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Paradigm Initiative trains Kano advocates on Digital Rights - ITREALMS

ITREALMS: As parts of its capacity building project, the pan-African digital rights group, Paradigm Initiative held a digital rights wor...

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ICT4D Week 2018

Monday, March 25, 2019

Paradigm Initiative trains Kano advocates on Digital Rights - ITREALMS

As parts of its capacity building project, the pan-African digital rights group, Paradigm Initiative held a digital rights workshop for rights advocates in Kano, Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.

The two-day workshop, which held on March 19 and 20, 2019 with support from Macarthur Foundation and Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), under its social and accountability project in Nigeria, had 50 participants in attendance.

The Workshop looked at many important subjects around Digital Rights. Participants were introduced to topical issues around Digital rights such as Gender Perspective to Digital Rights and the Challenges Women Face online, Tackling Hate Speech and Fake News; Navigating the Grey Areas while respecting Rights to Free Speech, Digital Rights and Media Advocacy as well as Basic Digital Security Tools and Practices.

The Digital Rights Workshop is part of Paradigm Initiative strategy to employ a proactive approach to ensure that organizations and individuals whose work depend largely on the openness of the Internet, as well as those who engage the government through online activism, understand the human rights dynamics on the internet.

Paradigm Initiative has hosted more than 10 editions of the workshop in diverse locations across Nigeria and many African countries such as The Gambia, Uganda, Cameroon and Zambia. The workshop has now held two times in North West Nigeria. In March 2015, an edition was hosted in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Participants at the workshop were tasked to continue to engage on topical issues around digital rights in Nigeria in order to support ongoing work in safeguarding human rights online

Uboshe Uboshe/Editor

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ICANN launches Age Diversity and Participation survey - ITREALMS

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is launching a survey to determine current perceptions of age diversity in the ICANN community. It is also aimed at identifying potential barriers to participation, reports ITREALMS.

The Age Diversity and Participation Survey ITREALMS gathered, will help to clarify perceptions of diversity, equality, leadership, and inclusiveness, which in turn will help inform community discussions.

All community members are encouraged to share their views by taking the survey.

The survey which closes on 19 April, ITREALMS also gathered that responses will be anonymous and will be used in accordance with ICANN's Privacy Policy.

The survey is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.



The Age Diversity and Participation Survey was created in response to calls from the community for additional data on these topics. It is a follow-up to the pilot survey on gender diversity in 2017. The ICANN organization will share a report with an analysis of gaps, perceptions, and potential next steps. This data will help ICANN identify ways to improve age diversity and support broad, inclusive participation.




Chuks Egbune/Editor




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Shell, UBA sign $200m contractor support fund - ITREALMS

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has upped its contractor support fund with $200 million in a latest effort to boost the financial capacity of vendors and suppliers in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. This latest move brings the fund size to $2.4 billion, reports ITREALMS.

SPDC’s Director and General Manager, Government and Business Relations, Bashir Bello who signed the $200 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) in Abuja on Friday described the initiative as a product of the continuous effort by SPDC and its joint venture partners – NNPC, Total and Agip – to enhance Nigerian content and local participation in the nation’s oil and gas value chain.

The fund provides support for contractors to finance projects executed for Shell companies in Nigeria in line with the aspirations of the Nigerian Content Act. To access the fund, the contractors must have a valid purchase order and meet the bank’s risk assessment criteria.

“Findings indicate that lack of access to capital hinders many Nigerian companies from competing for and executing contracts effectively” said Bello who signed the deal on behalf of SPDC. “This funding will enable us to achieve our community content ambition of increasing participation of host communities in the SPDC value chain.”

The General Manager Energy Bank of UBA, Ebele Ogbue, said the bank was committed to providing support to Nigerian companies through its partnership with SPDC JV. Ogbue, who signed the MoU for UBA, commended the Nigeria and community content efforts of Shell companies in Nigeria, noting that UBA was ready to provide the needed financial backing that would empower Nigerian companies to play more active role in the country’s energy sector and beyond.

