AfricaAfrica AsiaTechTechnology

Nigerian Army urges personnel to use technology to improve your digital skills

The Chief of Training, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Sani Muhammed, has advised officers to take advantage of the availability of technology to improve themselves and fully key into the command philosophy of the Chief of Army Staff.

Muhammed gave the advice at the graduation of the participants of the Leadership Skills Development Course 7/2023 of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), on Friday in Abuja.

He reiterated the commitment of the Army to enhancing leadership skills of officers and soldiers, so as to be innovative in the evolving security environment.

Muhammed said the two-week course was designed to address some of the leadership gaps identified at tactical levels, adding that a lot of improvements were brought into the course.

He said the personnel of the army could not afford to be left behind in the digital age as it is essential to critical thinking and skills in emotional intelligence.

According to him, it is important for them to also take note of the mobile phones which could also be used to conduct a lot of research.

“This is because most of the things that are being taught here are aimed at adequately equipping you to apply them in your daily activities.

“We expect that as you go back to the field, we are going to contact your commanders as a way of getting feedback.”

He commended the centre for it’s commitment to capacity building of army personnel for optimal performance.

The Director General of NARC, retired Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab, said the course was conceived to train and equip senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO’s) and the mid-level officers cadre.

“This is to imbue them with relevant leadership skills, creativity and critical thinking, essential to bridging observed leadership gaps and skills deficits.”

Wahab said the centre had conducted seven editions of the course, adding that the feedback had been wonderful.

He said the course had been expanded to include digital training, which is key for soldiers in the 21st century.

The DG urged the participants to go back to their units and formations and deploy the knowledge acquired in improving their activities.

Giving the course highlight, the Director of Leadership Development Institute, NARC, Brig.-Gen. UM Aliyu, said the course had 60 participants, comprising 31 oofficers 28 soldiers and one civilian staff from the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command.

Aliyu said the course was primarily intended to train NCOs up to lieutenant colonels, to lead effectively in the contemporary security environment and bridge observed gaps especially while operating in joint environment.

He added that the objective was to increase creativity and critical thinking skills for optimum performance.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaTechTechnology

NIGERIA: CCECC Commits to Delivering Abuja Light Rail Project in 8 Months

In line with the determination of President Tinubu’s administration to enhance infrastructure development across the country, Chinese construction giant, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC) has committed to the completion of the Abuja light rail project in 8 months.

The Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, extracted this commitment from the management of CCECC when its Chairman, Mr Jason Zhang, led some members of his management team on a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa today.

Vice President Shettima described CCECC as part of Nigeria’s history, saying the Chinese construction giant has played a pivotal role in developing Nigeria’s landmark projects, adding that their commitment to the development of Nigeria and Africa is commendable.

CCECC will go above board and leave no stone unturned in ensuring the delivery of the Abuja light rail line come May, 2024

“You have been in this country for 42 years. We have to commend you for all the beautiful initiatives and support over the years. We share a lot in common with the people of China, just as you have been with us through thick and thin. You have the financial fire power and the willingness to support Nigeria and other African countries without interfering in our local politics. This we appreciate a lot,” said the Vice President.

Vice President Shettima assured CCECC that the present administration will sustain the existing relationship with the company and the people of China, saying the Abuja rail project, like others, remains dear to President Bola Tinubu and the Nigerian people.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of CCECC, David Waig, reiterated the company’s commitment towards delivering the project within the stipulated period, saying CCECC will go above board and leave no stone unturned in ensuring the delivery of the Abuja light rail line come May, 2024.

He called on the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to engage an operational company that will quickly see to smooth take off of the rail project.

Present at the meeting were the Deputy Managing Directors of the company, Mr Jaques Liao and Mr Inain Guo. Mr Eric Yu, the General Manager (Business) of the company was also in attendance.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaNewsTechTechnology

TECHNOLOGY: Google to Train 20,000 Nigerians in Digital Skills

Google plans to train 20,000 Nigerian women and youth in digital skills and provide a grant of $1.6 million to help the government create 1 million digital jobs in the country, its Africa executives said on Tuesday.

Nigeria plans to create digital jobs for its teeming youth population, Vice President Kashim Shettima told Google Africa, executives, during a meeting in Abuja. Shettima did not provide a timeline for creating the jobs.

Google Africa executives said a grant from its philanthropic arm in partnership with Data Science Nigeria and the Creative Industry Initiative for Africa will facilitate the program.

