Daily Archives: June 3, 2020

Miami International Holdings Reports May 2020 Trading Results and New Daily Market Share Record for MIAX Exchange Group

PRINCETON, New Jersey, June 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) today reported May 2020 trading results for its three fully electronic options exchanges – MIAX®, MIAX PEARL® and MIAX Emerald™ (together, the MIAX Exchange Group™). The MIAX Exchange Group collectively executed over 63.2 million equity option contracts in May for a combined average daily volume (ADV) of 3,160,831 contracts, representing a total U.S. equity options market share of 12.36%.

Trading Volume for MIAX Exchange Group,

Current Month

Year-to-Date Comparison
Equity Options Contracts May-20 May-19 % Chg April-20 % Chg May-20 May-19 % Chg
Trading Days 20 22 21 103 104
U.S. Equity Options
Industry
511,622,104 405,895,497 26.0% 515,812,617 -0.8% 2,597,965,368 1,807,942,528 43.7%
MIAX Exchange Group 63,216,613 38,004,588 66.3% 63,815,671 -0.9% 299,248,499 180,071,219 66.2%
MIAX 26,091,147 15,227,333 71.3% 24,069,512 8.4% 116,474,567 74,635,031 56.1%
MIAX PEARL 24,860,957 19,650,832 26.5% 20,365,030 22.1% 122,380,963 97,778,682 25.2%
MIAX Emerald 12,264,509 3,126,423 292.3% 19,381,129 -36.7% 60,392,969 7,657,506 688.7%
Equity Options ADV May-20 May-19 % Chg April-20 % Chg May-20 May-19 % Chg
U.S. Equity Options
Industry
25,581,105 18,449,795 38.7% 24,562,506 4.1% 25,222,965 17,384,063 45.1%
MIAX Exchange Group 3,160,831 1,727,481 83.0% 3,038,841 4.0% 2,905,325 1,731,454 67.8%
MIAX 1,304,557 692,152 88.5% 1,146,167 13.8% 1,130,821 717,645 57.6%
MIAX PEARL 1,243,048 893,220 39.2% 969,763 28.2% 1,188,165 940,180 26.4%
MIAX Emerald 613,225 142,110 331.5% 922,911 -33.6% 586,340 73,630 696.3%
Equity Option Market Share for MIAX Exchange Group,

Current Month

Year-to-Date Comparison
Equity Options Market
Share
May-20 May-19 % Chg April-20 % Chg May-20 May-19 % Chg
MIAX Exchange Group 12.36% 9.36% 32.0% 12.37% -0.1% 11.52% 9.96% 15.6%
MIAX 5.10% 3.75% 35.9% 4.67% 9.3% 4.48% 4.13% 8.6%
MIAX PEARL 4.86% 4.84% 0.4% 3.95% 23.1% 4.71% 5.41% -12.9%
MIAX Emerald 2.40% 0.77% 211.2% 3.76% -36.2% 2.32% 0.42% 448.8%

May 2020 records and other news announcements:  

MIAX Exchange Group

  • New daily market share record
    • 14.79% market share on May 29, 2020

MIH

  • Announced that industry finance veteran Lance Emmons joined the company as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.

For further information regarding the MIAX Exchange Group, please visit www.MIAXOptions.com or contact MIAX Trading Operations at TradingOperations@MIAXOptions.com.

Corporate Communications Contact: Dominique Prunetti-Miller
(609) 897-1465
dprunetti@miami-holdings.com

About MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group

Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) is the parent holding company of Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAX®), MIAX PEARL, LLC (MIAX PEARL®) and MIAX Emerald, LLC (MIAX Emerald™ and together with MIAX and MIAX PEARL, the MIAX Exchange Group™), three fully electronic options trading exchanges. MIH also owns a controlling interest in the Bermuda Stock Exchange.

MIAX, MIAX PEARL and MIAX Emerald leverage the MIAX Exchange Group’s industry-leading technology and infrastructure to provide their member firms with traditional pricing and pro rata allocation (MIAX), maker-taker pricing and price-time allocation (MIAX PEARL) market structures, and a hybrid market structure with maker-taker pricing and pro rata allocation (MIAX Emerald).

MIAX Options serves as the exclusive exchange venue for cash-settled options on the SPIKES® Volatility Index (Ticker: SPIKE), a measure of the expected 30-day volatility in the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF (SPY).

