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Guinness Nigeria Announces Board Changes, Appoints Omobola Johnson As First Female Board Chair

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Guinness Nigeria outgoing Board Chair, Mr. Babatunde Savage and incoming Board Chair, Dr. Omobola Johnson (Source: Guinness Nigeria)

Guinness Nigeria announces the notice of retirement of its long-serving and indefatigable Board Chair, Mr. Babatunde Savage by June 30, 2021. The Company is also pleased to announce arrangements for pioneer Nigerian Minister of Communication & Technology and serving Guinness Nigeria Board member, Dr. Omobola Johnson to be appointed and assume the role of Board Chair with effect from 1st July 2021.

In his letter notifying the Board of his retirement in compliance with applicable Corporate Governance regulations, Mr. Savage expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to have been a part of the wonderful Guinness Nigeria story over the last four decades. He also thanked the Board of Guinness Nigeria and Diageo UK for the opportunity to have served in many capacities, first as an employee who held various strategic senior roles, then as an Executive Director and later the Chair of the Board, a role he has held for twelve eventful and progressive years. He also noted his unwavering support for Guinness Nigeria, Diageo, and its iconic brands. “After almost 40 amazing years, like every good thing, my journey with Guinness Nigeria is coming to an end and this is my time to exit this stage. I feel so proud of my association with this wonderful company with such rich heritage that constantly reminds you that you are standing on the shoulders of giants. Guinness Nigeria is and will always be family to me”, he said.

Babatunde Savage was appointed Chair of the Board in 2009 after working within the organization in a wide variety of executive roles including Company Treasurer, Director of Finance, Director of Corporate Planning, Company Secretary, Corporate Affairs Director, and Deputy Managing Director. With nearly 40 years of service to the organization, Savage’s journey in Guinness Nigeria has been remarkable, navigating so many challenges in different capacities and delivery many wins and successes for the organization.

The Vice-Chair of the Board and President, Diageo Africa, Mr. John O’Keeffe, thanked Mr. Savage profoundly on behalf of the Board of Diageo Plc., the parent company, for his invaluable contributions to the success of the Guinness Nigeria over the last forty years.

Also speaking on the retirement of Mr. Babatunde Savage, the Managing Director, Baker Magunda said I must express my sincere thanks to Mr. Savage for his invaluable contribution to the Board since his appointment as Board Chair in 2009 particularly also in my own time as managing director, and his unwavering commitment to the success of the Company since he joined Guinness Nigeria in 1983On behalf of the Board and Management, I wish Mr. Savage the very best.”

On the appointment of Dr. Omobola Johnson as Savage’s successor, Mr. O’Keeffe who is also the chair of the Nominations, Governance & Remunerations Committee of the Board said, “We are pleased to have Dr. Johnson as our in-coming Board Chair, especially because of the value and insight she has brought since her appointment as an Independent Non-Executive Director, and more recently as the chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee of the Board and member of the Nomination, Governance and Remunerations Committee in the last three years. This is truly an exciting time, in Guinness Nigeria’s 71st year, as we continue to build deeper relationships with our stakeholders and fulfill our purpose of helping people celebrate life everyday, everywhere This, with a truly diverse and inclusive Board, Management and workforce, skills and capabilities to reflect our broad consumer base.”

The outgoing Board Chair, Mr. Savage added, “Dr. Omobola Johnson as incoming Board Chair perfectly complements the Board of Guinness Nigeria because of her unmatched skills and experience, and I am confident she will continue to provide the right leadership and valuable perspectives to enable the company sustain the execution of its unique strategy, drive profitability and enhance value for all stakeholders”, he added.

Dr. Johnson is currently a serving member of the Guinness Nigeria Board has over 30 years experience in both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy.  Commenting on her appointment, the former Country Managing Director for Accenture and now senior partner at TLCom Capital, a technology venture capital firm focused on Africa, said “Guinness Nigeria is an excellent company with tremendous value creation opportunities, and I believe the refreshed Board and the Management Team will remain committed to carrying on the excellent tradition of the Company led by Mr. Savage in achieving outstanding performance and maximizing shareholder value.”

Dr. Johnson will resume as Guinness Nigeria Plc.’s Board Chair on 1st July 2021 and the appropriate notification of her appointment as well as Mr. Savage’s retirement will be filed with relevant regulatory authorities as required by extant regulations.

