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Association Calls for Data Protection Legislation in Nigeria

“The bill is expected to contribute to the legal foundations of the digital economy of Nigeria and its participation in the regional and global economies through the beneficial, trusted use of personal data to help mitigate issues on data leakage, and ensure confidentiality and privacy of data.”

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ALDAPCON press conference
R-l: Chairman of the Association, Mr. Ivan Anya and the Secretary, Mr. Abdullaziz Ari, during a press conference in Abuja, recently

The Association of Licensed Data Protection Organisations of Nigeria (ALDAPCON) has advocated the need for the principal data protection legislation law to be put in place as the country pursues its digital transformation agenda.

The Chairman of the Association, Mr. Ivan Anya, in a press conference, said the Data Protection bill when passed into law will address the data privacy and confidentiality of Nigerians, enable secure dataflow, economic development, and improve national security, job creation and better global positioning.

He said this will also enable data processors and data controllers to have significant clarification of duties and responsibility for the protection of rights of data subjects (citizens).

“From inception of our work in the industry we actually face a whole lot of this level of resistance, some of them are still there, some are still waiting for sectoral regulators to advise them as to what direction they should take, not understanding by themselves why they should ensure compliance. We also have the issue of technicality that is prevalent within the ecosystem; instances where you have businesses hosting Nigerians’ data outside of the country. You need to ensure that such hosts of Nigerians data are hosted in full compliance with the Nigerian data protection regulation.

“The big issue is the aspect of the law. We are hopeful that as soon as the data protection bill is passed, it will address a whole lot of the technical and procedural issues we face now in terms of compliance.

“The bill is expected to contribute to the legal foundations of the digital economy of Nigeria and its participation in the regional and global economies through the beneficial, trusted use of personal data to help mitigate issues on data leakage, and ensure confidentiality and privacy of data.”

Speaking on the objectives of the association, Mr. Anya said Data Protection Compliance Organisations (DPCOs)  under the  umbrella body ALDAPCON as the privacy overseers in the country,  focuses   on driving  data compliance in the industry which  include to provide credible and authoritative data protection advisory to government, private and public organisations in Nigeria

“So we are currently running our second year since inception and we have been working with the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB) in championing what should help guide data protection practice in Nigeria.

“The data protection compliance model is the only one of its type globally and no other country currently practices what we do. It is called the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement where the supervising authority in this case, the NDPB has delegated some of its functions to the DPCOS to go to business organisations and assist them achieve compliance, this is what exactly we do,”

He said the association is helping create awareness on the importance of data protection and cyber security as well as the provision of data protection regulation in Nigeria.

“[This is] in addition to being the body of knowledge for data subjects on the Nigerian data protection legislation and its execution; as well as working with stakeholders to influence and assess the impact of data protection in Nigeria.”

He added that ALDAPCON has also provided certification training in data protection as well as the implementation and filling of gaps that may arise in the course of an audit assessment of how an organisation is compliant to the data protection regulations or the laws.

Assessment in areas of default and ensuring that at every point in time businesses are in full compliant with the requirements of the regulations

He noted that the data privacy sector has recorded significant achievements.  Between 2020 and 2021, compliance recorded 68% improvement. “We are hopeful that by the time the 2022 report comes out during the data privacy week of 2023; we’ll see exactly what has happened or what level of progress has been achieved.”

He added that the need assessment audit report published early this year for 2021 shows that there has been a significant improvement in terms of compliance within the fintech sector which has been quite remarkable.

The Secretary of the Association, Mr. Abdullaziz Ari disclosed that the Association is coming up with standards to guide compliance in the industry, developing capacity within the ecosystem  and most importantly, to create awareness on how to assist the ecosystem comply with the requirements of the regulation.

“Well, for now we try to focus mostly on the public and private sectors. The memos will help bridge the gap in the public sector as the private sector has been more responsive in terms of compliance” Ari added

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Lagos Hosts Gathering of Nigeria’s Top 50 Digital Economy Enablers 2023

By Sandra Ani

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Nigeria’s Top 50 Digital Economy Enablers 2023

Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is hosting the opening edition of Nigeria’s Top 50 Digital Economy Enablers February 14, 2023 at the prestigious Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Nigeria’s Digital Economy is evolving positively in spite of a diversity of challenges for organisations in the public and private sectors.