The MIAX Exchange Group’s executive offices and National Operations Center are located in Princeton, NJ, with additional offices located in Miami, FL.

To learn more about MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group visit www.MIAXOptions.com.

Disclaimer and Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities of Miami International Holdings, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, the Company), and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer; solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

All third-party trademarks (including logos and icons) referenced by the Company remain the property of their respective owners. Unless specifically identified as such, the Company’s use of third-party trademarks does not indicate any relationship, sponsorship, or endorsement between the owners of these trademarks and the Company. Any references by the Company to third-party trademarks is to identify the corresponding third-party goods and/or services and shall be considered nominative fair use under the trademark law.

LLVISION Offers Complete Temperature Measurement and Remote Guidance Solution in Fight against COVID-19

BEIJING, June 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — LLVISON, a pioneer and leader in AR enterprise service, has released a pair of AI-powered dual-spectrum AR thermometer glasses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dual Spectrum Infrared Thermometric AI Smart Glasses.

The upgraded GLXSS SE-IR smart glasses provide an improved first perspective interaction experience, featured with fast and accurate temperature check, which helps enterprises in organizing work resumption.

LLVISION and SAP have co-launched the AR FSM to bring a new generation of AR field management service solution.

In order to solve the absent on-site field practice and management due to the travel restriction recently, LLVision also launched the latest version of ARISE Industrial Remote Collaboration Platform. The platform provides an all-in-one solution, which allows users to  accomplish trouble shooting and completion test, as well as to track business performance, with advance remote collaboration features such as remote video artificial intelligence recognition and data analysis.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted business. To help companies tackle these challenges, we have upgraded our Industrial Remote Collaboration Platform to allow for un-intrusive use to the benefit of the public and staff,” said Roy Lou, Product Director of LLVISION.

Product Upgrade: GLXSS SE_IR 

Applying advanced technologies such as an AI algorithm and dual spectrum imaging, the upgraded GLXSS SE_IR not only enables automatic forehead temperature targeting but also improved processing times, accuracy and data dimensions.

At present, the solution is used in more than 30 sites and 50 airports, customs checkpoints, schools and industrial parks across China. LLVISON’s service has also been introduced to the UAE, India, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Philippines, South Africa, Pakistan, Chile, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

1. ±0.3°C accuracy is guaranteed through the dual-spectrum fitting algorithm which targets the forehead, combined with error correction and black body calibration technology.

2. AR glasses allow a safe operating distance as the glasses can measure the temperature of multiple moving targets up to 3 meters away and detect faces at up to 8 meters.

3. Equipped with 1T Flops/W computing power and edge computing chip, the glasses can support continuous real-time multi-people detection of up to 200 people per minute. 

4. Each temperature result can be bound to facial recognition results, time, location, on-site image and other information, and will be recorded and reported to the management platform.

Remote Collaboration Platform

LLVISION has also upgraded its Industrial Remote Collaboration Platform to provide a comprehensive AR+AI field service solution to reduce operational costs and improve management efficiency for companies and industrial parks.

1. IP67 compliant, the GLXSS SE AR smart glasses are as light as 33.4g and are tested with MIL-STD. The product is compatible with helmets, goggles and other personal protective equipment.
2. The first perspective function provides an immersive experience with video sharing and multi-party audio and video meetings.
3. Real-time AR mark is applied to videos for automatic tracking when moving. Also, support marks on screen shoot.
4. Support two-way images, text, mainstream files delivery. The pictures and texts will be displayed on the glasses screen automatically.
5. The Arise Industrial Platform can be applied to on-site service scenarios such as operation process management, park asset management and AI cognition.

About LLVISION

LLVISION, as a specialist in AR + AI enterprise services, provides related hardware products and software support. Its solution is now widely used in industries such as security, industrial and healthcare. The company has served more than 5000 companies worldwide, saving customers travel expenses over 100 million US dollars.

In 2020, being one of the first AR smart glasses partner with SAP, LLVISION and SAP have co-launched the AR FSM to bring a new generation of AR field management service solution.

https://www.llvision.com/en/

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1176238/3_0.jpg
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1176239/SAP.jpg

Miami International Holdings Reports May 2020 Trading Results and New Daily Market Share Record for MIAX Exchange Group

PRINCETON, New Jersey, June 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) today reported May 2020 trading results for its three fully electronic options exchanges – MIAX®, MIAX PEARL® and MIAX Emerald™ (together, the MIAX Exchange Group™). The MIAX Exchange Group collectively executed over 63.2 million equity option contracts in May for a combined average daily volume (ADV) of 3,160,831 contracts, representing a total U.S. equity options market share of 12.36%.