Shettima said Google’s initiative aligned with the government’s commitment to increase youth participation in the digital economy. The government is also working with the country’s banks on the project, Shettima added.

Google director for West Africa Olumide Balogun said the company would commit funds and provide digital skills to women and young people in Nigeria and also enable startups to grow, which will create jobs.

Google is committed to investing in digital infrastructure across Africa, Charles Murito, Google Africa’s director of government relations and public policy, said during the meeting, adding that digital transformation can be a job enabler.


read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaMobileNewsTechTechnology

SECURITY: Police Boss Relaunches Emergency Response Mobile App

The Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, was joined by dignitaries at the IGP Smart Conference Hall, Louis Edet House, Force Headquarters, Abuja, for the unveiling of the Police-VGS Quick Emergency Reporting and Response System (QERRS), a smart policing initiative aimed at revolutionizing police response to emergency and ensuring swift and efficient action in critical situations.

The Police-VGS QERRS is an application that has been modeled to ensure prompt response and referral in the event of emergencies such as accidents, natural disasters, medical emergencies, criminal incident reporting, intelligence sharing, etc. With the swipe of a button on a phone emergency notifications will be sent directly to a dedicated team of police operatives who will ensure a swift, live, and coordinated response to reach in the shortest possible time. The Police-VGS app is a lifeline that can make all the difference in saving lives, combatting the menace of crime, and securing our communities.

The Ag. Inspector-General of Police, equally noted that the Police-VGS, an additional option to the already launched C4i-NPF Rescue Me App, represents the epitome of the Nigeria Police commitment to the security and safety of members of the public. He further urged every resident of Nigeria to embrace the innovation wholeheartedly stressing that its adoption will impact policing services significantly.


25th July, 2023

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaEconomyTechTechnology

TECHNOLOGY: Why businesses need to consider fixed microwave connectivity- Nikita Appelman

While fibre might be the preferred form of internet connectivity for businesses, getting connected is easier said than done. Fibre installations can take months, or a business might be located in an area that is currently not within the coverage area of a Fibre network provider. There is an alternative, however, as a fixed licensed spectrum microwave can provide them with a fibre-like connectivity experience with link speeds in excess of 1 Gbps where required.

Firstly, it is crucial to understand that not all fixed Wireless services are equal. Fixed-LTE might be a popular option, but services tend to become degraded as soon as higher stages of load-shedding hit and are also defined as a best-effort service. Then, there is a fixed microwave – many people, especially those in urban areas, might be familiar with the round dishes that are fixed to masts in order to have the line-of-sight they need in order to connect.

Microwave services tend to fare much better during load-shedding as they have much better power management on the high sites as compared to cellular base stations, though users will need to ensure that they have a backup power supply for the equipment that is installed on their premises. As a further bonus, bespoke microwave solutions are especially ideal for customers who are located in more rural areas but require stable, reliable internet connectivity.

Open vs. licensed spectrum

But, there are differences even within fixed microwaves: connectivity services offered by many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are aimed primarily at residential users and operate within Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) radio bands, or what is known as Open Spectrum. This means that there is the potential for signal interference with other devices operating within the same spectrum, which usually results in a degraded experience for the end user.

Microwave fixed services that operate in licensed bands are more expensive because the spectrum has to be allocated from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). These high-quality services use a dedicated spectrum that is not allowed to be used by other users. As such there is no potential for interference, even in crowded areas, while users benefit from low latency and high throughput internet connectivity. Using licensed spectrum also allows for significantly higher speeds – between 5Mbps and 1Gbps and special builds ranging to 10Gbps. Unlicenced bands provided much lower speeds.

Fixed microwave brings with it numerous other benefits: in the case of Vox, this includes having relatively quick installation times of the customer premise equipment, and offering customers the ability to have customized solutions to meet their specific business requirements. Dedicated links are far more reliable with service level agreements and Managed 24/7/365 support on all fixed microwave links. These fixed links can also include a dedicated VLAN for Voice to ensure quality of service (QoS) on all additional voice requirements and uncapped voice calling plans.

How businesses can use microwave

For South African businesses, there are currently three main ways in which they can use fixed microwave services. Firstly, they can use microwaves as their primary connectivity if their premises or branches are located in areas where they know that fibre is highly unlikely to be deployed.

Secondly, in areas that have a fibre network, but not last-mile connectivity to their premises, businesses can opt to temporarily use microwave connectivity (given the quick installation times) as a temporary service until they are connected to the fibre network, which can take months.

