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Landrush for .Africa domains enters last lap

ITRealms : The landrush phase for the newly launched .africa domain name has entered its 4th phase and final week from 26th June 2017, ...

PC Summit 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Landrush for .Africa domains enters last lap

The landrush phase for the newly launched .africa domain name has entered its 4th phase and final week from 26th June 2017, reports ITRealms.

Managing Director, Web4Africa, Mr. Oluniyi Ajao, told ITRealms that the Landrush Phase for .africa domain name system offers companies, organizations and individuals to apply for domain names containing keywords valuable enough to pay a premium for domain names with single words that attract heavy every day use are very typical during this phase.

Dot Africa, he said, is the top-level domain name system for the continent of Africa, which is open to all individuals and entities in Africa or ones that identify with Africa, globally.

He also said, .Africa domains are available in Landrush Phase from Web4Africa, an accredited .africa domain name registrar.

Ajao explained that this landrush phase is not exclusive to the .africa top-level domain but normal with all newly-launched domain name extensions. All things being equal, there is a much better chance that the domain can be obtained during this Phase.

He reiterated that certain names have got prior rights associated with them which would not go through unless the applicant has already specifically validated rights in the Mark Validation System (MVS) or Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) database.

“When processing a Landrush Application, Web4Africa will receive a Claims Notice if the string is registered in the MVS or TMCH,” he said.

At the end of the landrush phase, he emphasized that all uncontested domain applications will be delegated while all contested domain applications will proceed to an Auction Phase. Applicants will be notified by the .africa registry on the Auction process should this occur.

Domain auctions will last a minimum of 3 days. Any bids within the final 12 hours will extend any auction by an additional 24 hours.

Dot Africa has already demonstrated serious interests from global brands and entities within Africa who are trademark owners as about 1,000 domains were successfully secured during the Sunrise Phase, making it one of the top 10 largest number of domain name reservations during the sunrise phase of the new geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) 's launch process.

According to him, the general availability phase would follow, from 4th July 2017, stressing that the domains would then be available on a first-come-first-served basis.

“We are in Africa, and Africa is in us. We believe in the future of Africa and that .africa would offer Africans a strong identity on the World Wide Web,” Mr. Ajao said.

ITRealms recalls that Web4Africa was established in 2002, and is an accredited domain name registrar of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) offering popular top-level domains like .com, .net, .xyz, .africa; and country-code domains like .ng, .za, .uk to clients worldwide.  

Web4Africa is based in Johannesburg, South Africa offering web hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers and related solutions from four data centres across Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

Nonye Dom/GEE

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Japanese Smartphone set to enter Nigeria market

Renowned Japanese smart phone company is set to make a grand entry into the West African market with stand point in Nigeria, reports ITRealms.

Information reaching ITRealms news room, revealed that the Japan based company is reputed for ambitious smartphone brand, indicated that the firm has advanced plans to a bold roll-out plan that will see it extend offering to over 20 countries.

ITRealms gathered that interestingly, Nigeria has been identified as the hub of its expansion into Africa.

Sources close to the company, informed ITRealms that this is a development that is bound to serve as thrilling news for many Nigerians disillusioned by the increasing prevalence of grey and poor quality products, for which many have pointed the finger at the growing economic influence of China which has resulted in a flood of made-in-China products in the market and the unscrupulous actions of product counterfeiters, among others.

With an uncompromising eye for quality and a time-honoured tradition of reliability, ITRealms gathered that the Japanese brands are renowned the world over for their sheer ability to deliver great value for money. Mega brands such as Toyota, Datsun, Casio, Ajinomoto, Canon Inc., Bridgestone, ASICS, Fujifilm, Konami, General Airconditioners, Hitachi and Kenwood Corporation, among others, are quite familiar and popular among Nigerians, having not only expanded their spheres of operations to the country but constantly delivering great products and services over the years. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that Made by Japan, has come to be seen as a by-word for world-class, genuine quality products.
Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Online privacy guide for journalists debuts

Online privacy guide for journalists debuts: It is not an easy time for journalists all over the world, especially with the discoveries of surveillance on citizens, which includ...

