Eminent Nigerians including the Director General of the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi and Prof. Charles Uwadia, President and Chairman-In-Council (Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN) have launched, Konn3ct, Africa’s first suite of web-conferencing solutions into the global virtual meeting marketplace.
The formal launch on Wednesday held at a meeting room in konn3ct.com signals the entry of the app into the fast-growth global online meetings business projected to be worth more than $78 billion in the next 10 years. Konn3ct cover a range of applications used for meetings, conferences, webinars, live-classroom, syndicate events, and remote cinema among others.
Abdullahi, said the launch of the new meetings app represents a milestone development during his tenure as the DG of NITDA, adding that with the unique features built into the new solution, Konn3ct will strongly fare better against competing solutions in the market.
“Konn3ct boasts of the most robust security architecture in the industry; it has an amazing video experiences and, in a continent, where broadband costs and penetration are still major challenge, the low data consumption cost and other conferencing options that have been built into this solution has all the makings of a world-beater,” he said.
Former Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Segun Oleketuyi said Konn3ct is challenging the statuesque. “Konn3ct is challenging the forerunners. This is a bold initiative from Konn3ct”.
He praised the efforts of NewWaves Ecosystems in giving Africa its first online meetings app, saying that the development falls in line with the agenda of the Federal Government towards encouraging indigenous Nigerian content in the information and communication technology sector.
Citing the role played by online meeting solutions in facilitating government activities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021, he expressed the belief that the arrival of an indigenous solution will be of greater benefit to the government and people of Nigeria.
Prof Adeshina Sodiya, President, Nigerian Computer Society, said Nigerians do not need to look outside for software. “Any software you need you can get it in Nigeria. Konn3ct has proved this fact. It is adequate for our needs as a nation and for the world. Whatever product NITDA puts its stamp on is always good. With Konn3ct we will not need to use our foreign exchange on foreign products. Let us accept this product. IT products globally have room for improvements. There will always be new versions of Konn3ct”.
In His goodwill message, Prof. Charles Uwadia – President and Chairman-In-Council (Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), linked the innovation behind the building of the Konn3ct meetings solution to the power of the indefatigable Nigerian spirit that, according to him, had earlier manifested during the financial technology revolution that was then, inspired by the banking sector.
Referring to its 3.16 percentage contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at a time of national and global economic lockdown, Prof. Uwadia was sure that the ICT holds strong promise in the economic revitalization of Nigeria.
“I am proud of this feat by NewWaves Ecosystem in developing such an amazing solution that will rival any solution in the world today. I congratulate the DG of NITDA for shining the light for innovation to thrive in Nigeria and the birth of another testament of success in the Nigerian project,” he concluded.
The CEO of NewWaves Ecosystems and lead innovator behind the Konn3ct meetings app, Mr. Femi Williams, highlighted the value propositions in the new solution that differentiate it from all other solutions in the market.
He said the Nigerian Local Content Act was a major inspiration behind the project, saying the law convinced him and his team of the possibilities and opportunities for enterprises and innovations of Nigerian origin.
“The Local Content policy of the Nigerian government gives Konn3ct its backbone. Konn3ct is therefore a testament that the policy is not just something borne out of nationalistic ego, but designed to enhance the technological growth of Nigeria and our capacity to provide solutions on home soil with home resources,” Mr. Williams, who also worked for Chams Nigeria Ltd, stated.
“Konn3ct is the first fully featured web-conferencing solution developed in Nigeria and Africa. This gives Konn3ct the pioneer status and puts Nigeria in the leadership role we have always provided on the continent. This leadership statement is best proven with Konn3ct’s adoption by large corporate organisations and governmental institutions, and its commercial success. This gives the technological edge to every African country as well as her people to thrive on.”
Williams explained that Konn3ct is an enterprise solution with features and management modules that makes it suitable for highly structured and sequenced environments. It is one of the largest online conferencing rooms in the world with capacity for a peak of 250 participants in a meeting and an unlimited number via livestreaming.
He added that it boasts of top-quality audio and video interface for smooth conferencing experience there is also a recording option that makes for documentation and sharing of meeting proceedings.
According to him, another unique feature of Konn3ct App is the capacity for break-out sessions. “This apes brick and mortar conferences where delegates and teams and enables time-outs for strategic group sessions within the same meeting. Users are allowed as many as eight break-out meetings within the larger meeting. The feature allows for private chats and group chats during the meeting, enabling the harmonisation of positions of interest groups even while the meeting is going on”.
He harped that Konn3ct has two security features: the Secure Socket Layer Encryption (SSL Encryption) a process undergone by data under the SSL protocol in order to protect that data during transfer and transmission by creating a uniquely encrypted channel that gives the user a private communication link channel over the public Internet; the other is the Transport Layer Security, which primarily provides privacy and data integrity between two or more communicating computer applications.
Technology Companies Join Forces to Fight Cyber Fraud
European technology companies Evina and Telecoming have signed a global alliance to work hand in hand in promoting Direct carrier billing (DCB), seen as the safest and most appropriate payment method in the new mobile economy and, in particular, for the fight against fraud.
Direct carrier billing is the safest and most suitable payment technology for the new mobile economy; The two companies announced the launch of DCB Index to measure industry maturity in different regions.