Guinness Nigeria

 

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Press Release

AVEVA to Showcase World-leading Smart City Solutions at GITEX Technology Week 2021

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AVEVA Head of MEA, Dr. Tariq Aslam (Image: Supplied)

AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, driving digital transformation and sustainability, today announced that it is participating in GITEX Technology Week 2021 to be held from 17–21 October. Together with its strategic partner, Schneider Electric, AVEVA will demonstrate its AVEVA™ Unified Operations Center for Smart Cities, which seamlessly integrates systems, sites, people and assets for cities of the future, at the Middle East’s largest technology exhibition.

With increasing urbanization, mounting cost pressures, and demand for improved quality of life, there is now a global move towards infrastructure consolidation, upgrade, and continuous improvement of cities. AVEVA’s Unified Operations Center for Smart Cities drives streamlined operational efficiency and reduced energy costs, while promoting adherence to cybersecurity, safety, and regulatory compliance.

Our Unified Operations Center is the command-and-control solution for infrastructure and smart city operators based on an integrative ‘System of Systems’ approach. It can be used to collate information from various data sources to anticipate and resolve problems even before they are presented, coordinate various resources and processes for seamless operation, and generally make more strategic decisions. It converges OT and IT technology into a single pane-of-glass solution, where the operator can effectively monitor and control entire city operations through a ‘City in a Box’ approach as we like to call it,” says Dr Tariq Aslam, Head of MEA, AVEVA.

AVEVA’s Unified Operations Center for Smart Cities and Schneider Electric’s IoT-enabled sustainability platform – EcoStruxure Resource Advisor offer smart city operators a powerful solution. The EcoStruxure Resource Advisor is a best-in-class, AI-assisted, cloud-based solution for managing cross-enterprise energy and sustainability data, which shows how operators can track data across more than 400 categories to have near real-time access to their resource performance.

EcoStruxure is powered by Microsoft Azure enabling integration and interoperability to turn data into meaningful insights. The data is paired with Schneider’s unique approach to energy and sustainability consulting, bringing together technology and expertise, resulting in a “mind-plus-machine” approach to climate action.

“AVEVA, Schneider Electric and Microsoft are accelerating the delivery of smart city innovation across regions. Our unique combination of capabilities helps municipalities capitalize on the power of technology to become more agile, resilient, and sustainable. We plan to demonstrate smart cities in action on our Unified Operations Center with our strategic partners, Schneider Electric and Microsoft on their stands,” Dr Aslam adds.

“We will be showcasing the AVEVA Unified Operations Center for Smart Cities, to demonstrate how technologies such as AI and big data can transform how an urban environment is run to make it more efficient, greener, and better for the public and businesses,” says Ayman Ismail, Industry and Business Development VP, Schneider Electric Gulf Countries. “Digitization and digital technologies will make our cities more efficient and more sustainable, and we must prioritize technology developments as we look to create places to live that improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”

It is estimated that by 2030, the world will have 43 megacities, each with more than 10 million inhabitants. Converting existing infrastructure to smart infrastructure is the key to improving cities. With unified data and analytics, smart city operators are empowered with better information, which means they can make more informed decision to optimize operations for the new environment in which they are operating.

AVEVA’s vast portfolio of smart city software solutions span facilities management, utilities, transportation, and data centers. Taking an integrated approach, AVEVA’s solutions enable disparate functions to collect, analyze, and then act on unified and holistic intelligence – supported by the help of real-time data – to enable civic leaders to make better decisions and improve living standards.

Due to the scalability of the solution, Unified Operations Center is ideally suited for not just megacities but also smaller municipalities looking to take an integrated system of systems approach to monitoring and controlling their city operations. AVEVA works with megacities such as London, as well as smaller municipalities with populations of 50,000 or fewer, that are looking to leverage technology to improve sustainability and resilience.

AVEVA will be holding demos of its Unified Operations Center solution on Schneider Electric’s stand H5-B40. Senior representatives from the company will be at GITEX Technology Week 2021 to meet with customers and partners and share their global success stories with them.

