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Nigeria-based Women Group Excels at Fidelity Bank’s International Trade and Creative Fair Debut in Houston

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Houston was set agog October 24-25 when the Fidelity Bank Plc. Nigeria unveiled its premier international trade and creative fair in Houston, Texas. The just concluded event called the “Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect” (FITCC) attracted the brightest minds and industry leaders who swapped ideas, created trade/business partnerships, and navigated the ever-evolving landscape of international trade, exports, and creative connections.

President of AWEAA, Deborah Adebisi Odeleye (Right) and treasurer, Juliet Obi. The AWE program has been rewarded heavily for its role as a U.S. government-funded exchange program in over 100 countries, empowering women entrepreneurs by equipping them with knowledge, networks, and opportunities.

Among a long list of participants, partners, exhibitors, and supporters is the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Alumnae Association (AWEAA), a Nigerian-based organization with a mission to empower and support women as they embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Enriched with inspiring women fellows of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program, the AWE directly supports the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. At a local level, AWE harnesses the power of public-private sponsors and local partnerships to help women and their businesses attain economic growth and prosperity.

Attending the FITCC event thus offers the AWEE the opportunity to explore the global market, galvanize foreign direct investments, and create avenues to expand global outreach. According to the president of the group,

According to the President of AWEAA, Deborah Adebisi Odeleye, “We pretty much knew the importance of this event. That was why we opted for full participation. For instance, we had a booth and brought in the necessary resources to showcase our activities, goals, and potential as a global entity.”

Over 15 members of the AWAEE visited from Nigeria for this event.  Adebisi Odeleye said, “Our presence here is  to gain access to new markets. This is critical in navigating new grounds in building women’s entrepreneurship. For us, the FITCC created the opportunity for networking with fellow entrepreneurs and potential investors, thereby expanding our horizon in accomplishing our organizational mission and objectives.”

AWE program has been rewarded heavily for its role as a U.S. government-funded exchange program in over 100 countries, empowering women entrepreneurs by equipping them with knowledge, networks, and opportunities. “Our program’s alignment with the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality underscores our values in promoting gender equality on a global scale,” Adebisi Odeleye said.

The group’s treasurer, Juliet Obi, who equally was at the FITCC event encouraged women entrepreneurs to step forward in the world of exports and intensify their economic capacity and influence. “Global markets are enthusiastic about African products, and understand the dynamics and logistics of navigating this new territory.”

The FITCC which took place at the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center in Houston, presented the opportunity to harness the shared synergy of the Nigerian and US economic possibilities and created a fertile structure for business development. AWAEE supports women in scaling their businesses by providing the essential support, mentorship, and opportunities necessary for expansion.

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Global Cyber Security Expert, Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola bags Most Outstanding Personality of the Year Award

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Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola has been recognized as the Outstanding Personality of the Year in Technology at the prestigious 4th Edition of the South West Advancement Award and Investment Summit. Professor Ademola is a Nigerian Cyber Security and Information Technology Management Professor and a Chartered Fellow of the Royal Chartered Management Institute.

This incredible achievement was celebrated at an exquisite event held on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at 5 pm at the esteemed Oriental Hotel in Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. The event brought together esteemed technocrat political leaders and prominent personalities from diverse sectors, creating an exceptional gathering of influential figures.

 

The annual award ceremony is dedicated to acknowledging individuals for their remarkable contributions, with a special focus on those making significant impacts within the South West region of Nigeria. The esteemed recognition is a testament to Professor Ademola’s dedication and expertise in advancing technology, especially in Africa and Europe, particularly notable for his influential work in the United Kingdom.

Dr Smith Raymond, the Director General of The Institute for Enterprise Management and Analytics, commended Professor Ademola for this well-deserved award, acknowledging the professor’s unwavering commitment to technological progress. He emphasized the importance of Professor Ademola’s work. He encouraged him to continue his outstanding efforts, highlighting that this honor is a motivating call to action in further driving innovation.

 

In Professor Ademola’s absence at the event, his representation by S.A. on Media, Babatunde Adekanmbi, conveyed the professor’s heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the nomination and award. It was seen as an inspiration for Professor Ademola to continue his impactful work in technology.

 

The event was graced by an array of distinguished personalities, including Dr. Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Dele Momodu, the Chairman of Ovation Media Group, and His Imperial Majesty Oba Ogunwusi, the revered Ooni of Ife, alongside various other notable dignitaries. The gathering highlighted the significance of Professor Ademola’s contributions and celebrated the collective achievements in advancing technology and innovation within the region

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Could South Africa be the first-ever country to provide a no-strings-attached universal basic income?