Trading Volume for MIAX Exchange Group,

Current Month

Year-to-Date Comparison
Equity Options Contracts May-20 May-19 % Chg April-20 % Chg May-20 May-19 % Chg
Trading Days 20 22 21 103 104
U.S. Equity Options
Industry
511,622,104 405,895,497 26.0% 515,812,617 -0.8% 2,597,965,368 1,807,942,528 43.7%
MIAX Exchange Group 63,216,613 38,004,588 66.3% 63,815,671 -0.9% 299,248,499 180,071,219 66.2%
MIAX 26,091,147 15,227,333 71.3% 24,069,512 8.4% 116,474,567 74,635,031 56.1%
MIAX PEARL 24,860,957 19,650,832 26.5% 20,365,030 22.1% 122,380,963 97,778,682 25.2%
MIAX Emerald 12,264,509 3,126,423 292.3% 19,381,129 -36.7% 60,392,969 7,657,506 688.7%
Equity Options ADV May-20 May-19 % Chg April-20 % Chg May-20 May-19 % Chg
U.S. Equity Options
Industry
25,581,105 18,449,795 38.7% 24,562,506 4.1% 25,222,965 17,384,063 45.1%
MIAX Exchange Group 3,160,831 1,727,481 83.0% 3,038,841 4.0% 2,905,325 1,731,454 67.8%
MIAX 1,304,557 692,152 88.5% 1,146,167 13.8% 1,130,821 717,645 57.6%
MIAX PEARL 1,243,048 893,220 39.2% 969,763 28.2% 1,188,165 940,180 26.4%
MIAX Emerald 613,225 142,110 331.5% 922,911 -33.6% 586,340 73,630 696.3%
Equity Option Market Share for MIAX Exchange Group,

Current Month

Year-to-Date Comparison
Equity Options Market
Share
May-20 May-19 % Chg April-20 % Chg May-20 May-19 % Chg
MIAX Exchange Group 12.36% 9.36% 32.0% 12.37% -0.1% 11.52% 9.96% 15.6%
MIAX 5.10% 3.75% 35.9% 4.67% 9.3% 4.48% 4.13% 8.6%
MIAX PEARL 4.86% 4.84% 0.4% 3.95% 23.1% 4.71% 5.41% -12.9%
MIAX Emerald 2.40% 0.77% 211.2% 3.76% -36.2% 2.32% 0.42% 448.8%

May 2020 records and other news announcements:  

MIAX Exchange Group

  • New daily market share record
    • 14.79% market share on May 29, 2020

MIH

  • Announced that industry finance veteran Lance Emmons joined the company as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.

For further information regarding the MIAX Exchange Group, please visit www.MIAXOptions.com or contact MIAX Trading Operations at TradingOperations@MIAXOptions.com.

Corporate Communications Contact: Dominique Prunetti-Miller
(609) 897-1465
dprunetti@miami-holdings.com

About MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group

Miami International Holdings, Inc. (MIH) is the parent holding company of Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (MIAX®), MIAX PEARL, LLC (MIAX PEARL®) and MIAX Emerald, LLC (MIAX Emerald™ and together with MIAX and MIAX PEARL, the MIAX Exchange Group™), three fully electronic options trading exchanges. MIH also owns a controlling interest in the Bermuda Stock Exchange.

MIAX, MIAX PEARL and MIAX Emerald leverage the MIAX Exchange Group’s industry-leading technology and infrastructure to provide their member firms with traditional pricing and pro rata allocation (MIAX), maker-taker pricing and price-time allocation (MIAX PEARL) market structures, and a hybrid market structure with maker-taker pricing and pro rata allocation (MIAX Emerald).

MIAX Options serves as the exclusive exchange venue for cash-settled options on the SPIKES® Volatility Index (Ticker: SPIKE), a measure of the expected 30-day volatility in the SPDR® S&P 500® ETF (SPY).

The MIAX Exchange Group’s executive offices and National Operations Center are located in Princeton, NJ, with additional offices located in Miami, FL.