Death, Joy Odama, Ibrahim Idris & acid test for Nigeria Police

There is no question that in Nigeria, the poor, the less privileged and the largely dispossessed majority who find themselves in that demeaning class of human categorization have been condemned to a life of perpetual oppression. Forget what is in the law books. Under this rightly described prevailing order of fascist democracy, it has been the lot of the masses to be tormented, denied, and subjugated, except something revolutionary happens. And indeed as this phenomenon seems to have been ingrained in the system, the only way out, at the risk of being labelled an anarchist, is a revolution.  

When you happen to live in this abnormal society and be so cursed as to be in that lower rung of the ladder – social, political or economic – without “connections,” just resign yourself to the reality that in the circumstance, unless in some strange way, you will never get justice if you ever turn up against an affluent and seemingly more powerful compatriot or a foreigner in our courts and/or at the offices of the law enforcement agencies. 

No, you will not get justice because your low, inconsequential status does not endorse you as a beneficiary of that globally acknowledged ennobling act of rectitude. And more importantly, because the rich and powerfully “connected” will deploy the wherewithal to effect a miscarriage of the justice that easily ought to have been served you in a fair and an uncorrupted system.  

Yet, the real tragedy in Nigeria is the bitter irony embedded in this subject. In most cases, those who have the mandate to facilitate the attainment of justice by ensuring public order and doing their work in accordance with the law regardless of who is involved, are themselves the real perpetrators of crime and abettors of criminals. Here, one has in mind the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy Nigerian Air Force, the police, other paramilitary forces and, in short, all the other coercive institutions existing under the Nigerian law.

They are all implicated in the despicable act of committing unforgivable crimes, working with criminals to achieve selfish ends and, wait for it, openly playing very strategic but shameful roles in impeding justice of which the poor and those who don’t have influential people in the society to “fight’ for them are mostly the victims. 

In fact, it can be safely argued that the frequency and intensity of crime in the Nigerian society is proportional to the level of co-operation between law enforcement agents and criminals. Of course crimes will be committed when perpetrators are aware that enforcement agents will co-operate. 

On this score, the police are the worst culprits. In a cheeky negation of their own popular catchphrase (The Police is your friend) affirming friendship with the public, the police will rather choose to befriend criminals than be “your friend.” There is a legion of stories over the years to validate this claim, and the one trending now is just as ugly, stomach-churning and damaging to the unflattering image of the police as its antecedents. It’s the alleged murder in Karmo, a surburb of Abuja, just a little over six months ago of Joy Odama, a 200 Level Mass Communication student of Cross River State University.  

The suspect, Alhaji Usman Adamu, is without doubt currently enjoying the full protection of the police who seem bent on ensuring that the Odama family, who obviously belong to the aforementioned class of the less privileged, does not get justice no matter how hard they try.
Sadly, in this tragic drama that evokes a mixture of anger and hopelessness, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who has a golden opportunity to prove for once that the police under his watch will not toe the rotten conspiratorial line of the past, has himself shown, from utterances and actions, to be the chief conductor in the sordid orchestra of injustice.   

From the beginning, the role of the police has been geared toward making sure Alhaji Adamu, who obviously counts the top hierarchy of the police as friends, does not answer to his crime. Suspecting foul play on sighting the lady’s corpse when Adamu sought to deposit it in the mortuary at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, the management had asked for a police report before the corpse could be kept in the mortuary. 

Adamu rushed out and returned with Raph Nkem, a Chief Superintendent of Police and Divisional Police Officer of Karmo Police Station who ordered the mortuary staff to embalm the body and admit it. According to one of the witness, the DPO had been a regular visitor to Adamu’s house where he was usually entertained with fried meat and wine.

Nkem it was who dished out a cocktail of lies to the Odama family in defence of his evil-minded friend, Adamu. He it was who started the harassment and intimidation of the family, while declaring to them with shameless bold face that Adamu was not culpable in Joy’s murder. Instead of arresting Adamu and working towards getting him to have his day in court, see how a police officer at that level has put everything on the line to cover up a suspected criminal. Who will now say Adamu and Nkem are not working together? 

That circle of despicable characters in the police has since widened to the Force Headquarters in Abuja where top officers have tried without success to force the Odamas to collect money from the suspect and permanently shut up. In response to public outcry over the failure to arrest the suspect, the police declared Adamu wanted. But it turned out the declaration had no sincerity behind it. It was the usual farce and mendacity to which the police are richly accustomed. The police never told the public that the man whom they declared wanted had been arrested at any point.