The Shell Contractor Funding Scheme started in 2011 with the Shell Kobo Fund, which gave rise to the Shell Contractor Support Fund in 2012. The scheme has been redesigned to address the current economic exigencies and to align it with stakeholder needs by merging the two initial initiatives. In 2016, Shell signed a $2.2 billion MoU with seven Nigerian banks that have since then disbursed around $1.5 billion loans to about 372 small- and medium-sized Nigerian suppliers and vendors in the oil and gas industry.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Pix: Director and General Manager, Business and Government Relations of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Bashir Bello (left) exchanging a signed $200 million Shell Contractor Support Fund Memorandum of Understanding with the General Manager Energy Bank of the United Bank for Africa, Ebele Ogbue in Abuja…at the weekend.

NIRA, NSRC conclude workshop on Domain Name System Security Extension - ITREALMS

A three-day workshop on Domain Name System Security Extension (DNSSEC) has ended in Lagos, for effective deployment of DNSSEC, cryptographically protect contents online and enhance the security of the Internet reports ITREALMS.

The workshop, hosted by the NiRA Academy; a special purpose vehicle for the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) in collaboration with the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) University of Oregon saw a three-day intensive workshop on Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) from Monday, 18th March to Wednesday, 20th March 2019 at NiRA Office Complex, Lagos.
ITREALMS gathered that the 3-day workshop was designed for key players in the Internet community comprising regulators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunication companies, registrars, and the academic community, who provide online services to effectively deploy DNSSEC, cryptographically protect contents online and enhance the security of the Internet.

The participants were taught about real-world threats that exploit DNS weaknesses, the risk organizations, businesses and individuals run when their DNS (Domain Name System) is not secured, the security extensions for DNS, how to enable signing & validation in the organization.

The participants were guided on how to take the next steps, whether it involves deploying their own signing solution, acquiring a vendor-based solution, or using a third-party service. Participants interacted extensively with the NSRC facilitators namely Messrs Joe Abley and Brian Candler, during the knowledge transfer experience.

Presentations and Laboratory exercises on a virtual environment setup on the NSRC infrastructure were used to elaborate activities, while participants welcomed the idea of strengthening the authentication in the DNS by using DNSSEC.

Participants were informed that whilst DNSSEC does not entirely provide foolproof security on the Internet, it adds a layer of security on the DNS through data authentication and integrity protection.

chuks Egbune/Editor

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Hackathon4Justice: Facebook, UNODC, AfricaTeenGeeks partner - ITREALMS

As part of efforts designed to spark creativity in young people while pushing their coding capabilities, Facebook has partnered with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and AfricaTeenGeeks to organise this year’s edition of Hackathon4justice, reports ITREALMS.

The two-day event which took place on March 22 and 23, brought together students from selected secondary schools and tertiary institutions. This saw them partner with local leads from Lagos Facebook Developer Circles, who provided support and guidance throughout the event, which was aimed at finding technological solutions to help uphold justice and promote the rule of law.

Speaking on the initiative, Facebook Developer Program Manager, Chimdi Aneke said: “Facebook grew out of a hacker culture and thrives by promoting innovation on new platforms. Hackathons are longstanding traditions here at Facebook, so we're thrilled to bring this tradition to Lagos where we will stay up all night hacking and learning.” he said.

On the ground to inspire and mentor the young coders were Iyinoluwa Samuel Aboyeji, Co-founder of Nigerian startup Andela and founder of Flutterwave and a number of Software Engineers from Facebook.

Out of 400 applications from university and school students across Nigeria, 55 university undergraduates and up to 15 school children were invited including students from Caleb University, Covenant University, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, Babcock University, as well as Yaba College of Technology.

