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Kano, Jigawa growing youth population can be source of blessing if harnessed – DG NITDA

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NITDA
The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, firmly believe that the ever-growing youthful population of Kano and Jigawa can be a source of blessing of Nigeria if carefully harnessed.

Abdullahi stated this during a presentation at Zoom Webinar organised by Network for Development Foundation, with the theme: Economic Recovery of Kano and Jigawa States Post-COVID19 Pandemic.

He said that the ever-growing youthful population of both states can be a source of blessing if properly harnessed.

He affirmed that if government leverage on the potential of the digital economy to exist, it can also recover from this pandemic, as well as create a sustainable environment to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic era.

Abdullahi further noted that COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown have changed people’s needs and wants as individuals, communities, and governments.

To survive and thrive in the post-pandemic, there is need to reassess and redefine value proposition.

The pandemic has caused an unprecedented upheaval across all industries, with commerce, transport, oil and gas, badly hit. These industries provide a lifeline to the economy in Kano and Jigawa.

He said, COVID-19 has triggered the deepest global recession since the great depression, as data available released by World Bank.

The Bank predicted that the Global Economy would shrink by 5.2%as a result of the pandemic, which is about 7.4T USD.

Even though the ultimate impact is still uncertain, the pandemic has resulted in contractions across the world. Nigeria is not an exception.

A survey carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that many citizens are concerned about their lives and livelihoods.

78% of the respondents were worried about their health while 92% saw the pandemic as a threat to their source of livelihood.

“Crises are recurring events in human history. Some are less severe; others change legislations, world politics, our perception of the status quo, and people’s lives. Humanity had overcome crises like the black plague and Spanish flue before. Therefore, I believe that we will overcome this pandemic as well, and we will come out of it stronger,” he added.

Abdullahi also highlighted some key achievement so far recorded by the Agency, which includes among others, soon to be commissioning of NITDA Northwest Zonal Office situated in Kano.

The office is equipped with state of the art training facilities to train teeming youths from the North West region on digital skills. The training is for all, including facilities for people living with disability, artisans, students and young entrepreneurs.

In Jigawa State, according to Abdullahi, the Agency has a strong partnership with the State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru Abubakar.

We have executed several projects in Jigawa State, we are building ICT Community Centers in the three senatorial districts to engage and train our youth on emerging technologies and entrepreneurship. Also, we have engaged 135 farmers for smart farming aimed at revolutionizing the state agriculture value chain. The initiative, National Adopted Village for Smart Agriculture, NAVSA, is an ecosystem-driven digital platform for transforming the agriculture sector in Nigeria. It was designed to help farmers, agricultural stakeholders, and ecosystem players navigate their journey across the agriculture value chain from farm production to farm management, processing, harvesting, storage, marketing, and consumption.

“The project comes with tailored empowerment and sustainable business models that create diverse opportunities for the agriculture value chain that never existed in our country before. But it was tested and working well in a country like the Netherlands. The Netherlands, when compared with Kano and Jigawa combined, has similarities in population and landmass. Kano and Jigawa combined have a population of about 18.5M, and the Netherlands has about 17M people, inland mass, the two states are about 43,000KM2 while the Netherlands is about 40,000KM2. But, the Netherlands earning from agriculture export in 2019 was 94.5B Euros, which is equivalent to $106.36B USD, while Nigerian earning from oil and gas export in the same year was 5.18B USD. That is the power of smart precision and digital technology in agriculture,” the DG said

As indicated in Mr President’s 2020 Democracy Day Speech, the Digital Economy is critical to Nigeria’s development agenda.

The journey to digital economy started On 23rd October 2019, when President Muhammadu Buhari, re-designated Ministry of Communications to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to drive the positive impact of the digital economy in every sector of the economy.

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PIN, 13 other rights advocates condemn persistent arrests of journalists, threats on media freedoms in Zimbabwe

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PIN

BY: Chisom ADA

Paradigm Initiatives “PIN” and thirteen other global rights advocates have expressed great concern over the growing trend on threats on media freedoms and arrests of journalists and activists in Zimbabwe in recent months.

The statement was signed by Liberia Information Technology Student Union; Association des Utilisateurs des TIC – ASUTIC (Senegal)  Centre for Legal Support in Gambia; Equip Africa Integrated Development Initiative; AfroLeadership; Villes et Communes Magazine; Paradigm Initiative; Gambia Cyber Security Alliance; Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ); Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA); Afrotribune; Association for Progressive Communications and The Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Coalition of organisations and institutions defending and working to advance human rights in the digital age, said these attacks bear no regard to Zimbabwe’s obligations to:

“Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to protect the right to freedom of expression including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice or through any media whatsoever;

“Sections 61 and 62 of the Zimbabwean Constitution which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the media;

“Sections 57, 58, and 59 of the Zimbabwean Constitution which ensure the rights to privacy, freedom of assembly and association and freedom to demonstrate and petition;

The Coalition reminded the Zimbabwean Government of its obligations to the following regional instruments on freedom of expression; African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Windhoek Declaration, African Platform on Access to Information and the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression.

The Coalition noted in the last few days, the increase in random arrests, detentions and questioning of journalists and activists in the course of executing their duties.

“Specifically, in a space of seven days, we noted the arrest and detention of Hopewell Chin’ono – a respected journalist on July 20th, Jacob Ngarivhume- an opposition activist on July 20th and Blessed Mhlanga- a senior journalist on July 25. We are deeply concerned by the recent raid of the Journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu’s home and arbitrary arrest of his sister in connection with his whereabouts on July 30th 2020 ahead of a planned protest on the 31st of July 2020. These sustained attacks on journalists are a disregard for media freedoms.

