Ada Nduka Oyom – Lover of Technical and Non-Technical Challenges

Currently, Ada Oyom is a Software Developer and Developer Relations Ecosystem Community Manager at Google. Ada is a developer with interests in web technologies, and a lover of technical and non-technical challenges. She is strongly passionate about Open Source technologies, and acts as an advocate for open source development in Africa through Open Source Community Africa, her co-funded community for open-source enthusiasts and advocates.

Ada attended University of Nigeria, Nsukka. All through her days in school, she was building and growing in the tech community. Until she graduated, she led the Google developers’ group and Women techmakers chapter for two consecutive years.

After securing her B.Sc, she went on to work with prominent tech teams; she worked as the Community Relations Manager at Findworka, before working as Developer Relations at Interswitch Group, where she worked till just last month when she started her job with Google.

On 14 of August 2019, she took to her Twitter page to announce her new role at Google, saying,

1st day resuming @ Google Nigeria!! Super excited to be coming in as the DevRel Ecosystem CommunityMgr for SubSaharan Africa! Via my role, I would be interfacing w/dev communities, start-ups &tech hubs to grow & manage developer outreach & programs @gdg’s across SSA!

I’m more than excited to take this up & work with the same @gdg’s that facilitated my journey into tech. 5 years ago I was a novice with no experience whatsoever who was spurred to go into tech cause she wanted to make impact & work w/Google. This week it’s becoming a reality!…” She further said.

Oyom is also known for her huge interests in building developer communities and improving developer relations. She writes technical articles and gives speaker talks on technical and non-technical topics.

She participates in matters revolving around Women in technology through her self-founded women in tech organisation: She Code Africa. This platform is committed to improving the Girl tech-education and celebration of code queens in Africa.

It empowers women in tech through the provision of online and offline technical training on web and mobile technologies while offering online mentorship to members looking to improve in various software development and design fields.

Speaking on her motivation, and what started her path into technology, she said, “I have always had a huge interest for all things related to Science and Technology and being the type of person who loves to try out new things and break stereotypes,

 I decided to take it on fully and get my hands dirty with it in my second year in the university through my activities under the Google student club and GDG. The excitement from learning something new, something different, each time, from knowing I could move from being a consumer to a creator with technology  kept propelling me to do more. That was my motivation and still is.

In the days since her tweets, her announcement and tech throwback have attracted over 1,700 retweets and 8,000 likes. She has become an inspiration to many Nigerians, winning their hearts with her inspiring success story.

Carbon Expands to Kenya Chijioke Dozie Discloses

From a tweet from the company’s CEO Chijioke Dozie, it appears that the fintech startup, Carbon (formerly Paylater) is expanding to Kenya.

Carbon is one of Nigeria’s leading digital financial platform that launched two years ago, around May 2017. It gives quick loans to its users without requiring collateral or guarantors.

On Aug 28, 2019, Chijioke tweeted saying,

Looking for a self-starter that can help launch @get_carbon’s operations in Kenya. Local knowledge and experience in financial services/fintech is preferred. @get_carbon is hiring for a Kenya Country Manager! Please see link for more details onefi.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?…

Before this expansion, its presence was in only Nigeria, South Africa,Ghana and Portugal. The startup has been doing quite well since its launch, and this expansion to Kenya, one of Africa’s fast-growing economies, is another step in this direction.

As a matter of fact, it recently secured $5 million debt funding to acquire more customers in the Nigerian market as well as finance its expansion to other markets in Africa.

What’s more, Carbon now functions as a payment solution platform, offering services such as fund transfers and bill payments, going beyond loan offering. This move by the company is mainly as a result of its parent company – OneFi recent acquisition of a payment solution, Amplify.

Recent news around the company revolves around its strange but amazing decision to make its audited financial report open to the public, something that is quite uncommon among private companies in Nigeria.

As part of its commitment to transparency between the company and its customers, and attracting top talents, the company promised to continue publicising audited

What is New in Gokada Following the Relaunch

Gokada, the pioneer motorbike hailing service in Nigeria, resumed its operations in Lagos, after going on a two-week suspension. The company went on a break on August 14, 2019, following the CEO, Fahim Saleh’s poor experience on a bike, which opened his eyes to the need to improve safety standards and skills of the firm.

Now, the question on the minds of Lagosians is, has anything truly changed in Gokada’s operations?

According to the company, in the two weeks it spent on break, it has upskilled existing and newly engaged drivers called GPilots in advanced knowledge of defensive driving behaviours for enhanced safety, GPS navigation, and optimised customer delivery.

These riders graduated from their training on Monday, August 26, 2019, and they resumed operations on Tuesday, August 27.

