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Regulation & Innovation: NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022



NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022

Olushola Okunlade Writes

As key players within the African Tech Ecosystem engage with government policy decision-makers and regulators on the prospects of regulating for the future in order to provide solutions for smart governance, the Director-General of the Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, who presented a keynote address and participated in panel discussions at the Government and Tech (GAT) Summit 2022 in Lagos said that the government needs to work hand-in-hand with the group to co-create regulations that will directly address their lingering concerns.

NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, delivering a keynote address at the GAT Summit in Lagos.

The DG who expressed the belief that the GAT Summit is coming at a time when players in the tech ecosystem are struggling with the realities of the present regulatory framework and contemplating their alternatives noted that NITDA’s participation underscores the importance of the agency attaches to the prevailing regulatory structure and future possibilities.

“The regulation we are going to create is not one that you can get from textbooks of legal or political views because the generation before us did not have to deal with the kind of situations we are dealing with today”, he maintained.

Inuwa told the audience that blaming the government for negligence is not the right approach towards getting the needed attention as the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration unlike any other has demonstrated the political will to tend to the growing demands of the industry.

The Director-General went further to recall the redesignation of the agency from the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy which he said was a move by President Buhari to engender exponential growth in the sector.

“We need to look at regulations from the eyes of the citizens; how will it change the way we live because technology has grown beyond what we knew it to be, as it now has enormous power to limit or improve on what we do? Moreso, we need to start applying political principles to technology and not only seeing it as a business tool”, Inuwa added.

Inuwa affirmed that the role of the government is to basically create an enabling environment through interventions in terms of laws, policies, and others so that Nigerians, and indeed entrepreneurs can have a safer digital space to thrive.

NITDA DG Highlights Start-Up Bill As The Game Changer At GAT Summit 2022
The Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, flanked by Representatives of Regulators & Innovators at the GAT Summit in Lagos.

The NITDA Boss while making reference to the Start-up Bill which was passed by the National Assembly, was confident that the bill will help solve myriads of challenges highlighted during the panel discussions.

“Remember we talked about Tech Union, so, under the Start-up bill, there is a National Council for Technology and Innovation which is going to be chaired by Mr. President and all regulators are going to be members and the tech ecosystem will be represented there”, Inuwa stressed.

On the issue of accessing grants from the government, Inuwa explained that labelling and registering should be taken seriously by entrepreneurs as the government and investors need to identify and know their brands before giving out grants or investing in the business.

The DG said, “sometimes you need government’s intervention when there is a problem either from the law enforcement agents or other quarters, and for a quick intervention, the government needs to know you and your works; So, this once again underpins the importance of labeling and Incentivization”.

Recalling that earlier in the year, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami had led a delegation to Lagos and met with the tech ecosystem in the same hall where discussions centered on combating challenges and how to effect the necessary changes to elicit the needed trajectory, Inuwa emphasized that most of the recommendations reached at the end of the meeting were taken to the Federal Executive Council and approvals were given to achieve three things:

– Work with the FRSC to get more incentives for the tech ecosystem.

– Come up with a bimodal procurement process so that government can patronize entrepreneurs, and

– Protection of ID and patterns of entrepreneurs

Inuwa assured attendees of the event that the government is not sitting on it oars but working tirelessly to encourage and support entrepreneurs and young innovators to succeed.

“I believe, with this kind of conversation, nothing will stop Nigeria from becoming a force to reckon with, when you talk about innovation in the world. The government is a listening government and is ready to work with you”, he asserted.

He however challenged them to also always try to reciprocate the readiness to be available when needed as exemplified by the Federal Government’s presence at their invitations.

“A few weeks ago, we issued a Code of Practice but many people in the ecosystem didn’t read or contribute to the document. We say we want to co-create, not to do so from our offices but how can we co-create when you don’t contribute ideas and share your thoughts accordingly? We still hope you will do so, in order for us to have an encompassing document of regulations that will effectively serve everyone in the value chain.

Meanwhile other high representatives of key regulators and innovators in the technology space added their voices to the call for a more frictionless regulations that will work for the better good of Nigerians and Nigeria.

The maiden edition of the Government and Tech GAT Summit which was jointly organized by Technext and Ripples Nigeria afforded the physical and virtual audience the opportunity to brainstorm on several issues confronting the industry.


