omobola johnsonomobola johnsonNigeria’s minister of communication technology, Omobola Johnson, revealed Thursday that the federal government will be investing N1.5 billion on software development and African startups.

The staggering amount is equivalent to roughly U.S.$9 million and will give Nigerian startups the backing they need to grow their businesses and fuel economic growth in the country.

According to Johnson’s address at the third edition of Demo Africa, the government will be conducting the first case of the Information and Technology Innovation Fund in a few days.

This means the first large investment into the African technology startups could be just a few short weeks away.

Johnson said that in the next few days, 40 startups will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas and solutions in order to secure the funding they need to move forward with their businesses.

“I understand that in the two years of Demo Africa, alumni has generated over $8 million worth of investments, businesses and partnership,” Johnson said according to Sun News Online. “This is how you create jobs, new business opportunities, expand economics, improve social well-being of citizens.”

She also said that it’s key that those types of results “speak directly” to the country’s “ ‘companies and not code’ philosophy in the Ministry of Community Technology.”

Johnson believes that fueling new Internet opportunities can create vast economic expansion and create wealth and jobs for many of the country’s citizens.

“It is good to show prowess in software development, but it is even better to develop business and companies that are powered by that software,” she said. “The recent IPOs of Twitter and Ali Baba are testimonies of what is possible. I can’t imagine that it is too often that you get this level of government participation in Demos around the world…But governments, indeed, African governments, have an important role to play in catalyzing the startup industry as evidenced in the U.S. and, of course, Israel.”

If the startups are successful and other African governments follow in these footsteps, the growth of the entire continent’s gross domestic product could be exponential.

“One report highlights this potential and predicts that the Internet can contribute up to $300 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025 and this is from an estimated $18 billion in 2013,” Johnson added. “While mobile subscriptions in sub-Sahara Africa are forecasted to exceed 635 million by the end of this year and predicted to rise around 930 million by the end of 2019.”

Johnson said Africa is in the “cusp of a mobile Internet revolution” and that itself has the potential to permanently change the playing field for all African startups.

Predictions have already surfaced suggesting that Africa’s mobile Internet use could increase 30-fold in the next five years – roughly double the estimated growth rate for other countries across the globe.

 Source: Atlantablackstar

adrianMinnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson said Monday that he is “not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser.”

Peterson, one of the NFL’s marquee players, will practice this week and can play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, despite facing a child abuse charge, team officials said.

Peterson, who was kept out of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday, two days after an indictment alleged the 29-year-old father did “recklessly or by criminal negligence cause bodily injury” to his son, a felony.

Peterson quickly posted $15,000 in bail and was released, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

In his first comments on the case, the reinstated NFL star told fans in a written statement posted on his Twitter feed, “I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.”

Despite being advised by his attorney not to discuss details of the case, Peterson wrote, “I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.”

He said that he voluntarily appeared before a grand jury and told its members the same thing, which also matches what he said he told two different police agencies about the incident.

“I will say the same thing once I have my day in court,” he wrote.

In disciplining his son in the same manner as Peterson himself was disciplined as a child, he wrote, he unintentionally caused the boy injury. He understands that there are people who disagree with this form of discipline, he said, and he has met with a psychologist who informed him of more “appropriate” ways to discipline children.

“But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives,” he wrote. “I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.”

He closed his statement by saying that while he isn’t the perfect parent, he is not a child abuser.

“My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day,” he wrote. “I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.”

Team stands behind its star player

General manager Rick Spielman said more information about the incident was available to the Vikings then the team had on Friday when it placed Peterson, a six-time Pro Bowler in his first seven seasons, on the inactive list.

“This is a difficult path to navigate regarding the judgment of how a parent disciplines his child,” Spielman told reporters. “Based on the extensive information that we have right now, and what we know about Adrian not only as a person but what he has also done for this community, we believe he deserves to play while this legal process plays out.”

Peterson’s attorney has said his client used “a switch to spank his son” and was simply doling out discipline much like “he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas.”

Peterson “will continue to insist on his innocence of any intended wrongdoing,” attorney Rusty Hardin said Friday.

Photos obtained by TMZ allegedly show Peterson’s son’s leg covered in marks that could have come from a switch, or thin tree branch. Some of the marks in the photo appeared to have broken the skin.

“The photos are disturbing, I understand that. But to be clear, you know any matter that’s involving the child is very important for this organization. But we also think that it is right for him to go through the process legally,” Spielman said.

CNN affiliate KHOU reported this past weekend that Peterson allegedly sent text messages to the boy’s mother in Minnesota after the lashing.

Peterson wrote he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh.”

Another text was more graphic.

“Got him in the nuts once I noticed,” it read, according to KHOU. “But I felt so bad, n i’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”

The station said a later message from Peterson was: “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”

Due in court on October 8

Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant, whose office made the case against Peterson to a grand jury over a period of weeks, said prosecutors “will take this charge extremely seriously and we look forward to presenting this case to a jury.”

The next step is a preliminary court hearing that is scheduled for October 8. Grant said he expected Peterson to be there, although the decision is up to a judge.

According to Texas law, people can be convicted of injury to a child if they cause bodily or mental injury “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence” or cause such harm by omission. The crime is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a $1,000 fine.

In Texas, someone can defend himself against a charge of injury to a child if he can prove it happened while he was administering “reasonable discipline,” Grant said.

“Obviously, parents are entitled to discipline their children as they see fit, except for when that discipline exceeds what the community would say is reasonable,” he said. “And so, a grand jury, having indicted this case, looked at the injuries that were inflicted upon this child and determined that that discipline was not reasonable.”

As the NFL reviews the running back’s actions under its personal conduct policy, the Vikings owners said they will “monitor the situation closely.”

Referring to the decision to keep Peterson out of Sunday’s game, the Vikings owners, who are brothers, said, “On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved.”

Peterson is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL — if not the best. His absence was probably felt during the Vikings’ 30-7 loss to the Patriots on Sunday.

In 2011, he agreed to a lucrative contract, which NFL.com reported would be worth $100 million over a 7-year period.

Source: CNN

She’s one of the cast of the play “Hear Word”. Speaking about how easy it is for her to return to work despite having two young children at home, Dakore said she has a great support system who help her with the kids and that marriage and motherhood hasn’t slowed her down “My mom is with my kids at home.

 

My nanny is also at home. By the Grace of God, I have a great support system. My husband is very understanding. They believe in what I am doing and encourage me to forge ahead, so I can give my all to my job. With balancing marriage, motherhood and work, I prioritize.

The home first. And when my husband realizes I am deviating from my duty, I have to push myself back. Family first and once family has been taken care of, I can then fly….

Credit: Dakore Akande