Inspired by the need to express both the challenges and the iconic actors that have emerged to drive Africa’s fastest growing digital economy, the continent’s major tech-biz publication, published since 2007, IT Edge News.Africa (www.itedgenews.africa) and its Partners will be focusing on Nigeria’s Leading Lights referencing Nigeria’s Top 50 Digital Economy Enablers at an Industry Colloquium &Award Ceremony this February just before as the country goes to the poll to elect new political leaders. The One Day Industry event is featuring a Nigeria’s Top 50 Digital Economy Enablers Recognition Ceremony; an Industry Networking Lunch; Nigeria Digital Economy Special Report; and the forum on ‘Nigeria’s Digital Economy – Myth or Fact?’

According to the Project Team Lead, Dr. Sola Afolabi, The event is “a platform for industry Recognition, Industry Stock-Taking & Industry Insights with a view to provide a guide as to what direction Nigeria’s entire spectrum of ICT ecosystem will take as the transition for a new government begins.”

He adds: “This event is driven by collaboration of stakeholders within and outside the media to ensure a wide,and more inclusive selection of the sector’s leading lights as well as to offer a broader understanding of the challenges and the inspirations that drive Africa’s largest ICT market. Event partners include TechEconomy; ITPulse; TechandBiz.com; and TechTV (NTA).

Also, while the event is focusing on the leading lights within the rank of CEOs/Director Generals across corporate Nigeria, the Nigeria’s Top 50 Digital Economy Enablers team recognises the great efforts by certain members of management in helping to drive the agenda of their organisations’ at advancing Nigeria’s digital economy agenda.

The event, therefore, will be specially recognizing the commitment of certain individuals in being not just their organizations’ voices but also articulate purveyors of themes of progress around Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

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TestNigeria 1.0: Quality Software Will Give Nigeria’s Digital Economy Competitive Advantage

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TestNigeria Conference 1.0
L-r: Boye Dare, President of NGSTQB; Hakeem Fahm, Commissioner of Science and Technology, Lagos State; Dr Engr. (Mrs) Falilat Jimoh, Digital Architect Manager, NITDA, and Jide Ajayi, a Software Engineer

Effective software quality assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy will greatly impact the digital economy’s accelerated growth, says Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

He remarked in the lead address at the first-ever Software Testing Conference in Nigeria with the theme “Impact of Software Quality Assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy”, organized by Nigeria Software Testing Qualification Board (NGSTQB) on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, Lagos State. 

Pantami acknowledged that the importance of software in global development cannot be overemphasized hence software powers the hardware, and most of the innovations in all sectors and spheres of life. 

“If you look at the world’s advancement in the internet economy, transportation, financial services, power, cyber security and many life endeavours; software is the secret to that success. I can categorically say that the world would not have achieved much if there was no invention of software.  

“The article by Jeff Lawson in the Harvard Business Review argued that in the digital economy, your software is your competitive advantage. 

TestNigeria Conference 1.0
Hakeem Fahm, Honourable Commissioner of Science and Technology, Lagos State, speaking at TestNigeria Conference 1.0

“He said ‘many companies respond to digital competition by embracing methodologies like agile, building ‘innovation centres,’ acquiring startups, or outsourcing app development to consulting firms. But the true disruptors know that in the digital economy, whoever builds the best software wins. Companies that want to compete need to empower their developers and adopt a ‘software mindset’”.

TestNigeria Conference 1.0
TestNigeria Conference 1.0
Software industry practitioners discussing sundry issues

“This same argument applies to any country that wants to succeed in the digital economy era. We have seen the implication of this during the Covid-19 pandemic. The technology (especially ICT) industry which is powered by software benefited the most. The industry’s growth skyrocketed”. 

The Minister who spoke through Dr Engr. (Mrs) Falilat Jimoh, Digital Architect Manager, NITDA, said, however, one of the greatest challenges the software industry is facing today is issues of quality. 

He referred to a report by Synopsys Inc in the US which finds that many organisations allow software quality to lag behind other objectives, but that lack of attention comes at a steep price. 

“In 2020, the cost of poor software quality in the US was approximately $2.08 trillion. That is why software quality assurance and testing is a big industry today. According to a comprehensive research report by Market Research Future (MRFR), ‘Software Quality Assurance Market information by Solution, by Deployment, by Organization Size and Region has been forecast to reach USD 14.01 billion market size by 2027’”.

“There is, therefore, a need to take full advantage of the opportunities the software industry is going to play in the digital economy growth while ensuring the challenges that could hinder software quality do not thwart the progress we have collectively in the digital economy sector”. 