Uj. N. Dominic/Editor
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AfICTF unveils 2-yr development plan on digital inclusion - ITREALMS

The African ICT Foundation (AfICTF), has unveiled a two-year digital inclusion development plan for the continent targeting policy and infrastructure issues on Internet of Things ( IoTs), Artificial Intelligence and big bata, reports ITREALMS.

AfICTF, a non-governmental organisation established in 2009 but recently rejigged to urgently address critical issues that bothers on Africa’s digital inclusion.

The development plan was unveiled at the inauguration of the new Board of Trustees (BOT) chaired by the former Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), Mr Tony Ojobo held in Lagos, South-West, Nigeria.

Mr. Ojobo who doubles as the Chairman of the BOT and President of the Foundation in his inaugural speech also declared a state of emergency on internet penetration stating that Africa needs a declaration of emergency in the area of ICT developments and innovation.

According to him, in the next two years, the Foundation will  consciously be making efforts towards holistic involvement in in research and educational activities that involves setting the policy agenda on technological innovations, information and communication technology, trade and globalization and clean energy.

He stated that the Foundation will be getting Africa’s private sector support on critical industry issues that affect the growth of Africa’s economy while also working with policymakers to develop and promote policies and ideas, capitalising on the tremendous economic and social benefits ICT provides for Africans.

Ojobo noted that AFICTF will be encouraging adherence to high standard of research, empowerment and integrity with an internal code of ethics grounded in analytical rigor, policy pragmatism, and independence from external direction or bias.

He said that a key aspect of the development of digital inclusion in Africa will be to promote skills sustainable for the development of African nationhood, reduce the level of illiteracy and poverty in the society as well as engage African youths on IT exchange programmes.

The Chairman of the BOT revealed that the Foundation the thematic theme the Foundation is using to address the critical issues of Africa’s ICT development, which he called the 4As of ICT development and deployments are: Awareness, Access, Adoption and Application

He noted that there is the need for the nations in the continent to be aware of the capabilities that ICT offers in terms of GDP growth and job creation is imperative stressing that access is critical to making this happen, especially in terms of availability and affordability.

“Our leaders need to embrace the use of ICT through its adoption for ease of business and processes required for industrial growth. Technology not applied cannot deliver the desired dividends”, he said.

He disclosed that part of the Foundation’s strategy of achieving its objective is Partnerships/Collaborations, Funding, Advocacies and sensitisation, and Capacity building/Training stressing that noting that true partnerships between governments and non-government actors are essential to addressing a problem as complex as ICT Penetration in Africa.

While calling for support, Mr. Ojobo said that no government, nation or agency can meet this challenge alone, hence the synergy through the African ICT Foundation to make information and communication technology more affordable and reachable for Africans everywhere.

He said: “Our inexhaustible focus is at the intersection of technological innovations such as telecommunications, information technology and data, life sciences, trade and globalization, agricultural Biotechnology and clean energy. It is poised towards providing high-quality information analysis, policy pragmatism, and recommendations that can be trusted.”

According to him, all projects of the Foundation shall be implemented through grants and shall designed to create demand and promote usage of ICTs in unserved and underserved communities and groups across the continent.


He said further that the projects involve are the provision of end-user devices to complement the telecommunication infrastructure that are deployed under the Connectivity Programme saying, that the Foundation will encourage and support the emergence of ICT Innovation Hubs in the continent, which will serve as platforms for growth of start-ups with capacity for development of disruptive innovations.

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L-R: BOT Director, Mr. Oludare Omoniyi Akinbo, Adebunmi Adeola Akinbo Mr Hycinth Anucha(reps First VP Dr. Ing Pierre-Francois Kamanou, Mr. Tony Ojobo, President, Rachael Orumor, Second VP, Directors, Engr Kevin Nwanze, Engr Ike Nnamani, Dr. Tony Nwosu and General Secretary Senator Iyere Ihenyen at the inauguration of the Board of Trustee of the African ICT Foundation in Lagos, South West Nigeria. 