To learn more about MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group visit www.MIAXOptions.com.

Disclaimer and Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities of Miami International Holdings, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, the Company), and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer; solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

All third-party trademarks (including logos and icons) referenced by the Company remain the property of their respective owners. Unless specifically identified as such, the Company’s use of third-party trademarks does not indicate any relationship, sponsorship, or endorsement between the owners of these trademarks and the Company. Any references by the Company to third-party trademarks is to identify the corresponding third-party goods and/or services and shall be considered nominative fair use under the trademark law.

Saudi Arabia Continues Proactive Development Measures In Yemen During COVID-19 Pandemic

ADEN, Yemen, June 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Since its first presence on the ground in Yemen in May 2018, SDRPY has tackled health, environmental and other crises with development projects and initiatives in cooperation with the Yemeni government and local authorities, sharing experiences with relevant international and local organizations to arrive at best practices of direct benefit to the Yemeni citizen. With needs in Yemen now increasing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SDRPY continues its operations.

Representatives of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) visiting a patient in Aden General Hospital

SDRPY projects are helping to raise health and environmental standards and limit the spread of coronavirus, providing modern laboratory equipment to hospitals and medical centers and securing medicines and supplies. Projects supporting Yemen’s health sector, the first line of defense against the pandemic, also build the capacity of Yemenis to provide medical care to their countrymen. SDRPY has made it possible for medical services to reach patients in need in remote areas, not just cities. Projects on islands and in rural and remote districts have facilitated access to medical treatment for all, including patients who have never even had access to such services before.

Anticipating the first registered case of COVID-19 in Yemen, SDRPY launched a prevention and sterilization campaign with the Yemeni Ministry of Health and the Cleaning Fund in Hadhramaut Governorate. This involved spraying and sterilizing public places, markets and residential areas, and in cities on the coast, beginning with Mukalla.

Medical projects in Socotra include the rehabilitation and equipment of the Maternity and Child Care Center, Nogid Health Center and Amadhen Health Center, and the design of the 9,000-square-meter Socotra Hospital with 95 beds. In Al-Mahra Governorate, the program has built and equipped a kidney dialysis center and established an ICU and operation building at Al-Ghaydah Central Hospital. SDRPY’s work in Aden includes equipping the dialysis center, providing a desalination plant and medical equipment at the Republican Hospital, rehabilitating Aden General Hospital and establishing the Cardiology Center. In Hajjah Governorate, the program has furnished and equipped the health center on Al-Fasht Island and provided a fully equipped ambulance in Hayran. Hadhramaut has received 5 modern ambulances, and in Marib Governorate, intensive care centers have been equipped by SDRPY and ambulances supplied to Kara General Hospital, 26th of September Hospital and Marib Authority Hospital.Workers of the 'Beautiful Aden' environmental sanitation campaign remove waste from the streets of Aden

In the temporary capital of Aden, accumulated waste had caused the spread of disease. SDRPY responded by intervening with machinery and equipment for waste removal via a plan devised with civil society and official municipal bodies. In the first month of the ‘Beautiful Aden’ campaign, now in the second phase of its 3-month duration, 222% of the total waste expected to be cleared during phase one was removed. The campaign served 120,155 direct and 341,744 indirect beneficiaries in the governorate and exceeded its established targets by removing 21,755 cubic meters of waste that had piled up in Aden’s streets and neighborhoods. The expected goal had been to remove 9,000 cubic meters.

SDRPY projects also contribute to reducing the risks associated with using unclean water and preventing certain diseases, including cholera. SDRPY continues to provide water tankers, dig wells and develop the water sector with a multitude of projects, thus confronting the threat of COVID-19 and other epidemics and disease.

Through its agriculture and fisheries projects, SDRPY has mitigated the impact of the current crisis on families and communities in Yemen by bolstering food production. The program has helped strengthen food security, build capacity and raise efficiency in local communities, making them more resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crucially, SDRPY takes climate-based crises in Yemen into consideration as part of its crisis and emergency response plan. The program confronts these crises to facilitate development work, standing with Yemenis in the affected provinces who fall victim to climate-related hazards.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1176292/SDRPY_visiting_patient.jpg
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1176293/Beautiful_Aden_workers.jpg

 

‫Adapty تنفذ أول عملية تطبيق تجاري فيما بين الكيانات التجارية على الإطلاق على موقع Insite Online لواحدة من أهم شركات توزيع المعدات الصناعية

