cdma

The Rebirth Of CDMA In Nigeria – Introducing CAPCOM

Editor’s Note: Oyek Dan is passionate about economics and technology, sees data as the meeting point of these two ends with a vested interest in how this interaction can best be protected. Hence, data security at the front and back end. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Blog.

CDMA is a digital wireless technology that, using spread spectrum technologies, allows many users to occupy the same space, time and frequency allocation in a given band – thus allowing multiple users share the airwaves simultaneously unlike alternative technologies such as the GSM.

Greater spectral efficiency yields greater capacity where greater call volume and greater data throughput, if properly managed, can lead to reduced tariffs for voice and data services. A spectrum in a given sector can give nearly three (3) times the capacity allowance of GSM when using CDMA.

This has, however, not been the case in Nigeria as evidenced in the CDMA segment of her telecom sector. A quick peek into the history of this sector in comparison with its more vibrant competitor, the GSM, brings up some interesting facts.

At first, CDMA operators were granted regional based licenses unlike their GSM counterparts who were issued an open license upon their entry in 2001. As a result, while GSM operators could operate anywhere across the country, CDMA operators were limited to regions and had to purchase more spectrum every time they wanted to penetrate a new region. Expensive and cumbersome, right?

Next, there was the non-existence of the Unified Access Service License (UASL) for CDMA operators until late 2006 when the first UASL was issued, finally giving CDMA operators the privilege of national roaming. Prior to that time, all calls were regional, unlike the GSM operators who had unlimited national access from the onset!

And then, to cap it all, some years down the line, the NCC decided not to release any more spectrum for 5 years. So even if the CDMA operators had found a way around the past hurdles, they were stuck because there was no way to get any more spectrum till the year 2015 when the next official sale of spectrum would be commissioned.

All these, and many more, have led to a moribund segment in our telecom industry and in under ten years, we have the few CDMA survivors trying to survive the political, economic and market situation unique to this sector.

It is out of these ashes that a phoenix arises and a beacon of hope seems to shine upon the sector. This phoenix is CAPCOM, a CDMA operator to be born out of the injection of about $200million into the merger of Starcomms and Multilinks with MTS, all old players in the Nigerian telecom sector. To be owned by MBC (53%), Middle East Capital Group (25%), Helios (11%) and a number of Nigerian companies such as AMCON, CAPCOM is “set to merge the assets of Multilinks and MTS with Starcomms, thus forming a big and strong single CDMA operator …with focus on broadband delivery at its full capacity”.

With each of the merging operators already having their pre-assigned spectrum  the simultaneous consolidation would create a single LTE broadband operator with 20MHz of bandwidth which is double the threshold NCC currently offers to any other operator in the country. This would position CAPCOM as the market leader in high speed broadband service until 2015 when all other operators would be back in the spectrum purchasing business.

With the support of the government, the goal of controlling 70% of the data market in Lagos will be highly feasible and will also present an extraordinary opportunity to target SMEs, households and consumer segments of the market.

Unfortunately, funding and mismanagement have always been the bane of many projects in Nigeria. Considering the high cost of deploying bandwidth and data from the undersea cables to the areas of need, one can only hope that the new management, under the proposed leadership of Stefan Allesch-Taylor (an experienced investor), will have the corporate strategy and skill set needed to maximally utilize every bit of funding injected into the consolidation and that an aggressive expansion policy would be adapted before stiff competition arises in 2015.

[image via Flickr/  indi.ca]

dstv

DSTV, Where Is My 10% Discount?

Yes, DSTV is offering 10% discount on subscription renewal. But how do you get access to this discount?

If you are like me and you make your payment online using Interswitch’s quickteller or via your mobile (mypaga), you might think that the discount won’t apply to you. That’s what I thought too until I contacted the DSTV customer service team. Their response came about 24 hours later but it was very helpful.

So, if you are wondering whether this DSTV 10% discount is real or if its a new trick to get money out of your pocket, read further. Here are the steps I took while making my payment on quickteller.com/dstv and I was still able to enjoy the 10% discount:

  • Log on to quickteller.com/dstv
  • Select the DStv bouquet of your choice from the options listed (N.B: DStv Compact is the same as MINI).
  • Enter your email address, smartcard number (first 10 digits), and mobile phone number. Click NEXT.
  • Enter the DStv subscriber’s name, confirm that your smartcard number was filled correctly.
  • In the ‘amount’ field (after Reference Number), manually enter the discounted amount for your DStv bouquet. Click PAY.
  • Click on your debit card type >>> Interswitch, Verve or MasterCard
  • Enter your card details >>> Card Number and Expiry Date as inscribed on your debit card, and then enter you 4 digit PIN. Click PAY.