Courtesy of AU: IXPN becomes Internet Exchange for West Africa - ITREALMS

PressRelease@ITREALMS:
The Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) has been named a regional internet exchange with the support of the African Union Commission (AUC) in “Keeping intra-continental internet traffic within Africa.”

In 2016, following a response to a call for proposals issued by the AU Commission, the IXPN was  awarded a grant to be supported to grow into a regional Internet Exchange for West Africa.

With many IXPs in Africa currently exchanging intra-country traffic locally and intra-regional traffic being exchanged regionally; this will reduce the latency and save costs by eliminating the international transit through overseas carriers. 

Through the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project of the African Union Commission, countries in Africa with internet exchange points have increased from eighteen to thirty five. 

The AU Commission further provided grants to support selected internet exchange points in the five geographical regions of the African Union to become regional internet exchange points. One of them was the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).

“Africa has been paying overseas carriers to exchange intra-continental traffic on our behalf. This is both costly as well as inefficient. With regional IXPs in Africa exchanging intra-regional traffic locally, this will reduce the latency and save costs by eliminating the international transit through overseas carriers,” said Mr. Moses Bayingana, Project Manager, African Internet Exchange System Project of the AU Commission. 

“There is growing importance in exchanging traffic among the internet service providers in Africa. This is due to the fact that by connecting to the regional internet exchange point, access to local content in the region improves, since the local traffic remains in the region. This in turn enhances internet use because the end users realize fast and efficient services," added Mr. Bayingana

On his part, Mr. Muhammed Rudman the CEO of IXPN, said that with the new status as the Regional Internet Exchange Point for West Africa, IXPN would seek strategic alliances with other IXPs, regional carriers and service providers towards connected West Africa. He also said that the AXIS initiative has now positioned IXPN to champion a more regional connectivity drive that will ultimately lead to a One-Connected Africa.

Rudman noted that localising the Internet within the African continent will improve quality of service as traffic will no longer travel abroad as was the case, and enjoined African countries, especially in the West Africa region to embrace this concept of AXIS for a better and improved connectivity for the continent.

“We are excited with the current status of IXPN as a regional IXP for the entire West Africa. This has made us an information hub for the region and will help not only to localize internet traffic within the region, but reduce cost and latency,  at the same time unlocking the potentials for digital economy allowing internet related businesses to thrive.” He said.

Also, he said in consonance with its new status, it has upgraded its infrastructure to ensure a more resilient operation in the function of connecting other foreign IXPs and ISPs and to accentuate its capacity to handle the requisite traffic.

About AXIS:
The African Internet Exchange System(AXIS) Project of the African Union aims to keep Africa’s internet traffic local by providing capacity building and technical assistance to facilitate the establishment of Internet Exchange Points and Regional Internet Exchange Points in Africa.
For more information on the African Internet Exchange System Project of the African Union, visit www.au.int/axis

About IXPN:
Founded in 2007 by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), it is a neutral and not-for-profit organization. The Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) currently has four Points-of-Presence (POPs) in Lagos and four outside Lagos, covering five geo-political zones of Nigeria. IXPN has over 60 networks connected on its platform, with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Content Providers and educational institutions already exchanging huge internet traffic.

Further Information:
info@ixp.net.ng
www.ixp.net.ng

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Pix: L-R CEO of IXPN Mr. Muhammed Rudman in a handshake with AXIS project manager, Mr. Moses Bayingana, while Jacob Dagunduro of IXPN looks on.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Minister eulogizes late Emir of Patigi @Fidau prayers - ITREALMS

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has eulogized the late Emir of Patigi in Kwara State, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar, calling him a man of tradition who was very passionate about the development of the state.

The Minister, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the Fidau prayers for the late Emir in Patigi on Saturday, said the late monarch was particularly interested in the infrastructural development of Patigi.

''I had cause to interact with the Emir on several occasions and he always struck me as a man who stood for tradition and was passionate about Kwara State.

