By Adedapo Adesanya
The global streaming platform, Netflix, has appointed the Group Executive Chairman and founder of Econet, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, to its board.
The appointment has made Mr Masiyiwa the first-ever African to join the board of directors of the company.
Mr Masiyiwa is Zimbabwe’s richest businessman with an estimated net worth of $1 billion and leads mobile telecom giant Econet Global’s operations in over 20 countries across Africa and Europe.
Currently serving on several international boards including the Global Advisory boards of Bank of America and Stanford University as well as chairing the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the Zimbabwean telecommunication mogul brings with him a wealth of managerial experience to the Netflix directorate.
Speaking on his appointment, Netflix Chairman and co-CEO, Mr Reeds Hastings, said, “We are delighted to welcome Strive to the Netflix board. His entrepreneurship and vision in building businesses across Africa and beyond will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to improve and serve more members all around the world.”
His appointment comes a week after Ms Susan Rice, former US ambassador to the United Nations, disclosed she would be quitting her role on the Netflix board to join US President-elect, Mr Joe Biden’s administration in January 2021.
He also remains the only African member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
Born in Zimbabwe, Mr Masiyiwa had his higher education at Edinburgh, Scotland before obtaining an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Wales in 1983.
After working for about a year in the ICT industry at Cambridge, he returned to Zimbabwe in 1984 to work as a telecoms engineer for the country’s telephone company.
He later quit his job and founded his own telecom company, Econet Wireless in 1993. But Mr Masiyiwa’s Econet could not secure an operating licence until 1998 when it finally ended telecom monopoly in Zimbabwe after a five-year legal battle with the late Robert Mugabe-led administration.
In the same year, the telecoms tycoon listed Econet on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, making it a publicly-traded company. Since then, he has remained at the helm of affairs of Econet Group. He also owns a 50 per cent stake in Africa’s largest fibre optics business, Liquid Telecom.
Speaking on his appointment, he said, “Netflix is at the forefront of bringing great entertainment from anywhere in the world to everyone in the world, and I look forward to working with the board and all stakeholders to continue its traditions of innovation and growth.”
Globally recognised as one of Africa’s most prolific philanthropists, Mr Masiyiwa donated $10 million earlier this year in funding and support to over 1,700 healthcare workers to aid the response against COVID-19.
NIRSAL Markets Retirement Plans to Nigerian Editors
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has extended a hand of partnership to the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) to enhance their livelihood after retirement.
This was disclosed by Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIRSAL during his keynote address at the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) 2021, organised by the guild on Friday in Abuja.
Mr Abdulhameed said there were many opportunities and services at NIRSAL that the Nigerian editors could benefit from, adding that the organisation was ready to partner with the guild.
“What NIRSAL would do with the NGE is to speak with them through a technical team set up by the guild and create a model for upstream and downstream of how the guild can benefit from the various opportunities in NIRSAL.
“Then, we optimise these models so that when we put in one naira, we can get three Naira in returns, because, it is not economically wise to put in one naira and get one naira.
“The agriculture sector is subject to science and modelling. So when we optimise your project with you, we then optimise financial solutions. Then we approach the bank.
“My call of action to the guild is, how can we work with you to create a technical pilot model to benefit the guild,” Mr Abdulhameed said.
He urged members of the NGE to understand that agriculture was a business venture, adding that the sector contributed to about 24 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
He stressed that in Brazil and Egypt, especially in the Nile Valley, agriculture has been passed from generation to generation, saying it had the potential of enhancing the livelihood of the citizens.
According to him, it is regrettable that a lot of farmers think agriculture only begins and ends with production.
He said production was an aspect of agriculture, there was a need for other chains like packaging to enhance value.
FCTA Employees Undergo ICT Training to Boost Productivity
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has flagged off another batch of training on Information Communications Technology for 1,950 of its personnel.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Adesola Olusade, speaking at the flagship programme at the FCTA ICT Laboratory in Abuja, stated that the exercise is to ensure efficiency.
The ICT training has been carefully structured into 12 streams with 163 participants per batch, every week, all together for 12 weeks, with participants drawn from all the Secretariats, Department and Agencies (SDAs) of the FCTA.
Participants were urged to take the exercise seriously as the administration will assess their performance at the end of the training.
It would be recalled that about one month ago, the council flagged off the first batch of 2021 training for over 60 staff of the administration at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, Kubwa.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the FCT Administration is poised to ensure that its employees become proficient in the use of technology and then empowered adequately to manage administrative processes and functions digitally.
He stated that ICT has become the fastest, latest, most important and widely used innovative tool and skill in the 21st century and will remain the central, most penetrating and directional influence even in the centuries ahead.
The senior council official noted that the world has become a global village, made possible by the extensive imposition of ICT, which as a result much tasks and problems are accomplished and solved more than ever before.
As explained by the FCTA secretary, ICT has made means of communication become more effective, faster and seamless, including digitalisation and globalisation of businesses, adding that technology is a veritable platform for communication and transactions both in the public and private sectors is fast replacing paperwork.
Mr Adesola also posited that every aspect of lives and official function, such as health management, media, public enlightenment, security, clerical, administrative, monitoring and evaluation and many more can become great and progressively enhanced by the emergence of ICT.
He, therefore, urged all staff of the FCTA to embrace technology as the administration was constantly modernising its daily routine duties and operations as it regularly engages and interfaces with agencies.
University of Ibadan Elects Prof Adebowale as 13th VC
By Adedapo Adesanya
Professor Kayode Adebowale has emerged as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, on Thursday at the Senate Chambers in Ibadan.
He said the Joint Council-Senate Selection Board interviewed the eight candidates shortlisted and the Professor of Chemistry, who until his appointment was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), was preferred to head the 73-year-old university.
Mr Odigie-Oyegun said: “Two representatives of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education were in attendance.
“At the end of the very thorough, transparent and highly competitive exercise, Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale emerged as the best candidate for the position of Vice-Chancellor.
“The Governing Council, at its just-concluded meeting today considered the report of the Selection Board and approved the recommendation of the Board to appoint Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.”
Mr Odigie-Oyegun further said that the position of the VC became vacant on December 1, 2020.
In his acceptance speech, Prof Adebowale said that though, he was not the best among all the candidates, he was happy to have been appointed to the institution’s apex position and called for support from the entire university community for his administration.
The selection came almost a year after the process for the appointment of the 13th substantive vice-chancellor at the University of Ibadan was halted. Sixteen candidates had applied to lead the university.
However, the withdrawal of a former Dean, Faculty of Arts of the same institution, Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, had reduced the number to 15.
Following a screening exercise by the Governing Council of the university, the number of contestants was pruned to eight on Wednesday.
Those who scaled through the screening on Wednesday included the Acting VC, Professor Adebola Ekanola, Professors Yinka Aderinto; Adebowale; Ademowo and Babatunde Salako.
The process of appointing the 13th vice-chancellor of the university began afresh under the newly appointed Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council.
This was due to various allegations of malpractices by various factions within the university community under the former VC, Professor Idowu Olayinka.
The new race, which commenced in the second week of July 2021, came after the decision on the cancellation of the initial process of the VC race by the new Governing Council of the University.
The initial UI VC race, which started in May 2020, ended on November 23 with the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education, through the Nigerian Universities Commission (NCC), due to various crises that marred the election of members of the Senate representatives.
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