Pantami, therefore, said that the theme of the first edition of the Software Testing Conference: ‘Impact of Software Quality Assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy’ is apt as effective software quality assurance in the Nigerian Digital Economy will greatly impact the digital economy’s accelerated growth. 

“Web portals and apps are now part of our daily routine. This conference provides the platform to discuss and share our ideas on the use and need for Software Quality Assurance and its effect on the Nigerian Digital Economy.  

“In the last two decades, there has been an upsurge in the use of Digital technologies all over the world. Nigerians are not left out in the uses of digital technologies in services provision, trade, socializing and communication with one another. Consequently, Nigeria has seen tremendous growth in digital services, ranging from eCommerce to Fintech Services. Therefore, the potential of the digital economy to create economic growth, employment and innovation cannot be underestimated. 

“Bearing in mind the importance of a digital economy, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, approved our request to redesignate the Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy on the 17th of October, 2019. The change was officially endorsed at the Federal Executive Council on the 23rd of October, 2019 and the process of implementing a digital economy for the country began on the 24th of October, 2019, which was approved as the Digital Nigeria Day. 

“The redesignated Ministry also had an added mandate of developing the digital economy in line with the focus of the Federal Government and the first step was the development of a Policy and Strategy to drive the development of the Digital Economy.

“Specifically, the ICT sector provided 3 unprecedented contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country in the last 3 years, namely 14.07% in Q1 2020, 17.92% in Q2 2021and 18.44% in Q2 2022. At each time, that has been the highest-ever contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP. This is unprecedented in our history. 

“We have shown that the digital economy can greatly support the traditional economy.  

“The contribution of the digital economy to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria and its role in making the economy resilient to adverse events like the COVID-19 pandemic are 2 good examples of the impact of the digital economy on the traditional economy.

“Software quality assurance has a great role to play in accelerating the achievement of the objectives of Nigeria’s Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) pillars. The pillars are Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development and Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society and Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Promotion and Adoption. 

TestNigeria Conference 1.0

“With the transition to digital platforms, we must ensure our digital products are tested and certified by members of NGSTQB and if there is a need, a member of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB).  

“We would strengthen our partnership with the NGSTQB to provide training on software quality assurance to many interested individuals. 

“With higher user expectations and the need to deliver higher–quality software, Software Quality Assurance testing and certifications are a must. Everyone in the software business knows the landscape is constantly changing, and testing helps to manage the risks associated with the development and adoption of software. 

“Considering the potential growth of software, the economic and risk-reducing benefits of software quality assurance; there is a need to develop the necessary capacity in software testing and quality assurance to tap this aspect of the software industry. 

“The mission of NGSTQB is ‘to generate public awareness of the economic and risk management benefits that professional software testing practices offer’ is in line with these needs. 

TestNigeria Conference 1.0

“By ensuring the software we use in business or governance for public service delivery, and social and economic activities are certified, it has the potential to greatly enhance cost-effectiveness, reduce security breaches, promote product quality, and ensure better user experience and customer satisfaction”. 

He said that the Ministry is always willing to partner with relevant stakeholders to advance the course of software quality assurance and testing to promote a sustainable digital economy in Nigeria. In conclusion, it is worth noting that Software Quality Assurance will boost the quality of digital products and services in Nigeria and, in turn, positively impact the Digital Economy. 

TestNigeria Conference 1.0 sponsored by Inlaks, Global Accelerex, Quality Certain, Altaviz Support, The Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) and others, featured networking cocktail, keynote presentations, panel sessions and fireside chat including special sessions on Software Test Improvement in Organisations; Growing Software Testing Ecosystem in Nigeria’s Educational Sector, and the Need for Certified Test Professionals in Organisations.

Speakers:

Speakers at the two-day conference include Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (Nigeria), Mr Hakeem Fahm, Hon Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Olivier Denoo, President of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), Mr Bob Van de Burgt, the Test Maturity Model integration Foundation (TMMi) Local Chapter Manager, Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, Director of IT, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Babatunde Oghenobruche Obrimah, Chief Operating Officer, FINTECH Association of Nigeria, and Dr Chika O. Yinka-Banjo, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Lagos.

Others are Mr Koye Sodipo, Senior Product Owner, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr Abimbola ‘BB’ Babalola, Head, Testing Centre of Excellence (TCoE) Digital Organization, Sterling Bank PLC, Mr Yusuf Abba-Kyari Kura, Software Quality Assurance Manager, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Akinyemi Adejuwon, Quality Assurance Engineer, Global Accelerex, Mr Femi Niyi, Chiarman Board of Trustees, Coderina and Mr Collins Onweagba, Atlavitz Support Limited.

