Showing posts with label Nigeria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nigeria. Show all posts

Monday, September 19, 2011

IBM Boosts Africa Expansion With New Angola Office



19 Sep 2011 11:00 Africa/Lagos


IBM Boosts Africa Expansion With New Angola Office
New subsidiary demonstrates company's increased footprint in key growth markets

PR Newswire

LUANDA, Angola, Sept. 19, 2011

LUANDA, Angola, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) has announced the opening of a new branch office in Luanda, as part of the company's continued geographic expansion to increase its presence in key growth markets in support of its global strategy.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110919/NY69873-a )

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110919/NY69873-b )

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

The Angolan arm is part of a broad programme of investment that IBM is making in Africa and follows the recent opening of new locations in Dakar, Senegal and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This gives IBM a direct presence in more than 20 African countries, including South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.



The expanded presence in Angola will enable IBM to increase its level of service to clients and partners across the Central African region and deliver more advanced and high-value solutions across many industries.

IBM already serves a number of key clients in Central Africa, spanning sectors including telecommunications, oil & gas, finance and government. For example in Angola, IBM is working with one of the country's major banks to help transform the institution's core banking technology infrastructure and support business growth. With a new system based on IBM Power servers and software technologies, the bank has been able to upgrade its banking services.

IBM is also working closely with other local financial institutions and oil & gas companies in Angola to improve the accuracy and security of information in the country.

"Expanding into Angola offers IBM an important business opportunity as we expand our presence throughout the African continent," said Bruno Di Leo, General Manager, IBM Growth Markets. "This demonstrates IBM's commitment to expand into new markets to provide innovative solutions for our clients and partners. Luanda is one of more than 230 IBM branch offices across 55 growth market countries."

IBM is also engaged in an active programme of corporate citizenship across Africa. Since 2008, IBM has deployed 250 of its most talented employees on projects in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco and Egypt helping to solve local problems with the aim of fostering economic development and job creation.

"By opening a direct presence in Angola and many other markets on the African continent, IBM overcomes one of the biggest barriers to entry in Africa, namely being able to offer local support and insights to their clients and business partners," says Hannes Fourie, Senior Analyst IDC, Middle East and Africa.

The Luanda office is part of IBM's Central Africa operations and will complement IBM's other branch offices in the region. IBM has supplied products and solutions to Central Africa since the 1940's, and IBM equipment was installed in Angola by the company known as Benguela Railways in 1955.

The new office was inaugurated this week at a ceremony for customers, business partners and government officials in Luanda.

About IBM
For more information on IBM, please visit:
http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2011/06/ibm-in-africa.html

Contacts:
Arlene Wainstein
IBM External Relations, Middle East & Africa
33 (0) 1 5875-5951
Mobile: 33 (0) 672 759574
arlenewainstein@fr.ibm.com

Marie-Anne (Kui) Kinyanjui
IBM External Relations, Growth Markets Unit
254 20 283 4000
Mobile: 254 721 676 543
mariekin@ke.ibm.com

SOURCE IBM

Web Site: http://www.ibm.com




Friday, September 16, 2011

Nigeria is at a crossroads - World Bank Reports

The World Bank has noted that Nigeria is at a crossroads in a special Growth Employment and Markets in States (GEMS) Project report.

The country can choose to tackle the distortions that have reduced incentives for investment and productive activity and move towards sustainable and diversified growth. It can also build on islands of success and promising cluster initiatives and enclaves that can then pull along the rest of the economy (successfully achieved in China and India) or it can ignore the reform imperatives and pay the price of having a highly distorted, rentier economy, once oil prices fall.

Click here for the full report




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nigerian NGO and five others to receive $3million Grant

15 Sep 2011 20:10 Africa/Lagos

The Co-Creation Hub of Nigeria, Association for Democratic Reforms (India), Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente (Chile), Mideast Youth (Bahrain), Centre UA (Ukraine), and Open Knowledge Foundation (UK) have been selected for the Omidyar Network’s $3million grant for advancing government transparency and accountability.

The following is the detailed news release.

Omidyar Network Supports Technology-Centered Organizations Seeking to Empower Citizens Across Six Countries
Announcement coincides with establishment of global hub for Government Transparency in London

PR Newswire

LONDON and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 15, 2011

LONDON and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Omidyar Network announced today its intent to grant up to $3M to six leading organizations focused on advancing government transparency and accountability. The organizations are: Association for Democratic Reforms (India), Co-Creation Hub (Nigeria), Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente (Chile), Mideast Youth (Bahrain), Centre UA (Ukraine), and Open Knowledge Foundation (UK).

