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Dell partners firms to launch Tech Experience Centre in Nigeria

Dell Technologies is to establish a Tech Experience Centre in Nigeria.

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Dell Technologies has partnered with some global tech firms to establish a Tech Experience Centre in Nigeria. The centre is a technology project designed to bridge the gap to cutting-edge technologies for millions in the country.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the company on Thursday.

In the statement, Nicholas Travers, Director, Central and West Africa, Dell Technologies explained that the project, which will be launched on October 1, would save huge costs and capital flight while also boosting technology adoption in Nigeria.

He said, “We believe the Tech Experience Centre will help reduce the decision making cycle and save huge costs and time of traveling to locations outside our continent to visit and experience these technologies at work. This is a fantastic initiative by TD Africa, perhaps the first of its kind in the region and we are proud to be part of it.”

According to him, the project will go a long way in helping Dell Technologies showcase its suite of cutting-edge technologies.

‘‘The launch of the Experience Centre will support the growth of technology in Nigeria and the West African region. Also, it provides a fantastic platform for Dell Technologies to showcase the very many technologies we offer,” Travers added.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, is expected to commission the Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa.

Travers added that the Centre marked the first time global tech giants would come together to establish their respective experience centres under one roof to create a truly immersive and rich experience of latest technologies in action.

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Nigeria ranks 82nd in the world in Digital Quality of Life Index 2021

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A new study conducted by Surfshark, a cybersecurity company has ranked Nigeria 82nd among 110 countries in the world’s Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) 2021.

the DQL study evaluates 90 percent of the global population based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars – internet affordability and quality, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government.

According to the DQL Index 2021, Nigeria dropped by 1 in the DQL ranking but is still the best in Western Africa.

How Nigeria Performed on DQL

The study shows that “Nigeria lags with internet affordability (ranks 107th), e-government (95th), and e-infrastructure (90th), but shows similar to the global average results in internet quality (56th) and e-security (46th).

“Despite the slight fall in the leaderboard, the country comes first in Western Africa and shows slightly better results in some pillars than the global average. Its e-security is among the TOP 50 worldwide, surpassing Africa’s DQL leader South Africa.”

The study ranked Nigeria at 56th position in the internet quality index due to low internet speeds. Nigeria has one of the slowest broadband connection speeds globally (13.45 Mbps), ranking 105th, and slightly faster mobile internet (17.91 Mbps), ranking 96th. However, the country’s broadband speed growth is one of the fastest on the planet, ranking 16th.

The study shows that Nigeria’s internet affordability is 90% worse than the global average. People in Nigeria have to work the most time in the world – more than 35 hours – to afford the cheapest broadband internet. The country’s e-government also does not make it to the TOP 90th, falling behind Senegal, Morocco, and Tanzania.

What they are saying

Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark said, “Digital opportunities have proved to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies. That is why, for the third year in a row, we continue the Digital Quality of Life research, which provides a robust global outlook into how countries excel digitally. The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made.”

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Nigerian developers to compete for N2.5 million in hackathon organized by FSI, NACOS

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Financial Service Innovators and the Nigeria Association of Computing Students are set to host a hackathon to address the dominance of cash transactions within the informal channels in the suburban parts of Nigeria, including university communities.

According to the statement released by Plexus Media Interlinks, the public relations agency to FSI, “The aim of the event is to address the dominance of cash transactions, manual processes, and access to financial services among retailers, small enterprises, and individuals in the suburban parts of Nigeria, including university communities and environs.

“It will focus on the digitization of key sectors such as education, health, financial services, and transportation in a manner that makes them all-inclusive, improving access, removing barriers, and lowering costs, thereby achieving social, digital, and economic inclusion.

Why these matters

The event was inspired by the desire to provide the best, simplest, and easiest-to-use solution for the unbanked and under-banked populations, according to the organizers.

The FSI and NACOS challenge will be used to develop solutions for activities like purchasing and selling products and services, saving, investing, remitting money, and commuting without the need for currency.

“Cash remains the preferred and dominant option for micro and small businesses, retailers, entrepreneurs, and others in the suburban areas, and thus value chain integration will not be maximized. Low adoption of financial services will have a negative impact on the financial inclusion drive.

“Opportunities for businesses to scale are minimal as access to credit is limited, given the challenges associated with manual processes for cash transactions. This also has a negative socio-economic impact on the nation,” they stated

The participants are to focus at least on one sector by providing a solution that can solve the problem of cash dominance, access to services in that sector, and manual processes, among others.

“The solution should focus on addressing the dominance of cash collections and the integration of a digital system in the transportation sector; an on-the-go learning solution that campus students and lecturers’ community will gladly embrace in the education sector; digitizing the healthcare services and making it more efficient and affordable,” it explained.

Team members whose entries were deemed to be in the top three would get prize money, while those in the fourth through tenth places would receive consolation awards, according to FSI and NACOS.

The partners include EFInA, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, Flourish Ventures, Flutterwave, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank, Capricorn Digital Ltd, and AXA Mansard.

According to the statement, registration is open to participants till October 1 via bit.ly/TECHONDEMAND.

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TechAdvance rebrands as Bloc to harmonise offerings with new brand

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TechAdvance, a Nigerian payment infrastructure business, has changed its name to Bloc as part of an effort to align the brand with its products.

The company officially released a proprietary suite of APIs known as Bloc a few weeks back, and now intends to bear the same name with it. Bloc helps startups and other organisations build and scale financial services with Fintech/Banking as a Service infrastructure in less time.

According to the company, the decision to become one with its product is in line with its existing mission of building a global infrastructure for the African Fintech ecosystem.

What they are saying

The company said in a Medium post, “Starting today, we transition from TechAdvance to Bloc. It is the first in a series of thrilling news we’ll be announcing over the coming months.”

Brand & Comms Lead Praise Philemon said, “We have grown immensely since the inception of TechAdvance in 2009, from only offering solutions in the utility payments space to becoming the only FinTech/Banking as a Service provider in the country backed by a blend of licenses and certification.

“Our brand has evolved — now committed to powering other FinTech solutions to success with proprietary and aggregated API infrastructure, and we want it to reflect this growth and the relationships we have with our clients.”

The transition process

Edmund Olotu founded the company in 2009, and it has made a significant contribution to the digital industry by offering tools for African Fintech to develop and expand beyond the continent. The company’s branded financial services are well-known. G-Pay Africa, Ace Remittance, Data Analytics, and Transfer2Africa are among them.

All social media handles will be changed to @buildwithbloc as a result of this rebranding. More updates and releases about the FinTech and Banking as a Service suite will be made as the team at Bloc continues to work to unify the brand and its products.

The Banking-as-a-Service API offerings, on the other hand, will stay in beta until Q4 2021, when they will be fully released.

In 2019, Saudi Arabia’s Lamar Holdings invested $1 million in TechAdvance

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