Here are some of the things that have changed about Gokada’s operations

Better-Equipped Drivers and New Motorcycles

As the CEO promised, Gokada has introduced new motorcycles  and better-equipped drivers who have received extensive training in safe driving standards, GPS navigation, and customer service.

There is a unique code printed boldly on each new bike and helmet, and a Gokada rider claims that it helps customers commend, report, or give general feedback about the rider. However, currently, it is still difficult to get the services of a GPilot, as only a few bikes are operational on Lagos roads.

Bluetooth Helmets

Besides upgrading the skills of riders and acquiring unique TVS motorbikes, the brand has also fitted its drivers with Bluetooth enabled helmets allowing for better seamless communication and navigation experience.

The GPilots were trained on how to effectively use Google Maps for navigation, and the Bluetooth helmets allows them to make calls without having to look at their phones and also use the voice feature of Google Maps for bike navigation.

Speaking on this, Saleh said that the company has always prided itself on setting the standard in the market for safety and service.

“Hairnets, DOT-certified helmets, extensive training – these are all reasons safety on our bikes have been so consistent and how we were able to convince many to give this new-age bike taxi a shot … We took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”

Ayodeji Adewunmi, the Co-Chief Executive Officer of the company, stated that Gokada 2.0 is all about unflinching commitment to customers, ensuring that now is an excellent time to use the Gokada services. He also said that Gokada would be surprising several of its users with gifts, and one lucky passenger will be receiving an iPhone X.

However, some recent users have complained that they still experienced inaccuracies with the arrival time of the rider, and that some GPilots are not paying strict attention to the Google Maps for navigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGRIPPLE: A Startup Reducing Farm to Fork Time and Eradicating Food Waste #VentureHuntStartupFocus

Founded by the entrepreneur, Vincent Okeke, a graduate of Philosophy, and a Nigerian passionate about making the community and the world at large a better place, Agriple is an online platform that delivers cheaper, fresher, and traceable farm produce everywhere in Nigeria.

It is developed to directly connect farmers with consumers and off-takers to reduce farm and fork time, increase wealth, and reduce food waste. Speaking on his belief, Okeke said, “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime; and departing, leave behind us footprints on the sand of time.

The idea for Agriple stemmed from the fact that most of the food waste from Nigeria and Africa come from post-harvest loss. According to the statistics presented by the startup, each year one-third of all food produced for human consumption – 1.3 billion tons – is lost before it reaches retailers, and this is enough food to feed all the 1.2 billion hungry or undernourished people on the planet.

In fact, statistics presented by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) show that the amount of food wasted in Africa is enough to feed 300 million people. As a result, some people have more than enough food to eat, while others suffer from hunger and starvation, further widening the inequality gap, and costing farmers billions of dollars in annual revenue.

So, by improving farmers’ access to market and proving efficient logistics, the company aims to solve this problem by cutting food waste. This will ensure farmers make more money for their efforts, while consumers get cheaper and fresher produce anywhere in the country.

The startup is a registered trademark of AGRICENTA AGRO SERVICES LTD (RC:1569401). It is the winner of Startup Nigeria 2019 (North Central), a Federal Government sponsored Startup 3-month program, designed to provide free entrepreneurship skills training to entrepreneurs and individuals in the country who are solving big problems in a new, better, and cheaper way.

It is partnered with Sterling Bank and Startup Nigeria. This startup is also part of the semi-finalists selected for Pitch AgriHack 2019, an annual competition that awards young entrepreneurs in ICTs for agriculture, supporting them through capacity building and funding to accelerate youth employment and agricultural transformation

To register as a Farmer Partner, or as a Consumer/Buyer Partner, visit agriple.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Approves the Trial Deployment of 5G Services

NCC, the independent regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, has recently approved a trial deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in the country.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, made this approval known to the public on Tuesday, August 27th, during his opening remarks at the 1st Digital African Week, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and hosted by the NCC at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The Digital African Week, a four-day conference, began on Tuesday, with the aim of allowing all stakeholders in the emerging digital space to deliberate on the future technologies in Africa.

During his speech to the stakeholders at the event, Danbatta acknowledged the evolving trends in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which is giving rise to technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) applications and smart cities and communities (SC&C), among others. As a result, he said NCC is rightly positioned to activate trial of 5G deployment in Nigeria.

Commenting on this, he said, “In this regards, we have approved spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country.” He further noted that this regulatory move is consistent with Nigerian’s Vision 20:2020, which recognises the importance and imperatives of ICT, as part of the “new world order and catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development.

Nigerians are still struggling with the adoption and coverage of 4G LTE, which followed 3G, with a 6% adoption, and 51% coverage as at June 2019.

Yet, the belief is that this 5G improvement will positively impact on the country’s connectivity landscape, providing high-speed, reliable and robust network. It will efficient5ly aid the activities in the country’s multi-billion-dollar growing digital economy.

