Access Partnership, a leading global public policy firm for the technology sector, today released a Fair Tech Institute whitepaper outlining the urgency with which governments and the private sector need to leverage satellite technology for more effective disaster management efforts in Africa and globally.
This whitepaper comes after organisations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, Vision of Humanity and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) all agree that weather-related disasters are likely to become more frequent and widespread in coming years, thanks to climate change.
According to the whitepaper, this increased frequency of natural disasters is set to overwhelm National Emergency Telecommunications Plans (NETPs) and terrestrial service providers currently in place to minimise and mitigate the human and economic cost of adverse weather events.
“Putting in place satellite services and next-generation satellite-enabled connectivity can mean the difference between saving millions of lives and losing them,” says Ivan Suarez, senior policy manager at Access Partnership, adding that this move can also reduce government expenditure during and post-disaster.
Providing unique data, the document forecasts the economic impact and future burden countries will face if disaster communications planning is not taken seriously. “The impact of natural disasters will be concentrated among low- and middle-income countries, which are relatively less prepared to adapt,” adds Suarez.
The paper shows that natural disasters currently cost the agricultural sector of these economies more than USD 108 billion in damaged crop and livestock production. Should the level of financing in climate adaptability remain low, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that climate change adaptation and natural disaster damages could cost developing countries a range of USD 280 billion to USD 500 billion per year by 2050.
To reduce the socioeconomic impact of climate-related disasters, governments are encouraged to increase investment in physical and social infrastructure and allow for the upscaling and acceleration of far-reaching, transformational adaptation strategies. This includes the effective use of satellite networks and next-generation satellite technology.
“As shown by this study, we need a concerted effort to fix the underlying inefficiencies of our current, existing communication systems. The paper highlights that the availability of communication networks is directly related to the ability to respond quickly to emergencies,” Suarez concludes.
The whitepaper emphasises the need for the development of emergency telecommunication plans (NETPs) given the crucial role telecoms can play in saving lives and protecting communities when disasters strike.
Considering their unpreparedness to bear the financial costs and the need to protect human lives, collaborative efforts between governments and the private sector are urgently needed to maintain adequate NETPs.
Engaging Government Key To Technology, Innovation Ecosystem – VFD Group
Caption: L-R: Executive Director Governance, Government & Subsidiary Relations VFD Group Plc, Niyi Adenubi; Executive Secretary, LSETF, Teju Abisoye, Board Chairman LSETF; Bola Adesola and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the VFD Booth at the LSETF Employment Summit in Lagos
The executive director Governance, Government & Subsidiary Relations at VFD Group Plc, Niyi Adenubi said engaging with government is very crucial to technology and innovation ecosystem as many organizations pivot to the technology industry and emerging markets continue to evolve.
Adenubi encouraged top and budding players in the innovation ecosystem to engage the relevant stakeholders for the development of the sector, noted that engaging governments and policy leaders has become imperative for corporate bodies to improve economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Speaking at a panel session on “the role of regulation & ease of doing business in reviving employment” at the LSETF Employment Summit in Lagos, she stressed that, “Tech enthusiasts need to be in the room where policy conversations are being had to create a macro-environment that empowers diverse communities.”
On building these inclusive communities, he added that, “VFD Group is a sector investor and is constantly on the lookout for spirited engagements that can further growth. We believe engagement is important and we are always ready to start these conversations. Fintech has been exciting for us and we see other relevant sectors growing. We are encouraged by the government of Lagos State and we will do more to drive the conversation.”
Adenubi’s session which was moderated by managing partner, TNP, Baba Alakolaro, had in attendance the special adviser to the President of Nigeria on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole; CEO, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Olaoye Jaiyeola; Stears Head of Intelligence, Michael Famoroti and CEO, Happy Coffee, Princess Adeyinka Tekenah.
Airtel Offers Free Calls to Support Nigerian Families and Friends in Ukraine
Airtel Nigeria, has announced that customers on its network can now call their loved ones, family members and friends in Ukraine for free and without any conditions attached, noting that it is important to provide unhindered access to everyone who needs to reach out and connect with their loved ones in Ukraine at this time.
The free call service to Ukraine is available to both prepaid and Postpaid customers and apply to both mobile and fixed line numbers in Ukraine.
Commenting on the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Surendran Chemmenkotil, said, “Airtel understands that many Nigerians are anxious about the safety and whereabouts of their friends, family members and loved ones in Ukraine and want to stay connected real time with them. It is our belief that this service will provide unfettered access to everyone that wishes to connect with their loved ones in order to offer them the much needed comfort and succour that we all crave for at this difficult time.
“At Airtel, we love to connect deeply with our customers and we are always inspired to lend our support as we believe that we are one big family. We will always stand by our customers and continue to offer opportunities and innovative offerings that will make life better for them,” he said. The free call service to Ukraine is subject to Airtel’s Fair Usage Policy.
NCC Equip 60 Graduates With Digital Skills and ICT Tools
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently fulfilled its pledge to provide additional practical training for the maiden graduates of the 9mobile/Digital Bichi Emirate Entrepreneurship Initiative.
The two-week training conducted at the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) Kano provided 60 graduands with skills training in six key areas of mobile devices repairs, solar installation & maintenance, digital marketing, graphic design, web design, and video edition & animation.
Speaking during a special event to mark the end of the training, the executive vice chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, represented by the head of Broadband Unit, Special Duties Department, NCC, Engr. Babagana Digima congratulated the graduands, His Highness Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero and the faculty for facilitating the training.
He said, “I will like to acknowledge our collective efforts here today, particularly to the Bichi Emirate under the visionary leadership of His Highness, the Emir, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, for conceiving the Digital Bichi Initiative, Advancing Digital Opportunities Foundation (ADOF) for facilitating the training and 9mobile for providing technical support to the graduands.
“We also recognize DBI for designing the practical skills training, providing trainers and their facility, and the Commission for its sponsorship and provision of a laptop for each of the participants to help them towards being independent and becoming self-employed, which is the expected outcome of the training.”
Commending the NCC for putting together the advanced digital skills training, Chairman, Board of Directors, EMTS, and Emir of Bichi, His Highness, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero said, “You will recall that during my coronation lecture in August, the EVC of the NCC promised to compliment the training received by the first set of graduates we produced. What we are witnessing today is the fulfillment of that promise.
“We are most grateful for the support we continue to receive from the NCC and our other partners. We are confident that this initiative will enjoy growth and sustainability as long as our partners remain firmly behind us. I urge all graduates to make the best use of the training they have received and continue to improve on themselves. On our part, we will continue to strive to make more opportunities available to our people in the journey to continue to empower and improve their lives.”
The event was attended by representatives from 9mobile, NCC, DBI and Bichi Emirate.
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