Buki Azaria Osunkeye, our featured tech personality this week, is an industry trailblazer. As the convener of the Tech Leaders Network Africa, she fosters a vibrant community of tech visionaries.
She is also a cofounder of Pora App, an innovative social networking platform that empowers people to connect with like-minded individuals globally, united by shared culture, values, and ethnicity. This inventive app is reshaping how people build connections in an interconnected world.
Moreover, Osunkeye’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through her involvement in various tech-enabled ventures. Plenti Africa, one of her brainchildren, is making a significant impact. Additionally, she in instrumental in steering Azaria Lagos, an e-commerce brand that champions local products and empowers womenpreneurs.
Osunkeye’s achievements paint a picture of a dynamic leader with a profound impact on both the tech landscape and the communities she engages with.
Osunkeye’s journey commenced as a client service executive at an advertising agency, where she worked on the Coca-Cola account. Through dedication and determination, she climbed the ranks and eventually became the head of product marketing at Sterling Bank. Throughout her extensive advertising career, Osunkeye managed marketing budgets exceeding $1 million and orchestrated campaigns for renowned brands such as Nokia, Sterling Bank, Meta Inc, Coca-Cola, UBA, Peak Milk, Virgin Atlantic, MTN, Whatsapp, British Airways, Guinness, Bloomberg TV, etc. She is a strategist and inventive thinker, showcasing her prowess in running ROI-driven performance marketing projects.
NCC: Nigeria Dominates African Telecom Sector with 82% Subscriptions
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says Nigeria is at the forefront of the African telecom landscape, constituting 82 per cent of telecom subscriptions across the continent.
Prof Umar Danbatta, NCC’As executive vice-chairman, disclosed this remarkable achievement during the inauguration of the Emerging Technology Forum for the Telecommunications Industry in Abuja. Furthermore, Nigeria’s influence extends to 29 per cent of Africa’s internet consumption.
Nigeria’s ascendancy continues, claiming 11th spot worldwide for internet penetration and the seventh position for mobile phone usage.
However, Danbatta admitted that Nigeria’s Network Readiness Index (NRI) remains comparatively low. This rating placed Nigeria at the 109th position out of 131 countries in 2022.
The NRI serves as a crucial metric for evaluating the role and influence of information and communication technology. It assesses the performance of economies based on technology infrastructure, governance, people, and impact.
The forum is focused on delving into the foundations of network readiness, as highlighted by Danbatta. Emphasising the importance of prioritising network readiness for Nigeria’s societal and economic transformation, he noted the event’s role in bridging the gap between aspiration and realisation.
Speaking on behalf of Danbatta at the event, Engr. Abraham Oshadami, NCC’s director of spectrum administration said, “As agents of social and economic transformation in our nation, prioritising network readiness is not only a strategic necessity but a mandate. Throughout our deliberations, we will engage in thought-provoking forum discussions that explore the foundational pillars of NRI, through several presentations by renowned professionals in the technology landscape.”
LemFi Secures $33m in Funding to Transform Immigrant Remittance Payments
LemFi (formerly Lemonade Finance) has secured $33 million in Series A funding, embarking on a mission to revolutionise global remittance payments for immigrants. Spearheading the investment round is Left Lane Capital, with notable contributions from investors Y-Combinator, Zrosk, Global Founders Capital, and Olive Tree.
The primary objective of LemFi is to introduce streamlined international remittance services, catering to the African diaspora community residing in Canada.
The company has now embraced the succinct identity of LemFi. This change is more than a mere rebranding as itsignifies a departure from the intricate process that once entailed weaving together various payment or money transfer platforms. These efforts often incurred transaction fees reaching as high as 8 per cent when sending funds back to their countries of origin.
LemFi’s vision extends beyond a mere financial platform; it aspires to facilitate seamless, fee-free money transactions for immigrants hailing from developing economies. However, LemFi operates within the confines of its UK license, focusing solely on developing wallets and safeguarding user funds, as opposed to engaging in lending practices akin to traditional banking institutions.
Cofounder of LemFi, Rian Cochran, underlines the necessity of its services not only in North America and Europe but also globally. The company’s mission addresses the needs of diverse immigrant communities, akin to Africans living abroad, who require essential financial products and services. Presently, LemFi is actively pursuing EU licenses, positioning itself to extend its invaluable services to migrant workers and families residing within the European Union.
Irrespective of their origins, immigrants encounter common challenges, and one prevailing concern revolves around adapting to the financial systems of their new homelands.
