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UN approves NFT standards initiative led by Tencent

Chinese entertainment conglomerate Tencent has been approved by the United Nations to lead a project exploring the creation of a standard technical and security framework for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) . The project, dubbed a “technical framework for DLT-based digital collection services” will be the world’s first U.N.-approved standards initiative for NFTs, according to state-owned local media. The U.N. agency for information and communication technologies, The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approved the project, which is expected to complete an initial draft by the end of 2022, according to a report from the South China Morning Post. Currently, any recommendations advised by the ITU only become mandatory and enforceable when nations adopt them as law. “The international stan...

New Vodafone & UN Initiative to Give 3.4-Billion Access to a Smartphone by 2030

A new global initiative has been launched by Vodafone Group and ITU, the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies, to address the global digital divide. The initiative aims for an additional 3.4 billion people to have the ability to access and use the internet through a smartphone by 2030. The Digital Divide With mobile broadband (4G) networks now covering 82% of the population of Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), the mobile usage gap is 6x larger than the mobile coverage gap (2) In line with the Broadband Commission Global Targets 2025 on affordability and connectivity, the new Working Group will identify policy, commercial and circular-economy interventions to increase smartphone access. Co-chaired by Vodafone Group CEO, Nick Read, and ITU ...

UN Calls on Nigeria, Others to Tighten Cybersecurity Regulations

Sourced from UN The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the global telecommunications arm of the United Nations (UN) has called on the government of Nigeria, and other governments across Africa to strengthen their Internet safety regulations. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and general shift online, many African countries are now more exposed to cybersecurity threats than before, necessitating renewed efforts into protecting these spaces. According to the Guardian Nigeria, the UN noted that in Africa, many countries have seen a rise in reports of digital threats and other malicious cyber activities. The results include sabotaged public infrastructure, large-scale monetary theft from digital fraud, and national security breaches. The UN says that addressing these vulnerabilities...

The UN & Oracle Launch IT Skills Program for Refugees in Kenya

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Haiti asks US, UN to send troops after president’s assassination

Haiti has asked Washington and the UN for troops to secure its ports, airport and other strategic sites after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise opened a power vacuum in the crisis-hit Caribbean nation, an official said Friday. The United States has already said it will send FBI and other agents to Port-au-Prince, two days after Moise was shot dead in his home. In the wake of the slaying “we thought that mercenaries could destroy some infrastructure to create chaos … During a conversation with the US secretary of state and the UN we made this request,” elections minister Mathias Pierre told AFP. The US State Department and Pentagon both confirmed receiving a request for “security and investigative assistance” and said officials remain in contact with Port-au-Prince, but did not s...

Two injured in church bomb blast in eastern DR Congo

A makeshift bomb exploded inside a Catholic church in the city of Beni in the DR Congo’s conflict-plagued east on Sunday, injuring two just an hour before a children’s Confirmation ceremony was due to be held. The head of police in Beni’s town hall Narcisse Muteba Kashale told AFP that the explosion occurred at 06:00 and that experts from the UN’s mission to DR Congo had told “us it is a home-made bomb, a bomb that was set up for an ambush”. Beni’s vicar general Laurent Sondirya said two people were injured in the blast, which went off before crowds would have gathered to attend the Confirmation ceremony. “They were targeting a large crowd because the ceremony would bring together children, their parents and the faithful,” he told AFP, adding that “mass would not be postponed”. Traces of b...

Chad accuses CAR of killing six of its soldiers

The Chad government on Monday accused the Central African Republic (CAR) of killing six of its soldiers in an attack on an outpost in the south of the country. “The Central African armed forces attacked the outpost of Sourou in Chad on Sunday morning … killed a Chad soldier, injured five and kidnapped five others who were then executed in Mbang on the Central African Republic side,” Chad’s Foreign Minister Cherif Mahamat Zene said in a statement. The CAR regularly accuses its northern neighbour of supporting armed rebel groups from inside Chad. The identity of the alleged CAR rebels is yet to be confirmed but a senior Chad security official told AFP news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the rebels were members of Unity for Peace in Central Africa (UPC). The UPC is one of CA...

UN lauds Nigeria’s leading role in securing Gulf of Guinea

The United Nations (UN) has commended Nigeria for playing a leading role in efforts to secure the Gulf of Guinea, saying it will continue to support the country and the region. Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Kitack Lim said the country had made important contributions to the fight against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain, foremost among them the recent launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project. IMO is the specialised agency of the UN responsible for regulating shipping. “I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Nigerian government for its continued contribution towards the endeavours to ensure safe and secure maritime operation in the Gu...

Vodafone and UNHCR Expand Connected Education for Refugees in Mozambique

/* custom css */ .tdi_4_200.td-a-rec-img{ text-align: left; }.tdi_4_200.td-a-rec-img img{ margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Ahead of World Refugee Day (June 20), Vodafone Foundation and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), have expanded their Instant Network Schools (INS) programme – which supports over 94,000 refugee students and communities in four African countries – into Mozambique. Two new INS, in the Maratane Refugee Settlement and the city of Nampula, will benefit nearly 9,000 students in the 7th-12th grades, 25,000 family members and over 200 teachers. Instant Network Schools /* custom css */ .tdi_3_68b.td-a-rec-img{ text-align: left; }.tdi_3_68b.td-a-rec-img img{ margin: 0 auto 0 0; } INS transforms existing classrooms into multimedia hubs for learning, complete with internet connectivity, sustaina...

Mali’s coup leader seizes power again

Mali’s president and prime minister have been ousted by the officer who led last year’s coup and became vice-president of an interim government. Col Assimi Goïta says President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country’s transition. They were arrested hours after a government reshuffle which saw two senior army officers replaced. Col Goïta says elections will still go ahead next year as planned. But he ignored pleas from the UN chief, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), the EU and the US that the president and prime minister be released without any preconditions. The two men have been held at a military camp outside the capital, Bamako, since they were arrested on Monday evening. A delegation from Eco...

Three UN peacekeepers wounded in Mali attack

Three United Nations peacekeepers were on Sunday seriously injured in a rocket attack on a military base in the north of the conflict-ridden Sahel state, UN and local officials said. Olivier Salgado, the spokesman for the UN’s MINUSMA mission in Mali, said the attack took place on a base in Tessalit – in the north – which houses Malian soldiers, UN peacekeepers and French troops. Three peacekeepers were “gravely wounded” in the attack, he added. A Tessalit tribal leader, who declined to be named, said that the camp had come under rocket fire, hitting the barracks of peacekeepers from Chad. “The situation is currently calm and under control,” he added. Mali has been battling a brutal jihadist insurgency since 2012, when Islamist fighters first emerged during a rebellion by ethnic Tuareg sep...

Southeast Asian leaders discuss Myanmar crisis with junta chief

Southeast Asian leaders began a crisis meeting on Myanmar on Saturday aiming to persuade Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the military takeover that sparked turmoil in his country, to forge a path to end the violence. The gathering of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta is the first coordinated international effort to ease the crisis in Myanmar, an impoverished country that neighbours China, India and Thailand. Myanmar is part of the 10-nation ASEAN. With participants attending in person despite the pandemic, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Friday that the summit reflected the “deep concern about the situation in Myanmar and ASEAN’s determination to help Myanmar get out of this delicate situation”. It’s unusual for the leader o...

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