The agreement deals a body blow to the mobile fraud that cost the African continent over USD 4 billion last year. DCB is the most suitable payment technology for millions of unbanked Africans who appreciate its unparalleled reach and convenience.
The agreement between Evina and Telecoming; both with operations in 15 African, Middle Eastern and European countries; now makes mobile-based transacting even safer.
Telecoming is the leading expert in DCB since 2008 and Evina is the reference in the fight against digital fraud. With this alliance, both organizations combine their expertise to develop the industry and boost mobile payment security.
Roberto Monge, COO of Telecoming, states “Direct carrier billing has been growing in the new digital economy. It is a technology with enormous potential that benefits all players in the mobile environment. With this alliance, we want to place DCB at the forefront of the payments industry and reinforce our commitment to the development of a transparent, secure and stable mobile economy”.
David Lotfi, Evina’s CEO: “The potential of DCB is widely underestimated by mobile operators and other market players. This is mainly due to the fact that DCB is currently adversely affected by fraud. By protecting the mobile payment ecosystem, we aim to sustain DCB’s growth and help all players flourish in this ecosystem.”
The alliance aims to educate on the vast potential of direct carrier billing through the DCBMaster service that allows users to measure their exposure to fraud, as well as their market and regulations knowledge.
The alliance will also enable the launch of the first global DCB indicator. This DCB Index will measure the maturity of the DCB market in different regions, based on the analysis of four indicators: Fraud protection, Innovation, Penetration in the Digital Industry and Growth Potential.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Appoints Tomisin Fashina as Group Executive, Operations & Technology
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group, announces that Tomisin Fashina has been appointed as its new Group Executive for Operations & Technology, a position he will now hold in addition to his existing role of Managing Director of eProcess International.
Ade Ayeyemi, CEO Ecobank Group said: “The rapidly accelerating digital adoption by Africa’s citizenry and businesses, together with the explosion in ecommerce across the continent, is driving transformation throughout the banking and payment sectors. Winning across operations and technology is essential for the Ecobank Group’s short, medium and long-term success, and is an integral requirement of our ongoing determination to continue to meet the evolving expectations of our customers. Tomisin is well experienced to ensure this, and his new role provides him with an overarching view of our operations and technology functions.”
Tomisin has over 30 years of experience, predominantly in technology management and financial services. Before joining the Ecobank Group, Tomisin was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Steward Bank Harare Zimbabwe. He has also been Chief Executive Officer for Yookos, a social media company, and has held several positions at Barclays Bank, including General Manager & Head, Transactional Banking Products, and Channels Management and Director, Cash Management & Payments. Prior to this, at Citigroup South Africa, he held leadership roles in its Global Transaction Services as Division Head & Director, Client Delivery, sub-Saharan Africa; and Division Head, Electronic Banking & Implementation, sub-Saharan Africa.
Tomisin has a BSc degree in Computer Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Lagos and a PhD in Business Management in Leadership from Capella University, Minnesota, USA.
Dr. Fashina succeeds Eddy Ogbogu as Group Executive, Operations & Technology, following Eddy’s recent retirement after serving the Group for 11 years.
MTN Nigeria And Banks Drag Over New USSD Commission
- Offers Subscribers Fintech Channels
The talks to resolve the dispute over commission for airtime vending on unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) by MTN Nigeria and its banking partners is yet to be resolved.
The two parties continued their meeting today but the grey areas were yet to be fully resolved even as the telecom operators apologized to its customers over the restriction suffered during the Easter holidays.
In an update on banking channel partners’ dispute and expansion of channel network issued this afternoon, MTN said following the temporary suspension of sales of MTN products through its banking channel partners on April 2, 2021, services were restored on Sunday, April 4, 2021 with customers able to access all services.
It said this was agreed on the basis that MTN would revert to its previous cost of sales structures with banking partners, until a new long-term agreement can be reached on a sustainable pricing structure going forward.
“Consequent on the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria, since April 6, 2021, MTN has been participating in a series of meetings to align on longer term pricing structures. We will provide a further market update once these discussions have been concluded.
“The streamlining MTN undertook is international standard and best practice as scale is built along distribution channels. We are confident that partners in the banking sector will work with us to ensure this process concludes as quickly as possible to the benefit of the entire industry.
“MTN would like to thank our customers for their patience, and express our regret at the inconvenience imposed on them while banking channels were offline. In order to further expand the range of channels available to customers, MTN has activated a number of new channel partnerships with fintech partners and these will remain in place, significantly expanding the channels available to our customers and increasing our sales and distribution network.
“The new channel partners include Sparkle, Konga Pay, Barter By Flutter Wave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon, BillsnPay, MTN On Demand, MTN Xtratime airtime loans (*606#), myMTN Web http://mymtn.com.ng and Momo agent *223#.
“We would also like to thank the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigeria Communication Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria for their rapid intervention and we look forward to a mutually acceptable solution that empowers all ecosystem participants,” concluded the statement.
The parties faced-off following MTN’s reduction of airtime vending commission via USSD from 4.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent which led the banks to restrict customers’ bank accounts on the platform. The old commission was restored two days later following MTN’s revert to the status quo of 2.5 per cent.
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