''He was very passionate about the development of Kwara North Senatorial District in particular, and he kept emphasizing on the need to upgrade the infrastructure in Patigi, and generally he was passionate about improving the lives of the common people,'' he said.

Alhaji Mohammed urged the people of the state not to forget those things that the late Emir stood for.

''The people should remain united and continue to uphold the values that he stood for, especially his passion for seeing rapid development in Patigi,'' he said.

The Minister prayed that God will forgive the late Emir's sins and also grant him Aljannah Firdaus

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Pix: The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (third from right), being welcomed to Patigi to attend the Fidau prayers for the late Emir of Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar, on Saturday

Friday, March 22, 2019

Refusal to sign Digital Rights Bill: MRA berates Buhari - ITREALMS

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) today criticized the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill into Law, describing his reasons as illogical and evidence of his Administration’s unwillingness to uphold and protect the freedom of expression and other human rights of Nigerians in the online environment, reports ITREALMS.

In a statement in Lagos, MRA’s Legal Officer, Ms Morisola Alaba, said the reason given by the President for his refusal to assent to the Bill, which was transmitted to him for signature by the National Assembly on February 5, 2019, was not only illogical but betrayed the fact that he had no legitimate reason for withholding assent.

President Buhari had stated that the Bill “covers too many technical subjects and fails to address any of them extensively”, listing such areas to include surveillance and digital protection, lawful interception of communication, digital protection and retention, among others, which he said “are currently the subject of various bills pending at National Assembly”. He argued that the scope of the Bill poses a “challenge of duplication and legislative conflict in the future.'"

Ms Alaba said: “The purpose of the Bill was never to address technical subjects in the area of digital rights and Internet freedom in any detailed or extensive manner, but to propose and affirm a human rights-based approach in dealing with these issues and to ensure that future laws and policies as well as administrative actions are consistent with this approach.”

She argued that “Given that no laws have been passed to guide the actions and activities of Government and other actors in these areas and in the light of the fact that there is no certainty about when such laws are likely to be passed, it makes no sense to refuse to assent to the Bill on the ground that it may duplicate or conflict with laws that are not yet in existence.”

According to her, “A more logical approach for a government that is genuinely desirous of upholding and protecting the digital rights and freedoms of its citizens would be to ensure that the spirit behind the proposed legislation and the principles recognized in it are consistent with the government’s policy stance and then ensuring that the provisions of future laws touching on the issues addressed in the Bill are properly aligned with its policy approach, even where such laws seek to address technical issues in a more detailed and extensive manner.”

Ms Alaba noted that the President was well aware of the fact that his position was untenable and likely to be very unpopular, which was why he waited until after the General Elections to decline assent and express his views on the matter when he knew that he had 30 days from February 5, 2019 to indicate whether he would assent to the Bill or withhold assent.

Besides, she argued, the Federal Government had ample opportunities during the legislative process to express its views on the provisions of the Bill and to ensure that the Administration’s concerns were adequately addressed by the lawmakers in the course of making the Law.

She said: “We are aware that several agencies of the Federal Government with specialized and technical competence and mandates in the areas covered by the Bill were involved in the legislative process and did not raise any objection to the passage of the Bill. Indeed, they signed off on the provisions of the Bill, which was why the National Assembly was comfortable enough to pass the Bill speedily.”

Criticizing the attitude of the Presidency, Ms Alaba noted that “We consider it to be an unconscionable waste of the time of members of the National Assembly and huge public resources for the Presidency to stand by without engaging the legislative process or expressing the Administration’s position on such an important matter so its perspective can be properly taken into account, but to simply wait for the process to be concluded before vetoing the Bill. Whilst we concede that the President has the constitutional power to veto Bills, we do not believe that the power should be exercised in such a cynical and arrogant manner.”
Nenye Dom/Editor

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Osun State: Election Tribunal declares Senator Adeleke of PDP winner - ITREALMS

BreakingNews@ITREALMS:
Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Osun State Governorship poll, has been declared the winner by the Election Tribunal, reports ITREALMS.

