the United States, Brazil, and Australia, whose music spans generations, and locations. The Artist Class of 2021 will receive dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participate in training and networking programs focused on production, fan engagement, and wellbeing. 

“We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives from the African continent and amplify their voices as they create original content on our platform,” says Alex Okosi, MD, Emerging Markets, YouTube EMEA. 

“African creators on YouTube are reshaping the power of our platform by providing a unique perspective on all manner of topics from fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness. Through their content, these creators continue to raise the bar for how others engage with their audiences and build community on our platform,” Okosi concludes. 

This announcement comes after the October 2020 call for African creators to apply for #YouTubeBlackVoices funding as part of YouTube’s global, multi-year commitment aimed at nurturing Black creators and artists on YouTube. Over the next few years, YouTube plans to invest directly in more than 500 creators and artists from across the world in order to fulfil this commitment. 

Below is Africa’s full list of the #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021.

NameYouTube ChannelCountry
Akah BantsAkah BantsNigeria
Dimma UmehDimma UmehNigeria
Eric OkaforEric OkaforNigeria
Fireboy DMLFireboy DMLNigeria
Nicolette MashileFinancial BunnySouth Africa
Kaluhi AdagalaKaluhi’s KitchenKenya
Kay NgonyamaKay YarmsSouth Africa
Lade OwolabiLade OwolabiNigeria
Dodos UviegharaIamdodos90Nigeria
Lasizwe DambuzaLasizwe DambuzaSouth Africa
MacGMacGSouth Africa
Mitchelle AdagalaMitchelle AgadalaNigeria
Ofentse and Nelisiwe MwaseOfentse Mwase FilmsSouth Africa
Oscar FrankOscarminiNigeria
Owamie HlongwaneOwamie HlongwaneSouth Africa
Patricia KihoroPatricia KihoroKenya
Sauti SolSauti SolKenya
Sho MadjoziSho MadjoziSouth Africa
Thato Rampedi Thato RampediSouth Africa
Naledi MonamodiToast with NalediSouth Africa
Tomike AdeoyeTomike Adeoye Nigeria
Winnie Emmanuel Zeelicious FoodsNigeria

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Ventures Platform Foundation Launches Applications for Gov Labs



Ventures Platform Foundation Launches Applications for Gov Labs, SiliconNigeria

Ventures Platform Foundation (VPF), the social impact arm of Ventures Platform Hub, has launched a call for applications for its latest incubation programme, Gov Labs – a 12-week programme for tech solutions implementing accountability and transparency within the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 response.

Created with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the new initiative will support Civil Society Organizations from across Nigeria as they build innovative solutions promoting good governance and wide scale access to public services. 

From the pool of applicants, five organisations will be selected and will each receive a $2,500 grant as well as access to mentorship, technical support and networking opportunities. During the 12-week period,  participants will also work alongside key experts in policy advocacy, citizen engagement and public sector reform as they build scalable and easily adoptable solutions which target the pain points of the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 response. 

Speaking on the launch of Gov Labs, Mimshach Obioha, Executive Director at Ventures Platform Foundation, says“Since the pandemic began, there has been a major emphasis on the health and economic implications of COVID-19 however, we cannot deny that democracy and governance have also taken a huge hit during this period.With governments imposing restrictions on civil liberties,we need stronger support for basic human rights and something needs to change urgently.”

“In light of this, the Nigerian government has proven itself somewhat open to citizen input and that’s where Gov Labs comes in. We’ve always known Nigeria has a rich supply of entrepreneurs who are hungry for change but now, we’re giving them a platform to not only equip the government to make more informed decisions, but also drive access to vital public services at a time when people need them most.”

According to Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), there were over 100 incidents of human rights violations within the initial lockdown period alone. To curb the impact of the coronavirus, Nigeria has imposed stringent and severe measures on its citizens, most notably around the freedom of movement and assembly. However, this has often corresponded with a notable rise in unlawful arrests and detentions, extra-judicial killings and sexual & gender based violence (SGBV) amongst other issues. 

This year, Ventures Platform Foundation has driven a number of initiatives to address pre-existing crises in Nigeria as well as the devastation caused by the pandemic. In October, the company awarded $6,000 to seven different start-ups developing tech solutions to assist the fight against the coronavirus as part of its COVID-19 Innovation Challengeand also recently launched its Start Up North East incubator to aid relief efforts for the crisis in Northern Nigeria

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U.S. Consulate Supports Drone Bootcamp for Young Nigerian Entrepreneurs



U.S. Consulate Supports Drone Bootcamp for Young Nigerian Entrepreneurs, SiliconNigeria

The United States Consulate General Lagos in collaboration with Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), on Monday announced a call for applications for the Nigerian Drone Business Competition.   

The program scheduled to hold from January 18-22, 2021, seeks to nurture creativity and hone entrepreneurial skills among Nigeria-based early-stage youth technology entrepreneurs.   

Thirty applicants will be selected for an opportunity to learn from experienced drone professionals at GADA, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensed drone services company based in Maryland, United States.     

The bootcamp will teach the budding entrepreneurs how to relate this emerging drone technology to real-world practical solutions, as well as the expertise for safely operating and flying a drone. Participants will also learn the practical skills required to create, run and successfully market their start-ups in 2021 and beyond. 

 At the end of the five-day virtual bootcamp, participants will have an opportunity to pitch their business plans to a panel of judges. The top three winners will receive professional grade drones and business coaching to support the launch of their new business.   

United States Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli, said the U.S. Mission in Nigeria is committed to supporting programs that provide youth with access to quality technological learning opportunities.   

“The United States Consulate General is pleased to support the Nigerian Drone Business Competition. This program advances the U.S. Mission’s goal of promoting STEM education in Nigeria as a driver of sustainable economic growth,” Ibelli added.   

This competition, being held in coordination with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, is open to all Nigerian citizens/residents aged 16-30.   

Young Nigerian tech entrepreneurs interested in participating in the Nigerian Drone Business Competition can apply at no cost by visiting Applications will be accepted until midnight December 31, 2020.  

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