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Google Invests in E-logistics for Haulage Digitisation in Africa




Google on Tuesday said that it had invested in Lori Systems,  an e-logistics company digitising haulage and providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage  cargo and transporters.

The Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Google, Nitin Gajria said in a statement that this new investment is the third from Google’s 50 Million dollars  Africa Investment Fund, announced in October 2021.

Gajria said that it came  off the back of the launch of Google’s first product development center on the continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems first launched.

He said that named by the Financial Times earlier this year as Africa’s seventh fastest-growing company, Lori Systems had helped thousands of shippers and carriers move over 10 billion dollars worth of cargo across the continent since its founding in 2017.

According to him, the continent, logistics operators face a host of problems; from fragmented supply and demand markets to inconsistent pricing, paper documentation and little or no access to financing.

‘’A pioneer in e-logistics in Africa, Lori Systems lowers the cost of goods by eliminating pain points along the cargo journey seamlessly connecting shippers to transportation.

‘’Providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage their cargo and transporters, and digitizing their entire transport operations from sourcing transportation to documentation and payments.

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“At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent.

‘’There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked,’’ he said.

According to Gajria,  Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa, and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development.

“We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this.”

Jean-Claude Homawoo, Lori Systems co-founder said that in recent years,  the global logistics industry had seen much innovation.

She, however, said that global supply chains were in dire need of modernisation, with technologies yet to reach critical scale.

Homawoo said that on the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to lead to an 81 per cent increase in intra-African trade, providing a 21.9 billion  opportunity.

The co founder said that providing opportunities in untapped trade potential that the 54 ratifying countries were hoping to capitalise on over the next five years.

‘’Logistics is key to unlocking this opportunity.”

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lori Systems,  Uche Ogboi said that the company was excited to have Google as a partner,  as the organisation continued to build the operating system for emerging market logistics.

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According to her, our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient.

She said the company had been successful, achieving up to 20 per cent price reduction for cargo owners and nearly 2 times increase in truck utilisation for transporters on Lori platform.

‘’We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.” (NAN)

Science & Tech

Bella, Beauty, Khalid Top Trending  BBNaija S7 Housemates, says Google




Google on Thursday  highlighted  Bella, Beauty  and Khalid as the top trending  housemates at the  on-going Big Brother Naija reality show season seven  known as BBNaija .

Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communications and Public Relations Manager, Google West Africa said in a statement that Bella in a relationship with fellow housemate Sheggz has been trending for confrontations with her housemates.

Kola-Ogunlade said that Bella trending was as a result of her getting a strike from Big Brother for disobedience and provocation, causing reactions over her culinary skills and recently having a brawl with fellow housemate and head of House (HOH), Phyna.

He said that Former Miss Nigeria, Beauty, also made it as one of the top trending BBNaija housemates.

According to him, Beauty was ejected just two weeks into the show following a physical argument with a housemate, Groovy.

‘’Khalid who was the second level 2 housemate to be evicted also featured as a trending housemate because of his on-screen romance with housemate, Daniella.

‘’While Bella, Hermes and Daniella have received the most search traffic overall, Daniella has generated the biggest search spike so far,’’ he said.

According to him, regionally, Bella has drawn the most interest from Lagos, Osun, Kwara, Abuja, Kaduna and Enugu.

Kola-Ogunlade said that Hermes received the most search interest from Plateau, Benue, Ekiti, Delta and Abia.

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He said that Daniella leads in Kogi, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Edo, Ogun and Oyo while Groovy generated the most searches in Ondo and Anambra.

The communication manager said that the show had also seen people turning to Google to find out more about their favourite housemates, the house and where to watch the show.

Kola-Ogunlade, said that the show started airing in July, 28 housemates were originally admitted into two houses, Level 1 and Level 2 to compete for the grand prize of N100m.

He said that so far, there have been twelve evictions, two fake housemates leaving and a housemate who was ejected from the competition.

According to him, as the interest of the show remains high, there are housemates who are dominating when it comes to online searches with different regions across the country showing clear favourites.