Through its Government Transparency initiative, Omidyar Network invests in organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process and hold governments to account. Over the last two years, the firm has invested over $40M in transparency efforts across the globe, including organizations such as mySociety in the United Kingdom, Ushahidi in Kenya, Janaagraha in India and the Sunlight Foundation in the United States.

Omidyar Network intends to provide an operating grant of up to $750k to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), an organization that seeks to improve governance and strengthen India's democracy through electoral and political reforms. ADR discloses the backgrounds of parliament and state assembly candidates so that voters have the knowledge to make informed decisions. The nonprofit also works for greater transparency and accountability in elections and in political parties, and on raising awareness on changes needed in the electoral and political system. For more information: www.adrindia.org.

The Co-Creation Hub in Lagos, Nigeria will receive up to $200k in support of creating a shared work space where stakeholders from multiple walks of Nigerian life come together to collaboratively create tech-based solutions that address social challenges facing Nigerian society. It will be Nigeria's first multi-functional, multi-purpose space dedicated to the creation of social technology ventures. The Hub will accommodate 50-60 tech start-ups at one time and will provide pre-incubation services including: advice, training, mentorship and access to funding through a network of local and international partners. The Hub will also serve as a place for stakeholders to meet, brainstorm, share ideas and collaborate through partnership events, meet-ups, focus groups, hackathons, competitions and talks by guest speakers. For more information: http://www.cchubnigeria.com/

Omidyar Network intends to support Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente with a grant up to $500k over three years. The Chilean nonprofit creates technology platforms, including websites and mobile applications, to provide citizens access to easy-to-use, graphical information about their government. Citizens can learn about what issues will be debated in parliament, access the profiles and voting records of elected officials and learn about the demographic make up of the legislature. Future plans include creating online tools to learn about money's influence in politics and government, as well as expansion to other Latin America countries. For more information: http://www.votainteligente.cl/

Mideast Youth will receive a grant up to $600k to expand its multi-media content and further develop CrowdVoice, a white-label platform used to build communities around social topics, such as human rights, religious freedom, tolerance, and free speech. Mideast Youth provides a unique platform in the Middle East for the discussion of issues affecting young people, and in the past two years has developed a number of websites to bring attention to marginalized groups in the region. The core sites provide a forum for discussion around a range of cultural and rights issues and are updated daily by more than 300 regular citizen journalists who contribute to the sites. For more information: www.mideastyouth.com.

Omidyar Network will grant Centre UA $335k over two years in support of its initiative, New Citizen. New Citizen is a coalition of more than 50 Ukrainian civil society organizations seeking to secure a greater voice for citizen participation in the political process and holding government to account. Omidyar Network support will enable the coalition to build out its technology platforms, enable education and outreach and expand the program with the Ukraine. For more information: http://newcitizen.org.ua.

The Open Knowledge Foundation of the United Kingdom will receive a grant of up to $750k over three years. The U.K. nonprofit builds tools and communities to promote open access to information that can be used, reused and redistributed freely. The Open Knowledge Foundation works to increase knowledge about open data, designs innovative visualization tools that enable citizens to access and better interpret data, and builds dataset catalogues to demonstrate to both citizens and government alike the benefits of making data open, free and accessible. Grant proceeds will be used to: expand Open Knowledge Foundation's key financial transparency project, openspending.org; sustain and build working groups on open data; and establish chapters in additional countries. For more information: http://okfn.org.

In a separate announcement, Omidyar Network Investment Partner Steven King stated the philanthropic investment firm this week opened a global office in the Shoreditch area of London. The office will serve as the philanthropic investment firm's headquarters for its work in Europe as well as serve as the global hub for its Government Transparency initiative. He also announced Omidyar Network will begin to expand the geographic focus of its Government Transparency practice to include: Poland, Turkey and Ukraine in Europe; Brazil and Mexico in Latin America; Egypt in the Middle East; and Indonesia and the Philippines in Southeast Asia. The initiative will continue to focus efforts in the United States, India, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom. [See press release: Omidyar Network Expands European Presence with Opening of London Office].