Wondering what the discount translates to in Naira? See the image below.

Please note that the discount offer is only applicable when you renew on the same bouquet before disconnection.

NB: This is not a sponsored post.

[image via adsoftheworld]

goal2

Goal-Line Technology: Was That A Goal Against Man Utd?

Cisse heading in the 50th minute of the premiership match between Newcastle and Manchester United on Sunday, October 6, 2012 could have earned Newcastle 1-2 and closed the space of recovery, but the referee nullified it and the game ended in 1-3 in favour of Man Utd.

This takes me back to David Dein, former FA and Arsenal Football Club Vice-Chairman’s video presentation during the Soccerex event in Lagos that showed some errors referees make when trying to judge complicated matters in a football game – this encouraged FIFA to make the decision of introducing Goal-line Technology.

Technology is known for correcting human errors and it seems people rely on it more than their fellow human. So, this time, technology will limit our arguments in football with Goal-line Technology.

What is Goal-Line Technology?

In association football, goal-line technology is a technology which determines when the ball has completely crossed the goal line, assisting the referee in calling a goal or not. In the wake of controversial calls made in the Premier League, 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012, FIFA (previously against the technology) is testing potential candidates for goal-line technology. Nine systems were initially tested, but only two remain. – Wikipedia

Here is an exclusive Q&A session on Goal-line Technology from BBC Sport

After years of debate, is goal-line technology going to be introduced at all matches?

The International Football Association Board voted unanimously in favour of introducing the technology, leaving it up to individual associations to decide whether to implement it into their respective competitions.

FIFA used to be against it, so what changed?

FIFA dropped its long-standing opposition to its introduction in 2010 following Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal against Germany at the World Cup in South Africa. His shot hit the bar and bounced down over the line, but a goal was not given by officials. FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, apologised to the English Football Association (FA) after the incident.

Speaking to BBC Sport this week, Blatter said: “That was the moment for me to say: ‘You can’t afford for something similar to happen in the next World Cup.’ We could say it is a historic day for international football.”
So once FIFA changed its stance, how did it go about finding a suitable system?

Eight systems were initially tested by an independent body. Each company had to demonstrate their technology adhered to FIFA benchmarks. These included notification of a goal being sent to the referee’s watch within one second of the ball crossing the line and strict standards on accuracy. Two companies proceeded to the second phase of testing.

GoalRef and British-based Hawk-Eye were tested again to check their accuracy in “real-world” scenarios – including in poor weather conditions – while floodlights are being used and when players are moving or standing close to the goal posts. They were both successful.

Tell me more about the two systems that have been approved.

Hawk-Eye’s system uses six cameras, focusing on each goal, to track the ball on the pitch. The system’s software uses “triangulation” to pinpoint the exact location of the ball. If it crosses the goal-line, an encrypted radio signal is sent to the referee’s wristwatch to indicate a goal has been scored. The whole process takes less than a second to complete.

GoalRef uses a microchip implanted in the ball and the use of low magnetic waves around the goal. The system then detects any change in the magnetic field on or behind the goal-line to determine if a goal has been scored. The process takes less than one second, with the result electronically relayed to the referee.

So two companies have been approved – what happens now?

The technology will first be used at December’s FIFA Club World Cup and, if successful, at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup.

The Premier League wants to use it “as soon as practically possible”. It will decide, through consultation with member clubs, its preferred system and then make a decision about cost and when to implement it. The Football League will also discuss the matter with its 72 clubs.

Read the full Question and Answer.

[image via Flickr/ gordon2208, tubb]

mobile inn

Rancard Mobility: Innovating Within The Mobile Network – #MoMoNigeria

The last Mobile Monday (September 2012 edition) was great with the enlightening presentation by Inmobi on “what customers want developers to create”. If you missed it, you can find a recap of the event here.

Recent studies have shown that Africans access majority of their online services on mobile. The statistics show that people spend more time on their mobile phones than they spend watching TV or using their computers. This is due to the portability of mobile devices and the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology. These research conclusions clearly show that mobile technology is the next big thing and presents a lot of opportunities for businesses and investors.

So join in on the discussion on the 29th of October, 2012 at the Function Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos Island as the topic of innovating within the mobile network to access the opportunities of mobile technology is what’s up. The event starts at 5:45pm.