Essentially, what this 5G trial deployment means is that telecom operators in the country (Airtel, MTN, Glo) will have to upgrade their networks to multi-standard 5G-ready infrastructure.

 

Jumia and Techpoint to host NBA Superstar Investor, Andre Iguodala, in Nigeria

Jumia in conjunction with Techpoint would be bringing Andre Iguodala to Nigeria for an interactive session with some techpreneurs on September 11th 2019.

Andre Iguodala is an American Basketball Player and Silicon Valley Investor, with investments in Facebook, Twitter and Tesla.

Even more, he is a member of the Jumia board; he joined the Jumia Board of Directors earlier this year as an ambassador, charged with promoting business development and technology in Africa.

Themed “Moving from Zero to Growth”, the aim of the interactive session is to address issues around funding and investment for local startups.

Andre is to lead the session, sharing his experience on how he has built his portfolio as an investor, and also offer insights on how local founders can successfully position their business for growth.

If you are a founder, local investor, hub owner or accelerator, then this interactive session is particularly for you. However, though the attendance for the event is free, Jumia and Techpoint  would be largely  involved in selecting those eligible to attend.

The session begins by 12:00 pm, on September 11, and the event venue will be communicated to shortlisted applicants.

If you are interested in attending this session, follow this link to register.

 

Venture Capital Investments in Nigeria

The private sector is the pillar of every economy. Yet, startup companies all over the world face many obstacles to funding, and in Nigeria, these obstacles are compounded by the government’s neglect of the private sector.

Venture Capital is one of the financing options open to privately-owned companies and small businesses. It is a type of private equity provided by venture capital firms interested in investing in startups with high growth potential in exchange for equity or partial ownership of the company.

Venture capital certainly holds the potential to drive economic development in Nigeria. It creates a ripple effect, which improves R&D, promotes innovation, and increases intellectual property assets – which also becomes a source of wealth creation.

Venture capitalists provide not only financing but also mentorship, strategic guidance, network access, and other forms of support.

The funds provided by venture capitalists fill the void created by high bank-lending rates. For instance, how many startups can reach the Nigerian prime lending rate, which according to CBN in December 2018, was 16.17% December 2018. What’s more, most growing companies cannot access public equity funds through initial public offerings because they can’t meet up with the listing requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The frontiers of Nigeria are gradually opening to venture capital investment and responsibility is placed on the Nigerian government to strategically create policies and the right investment environment needed to attract increased funding of the private sector.

Nigeria has attracted a lot of venture capital investments in recent years. Within the period of 2012-2017 alone, Nigeria accounted for 73 percent of the US$10.7 billion value of private equity funding in the West African region.

According to Partech Ventures, a global investment platform for tech and digital companies, $560m was invested in African tech startups by VCs focused on the African market in 2017, with Nigeria startups accounting for 20 percent of the funding.

Though, raising funds from VCs isn’t always a straight path, particularly with their valuations, and terms and conditions, startups using venture capital follow strategies that are more innovative and take shorter time to introduce their products and services to the market.

The provision of funds to start-ups by venture capital companies is an important stage of start-ups life cycle, but these VCs do more than that. Venture capital companies utilise huge part of their resources in understanding new markets and technologies for the investee company, providing effective coaching for startups, and providing an extensive network of contacts to investees.

 

 

Better Days at 9mobile: 9mobile Receives $230 Million Loan from AFC

The Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Ltd., operating as 9mobile, Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunications company, has recently been approved for a $230 million loan by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

AFC is a pan-African Multilateral Development Financial Institution established in 2007 to bridge Africa’s infrastructure investment gap, making investments across five key sectors of power, transport and logistics, natural resources, telecommunications and heavy industries.

9mobile made the approval of this loan known on Sunday in a released statement signed by Abdulrahman Ado, its executive director for regulatory and corporate affairs. According to Ado, the company received the loan approval from AFC on Friday, August 23.

Africa Finance Corporation is pleased to inform the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services that it has received full board approval to support the turnaround strategy of EMTS through $230m super-senior investment,” the financial institution said.

On the use of the loan, the company claims that the funds will be channelled towards innovative product development. The company claims that the loan facility will be divided into two sections, and will be used in repaying historic vendor obligations, finance costs and an internet reserve account and payment towards quick-win CapEx initiatives.

Speaking on this, Nashiru Bayero, the chairman of 9mobile’s board of directors, said, “We can only express gratitude to the AFC for approving this loan facility that would not only jhelp our business sustainability but also grow it to serve our teeming and loyal customers in Nigeria better.