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed nearly $450 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, transparency and accountability, consumer Internet and mobile. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.

SOURCE Omidyar Network

CONTACT: Greg Pershall of Omidyar Network, +1-360-607-8901, gpershall@omidyar.com

Web Site: http://www.omidyar.com




International Crisis Group / Lessons from Nigeria's 2011 Elections



15 Sep 2011 09:11 Africa/Lagos

International Crisis Group / Lessons from Nigeria's 2011 Elections

BRUSSELS, September 15, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Nigeria's April elections may have broken somewhat its cycle of deeply flawed polls, but the country still must meet many and daunting challenges to ensure a stable and democratic future.

Lessons from Nigeria's 2011 Elections, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the vote that returned President Goodluck Jonathan to office and left the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) weakened but still in control of the national legislature and nearly two thirds of the 36 states. It highlights the steps that are needed to prepare for the next major elections cycle, in 2015, including extensive technical and administrative reforms of and by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in parallel with broad political and economic measures to make the state more relevant to citizens and address the root causes of deadly violence in society.

“Between now and the next general polls in 2015, far-reaching electoral, political and economic reforms are needed to help consolidate the modest gains made in 2011 and launch the country on the path of permanent and sustainable electoral change”, says Kunle Amuwo, Crisis Group's Senior Nigeria Analyst.



After three bad elections – 1999, that heralded the Fourth Republic, 2003 and 2007, the last being marked by widespread electoral malpractice and a staggering scale of falsified results – the 2011 exercise was critical for Nigeria's fledgling democracy and overall political health. There were grounds for pessimism: the upsurge of violence in several states, encouraged by politicians and their supporters who feared defeat; an ambiguous and confusing legal framework for the elections; and a flawed voter registration exercise, with poorly functioning biometric scans, that resulted in an inflated voters' roll.

What resulted was an improvement over past elections, especially the 2007 debacle, but still serious problems, including highly questionable majorities reported for the incumbent president in certain areas, and extensive violence, producing more than 1,000 deaths, mainly in the troubled North, after the presidential results were announced.

The new government should prioritise releasing funds to INEC so it can begin early preparations for 2015. INEC should compile, maintain and update the National Register of Voters on a continual basis, in accordance with the 2010 Nigerian Electoral Act. But major electoral, constitutional and economic initiatives are also needed to make the 2015 polls truly free and fair and to ensure they are not tainted by blood. The proposals in the 2009 Uwais Electoral Reform Committee report should be widely published, and efforts enhanced to make the system more inclusive; there is urgent need to reduce poverty and create jobs for restive young school-leavers and graduates. Constitutional amendment should be done with a more holistic, less piecemeal, approach, with full involvement of the Nigerian people, who have long been demanding it.

“Nigeria has the resources and the capacity to entrench a culture of credible elections, with all that would mean for sustainable democracy”, says Gilles Yabi, Crisis Group's West Africa Project Director. “Otherwise, flawed elections will continue to threaten its fragile democracy and reduce its diplomatic weight on the continental and global scene”.


Source: International Crisis Group

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Clyde Broadcast Sign Major Contract With DAAR Communications at IBC 2011

10 Sep 2011 09:30 Africa/Lagos



Clyde Broadcast Sign Major Contract With DAAR Communications at IBC 2011

AMSTERDAM, September 10, 2011/PRNewswire/ --

Further to a series of negotiations earlier this year Scottish-based Clyde Broadcast and African media giant DAAR Communications will sign a euro 1m contract for the equipping of sixteen digital radio stations throughout Nigeria, at this years IBC.

Brian Rowan, Sales Director for Clyde Broadcast: 'DAAR are one of Africa's leading independent broadcast groups, with brands such as DAARsat, AIT and RAYPOWER. We were delighted to be approached by such a prestigious organization and plans are well under way for the roll-out of over thirty studios.'

DAAR's Executive Chairman, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi: 'Clyde have an excellent track record in Nigeria. We are confident that Clyde will meet our very high standards and deliver us radio stations that will all be very proud of'.'

Sixteen of the new studios will be based around Clyde's SYNERGY Integrated Digital Broadcast Centres, with the remainder using existing digital mixers and Clyde's S-Radio software suite - a derivative of Synergy. Each station will also have newsrooms equipped with Clyde DESKMATES, providing reporters with comprehensive yet easy to use desktop audio facilities.