A team from Rancard Mobility, a leading provider of mobile content delivery and service management software in Africa, will be at the event to enlighten developers and key business decision makers on how products from Rancard can help them leverage Operator API’s and create unique solutions for their clients.

As usual, there will be refreshments and the opportunity to network with some of the top industry professionals at the event. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to create new business connections and forge your business ahead.

You can register here.

About Mobile Monday

MoMo, Mobile Monday – mobilemonday.net, is a global community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influential’s fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets.

MoMo is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers from around the world. Originating in Helsinki, Finland, in the year 2000, Mobile Monday has grown into the world’s leading mobile community. And currently has presence in over 100 countries.

[image via Flickr/ armandoalves]

nairobi

Collaborative Introspection – A Lesson From The East African Tech Intelligentsia

East Africa’s Silicon Savannah is easily the most talked about region in Africa, as far as technology is concerned. And what’s not to talk about? It would seem that everything that’s anything in African technology happens there first.

Take Kenya for instance — the poster child of the global mobile money revolution and the ascendancy of technology in Africa. It’s got one of the largest concentrations of developer and technical talent on the continent. They are currently building Africa’s first super computer. Its people have shown themselves to be relatively early adopters of useful technology. Nairobi is awash with eager investors, on the hunt for the next M-Pesa. And I imagine that you’d have to watch where you’re going while you’re there — for fear of tripping over the numerous startup incubators and accelerators strewn all over the place.

When an ecosystem has got this level of optimistic tech mojo going for it, relative to the rest of the continent, it becomes really easy to sit back and take long leisurely sips of your own Kool-Aid. You might even get the idea that it’s so good that everybody else should drink it too. Thus, while I don’t think that Kenya’s strides in technology are overrated, I must admit that even I sometimes find the “Kenya this, Kenya that” talk grating, especially when their most significant achievement in terms of commercial viability up to this day is still mostly M-Pesa. I do not think I’m alone in this opinion.

The interesting thing however is that the first people to openly call out the East African tech hype cycle for what it really is come from right inside the Silicon Savannah itself. One writer said Nairobi’s Silicon Savannah needs less money and more modesty. Another cautioned against the influx of what he termed “Vanity Capital”.

It really is interesting. Most tech ecosystems in Africa do not have enough self-awareness to recognise a hype cycle for what it is. Or when they do, they’ll most likely elect to ignore it, determined to milk it for all it’s worth. If that was the case with Silicon Savannah, it doesn’t appear to be so anymore. Instead of becoming predictably defensive and labelling these writers “haters”, who are just trying to “knock their hustle”, the ecosystem seems to be taking these opinions to heart.

Yesterday, I read a post on the iHub blog announcing a meeting for the 18th of this month to take a critical look at the current hype phenomenon – a reality check for the Silicon Savannah. While Kenya’s iHub might not be totally representative of the opinions of East African tech, the fact that they are organising this sort of meeting is indicative that the most influential people in that ecosystem have once again initiated a process of collaborative introspection and self-evaluation, and I’m optimistic that the outcomes of that session will be far-reaching.

Note that I said “once again” in the preceding paragraph. I’ve always been impressed by East Africa’s large concentration of intellectuals in technology who are active in vocal and practical capacities, online and offline. Regardless of what they do, or where they work, you’ll still find them taking a direct hand in stimulating the local ecosystem in whatever ways they can.

Have you noticed how even thought there aren’t many East African tech blogs, we’re always up to date with developments in that space? That’s because they’ve got a strong and highly engaged personal blogging network, and the people that blog are often the same guys who are working on startups, incubators and tech non-profit. They constantly pen their thoughts about current developments, share their knowledge, and stimulate vibrant discussions among themselves, and their activity in these respects ensures that the community is one that is constantly and collaboratively self-evaluative.

In this particular case, it took only a few articles and opinions from thought leaders that echoed what most of them had been thinking, but maybe were afraid to admit, to make the whole ecosystem come alive to their responsibility to take stock and re-evaluate their position.

All of Africa is blessed with countless intellectuals, many of whom are in technology, but change is not happening as fast as one would expect in all the regions because we’ve been mostly lazy. The future of any society is determined not by number of intellectuals but by the role they choose to play in its affairs.

Down here in Lagos for instance, I’m often disappointed to learn of startups, CEOs and other actors who aren’t aware of each other’s existence and aren’t even familiar with competing products within the same ecosystem. That means little knowledge, if any, flows through the ecosystem. That means everyone is on their own, expending precious resources that might have been saved if we chose to share. That means that we can’t identify our common problems, be they of policy, infrastructure or what not, and present a unified front.

