More than 100 of West Africa’s most influential IT and business decision makers gathered online this week for the 8th annual installment of the IDC West Africa CIO Summit , with Kashifu Inuwa, director general of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) presenting the day’s opening address.
Hosted on IDC’s industry-leading digital platform, the event brought together senior business leaders, influential IT heads, and respected industry analysts to share their collective expertise around the theme ‘Innovative Digital Strategies: Evolving to the Demands of a New Reality’.
“Evolving to the demands of a new reality will require changes in approach to connectivity and IT infrastructure, security, workforce, and customer experience,” said Mark Walker, IDC’s associate vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa, as he welcomed the delegates. “Executive buy-in and collaboration across lines of business and technology leadership will be key to facilitating this transformation.”
“Securing this executive buy-in will require a clear focus on the individual goals of the entire C-suite,” added Oluwole Babatope, IDC’s senior research analyst in West Africa. “Indeed, IT leaders should ensure innovative digital strategies incorporate the CEO’s goal of customer experience, the CMO’s goal of customer engagement, the COO’s goal of customer journey, and the CFO’s goal of cost management.”
The IDC West Africa CIO Summit 2021 combined presentations, panel discussions, real-life use cases, and individual technology tracks to give delegates exclusive guidance on overcoming the challenges that lie in wait. IDC’s chief research officer, Meredith Whalen, presented the Summit’s keynote address, ‘The Future Enterprise: Developing Digital Resiliency ‘, in which she warned the region’s businesses that COVID-19 will not be the last disruption they face.
The event also played host to the launch of IDC’s CIO Advisory Council for West Africa. The council is an independent industry body tasked with spurring collaboration, incubating innovation, and accelerating the proliferation of new technology trends across the region, and its esteemed members for 2021 include: Bukola Ajetunmobi, CIO, Providus Bank; Oluwaseun Solanke, CIO, Airtel Nigeria; Prasanna Burri, Group CIO, Dangote Group; Richard Amafonye, CIO, Wema Bank; Tobe Nnadozie, Divisional Head, Business Technology & Digital Innovation, CSCS; Godfred Ofori-Som, Head of IT, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation; Tagbo Nnoli, CIO, Polaris Bank and; Foster Ekuede Lelekele, Director, Management Information Systems, Ghana Highway Authority For the very first time, this year’s IDC West Africa CIO Summit incorporated a dedicated CIO Masterclass Arena that attendees were able to access throughout the course of the event. This section of the virtual platform showcased a series of exclusive CXO best-practice presentations, fireside chats, and panel discussions with more than 30 respected industry thought leaders from global and regional pioneers such as HSBC, Chevron Corporation, McDonald’s, Levi Strauss & Co., Toyota, OANDA, ARB Apex Bank, and Nigeria’s Central Securities Clearing System.
IDC would like to thank the following partners for their invaluable contribution to the success of the IDC West Africa CIO Summit 2021: Summit Partners: VMware and UiPath; Platinum Partners: Palo Alto Networks, Dell Technologies, Citrix, Poly, and Open Text; Technology Focus Group Partners: Darktrace, Check Point, Hewlett Packard Enterprise operated by Selectium, ManageEngine, and FireEye.
WATRA Advocates E-Governance and Technology to Boost Jobs for Youths In Nigeria, W/Africa
WEST Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) has advocated greater adoption of e-Governance and concerted effort to expand the digital economy in Nigeria and other countries of West Africa.
The executive secretary of WATRA, Aliyu Yusuf Aboki stated that this will boost investment and create quality jobs for young people in Nigeria and West Africa. He stated that despite the comparatively low rate of literacy in West Africa, there is a very wide scope for digitizing government services.
He said he sees the enormous opportunity for e-governance as he travels across the 15 ECOWAS states. He explained that governments at all levels could increase their taxes dramatically by digitizing the identities of taxpayers and tax collection processes. He also emphasized that there is a great opportunity to expand access to education and healthcare through digital tools.
WATRA is a regional organisation that has the mandate to promote the adoption and harmonization of regulations that stimulate investment in telecommunications and increase affordable access for citizens.