He said that Bella, Beauty and Khalid lead with the most searched interest, followed by Hermes, Daniella and Amaka.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Level Up that premiered on 23 and 24 July 2022 is an annual TV Reality show in its 7th edition was already thrilling viewers with twists and intrigues. (NAN)

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Science & Tech

FG Vocational T-MAX Project Portal Opens Sept. 7 – Official




The Kaduna State Government has urged youth to enroll into the Federal Government’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T-MAX) programme.
T-Max project is a Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) framework designed to equip Nigerians with technical and vocational skills.
The project seek to maximise existing private and public TVET centres and resources across the country.

The T-MAX project announced that its registration portal would open on Wednesday, Sept. 7.
The Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology Prof.
Kabir Mato made the call on the sideline of a master trainers’ meeting of the project, on Tuesday in Kaduna.
He said the project was in line with the state government’s programme under human capital development, adding that skills development was a focal area of human capital development.
Represented by Sagir Balarabe, Special Adviser to Gov.
Nasir El-Rufai on Human Capital Development, Mato said about 2,000 youths would benefit from the programme in the state.
“The ministry in collaboration with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Educational Intervention have identified training centres for the programme.
“The training portal will be open tomorrow, trainees are expected to log in all their details after which there will be screening and training would commenced,” he said.
He said the trainees would be exposed to automobile; agriprenuership, agricultural processing and packaging, building, leather works and processing as well as Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
According to him, 40 per cent of the trainees will receive starter packs base on their performances while prizes will be presented to best graduates of the training programme.
Also, Mr Garba Hassan, Area Manager, ITF Kaduna Area Office, said the programme was designed to engage only unemployed and out-of-school youths within the age bracket of 18 to 35 years.
He said every eligible youths would be given fair chance, and urged them to apply via:
Newsmen report that T-MAX project targeted about 15,000 youths in seven participating states in the country.
They are Kaduna; Gombe, Nasarawa, Ogun, Edo, Enugu and Lagos States. (NAN)

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Science & Tech

Nigeria now Global Supplier of Tech. Talents- FG




The Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Kashifu Abdullahi said Nigeria is now a global supplier of tech talents.

This is coming as U.S. Tech. giant, Google, unveiled 60 Africa Startups grantees of its second cohort Black Founders Fund (BFF) initiative on Tuesday in Abuja.

Abdullahi, in his remarks during the unveiling ceremony, said the project will boost Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

According to him: “This is the a golden opportunity for our Startups, because funding is one of the biggest challenges facing the Nigerian tech.


“We have global talents shortage, everywhere they are looking for talents. In Nigeria, we have the talents that is why they are coming to tap from the pool.

“This kind of initiative will help us create more talents in the country, because it is the people’s component of technology.

“If you don’t have the people that will think and invent new ideas, there is no way we can have a good technology.

“It is an opportunity to position ourselves to be the global talent suppliers.”

Abdullahi said that  this is because Nigeria cannot compete with the big countries in terms of hard ware manufacturing, but in terms of software and talent.

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“This initiative will help build more in-country talents, solve local problems and upscale them to global scale.

”This will open up Nigeria tech industry to the global market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Head, Startup Ecosystem Africa, Mr Folarin Aiyegbusi, has disclosed that Africa’s challenges need to be solved through deliberate efforts by Africans and globally.

He said that there was no better time than now to solve these challenges.

“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity, but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow.

“We hope that the BFF program will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies.

“The equity-free cash assistance to startups will enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licences.

“This is to help the grantees buffer the  cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their business as many of them do not have steady revenue streams yet,” Aiyegbusi said.

One of the grantees, the founder of Norebase, Mr Tola Onayemi, lauded Google for promoting tech. innovation in Africa.

Grantees include, Lifebank, HerVest, Healthtracka, Agrickool, Ajua, Awabah, Bailport, Estate Intel, Bag Innovation, Bee, Bookings Africa, Branstorne, Built, BuuPass, Cauri Money, Clarifa, Eden Life, Flex Finance, Gamr, Haul247, and LifeBank, among others.

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The winners, who were made up of 50 per cent women-led businesses, hailed from Nigeria, Botswana,  Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.

Each of the selected Startups will receive support in the form of a 6-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling  challenges that are unique to them.

They include tailored workshops, support networks  and community building sessions.

Newsmen report that 60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of  between $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.

The previous cohort grantees of BFF such as CredPal, Wellahhealth have started contributing tremendously to the growth of tech. industry. (NAN)

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