 

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Klasha raises $2.4 Million to build technology for cross-border commerce in Africa

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Klasha team (Image: Klasha)

Klasha, a San Francisco based cross-border technology company, today announced that it has raised $2.4 million in seed funding to build technology infrastructure for cross-border commerce in Africa. The investment round was led by Greycroft with participation from Seedcamp, Berrywood Capital, AVG Basecamp Fund, Practical VC, Plug and Play, First Round VC, Expert Dojo, 2.12 Angels, MiLA Capital and angels, including Joe Cross, Ex-Marketing Head at Wise (formerly TransferWise), Santosh Ankola, Ex-Head of Product at TechCrunch and Michael Pennington, Co-founder of Gumtree.

With this investment, Klasha will expand its technology to help international B2B and B2C businesses such as ASOS, Zara, Amazon or Zoom to receive payments seamlessly online in African currencies from consumers across Africa. Klasha’s core technology allows African consumers to pay international online and offline retailers in African currencies while the retailers receive payouts in their dominant currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR. Klasha is currently available in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya and will invest in driving more revenue, growing its current 10,000 customer base, and expanding into new markets with three more African countries set to go live by Q4 this year.

In the past few months, Klasha has continued to power international businesses with the tools they need to grow and expand into Africa. Within five short months of launching, Klasha has already processed more than 20,000 transactions across Africa with an average 366% MoM growth rate.

Klasha has built plugin integrations for WooCommerceOpenCart and BigCommerce. Its integration library is rapidly growing to accommodate even more platforms, including Wix, Ecwid, Magneto and Commerce Cloud. And with an official partnership with BigCommerce, the Klasha Checkout will reach thousands of e-commerce stores globally, enabling them to receive payments online from Africa.

Africa presents vast opportunities for scaling quickly in commerce. There are more than 400 million internet users in Africa, and the total value of e-commerce is expected to reach $29 billion by 2022. Still, the ability to pay online with African money methods including cards, M-Pesa, bank transfer and mobile money is challenging for consumers on the ground. Klasha believes that consumers in Africa should have built technology to facilitate the same frictionless access to the goods they want regardless of their geographic location.

  1. Klasha Checkout: A technology solution that allows international merchants to collect payments from Africa in local currencies. The checkout can be integrated into any e-commerce platform, website or app. Through this checkout, customers in Africa can make payments online using their preferred African payment method (card, bank account, USSD, M-Pesa, Mobile Money) in their local African currency, and the merchant receives the equivalent in their chosen currency. Customers can also enjoy cheap and fast delivery of their goods.
  1. Klasha Payment Links: A no-code option to accept payments for B2B and B2C merchants or independent sellers that do not have an e-commerce storefront. The Klasha Payment Link provides a flexible and easy way for international businesses to collect payments from customers in Africa without needing a website, app, or any coding skills. With just a few clicks, businesses can create a simple custom checkout page directly from their KlashaDash dashboard and share it with their customers via email, WhatsApp or other social media platforms to receive payments.
  1. Klasha mobile app: A secure app that allows you to make local and international payments online in your local African currencies without any restrictions. With the Klasha mobile app, you can send and receive money from family and friends in Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya who use the app. No monthly charges. You can also create a virtual card, fund it with NGN, KES or GHC, see all your transactions, including the amount paid, merchant details, card information and much more.
  1. KlashaWire – A fast and easy way for businesses to pay their suppliers overseas in their preferred African currency, whether Naira, Cedis or other currencies. The suppliers, on the other end, receive the money in the dominant currency of their choice. With this feature, small business owners can make large payments to suppliers overseas with ease while lowering the cost of the transaction directly on the Klasha dashboard. When payments are made, the supplier generally receives it in their dominant currency in two business days.

29-year-old Jess Anuna, Founder and CEO of Klasha, ex-Amazon, Net-a-Porter and Shopify, said: “By 2025, half of the world’s population will live in Africa. At Klasha, we’re building the technology to facilitate frictionless cross-border payments and allow international businesses to scale seamlessly into Africa through our API. Equally, we’re giving consumers in Africa the same access to the global e-commerce economy experienced on other continents. It is imperative that African consumers are able to remain globally competitive, which includes having access to the goods they want without payment or delivery restrictions.”

Alison Lange Engel, Partner at Greycroft, said”Klasha’s technology allows for seamless cross-border transactions at a time when Africa is rapidly growing and needs both payment and logistics solutions for online commerce. We’re excited to support Klasha and their mission in simplifying borderless payments for commerce in Africa.”