Thirdly is for businesses to use microwaves as a redundancy (failover) for their primary form of connectivity. In the case of organizations selecting the second option, as mentioned above, the microwave service can be changed from their primary form of connectivity to redundancy once their fibre line has been installed. Beyond just internet access, voice services can also be added to the dedicated VLAN.

While licensed spectrum microwave tends to be more expensive than other fixed alternatives, this is primarily a result of operating within a dedicated spectrum and the equipment required and not the actual data costs. In fact, costs have been coming down as providers offer more aggressive pricing options. As such, a fixed microwave is the most ideal form of connectivity for businesses that don’t have access to fibre (or as redundancy for those that do) as it provides premium, carrier-grade connectivity as opposed to the alternatives that are best-effort services.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaNewsTechTechnology

DIGITALIZATION: The Journey Towards the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023 By Isa Ali Pantami

The Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023 was signed into Law by His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR on the 12th of June 2023.  The Law effectively positions Nigeria to take its pride of place in the comity of nations in the very important aspect of data protection and data privacy.

The Nigeria Data Protection Regulation, 2019

In this article, I will discuss the timeline and catalogue the series of events that have led to the signing of the Data Protection Bill.    The first landmark event took place on the 25th of January 2019 when, as the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), I signed the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR).  This was a subsidiary legislation that derived its powers from the NITDA Act 2007, with specific reference to Section 6.

Prior to the signing of the NDPR 2019, Nigeria had no policy instrument that focused on supporting data privacy and data protection in the country.  Issues bordering on data protection were marginally mentioned in Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended which says “The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondences, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications are hereby guaranteed and protected.” It was also briefly mentioned in the laws of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and a few others, but none had data protection as its primary focus.

On assumption of office as the CEO of NITDA in October 2016, I realized that there was a huge gap in the area of data protection.  This, as well as my strong interest in datafication and my conviction that it would serve as a catalyst for Nigeria’s effective participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, (4IR} informed my decision to lay a strong emphasis on Information Technology Law at NITDA, as well as partner with leading universities in Nigeria to establish a course on Information Technology Law.  This approach enabled us to develop the requisite capacity for developing our indigenous version of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and a number of African countries eventually partnered with us to study and adapt the NDPR in their countries.

In just 2 years of the implementation of the NDPR, a novel sub-sector of the economy was created, Seven Thousand Six Hundred Eighty (7,680) Nigerians were employed. Nigeria was appointed as the Vice Chair of the Data Protection Laws Harmonization Working Group at the African Union (AU)and was the only country in Africa to publish a data protection report in two years.

Establishment of the Nigeria Data Protection Parastatals

To further consolidate the gains made through the NDPR 2019, I sent a memo to the former President, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, on the 13th of January 2022 citing “an urgent need to establish an institution as a government that will focus on data protection and privacy for the country.  An independent Authority is a pre-requisite for international acceptance of Nigeria’s data protection law. The Adequacy referential of the European Union’s Article 29 Working Party; Convention 108 on the Automatic Processing of Personal Information; the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) all prescribe this standard.”

The institution would be an offshoot of NITDA, the Agency that developed and was implementing the NDPR 2019 at the time. Furthermore, I recommended that Dr Vincent Olatunji, the then Director, of the eGovernment Development and Regulations Department and Chairman of the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) Implementation Committee at NITDA, serve as the pioneer National Commissioner/CEO of the new institution.  The proposed institution was to be called the Nigeria Data Protection Bureau (NDPB).  The prayers in that memo were approved and President Muhhamadu Buhari appointed Dr. Vincent Olatunji as the CEO of the NDPB for an initial term of five (5) years.

The NDPB started operations immediately, on the 4th of February 2022.  Part of the remit of the NDPB included the mandate to galvanize all stakeholders for the drafting of a National Data Protection Bill that will ultimately transform the National Data Protection Bureau into the National Data Protection Commission (NDPC). Section 7 of the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023, makes the Commission independent whilst section 64 makes the Commission the successor of the NDPB. Thus by virtue of section 64, NDPB automatically becomes NDPC.

Presentation of the Nigeria Data Protection Bill to the Federal Executive Council ( FEC)

As part of the process of ensuring that Nigeria has principal legislation for enabling data protection and privacy, a draft data protection bill was developed after several stakeholder engagements, comprising institutions and individuals in both the public and private sectors.  I presented the draft bill at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the 25th of January, 2023.  After a very robust discussion at the Council and a few amendments, the draft bill was approved.  Three (3) Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who were also members of the Federal Executive Council, made contributions that significantly enhanced the draft bill and most importantly, converted the Bureau’s status to a commission.