The sitting monitored in Lagos by 
ITREALMS, the Tribunal made the declaration on Friday after dismissing a preliminary objection against the petition of the PDP and Senator Adeleke, challenging the September 2018 governorship election in the state.ITREALMS gathered that the preliminary objection was filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the election, Governor Gboyega Oyetola, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

ALSO READ: Osun guber election: Time to stand for truth - ITR...

Equally, the three defendants claimed that the petition of the PDP and its candidate was incompetent and the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear it.

Delivering a ruling on the preliminary objection, Justice Obiora Obi who is a member of the three-man Tribunal held that the petition was competent.

He also stated that the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to hear and determine it.

The judge held that there was merit in the appeal filed by the PDP and Senator Adeleke, adding that the declaration and return of Governor Oyetola by INEC was null and void.

He, thereafter, declared Senator Adeleke, who represents Osun West district in the National Assembly, as the winner of the election and duly elected governor of the state.

The tribunal also held that the Certificate of Return issued to Governor Oyetola be withdrawn and that a fresh one should be issued to Senator Adeleke of the PDP, having fulfilled the conditions of the law.

It said the petitioner scored the lawful majority votes at the election while the rerun held in the seven cancelled units were null and void and of no electoral effect.

The PDP and Senator Adeleke had approached the Tribunal to challenge the declaration of Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC as the winner of the September 22, 2018, election by the electoral body.

After entertaining final arguments and adoption of written addresses by lawyers to the parties involved on March 7, the Tribunal announced that it would reserve judgment on the matter.

The Tribunal, which was earlier sitting in Osun, was relocated from the High Court of Justice Complex, Osogbo to Abuja in November 2018.

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Over 100 speakers lineup for Artificial Intelligence global summit - ITREALMS

Over 100 speakers have been confirmed for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Good Global Summit, reports ITREALMS.

Some of the confirmed participants include Jim Hagemann Snabe – Chairman, Siemens​​, Cédric Villani – AI advisor to the President of France, and Mathematics Fields Medal Winner, and Jean-Philippe Courtois – President of Global Operations, Microsoft to name a few.

AI, 
ITREALMS gathered, h​as taken giant leaps forward in recent years, inspiring growing confidence in AI's ability to assist in solving some of humanity's greatest challenges.

Leaders in AI and humanitarian action are convening on the neutral platform offered by the United Nations to work towards AI improving the quality and sustainability of life on our planet.

Organized by the International Telecommunication Union (IT​U) – the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT) – in partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and close to 30 sister United Nations agencies, the 3rd annual ​AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, 28-31 May, is the leading United Nations platform for inclusive dialogue on AI. The goal of the summit is to identify practical applications of AI to accelerate progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals​​.​

The summit attracts a cross-section of AI experts from industry and academia, global business leaders, Heads of UN agencies, ICT ministers, non-governmental organizations, and civil society.

The summit is designed to generate 'AI for Good' projects able to be enacted in the near term, guided by the summit's multi-stakeholder and inter-disciplinary audience. It also formulates supporting strategies to ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits.

The 2019 summit will highlight AI's value in advancing education, healthcare and wellbeing, social and economic equality, space research, and smart and safe mobility. It will propose actions to assist high-potential AI solutions in achieving global scale. It will host debate around unintended consequences of AI as well as AI's relationship with art and culture. A 'learning day' will offer potential AI adopters an audience with leading AI experts and educators.

The summit slated for 28-31 May 2019, ITREALMS reports will hold at the International Conference Centre Geneva, 17 Rue de Varembé, Geneva, Switzerland.

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Nyong makes ‘100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy 2019’ - ITREALMS

ITREALMS:

The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) is pleased to announce  the nomination of Professor Anthony Nyong, Director for Climate Change and Green Growth, as one of the ‘100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy 2019’ by Apolitical, a peer-to-peer learning platform for governments, reports ITREALMS.

