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Emmanuel Asika: Social entrepreneur, digital advocate

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Emmanuel Asika: Social entrepreneur, digital advocate

Emmanuel Asika: Social entrepreneur, digital advocate

Emmanuel Asika: Social entrepreneur, digital advocate.

Emmanuel Asika is a recipient of numerous academic, and awards for his commitment to digital advocacy. He is indeed a strong believer in the transformative benefits of technology.

Asika brings to bear an 18-year multi-national experience in telecommunication and IT. He’s currently at the forefront of driving sustainability initiatives that address digital inequality, diversity, inclusion, and better opportunities for the underprivileged.

According to him, the ultimate goal of advocacy is to achieve digital equity, noting that the pillars for digital equity included devices, access to the internet, and digital literacy.

“As far as the definition goes, the objective is to get individuals and communities to a place where they have the IT capacity required for full participation in society, democracy, and the economy.”

He noted that at the heart of IT drive is Inclusion. How can we get the vast number of the digitally excluded into the digital net? he asked, “of course, the basic first step is how do we get more people educated,” he noted.

Speaking on his is mum – Victoria Nnenna Asika, who also inspired him, applied passion in teaching during her time as a teacher.

“She was a magnet for children and always used every opportunity as a didactic moment. She taught in Schools, in church, and in kids clubs and had the nickname ‘Maman Yara’, meaning Mother of all Children.”

According to him, tech can and will transform the world, as it can transform education, governance, health, and security and has continued to do so in increasing measures.

Describing the kind of work he does in his advocacy and how is it solving societal problems, he said his organisation has been part of the ‘Slum2school’ project, the Innovation and Digital Education Academy, and has collaborated in several Hackathons all in Nigeria and across Africa.

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The digital advocate opined that with the myriad of challenges that confront the country at almost every level, is a low level of awareness about the criticality of education and digital inclusion.

On key achievements since plunging into digital advocacy, Asika noted that there have been lots of interesting moments on his new journey but is still far from the ultimate goal of making Nigeria and the continent properly educated and digitally agile.

On whether there are plans of raising more digital advocates in the future the tech expert explained that his organisation plans to raise an army of digital advocates joining the conversation, bringing attention to the issues, and participating in programs to address the digital and educational divide across the continent.

“This support structure is what is required in our educational and digital sector in Nigeria. And while this should be driven by the government, it should also include every well-meaning citizen,” he said.

“I am an eager mentor and mentee and both have been key in pointing me in the right direction in critical periods in my career,” he stated.

“I consider this a solemn responsibility and will continue to actively recruit like minds into digital advocacy,” he added.

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Business & Markets

MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company

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MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company

MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company

MFS Africa acquires US-based global tech company.

In a rare acquisition of a US tech company by an African tech company, MFS Africa, Africa’s largest digital payments network, on Tuesday announced that it has reached an agreement to buy Global Technology Partners (GTP).

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, GTP is the number one processor for prepaid cards in Africa, with over 80 banks – including UBA, Ecobank, BIA, Stanbic, Coris, NSIA and Zenith Bank – using its platform. GTP’s client base covers 34 countries and is fully connected to the Visa, Mastercard, GIM, GIMAC and Verve networks for which it provides the processing.

This acquisition enables MFS Africa to further deepen its offering to Africa’s gig economy, the business travel market and the millions who eagerly want to participate in the global digital commerce through card credentials linked to mobile money wallets – rather than bank accounts – for seamless and secure online purchases. It also expands MFS Africa’s bank and fintech base and provides tokenisation for the mobile money world in connection with the traditional card scheme ecosystems such as Visa and Mastercard.

Founder and CEO of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjou, said: “This is a momentous milestone for us and Africa’s tech ecosystem – on many levels. It’s something of a first for an African tech company to acquire a US tech company of GTP’s size and stature, and we’re delighted to be welcoming the GTP team to the MFS Africa family. Their expertise enables us to extend our value proposition of last-mile connectivity to African banks and to accelerate our offering of card connectivity to mobile money users and other fintech companies operating across the continent. The combined operations have immense and exciting growth potential, and with our extended portfolio, we are now truly an omnichannel payments company.”

Robert Merrick, founder and chairman of Global Technology Partners, commented: “GTP’s established position as Africa’s number one prepaid card processor has been built on its unique, flexible platform that actively helps prepaid cards to succeed. We have become the leader of prepaid cards in Africa because of our people, who have genuine in-depth knowledge not only of the prepaid card business but also of the realities that African card users face. We connect the right solution to the right markets with the right products. MFS Africa is an ideal home for GTP, and we are focused on adding new features and functionalities to our platform, signing up new clients, expanding into new countries, driving growth and making a significant contribution to growing MFS Africa’s business and its network of networks.”

Following GTP’s acquisition, MFS Africa plans to further invest in GTP’s current card programmes with banks and bring to these all the innovation and possibilities offered by the MFS Africa HUB – including seamless interoperability with Mobile Money.

The company will also leverage GTP’s stack to fast-track card programmes for MNOs and FinTechs across Africa. Lastly, MFS Africa intends to leverage GTP’s presence in the USA to expand its commercial activities in North America.

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