Transmission of the Enhanced and Approved Bill to the National Assembly

Following the approval of the draft bill, the Council mandated me to liaise with the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Honourable Minister of Justice to forward the bill to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill for passage in both chambers of the National Assembly.  Following the transmission of the bill to the National Assembly, I also had several engagements with the National Assembly to promote the bill and give clarity where required.

Approval by Both Chambers of the National Assembly

The draft bill was independently reviewed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, after the letter of transmission of the Executive Bill from the President was read in both Chambers on the 4th of April, 2023.  After comprehensive deliberations in both Chambers, the Senate passed the Bill on the 3rd of May 2023 and the House passed it on the 23rd of May 2023.

Signing into Law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR assented to the harmonized bill on the 12th of June 2023.  The fact that the journey between the transmission of the Executive Bill to the National Assembly and the signing into law by Mr. President took just 70 days is a testament to the fact that the Bill was given the pride of place that it deserves in our digital economy journey as a country.

The signing of the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023, along with the Nigeria Startup Act 2022, both of which I had the unique privilege of midwifing, are very critical and have created a very good foundation for the development of a robust digital economy and a sustainable knowledge–based economy.  I would like to extend my hearty commendations to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR and former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR for their invaluable support towards the signing of the Nigeria Data Protection Act 2023. I am confident that these laws will accelerate the digitalization of the different sectors of the Nigerian economy and history will be kind to all those that played a role in the process.

_Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) CON, former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy is a Professor of Cybersecurity, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State_
July 3, 2023

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsBusinessEntertainmentTechTechnologyWorld

ENTERTAINMENT: Forces of change in the creative industries-Going beyond tech

As we are nearing the end of the first half of 2023, we have all become more comfortable with change and disruption. Whether it is the pandemic, environmental factors, unstable global economic conditions, or tech evolution, we have learned to bounce back quickly. One industry that has had to be particularly agile during the past few years is the filmmaking industry.

Canon’s new report (written in conjunction with The Future Laboratory) – The Future of Filmmaking, reveals the industry’s efforts to be a catalyst of change that inspires the creative industry to transform its narrative and to shine its spotlight on topics that will be significant in shaping the future of our world, and that of the African continent.

Interestingly, the report sheds light on the human landscape and its power to create, cultivate, and drive change. The power of people ultimately makes things happen and pushes us toward progress and advancement in any industry. The report highlights four crucial aspects that may be driven by tech but not necessarily led by tech. In my view, these are significant factors directly proportional to the content creation and filmmaking industries and will undoubtedly shape the future of these industries.

Rise of the Creative Class

According to the UNESCO report, global cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are estimated to generate about $2.25 trillion annually, which accounts for 3% of the global GDP and employment of around 30 million people worldwide. It is fascinating to see the rise of this creator economy, which the report identifies as the “New Creative Class”. As we witnessed an unprecedented boom in digitalization over the last 10 years, this creative class sprang into action using technologies to deliver a fresh and novel take on content creation.

If we lens in on the African continent, which is closer to home and more interesting to me, we see some remarkable trends in the creative economy. In Nigeria, as this report shows, the sector employs 4.2 million people and is expected to employ a further 2.7 million by 2025, an increase of more than 50% in the next two years.

Despite the significant contribution made by the new creative class toward societal and economic progress, there still seems to be a gap in recognition compared to other industries. The emerging community of content creators is striving to achieve fair working conditions, equitable payment models, and new standards in the industry that reflect their value and contributions. This is a positive development for the creative sector in its rightful plea to be recognized and treated fairly compared to other industries.

Stay Local

The explosion of digital technologies may have given us the power to do anything from anywhere, but like all things, too much of anything is not always good and has its own consequences. With the plethora of content choices that suddenly became available for audiences consumers worldwide, an interesting trend emerged. People slowly started taking their eyes off the global stage and shifted their gaze towards local and homemade content that told stories of their land and their people.

