Africa • Technology • Nov 2020
The Islamic Development Bank and The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation hold a webinar on AgriTech & Digital Supply Chain • The webinar explored opportunities for leveraging the digital transformation to drive the global supply chain, trade, and investments in the agricultural sector
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) (Agriculture Division) in collaboration with IsDB Group Business Forum (THIQAH) jointly held a live webinar entitled "The Role of AgriTech in Food Security & Sustainability" to discuss sustainable climate-smart agricultural technologies for achieving food and nutrition security.
The AgriTech webinar series is an initiative by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) to support the OIC member countries to leverage the power of the digital transformation to advance growth in the agricultural sector, focusing on promoting trade and investments of agricultural products.
The webinar highlighted the most promising AgriTech solutions to enhance efficiencies of agricultural value chains at the national, regional and global level. The webinar also focused on raising environmental awareness and demonstrated AgriTech solutions that can contribute positively to preserving and restoring the environment, as well as establishing strategic partnerships among various stakeholders to materialize the applications of AgriTech solutions and good agronomic practices to advance the sector.
The CEO of ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, delivered the opening remarks at the webinar. He noted that "Globally, agriculture employs around 1 billion people, that is 1 in every 3 workers. In OIC member countries, agriculture employees over 230 million people, nonetheless the yield is way below the global average. Such gap can only be bridged with knowledge and technology."
He also added that, "In ITFC we believe in building strategic partnerships among various stakeholders to collaborate in addressing the food security and environmental sustainability issues. There is a role for Governments, MDBs, FIs, agriculture companies, commodity traders, tech providers, legal firms, research centers and academic institutions. The result of such a collaboration will directly contribute to SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 12 (Responsible Consumption & Production), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land)."
The webinar, which was presented in English and included French, Arabic and Russian interpretations, featured panel discussions and presentations by industry experts in the field of Agriculture, AgriTech and Trade Finance who shared their in-depth opinions and experiences on industry related topics followed by a Q&A session.
Moderated by Dr. Muhammadou Kah, Panel Member, The Malabo Montpellier Panel, and Professor of Information Technology & Computing - American University of Nigeria, the first panel discussion entitled "Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture" was joined by Carlo Bravi, Project Coordinator, FAO, Nicolas Tremblay, Lead Regional Environment and Climate Specialist, IFAD, Dr. Bashir Jama, Lead Global Practice and Food Security Specialist, IsDB, and Rajiv Pradhan, Country Director in Cambodia, Swiss Contact.
With different areas of expertise, the panellists spoke with the participants on the best practices to boost crop yields, develop strong value chains that are inclusive of the youth and women, protection of the environment and expansion of the natural resources supply as well as the sustainment of the economic viability of agriculture systems. This was followed by a presentation on "Agricultural Digital Community Platform" by Paul Voutier, Director, Knowledge & Innovation - Grow Asia.
Dr. Bashir Jama – Lead, Global Practice, Food Security Specialist at IsDB stated "Sustainable agricultural systems that are smallholder farmers-led must be anchored on robust value chains that engage the private sector effectively and also deploy science, technology and innovations. This is critical to attain the scale necessary and to build resiliency to climate change and markets volatility."
During the second panel discussion, the panellists including Nabil Marc Abdul-Massih, CEO, Inoks Capital, Birgül Akman Sönmezler, Head of AGRI Banking Marketing, DenizBank and Yassine Oussaifi, Partner, AfricInvest Group, shared their multilateral perspectives on "The Role of FIs in Sustainable Farming".
The current technologically driven world presents opportunities and efficiencies to agriculture starting with the supply chain. New technologies disrupting the agricultural sector – blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and robotics are some of the emerging digital technologies that are expected to transform the food and agriculture systems into Agriculture 4.0 (the Fourth Agriculture Revolution). This is reflected well on IsDB's new business model – Making Markets for Development and is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
As part of initiatives to promote the growth of the agricultural sector in member countries, IsDB will through ITFC and other entities of the bank group be implementing two key interventions – full-cycle Islamic financing products which offers pre-financing to farmers to grow crops as well as offer training programs on the best agricultural practices and institutional support to improve the market access opportunities for agriculture products.
To complement these initiatives, ITFC will also provide technical assistance to farmers and associated agribusinesses to build their capacities to use the digital tools to enhance agricultural productivity and efficiency such as providing them with direct access to global markets.
