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ICANN rallies stakeholders for Universal Acceptance, local initiatives in Africa

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ICANN
Almost 4.57 billion people were active internet users as of April 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population, according to statistica.com. These billions of Internet users cut across different cultures, languages, economic strata, and education levels.

Thus, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN’s) work, such as helping mitigate DNS abuse, or raising awareness about Universal Acceptance, is towards protecting these users, and creating an environment that is welcoming for the next billion users.

Projections show that many of these next billion users will be from Africa, so that’s why it’s important that stakeholders raise awareness about Universal Acceptance these days.

To further buttress these points, experts in the domain name industry who participated during a Webinar on Universal Acceptance and Local Initiatives in Africa, highlighted the need for technology ecosystem in Africa.

They called on software developers to quickly align with counterparts in other parts of the world.

In her opening comments, the Senior Advisor to President & SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement, ICANN, Sally Costerton, recalled that since 2006, the world of domain names has changed significantly.

TechEconomy.ng learned there are now over 1,200 Top-Level Domains (TLDs), which include suffixes that speak to individuals’ interests and affiliations (e.g., .AFRICA) or are in languages other than English (e.g., .ОНЛАЙН).

Costerton, said however, the majority of Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems are still often developed with rules created over 20 years ago.

This means that many applications and online systems do not recognize or properly process these new domain names or emails associated with them.

Universal Acceptance (UA) is a technical compliance best practice that aims to solve this problem. It ensures that all domain names and all email addresses can be used by all software.

In her words, with this: “Universal Acceptance (UA) is a foundational requirement for a truly multilingual Internet, one in which users around the world can navigate entirely in local languages.”

She said it is important for Africa, with diverse languages, to embrace the call under the Universal Acceptance.

The Vice Chairman, Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), Tan Tanaka Dennis, referred to Universal Acceptance as a fundamental requirement that can be accomplished through the corporation from the technology ecosystem like developers.

In a nutshell, Dennis said that Universal Acceptance connotes an evolution in the internet naming system as people from around the world can effectively use any domain name and any email address.

Speaking on why UA is important to the growth of the ecosystem, he said, it will offer even choice to users.

UASG’s mission, he said, is to “mobilise the software application developers to get their products UA ready by providing encouragement, documentation, case studies, tools and measures to deliver the right user experience (UI) to end user”.

Also during a presentation titled, ‘How Can the Community Be Involved: UA Local Initiatives and the UA Ambassador Program’, the IDN Program Director, Sarmad Hussain, said “The impact is to promote choice, impact and broaden access”, adding that “ICANN’s community has found UA as a priority area”.

Speaking on his experience as UA Ambassador, Abdalmonem Galila from Egypt, stressed the need for more African professionals to join the UA Ambassadors’ Programme as means to intensify UA awareness on the Continent.

Nodding in agreement, the AFRALO Chair, Seun Ojedeji, said that AFRALO will continue to create awareness through Webinars to sensitize members and non-members.

ICANN62 policy forum Fellowship Application closes tomorrow

In his closing remarks, the VP Global Stakeholders Engagement Africa at ICANN, Pierre Dandjinou, reiterated that part of the Universal Acceptance work is towards realizing a multilingual Internet.

He said that this is of utmost importance since the next billion Internet users will probably be non-English speakers. Therefore, stakeholders need domain names in local languages to connect them in the future, and to connect the rest of the world today.

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Danbatta, others show encomiums on Sonny Aragba-Akpore as he bows out of NCC

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NCC

It was encomiums galore recently as Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) bid the Commission’s Head of Media Management and Public Relations, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, farewell following his retirement.

NCC

Former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore (a.k.a ‘The GrandMaster’) during a valedictory session organised in his honour at his retirement by the Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja recently…

The erstwhile Information and Communications Technology/News editor at the Guardian Newspaper, Aragba-Akpore, joined the service of the Commission in 2014.

Speaking at the valedictory party held in his honour on Thursday, July 16, 2020, which was attended physically and virtually by staff of the Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, appreciated the level of professionalism Aragba-Akpore brought to bear on his work at the Commission.

Represented at the event by the Director, Projects, Abigail Sholanke, Danbatta commended Sonny Aragba-Akpore for using his many years of industry experience and knowledge as a media professional and corporate communication manager to create a robust relationship with both mainstream and online media stakeholders, which, he said, has contributed significantly to the overall positive image and favourable public perception of NCC.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Commission, we wish you a successful retirement and fruitful engagements in your future endeavours,” Danbatta said.

In his remarks, Director, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said “Within the short time I worked with Mr. Aragba-Akpore, I found him to be a man of uncommon passion for his work,” describing him as a very committed and hardworking colleague. “We, therefore, wish you increased divine favour, as you retire from the services of the Commission.”

Other staff of the Commission, including directors, deputy directors, middle management staff, among others, took turns to talk about the favourable working relationship they had with Aragba-Akpore while at the NCC and wished him well in his retirement life.

Responding, Aragba-Akpore expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Commission for their support and cooperation during his service and for organising a befitting valedictory ceremony in his honour, saying he enjoyed working with the NCC.

NCC

From left to right: Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Henry Nkemadu; Director, Finance Services, NCC, Mr. Yakubu Gontor; Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde; former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore; his wife, Florence and Director, Projects, NCC, Mrs. Abigail Solanke; Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mr. Efosa; and Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, during a valedictory session organised in honour of Aragba-Akpore, who retired from the services of the Commission in Abuja recently…

“This is one event I will not forget in a hurry. Indeed, I feel I am very lucky and singularly blessed and very appreciative of the privilege to work with a leading telecoms regulator like the NCC. For me, it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

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139 Nigerian students receive prestigious Cambridge International awards

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Cambridge International

BY: Chisom ADA

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award has following categories:

  • Top in the World: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject.

