All posts tagged Africa

kissandtell (1)

Kiss and tell : Vals Game by ChopUP

In the spirit of the valentine’s season, the ChopUp guys decided to make a very simple game where you try to kiss your true love as many times as possible before an interloper gets in-between.

The game is available here

Jason Njoku Beats Dangote, Adenuga and Sim Shagaya To Win Y!/YNaija.com Person of the Year 2013

The editors of Y! – TV, Magazine & Online – today announced the Y!/YNaija.com Person of the Year 2013 – founder and chief executive of iROKO, Jason Chukwuma Njoku.

The Y!/YNaija.com Person of the Year is in its third year and is awarded this year to the individual who has most visibly influenced the Nigerian society for good in the past year, breaking new boundaries or consolidating on gains – and driving the advancement of the public, especially young people. The editors announced there was no winner for its first edition in 2011. The 2012 winner was entrepreneur and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

Nominees for 2013 were Aliko Dangote, Tony O. Elumelu, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Obiageli Ezekwesili, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Mike Adenuga, Sim Shagaya, Akinwunmi Adesina and Omobola Johnson.

The editorial making the announcement is below:

Editorial: The Y!/YNaija.com Person of the Year 2013 is … Jason Njoku

Jason Chukwuma Njoku, 33, is chief executive and co-founder of iROKO Partners, an online start up that has revolutionised the availability and distribution of African media content. He is young, big, bold, brash and in his own words, “an asshole.”
He is also the Y!/YNaija Person of the Year 2013.

It is simple really: No one has captured the imagination of young (and many older) Nigerians the way this University of Manchester graduate has. The outlines of the story are now firmly etched: iROKO partners, founded after Njoku had dabbled in scores of unsuccessful businesses started in his bedroom in London with money loaned from his friend and in a space of three years has become the most talked about internet business this side of Africa.

It was at the nadir of his life, when he moved back in with his mother, penniless after his string of failed enterprises that he picked up on her love for Nollywood films. He also noticed his mother’s difficulty in getting these films and decided to do something about it. He soon boarded a flight to Lagos and entered the trenches, directly engaging the producers and copyright owners, paying money for their catalogue. Two and a half years later, and Njoku’s company has amassed the largest collection of African content online with well over 5,000 titles in the kitty. And, with high profile mentions in Forbes, Financial Times, CNN and the Wall Street Journal, iROKO Partners has been able to attract investors and seed money like no other start up.

Criticised across the technology eco-system for pomp and bluster – and those who do so do not exaggerate – Njoku (and iROKO) is that rare individual that deserves all the praise. He has proven that much is indeed possible in Nigeria, by Nigerians – in spite of Nigeria.

Stories like these read easy on paper but it is pertinent not to forget or overlook the grit and tenacity, the wheeling and dealing that has gone into creating his success story. A story that is still far from finished. With his entrance into the online space, Njoku in many ways pioneered the online Nollywood market and with his success, has created a whole new sub specie of industry for interested participants to dabble into, showing them exactly how it is done.

iROKOtv has built peerless library of content has been dubbed the Netflix of African movies reaching 178 countries with about 1million unique visitors a month. Despite the seemingly grudging resistance to accept his influence at home, he continues to fly the Nigerian flag by sheer willpower, just by doing what he does.

Apparently, he does it excellently. Because, this month, iROKO managed the unthinkable, andsuccessfully raised $8million in venture capital from a group of international investors led by American hedge fund and Facebook investor, Tiger Global. This unprecedented feat – even for start ups across the world – brings iROKO’s tally to about $21million raised in two years of doing business making it one of the most heavily funded businesses in all of Africa.

Then there is the matter of the music arm of the company, iROKING. Pronounced dead in the water prematurely after a public – battle with it’s erstwhile leader, Jason Njoku finally had to re-take charge. While still an unprofitable venture, when compared to it’s elder iROKOtv, it speaks to the stubbornness of his vision, and why investors choose to take risks on people more than the particular idea.

With an average monthly unique visitor-ship of about 5million (according to Njoku), iROKING stands a fighting chance of eclipsing revenue figures generated by the movies arm. Music industry piracy issues will have to be tackled head on and it will be excruciating work, but if anyone has done so, Njoku has proven time and time again that he is unafraid to put his money where his mouth is.