The webinar witnessed 800 participants and viewers from ministries of agriculture of member states, MDBs, Agriculture companies of member states, selected academic and agricultural institutions, the 2.5 hours live webinar concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Muhammadou Kah.
The 2nd webinar, entitled "Digital Supply Chain" will be held on the 25th of November 2020.
For more information on the webinar, click here.
Banking • Nigeria • Ago 2020
Sterling Bank Leads with Lending, Investing and Credit Rating Features on WhatsApp with Clickatell's Chat Banking Solution • Customers can now initiate bank transfers, and airtime and bill payments, check balance and BVN enquiries, as well as statement generation directly on WhatsApp with the aid of Kiki, a new personalised financial assistant
Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria's leading commercial bank, in collaboration with Clickatell, a global leader in mobile communications and chat commerce, announced a unique and very personalised banking experience for existing customers and prospective account holders through the popular messaging app - WhatsApp. Customers can now initiate bank transfers, and airtime and bill payments, check balance and BVN enquiries, as well as statement generation directly on WhatsApp with the aid of Kiki, a new personalised financial assistant.
The financial assistant also connects customers directly to customer service, making dispute resolution seamless.
Designed to provide personalised service to every customer of the bank, Kiki possesses conversational intelligence and will answer questions related to personal finances once prompted. Kiki makes initiating banking transactions as easy as chatting with friends through the bank's verified WhatsApp number - +234 906 000 6449.
Oladipo Alabede, Group Head of Digital Banking at Sterling Bank, said "Delivering banking on WhatsApp for instant messaging is desirous by our customers who want a reliable, convenient, and safe medium to perform basic banking transactions on their mobile devices. It eases the stress of moving between apps before transactions can be concluded."
According to Alabede, WhatsApp is easy, safe, fast and secure. "It has improved security that prevents fraud and enables customers to have access to all their accounts. The service is designed for self-service registration and the customers can sign on from any location. The current features of the app include Sterling to Sterling and Sterling to other banks' transfers, airtime top-up, bill payments, balance enquiry, BVN enquiry and statement generation, among others."
"We are pleased to help Sterling Bank enable chat banking on WhatsApp, making banking services available to its customers anytime and everywhere on a channel they use daily," says Samson Isa, Director – West Africa for Clickatell. He added, "Chat banking is the future of financial services with bank customers preferring the channel for conducting routine banking, as it is fast, simple, and secure. We are proud to be leading this shift in financial services, along with customers like Sterling Bank."
For a customer to get started, Alabede explained that he or she would need to follow three simple steps:
Firstly, the customer would have to save the mobile number +234 906 000 6449 as a contact on his/her device and should remember to save the number as "Kiki."
Secondly, once the number has been saved, the customer should start a conversation by typing "Hi," "Hello" or "Hey," among others, and sending the message to Kiki.
Lastly, the prospective customer should agree to the terms and conditions by sending "I AGREE" followed by the account number to Kiki. Thereafter, an OTP will be sent to the registered mobile number for validation. The customer is also expected to set a transaction PIN using his/her debit card.
Alabede said the customer must use the mobile number registered on his/her Sterling account to enjoy the service.
He added that a new set of features will soon be enabled, as the bank is exploring ways to serve customers better with the introduction of micro lending, micro investment, account opening, card request, and credit rating, among others. • 8/20
Work from home • Habitudes • Dec 2020
Speaking of the opportunities opened up by working from home in South Africa, 15% of respondents said they liked working without clothes
People working from home during the pandemic have discovered some guilty pleasures that they would now like to keep, according to a new global research commissioned by Kaspersky, which studied the behaviors of 8,000 SMB workers. Speaking of the opportunities opened up by working from home in South Africa, 15% of respondents said they liked working without clothes. Other novelties favored by employees in South Africa region include weekday lie-ins (42%), binge-watching Netflix (33%) and working outside in the garden or on a balcony (32%).
As our working environment during the global pandemic shifted from secure offices to kitchen tables, we met many difficulties balancing work and private lives. According to the World Economic Forum, employees working remotely this year faced mental health and wellbeing challenges, such as childcare pressures and digital connectivity. Nevertheless, some office staff who switched to working remotely savored this experience and discovered some guilty pleasures they now want to retain.