That ain’t right, and I hope it changes eventually.

The East African example is by no means perfect, but it’s something we can learn from, nonetheless. After reading that post on iHub, I’ve concluded that a strong and active tech intelligentsia is one of the biggest reasons why that ecosystem is successful and will become more so. Having come this far, I’m convinced that the same collective self-awareness is what will help them map a path through the hype bubble and consolidate their position in African technology.

[image via Flickr/Exfordy]

maliyo game posters copy

Maliyo Releases First Ever Facebook App For African Themed Casual Games

Maliyo Games recently announced the launch of the first African Facebook games app open to all players. The journey started with web browser games, and having recognized Facebook as a converging point for all things social including gaming, it was only natural to take the Maliyo experience there.

All ten (10) game titles including: Okada Ride, Mosquito Smasher, My Village, Naija Hoops, Aboki and others are available for play. The Facebook experience not only comes with the games but has leveraged on the social feature of sharing and competition.

Aside playing the games, users can easily invite friends to play too, and the most fun part is that in addition to sharing scores on social platforms including Facebook and Twitter, the Global leader board allows players to enter scores which is made available to other players.

Simply visit apps.facebook.com/maliyogames to experience all of this.

The start-up was recently featured on CNN Marketplace Africa, 12th October 2012 – to be aired, and is also preparing for DEMO Africa, to be featured alongside 39 other Africa start ups at the inaugural DEMO Africa day in Nairobi taking place between the 24th & 26th of October, 2012.

About Maliyo Games

At MALIYO we have a simple philosophy to share the experiences of everyday Africans with a global audience through games. Our narratives, characters, environments and sounds help us achieve this. MALIYO Games, develops games that share African experiences with a global audience through fun and interaction local gaming content. More at maliyo.com

amazon

Amazon Web Services’ $100,000 Global Startup Challenge

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Start-Up Challenge, aimed at giving promising start-ups an avenue to get noticed and compete for the opportunity to win some great rewards is back this year.

The challenge was launched in 2007 and has helped a number of start-ups get global recognition. This years’ challenge offers prizes including $100,000 in combined cash and credits for multiple winners, VC introductions, PR support, and more.

The entry period begins on September 14, 2012 and ends on November 9, 2012.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Individuals or sole proprietors who are 18 years or older (or the age of majority in your jurisdiction of residence and have the full legal capacity to participate in this contest at time of entry); or
  • Privately held businesses that have not generated more than $10 million USD in gross annual revenues and no more than $10 million USD in outside funding.

What’s in it for you?

  • Meet top investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, NEA, Accel and Madrona Venture Group.
  • Get press and attention for your start-up from top tech outlets like TechCrunch and GigaOM.
  • Receive cash and credits to build your business.
  • Get expert input and advice on your start-up from the AWS executive team.

Prizes to be won:

One grand prize winner will be announced in each of the following categories:

  1. Big Data & High Performance Computing
  2. Gaming
  3. Consumer Applications
  4. Business Applications

Each grand prize winner will be awarded $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in AWS credits, and AWS Business-level support for one year and technical mentorship from Amazon Web Services. The remaining finalists in each category will receive $10,000 in AWS Credits and the remaining semi-finalists will receive $2,000 in AWS Credits. Also, all eligible entrants who submit a qualified entry into the contest will receive $25 in AWS Credits that will be issued at the conclusion of the contest.

Get started

Here is how to get started in three simple steps:

  1. To begin, go here and search for software.
  2. Learn about products, including pricing, support information, and customer reviews.
  3. Launch the product in your EC2 account with 1-Click or, for hosted SaaS software, visit the vendor’s website to sign up.

Are you ready to enter?

To begin, click on the link that applies to your region:

Detailed information on the contest can be found here

[image via Flickr/ mendhak]

safaricom

News From The African Mobile Telecoms Industry – October

Editor’s Note: Here’s a brief of what’s been happening in the Africa mobile telecom industry, courtesy of Global Mobile Daily. With news from telcos such as MTN, Vodacom, and Safaricom in countries like Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, and Kenya.