Meanwhile, the deceased’s family had obtained an autopsy report at the National Hospital Abuja which puts the cause of Joy’s death as “cardiogenic shock secondary to diffuse myocardial infection secondary to possible acute cocaine poisoning.”   

At a meeting between the police and the Odamas at the headquarters, Adamu, the suspect, suddenly showed up flanked by officers, pumping hands and back-slapping cheerfully with people who supposedly had declared him wanted as he took his seat in the room. The Odamas were shocked to the bones. Faced with that perplexing spectacle, who will now say the police and Adamu are not working together?

It was at the end of the so-called meeting that the police, realizing that Adamu had been nailed by the autopsy report, delivered yet another shocker to the grieving family and the public: Police boss, Idris, directed that a fresh autopsy be conducted.

Predictably, this is done for no other reason than to, by all means, create a window of escape for the suspect. At the moment, the police are working hard to come up with the claim that the probable cause of Joy’s death was generator fumes. Really?

And rightly so, members of the Odama family and their lawyer have responded point-blank with the charge that the police want to manipulate the result with the claim of generator fumes to contradict the first autopsy report. Thankfully, the Odamas have the lead pathologist at the National Hospital on their side. The pathologist insists he stands by his report that the lady died from a heavy dose of cocaine.

The world is watching how the police are scheming to pervert justice in this case. It is one case that will more than determine the professionalism of the current IGP in the history of policing in Nigeria. If Idris and his men eventually succeed in undercutting the Odamas by freeing the man who allegedly murdered their daughter, he will surely be listed on the negative side of history as far as police work is concerned in Nigeria.

Let it be told in this country and beyond that the Odamas, who are from Cross Rivers State, are crying for justice. To be poor does not make anyone less human. Whoever is responsible for their daughter’s needless death must be punished. It is gratifying that the Cross River State Government under the leadership of Ben Ayade and Senator Rose Oko, also from the State, have both shown more than casual interest in this case. They should keep an eye on it to its logical end. So should all well-meaning Nigerians. 

*Godwin Onyeacholem is a journalist. He can be reached on gonyeacholem@gmail.com       

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MTN, Lumos partnership attracts $80m Y’ello Box investment to Nigeria

In partnership with MTN Nigeria and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United States (US) Government, Lumos said it has committed $80M to deployment electricity in Nigeria, otherwise known as Y’ello Box, reports ITRealms.

Half of the $80m, ITRealms gathered, has already been invested in a new solar electricity service culminating in the employment of some 450 people under Nigeria Lumos, including technicians, engineers and a large sales force.

Revealing these, Yuri Tsitrinbaum, the CEO of the Lumos Mobile Electricity Service, told ITRealms that there are ambitious plans to grow and provide power to 1m Nigerians by the end of 2017.

ITRealms reports that Y’ello Box is a solar electricity system that officially launched earlier this year and allows families and business owners to harness the power of the sun cheaply and efficiently, in a way we’ve never seen before.

According to Yuri, in homes, clinics, schools and businesses across Nigeria, people are running fans, charging phones, watching TVs and lighting rooms, all using affordable, reliable, clean electricity.

“The Y’ello Box is already powering the lives and businesses of more than one hundred thousand Nigerians,” the CEO said.

Designed and operated by Lumos Mobile Electricity Service, the Y’ello Box provides electricity to customers 24 hours a day, which people pay for using their MTN mobile phone.

“People don’t have access to the power they need. Fuel is very expensive and other services are unreliable. The Y’ello Box saves customers money all while providing better and more reliable electricity. As Nigeria modernizes, our demand for power increases. It’s time we did more to harness the power of the sun. That is why the Y’ello Box is changing so many lives. It is affordable, it is reliable and paying by mobile phone makes it easy,” Tsitrinbaum said.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Internet opportunities: Africa, the place to be

Despite dismal domain names currently on the continent of Africa, the chairman, Board of Directors, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Dr. Steve Crocker, has expressed optimism on Internet opportunities in Africa, reports ITRealms.

