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Aella, Amazon Target Unbanked Nigerians for Credit Services

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Aella App

By Adedapo Adesanya

Aella App, Nigeria’s leading single-point financial service and payment solution provider, is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide quick access to credit and other financial services to underbanked individuals using Amazon Rekognition for identity verification.

Amazon Rekognition is a fully managed computer vision service that enables developers to analyse images and videos for a variety of uses, including face identification and verification, media intelligence, custom industrial automation, and workplace safety.

With the lack of application programming interface (API) infrastructure that allows the real-time verification of government identifications in Nigeria, Aella App is changing the fintech ecosystem by taking advantage of cutting-edge AI technologies and using biometric identity verification on its mobile application, improving the accuracy of facial verification by over 40 per cent.

In a statement, Aella said that this will help to reduce verification errors, increases credit approval speed, provides scalability, and drives financial inclusivity for everyone.

On the collaboration, Aella App’s CEO, Mr Akin Jones said: “With only 38 per cent of Nigerians who have no form of identification, we realised that a vast majority of the population were being left out of financial services, taking away their financial independence and leaving them on the fringe of building bankable credit ratings.

“Our job as a fintech organisation is to come up with more creative ways to bring more people into the ecosystem, reinforcing our commitment to provide products that democratise financial services, ultimately alleviating poverty and driving economic growth in the region.”

On the part of Amazon Web Services, Ms Michelle Lee, the Vice President, Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab reaffirmed AWS’s commitment to developing technology that could help tackle some of the world’s hardest problems.

She said, “We are impressed by Aella’s dedication to driving financial independence for the under-banked.

“With the fintech ecosystem in Nigeria accounting for 1.25 per cent of retail banking revenues, it is clear that there is an opportunity to continue democratising financial service access for all.

“We are proud to work with Aella as they strive to ensure everyone from individuals to small business owners are not left without financial support.”

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Tiktok Limits Kids to 40 Minutes Per Day in China

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TikTok

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

As China continues to cut down on accessibility to video games for younger children, the Chinese version of Tiktok called Douyin has said that all its authenticated users under the age of 14 can only access the app for up to 40 minutes a day, which must be between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

In a statement issued by the Chinese short video app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, users under the above age bracket will now access the app in a “youth mode” in its mission to moderate the exposure of young ones from inappropriate video content.

“The measures would apply to all users registered with their real names and as being under 14 years old. The mandatory measures are designed to protect younger users from harmful content.

“Up to 40 minutes, a day of Douyin for younger users will henceforth serve up edifying content such as science experiments, museum exhibitions, and history lessons,” the statement read.

Authorities have directed game companies and platforms like Douyin to use real-name identification for all its users; the process requires users to provide a phone number and other identification to access online games.

ByteDance, the parent company, said the content available to users in youth mode will now include educational material like “interesting popular science experiments, exhibitions in museums and galleries, beautiful scenery across the country, explanations of historical knowledge, and so on.”

This is coming barely 21 days after the Chinese Government placed restrictions and limits on the gaming time for minors to three hours per week (8:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.) on Fridays and weekends as a bid to stop gaming addiction facing the country.

In recent times, Chinese regulators have strictly push against minors being exposed to online dangers such as “blind” and “chaotic” worship of internet celebrities which has been posing violations of core socialist values.

In the same vein, it has recently launched a six-month-long national campaign to address what it perceives as major issues in the digital industry such as disturbing market order, infringing users’ rights, threatening data security, and unauthorized internet connections.

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Nigeria Needs Cutting-Edge AI Applications—Osinbajo

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cutting-edge AI applications

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria needs to invent and produce cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications for education, business, medicine and security.

This was the view of Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, at the founding class (2021) of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM), Lagos.

Mr Osinbajo, while giving a keynote address at the event, also called for an effective collaboration between public and private sectors to build world-class institutions focused on innovation in science, technology and management sciences that would help proffer solutions to the country’s challenges.

NUTM is a top-notch school of innovation and technology focused on nurturing leaders in Nigeria and Africa, promoted by Mr Okey Enelamah, immediate past Industry, Trade and Investment Minister.