The WATRA boss cited the example of India where over 1 billion citizens, including the poorest citizens, could easily receive or make payments using their telephones through a government-supported platform, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
Other government-backed digital schemes in the country enable municipal governments to manage healthcare online and citizens to store and readily access government documents such as tax returns on their phones.
Aliyu pointed out that the digitalization of government services has transformed the lives of the 273 million Indians who are classified as living in poverty. While noting progress in the adoption of ICT to deliver and manage government services in West Africa, the WATRA boss emphasized the need to scale up existing schemes in the sub-region.
Inlaks bags Outstanding IT Company of the Year in Ghana
Inlaks, a leading African systems integrator and financial technology solutions provider, has been recognized as the Outstanding Information Technology Company of The Year, at the Ghana-West Africa Business Excellence Awards (WABEA), 2021.
The award is in recognition of Inlaks’ outstanding achievements as an information technology institution that provides customer-centric IT solutions in Ghana, Nigeria, and other respective West Africa business regions.
The annual awards ceremony is targeted at recognizing the industry’s merits and set a benchmark for excellence, whilst rewarding innovative ideas that have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the development of various sectors in the West Africa sub-region to attract investors into the region.
Country Manager of Inlaks Ghana, Yacoba Esther Amuah, expressed her excitement about the award, emphasizing that it is a great honour to the company to be recognized at such difficult times when the entire world is merely surviving in the wake of COVID-19.
“We have been in the market for a great number of years, and everyone knows the impact of COVID-19 on businesses so to be recognized as outstanding in the midst of all this is a great achievement and we are really excited about it,” she said.
Furthermore, she pinpointed that professionalism has been the hallmark of Inlaks, putting customers at the centre of everything that the company does to ensure optimum customer satisfaction.
Touching on the way forward and what clients should expect, she said: “They should look out for products and services that are going to meet their needs because with the onset of this pandemic, everyone has been talking about digitization and we are poised to work with customers to meet their digital needs.”
Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Sahara Africa, and partners with OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers. Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure solutions provider in the region, helping customers to effectively seize new markets and service opportunities.
The event, organized by KN Unique Communications and endorsed by West Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was attended by distinguished business owners, government representatives and industry leaders that have played various significant role in the development of various sectors in their respective West African countries.
Inlaks is a leading system integrator in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company partners with leading OEMs in the technology industry to provide world-class information technology solutions that exceed the needs of its customers.
Over the years, Inlaks has built a reputation as the foremost ICT and Infrastructure Solutions Provider, helping customers effectively seize new market and service opportunities.
With an impressive customer base that includes six Central Banks in West Africa, 18 of the 24 banks in Nigeria, and other major customers in the West African region, Inlaks has become the dominant Information Technology Company in Africa.
Inlaks’ customers cut across various segments including Banking, Telecommunication, Oil/Gas, Power, Utilities, and the Distribution sectors of the economy.
Facebook Rolls Out Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Emerging Markets
Facebook has announced the launch of Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa, a new, lightweight version of the Instagram app for Android that uses less data and works well across all network conditions.
The new version of Instagram Lite for Android is less than 2MB in size, making it fast to install and quick to load. It also has improved speed, performance, and responsiveness. Instagram Lite not only works similarly to the Instagram app for Android, but it allows the Instagram experience to remain fast and reliable for more people, no matter what device, platform and network they use.
Commenting on the rationale for introducing the app to Sub-Saharan Africa, Engineering Manager for Instagram Lite, Peter Shin said, “Connectivity in the region can be unstable, slow and expensive, making it challenging for people to have a high-quality Instagram experience. Many people were already familiar with the concept of a Lite app after the successful roll-out of Facebook Lite some years ago. We started testing the new version of Instagram Lite when people across the continent started asking for a Lite app for Android. The feedback was very positive and we are excited to launch it across the continent today”.
“Our team aims to leave no one behind, so today we are very excited to bring Instagram Lite to people in over 170 countries, including the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region,” he added.
Instagram Lite is similar to the core Instagram app experience, though some features are not currently supported, such as Reels creation, Shopping, and IGTV. Instagram Lite is likely to gain appeal to users in locations with limited bandwidth or high data costs, especially in the developing world.
Instagram Lite is currently rolling out in over 170 countries, and Facebook remains committed to building and improving the app to help everyone in the world connect to the people and things they love.