Tony Uyah, DAAR's Executive Engineering Director: 'Clyde's Synergy is highly suited to our needs; the key components in the studio - the playout hardware, software and mixing - are all remotely accessible, ideal for support, in fact Synergy can be considered as an IP-addressable radio studio - even the studio change-over can be remotely controlled!'

The station routing system is based around Clyde's new STATION HUB, which forms the technical centre of each system, and allows easy connection to studios and workstations via standard CAT5 cables - considerably simplifying installation, easing maintenance and readily facilitating expansion.

Clyde's MD, Phil Collins: 'It is fitting that such a contract be sealed at IBC, and particularly on the booth of Scottish Development International, who are exhibiting at IBC for the first time, show-casing some of Scotland's best technology companies'.

http://www.clydebroadcast.com

Source: Clyde Broadcast

Brian Rowan, brian.rowan@clydebroadcast.com, +44(0)141-952-7950




Friday, September 9, 2011

OHCHR press briefing note / Nigeria

9 Sep 2011 10:03 Africa/Lagos


OHCHR press briefing note / Nigeria

GENEVA, September 9, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- OHCHR press briefing note / Nigeria

We are concerned about the renewed violence which has flared up in Nigeria's "Middle Belt" in recent weeks causing death, injury and destruction. Reports suggest that up to 70 people have been killed since the beginning of August, in ethnic and religious violence in the area.


Ethnic and religious divisions have affected the Middle Belt region, particularly in and around Jos, for many years now and a cycle of violence has emerged in which each incident almost invariably provokes deadly reprisal attacks. The High Commissioner has previously called for a concerted effort to tackle the underlying causes of such repeated violent outbreaks. Such underlying causes include discrimination, poverty and land disputes.


We encourage the authorities at national and local levels to take effective preventative measures against such violence, including by curbing hate-speech and working with civil society, including human rights NGOs, religious leaders and academic institutions, to attempt reconciliation between the various communities. It is of utmost importance that justice is done and is seen to be done by prosecuting the alleged perpetrators of violence and ensuring remedies for victims and their families.


We are also concerned about the activities of Boko Haram, whose tactics have included attacks on civilians, security forces and government institutions. The group has claimed responsibility for the recent bombing of the UN building – yet another deadly and cowardly attack.

otherwise they risk making the situation worse.


In response to a request for details of recent violence and killings:


According to reports:

- From early to mid-August, 10 people were killed in a number of clashes between Christian and Muslim youths and the military in Jos. At least two more were hacked to death, and four others seriously wounded in a village near Jos.

- On 29 August, Christian youths allegedly attacked Muslims going to prayer in Jos. Unofficial reports suggest that 13 were killed, 106 wounded and that a lot of damage was done to property. Then, on 1 September, at least 23 were reportedly killed in clashes between Christian and Muslim youths. At this point, it is not clear whether or not this was a revenge attack linked to the earlier incident.

- On 4 September, a family of eight was hacked to death, and seven more people were reported killed that evening in attacks by youths on a village near Jos.



Source: United Nations - Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time
9 Sep 2011
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

China and Nigeria Lead Others in PC Software Piracy



China and Nigeria lead others in software piracy according to a Business Software Alliance (BSA) study.

The other major regular software pirates come from Vietnam, Ukraine, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Mexico.


7 Sep 2011 13:30 Africa/Lagos


Nearly Half of the World's PC Users Acquire Software Illegally Most or All the Time, BSA Reports

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2011

32-country study finds opportunity for education, enforcement

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly half of the world's personal computer users — 47 percent — acquire software through illegal means most or all of the time, and in developing economies the figures are much higher, according to the most extensive survey ever undertaken on PC users' behaviors and attitudes toward software piracy and intellectual property rights.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) today released detailed findings from the groundbreaking study on its official blog, BSA TechPost. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the research for BSA by surveying approximately 15,000 PC users in 32 countries. This included 400 to 500 in-person or online interviews per country.

The study finds that large majorities of computer users in the developing world regularly acquire software through illegal means — such as buying a single license for a program and then installing it on multiple machines, or downloading programs from peer-to-peer networks — even though they express support for intellectual property principles.

China had a higher percentage of these regular software pirates among its PC-using population than any other country surveyed, followed by Nigeria, Vietnam, Ukraine, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Mexico.

