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Broadband Commission Seeks Action to Accelerate Connectivity and Progress on SDGs



, SiliconNigeria

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development called for a joint global effort to achieve universal and meaningful connectivity by 2030 at its annual Fall Meeting held today at UN Headquarters in New York.  

According to the Commission, the collaborative effort must ensure that people around the world are not only connected, but that they also have the skills and knowledge to use that connectivity.  

The Broadband Commission—a high level public-private partnership fostering digital cooperation and developing actionable recommendations for achieving universal connectivity—stressed that accelerating universal and meaningful connectivity through partnership and cooperation is essential to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.   

“We need to build a digital future that is inclusive, affordable, sustainable, safe and people-centered,” said Commission Co-Chair Carlos Slim. “There should be no digital deserts in the world, and there should be no one excluded from connectivity. People have the right to enjoy a safe, productive and affordable online experience. Broadband should enhance the quality of life of everyone.”  

At the meeting, the Commission called for innovative investment models to bring together private and public stakeholders to deliver meaningful access and content to those most in need.

“As technology advances and 2.6 billion people remain unconnected, it’s crucial to prioritize universal and affordable broadband access, coupled with investments in digital skills, and the elements that truly define meaningful connectivity, such as inclusive and localized digital content, accessible hardware, cybersecurity measures, and policies that ensure digital inclusion for all,” said Hon. Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation representing Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Co-Chair of the Commission.  

The Commission’s meeting comes amid the recent ITU announcement that 2.6 billion people across the world still lack access to the Internet in 2023. The reduction from the estimated 2.7 billion people offline in 2022 leaves about one-third of the global population unconnected.  

This year’s Annual Meeting also took place ahead of SDG Digital, an event convened by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to highlight how digital solutions can support the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

“Tech is racing ahead and billions of people are being left behind,” said ITU Secretary-General Doreen Bogdan-Martin, a Co-Vice Chair of the Commission. “Our task is to invest in affordable broadband, digital skills, and everything that makes connectivity meaningful.”  ​

​At the meeting, the Broadband Commission launched “State of Broadband Report: 2023 Digital Connectivity – A Transformative O​pportunity.” The latest edition of the annual report reviews the progress of seven Global Advocacy Targets and highlights the opportunities that would come from broadband that is universally available, equitable and affordable.  

This year’s report notes that market trends for consumption and supply are shifting despite gains in connectivity. Those trends may not be strong enough to guarantee that the objective of universal and meaningful connectivity will be met by 2030.  

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NCC is Building Robust Legal Frameworks for Data Governance- Danbatta



, SiliconNigeria

The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said that data is critical to the digital economy, and assured that NCC is building robust legal frameworks for data governance.

The EVC stated this as one of the lead expert speakers at the 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) on Internet Governance for Development (IG4D) with the theme “5G Data Governance, Safety and Security in Nigeria,” organised by ITRealms Media Group.
Danbatta, who was represented by the Head of New Media, NCC, Dr. Chidi Diugwu, said that the amount and speed of data generated using 5G technology is unprecedented and beckoned on citizens to embrace it and use it to the fullest. “As we embrace the transformative potential of 5G, we must also prioritize safety concerns,” he asserted.

As such, he pointed out the need to always prioritize consumer privacy, transparency and ethical data use. Maintaining that by cultivating trust and handling data responsibly, would unlock the full potentials of 5G technology and promote innovation in Nigeria.

“To ensure the security and protection of networks and consumers, the Nigerian Communications Act mandates its licensees to prevent their network facilities or services from being used in, or in relation to, the commission of any offence under any law in operation in Nigeria. In this regard, licensees are required to assist the Commission and other Law Enforcement Agencies in preventing crime in Nigeria,” he said.

The chairman of 2023 Nigeria DigitalSENSE Forum (NDSF) and President, Computer Society of Nigeria (NCS), Prof. Simon Adesina Sodiya, said the internet is a global connection of networks, that provides opportunity for people to share information in order to connect to one another.

Also, Sodiya said, the internet is like an open space, which any body could use for communication, connection, sharing resources, hence most organisations, individuals are connected to internet.

On the internet, Sodiya explained that the importance of data security and governance cannot be over emphasized, thus the essence to come up with guidelines, procedures, rules, for realistic usage of internet.

“It will not be done by government alone, it is multi-stakeholders efforts, which include government agencies, civil society organisations, individuals, and ICT professionals among others,” Sodiya said.

The chairman of 2023 NDSF equally noted that internet governance is very important because there are lots of criminal activities going on in the internet, however people who fall victims are not aware of these cyber criminals.

“Apart from criminal activities, we should not forget that our children are in schools and have been given opportunity to use internet. They should use it for something meaningful that will develop their life positively and not negative aspects. For instance, I have seen a father who said he found his 12-year old child watching porn videos,” he said.