“The most significant problems of this generation, especially in Africa, will require innovation in science, technology and the management sciences, especially entrepreneurship and innovative leadership if we are to stand a chance of resolving them,” the VP was quoted as saying in a statement released by his media aide, Mr Olaolu Akanda.

The Vice President said that the graduands of the NUTM programme had what was required to be among those who would in the future, provide solutions to national and global challenges in different sectors.

“I think sitting before us today, the graduands of the NUTM Scholars Programme, we might just be beholding the men and women with the answers to some of the world’s most significant challenges.

“And there are many challenges indeed. We need to invent and produce cutting-edge AI applications for education, business, medicine and security.

“We need to design the educational innovation required to train millions of children in or out of classrooms all across the country and on our continent, and provide the techniques for delivering opportunities in technology on the scale,” he said.

Mr Osinbajo said that in Agriculture, Nigeria needed to invent advanced devices, precision agriculture methodologies, and robotic systems

He said such inventions would guarantee the huge yields per acreage or volumes in dairy and livestock to meet the food security needs of a country headed for the third position in global population size in a few short years.

“And we are waiting for the breakthrough in the treatment of peculiar African health challenges such as sickle cell disease, fibroids and cancers.

“There is so much to do. But we know that ground-breaking innovation in technology or commerce will always be the product of the work of well-trained people.

“Which is why the NUTM Scholars Programme was designed to offer cutting-edge knowledge in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design; Management; Perspectives in breakthrough Leadership ideas, Critical thinking and Writing.”

According to him, the goal of the university is to train and equip highly sophisticated crack technology, innovation and management experts.

“The students are the first cut of that dream team. And, we are holding our breath waiting for you to step into your destined roles.

“First, every major innovative breakthrough in science, technology or the social sciences was the product of patient collaborative work, sometimes across nations.

“There is no innovation yet around the hard and, sometimes, long task of creating rare value,” he said.

According to him, the second reason why most people will never attain significance is that they are only interested in themselves and their personal successes.

“But to earn significance, one must do something much bigger than oneself, a big idea, a massive game-changer should always be your target.

“Third is developing a mindset that you are as good as anyone who has ever developed a game-changing idea.

“Problem-solving innovators are, after all, men and women not spirits. And this is important because the way not to achieve is to have a mind that is incapable of seeing huge things,” he said.

While commending the founders, management and academics of the NUTM for the great work, Osinbajo told the graduands that those who built Dubai were men and women, not spirits.

In his welcome remarks, Mr Enelamah, who is also the Chairman of the Governing Board of the University, thanked the vice president for attending the event.

He added that NUTM was a pioneering higher education institution that had been established to nurture leaders and innovators to create an impact in Africa and other parts of the world.

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Flutterwave Partners Currencycloud for US, Europe Expansion

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Currencycloud

By Adedapo Adesanya

Flutterwave has partnered with Currencycloud to stimulate its expansion in Europe and the United States as it hopes to gain wider traction.

The company plans to launch in Europe and the US, strengthening its services to customers, making it possible for them to send and receive money from any part of the world with its distinct virtual accounts, quickly and efficiently.

As a result, users will now be provided with more service options globally as they will be able to receive payments not just using debit cards, but via other new channels, and will ensure total transparency to foreign exchange charges for international payments, giving customers access to multi-currency wallets.

The current development shows the company’s interest in scaling beyond its existing reach globally, not just in a particular region as it journeys to reach every nook and cranny of the world.

According to the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave, Mr Olugbenga Agboola, “This partnership marks our ongoing commitment to creating a payments infrastructure that links the world to Africa.”

“Our shared value of simplifying payments, coupled with the speed with which we could launch in a new market leveraging Currencycloud APIs were just a few reasons why we partnered with them.

“Through our partnership, we are excited to offer new and existing customers more payment options to grow their business, access new markets and build their customer base,” he further said.

In addition, Mr David Heitzmann, vice president of Sales and general manager of North America at Currencycloud said that the company’s goal is to reimagine the way money flows around the world.

“The partnership with Flutterwave is a great example of this, and we are thrilled to be able to support Flutterwave in their mission,” he pointed out.

Right away, the incorporation of Currencycloud’s API into Flutterwave’s technology has been done. Existing and new customers can start leveraging the innovation.

Flutterwave was recently listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Companies in Time’s recently published magazine.

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