Nyong, a pioneering and globally recognized climate change expert, was named among the top 20 on the prestigious listing announced Wednesday in London.

Lisa Witter, Apolitical’s Executive Chairman said: “The need to reduce greenhouse gas emission is urgent. 174 countries and the EU agreed to act at the Paris Agreements. At Apolitical, we highlight the good work that government does and help it to become even better. By showcasing these climate policy leaders, we hope to encourage more collaboration and exchange to accelerate the effective response to the global climate threat.”

Nyong joined the Bank in 2008 and built up the Bank’s climate change initiatives including its Green Growth Agenda. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked as a Senior Program Specialist for Climate Change at the International Development Research Centre in Nairobi. In this role, Nyong successfully mobilized substantial resources to set up the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program that has significantly built adaptation capacity across the continent. Prior to that, he was a Coordinating Lead Author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was a Co-Recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions. Mr. Nyong also served as a Professor of Climate Change at the University of Jos, Nigeria.

“We are delighted by this nomination of one of our own to this list,” Bank Vice President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott said. “It is a worthy recognition of his - and the Bank’s -commitment to respond to climate change threats on our continent, which remains disproportionately affected.”

Apolitical’s ‘100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy’ list celebrates inspirational leaders, politicians, advocates, youth activists, academics and diplomats from all over the world whose work is indispensable to raising awareness, such as Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, who sparked off a worldwide movement to fight against global warming, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest ever US Congresswoman and lead advocate of the Green New Deal, Patricia Espinosa, and David Attenborough, world-renowned British historian.

The list was compiled from hundreds of nominations from governments, international organisations and academia, including the UNDP, Harvard, Oxford, Bloomberg, the Climate Action Network.

 “It is an honour to be acknowledged amongst such an influential list of leaders who are passionate and actively working to influence policy and make a tangible difference towards addressing global climate change,” said Nyong. “Climate change has evolved from an environmental worry to a threat on global development, particularly in Africa. The African Development Bank under the leadership of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has demonstrated a strong commitment at both policy and implementation level, to climate compatible development in Africa.”


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Latest Dell research reveals explosive growth on data protection

Dell EMC has announced the results of the third Global Data Protection Index revealing an explosive growth rate of data of 569 per cent and an impressive jump in data protection “adopters” of nearly 50 percentage points since 2016, reports ITREALMS.
The research, which surveyed 2,200 IT decision makers from both public and private organizations with 250+ employees across 18 countries and 11 industries, provides a comprehensive understanding of the state of data protection and the maturity of data protection strategies. Specifically, the Index uncovered an increase in the average amount of data managed – from 1.45 petabytes (PB) in 2016 to 9.70PB in 2018 – and a high awareness of the value of data. In fact, 92 percent of respondents see the potential value of data and 36 percent are already monetizing their data. While this acknowledgement is positive, most respondents are struggling to properly protect their data. The combination of these factors is driving many of the survey’s findings. 
The sheer volume of data and its importance to business operations make data protection that much more challenging. Disruption incidents are occurring frequently, but more alarming is the increasing amount of irreversible data loss. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents globally experienced some type of disruption within a 12-month period, and 27 percent were unable to recover data using their existing data protection solution – nearly double the amount (14 percent) in 2016. 
Coincidentally, 76 percent of respondents worldwide are also using at least two data protection vendors, which makes them 35 percent more likely to experience some type of disruption during the same 12-month period, compared to those with a single vendor. Unplanned systems downtime was the most common type of disruption (43 percent) for those using two or more vendors, followed by ransomware attack that prevented access to data (32 percent) and data loss (29 percent).
Although unplanned systems downtime is more prevalent, data loss is far more expensive. For example, those who encountered downtime experienced 20 hours of downtime on average in the last 12 months, costing $526,845, while those who lost data, lost 2.13 terabytes on average with a price tag of nearly $1 million. Additionally, many of those who experienced a disruption also indicated it had far-reaching business impacts from customer trust to brand equity to employee productivity, to name a few.
Not only does the amount of data lost increase the price, but so does the value of data itself. It’s clear that organizations recognize this as 81 percent said they take data protection more seriously for categories of data that have the greatest monetary value.
Nenye Dom/Editors