We have completely reviewed our operational, regulatory, financial and technical architecture to ensure we deliver quality services and this facility would go a long way in giving best-in-class services to Nigerians. Our turnaround efforts are well and truly underway. We had promised when we took over that we would justify the confidence in our brand by making significant investments that will improve the value Nigerians get for using 9mobile.”

The Chief Financial Officer for 9mobile, Phillips Oki, also said that with the loan facility, 9mobile’s staff, vendors and subscribers can expect better days.

 

 

What Really Happened with the Jumia Internal Fraud?

Yes, this has been a question on the minds of several Nigerians. How could the largest e-commerce company in Africa suffer internal fraud amounting to $17.5 million?

On the 21st of August, Jumia Technologies announced its financial results for the quarter that ended in June 30, 2019. It was revealed at this Q2 2019 report that the company suffered some internal fraud relating to its sales and orders.

It disclosed that it recently uncovered instances of improper orders placed and subsequently cancelled on its marketplace platform wrongly inflating its order volume. The implication of this is the cancelled orders were not recorded as cancelled. Jumia says it is as a result of internal collusion involving members of its JForce (independent sales agents) with some sellers and employees inflating order volumes to earn more commission.

Speaking on this, Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah said, “We received information alleging that some of our independent sales consultants, members of our JForce program in Nigeria, may have engaged in improper sales practices… We have terminated the employees and JForce agents involved, removed the sellers implicated and implemented measures designed to prevent similar instances in the future.”

Cumulatively, the improper orders generated around $17.5 million in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) value between the last quarter of 2018 and the first two quarters of 2019, the report shows. In case you were wondering, the GMV is the metric used by e-commerce companies to indicate the total value of merchandise sold throughout the site.

As a result of this fraud, JUMIA stock fell as much as 17.4% during trading on 21 August, 2019.

The first case raised involving the JForce sales team who were allegedly involved in fraudulent sales activities such ss bribing JUMIA employees for positive marketing accounts for 1% of JUMIA’s GMV during 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 he,

Next is the case revolving around orders cancelled before delivery. This particular fraudulent activity amounted to 2% of the company’s GMV in 2018, and 4% of GMV in the first quarter of 2019. JUMIA similarly reported that the “employees” involved have been suspended.

So, basically, when you evaluate the financials and the company’s statement on the fraudulent activities, it is obvious that the JUMIA executives are trying to wash their hands of the fraud, by implying that they had zero idea that such a crime was being committed.

Even if this is the case, shouldn’t these executives be held accountable for incompetence, seeing as it happened under their watch? One can almost say that, considering the huge sum of approximately $18 million involved, the response of JUMIA is lackadaisical. Imagine, till now, no one has been arrested, possibly proving that the employees are not the only ones to be held responsible. The company even when on to say that, “These transactions had no impact on our financial statements.”

Unbelievable!

 

 

Bosun Tijani – The CEO of CC Hub

You should have heard of CC Hub, as they keep making revolution waves in the tech and entrepreneurial space in Nigeria, and Africa at large. Have you ever wondered who the brains behind CC Hub are?

Meet Bosun Tijani, one of the brains behind CC Hub.

Born in 1977, Bosun Tijani is a Nigerian entrepreneur and the CEO of Co-Creation Hub, which he co-founded with Femi Longe in 2010.

Named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Africa by New Africa Magazine, Bosun attended the University of Jos, where he got a diploma in Computer Science, and B.Sc. in Economics; the Warwick Business School, where he got an MSc in Information systems and Management; and the University of Leicester, where he is currently a Postgraduate Researcher in Innovation Systems.

An associate of the Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship, Bosun initiated and received the visit of Mark Zuckerberg for the first time in Nigeria in August 2016.

According to Bosun, his cofounding of CC Hub was fuelled by his quest for a more competitive Nigeria through knowledge application. With a deep sense of responsibility, Bosun together with Longe, took on a challenge of building a platform capable of spotting and supporting smart Nigerians to build a future of collective desire.

Funded by Google, Omidyar Network,and  Sainsbury Family Trust, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria Ltd operates as a venture capital firm, focusing on educational, health and wellness, digital security, fintech, and governance sectors.

Before this, he worked with International Trade Centre and Hewlett Packard on projects supporting African SMEs to leverage technology to grow their businesses. He later moved to Pera Innovation Network, where he worked as an European Innovation Manager, leading the networking and coordination of leading innovation agencies across Europe.

According to Bosun in an interview with Punch some years back, his passion is not necessarily in mentoring entrepreneurs, but in finding ways to make technology work for the society in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.

Speaking on this, he said, “That is why I have decided to do what I do, which is to find ways in which technology can be useful and one of those would be to find smart people. If my interest is in building technology solutions, obviously, I have to find smart and creative people that will build those solutions. So, find them, support them, invest in them and expose them to people who can help make their ventures grow