MTN sells towers to HIS in Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire

MTN Group and IHS have entered into agreements under which IHS will acquire up to 931 mobile network towers from MTN Cote d’Ivoire for US$141 million and up to 827 towers from MTN Cameroon for US$143 million. IHS will be a 100% shareholder of the tower companies to be set up in each country to manage the towers and other passive infrastructure. MTN will become the anchor tenants in both countries on the towers being purchased for an initial term of ten years. According to MTN, the sale of towers is in line with MTN’s infrastructure sharing strategy aimed at the monetisation of its assets and cost optimisation. The transactions are expected to close during the 1Q13, subject to customary closing conditions.

Vodacom SA in new free talk time promotion

Vodacom South Africa has launched the “Extra Time promotion” whereby subscribers can talk for an hour and only pay for the first three minutes. This promotion will run from October 15 to 31 October 2012. The promotion is available to prepaid and hybrid “Top Up” price plan users. The Vodacom Extra Time promotion is available between 7am and 8pm on weekdays and valid for on-net calls only.

Orange Cameroon becomes platform for agricultural information services

Orange Cameroon and local NGO Agrocom have entered into a partnership whereby the Orange network will be used as a platform to relay information from Agrocom’s information website, Agribis. The partnership will enable Agrocom to send and receive around 50,000 SMS per day to its members. Agribis is a website dedicated to the agricultural industry across Central Africa.

Nigeria NCC reacts to hostile press reports

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a statement following reports in local press alleging frequency racketeering, illegal sale of frequencies belonging to the Nigerian police to a private firm, Open Skys, and issuance of frequencies to Smile Communications without due process.  The NCC denied the allegation and clarified that frequencies allocated to Open Skys and Smile Communications followed a due process and that the spectrum allocated to the Police by the Commission is intact and has not been affected by the allocation. Open Skys was allocated frequencies in the 450MHz band in 2009 following a re-farming process during which the Nigerian Police had its frequencies moved. Smile Communications was issued spectrum in the 850MHz band in 2009.

Essar Telecom launches BlackBerry services in Kenya

Essar Telecom Kenya (Yu) has launched BlackBerry services.  Yu has also introduced eight BlackBerry plans from which customers can choose to access email, phone, SMS, Internet, organizer and corporate data applications from a single device. The operator will initially offer BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9780, Curve 8520 and Torch 9800 and first-time BlackBerry customers will enjoy two months free services on the ‘BB Complete Plan’.

Safaricom slashes call rates for mobile doctor service

Safaricom has cut to half the cost of using its mobile medical advice service ‘Daktari 1525’. The service will now cost KES10(US$0.16) per minute. Daktari 1525 is an m-health service that was launched by Safaricom in Nov-2011 in partnership with Call-a-Doc Limited to enable customers obtain medical help from qualified doctors by dialling 1525 through their phones. The service sees 2,000 callers per day and has received over 200,000 calls since its launch.

[image via Flickr/rogiro]

blog

Tips For Students To Generate Unique Blogging Ideas

Editor’s Note: This post is written by Brianne. She is blogger by profession. These days she is working with thegopilot.com in on-line promotion. Here are some tips for students (or young people) who want to start blogging.

Students’ creativity in blogging:

For recent age of revolution, students can get aspirations from several sources of motivated ideas among which blogging has become a newest entity. Apart from the burden of monotonous acclimated performance tests, students can improve their writing skills. This ability has impressed the range of expected result. Free from the apathy, peer marking and sense of arid; students can accelerate and enrich their knowledge through frequent blogging service.

Some brilliant tips to innovate the genuine blog:

Each and every person attached with blogging generally face a scarcity of ideas. It is especially for the students who are also busy enough to build up their root of the career. But in reality, none is new to this problem. There are some contemporary conceptions which can be demonstrated as follows:

  • Ascertain the requirement: To generate unique ideas; at first the subject has to be dealt with the starting point. Imperatively before thinking of progression, establishment should be started from the seed.
  • Conceptualize: It is nothing but the brainstorming method that is to relate objective lines which can generate ideas solely.
  • Fix cynosure: The splendid contingent is to sprout for the solutions to switch off the external agitations. Dissipation should be eradicated to make the bull’s eye on specific performance.
  • Legitimate engrossment: In reality performing magnificently in the field in which someone does not fond of; becomes a massive problem. So bestowed consignment should be the asset here to encompass the creativity.
  • Scrutinize parallel events: To make a potential composition, current affairs in the regular global updates should be taken. This makes an overwhelming upgrade in ideas to implement in writings.
  • Task is nothing but the remonstrance: If the challenge is not propagated in mind; the peerless composition cannot be revealed. So dissension should be made when accumulation of unique interpretation gets started in mind.
  • Use of captivating expressions: To invent contrasting outlook catchy ideas should be utilized in writing. That makes an after-effect of enticement to the readers as well as to popularize and improve the blog.