Speaking as a special guest at the outreach session organized by the Africa Regional At-Large Organisations (AFRALO) as part of the sideline events of ICANN59 public policy forum, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Though he noted that the Continent may be going through some challenges at the moment, Crocker was optimistic that Africa has the business opportunities, so “this is the place to be.”

He further told participants made up of At-Large Structures (ALSes) and students from University of Johannesburg, that new ideas are always welcome and encouraged the students to take active part in ICANN59 and At-Large in general.

“Don’t hesitate to ask questions,” he urged.

Nonye Dom/GEE

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Nigeria shines at ICANN59 as Sunday Folayan is returned AFRINIC chair

Nigeria is currently shining at the on-going public policy forum on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as Revd. Sunday Folayan was re-elected as the chairman of the African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) for another term of one year, reports ITRealms.

Also on the board of AFRINIC as gathered by ITRealms is Seun Ojedeji, while other Nigerians equally playing actively in this industry include, Mr. Wale Adedokun who is the chairman of the Nomination Committee (NomCom) and Dewale Ajao as chairman, Policy Development Working Group at AFRINIC, whereas Omo Oaiya, is representing AFRINIC at the Advisory Committee, Address Supporting Organisation (ASO-AC) of ICANN.

The re-election of Folayan came at the AFRINIC pre-event session which comprised holding of its general election.

Equally, AFRINIC reconstituted its three board standing committees, namely Remuneration, Finance and Audit respectively.

The four-man Remuneration Committee consist of Lucky Masilela, Sunday Folayan, Serge Ilunga and Alan Barrett. While the Finance Committee is made up of Haitham El Nakhal, Subramanian Moonesamy, and Alan Barrett; just as the Audit Committee comprised Christian Bope, Abibu Ntahigiye and Seun Ojedeji.

ITRealms recalls that Folayan is also the president of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA).

In addition, AFRINIC is the regional Internet registry (RIR) for Africa with headquarters in Ebene City, Mauritius with Alan Barrett as the chief executive officer.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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ICANN uniqueness is Internet evolution remains open - Crocker

The development of the Internet has remained opened since the evolution started, reports ITRealms.

The chairman, Board of Directors, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), Dr. Steve Crocker made this disclosure at the session by the Africa Regional At-Large Organisation (AFRALO) at the ongoing ICANN59 public meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday.

Crocker, a long standing member of the Internet development described it as a bit complicated and complex especially novice.

He noted that with the ICANN community there are sets of people who daily contribute to the development of the Internet and how it works including the AFRINIC, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

As said by him, one of the unique aspect of the internet development is that from onset, it has remained open unlike the development of telephone.

This openness, he said, has helped the Internet to evolve to the most adoptable need of the people and end-users.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops

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Pix: Aziz Hilali, AFRALO Chair, Steve Crocker, Chair ICANN board and Fatimata Seye Sylla incoming vice chair, AFRALO at the outreach @ICANN59

African total DNS market value @$52m

The total annual value of the African Domain Name market is worth some $52 million says the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), reports ITRealms.

This is coming as ITRealms gathered that Africa has some 5.1 million domain names associated at May 2017.

According to ICANN in its latest report on Africa DNS market study released at the ongoing public meeting holding at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, which serves as part of ICANN's outreach efforts to support and improve the regional DNS industry.

ITRealms equally gathered that the report is the first of its kind in the region, which included 54 countries.

Other highlights ICANN said include that the strengths and weaknesses in the DNS sector in Africa.

To this end, ICANN proposed the development of recommendations on how to advance the industry to better exploit the opportunities available and to address identified challenges.
In addition, explore options for establishing an observatory to continuously monitor the growth, development and emerging needs of the DNS market in Africa.

Further, the study findings showed the pathway for the next steps for capacity-building in Africa, thus leading to significant conclusions and recommendations.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops
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Yudala Tech Week offers unmatched discounts, free delivery

The Nigeria’s pioneer online and offline e-commerce outfit, Yudala has flagged off a nationwide mega sales event tagged Yudala Tech Week – a massive promotion offering millions of Nigerians a chance to enjoy rock-bottom prices and free delivery on a wide range of technology products.

Yudala Tech Week runs from Monday June 26th till Monday 3rd July, 2017.

