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Artificial intelligence: Spendify Technologies Promote Financial Inclusion in Africa with App



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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

SPENDIFY Technologies, an online finance technology company has launched a generative Artificial Intelligence product code named “OLA” to address crises arising from limited access to financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Addressing newsmen at a press conference in Lokoja, Mr Philip Etim, founder of Spendify Technologies described “Financial inclusion” as a crucial enabler for the attainment of many of the goals in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said available data had revealed that approximately 66% of sub-Saharan Africans are considered underserved and have limited access to financial services.

Etim said that the innovation which would also address and general financial exclusion crisis will be utilized on the Spendify mobile app and web platform and useable on personalized individual WhatsApp.

He said that the new features on the Spendify Mobile app reduces the gap by ensuring better money management for all, through educating users on financial literacy.

The situation, according to him, exacerbates poverty, hampers personal financial management and hinders economic growth at large and on the short and long run.

He said that the application which helps individuals to manage their little available resources effectively with budgeting, tracking expenses and income and investment targets people from all social strata including students.

“The application features a chat-based platform, budget manager, in-built financial educator and an Artificial intelligence (AI) tool that detects spending trends and alerts users on deviations from their budget.

“In this current state of high inflation and high cost of living, with the use of spendify mobile applications on your phone, be it android, iOS and web, one can easily budget, tracks expenses and income, get reminders on outstanding bills or debts and get real-time reports by simply asking to OLA”, he said.

Etim stressed that the Spendify Mobile app is user-friendly, and can be downloaded across all devices adding that the app’s cloud-based architecture ensures users’ data is encrypted and stored safely in the cloud.

“The app offers much more than just expense tracking. It enables users to change their financial habits, monitor their financial status, personalized advice, receive financial tips and performance reports to aid their journey towards financial stability.

Ameh Friday Onuche, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the company, also speaking, stated that the Fintech company was pioneering personal financial management features by utilizing generative artificial intelligence.

Onuche said that the AI is being used to bridge significant disparities in the field of personal finance adding that this innovative approach sets Spendify apart as the first Fintech organization to offer such comprehensive capabilities.

Ayodele Aransiola, Product Manager and the Developer Advocate, in his remarks said, “Our mission is to remove the obstacles that prevent individuals from efficiently handling their finances.”

“We understand the challenges posed by managing multiple apps, dealing with high costs, and lacking essential financial knowledge. By addressing these barriers, we empower individuals to effectively manage their money and achieve financial well-being”.

The mission of Spendify Technologies is to increase financial inclusion and literacy, and improve users’ financial habits, commitment, and control. A personal financial infrastructure for underserved in Africa, promoting financial literacy and inclusion.

Spendify Technologies, which completed the 2020 Forbes Digital Startup Accelerator Program, was founded by seasoned professionals with years of experience in finance and software infrastructure development. (Ends)

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Tech Giant Cisco, kicks off Cyber Security Training in Imo




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Tech Network Security giant, Cisco will be providing cyber security week-long training in Owerri starting 14 October, 2022 at ICAPS, along egbu road, before Owerri Mall.
The training which is part of Imo State plan to become Nigeria Digital Capital, is being provided as part of IMO State Digital Cyber Security week which is in partnership with Cisco.

The Commissioner for Digital Economy and E-Government, Dr. Chimezie Amadi made the disclosure in Owerri while addressing Imo Ecosystem/hub leaders on Thursday in an initial briefing and introductory conversation on the Imo digital plan of the Imo state government.

Dr Amadi expressed excitement and readiness to work with young people and communities who are already doing great work around the digital sector.
He said that the Imo State Governor have been bitten by a digital bug, hence his decision to digitalise Imo State and provide all the necessary support and resources required to achieve a Digital Imo State.

The Hon Commissioner assured the Ecosystem/ Hub leaders of his commitment to bring his wealth of knowledge, experience and network to ensure that Imo youths are up skilled and connected to global opportunities.

He promised to also use government and other platforms and partnerships to market talents from the Imo Ecosystem.

He used the opportunity to invite the entire imo youths to the official flag off and training program of the Cyber Security week which is in partnership with Cisco, today 14 October, 2022 at ICAPS, along egbu road, before Owerri Mall.

Also present in the meeting is the Special Adviser to the Imo state governor on Public Enlightenment, Prince Eze Ugochukwu who expressed readiness to work with the Imo Ecosystem/ hub leaders to ensure seamless information dissemination and interaction with the government.