Qualcomm Announces Shortlisted Teams For The Inaugural Qualcomm® Make In Africa Mentorship Program



Qualcomm Announces Shortlisted Teams For The Inaugural Qualcomm® Make In Africa Mentorship Program

10 startup companies will enter a 7-month equity-free mentorship program

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has announced the selection of 10 startups to participate in the inaugural Qualcomm Make in Africa startup mentorship program, as part of the Qualcomm Africa Innovation Platform announced in December 2022.

These startups are developing innovative products in clean energy, agricultural technology, computing for education, geospatial predictive analysis, medical technologies, and innovations utilizing electric vehicles. Several startups also feature women in prominent leadership roles.

The startups, based in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Rwanda, were selected from a pool of 550+ applicants from 34 African countries. They were carefully selected by a global jury based on a variety of qualifications including technical capabilities, business factors, and potential for innovation and intellectual property generation. The Qualcomm Make In Africa startups will receive equity-free mentorship in business planning, engineering, intellectual property protection, and the application of advanced connectivity, sensing, AI/ML and other processing technologies for innovative end-to-end systems solutions. The program is the first of its kind in Africa and is designed to add to the continued growth of the continent’s technology startup ecosystem.

The shortlisted companies and their technology solutions are (sorted by alphabetical order):

  • Ecorich Solutions – patented organic composting in Kenya
  • Fixbot – Vehicle diagnostics and inspection via OBD dongle in Nigeria
  • Karaa – e-Bike tracking, charging, retrofit, and rentals in Uganda
  • Maotronics Systems Limited – IOT-enabled precision agriculture in Nigeria
  • Microfuse – Affordable plugin computers for the education sector in Uganda
  • Neural Labs Africa Ltd – Deep learning and computer vision for healthcare diagnosis in Kenya and Senegal
  • OneTouch Diagnostics – Diabetes patch and monitoring system in Nigeria
  • QuadLoop – Leveraging e-waste for solar e-Lanterns and battery storage in Nigeria.
  • SLS Energy – Recycled lead-cell battery storage banks in Rwanda
  • SolarTaxi – Electric vehicle (EV) taxi and fleet management in Ghana


Announced in December 2022, Qualcomm Make in Africa will provide 1:1 mentorship for the shortlisted companies with Qualcomm leaders on a regular cadence to guide startups to product realization, as well as provide masterclasses on product management, pitch clinic, IPR, and hardware architecture. The program will culminate in a finale demo day in December 2023, connecting startups with various industry leaders, venture capitalists, investors, and other accelerators.


“I’d like to applaud and congratulate these 10 startups for their innovative solutions,” said Sudeepto Roy, Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Incorporated. “I am beyond excited to hear about their respective problem domains and innovative solutions. They have applied their talents and ingenuity to address Africa’s present-day needs in areas of reliable access to clean energy, precision agriculture to conserve water and other resources, adaptations of electric transportation for many last-mile needs, using AI and other innovations for accelerating disease pathology and treatment, and addressing energy efficient, affordable computing for the education market. Over the next few months, we will mentor them in areas of business development, technology applications and intellectual property law. We are honored to be able to participate in their entrepreneurial journey and their future impact in Africa.”


“As part of our new Africa Innovation Platform, the Qualcomm Make in Africa mentorship program is one of many initiatives we are working on in close collaboration with government and industry stakeholders in Africa, to help position African entrepreneurs and researchers to service markets throughout the continent and realize their global ambitions. We believe that startups based in Africa are best placed to identify uniquely African problems that can be solved through end-to-end systems solutions and new business models,” said Elizabeth Migwalla, Vice President and Head of Government Affairs (Middle East and Africa), Qualcomm International, Inc. “We congratulate the shortlisted companies and look forward to a fruitful collaboration for innovation in the coming months.”


Know More About Qualcomm: Qualcomm is enabling a world where everyone and everything can be intelligently connected. Our one technology roadmap allows us to efficiently scale the technologies that launched the mobile revolution – including advanced connectivity, high-performance, low-power computing, on-device intelligence, and more – to the next generation of connected smart devices across industries. Innovations from Qualcomm and our family of Snapdragon platforms will help enable cloud-edge convergence, transform industries, accelerate the digital economy, and revolutionize how we experience the world, for the greater good.


Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of our engineering, research, and development functions, and substantially all of our products and services businesses, including our QCT semiconductor business.


Qualcomm is a trademark or registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Qualcomm patented technologies are licensed by Qualcomm Incorporated.



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Digital Pay Expo 2023 Set To Hold In June



Digital Pay Expo 2023 Set To Hold In June
Rashidat Olushola Okunlade Writes

Digital Pay Expo has announced the 23rd edition of the Digital Pay Expo with the theme “The Future Is Contactless,” scheduled to hold on the 7th and 8th of June 2023, by 10 a.m., as a physical event at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

The event will also be hosted virtually on Zoom to ensure participants can connect from all over the world, as usual.

Over the last few years, the technological developments in how people pay for goods and services have changed dramatically. In the wake of this advancement ‘Contactless Payment’ was born.

The convenience of contactless payment technology has made it an easy way to make purchases without dealing with the hassle of pulling out cash.

With the advent of COVID-19, the reliance on contactless payment solutions has become even more important over the past 24 months. Therefore, it has become imperative to have conversations around this trend and to take a look at its adoption for the future of payments.

Digital Pay Expo is a platform created for key players, collaborators, and experts in the payment industry to engage with one another. The conference and exhibition are intended to be a hybrid event with an emphasis on physical gathering. It will be synchronised virtually to allow the greatest impact possible for the mixed audience expected online and onsite.

The expected outcome of this conference and exhibition is to enlighten delegates on the need to quickly adopt the concept of contactless payments and better prepare them on how to transition into this innovation space while creating a positive mindset.

Attendance for this event is free but subject to registration. Log on to to register.

For more inquiries go to;

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AF-CIX, New Interconnect Exchange Platform Berths To Improve Internet Speed, Security, Boost Network Performance For Businesses



A new interconnect exchange platform, AF-CIX, has been launched in Nigeria to boost internet speed and improve network performance for Internet Service Providers, Content Delivery Networks, Cloud Providers, and Enterprises.

The platform hosted in Rack Centre- as part of innovations to support the growth of the Internet in Africa through effective and functional traffic localization, enterprise digitization acceleration, and community support, among other reasons- is specifically designed to complement the role of Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria by providing a redundant path for local traffic exchange and a robust Interconnect Exchange through its partnership with DE-CIX.

According to the Head of Peering and Exchange Platforms, Obinna Adumike, creating the platform became necessary to improve network performance by keeping traffic local, thereby reducing the number of networks hops that Internet traffic needs to take. He explained that AF-CIX connects networks by eliminating routing traffic through international circuits, thereby making the Internet faster and more responsive for users resulting in lower latency and higher output.

Speaking on the innovation, Adumike explained that integrating AF-CIX to DE-CIX will no doubt help Nigerian businesses have direct access to the entire portfolio of DE-CIX, thereby offering them access to networks in more than 150 cities and over 80+ countries. He stated that with the platform, participants or businesses would enjoy the largest aggregation of Cloud, content, and CDN providers worldwide with direct integration to more than 20 IXPs across the globe.

Commenting on the benefits of connecting to the platform, he noted that any business linked to it, would undoubtedly witness improved network performance, increased connectivity, lower costs, and better security while also serving as a huge asset. He explained further that with the platform, every participant is guaranteed to enjoy exceptional interconnect services and values, and an updated and advanced approach to traffic engineering and management.

“Connection to AF-CIX means a lot to every participant given that benefits such as cross-connection, peering, and port access to the platform are obtained freely at Rack Centre. With the platform, advanced Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks are mitigated through its integrated, advanced Blackholing service. The platform is also developed for localization of internet enhancing services like Root DNS servers and NTP Stratum servers’’, he added.

The platform, according to him, is meant to provide for a future of converged interconnection across internet players giving seamless opportunities to interconnect locally across verticals for various sectors or industries.

Know More About AF-CIX: AF-CIX is an African Interconnect Exchange founded by Africans with technical enablement by DE-CIX and hosted in Rack Centre to support the growth of the internet in Africa through effective and functional traffic localization, latency drop, and reduced network cost. It will support accelerating enterprise digitization and cloud adoption.

The exchange platform improves network performance by reducing the number of networks hops that Internet traffic needs to take connecting ISPs and content providers directly, making the Internet faster and more responsive for users.

For more information, visit










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