  • Top in Country: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the country for a single subject.

  • High Achievement: learners who achieved outstanding results in subjects which are not so widely taken and which, under the current criteria, would not qualify for ‘Top in Country’ Awards.

  • Best Across: awards issued to learners who attained the highest cumulative standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Nigeria students have once again received outstanding results in their Cambridge International examinations for the June 2018, November 2019 and December 2019 exam series.

139 students have been granted the prestigious Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards in various subjects in Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

The award winners include 16 students who have excelled in subjects such as Geography, Mathematics and Business to receive the ‘Top in the World’ honour.

Cambridge International also granted 101 ‘Top in Nigeria’ awards to learners who achieved the highest standard mark in their country for a single subject, 64 ‘High Achievement’ awards and 10 ‘Best Across’ awards to students who attained the highest cumulative total standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Juan Visser

Juan Visser

Cambridge International’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Juan Visser, said: “Well done once again to the Cambridge top achievers in Nigeria. We are delighted that learners in Nigeria produce such fantastic results year-in-and-year-out; this points to the quality of the schools in Nigeria registered to offer Cambridge programmes.’’

Cambridge International operates in partnership with the British Council in Nigeria.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson

The Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Lucy Pearson, says: “At the British Council, we create international opportunities through our work in arts, English Language, education, administering exams and building stronger societies. The exams we administer help people all over the world gain educational and professional development, so they are better positioned for success in life. Education is a key enabler for these opportunities, and we believe in ensuring young learners have access to world-class education and assessments which we have achieved through our partners Cambridge Assessment International Education and the schools in our Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN).”

The Director Examinations, British Council Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, added: “Through the Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN), the British Council provides professional skills development and networking opportunities to enhance school leadership and teaching talent across our portfolio of about 395 schools across Nigeria.  We not only celebrate student achievement, we also congratulate the school leaders, teachers and parents in promoting excellence in the future of our young learners.  It is great to see the achievements of these students as they embark on their futures in country and worldwide.”

Some of the students who received awards made the following comments about their achievements:

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua from the Lifeforte International High School who received 1 Top in World, 3 Top in Nigeria and a  Best Across Eight in Cambridge O Levels for the June 2019 exam series said: “I am happy that my hard work and prayers had come to fruition. Initially I found the Cambridge programme a bit challenging because I had to take subjects like Economics and Business Studies which were new to me but the practical, application-based, learner focused style of the programme meant that I was soon comfortable with those subjects and my other subjects and able to excel in them.”

He plans to go to Imperial College for a degree in Mechanical engineering.

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal from The Regent Secondary School, Abuja who received 1 Top in World, 4 Top in Nigeria and a Best Across Eight in Cambridge IGCSE in the June 2019 exam series, said: “The Cambridge programme builds a strong foundation for higher education. Even though it requires you to study a specified syllabus, most of what you’re tested on is applied knowledge. This makes sure you really understand what you’re learning. My advice for other students is to firstly find out how you learn. Don’t be afraid of trying different methods until you find what works best for you. The Regent employs various 21st-century learning ideas that have something to offer to everyone. It is also really important to pay attention in class; you’d be surprised how much of the information actually sticks so you don’t have to go home and read everything again. Take advantage of all the resources provided by the school, and work with your teachers to get the best out of the system which offers holistic education.”

Shreya is currently doing her Cambridge International A Levels.

All the top-performing students will receive certificates from Cambridge International in recognition of their achievements.

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Rich Communication Services market worth $11.7 billion by 2025 – report

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BY: Chisom ADA

Globally, Rich Communication Services (RCS) market is projected to grow from USD 5.2 billion in 2020 to USD 11.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2020 to 2025.

In a recent interview the CEO of Kirusa Inc. Dr Inderpal Mumick, actually hinted that the future of Short Messaging System (SMS) is Rich Communication Services (RCS). Kirusa is believed to be very active in the RCS initiative space in Nigeria and Ghana.

The global forecast to 2025 published by MarketsandMarkets shows that major growth drivers for the market include the growing expenditures on digital marketing across verticals.

Some of the prominent key players are:

  1. Verizon (US)
  2. Telefonica (Spain)
  3. Orange Business (US)
  4. China Mobile (China)
  5. KDDI (Japan)
  6. Slovak Telekom (Slovakia)
  7. Telit (UK)
  8. SK Telecom (South Korea)
  9. Telstra (Australia)

Advertising campaign application to hold a larger market size during the forecast period

  • Advertising campaigns via digital marketing is the prominent approach adopted by enterprises to attract customers.
  • Sharing rich media contents have enabled end-users to engage greatly with the enterprises to take benefits of the services.
  • Enterprises being the prominent stakeholders for RCS in the market, advertising campaign application is expected to maintain dominance throughout the forecast period.

Enterprise end user to hold the largest market size during the forecast period

The enterprises throughout verticals are expected to have a significant dependency on SMS for digital marketing.

Deployment of RCS messaging platforms to share media-rich content amongst the end-users is expected to bring growing instances of customer engagements.

North America to hold the largest market size during the forecast period

The RCS market in North America is expected to grow significantly due to the increasing investments by vertical for digital marketing. Moreover, the region is mainly driven by a large number of enterprises investing heavily for an advertising campaign to promote their offerings, followed by intense internet penetration within the area.

Additionally, telcos in North America are amongst the early adopters of RCS which include AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

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