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Group Invites African Start-Up Companies In Technology To Submit Applications For UK’s Global Technology Awards

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Start-up businesses in Africa that specialise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity, Connected & Automated Mobility (CAM) Technology, and Digital Trade Solutions are now eligible to apply for the Unicorn Pathfinder Awards (UKPA).

The winners will receive a specially designed programme that includes industry meetings, VIP events, and professional business growth support to help them scale up and grow their businesses in the UK.

Building on the success of the UK’s Tech Rocketship Awards and Global Entrepreneur Programme, it was first announced by the Business Secretary of the United Kingdom during London Tech Week in June 2023.

Through the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards, the UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is searching the globe for the most promising tech start-up businesses.

UKPA will be the largest global awards programme for tech start-up companies ever established by the UK Department for Business and Trade, building on the success of the UK’s Tech Rocketship Awards.

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Applying for a chance to get into the $1 trillion tech sector in the UK is open to start-ups in the AI, Cyber Security, Connected & Automated Mobility (CAM), and Digital Trade Solutions sectors with plans to expand internationally.

“These awards are a fantastic opportunity for tech scale-up companies to join the UK’s thriving $1 trillion tech sector,” said Dominic Johnson, the UK’s minister of investments.

“The awards are a part of our government-wide commitment to assist more businesses in growing and reaping the rewards of our highly qualified workforce and helpful regulatory framework. More unicorns live in the UK than in France and Germany put together, and the nation continues to be a haven for international tech companies.

 John Humphrey, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, stated: “As the world turns its attention to African know-how and innovation, the African startup landscape is now front and centre.” Young companies are revolutionising the game by offering creative solutions to African and global problems, while also generating jobs and empowering their communities. These innovative businesses are emerging from thriving tech hubs spread throughout the continent from North to South and East to West.

“The launch of the Unicorn Kingdom: Pathfinder Awards across Africa is an exciting journey of growth and success, providing tech start-ups from this vibrant continent with a global platform to showcase their innovation and potential, while also creating exciting opportunities for the UK’s already vibrant tech ecosystem.”

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The UK has a wealth of opportunities, a workforce with a high level of skill, a just regulatory framework, and a friendly business environment.

The winners will receive a specially designed programme in the UK that includes invitations to VIP events and receptions, meetings with top industry and government sector experts, and professional assistance from DBT’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, which helps ambitious businesses expand and grow from a UK global headquarters. To hasten its expansion, DBT will also conduct promotional events that will provide them visibility and acknowledgement.

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TECHNOLOGY

Clean Technology Hub, FCT Launch Climate And Change Youth Movement In Abuja Secondary Schools

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Renewable energy

Clean Technology Hub, a renewable energy and climate change advocacy firm, has launched a Climate Change and Youth Movement in FCT secondary schools in collaboration with the Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation of the FCT Education Secretariat.

On April 25, 2024, the collaborators established the Climate and Change Youth Movement at the Government Science and Technical College in Bwari, FCT.

The Climate Change and Youth Movement is a platform for students to learn about the environment and help solve climate change challenges in their communities. It is consistent with a worldwide effort to raise awareness and educate children and youth about climate change and renewable energy. According to experts, children and youth have the potential to be driving forces in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals’ climate change targets.

Clean Technology Hubs’ Climate Change and Youth Movement, designed for public secondary school students and teachers, aims to assist schools in developing climate education programmes. CTH plans to implement it by forming new environmental clubs (Green Clubs) or collaborating with existing ones that target science and art students, and providing them with a club manual to guide their meetings.

The schools will also take part in the first Nigerian Students Climate Summit, which will take place on June 6, 2024, to commemorate World Environment Day.

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The program’s goals are to raise awareness, sustainability, and resilience about climate change and clean energy, to build capacity in the various technical skills needed in the clean energy market value chain, and to improve understanding of opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

Ms Ifeoma Malo, founder and CEO of Clean Technology Hub, stated, “The agreement signed with DSTI allows us to launch a pilot programme in the Government Science and Technical College, Bwari, which, if successful, will be replicated in other colleges in Abuja.

 

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TECHNOLOGY

House Of Representatives Suspends Implementation Of Cybersecurity Levy

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The House of Representatives has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately suspend the cybercrime levy by the provisions of the Cybercrime Act.

The House said Thursday that the CBN’s circular was prone to misinterpretation by Nigerians because it contradicted the spirit and letter of section 44(2a) of the Cybercrime Act, which specifies who is expected to pay the levy, according to the Daily Post.

It approved a motion of urgent public importance proposed by Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) on behalf of all legislators.

The House requested that the Central Bank immediately withdraw its previous circular on the levy’s implementation and issue a new circular by the Act’s provisions.

According to Chinda, section 44(2a) of the Cybercrime Act lists those who must pay the stipulated fees as GSM and telecom companies, Internet providers, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, and stock exchanges.

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He explained that the CBN circular has caused concern throughout the country because it gives the impression that the levy is to be paid by Nigerians at a time when they are still struggling with rising petroleum prices, among other things.
The lawmaker went on to say that the CBN circular has been interpreted in various ways.

 

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TECHNOLOGY

Dig-Once Policy: Abia Government Suspends All Excavation/Trenching Activities In The State

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Gov Otti signing the Dig-Once policy recently

Abia State Government has announced a temporary and immediate cessation of all excavation/trenching activities in the State until a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is selected to oversee the implementation.

The suspension directive is coming after the signing of the Dig-Once Policy by the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, recently, which marked a significant milestone in the advancement of telecommunications and digital infrastructure in the State.

In a statement by Hon. Matthew C. Ekwuribe, Commissioner for Digital Economy and SMEs, all prior issued Right-of-Ways (RoWs),  by the State to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), not yet implemented as of the day of this statement, is hereby suspended.

This measure, Ekwuribe said, is important to ensure proper coordination and adherence to the policy guidelines as well as safeguarding the interests of both the public and private sectors.

“To this end, ANYONE, corporate or individual, who violates this Policy, will be sanctioned and penalised by the law.

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“The government urges full cooperation from all MNOs and ISPs, as the State strives to harmonise all ducts and create a conducive and decent environment for all.”

The Commissioner said the Dig-Once policy will serve as a legal framework to guide the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure across the state, streamlining processes ensuring efficient use of resources and harmonising all fibre-optic ducts.

He said the policy holds immense importance for the State’s future development. “By coordinating/harmonising excavation and trenching activities along public Right-of-Ways (RoW), we can minimise disruptions, reduce costs, and expedite the deployment of broadband Internet services.”

This proactive approach, the Commissioner added, not only enhances connectivity but also lays the groundwork for economic growth, innovation, and prosperity for all Abians.

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