Given our natural desire as humans to find meaning, connectivity, and relatability, the narrative of authentic stories led independent storytellers, documentary-makers, content creators, and filmmakers to explore topics that local people resonate with. So, it’s no surprise that global streaming giants like Netflix and Disney are investing in Africa to tap the unexplored potential and talent. The report encapsulates the essence of the ‘Stay global, go local’ movement and asserts that media organizations and creative firms will progressively be compelled to shift sight closer to home when it comes to entertainment and content production.

Conscious Consumption

The current climate crisis affects us all, no matter which industry or walk of life we come from. The severity of climate change needs to be taken seriously globally, and genuine efforts must be made for scaled initiatives to reduce our carbon footprints. The streaming industry is no exception to this; the carbon impact of the industry drastically needs to be reduced by adopting a more sustainable approach towards this issue.

The report underpins the significance of consumer demand as a key driver toward adopting sustainable practices and better industry standards. With people gaining more awareness about the environmental impact of their consumption choices, they are likely to demand pro-environmental practices, thus compelling the industry to adopt a pro-active approach towards sustainability.

Inclusive Innovation

The Future of Filmmaking report highlights the positive development of inclusivity and diversity. It emphasizes that the new creative class is at the forefront of inclusivity and is not afraid to challenge the already-established broadcasters. This new generation of creators identifies technology to harness change and propel social progress. Decentralization will be a key trend touching every area of the industry, from financing to licensing and distribution and more, creating new opportunities for the underrepresented creators and bringing them closer to their fans.

Continuing the Legacy of Storytelling

These trends are a wake-up call to many in the industry to pay attention to the changing needs of people and to evolve with them. However, we must always return to the basics and remember the importance of telling stories. While these trends affect the industry by and large, the shifts create more freedom for storytellers to come forth and tell their stories in unique and inspiring ways, enabling them to create content that is responsive to the tastes, locations, and ethics of their audiences in a way that has never been possible before.

All in all, the report tells me that this is an exciting time to be a creator, with the industry opening its doors to new opportunities that reflect change, growth, development, and progress.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaPoliticsTechTechnology

AFIRCA: Internet access restricted, TV channel suspended amid violence protests in Senegal

Tensions remained high in Senegal on Saturday after fresh overnight clashes brought the death toll to 15 in the two days since a court convicted opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Sonko’s ongoing legal woes have prompted rare flare-ups of violence in Senegal, typically a bastion of stability in West Africa, and foreign allies have urged a return to calm.

Sonko, a 48-year-old former tax inspector, was initially charged with rape but was convicted on a lesser charge of morally “corrupting” a young woman and sentenced to two years in prison.

His conviction may take him out of the running for the 2024 poll.

Clashes between Sonko’s supporters and police broke out after the ruling on Thursday, leaving nine people dead.

Shops and businesses were ransacked.

The army was deployed to the streets but fresh scuffles erupted on Friday night in parts of the capital, Dakar, and in Ziguinchor.

They left another six dead, government spokesman Maham Ka told AFP.

Burned-out cars, tyres, and debris-strewn streets bore testimony to another night of violence.

The government has acknowledged that it has restricted access to social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter in order to stop “the dissemination of hateful and subversive messages”.

Government spokesman Abdou Karim Fofana said on Friday that the violence was not fuelled by “political demands” but “acts of vandalism and banditry”.

“These are difficult times for the Senegal nation that we will overcome,” he told TFM.

– Arrest looming –

Sonko, who was tried in absentia, has yet to be taken into custody for his jail term, which is predicted to cause further tensions.

He is presumed to be at his Dakar home, where he has been blocked in by security forces since the weekend. He alleges he is being “illegally held”.

Sharp-tongued and charismatic, Sonko has drawn a strong following among Senegal’s youth, who love his barbs against a political elite he refers to as the “state mafia”.

He has spoken out against debt, poverty, food insecurity, under-funded health and education systems, and corruption.

Sonko, who has two wives, portrays himself as a devout Muslim and defender of traditional values and has called for harsher penalties for same-sex relations.

Supporters of President Macky Sall, however, see him as a rabble-rouser who has poisoned political discourse and sown instability.

Dakar residents interviewed by AFP said they feared the possible consequences of his arrest.

“I am really scared because we don’t know how this will all end,” said 46-year-old Fatou Ba, a businesswoman in the Dalifort neighbourhood of Dakar.

“If they want peace they won’t go and fetch Sonko,” she added.

Another Dalifort resident, Matar Thione, 32, said he felt unsafe in the country.

“If the protests continue, life is going to get even harder,” he said.

Students have been plunged into uncertainty, forced to leave the capital’s main university campus after violent clashes lead to widespread destruction.

