Winners Of GPTW Best Companies To Work For 2018 Africa Awards

Winners have emerged at the 5th edition of the Best Companies to Work For 2018 Africa Awards organised by the Great Place to Work Institute (GPTW) held in Lagos. The event focuses on recognizing exemplary African organizations.

GPTW Institute is a global research firm that assesses companies, based on a trust index survey (employees’ opinion about the workplace) and culture audit (management policies and practices), with the overall objective to promote excellence in the work place. The GPTW Institute operates in 50 countries, including Nigeria.


Andela has been honored as the Number 1 Best Company to Work For in Africa, in the Large Employer Category at the Great Place to Work Awards. Andela with a presence in 50 countries including Nigeria, Great Place to Work (GPTW) helps organizations develop excellent workplace culture. Andela won three awards in the following categories: Best Company to Work For in Africa, Most Fun and Friendly Workplace, and Best Workplace for Generation – Millennials.

According to Taiwo Judah-Ajayi, Senior Director of People at Andela while receiving the award:

“At Andela, our EPIC values (Excellence, Passion, Integrity and Collaboration) guide our daily actions and our long term goals.

Courteville Business Solution Plc

Courteville Business Solution Plc emerged winner of the “Best Company to Work For” award in the small and medium scale organisation category.

First City Monument Bank (FCMB)

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) received two awards “Best Workplace for Women in Africa” and “Second Best Company to Work For in Africa”, both in the large corporates category. In addition, the Bank was presented with a certificate to further attest to its recognition as a Great Place to Work. The awards are in recognition of FCMB’s achievements in creating an enabling environment where employees can pursue their career goals and thrive.

For the award of “Best Workplace for Women, GPTW institute took particular note of the various empowerments such as the increased female representation in key management roles in the financial institution.

SC Johnsons and Son

SC Johnsons and Son emerged winner of the “Best Quality of Life” award in the small and medium scale organisation category.

Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank emerged winner of the “Best Quality of Life” award in the large corporate organisation category.

GPTW Hall of Fame (Honorary Award)

SC Johnson and Son
Microsoft Nigeria
Courteville Business Solutions Plc
NSIA Insurance

Recipients Of 2018 Nelson Mandela African Leadership Awards

West Africa Health Examinations Board (WAHEB) Registrar/CEO, Dr. Gladys Nchelem Ihunda, has received the 13th edition of the Nelson Mandela African Leadership Award on Administration and Humanitarian Services Per-Excellence. The event held at Central Medical Laboratory Hall, Yaba, Lagos.

African Youth Parliament (AYP) Speaker, Hon. Bamikole Oladele Babs, leading the conferment of the award, said AYP’s quest seeking outstanding humanitarianism, found all the qualities required to win the international award in Dr. Ihunda.

He said:

“We seek to find ourselves role models, outstanding and mentors in life as we found in Dr. (Mrs.) Gladys Nchelem Ihunda, an erudite peace builder, experienced woman of invaluable intellectual prowess, a proven public and  private sector leader par-excellence.”

According to Hon. Bamikole Oladele Babs, Dr. Ihunda ranked among 12 African leaders, who earlier received the international award. They included, former President of Ghana, Mr. John Agyekum Kuffor, Founder, Afe Babalola  University,  Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Aare Afe Babalola, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former World Court Judge Bola Ajibola and CEO, Peace Connect  Multinational  Companies, Freetown, Sierra-Leone, Professor Clement K. Dzidonu, etc.

Divine Oduduru Wins National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Title [2018]

Divine Oduduru has won his first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title in the men’s 200 meters final with a time of 20.28s at Hayward Field, Eugene.

Despite running from lane 8, Oduduru secured the win for his school Texas Tech, winning by a one-hundredth of a second. Florida State’s Andre Ewer was 2nd in 20.29s, while Kendal Williams finished 3rd in 20.32s

The NCAA organises national championship among tertiary institutions in the United States of America (USA).

Divine Oduduru joins other Nigerian athletes to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title, which includes Blessing Okagbare and Oluwatobiloba Amusan.

In the words of Divine Oduduru:

“Today when I found out I was in lane 8, I was like I have to do something because 2014 I was here for the World Juniors and I ran from lane 8 also and I qualified. So I said okay, if I could do that at the World Juniors, I could do that here too.

So that was part of my encouragement, and I encouraged myself, and I beat myself up and said okay it’s time to go. I just had to do what I have been doing at practice and I got the result.

I told God, ‘if you make me win this race, I’m going to dance a dance that shows that I’m grateful to you’.”

Divine Oduduru is the first Texas Tech athlete ever to win a 200 meters National Title.

Nigeria Wins EMEA Finance Awards [2018]

Nigeria wins awards in three categories for its securities issuance activities in the domestic and international capital markets at the EMEA Finance Awards [2018].