Among the wide assortment of eye-catching products on offer from the biggest brands in the market are smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, printers, scanners, digital cameras, game consoles, servers; power solutions such as inverters, surge arrestors, UPS and generators; electronics including TV sets, rechargeable fans, air conditioners, Air Fryers, freezers and refrigerators, microwaves, electric irons, washing machines, blenders, cookers, sandwich makers, toasters, Home Theatre Systems and loads of accessories and consumables.

Through Yudala Tech Week, the company is offering shoppers irresistible price slashes of up to 50% on various products on offer in what has seen a spike in traffic on the Yudala website from midnight when the promotion went live, with thousands of bargain-hungry shoppers keen to be among the first to take advantage.

Furthermore, in a move that is bound to come as another huge source of motivation for bargain hunters, Yudala has partnered with MasterCard, global leading company in payment solutions to offer free delivery to customers for all items paid for with a MasterCard.

With over 21 stores nationwide and many others springing up all over the landscape, Yudala Tech Week is expected to reach millions of Nigerians, offering access to mouth-watering deals for prospective and eager shoppers in various cities. This is especially in view of Yudala’s wide reach and unique positioning as the only e-commerce outfit offering consumers the combined ease of shopping online or walking into the nearest store for pick-up.

As succinctly posited by founder, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, “With the Yudala Tech Week, we are not only offering Nigerians a chance to buy their much-desired tech products at unmatched prices nationwide; we are equally reinforcing the Yudala revolution of ease and convenience for the consumer – a movement we have championed since inception.

“It is instructive to reiterate the numerous ways consumers can leverage on our composite platforms for Yudala Tech Week: you can shop and pay online or pay on delivery. You can place orders online and self-fulfil or pick-up from any of our shops nearest to you. You can also walk into any of our Experience Stores nationwide, pay and collect immediately or you can choose to pay and we deliver to you if you are in a hurry. 

Recall that we are also offering free deliveries for all items paid for with MasterCard. These options offer shoppers 21st century convenience which no other company can provide on this side of the Atlantic. This is why Yudala means peace of mind.

“With these amazing options, we have succeeded once again in giving our esteemed customers another reason to smile. You do not have to be only in Lagos or Abuja to enjoy this. From inception, we have rendered this service on a nationwide scale,” he affirmed.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

We are in bondage

"I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves"- Harriet Tubman
How can anyone describe Nigeria as a free nation when Sheik Othman Dan Fodio, the hero of the core Muslim north, the father of the Fulani Caliphate and the first Mahdi of Nigeria once said,

"Allah has bestowed on me and my people the historic duty to spread the holy faith of the Prophet throughout the Caliphate and convert these pagans. If they refuse to accept Allah and his Prophet we will wash the earth, the forests, the mountains, the rivers and the streams with their pagan blood. Ours is a holy and righteous calling. We are doing the work of Allah".

How can anyone describe Nigeria as a free nation when Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Saurdana of Sokoto, the Premier of the Northern Region and the second Mahdi of Nigeria once said,

"The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future".

How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when General Muhammadu Buhari, the indisputable King of the north, the avenging sword of the Caliphate, the almighty President of the Federal Republic, the unquestionable leader of the African Mujahadeen and the third and last Mahdi of Nigeria once said,

"It is my intention to spread sharia to every part of Nigeria" and that "why should Christians bother when Muslims chop off the hands of Muslims in the name of sharia" and that "Muslims should only vote for Muslims" and finally that "an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north".

What portion do those of us that are southerners and Middle Belters have in this so-called "free country" and why have we been consistently denied the right to decide whether we wish to remain in it by having a referendum?

Were we born to be slaves whilst others were born to rule? God forbid it. My Christian faith teaches me that I am the head and not the tail.

It teaches me that it is a sore sight and a great evil under the sun to see the sons of slaves riding on horseback whilst the sons of the King walk around on bare feet.

It teaches me that we are the head and not the tail and that light is meant to overcome darkness and not that darkness overcomes the light.

The truth is that whichever way you look at it Nigeria is not free and Nigeria is not one nation.

We are in bondage and servitude to the sons and daughters of Futa Jalon and we are badly divided. That is the subject of this essay.

*Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation & former Minister of Culture & Tourism, sent this from Ile-Ife, Osun State

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