Global Cybersecurity Awareness: NordVPN Study Reveals Decline in Online Privacy Knowledge
Recent research by cybersecurity firm NordVPN highlights a global decline in online privacy and cybersecurity awareness. Data from 25 key markets indicates that while people worldwide excel in recognising online risks (73%), their grasp of safe online practices and tools is lacking (52%).
The annual National Privacy Test (NPT), a worldwide survey, aims to assess cybersecurity awareness and educate about digital threats. This year, the survey collected 26,174 responses from 175 countries, underscoring its global importance.
NordVPN’s CTO, Marijus Briedis underscores the NPT’s role in fostering a privacy-conscious community that advocates for data protection. This initiative aligns with their vision for a safer digital landscape.
The global findings highlight strengths, including adept password creation (95%) and navigating dubious streaming offers (94%). People also understand limits on sharing sensitive data on social media (90%) and the risks associated with storing credit card details in browsers (88%).
However, only three per cent possess knowledge of tools that safeguard digital privacy, and merely 11 per cent understand ISP metadata collection. Globally, one per cent fall into the category of “cyber wanderers,” with minimal understanding of internet privacy and cybersecurity. In contrast, 15 per cent score 75-100 points, earning the label of knowledgeable “Cyber Stars.”
Notably, the 30-54 age group showcases the strongest cybersecurity skills, housing the majority of Cyber Stars. Conversely, younger individuals, students, and those over 54 exhibit weaker performance.
Briedis identifies reasons for declining cybersecurity knowledge: the overwhelming volume of daily online activities, evolving tactics of cybercriminals, and the misconception that cybersecurity responsibility rests solely with service providers.
Secondary School Girls Unveil Innovative AI Robot “Kiki-Saggy”
A groundbreaking achievement has emerged from the Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC) Sagamu in Ogun state as a group of ten secondary school girls unveiled their remarkable AI creation named “Okikiola-Sagamu.” Fondly referred to as Kiki-Saggy, this AI robot is the product of dedication and guidance from the school’s staff.
The ambitious AI robot project was a collaborative effort undertaken by students across senior and junior classes, spanning approximately seven months for completion. Kiki-Saggy’s capabilities encompass speech, ambulation, and gesticulation, a testament to the students’ ingenuity.
With a towering height of six feet and weighing 60kg, the robot impressively achieves a maximum speed of 10km per hour. The global introduction of ‘Kiki-Saggy’ not only showcases the potential harbored within Nigeria’s educational institutions but also emphasises the significance of nurturing youthful innovation.
Nonetheless, the triumph of the project also brings to light the hurdles surmounted by the students. From intricate technical challenges to hardware glitches, complex coding dilemmas, financial limitations, demanding drilling tasks, and seamless component integration, the girls navigated a diverse range of obstacles.
In order to cultivate and empower more young minds, it is imperative to foster an environment that encourages and nurtures such talents, ensuring they can consistently deliver groundbreaking innovations. As technology’s rapid advancement shapes the future, the enthusiasm of the nation’s youth and the proactive support of government entities illuminate the path towards progress.
According to the girls, the journey was fraught with a myriad of challenges ranging from intricate technical issues, hardware glitches, and complex coding conundrums to financial constraints, demanding hole drilling tasks, and the intricate process of integrating various components seamlessly.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai Leads AI-Driven Transformation in Healthcare
Spearheading a pivotal transformation in the healthcare realm, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to reshape the landscape.
A recent revelation by Pichai unveils Google’s AI-powered ability to predict cardiovascular issues through the analysis of eye scans. This groundbreaking innovation holds the potential to supplant traditional diagnostic methods like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
At the core of this innovation is the eye’s retina, which functions as a gateway to the body’s overall health. The fundus, situated at the inner back wall of the eye, harbours blood vessels that mirror the body’s well-being.
By examining this ocular data, doctors can glean crucial insights into a person’s cardiovascular health, including indicators like blood pressure, age, and smoking habits.
Google, in collaboration with Verily, harnessed the power of machine learning to analyse an extensive medical dataset, comprising over 300,000 patient profiles. This served as the foundation for their cardiovascular prediction model. Integrating metrics such as age and blood pressure with distinctive markers found within eye scans, neural networks identified patterns to forecast potential risks.
Beyond cardiovascular concerns, this AI breakthrough holds promise for early detection of various conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and even schizophrenia. It possesses the capability to identify health issues that may elude even seasoned specialists.
The eye’s retina, as highlighted, stands as a potent source of information about one’s overall health, reaffirming the transformative role of AI in revolutionising healthcare.