 مدينة نيوجيرسي، ولاية نيوجيرسي، 3 يونيو 2020 /PRNewswire/ — أعلنت اليوم شركة Adapty، وهي مؤسسة مختصة في أعمال التجارة الرقمية وخدمة العملاء، عن تدشينها الناجح لأحد حلول التجارة الإلكترونية فيما بين الكيانات التجارية لشركة Carotek الكائنة بالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية. أبرمت Adapty اتفاق تعاون مع Insite، وهي كيان تابع لشركة Episerver، إلى جانب وكالة Digital DNA Marketing  لتدشين برنامج InsiteOnline، وهو  حل تجاري غير تقليدي لخدمة أعمال توزيع المعدات الصناعية لشركة Carotek.

شعار شركة Adapty

لقد أصبح التحول الرقمي أمرًا حتميًا في قطاع المعاملات فيما بين الكيانات التجارية، ولاسيما في الوقت الحالي في خضم هذه الأزمة الاقتصادية الناجمة عن جائحة كورونا، حيث اكتسبت الأعمال الرقمية أهمية أكبر. ومن شأن التحول الرقمي في أعمال التصنيع والتوزيع التقليدية أن يفتح آفاقًا لإحداث تغيير شامل في الأسلوب الذي يتبعه العملاء للتفاعل مع العلامات التجارية وإدارة أعمالهم.

كما أبرمت شركة Carotek، وهي مؤسسة رائدة لتوزيع المعدات الصناعية في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، اتفاق تعاون مع Adapty لتدشين منصة تفاعلية عالية الاستجابة لخدمة التعاملات فيما بين الكيانات التجارية. كما تم دمج الموقع الإلكتروني للشركة وبوابة التجارة الإلكترونية كجزء من عملية التطبيق وذلك بغرض منح العميل نافذة إلكترونية واحدة من شأنها تحسين وتعزيز تجارب المستخدمين.  وقد ترتب على تنفيذ هذا البرنامج تحسين تجارب العملاء والحد من الاعتماد على عملية خدمة العملاء. وهي أول منصة على الإطلاق يتم طرحها على InsiteOnline لخدمة المعاملات فيما بين الكيانات التجارية.

تعليقات على الخبر:

نفذت Adapty موقعنا الإلكتروني الجديد الذي طُرح على منصة InsiteOnline لخدمة الموقع الإلكتروني Carotek.com. كانت المنصة جديدة ولذلك كانت التحديات أكبر من المعتاد. ولقد اتخذت Adapty أقصى درجات العناية اللازمة فيما يتعلق بحل المشكلات كما كان عملها متكاملاً فيما يتعلق بضمان الجودة. فقد كانت مستعدة لتحمل العناء وبذل مزيد من الجهد لتنفيذ العمل على الوجه الأكمل. كما تحلت Adapty بالصبر فيمايتعلق بعملية التعلُّم اللازمة لاستكمال عملية تطبيق المنصة كما أبدت تعاونها التام في أثناء عملية تدشينها.” – Carotek

تتمتع Adapty بقدرات هائلة في مجال التجارة الإلكترونية فيما بين الكيانات التجارية كما تختص في تقديم حلول تجارية رقيمة فيما بين الكيانات التجارية لخدمة أعمال التصنيع والتوزيع في جميع أنحاء العالم.

نبذة عن Insite، مؤسسة تابعة لشركة Episerver

شركة Insite مؤسسة تحظى بخبرات هائلة تمكنها من تصميم منصة عالمية المستوى للتجارة الإلكترونية ومباشرة حلول لخدمة الشركات في جميع مراحل تطبيق تلك الحلول والتعامل مع احتياجات كل شركة على حدة للتعامل فيما بين الكيانات التجارية والمواقع الإلكترونية المخصصة للتعامل فيما بين الكيانات التجارية وعملائها. حازت الشركة لقب “رائد” في مجال التجارة الإلكترونية فيما بين الكيانات التجارية بناءً على التقرير الصادر عن مؤسسة Forrester وهو (The Forrester Wave™: B2B Commerce Suites): الريع الثالث 2018. للحصول على مزيد من المعلومات، يُرجى تصفُّح المويع الإلكتروني www.insitesoft.com.

