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Embattled Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi gets new UN job

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Yesterday in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of His Royal Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, as one of his new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates for 2019-2020.

 

A statement by UN quoted Guterres as saying that the appointment was sequel to the UN Member States agreement to accomplish the SDGs by 2030. The Advocates are 17 influential public figures from around the world who are tasked by the Secretary-General to promote the Goals, raise awareness with new audiences, maintain global commitment and call for greater ambition and scalable action to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

 

Sanusi is the only Nigerian on the 17- man list of SDG Advocates co-chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway.  According to Guterres, the Advocates are tasked with driving the action, building the ambition, and solidifying global political will of the SDGs.

“We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty and inequality. They lie in the great agreements of 2015 – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. But tools are no use if you don’t use them. So, today, and every day, my appeal is clear and simple; we need action, ambition, political will, more action, more ambition and more political will,” said Guterres.

He further said that the Advocates are to raise awareness, inspire greater ambition, and push for faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by world leaders on Sept. 25 2015. “They are expected to use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilisation of the global community to build the momentum for transformative and inclusive development by 2030.”

 

The Advocates selected from Governments, entertainment, academia, sport, business and activist organisations around the world, are also expected to leverage and build bridges between their unique audiences, and work together to drive progress.  Co-Chair of the SDGs Advocates group Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway was also quoted in the statement as saying: “By joining forces to achieve our goals, we can turn hope into reality – leaving no one behind”.

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Gadget Reviews

Beats Solo Pro (Apple’s 1st on-ear, noise-cancelling headphones)

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Beats has finally joined the on-ear, noise-cancelling (NC) headphone fray, as these are the first from the Apple’s-owned audio brand to feature NC in this form factor.

Apple has shifted more than 30 million Solo headphones, and these are available in the usual array of natty colours one might expect from Beats. You can opt for six options comprising dark blue, light blue, red, black, ivory and grey.

The Solo Pro’s sound profile is supposedly an evolution of Beats’ Solo3 Wireless headphones, but this time with refined drivers and lower harmonic distortion. Two beam-forming mics and updated speech detection should help with voice and video calls as well as bossing about your digital assistant.

Concerning the active noise cancelling, the Solo Pros features the Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling tech from Beats Studio3 Wireless, with an updated tuning to compensate for the on-ear form factor. This new tuning can apparently also deal with leakage caused by hairs, earrings, ear shapes and movement of ones head.

A ‘transparency’ function allows you to activate the external mics for a more natural filter on the ANC so you can better hear outside noises such as traffic or conversations. The mode button on the left ear cup switches between Pure ANC and Transparency. Other controls are housed on the right ear cup where you can answer/end calls, play/pause music, skip songs, control volume and activate voice command. Another nice touch is the Solo Pros have no power button as they are turned on when you unfold the headphones then powers down when you fold them up.

Apple’s Solo Pro is promises up to 22 hours on Pure ANC or Transparency and up to 40 hours with them turned off. Recharge times are three hours of playback with a 10-minute charge. Sadly there’s no USB-C just lightning.

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Challenges of Data Management in the Financial Sector

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Over the past years, the financial sector has undergone significant
transformation, tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing and robotics have greatly impacted how banks, insurance companies and technology players are delivering various financial products to customers, and data is at the heart of it all.

For organisations it is not only critical to have a data management system in place, but it is a necessity to survive in a highly competitive market. With a flood of technological advancement, the world is constantly evolving in order to keep up. Data has become an extremely valuable resource and it is important for all organisations in the financial sector to look at ways to manage this data correctly. Most organisations see data as a commodity and the last thing they want to do is lose or misuse it thereby forcing the need for increased and improved data protection policies across all platforms, cloud applications and more. At the same time, there is calls for transparency regarding how data is collected and shared which leads us to the concept of data
management.

BIG DATA

The financial sector has a lot of data at its fingertips, but the challenge of collating this data and making it work in a performant and auditable fashion is experienced. Everyday there is billions of transactions that take place and extracting valuable data from those transactions can be difficult. The biggest challenge lies in turning this vast amount of data into insightful data, although this can be time consuming, even the smallest detail can lead to a competitive advantage over competitors. Sorting through torrents of unstructured data for useful information is a substantial task which cannot be undervalued.

To survive in a highly competitive market high-quality data analytics is required. Advanced analytics paired with good data management technology can help detect threats and uncover untapped opportunities thus leading to that competitive edge organisations thirst for. Big data provides multiple challenges for financial service providers as we have seen but, it also provides timely opportunities such as valuable business insights. It is important to find the right data platform to allow for that.

INCREASED PRESSURE

The financial sector is accumulating data at an alarming rate which inevitably puts strain on the system. This has increased pressure on organisations to have a reliable data management system in place. As time passes, an organisations system will accumulate more data and thus more pressure. Having a functioning data management system is essential to eliminate the potential risk of downtime. Data management is a good way to counter act this problem but there are still other forces putting pressure on the financial sector; such as instantaneous responses, personal customer service and constant regulatory changes.

Many believed that digital technology such as AI and machine learning would help simplify the increased pressure, but we are still far from reaping those benefits. As there is no new technology better placed to replace a well-run data- management platform, the options can be quite limited. One of those leading options is enterprise data management (EDM), it can centralise and organise data while making it accessible and useable. Implementing an intelligent EDM is a necessary component when handling increased pressure for any business.

CYBER SECURITY

Like other sectors, the financial sector is increasingly reliant on data and new technological developments which means there is a necessity to limit the dangers of cyber threats. The financial sector views cyber security as a top priority due to the countless problems it can cause. Time to time we see more and more data breaches involving financial service firms, so it is of paramount importance to incorporate innovative solutions to limit the damages caused by a breach.

The financial sector has leaned heavily on Blockchain technology as it is deemed to be the next top end solution, An incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

It is quite difficult to tamper with data stored on Blockchain, but it is also difficult to ensure the data stored has integrity. Enterprise data management can accurately and safely transfer data, but it is not “one size fits all” as every organisation has different needs. Organisations in the financial sector should prioritize this particularly as they deal with data privacy. Data management is an integral part to any organisation as data is an extremely valuable resource and the importance of data management to the financial sector cannot be underestimated. Any organisation with an accessible and secure data management platform in place is in prime position to take advantage of an increasingly open landscape.

Slowly but surely data analytics solutions are emerging which organisations need to take advantage of and data management is a fundamental part of this process. The digital landscape has changed but expectation with employees, partners and customers has not. The financial sector is in a strong place as is reflective in the continued popularity of business and finance-related third-level courses. One thing is clear, the modern financial sector is and will continue to be powered by data.

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