“We are cognizant of  the Press Briefing on Zimbabwe by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell who expressed the UN concern over the arrests on 24 July 2020 condemning the suggestive acts that authorities in Zimbabwe are  using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

“We take note of the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/44/L.18/Rev.1  which reaffirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular, the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

“We, therefore, echo the  laid out guidelines laid out inof Principle 20(1) and (2) of the Declaration Of Principles On Freedom Of Expression And Access To Information In Africa (the Declaration) adopted by the African Commission On Human And Peoples’ Rights at its 65th Ordinary Session held From 21 October to 10 November 2019 In Banjul, Gambia that the government of Zimbabwe must guarantee the safety of journalists and other media practitioners and take measures to prevent attacks on journalists and other media practitioners, including murder, extra-judicial killing, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, kidnapping, intimidation, threats and unlawful surveillance undertaken by State and non-State actors.

“We also wish to highlight 24 other attacks on media practitioners as documented by the MISA Zimbabwe between March 30th and July 21st  2020 when Zimbabwe went on lockdown. Since then, 3 other journalists were reportedly harassed by the State security agents in Zimbabwe as at 26 July 2020. Journalists including Frank Chikowore and Samuel Takawira are facing prosecution and charged with violating social distancing regulations after attempting to interview three opposition youth leaders who had been abducted and assaulted by alleged security force agents.

“We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to cease this obvious clampdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly especially leading up to the planned July 31, 2020 protest action. We refer to the Ministerial statement dated July 25, 2020, issued by Minister of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting Services- Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, that explicitly states that Hopewell Chin’ono was not arrested for exposing corruption but rather for “using his social media accounts to incite Zimbabweans to violently overthrow the Government”. We wish to remind the Zimbabwean authorities of the aforementioned rights of citizens to assemble and protest peacefully; and the duty of law enforcement officers to provide the necessary protection during such times.

“We call for the Government of Zimbabwe to withdraw all malicious prosecutions against media practitioners and to release  Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume, and to drop all charges against Frank Chiktowore and Samuel Takawira.

“Further, we call upon the Government of Zimbabwe, especially during this crucial time of the COVID-19 pandemic- a matter of life and death, to respect and guarantee media freedoms by ceasing the unfair and unjustified intimidation of journalists to silence dissent. In addition, to avoid using the cover of ‘violating lockdown restrictions’ to mount violent attacks on media practitioners, at a time when citizens depend on them for news and information”, the statement reads.

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COVID-19: Google Doodle promotes wearing of mask

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Google Doodle
Google wear a mask Doodle

BY: Chisom ADA

Google is running a COVID-19 mask Doodle on 4 and 5 August to reinforce the messaging that wearing masks can save lives, in the midst of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the globe.

Google wear a mask Doodle

Google wear a mask Doodle

The Doodle went live across 60 countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya at 3pm on Tuesday, 4 August.

The Doodle clicks through to a COVID prevention Search Results page.

Google is using the Doodle to promote protection of one’s self and others around them by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions.

Google also offered the follow advice provided by local health authority like the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
  • Calling in advance allows your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This protects you, and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections.
COVID-19

COVID-19 statistics Nigeria, global

Masks

Google added that masks can help prevent the spread of the virus from the person wearing the mask to others.

“Masks alone do not protect against COVID-19, and should be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene. Follow the advice provided by your local health authority”, the global tech giant said.

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Nanosatellite and Microsatellite market worth $4.8 billion by 2025

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Nanosatellite

The Nanosatellite and Microsatellite market is expected to grow from USD 1.8 billion in 2020 to USD 4.8 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.3% during the forecast period.

The satellites are used for several applications, such as communication, earth observation & remote sensing, scientific research, biological experiments, academic training, reconnaissance, and various other applications by the defense, intelligence, civil, commercial, and/or government users.

Continuous advancements in the miniaturization of technologies, such as electronics, low-mission costs, and the increasing use of satellite constellations, are major drivers of the market, says MarketsandMarkets in the report.

Some of the prominent key players are:

  • GomSpace (Denmark)
  • Lockheed Martin (US)
  • L3Harris (US)
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation (US)
  • AAC Clyde Space (Scotland)
  • Planet Labs (US)
  • Tyvak (US)
  • NanoAvionics (US)
  • Innovative Solutions In Space (Netherlands)

Earth observation and remote sensing to account for the largest market size during the forecast period

Nanosatellites and microsatellites have brought novel opportunities for earth observation and remote sensing using inexpensive small satellites to capture images of the earth and gather specific data.

Nanosatellites and microsatellites are expected to play a major role in remote sensing missions due to their enhanced computational and communication capabilities, along with competencies in making decisions about the time and data to be shared.

Successful programs to develop and examine advanced hyperspectral imaging systems compatible with nanosatellite and microsatellite missions enable small satellites to generate high-quality complex images.

The commercial vertical to account for the largest market size during the forecast period

The geospatial technology using earth-imaging small satellites for agriculture, education, intelligence navigation, mapping, and other uses, has driven the commercial sector in the past decade.

Nanosatellites or microsatellites help commercial companies gather global real-time data and distribute the same at lower prices to customers across a wide geographic area.

Nanosatellites and microsatellites are used for commercial purposes, such as communication, in the form of voice, data, and videos, internet communication, and video chat. Between 2013 and 2017, almost half the nanosatellites were launched for military or civil missions and the remaining half for business purposes.

North America to account for the highest market share during the forecast period

North America accounts for the highest market share in the nanosatellite and microsatellite market.

The country leads in the adoption of nanosatellites and microsatellites and offers great opportunities for the overall growth of the nanosatellite and microsatellite market. North America has always been an early adopter of new technology or software, and the North American market grows at a faster rate initially as compared to any other region.

The demand for nanosatellites and microsatellites in North America is being driven by the booming digitalization across industries along with surging demand for earth observation satellites.

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