In his message to the delegates, Mr Boye Dare, President of NGSTQB, said that while businesses all over the world are transforming themselves to adapt to this new normal, the software industry globally is reaping the benefits of the Covid-19 due to increased demand for technology. 

In his words, “In Nigeria, companies are starting to look inwards for their software needs which have now led to an increase in the demand and acceptance of indigenous software. We can boldly say that Covid-19 has opened a floodgate of opportunities for the Nigerian software industry and presented a gateway to emancipate the industry from the clutches of imperialism.

“If Nigerians, including the government, begin to buy from Nigerian software providers, Nigeria would have an industry that would internally generate over $2 billion annually and that alone would spiral into other African countries, then to other countries all over the world.

He added that TestNigeria Conference is the first software testing conference in Nigeria that was purely dedicated to all things software testing and quality assurance.

“The central objective of TestNigeria Conference is to create a forum for professionals to discuss how the Nigerian IT ecosystem can start developing quality software that meets international standards and help achieve Nigeria’s Digital Economy Strategy”, Dare said. 

TestNigeria Conference 1.0
TestNigeria Conference 1.0 organising committee

Recommendations:

– Delegates called on the government to back NGSTQB as a platform to chat about the course of software quality assurance in Nigeria to promote the digital economy.

– Delegates sought for more synergy among industry players to push for ‘Nigeria software’ adoption 

– The conference stressed the need for skills development to bridge the gap created by brain drain in the sector 

– Industry players pledge willingness to support NGSTQB in implementing the recommendations from the conference.

TestNigeria Conference 1.0
A cross section of speakers, panelists and some attendees at the TestNigeria Conference 1.0 held in Lagos recently
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GAIN and Afreximbank Empowers Young African Entrepreneurs

The program GAIN-AFREXIMBANK Masterclass on Entrepreneurship and Intra-Africa Trade is an empowerment program.

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GAIN and Afreximbank Empowers Young African Entrepreneurs

Grand Africa Initiative(GAIN) in collaboration with Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) trained young African Entrepreneurs from across Africa.

The program GAIN-AFREXIMBANK Masterclass on Entrepreneurship and Intra-Africa Trade is an empowerment program.

This is part of the Africa Export-Import Bank’s effort to increase participation of African young entrepreneurs in cross border trade and expand trading activity under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is pivotal to the continent’s economic transformation.

Grand Africa Initiative (GAIN ) is a Pan-African Non-governmental organization helping African young men and women, between 15 and 35 years, develop and harness their unique ideas, talents and abilities for success in education, entrepreneurship, innovation and employment. Training, empowering and providing technical support to African young men and women by equipping them with digital, leadership, employability, and entrepreneurial skills for self-sustenance.

The program was designed to equip young African entrepreneurs who were selected from across Africa with skills to build and scale their businesses across borders; learn key insights that will help them identify opportunities in various African Markets, expand their businesses, manage trade finance, form partnerships, grow their income, leverage the opportunities of the AfCFTA, attract foreign direct investment and create employment for more youths.

The program received applications from one thousand, three hundred and seventy-six (1,376) young African entrepreneurs from twenty-nine(29) African countries  across the five(5) regions in Africa out of which two hundred (200) were selected. The participants were selected based on the set criteria .

The program kicked off on the August 8th, 2022  with a virtual opening ceremony which had the Executive Director Grand Africa Initiative-GAIN, Ms. Chinwe Okoli; the Senior Manager, AU/AFCFTA Relations and Trade Policy, African Export-Import Bank Mr Babajide Sodipo and the Keynote Speaker His Excellency Thami Mseleku, the High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, selected participants and members of the public in attendance.  It was a 3 month program that had intensive live masterclass facilitated by global experts and leaders in various aspects of business who brought to class experience and mastery. The participants learned from facilitators  from Africa, America, and Europe who covered fifteen(15) broad topics,which was followed by mentorship and business advisory sessions with experienced mentors and experts in various business sectors.

Expected outcomes of the program include: Increase in the number of properly structured businesses, rise in international business partnership deals between young entrepreneurs to promote Intra-Africa trade, emergence of new breed of global entrepreneurs in Africa, creation of more job opportunities for Africa youths. Beneficiaries of the program have been  equipped with skills and knowledge needed to  beyond build globally competitive businesses, record higher trade volumes, position, and expand their businesses to take advantage of the AfCFTA and contribute to economic development of Africa.