Aside from working in the nude, which is still far from mainstream, the majority of respondents benefitted from simply working in comfortable clothes: 66% got used to this lifestyle and would like to make it the norm in the future. Saying goodbye to long commutes also made employees happier as they could wake up five minutes before work started, while many also enjoyed taking a nap during the day (42%).
Continuing to discover the perks of the new normal, 32% of people enjoy working outside in the garden or on a balcony, and 33% even manage to binge-watch Netflix at work. Other treats favoured by employees include more time for video games (15%), takeaway lunches (18%) and showering less (10%).
However, this newfound open-mindedness not only leads to profits but also to a certain level of responsibility when it comes to digital security. Having reliable security solutions across our devices will be crucial in order to protect our individual privacy as we enjoy new ways of unwinding.
Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky, said: “This lockdown turned out to be a two-way street for people whose job allows them to work from home. On the one hand, employees finally got a chance to forget about the downsides of big-city life and start working in a more comfortable atmosphere. On the other hand, they faced many challenges when struggling to remain productive, reorganizing their workspace and developing new habits. When you work from home your privacy is put at greater risk, making it vital that you remember to take care of your digital security.”
To make sure your devices remain secure across both work and personal use, Kaspersky suggests following these recommendations:
Do not share personal information or permit access to your accounts with third parties unless it is completely necessary. This will minimize the chances of it being found on the internet.
Whether your prefer working naked or just value your privacy regardless, apply a webcam cover or use built-in webcam protection in Kaspersky Security Cloud which will prevent unauthorized access to your camera. This complete security solution makes your privacy, data and financial assets secured with a comprehensive set of tools, including a VPN, payment protection, password protection, PC cleaning, home Wi-Fi monitoring and parental control.
Start using Privacy Checker to configure your social media profiles according to the level of privacy you prefer. This will make it harder for third parties to find highly sensitive personal information without your intent.
Secure your Wi-Fi. As most routers have a default username and password, your router default credentials could be easily found on the internet. We recommend setting a new password and update the router’s firmware.
Use a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Password Manager to generate and secure unique passwords for every account, and resist the temptation to reuse the same one repeatedly.
The full report, ‘Securing the Future of Work’, can be found here. • 12/20
Service • Ghana • Ago 2020
The platform will offer a multi-tenant ready environment to host financial institutions and payment service providers to offer Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) across multiple channels
The platform will offer a multi-tenant ready environment to host financial institutions and payment service providers to offer Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) across multiple channels.
With the rise of digital banking and mobile money services in Ghana and across the region, financial regulators have mandated banks and payment service providers to offer multifactor (MFA) authentication with a minimum of two factor(2FA) to secure customer transactions, and to combat fraud.
Deployment of authentication solutions has been lacking across the financial services industry due to the extremely high costs of acquisition and maintenance. TheOne offers cost effective Authentication as a service with end to end authentication capabilities such as One-time Password (OTP) and transaction signing as a standard function, amongst many other strong authentication features.
TheOne service platform provides push notification to end customers to remotely sign and confirm transactions. The platform includes Thales Dynamic Code Verification (DCV) suite 'Card Not Present' Security Solution, which replaces the static security cryptogram (CVV) at the back of the card traditionally requested for online purchases, with a dynamic code displayed on the customer's mobile application. The CCV is traditionally requested for online purchases but with a temporary and dynamic code it makes it impossible for hackers to reuse stolen static card CVV data for fraudulent transactions. Moreover, end customers can choose to secure the access to their stored cards using a pin code or biometric authentication on their mobile phone.
"TheOne authentication as a service platform will ensure that institutions can offer secure authentication to their customers without incurring infrastructure and licensing costs which can be prohibitive to offering SCA." Paul Jacquaye, Founder and Group Chief Executive of Clydestone
"The evolution of digital banking and the extension of banking and payment channels create new opportunities for banks in Ghana. Thales is offering a range of solutions in partnership with Clydestone to support the rise of Digital banking needs. The complete offering include Thales Authentication Mobile App, Mobile security, eCommerce transaction authentication (DCV) and Strong Customer Authentication." Nassir Ghrous, SVP Banking and Payments services for Africa, Middle-East and Eurasia at Thales. • 8/20
Follow this link to get more information.