What government needed to do, according to Prof Sodiya is to educate parents on how to provide use of internet for their children. Advising that parents should block some aspects of internet that might endanger the life of their children.

The Business Development Executive, Wizzhub Technology Limited, Mr. Uzor Francis, said he educated participants on benefits of 5G, such as speed carrying capacity, how much integral benefits and inter-connectivity of the devices that internet offers, as 5G enables most of these things.

About challenges of 5G, especially on security, Uzor said that will require enlightened participants on some of the measures, urging Nigerians to mitigate the challenges they may face while using 5G mobile services.

“It is important that 5G goes round not only to the cities but also in the villages so that everybody has access to it, to enhance connectivity for communications through the internet,” he said.

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Africa Region

Africa’s Smartphone Market Declines 3.4% In Q1



, SiliconNigeria

Africa’s smartphone market declined 3.4 per cent quarter on quarter (QoQ) in Q1 2023 to total 17 million units, the lowest level of shipments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Q1 2020.  That’s according to the latest figures announced by International Data Corporation (IDC), with the firm’s newly released Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker showing that rising inflation and local currency depreciations against the U.S. dollar have negatively impacted demand for smartphones across the continent.

Shipments of feature phones across Africa also declined in Q1 2023, although not to the same extent as smartphones. Feature phones remain relatively affordable and are still the preferred secondary device option for many consumers.

“Africa’s smartphone declined throughout 2022 amid weak consumer demand, and this has been exacerbated by rising inflation and higher device prices,” says George Mbuthia, a senior research analyst at IDC. “The average selling price (ASP) for smartphones grew QoQ due to high import costs and the fact that many vendors’ flagship devices are now equipped with 5G and have therefore moved up in price to the premium segment.”

Africa’s top 3 smartphone markets recorded a mixed performance in Q1 2023. South Africa and Nigeria both saw shipments decline QoQ, while the Egyptian market registered growth. South Africa was impacted by seasonality issues and weak demand, meaning vendors were unable to bring in new units while they continued to clear the channel. Egypt remains below its potential, but local assembly is picking up in the country and the government has now dropped its “letters of credit” requirement for vendors, both of which have helped the market to recover from its low base.

Transsion (Tecno, Itel, and Infinix) accounted for the largest share for smartphone shipments across Africa in Q1 2023, despite experiencing a decline in units. Samsung placed second, while Xiaomi came in third.

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Halogen Group Takes Technology & Risk Advisory Top Honours At OSPAS Awards



, SiliconNigeria

It was double honors for Halogen Group, Nigeria’s leading security risk advisory and integrated security solutions company at the recently concluded OSPAS Awards. 

The OSPAS – Outstanding Security Performance Awards – is a prestigious global award scheme in which the UK based organizers give highly coveted recognition to the top performers in the security sector across the UK, Europe, America and Africa.

At this year’s awards, which took place during the SECUREX Security exhibition and conference held in Lagos, Halogen emerged the Outstanding Security Equipment Installer/Integrator Company of the Year 2023 while Halogen Risk Advisory and Consultancy Services also won the Outstanding Risk Management Solution 2023.

The chief executive officer of Halogen Group, Mr. Wale Olaoye, described the twin awards as a reflection of the organisation’s unending culture of innovation and excellence.

Olaoye noted that it is particularly instructive that while Halogen has been recognized for several years as OSPAS perennial winner in the manned guarding category, the company emerged number one this year in the two highly competitive and critical new frontiers of security technologies and security risk Advisory and consulting.

“We are excited to be voted by this distinguished jury as the Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator Company of the Year 2023. This award is a reward for our dedication to the innovative deployment of technology to meet market demand in today’s digitally connected and technology driven world.

On the global recognition given to the Halogen Security Risk Advisory and Consulting Services, the Halogen boss affirmed his company’s strategic focus on leading new thinking that challenges and disrupts old models of providing security services, thereby helping to enable sustainable security to its diverse clients in an increasingly connected, open & volatile world.

Olaoye restated the company’s commitment to deepening its leadership of the West African private security sector by championing future compliant knowledge and in-depth mastery of emerging security risks and threats.

He explained that this distinctive strength defines Halogen’s superior capacity to help individuals, enterprises and governments with data driven analytics & Security Risk Advisory in the areas of security strategy & policy development.

Halogen which unveiled its digital transformation a few years ago has maintained its strong leadership of contract security and manned guarding with over 20,000 guards nationwide, serving top economy players across critical sectors. By its twin win at this year’s OSPAS as Outstanding Security Technology Leader & Outstanding Security Risk Advisory & Consulting Service, the group has further asserted its leadership of the post digital era.

Halogen provides leading edge security solutions across cyber security, security technologies & trackers, policy consulting, outsourcing, identity management, background checks, secured mobility & digitally enabled event management & security. The company is a yearly top performer at the prestigious OSPAS awards.

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