Remind of most substantial thought before starting blogging:

In any blog it is very imperative to focus what to write and how the contents should disposed. Reader will come back to the blog only if they cherish that specific subject and the composition style. Keeping this concept in mind, the blog should be dashed off in a tone convenient to the pre-specified topic. Personable, dynamic and honest outburst in blog can easily gain experts’ advice, readers’ appraisal and critics which ameliorate dexterity in return.

Conclusion – Blogging as reconnaissance:

With these tips of blogging, the right accession can be opened to the students. But to proceed into the next progression level, productivity and persistence are the most significant factors. With the flow of advancement, blogging must be implemented as the snapshot of exploration, clarification and inquest. So the rigorous barometer of plausibility and proficiency can fabricate chronological architecture of blogging with ease at any instant.

[image via Flickr/ Additive Theory]

jobs

The TEFoundation To Address Nigeria’s Technical And Vocational Skills Gap

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is an African based and funded non-profit institution, dedicated to the promotion and celebration of excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa; the foundation was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu C.O.N., The Foundation’s aim is to drive the continent’s economic growth from within by grooming business students, young entrepreneurs and CEOs of African corporations at various stages of their development.

As part of The Tony Elumelu Foundation effort to enhance private sector competitiveness across Africa, the foundation announced its “Putting Nigeria to Work with Technical and Vocational Skills” programme as the Foundation’s formal commitment at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York, USA. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was established in 2005 by President Clinton, the CGI convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

The programme, which is to be replicated across Africa, is to tackle two major problems facing the Nigerian labour Market, which are: high youth unemployment rate, and the vast vocational skills gap.

Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of The Tony Elumelu Foundation announced at the CGI meeting in New York that “In spite of substantial employment opportunities, the current state of the Nigerian technical and vocational training system – along with the national curriculum and certification process – has not been set up to deliver results in a practical and affordable way. This commitment seeks to address the dual problems of the skills gap and youth unemployment by introducing low cost scalable and sustainable solutions to large scale and practical technical and vocational training in Nigeria.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is pledging to design and deliver a technical and vocational training curriculum over a five-year period in order to address the two key issues. The programme is beginning with a focused development strategy in Lagos, where Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has recognised the importance of technical and vocational education to the development of the state.

Lagos is a vital commercial centre for Nigeria and has reported a need for 150,000 skilled plumbers, electricians, and welders. With Lagos as a pilot, the programme will expand to other key Nigerian cities including Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano, by 2014, with other African cities to follow.

The Foundation will deploy a combination of human resources, grants and impact investments as well as engage in policy advocacy, to deliver on this ambitious goal, and will seek to partner with innovative technical partners, and other interested Nigerian, African, and international philanthropists and impact investors. Relevant private sector industrial and construction partners will also be sought to develop an appropriate apprenticeship ecosystem for students receiving technical and vocational training.

Sunny Varkey Chairman of GEMS Education, and majority shareholder of Everonn India, a partner with The Tony Elumelu Foundation to deliver on this commitment said, “Everonn has developed an innovative, low cost, and scalable model to deliver various types of technical and vocational education to improve the skill levels of Indians in trades as diverse as welding, plumbing, and retail services.”

He continued, “We believe that Nigeria’s demographics make the country a good candidate for a successful transfer of the model to address the country’s skills and jobs shortage and are pleased that The Tony Elumelu Foundation is seeking to partner with Everonn as the service provider to deliver on that promise.”

Upon completion of the business plan and formation of relevant partnerships, The Tony Elumelu Foundation will aggressively drive execution so that courses are delivered within six to nine months, ramping up quickly over the ensuing three years. In parallel, The Tony Elumelu Foundation will work with state and federal level bodies to influence the broader curriculum, certification process, and public technical and vocational training system towards a more practical approach to training for the needs of the current Nigerian market.

Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N., Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation said, “Developing the human capacity of a nation to build a more competitive business environment is the key for any flourishing economy targeting sustained growth. By developing the raw talent and training young Nigerians to become skilled vocational workers, The Tony Elumelu Foundation will be helping Nigeria to take its place on the world stage.”

I hope and Pray for the success of this programme, this programme will surely be a giant step toward curbing unemployment in Nigeria. May God Bless Nigeria.

[image via Flickr/ a_dit.]