نبذة عن Adapty

شركة Adapty هي مؤسسة رائدة مختصة في أعمال التجارة الرقمية ولها مقرات في كل من الولايات المتحدة والإمارات العربية المتحدة والهند. كما تتخصص Adapty في حلول التجارة الإلكترونية للمعاملات فيما بين الكيانات التجارية وعملائها والمعاملات فيما بين الكيانات التجارية وبعضها البعض وفي المعاملات فيما بين الكيانات التجارية والعملاء عن طريق كيانات أعمال وسيطة. وبوصفنا خبراء في التجارة الرقمية ومنصات تجارب العملاء، تقوم فرق التصميم العاملة لدينا بتصميم حلول تسويق متكاملة وتنفيذها بحيث تتمكن من تسيير ارتباطات العملاء وتمكين الشركات من تنمية أعمالها. للحصول على مزيد من المعلومات، يُرجى تصفُّح الموقع الإلكتروني www.adapty.com

مسؤول الاتصال:
فيناي راني
vinay.rane@adapty.com

شعار – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1175919/Adapty_Logo.jpg 
صورة – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1175920/Adapty_insite.jpg

Nigerians Mass Online to Demand Justice for Abuses

The rallying cries #JusticeForUwa, #JusticeForTina and #JusticeForJennifer have reverberated among internet users in the country as celebrities have joined virtual campaigns drawing inspiration from Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.

 

The latest outpouring of anger has been unleashed by the cases of three women and girls who were killed or raped in incidents activists say showcase the sexual violence and police brutality widespread in Nigeria.

 

In April, an 18-year-old known only as Jennifer was allegedly attacked and raped by a gang of five men in the northern city of Kaduna.

 

The case only gained attention after her relatives — scared the accused would escape justice — released a video online of family comforting the traumatized teen that was shared tens of thousands of times.

 

Now local police say two men have been arrested for rape and three other suspects are being sought.

 

Two cases that happened last week sparked even more outrage.

 

A 16-year-old high school student called Tina Ezekwe was fatally shot after police opened fire at a bus stop in biggest city Lagos during a night-time coronavirus curfew.

 

After an outcry online the police force said two officers had been detained and were facing disciplinary action and possible prosecution.

 

The same day in southern Edo state 22-year-old university student Vera Uwaila Omozuma, known as Uwa, was found beaten to death in a church after reportedly being raped.

 

A female blogger from the area drew the attention of hundreds of thousands of internet users with the hashtag #JusticeForUwa.

 

Under pressure the regional governor and police pledged an investigation to track down those responsible for the killing of the microbiology student.

 

‘Bring light’

 

For Nigerians the internet is a key outlet for protests in a country where taking to the streets can often draw a punishing response from security forces and officials frequently duck accountability.

 

“Social Media is a tool to bring light on police, or institutions,” Segun Awosanya, the head of Social Intervention Advocacy Foundation that campaigns against abuses by law enforcement.

 

“Once the light is on them, they have to go back to the cases and dig them up. They can’t keep quiet anymore.”

 

Now the protests rocking cities across the US in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the power of the online campaigns against police brutality there appear to be pushing more Nigerians to demand action.

 

“We see the crowds in America, and its an opportunity to share our pain and our displeasure,” Awosanya, who has more than 500,000 followers on Twitter, said.

 

‘#Wearetired’

 

While the online protests were sparked by violence against women, they have quickly began tapping into broader anger about the state of the country.

 

Now some of Nigeria’s biggest stars have ditched their usual reticence to get involved in politics and are speaking out.

 

“#WeAreTired of senseless killings, lorries falling on road and killing passengers, ACs catching fire and burning houses, young girls getting raped, young boys killed,” tweeted Afropop diva Tina Sawage to her four million followers.

 

“Please add your own frustration because my list is long.”

 

Sawage has been joined by other celebrities like music producer Don Jazzy, who has 4.6 million followers, and singers Mr Eazi and Rema who railed against rape in the country and police violence.

 

“The police kills [sic] black Americans and the Nigerian police kill Nigerians,” wrote the even more popular star Wizkid in Pidgin to his 6.5 million followers, taking direct aim at President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

“Buhari/Trump are the same person — only difference is that one knows how to use Twitter.”