“We didn’t expect this. Political affairs shouldn’t concern us,” said Babacar Ndiaye, a 26-year-old student.

“But there is injustice,” he added, referring to Sonko’s conviction.

– ‘Proud’ democracy –

On Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the violence and “urged all those involved to… exercise restraint”.

The African Union said the head of its executive commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, strongly condemned the violence and urged leaders to avoid acts which “tarnish the face of Senegalese democracy, of which Africa has always been proud”.

The European Union and Senegal’s former colonial power France also expressed concern over the violence.

Rights group Amnesty International has urged authorities to stop “arbitrary arrests” and lift restrictions on access to social networks.

read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaEconomyReportTechTechnologyWorld

ChatGPT has the potential to change our view of the Arab world- Report

Artificial intelligence programs including ChatGPT can deliver more nuanced information about the Arab world, if more thoughtful Arabic content is available online.

That’s the message from Mo Gawdat, former chief business officer of Google X, the tech company’s innovation arm, and author of Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy.

Speaking to The National this month at the International Congress for Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries event in Abu Dhabi, the author laments the lack of rich Arabic discourse on the internet.

Gawdat believes there is a risk that information about the region harnessed by AI applications will lack sufficient depth.

“The later versions of AI, however, will eventually be smart enough to know that reality, and differentiate between the real information and fluff.”

Mo Gawdat at the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries event in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Arabic Language Centre
Mo Gawdat at the International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries event in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Arabic Language Centre

Gawdat urges Arabic content creators – from authors and publishing companies to cultural and educational institutions – to produce richer material for future AI tools to mine.

“The problem we are facing is that we are creating an impression that knowledge of the Arab world is shallow, in comparison to the incredible wisdom that is really coming from the region,” he says.

“So we need to create content with depth and with more intellectual value.”

With future AI programs leaning towards more authoritative sources of information, Gawdat calls for educational institutions to make available more of their Arabic research online.

“With AI utilising the Arabic content that we put in, it is our responsibility to put the right kind of content out there,” he says.

“This will ultimately determine the quality of Arabic artificial intelligence driven content.

“I look at it as the same way as parents being aware of how they act in front of their children. Their actions will teach children how to deal with you and the world in the same way.”

The International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre
The International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

“It can be a threat when it comes to AI’s capability in producing content, especially for publishers who are producing content relying on human authors,” he says.

“However, it can also be an opportunity. As an author, I have learnt to no longer define myself as someone who is supposed to write words on paper.

“My job definition now is to provide interesting human perspectives and inspiration regarding certain topics.

“Through whatever knowledge is available to me and in whatever form, I am trying to find a way to connect with other humans and communicate what I believe needs to be communicated.”




read more
AfricaAfrica AsiaEconomyOil & GasTechTechnology

Oil & Gas: Dangote Refinery Will Stabilize The Naira – Shettima

The Dangote Refinery, according to Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima, will influence Nigerians’ lives and help stabilize the naira.

At the commissioning of the refinery in Lagos on Monday, Shettima gave this assurance.

According to him, the project has rubbished the stereotyped negative narratives about Nigeria and Africa, as frequently portrayed in the Western Media.

The former governor of Borno State called the inauguration one of the finest days in the nation’s history.

According to Shettima, the project has a great chance of ending Nigeria and Africa’s reliance on petroleum imports.

He expressed hope that the project would receive a lot of attention and that the world would start to develop a new narrative about the continent.

 “Africa is not all about the crisis in Sudan, Africa is not all about poverty, Africa is not all about deprivation and destitution, Africa is not all about insecurity, I hope the CNN, the BBC, and the Sky News of this world will be around to give maximum coverage to this function.”

He praised Nigerian businesspeople who had already started working on projects of a similar nature and stated that the next administration, led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will make every effort to advance and maintain the pace of the refinery project.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari earlier today (Monday) commissioned the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Project, a division of Dangote Industries Limited controlled by Aliko Dangote.

The plant is situated in the Dangote Industries Free Zone in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, and it is planned to process crude oil grades from the continents of Africa, Asia, and America. A daily surplus of over 38 million liters of gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuel will be sent to Nigeria from this facility.

In addition, the refinery is anticipated to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day, converting it into various petroleum products like diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene.

According to the company, the plant was built to process a wide range of crudes, including numerous Middle Eastern, African, and American Light Tight Oil crudes.



read more