The study finds that significant majorities of software pirates in developing markets incorrectly believe that typically illegal means of acquiring software are, in fact, legal. At the same time, they believe software piracy is common, and they think it is unlikely that software pirates will be caught.

Critically, business decision-makers around the world exhibit behaviors and opinions that are similar to those of other computer users.

"It took hundreds of millions of thieves to steal $59 billion worth of software last year. Now we have a better understanding of what they were thinking," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. "The evidence is clear: The way to lower software piracy is by educating businesses and individuals about what is legal — and ramping up enforcement of intellectual property laws to send clearer deterrent signals to the marketplace."

Pirate Populations by Country



Country


Always Illegal


Mostly Illegal


All Regular Pirates*


China


42%


44%


86%


Nigeria


36%


46%


81%


Vietnam


22%


54%


76%


Ukraine


16%


53%


69%


Malaysia


22%


46%


68%


Thailand


15%


50%


65%


Indonesia


14%


50%


65%


Saudi Arabia


23%


39%


62%


South Korea


15%


45%


60%


Mexico


19%


41%


60%


Brazil


14%


41%


55%


Colombia


12%


43%


54%


Chile


13%


40%


53%


Russia


9%


43%


52%


Spain


13%


37%


50%


Poland


15%


33%


48%


Czech Republic


10%


37%


47%


Turkey


13%


29%


43%


Argentina


10%


29%


39%


Italy


11%


25%


37%


Australia


11%


26%


37%


USA


8%


26%


34%


Switzerland


5%


26%


31%


Netherlands


5%


25%


30%


United Kingdom


7%


23%


30%


Japan


9%


20%


29%


Sweden


5%


24%


29%


India


9%


19%


28%


Canada


7%


20%


27%


France


5%


21%


26%


Germany


6%


15%


21%


South Africa


5%


16%


20%


(*Totals may not add up due to rounding.)




Click here to download the complete report from BSA TechPost.

About BSA
The Business Software Alliance ( www.bsa.org ) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

SOURCE Business Software Alliance

CONTACT: Jordan Lubowitz, +1-202-326-1776, jordan.lubowitz@edelman.com

Web Site: http://www.bsa.org

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eraction@eraction.org







Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Igbo member of Boko Haram arrested by the SSS in Nigeria

An Igbo member of the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group was arrested Tuesday by the State Security Services (SSS) in Nigeria.

The Guardian of Nigeria reported that the 31-year-old Igbo man was suspected to be part of the terrorists who carried out the April 8, 2011 bombing of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Suleja, Niger State.

The SSS, which declined to disclose the name of the suspect until it completes ongoing investigation, said the man, whose mother is a Nigerien, is an indigene of Imo State and got converted to Islam in 2003.

Click here to read the details on The Guardian of Wednesday, 07 September 201







Tuesday, September 6, 2011

President Barack Obama Has Balls, But Nigerian Presidents Have None


"We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused," Obama said in an 18-minute speech. "And we will do whatever necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy." President Barack Obama said authoritatively.


I have only one simple illustration from a book to show that the brave President Barack Obama of the United States of America has balls, but Nigerian Presidents have none in addressing emergencies.

The failure of the Nigerian government to check the excesses of Chevron, Shell and other oil companies have made them to disregard their rules of engagement, because these oil companies spill more oil into the Niger Delta each year than was spilled as a result of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that devastated the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. President Barack Obama did not waste time to address the emergency and compelled the BP to pay.

"We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused," Obama said in an 18-minute speech. "And we will do whatever necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy." President Barack Obama said authoritatively.

BP set up a $20bn compensation fund after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and has so far paid out 19,000 claims totalling more than $240m and BP's bill for containing and cleaning up the oil spill has reached nearly $10bn (£6.4bn).

President Obama did not need to commission the United Nations Environment Protection (UNEP) and did not pay for any assessment or disaster management report before compelling BP to pay for the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The oil industry has been a key sector of the Nigerian economy for over 50 years, but many Nigerians have paid a high price, as this assessment underlines," said Achim Steiner, U.N. under-secretary general and the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, which carried out the report.

Yet, our inept and incompetent government failed to prosecute the indicted Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron and other

multinational oil companies to pay for the collateral damages they have been doing in the Niger Delta for decades.

The failures of the government and the impunity of the multinational oil companies provoked the rise of insurgency in the Niger Delta.