 

Source: Voice of America

Ethiopian Diaspora Champions Digital Apps in Fight Against COVID

In Ethiopia, mobile applications are spreading fast to help health care workers and the public fight against COVID-19, which has claimed 12 lives in the country and affected about 1,100 people.  Ethiopian web developers have designed seven apps that do everything from virus tracing to sharing data and patient information among health workers.  But while the apps are spreading in cities, getting into remote and poor areas of Ethiopia remains a challenge.

Just days after Ethiopia confirmed its first case of the coronavirus in March, 38-year-old software engineer Mike Endale, who emigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago, sent out a solitary tweet calling for help.

He called on all software developers and engineers in the Ethiopian diaspora to help the health ministry by contributing open source software to respond to COVID-19.

Endale became coordinator of the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team, a volunteer force of doctors, artificial intelligence specialists, software engineers and data analysts.

He spoke via a messaging application from Washington, D.C., where he works as principal technologist at BLEN Corporation, a company that provides technology solutions for the public sector and charities.

“People just organically gathered around a slack channel and we started figuring out how to help,” he said.  “So, the impetus for the group was… to see if we could augment the Ministry of Health’s work in a couple of areas.  One originally was around tech.  Luckily for that there was already an internal initiative going on that started a day before [we originated].  We got connected with them and we started working on broad-based solutions.”

Alongside software engineers at the Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Endale’s army of tech gurus helped to develop a series of applications to aid health workers.

The apps allow health workers to register the identity and medical profiles of people entering the country and also record information about those in contact with COVID-19 patients.

The ministry’s contact tracing team is then sent into communities with tablet computers to identify suspected infections and test for the virus.

Though still limited in their use, the apps are modernizing how health workers and hospitals accurately and quickly share information in Ethiopia, where — until the pandemic — patient data was recorded on paper.

Other apps created through the response team can be downloaded by the public.

The COVID-19 Ethiopia app was launched in late May so that the public can self-report cases or alert health authorities to others with symptoms.

And an app called Debo captures the identity of anyone who comes within two meters of the user so that contacts can be traced should the person one day test positive.

“This is very important work for the country in responding to COVID-19,” said Biruhtesfa Abere, a senior health information specialist at the Ministry of Health. “Also, for decision makers, the ministry task force is sitting here trying to forecast how many cases they’re going to have in the future, next month.  So, they need data, they need baseline data.”

Biruhtesfa says the digital tools mean that test results — thousands per day — can be shared to health workers nationwide within 24 hours, allowing those who test negative for the virus to leave isolation quicker.

Data in the apps are also being used to record where test kits are sent in Ethiopia, how many are being used, and how many are being wasted.

But while the apps are making progress in cities, Biruhtesfa says getting rural health workers using the tools where good internet and smartphones are rare, is a challenge.

“The tool can help you manage your records, maintain contact listing and [record] the relationship of the positive person’s contacts in the past 14 days.  That is basically automated and fully functional,” he said.  “But the problem is bringing the users on board to use the system.  We are strongly pushing contact tracing and the follow-up team to record using the system and they are coming a little bit at a time.  They will be on board very soon.”

Biruhtesfa says the health ministry is rolling out training sessions via video link to health workers in rural areas so they can learn how to use the applications.

And 30,000 tablet computers that were to be used for Ethiopia’s national census are being repurposed so that health workers in areas with poor internet can also use the applications.

Endale’s global network of volunteers are now organizing themselves beyond developing digital apps for Ethiopia.

He says members of the community have organized themselves into ten different work streams for tasks such as donation drives and repairing ventilators.

 

Source: Voice of America

How COVID Is Affecting Elections in Africa

The novel coronavirus has complicated the election-year calendar for Africa, as elsewhere, prompting some polling delays, suspensions and uncertainties. It also has created openings for leaders to exploit fears and tighten their grips on power, political observers say.

 

At least nine African countries – including Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe – have postponed elections at some level because of COVID-19 infection risks, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems reports. Ethiopia has indefinitely delayed national, parliamentary and regional voting originally set for Aug. 29, though the Tigray region’s ruling party defiantly said it would go ahead.

 

A handful of African countries – including Guinea, Cameroon, Mali, Benin and Burundi – already have held balloting since COVID emerged. Though critics complained of health risks, there has been no indication of voting-related outbreaks.

 

But, among the first four countries, “voter turnout seems to have suffered,” the Royal African Society’s African Arguments magazine reported May 20. That was the day Burundians stood in long lines, many in close contact and without masks, to choose a new president in a race that has since been contested.

