By Aduragbemi Omiyale
In order to accelerate digital transformation in Africa, a specialist venture capital firm, C5 Capital, has invested about $50 million in Cassava Technologies.
Cassava is Africa’s first integrated tech company of continental scale and its success attracted C5, which intends to partner with the company to increase digital connectivity and inclusion on the continent.
Cassava will be the go-to-market partner in Africa for C5’s cutting-edge portfolio companies to deliver best-in-class cyber security, satellite and space technology and clean energy.
C5 and Cassava already announced a joint venture through which Haven Cyber, a C5 portfolio company and Cassava will scale Microsoft’s suite of cybersecurity products across Africa to help combat the threat of cybercrime.
“This investment from C5 is part of our plan to raise additional growth capital whilst diversifying our investor base. We are delighted that C5 has joined us to help realise our vision of a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind,” the founder of Cassava, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, commented.
“We are delighted to partner with Cassava Technologies, to bring the most innovative cyber security, space and energy security products and services to African markets,” the founder of C5 Capital, Mr André Pienaar, stated.
Cassava Technologies has operations in more than 20 African countries and has been at the forefront of bringing innovative technology solutions to local businesses and individuals.
Through its extensive offering that includes fibre networks, data centres, renewable energy, cloud, and cyber security, and fintech and digital platforms, the company provides digital solutions to over 1 million enterprises and access to the internet for over 500 million people in Africa.
Through the partnership between Haven Cyber (a portfolio company of C5) and Liquid Cloud & Cybersecurity (a business of Cassava), C5 and Cassava aim to bring expertise in cyber security to Africa by launching a network of state-of-the-art Cyber Security Operations Centres (CSOCs) across Africa. The CSOC network will enable the rapid delivery of cyber security services and operations on the continent. The first such CSOC is set for launch in South Africa later this year.
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Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.
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Technology has always enabled people to connect and express themselves. As communication became faster, the video became a richer way to share experiences. We’ve gone from desktop to web to mobile; from text to photos to video. But this wave of innovation isn’t slowing down, so what is the metaverse about and how will it change how we connect?
Imagine a set of digital spaces that you can move seamlessly between, an embodied internet, where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it. Like the internet, the metaverse will help you connect with people when you aren’t physically in the same place. Although nothing beats being together in person, when it’s not possible, the metaverse will get us pretty close, because interactions in the metaverse will feel more like those we have in our daily lives.
To understand how it works, here are five facts you need to know about the metaverse.
What is the metaverse?
VR is one end of a spectrum. It stretches from using avatars or accessing metaverse spaces on your phone, through AR glasses that project computer-generated images onto the world around us, to mixed reality experiences that blend both physical and virtual environments.
While it feels like a far-off vision, we can already experience glimmers of the metaverse today. Horizon Worlds is one of the best examples of the kind of metaverse experiences Meta is building – it won’t just be something that works on VR headsets, but also on mobile apps, websites and with portals into existing apps like Facebook and Instagram.
Avatars are going to be a crucial bridge into the metaverse. A digital avatar is an animated representation of yourself designed to capture the way you appear in a digital environment. Meta is already building out ways for people to better express themselves using Avatars today, by giving them ways to customise and use them easily across different apps.
The metaverse will not be built by one company
Like the internet, the metaverse won’t be built by one company. Meta’s role in this journey is to accelerate the development of the fundamental technologies, social platforms, and creative tools to bring the metaverse to life, and to weave these technologies through our social apps. But the experiences that people come to the metaverse to enjoy will ultimately be built by creators.
The metaverse may be virtual, but the opportunities it will unlock are real
The mobile internet has already allowed people to work, learn and socialise in ways that are less limited by their physical location. The metaverse is going to take that even further. Within the next decade, the metaverse is believed to drive digital commerce, change the way we work and support jobs for millions of creators and developers. And the potential societal benefits – particularly in education and healthcare – are vast, from helping medical students to practice surgical techniques to bringing school lessons to life in exciting new ways.
NFTs are important to the development of the metaverse
The metaverse will help us connect with each other in ways that improve our lives and open up new worlds of creativity and economic opportunity. In the metaverse, people will buy, use, and share digital goods, and experiences, and NFTs are a key piece of the puzzle for making this a reality. On Meta’s platforms, creators can already express themselves creatively, build and engage a fan community, and make money pursuing their passions. The company recently announced its first NFT offering—a test of digital collectibles on Instagram—and is taking important steps to encourage openness and innovation by enabling connection to multiple blockchains and wallets at the outset.