The EMEA Finance awards were for the best sovereign bond in Africa – $3 billion dual-tranche (10 and 30-year) Eurobonds issued in November 2017.

It also won awards for most innovative bond – $300 million diaspora bond issued in June 2017 and best naira bond – ₦100 billion seven-year inaugural Sukuk issued in September 2017.

Nigeria issued its first diaspora bond for $300 million in June 2017 and was selected for the award for the uniqueness in the manner in which it was structured.

The bond is also the first security issued by Nigeria that is registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the communications department of the Nigerian Debt Management Office (DMO):

“Even more significant for Nigeria is that awards by EMEA Finance are made after evaluating several transactions, each of which is unique, using clearly defined criteria.

That three transactions by Nigeria won awards from a competitive process, is a huge plus for Nigeria.

With the three billion dollar dual-tranche ($1.5 billion for 10 years and $1.5 billion for 30 years), Nigeria recorded several firsts, making it a landmark transaction.

Firstly, it was the very first time that Nigeria raised an amount that large at once in the International Capital Market (ICM).

Secondly, it was the first time a Sub-Saharan African country other than South Africa issued a 30-year bond in the ICM.

For Nigeria, the significance of the tenor lies in the fact that it could now access stable long-term funds necessary to finance infrastructure.

Indeed, Nigeria is proud to have opened the 30-year window as some other African countries such as Kenya subsequently issued 30-year bonds.”

Furthermore, the DMO added that the use of the proceeds was the most significant aspect of the product as they have been deployed to the designated 25 Road Projects across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.

The Office recalled that a recent inspection of the road projects confirmed that a silent transformation in infrastructure had begun through Sukuk financing, adding that it was also significant that Sukuk had opened a window for financial inclusion.

According to the statement from the DMO, Patience Oniha, DMO’s Director General says that the DMO’s primary responsibility is to manage public debt.

She also said that in executing this mandate, it would introduce initiatives and products to support the development of the domestic market.

This, she said was to position it as a veritable source of funds for the private sector to enable them contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

Data Science Nigeria (DSN) Opens Nigeria’s First Artificial Intelligence Hub

Data Science Nigeria (DSN) opens Nigeria’s first-ever Artificial Intelligence Hub in the University of Lagos towards repositioning Nigeria as Africa’s leader in Analytics, Research and Data-Driven solutions.

The opening of the Hub brought together the academia, industry players, experts and the technology community, with the  focus of fostering a strong synergy, that will drive innovation to address socio-economic challenges in the nation.

In his opening remarks the Founder of Data Science Nigeria, Mr. Bayo Adekanmbi described the Artificial Intelligence Hub as a strategic intervention, that will  boost research, innovation and information technology across the country.

Mr. Adekanmbi said the hub has a clear focus on local innovations mindset to solve local social/business problems with top  priority on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Strategies to be deployed in the hub according to Adekanmbi, include; Mentoring and Masterclass sessions facilitated by  global Artificial Intelligence experts and Bootcamps.

The Artificial Intelligence Hub will also serve as a key avenue for developing the Artificial Intelligence cycle in the country, focus on deep learning and encourage talent discovery in the innovation & data analytics space.

In his brief address the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Professor O.T. Ogundipe lauded Data Science Nigeria for the AI Hub, assuring the Founder Mr. Adekanmbi and his team of the total support from the management.

Professor Ogundipe informed stakeholders that the Data Science Nigeria AI Hub initiative aligns with the University’s core focus on innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship.

The Director, Global Development Strategy, Data and Analytics of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Uyi Stewart described the hub as a novel initiative for Nigeria’s advancement.

Dr. Stewart a Nigerian with 10 patents registered in the United States challenged stakeholders to explore the immense opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution, which is driven by cloud computing, digitization and artificial intelligence.

The Acting Director of the Centre for Information Technology, University of Lagos Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa believes the hub will address the gaps between the academic community and the industry.

The opening event also featured a special hackathon session on Artificial Intelligence and financial inclusion in Nigeria, facilitated by Dr. Uyi Stewart.

Data Science Nigeria is the vision of Bayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN, a  hands-on data scientist and a doctoral researcher who uses data science algorithms to understand low-income customers. DSN has organised free bootcamps, industry summits, online free courses and provide internship/direct job placements for the Nigerian data science community.

Data Science Nigeria, a non-profit foundation, is driven by its vision to accelerate Nigeria’s development through a solution-oriented application of machine learning to solve social/business problems and galvanize data science knowledge revolution, which can position Nigeria to become the outsourcing hub for international Data Science/Advanced Analytics/Big Data projects, with opportunity to access at least 1% share of the global big data and analytics market, valued at $150 billion in 2017 ($203 billion in 2020).