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Children living in conflicts more likely to die from water-related diseases – ITREALMS


Water Under Fire looks at mortality rates in 16 countries going through prolonged conflicts and finds that, in most of them, children under the age of five are more than 20 times more likely to die from diarrheal-related deaths linked to lack of access to safe water and sanitation than direct violence.

“The odds are already stacked against children living through prolonged conflicts – with many unable to reach a safe water source,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “The reality is that there are more children who die from lack of access to safe water than by bullets."

“In Nigeria, conflict has created huge challenges for people living in the north-east of the country, where violence has affected their ability to access water and sanitation, leading to diseases such as cholera,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.

“More than 3.6 million people are in need of water, sanitation and hygiene services – 1.1 million of these are internally displaced (IDPs), having fled their homes due to violence and conflict.  Many of them are out-of-reach, in remote areas still impacted by conflict. About 800,000 people are in hard-to-reach areas and 79 percent of these are children and women,” said Mohamed Fall..

In north-east Nigeria, 5,365 people were affected by cholera, with 61 dying in 2017, while 12,643 people were affected and 175 died of cholera in 2018.

UNICEF is working to scale-up lifesaving responses, especially in IDP camps, to ensure quality and sustainability of WASH services and facilities, minimize the risk of WASH-related diseases, and to provide preventive measures against cholera and other water-borne diseases.

Without safe and effective water, sanitation and hygiene services, children are at risk of malnutrition and preventable diseases including diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera and polio. Girls are particularly affected: They are vulnerable to sexual violence as they collect water or venture out to use latrines. They deal with affronts to their dignity as they bathe and manage menstrual hygiene. And they miss classes during menstruation if their schools have no suitable water and sanitation facilities.  

These threats are exacerbated during conflict when deliberate and indiscriminate attacks destroy infrastructure, injure personnel and cut off the power that keeps water, sanitation and hygiene systems running. Armed conflict also limits access to essential repair equipment and consumables such as fuel or chlorine – which can be depleted, rationed, diverted or blocked from delivery. Far too often, essential services are deliberately denied.


“Deliberate attacks on water and sanitation are attacks on vulnerable children,” said Fore. “Water is a basic right. It is a necessity for life.”

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Unitel chief to preside over GSMA group on Africa Fraud, Security - ITREALMS

Unitel was elected to chair the GSMA Association Africa Fraud and Security Group (AFASG), a specific working group dedicated to dealing with critical fraud and security issues for the telecommunications industry in Africa, reports ITREALMS.

The mandate has a period of two years, renewable for two more, upon evaluation of the work carried out and subject to a new election. The appointment is the result of an application process which is based on the presentation of a Strategic Leadership Plan for the Group in Africa, submitted to the consideration of its members.

Unitel competed with MTN (which has 18 operations in Africa) and with Wana Corporate, Morocco. The role of Chair will be assured by the Director of Risk, Fraud and Security of Unitel, José Carlos Sobreira Martins.

The AFASG includes the major telecommunication groups in Africa such as: Orange (18 operations in Africa); MTN (18); Airtel (16); Vodafone / Vodacom (8) and Millicom / Tigo (4), in addition to other individual mobile operators and Associate Members such as technology vendors such as Ericsson and Huawei.

AFASG is an entity within the framework of the GSMA Association, which in turn represents the international interests of all mobile telecommunications operators in the world. There are more than 800 mobile operators, and more than 350 associated companies that are part of the broad mobile ecosystem.

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