The metaverse will most likely impact our workstyle
With the effects of COVID on the working culture, working virtually is already a reality for many of us. Hybrid and remote work is here to stay and there’s a rapidly emerging need to support that shift with technology that brings people together. Meta is building Horizon Workrooms as entry points for the metaverse at work. Horizon Workrooms are virtual meeting spaces where you and your colleagues can work better together from anywhere—you can join a meeting in VR as an avatar or dial into the virtual room from your computer by video call.
By Dipo Olowookere
A renowned tech journalist, Mr Omobayo Azeez, has called on stakeholders in the telecommunications sector to urgently take actions that will reduce the reliance on foreign inputs in the industry.
Speaking in Lagos last Thursday at the third edition of the Policy Implementation Assisted Forum (PIAFo), Mr Azeez said this was putting more pressure on the Naira in the foreign exchange (FX) market.
Though he said the telecoms sector has unarguably become one indispensable economic enabler for the country and its people, efforts must be made to use this channel to boost local production and stop the loss of $2.16 billion in capital flights.
“When operators have to depend solely on foreign talents, solutions, equipment and accessories, they will also have to deal with the hassle of accessing forex as one of the major problems.
“As such, operators suffer, customers suffer and even our dear Naira is also at a receiving end – it continues to lose value,” he said at the event themed Establishing Trackable Metrics for Developing Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector.
Mr Azeez, who is the Managing Editor of Business Metrics, further stated that, “We realise that with the policy in place, the work has just begun because the effective implementation of a policy is the true measure of its success. We want this policy to come to fruition and create inclusive benefits for individuals, businesses and the economy.”
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, agreed with Mr Azeez, who is the convener of the forum, noting that the agency has so far identified 72 action points to promote indigenous content in the telecoms sector.
He added that the commission has also brought at least 30 stakeholders to the round table to chart the way for the effective implementation of the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content Policy in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector (NPPIC) assented to By President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2021.
Represented by Babagana Digima, Head of the Nigeria Office for Promoting the Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS), the EVC stressed that different entities include Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), SIM card manufacturers, tower and mast manufacturers, and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
“At a higher level, the Commission had identified some time-based metrics for NPPIC which it classed into immediate, short term, medium term, and long-term items these include activities such as the creation of NODITS dedicated to guiding the policy; constitution of the local content steering committee; engagement with relevant internal and external stakeholders; and commissioning baseline studies on the level of indigenous content in the Nigerian telecoms industry,” he stated.
He, therefore, called on industry stakeholders, watchdogs and partners such as Business Metrics to create independent metrics that will ensure the achievements of the goals of the NPPIC.”
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Managing Director of Interswitch Purepay, Mr Akeem Lawal, will be among the experts billed to speak on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at the Nigeria Fintech Forum 2022.
The event, which takes place in Lagos, will offer Mr Lawal the avenue to discuss issues surrounding ways telecommunication companies, financial technology (fintech) organisations and banks can work together for the growth of the financial system.
There have been talks about how fintechs are a big threat to banks because of the disruption they have caused in the ecosystem, but some stakeholders see the trio as partners in progress.
Though fintech firms and telcos offer banking services to customers, the place of traditional financial institutions is still intact as some still have confidence in them.
At the event today, Mr Lawal, who is the keynote speaker, will talk about the Building Partnership for Growth, Exploring the Intersection of Banks, Telcos and Fintech Companies.
The payment processing expert will be drawing from his wealth of experience accumulated over the years working at Interswitch Group while sharing his insights with the august audience.
After delivering the keynote address, he will join other industry stalwarts in a panel session to further explore the topic.
Also slated to share insights in another panel session is Mr Jonah Adams, the Managing Director of Interswitch Systegra. He and other panellists will be discussing Regulating Nigeria’s Fintech Industry, Building Investors’ Confidence Without Stifling Growth.
The programme will also feature paper presentations and fireside chats holding focused on conversations around the business of payment across the ecosystem with topics spread across Identity pass, cryptocurrency, customer service and even fitness.
As the financial services sector is faced with disruptions, it is imperative that financial service providers and other stakeholders enable platforms like this one, that foster meaningful collaborations.
It is against this background that Interswitch Group, in reiterating its commitment to growing the industry, has thrown its weight behind the Nigeria Fintech forum 2022 as the headline platinum sponsor.
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