Oloyede Oladimeji, CTO of Klasha, said: “We have built a secure and reliable commerce solution from scratch using modern technologies. As a business, it is important that we not only build but move fast. Every day, we are scaling our solution to solving a unique problem, connecting Africa to global merchants. Africa is a growing economy with huge potential but low card payment penetration, and we are enabling consumers in Africa to access products irrespective of their payment methods. Our multi-currency technology saves merchants the stress of dealing with all the different currencies available in Africa, allowing them to receive payouts in their dominant currency. What is amazing is not what we have built already but what we are going to build.”

Reshma Sohoni, Founding Partner at Seedcamp, said: ‘’As Africa continues to undergo digitisation, there’s an increasing opportunity for online businesses in Europe and US to garner market share quickly by accepting payments online in African currencies due to the nascent stage of commerce on the continent. Klasha is our first investment in Africa which will allow frictionless scalability for merchants into the continent through their cross-border payment technology, enabling billions of underserved consumers to access their services.’’

Klasha remains committed to simplifying cross-border payments for commerce in Africa and empowering businesses with the tools they need to grow and expand into a market full of energized consumers.

Source: Klasha

 

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Press Release

Fixit45 set to redefine auto aftermarket experience across Nigeria

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Fixit45 Founder/CEO, Justus Obaoye (Image: Supplied)

Against the backdrop of rising demand for quality automotive repair & maintenance services occasioned by the increasing vehicle age and poor state of many Nigerian roads, Fixit45, a leading tech enabled automotive aftermarket platform has declared its commitment to redefining service experience and enabling value-creating interactions across stakeholders within the automotive aftermarket segment.

A cursory examination of the automotive landscape in Nigeria would reveal a broken condition – defined as a highly fragmented, mostly unregulated industry that is dominated by a lot of informal service providers who often lack the technical competence or the know-how to deliver quality service. The industry is also beset by proliferation of counterfeit spare parts with a lack of warranty on repairs. Lastly, the traditional service and maintenance industry has remained largely untouched by the digital revolution, with many individual car owners and corporate fleet owners still going the non-transparent and time-consuming route.

Fixit45 combines an online-to-offline strategy and unique approach of deploying digital technology with local expertise to deliver exceptional service across the verticals that include Auto services, auto parts sourcing, auto care, refurbishment, roadside assistance and repair financing. Backed by a well-vetted and certified network of well distributed multi-brand car service centres that specialize in vehicle diagnosis, repairs, and maintenance, business owners and individuals are better empowered with information to reduce the cost of vehicle management and maximize their lifetime value.

According to the Founder/CEO, Justus Obaoye, Fixit45’s reason for being is rooted in the fact that quality repair and maintenance services ensures a fixed level of vehicular reliability which in turn improves the chances of economic mobility and productivity.

“Traditionally, individuals and corporates own new and used vehicles that will need to be upgraded, repaired, serviced, and maintained. Following the pandemic, a trend that has now emerged has seen many preferring to repair and or upgrade their existing vehicles in order to enhance their mobility assets and trade-in value, as opposed to buying new or foreign used cars. A quality repair and maintenance regime is pivotal to optimizing performance, service life, and reliability of these vehicles.”

“At Fixit45, we are leveraging technology to address fundamental issues in the fragmented auto aftermarket space and liberate people and businesses from the clogs that have prevented them from enjoying their mobility assets. We are empowering the market with data to drive decisions, building the much-needed trust and transparency in an opaque segment and layering delightful customer experience bolstered by service excellence,” Obaoye said.

“Technology is at the heart of all that we do. The platform provides a seamless, collaborative infrastructure for these interactions to occur and be moderated for compliance and accountability. Our service centers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to assist in repairs, oil changes, tire rotations, brake replacements and much more. Whether a car needs routine maintenance or major repairs, our fixers ensure the job is performed efficiently and correctly the first time – and with genuine parts. As a data-driven tech company, we are working to create digital solutions to make the whole process not only more convenient but also completely transparent. We are taking the stress, mistrust and time wasting out of the customer journey,” said Abdulazeez Ogunjobi, Fixit45 Cofounder & CTO.

In a report by Reportlinker.com titled “Automotive Repair and Maintenance Global Market Report 2021: COVID 19 Impact and Recovery to 2030, the global automotive repair and maintenance market is expected to grow from $641. billion in 2020 to $690.7 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.%.

 

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