Convener of the Hardware Convention 2021, Mr Tochukwu Chukwueke, has advised the federal government to fund local equipment innovators to reduce capital flight on Nigeria’s machinery imports which stood at $9 billion in 2020.
Chukwueke gave the advice in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos and said the Hardware Convention 2021, organised by Clintonel Innovation Centre (CIC), a hardware Start-up Incubator, was held from August 26 to 28, in Aba, Abia State, to showcase made-in-Aba equipment.
Chukwueke said the incubator provided training, mentoring and equipment for young people to create engineering innovations, build indigenous products and start up technology businesses.
According to him, negligence of the hardware sector is one of the major reasons Nigeria is suffering 33 per cent unemployment rate and 60 per cent poverty rate.
“The hardware sector is responsible for producing and maintaining the tools, machines and equipment required by the manufacturing sector, which is a major employer of labour.
“Today, Nigerian industries rely heavily on importation for virtually all the machinery they use, causing Nigeria to lose a lot of forex and the Naira to depreciate in value.
“Last year, Nigeria imported machinery worth nine billion dollars and three billion dollars for manufacturing tools.
“The hardware sector is also responsible for producing military equipment as well as several consumer goods like electronics and domestic appliances.
“Until we pay serious attention to developing the Nigerian hardware sector, Nigeria may never experience any meaningful development, job creation or poverty reduction,” he said.
NITDA Kickstarts Application Process for MassChallenge Nigeria Programme
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced the commencement of the Application Process for the Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria Programme (B2MC).
It may be recalled that early this year, NITDA signed a partnership arrangement with MassChallege, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. The partnership was aimed at stimulating economic vitality and job creation in Nigeria by catalyzing entrepreneurial activity and supporting entrepreneurs as they develop and execute on game-changing ideas, digital technologies, and discoveries.
The commencement of the application process followed a comprehensive stakeholder engagement with key players in the ecosystem. These include Government, Academia, Enterpreneurs, Angels and VCs, Corporate Organisations, Media, and Influencers.
The application is open to entrepreneurs who want to take their businesses to the next level. Early-stage and growth-stage startups from all over the country, working on innovative solutions from any industry are encouraged to apply.
Successful applicants will participate in an intensive, 4-month program that encompasses both online and in-person portions where startups develop and implement bespoke project plans to further their localisation journeys. They will also receive:
tailored mentoring and coaching offered by NITDA and other local mentors, local and global mentors of the MassChallenge network and the entrepreneurial ecosystem; tailored curriculum based on startups’ specific needs; investment opportunities by facilitating connections to investors and a private demo-day; and Access to the MassChallenge global network.
Speaking at the official launch of the application process, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General/CEO, NITDA, said “a vibrant startup ecosystem is highly critical to the future of our country and it’s vital to finding solutions to our numerous challenges. Innovation is a prominent way of creating prosperity for all and lifting countries out of poverty. He further noted that “Considering this, NITDA and MassChallenge have continued to partner in this new initiative to catalyze and foster the growth and success of the country’s startup ecosystem in line with the vision of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the event, Siobhan Dullea, CEO of MassChallenge, said “MassChallenge is excited to be working with NITDA to help entrepreneurs in Nigeria grow locally while having access to the MassChallenge global network. We look forward to working with NITDA to continue to support and grow the Nigerian innovation ecosystem.”
Interested applicants and those wishing to learn more about the programme are encouraged to visit the B2MC Nigeria website. Note that Applications for the B2MC Nigeria programme closes on the 24th September, 2021.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. NITDA was established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy as well as coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Section 6(a & c) of the Act mandates NITDA to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria; develop guidelines for electronic governance and monitor the use of electronic data interchange and other forms of electronic communication transactions as an alternative to paper-based methods in government, commerce, education, the private and public sectors, labour, and other fields, where the use of electronic communication may improve the exchange of data and information.
MassChallenge on the other hand is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, more than 2,300 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $5 billion in funding, generated more than $2.7 billion in revenue, and created more than 136,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at masschallenge.org
Entertainment & Media Revenues Rebounding Strongly from Pandemic Slump- PwC
The latest edition of PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021 – 2025 revealed that the global entertainment & media (E&M) industry has regained its momentum, with revenues outpacing the economy as a whole. Further, Nigeria’s booming video games and TV subscription revenue will push its five-year CAGR to more than 10%.
The E&M industry, which is estimated to be over US$2 trillion, is on track to grow 6.5% in 2021 and 6.7% in 2022, fueled by strong demand for digital content and advertising. The renewed growth follows a challenging 2020, when in-person entertainment plummeted, including a 71% decline in movie theater box office revenues. These figures come from PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021-2025, the 22nd annual analysis and forecast of E&M spending by consumers and advertisers across 53 territories.
Other findings in this year’s Outlook include:
- ● The 3.8% decline in global E&M revenue, from US$2.1trn in 2019 to US$2.0trn in 2020, was the biggest year-on-year drop in The Outlook’s 22 years. But there were bright spots in a number of E&M segments created by shifting consumer demand.
- From 2021 to 2025, we project global E&M revenue to grow at a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.0%, taking industry revenues to US$2.6trn in 2025.
- Traditional TV/home video remains the largest E&M consumer segment (US$219.0bn) but will continue to shrink (-1.2% CAGR) over the next five years.
- Video streaming boomed in 2020 and its growth trajectory will continue. Streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% to 2025, making it an US$81.3bn industry. Meanwhile, cinema revenues are projected to rebound in 2021 as lockdowns ease but will not recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024.
- Video game and esports revenues continue their rapid ascent, reaching US$147.7bn in 2020, with a 5.7% CAGR projected to expand the segment to become an almost US$200bn business (US$194.4bn) by 2025.