Ecosystem leaders present in the meeting are; Ikenna Okechukwu, Founder Bedrock Initiative; Chukwuma Anurunkem, Founder Imo startups Community, Nicole Njoku, Managing Director MELAN CONSULTS, Chidi Duru Founder of CODEANTS, Excel Ajah, founder Social Media Fest, Iyke Chukwure, founder Urbanize Africa, Uchenna Akujobi, Executive Secretary OCCIMA and a few others

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NITT Zaria, Malaysian Varsity,  sign pact to advance transportation, logistics development in Nigeria 




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The Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology ( NITT) Zaria, Kaduna state and the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) on Wednesday in far away Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the advancement of research collaborations, staff development programs and staff mobility and exchange.

In a statement issued in Abuja by Dr Obinna Nwachukwu, NITT’s media consultant, the MoU was signed by the Director –General/Chief Executive of  the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Dr Bayero Salih Farah and UTM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail and witnessed by the Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Adegoroye Ademola Adewole and High Commissioner of Nigeria to Malaysia, Her Excellency Ambassador Dr Hajara Ibrahim Salim.

The program was initiated by the Director of the Centre for Innovative Planning and Development (CIPD), Prof. Ts. Dr. Muhammad Zaly Shah and NITT representative, Mr Barau Sani in 2020.

Pleased with the collaboration progress, UTM-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Datuk Ts. Dr Ahmad Fauzi said, “This collaboration is an important milestone in the relations between UTM and NITT. For this collaboration to be a success, I hope it can be transformed into tangible results. Therefore, I urge that this partnership continues to be at the forefront in the field of logistics and transportation, where new research and developments will occur.”

In his own speech, Prince Adegoroye Ademola Adewole, lauded the efforts by both UTM and NITT to develop competent human capital in the field of logistics and transportation. He said that UTM was chosen due to its world-class education and research offerings and high employability among its graduates.
To date, 16 NITT staff consisting of 11 PhDs and five MSc are undergoing various programs from in different faculties in UTM adding to the 321 Nigerian active students in UTM.

The agreement signing ceremony was part of a three-day official visit from 24 until 26 August 2022 to UTM’s Research Centres by the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) delegation hosted by CIPD and the Department of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of the university.
The agreement with the UTM Malaysia is in line with the NITT’s vision of seeking partnerships and collaboration with world class institutions to enhance research and development in the institute. Already, NITT has an existing affiliation with the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria for its Mphil and PhD programmes in transport and logistics

Established in 1986 and located on Basawa Road, Zaria, the Institute   was established  to among other things address the problems of the transport sector in Nigeria. It is the apex management development Institute for transport and logistics in Nigeria and the West African Sub-region. NITT promotes career development and professional certification, corporate leadership and strategic management, training, conducts research and advisory services, engages in transport Intelligence and monitoring activities and adapts transport technology to suit Nigeria’s needs.
Recently, the institute secured the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) accreditation to run National Diploma  and Higher National Diploma programmes in the various courses it offers.

According to the DG,  the Institute is  currently been repositioned as the premier integrated transportation training institute in the whole of West Africa  adding that a lot of investments have taken place and more would happen. “It is not only the physical structures that have received facelift, new ones are being constructed; the staff welfare has been enhanced and more staff recruited to beef up our manpower needs. Also, new NITT centres have been opened across the country to make the Institute more accessible to all parts of the country” he said.

He said the new face of NITT was recently unveiled with a clear-cut direction adding that so many things have been accomplished since 2019 when he assumed the leadership of the institute.

“We have streamlined the NITT enabling Act, conditions and scheme of service, broadened the scope of the Institute’s programmes and collaborations amongst other things with support from the relevant authorities; right now there is increased participation on the Institute’s short- and long-term programmes and established annexes in Ebonyi, Kano, Gombe, Ekiti and Katsina states to complement the existing ones in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. Work is also going on in the other centres”

The DG said the Institute is also investing in research and development.
“For instance, it acquired an 84-hectare parcel of land from Kaduna State Government to establish the Institute’s Jathropa Farm for bio-fuel production and secured another 40-hectare of land from Sabon Gari Local Government in Zaria towards building the Institute’s Drivers Development and Training Centre.”
One of its novel innovations is the electric Keke (tricycle) which the DG said they are improving on to the level that it can be used commercially.
“We are also working on the electric car. We have a team of engineers working on the various elements of the electric car in different parts of the country. So, in the nearest future, we will have a breakthrough” he said.

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Tech giants sign agreement to empower African nations on emerging technologies




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Two technology giants, have agreed to work together through a memorandum of understanding signed in Abuja Wednesday to empower African leaders with emerging technologies.