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South Africa suffers from severe income inequality — one of the worst anywhere in the world. Its unemployment rate, meanwhile, is over 30%.

But its government thinks it has a solution: a universal basic income .

The idea has broad political support and the country’s largest political party, the African National Congress, said recently it is committed to implementing a universal basic income within two years.

Once the figment of ideological dreamers, a universal basic income — regular direct cash payments to a population with no strings attached — has grown in legitimacy, especially after the success of COVID-era stimulus checks. Tech visionaries racing to develop ever-more advanced artificial intelligence have also suggested implementing a universal basic income. They say it would help mitigate the job losses from AI .

Several other countries have experimented with versions of a universal basic income. Kenya, for instance, offers unconditional payments to about 20,000 people in 200 different towns.

In the United States, numerous cities and some states are experimenting on a small scale with guaranteed basic incomes , which offer no-strings-attached payments but only to select groups of people in need. While studies have shown these American programs to be successful, they have also run up against significant political opposition .

But in South Africa, most political parties are all for it. They just need to work out the details.

“The ANC is committed to finalizing a comprehensive policy on the basic income support grant within two years of the new ANC administration, ensuring broad consultation and expedited action,” South Africa’s ruling party said in a statement .

That statement came a week before hotly contested general elections on May 29, which saw the ANC lose its majority in parliament. The ANC is now working to form a unity government and a commitment to implementing a universal basic income will almost certainly come up in negotiations.

According to the party, a study at the University of Johannesburg showed that a majority of South African citizens “fully support the introduction of a basic income support grant.”

While South Africa provides payments to certain groups living below the poverty line through its Social Relief Distress grant program, the ANC plan would open eligibility to all South African adults, the Guardian reported .

The ANC said it is “exploring” options, like new tax measures and a new social-security tax, to fund the program. The party also says its goal for the program is not to replace existing social-security programs, but to complement them.

If it follows through, the ANC plan would make South Africa the first country to provide a universal basic income.

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Toyota apologizes for cheating on vehicle testing and halts production of three models

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TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda apologized Monday for massive cheating on certification tests for seven vehicle models as the automaker suspended production of three of them.

The wide-ranging faulty testing at Japan’s top automaker involved the use of inadequate or outdated data in collision tests, and incorrect testing of airbag inflation and rear-seat damage in crashes. Engine power tests also were found to have been falsified.

Toyota Motor Corp., based in Toyota city, central Japan, suspended production in Japan of the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross. The faulty tests were also found on discontinued models.

The company said the wrongdoing does not affect the safety of the vehicles already on roads, which include the Corolla subcompact and Lexus luxury vehicles.

“We sincerely apologize,” Toyoda said, bowing deeply at a news conference in Tokyo.

A Japanese government investigation into Toyota began in January. The latest problems don’t pertain to Toyota’s overseas production.

Also Monday, Japanese rival Mazda Motor Corp. reported similar irregular certification testing, and halted production of two models, the Roadster and Mazda 2. It said incorrect engine control software was used in the tests.

Mazda, based in the southwestern city of Hiroshima, also acknowledged violations on crash tests on three discontinued models. The violations don’t affect the vehicles’ safety.

Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co. also apologized late Monday for improper tests, such as those on noise levels and torque, on a range of models whose affected older versions are no longer in production, such as the Accord, Odyssey and Fit. The safety of the vehicles is not affected, it said.

About two years ago, certification problems surfaced at Toyota group companies, truck maker Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor Co., specializing in small models, and Toyota Industries Corp., which makes machinery and auto parts.

Shinji Miyamoto, a Toyota executive overseeing customer satisfaction, said Toyota began looking into its own tests following the problems at the group companies.

The apparent unraveling of the testing systems at Toyota and its group companies is an embarrassment for an automaker that’s prided itself for decades on production finesse and a corporate culture based on empowering workers to make “ever-better cars.”

Toyoda said the company may have been too eager to get the tests done and abbreviated them at a time when model varieties were burgeoning.

Toyota sells more than 10 million vehicles around the world.

Toyoda, the grandson of the company’s founder, suggested some certification rules might be overly stringent, noting such tests differed around the world. But he repeatedly said he wasn’t condoning the violations.

“We are not a perfect company. But if we see anything wrong, we will take a step back and keep trying to correct it,” said Toyoda.

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