The immediate impact of the program can be seen from the participant’s testimonials about the program:

“This program is top notch. It went beyond my imagination. I applied SWOT techniques to strategise my business which really helped out these 3 months”.  Amina Onawo Mohammed, CEO Unique shis Green Products Ltd, Nigeria

“Before I joined this program, my ideas were not structured and I was blind to the possibilities out there and how I could benefit from ACFTA. This program has introduced the idea of networking and the importance of having a clearly defined strategy and branding”. Robert Chikuse, CEO Rowdach Enterprise, Malawi

“The program is an important step towards opening up African opportunities.  Expanding the youths engagement in the International Trade and exports market”. Kevin Maino, CEO Regime CONSULTIUM ENTERPRISE, Kenya

“I want to deeply say thank you to Grand Africa Initiative-GAIN and AFREXIMBANK  for this and life transforming Masterclass, I have learnt a lot from both the sessions as an Entrepreneur and I have been equipped with the relevant knowledge and information to excel in my business world. The class and mentorship sessions by GAIN professional mentors and other industry experts is highly commendable. The communication of the GAIN teams is also top-notch, And I recommend this Entrepreneurship Masterclass to other people. All thanks to Ms. Chinwe Okoli, God bless GAIN and team, God bless AFREXIMBANK”. Godswill Nnabugwu Alegu, CEO GOLDEN PRIMEGA ENTERPRISES NIG. SERVICES, Nigeria

“To be part of this program was needed in a time like this. I need to be challenged and see that my business is not about my small country. It opened my eyes to more African countries,more opportunities.It showed me mentors and business I can learn from”.  Gaëlla Abizera Gahama, CEO Gaaga Hair and Makeup, Burundi

“The GAIN-Afreximbank Masterclass is what every African entrepreneur needs”.  Augustine Sensie Bangura, CEO Sierra Agri foods, Sierra Leone

“This program is mind blowing and it has widened my knowledge on marketing and the facilitators were professionals”. Musisi Clement Isaiah, CEO Moruta Investment Co. Ltd, South Sudan

“I gleaned and absorbed so much from the program. I am ready to elevate my business and best prepared for trading in Africa ”. Sandiswa Mgolozeli, CEO Epitomely Interior Doctors, South Africa

“It has really been value packed as it expanded my boundary of thoughts to seeing possibilities”. Markus Matthew, CEO Macfeshi Technologies, Nigeria

“This training is extremely relevant for the African SME, it shifts one’s mindset from business for daily survival to lasting legacy”. Mkhudzo Hamoonga, CEO Nobility Accounting & Advisory, Zambia

“GAIN-AfreximBank, thank you for the opportunity to network and learn. The lessons were quite amazing. GAIN went all out to find key industry leaders and speakers who shared so much needed information, which is very impactful in my business operation. This has indeed been an amazing experience. I am confident that through the tools shared, my business will grow”. Mosebetsi Rapitso, CEO Iconics Pty Ltd, Lesotho

“I can say I have gained more than what I have expected from this training. Overall the training was so good that I have decided to suggest others to participate in similar future training organized by GAIN-AFREXIMBANK”. Tihtina  Belamo, CEO TABOR CERAMIC, Ethiopia

“I have learned beyond what I expected. I have taken several master classes and GAIN-AFREXIMBANK master class is the best so far”. Ngwain Sih Elisabet, CEO Phoenix revival association, Cameroon

“During the course of this training, I have been able to generate more streams of income by expanding my business. This training surpassed my expectations”.  Letsogile Serojane, CEO Magmr Holdings, Botswana

“Before I joined I had no mode of my business, I was just doing business just to keep myself busy and know that I’m doing business but after my masterclass it’s when I’m really a business woman. Now I see my sales getting into the numbers that I never expected, African Entrepreneurs need a masterclass such as this”. Jacqueline Kawishe, CEO BARRON GROUP OF COMPANIES, Tanzania

The role of youth entrepreneurs cannot be overemphasized in unlocking the economic potentials of Africa and building a  strong economy in Africa and the world at large, hence, GAIN is focused on promoting youth development for empowerment by continually designing programs aimed on building the capacity and igniting the positive energy of the greater segment of Africa’s population – the youth.

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