The two giants, Intel Corporation and a pan-African network organisation, AfriLab

The Director, Government Affairs in Africa, Intel Corporation, Dr. Bienvenu Soglo, and an Executive Director in AfriLab, Anna Ekeledo, signed the document on behalf of their organisations.

Intel, the integrated digital technology platform expert promised to bring to bare its experience through artificial Intelligence(AI) to turn around the African fortunes.

The partnership according to Soglo would prepare African leaders for technologies such as AI, Cloud, 5G connectivity, and Intelligent edge such as IOT and cyber security  to drive informed policy making.

Soglo said the partnership would develop a framework that would create awareness and understanding of latest technologies among all categories of African citizens.

He said the partnership had put in place a programme of activities that would boost manpower development  among students in various schools to acquire technological techniques and skills.

He said, “The AI for future workforce will empower the future workforce from technical/vocational schools with necessary AI skills for employability in the digital economy.

“The AI for current workforce is to upskill and re-skill members of the current workforce such as the small and medium scale enterprises for immediate work impact.”
“As Intel looks ahead to the next decade, our ambitions and opportunities have never been greater to unleash the power of data and help advance integrated corporate responsibility strategies in which companies use collaborative models to drive increased value creation and societal impact. 

According to him, “Technology will play a critical role in building a digital future that is  equitable, accessible, and inclusive for all”. 

“That is why Intel launched its new RISE strategy and 2030 goals.”

He said through the strategy Intel is striving to create a more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable future, enabled through its technology and the expertise and passion of its employees. 

“Explaining further he said the RISE strategy, is aimed at making technology fully inclusive and expanding digital readiness which is a new concept in the context of rapid digitalization of the global economy. 

“Digital Readiness encompasses the technical and social skills to use emerging technology, a deep trust in these technologies, and the ability of people to use technologies responsibly and effectively for broader socio-economic benefits.

“Intel is committed to taking the program to 30 countries, enabling access to 30 thousand institution partners, and training 30 million people for current and future jobs by 2030 with the support of government and academia.

“Intel has rolled out the Intel Digital Readiness Program, which aims to empower the wider non-techie audiences with the appropriate digital skillsets, mindsets, toolsets, and opportunity to use technology responsibly in the AI-fueled world. 

Soglo indicated that at Intel their purpose is to create world-changing technology that improves the life of every person on the planet. 

The programs he said includes, Digital Readiness For Leaders which is to empower government leaders on emerging technologies such as AI, Cloud, 5G connectivity and Intelligent Edge including IOT and Cybersecurity to drive informed policymaking.

“AI For Citizens to develop awareness and understanding of AI among the public.

“AI For Youth Program which is to empower school students to learn and apply AI tech and social skills for real world problem solving.

“AI For Future Workforce is aimed at empowering future workforce from technical /vocational schools with necessary AI skills for employability in the digital economy.

“AI For Current Workforce is to upskill and reskill members of the current workforce such as that of SMEs for immediate work impact.

“In addition, Intel has developed several other programmes and initiatives to accelerate digitization globally in the area of the Intel’s Skills For Innovation programme supports educators in leading the transformation of education and preparing students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Other programs according to Soglo include the Intel Partner Alliance programme which offers exclusive resources for AI, cloud, high performance computing, and other solution areas to help plan, build, and deliver more customer value.

“And the Intel Developer Zone provides the official source for developing on Intel Hardware and software where you will be able to explore our most popular development areas and resources.

“Intel Ignite, which is our Intel’s Startup Growth Program; and the Intel Ignite OneAPI for Startups program which is targeting the global start-up ecosystem.

He said Intel looks forward to contributing to the development of the deep tech startups ecosystem as well as working with the entire African Startups ecosystem and all the stakeholders.

“It is an honour for Intel to have the opportunity to contribute to AfriLabs effort in supporting the innovation ecosystem in Africa as well as provide soft landings to international partners.

“At Intel our purpose is to create world-changing technology that improves the life of every person on the planet. 

“Intel put the silicon in Silicon Valley and for more than 50 years, Intel and our people have had a profound influence on the world, driving business and society forward by creating radical innovation that Revolutionalises the way we live.

In her comments, Ekeledo enumerated roles that AfriLab had played in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.

She said the hubs provided by the firm, had provided a conducive, creative and collaborative environment for innovators entrepreneurs, developers and startups to build innovative solutions that could solve every day problems across various sectors.

She said, “They (hubs) also provide the necessary support needed to build successful tech-driven businesses that create jobs and contribute to the social and economic development of the continent.

“AfriLab and Intel partnership will provide African deep-tech startups access to a global wealth of startup support , training , consulting and  resources to grow participants grow their businesses to successful million and billion-dollar businesses while solving real societal challenges,” she added.

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