- Virtual reality (VR) is the fastest-growing E&M segment, albeit from a small base. Its revenues surged by 31.7% in 2020 to US$1.8bn and are projected to sustain a CAGR of 30%+ over the next five years to reach US$6.9bn business in 2025.
- Music is poised for robust growth following a massive 74.4% slump in live music revenues in 2020. We expect total music revenues to grow at a 12.8% CAGR over the next five years, fueled by digital streaming, which will expand to become a US$29.3 bn business by 2025, along with a return to live performances.
- Spending on internet advertising rose by 9% to US$336bn in 2020, overtaking non-internet ad spending for the first time, and is projected for strong growth of 7.7% CAGR over the next five years.
- Internet access accounted for 34% of E&M spending in 2020 and will increase at a 4.9% CAGR, from 2020’s US$694bn to US$880bn in 2025. Mobile internet access will drive market growth, with revenues rising at a 6.1% CAGR from US$449bn in 2020 to US$605bn in 2025, underpinned by the spread of 5G, advances in handset technology, and premium content bundles.
Femi Osinubi, Partner and Telecommunication, Media & Technology Leader West Market, PwC Nigeria, noted that:
“the impact of the pandemic on the E&M industry was mixed. Some sectors of the industry were among the most heavily affected by shutdowns, and others were among the chief beneficiaries of shifts in behaviour.
Nigeria’s gaming industry and TV Subscription were some of the winners that emerged as a result of the pandemic. The major driver being the migration to digital consumption of entertainment and media. As consumers stayed home and in-person venues shut down, the use of in-home digital services soared.”
Werner Ballhaus, Global Entertainment & Media Industry Leader Partner, PwC Germany, said: “The pandemic slowed the entertainment and media industry last year, but it also accelerated and amplified power shifts that were already transforming the industry. Whether it’s box office revenues shifting to streaming platforms, content moving to mobile devices, or the increasingly complex relationships among content creators, producers and distributors, the dynamics and power within the industry continue to shift. Our Outlook shows that the hunger for content, continued advances in technology and new business models and ways of creating value will drive the industry’s growth for the next five years and beyond.”
Generational shift: Youth will be served
Not surprisingly, many younger consumers have little awareness of, or interest in, traditional media. On the other hand, media platforms designed for young consumers or that enable lightly-produced, authentic content have boomed. Gaming is central to the youth movement and is becoming a significant driver of data consumption – in fact it is on pace to be the fastest-growing content category in that regard, accounting for 6.1% of total data consumption globally by 2025, up from 4.7% in 2020.
Regulatory shifts: pushback on platforms
The regulatory scrutiny of big tech is yet another shift impacting E&M. Antitrust pressures have increased with calls to break up big tech platforms along with government proposals for new media regulations. Changes to current regulatory regimes are inevitable and it’s vital that E&M players incorporate regulatory risks in their planning processes.
Osinubi concluded: “Even in the areas that offer the most compelling topline growth – like video streaming – the nature of competition is likely to change dramatically over the coming years. And all the while, the social, political, and regulatory context in which all companies operate continues to evolve in unpredictable ways. All of which means that sitting still, relying on the strategies that created value and locked up market share in the past, will not be the most effective posture going forward.”
Earth Networks and NiMet Announce Weather Services Partnership
Earth Networks, a global provider of weather intelligence, announced on Wednesday it formed a partnership with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet). The agreement includes a five-year collaboration to build the Nigeria Total Lightning and Mesoscale AWS Network (NTLMAN) for early warning of severe weather. The partnership was commemorated during a live virtual Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony from Abuja and Germantown, Maryland.
Under the agreement, Earth Networks and NiMet will deploy and operate a comprehensive early warning lightning detection network in Nigeria and jointly co-market new sources of weather and lightning data to public and private industries in Nigeria. Precision weather stations and lightning sensors will be hosted at NiMet locations and maintained by NiMet staff.
In addition to the network equipment, Earth Networks will also provide training and development for NiMet staff regarding use of comprehensive weather data, including real-time and historical lightning data, weather observations, sensor forecasts and live storm-tracking and alerting.
This new agreement with NiMet supports Earth Networks’ commitment to build sustainable public-private weather information services partnerships with countries around the globe. Government agencies and private enterprises in Nigeria alike will now have access to a complete suite of visualization, forecasting, storm identification, alerting, and tracking services, developed and offered jointly by NiMet and Earth Networks.
This cooperation means any industry affected by weather in Nigeria, including aviation, oil and gas, mining, and manufacturing, can now take advantage of the most technologically advanced severe weather alerts and data to promote safety and ease operational challenges caused by weather.
“We’ve been working in more than 25 countries in Africa since 2013 to save lives and protect property with high-resolution weather and lightning data,” said Jim Anderson, Vice President of Global Sales at Advanced Environmental Monitoring, Earth Networks’ parent company. “We are excited to partner with NiMet to help accelerate the expansion of their high impact weather forecasting capacity and bring new weather warning services to enterprise customers in Nigeria.”
In his remarks at the virtual MOU signing ceremony, U.S. Embassy Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer Adam Jagelski said the partnership between Earth Networks and NiMet will help expand Nigeria’s capacity to accurately provide critical weather forecasting information and climate services, supporting Nigeria’s economic development by protecting the lives and property that are critical to several key sectors.
“The signing of this MOU is exemplary of the mutually beneficial partnership model U.S. businesses can employ to engage the Nigerian market,” Jagelski said. “I am thrilled to see Earth Networks using the partnership model to bring the expertise of one of America’s truly innovative companies to the strategic infrastructure sector in Nigeria. We hope to see more of America’s premier companies developing partnerships as a means to bring their best-in-class products and services to Nigeria and the whole of Africa.”
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