 

The pandemic – imperiling health, devastating economies, and heightening risks of hunger and instability – has created space for political surprises in Africa’s elections and general governance, says Christopher Fomunyoh of the National Democratic Institute think tank.

 

“As if the COVID-19 wasn’t sufficient, I dare to say that we probably would face multiple political storms in the course of the second half of this year” that could influence or disrupt voting, Fomunyoh, the institute’s Central and West Africa regional director, said during a May forum on democracy.

Punitive measures

The storms already have started, says Human Rights Watch’s Africa director, Mausi Segun.

Governments have declared states of emergency and imposed lockdowns to halt the spread of infection. But some have used restrictions to crack down on perceived enemies, she told VOA.

In Guinea’s capital, Conakry, “we have seen it used against political opposition. Many are being arrested in their homes under the cover” of COVID-19 restrictions, Segun said. “We’ve seen them [governments] use it against journalists in Somalia, Rwanda and in Nigeria.”

She also noted crackdowns against the LGBT community in Uganda, where a presidential election is expected early next year – and where longtime leader Yoweri Museveni has hinted at a possible delay. “It will be madness” to vote while COVID infection risks lurk, Reuters reported him sayingin a local television interview last month.

Lockdowns have weakened opposition forces – including minority political parties and civil society groups – across the continent, Fomunyoh says. He points out they are unable to hold public meetings. Without rallies, it’s harder to mobilize support – especially in countries where communications technology is limited.

The COVID-19 crisis already is sparking political instability, with opposition parties and civil society groups accusing government security forces of abuse and attacks in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

Push to protect health

In campaigning and polling, health experts have called for coronavirus safeguards.

“It is very important to keep that physical distance and assuring these events do not become an occasion for the virus to spread further into the population,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, was quoted by the AFP newswire.

South Korea has been held up as a model for protecting this fundamental democratic exercise. In its April 15 parliamentary elections, voters respected social distancing in polling lines, wore masks and gloves, and used hand sanitizer, a VOA reporter observed.

The country had its largest turnout in nearly three decades in giving the ruling liberal party a victory, CNN reported. With a population of 51 million, South Korea had almost 11,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 273 deaths as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Precautions against COVID-19 infection were far less prevalent in the central-east African country of Burundi, where leaders permitted large political rallies and unrestricted movement before its May 20 vote. In campaigning, retired General Evariste Ndayishimiye, the ruling party’s presidential candidate, downplayed fears, saying, “God loves Burundi, and if there are people who have tested positive, it is so that God may manifest his power.”

Burundi’s election commission named Ndayishimiye the winner with 69% of the vote, an outcome that leading opposition candidate Agathon Rwasa has challenged in the constitutional court.

Crowds also have turned out in Malawi, where a rerun of last year’s contested presidential vote is set for July 2 but may be moved up to June 23. As of Wednesday, 358 COVID-19 cases and four deaths were confirmed in the landlocked southeast African country of 18 million.

Conflicting currents

Especially in countries with upcoming elections, Fomunyoh says he sees two opposing currents. The first is what he calls “authoritarian opportunism.” The second is “democratic resilience.”

With authoritarian opportunism, leaders “use the cover of the pandemic and COVID-19 to shrink political space even further,” he says. They “tilt the playing field for elections in a way that would favor either themselves or their preferred candidates.”

“The strongest arm of government, as we see right now, is the executive branch, in most countries,” Fomunyoh says. “And so, it’s an imbalance that existed in the past but that has now been aggravated by the crisis.”

Democratic resilience, the second current that he sees flowing from the COVID-19 situation, is positive.

“Despite these challenges, political leaders, electoral officials, civil society, the media and all of the progressive forces that we continue to see across Africa are going to work collectively,” he says, “to make sure that the emerging democracies that we see on the continent come out of this crisis stronger.”

Ideally, the analyst says, leaders will resist the temptation to stifle critics and will go beyond “patronage networks” to consult other stakeholders when making important decisions. They’ll choose accountability and transparency rather than use coronavirus as an excuse for secrecy. But, he says, “it’s a long shot. Old autocratic habits die hard.”

Fomunyoh encourages all political parties to engage with citizens. Otherwise, he says, “the electoral process could become a very hollow process, and whoever gets declared as the winner may not have the legitimacy to be able to govern.”

 

 

Source: Voice of America