He did this in spectacular fashion in May, when – with his business partner Bastian Gotter and wife Mary Remmy Njoku – he launched SPARK, an exciting new business initiative dedicated to building and grooming profitable internet start ups in Nigeria. After a $10million valuation in 3months of existence, Sparks was able to raise $2million in investment from Lagos to London. This money will be ploughed into expanding the company – which currently has 9 start ups under it’s wings, employing about 130 staff – and providing seed money for it’s babies.

Impressively, Njoku – unlike many Nigerian businessmen – is not unashamed to tell his story, sharing as much as he can about the innards of running a successful internet company at a time when many young start-ups desperately need to learn from the experience of those before them.

Of course, blog posts tend to gloss over the dirt, and for all we know, Njoku may be bleeding money. Still, as businesses like iROKO and those in SPARK typically need an average of five years before profitability, it is enough for now that Njoku is crashing ceilings, breaking boundaries and moving mountains.

Whether his businesses fail or succeed, whether or not Njoku eventually becomes the kind of business leader he already fancies himself to be, he would have already won. Because he dared. And to dare is the hardest part.

For creating a globally respected business from scratch, for continuously innovating, setting standards for others to follow, for building a generation of young business people that might just change Nigeria; and for inspiring a whole new generation to believe in themselves and their dreams, we are proud to announce Jason Njoku as the Y!/YNaija Person of the Year 2013.

As seen on YNaija

Support HealthMobile this season on Indiegogo

HealthMobile is an android phone application focused on preventive healthcare solutions for Africa. The app also contains content that allows its usage in the global community feasible. The developers of HealthMobile is NIXIT, a technology start-up based in the city of Calabar in Cross River State Nigeria.

The company has today launched an Indiegogo Trust campaign to raise funds for the coming 2014 year. NIXIT is seeking to use funds raised from the campaign to make HealthMobile available on the Windows, Blackberry and iOS platforms, as well as to create a web server, that would make their content easily available through the web, on all devices.

IndHm

Perhaps most importantly though, the company is seeking to fund a ‘Symptom Checker’ app that it says would help users in Africa diagnose accurately between the top three water and air borne diseases in Africa, of which malaria is chief.

You can support this campaign, by visiting their Indiegogo page here. You can make contributions using your local ATM or debit card.

Contact the developers: nixithealthmobile@gmail.com or follow them on different platforms: TumblrFacebookTwitter or call: +2347030951502 for any further inquiries.

The Business of Start-up In Nigeria Is Brutal

Editor’s Note: Olumide Olusanya, Dr (@docolumide) is the Founder, CEO & Service Architect at Gloo.ng (@gloo_ng)

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat!” —Theodore Roosevelt.

Why would I be writing my very first blog post ever with such a long quote? It is because I have searched for over ten years—and will continue to search—but have not still found any other that best encapsulates the totality of what doing startups in Africa, and especially Nigeria, entails. To cut any portion of the quote out will take from it. Adding a single exclamation mark more will cause equal damage.

My purpose in choosing to begin to document some of my thoughts on this subject, similar to how others before me have started doing, is just so we can have a loudness of voices of DOERS in the technology ecosystem in Africa, and especially in Nigeria, to drown out the voices of the wingless fowls who have no farthing idea or clue as to what it REALLY means to do startups in Africa, and especially Nigeria.

I am not going to be talking about how to do startups following a Harvard MBA degree, as quite a number of the privileged “big guys” in this clime have. You begin to wonder if securing a foreign MBA that costs US$100,000+ and 18 months+ is the key qualification for doing something big in the tech space in Nigeria. US$100,000+ after discounting the costs of plane tickets, that is. (Why, by the way, would you go suffer, hunger, save and spend that much for such an education if you are already sold on the idea that tech business startup is WHAT you wanna do? Or is US$100,000+ not enough as starting point for a HUGE tech business?) Anyway, I would be flatly disqualified on that basis.

Neither am I going to be talking about doing startups with potentials for single digit million US$ exits. There is nothing exciting about that at all! No one deserves to face as much brutality and pain just for a single digit million US$ exit. Trust me—it is not worth the pain! (I dare say double digit million US$ exits too ain’t worth it as well.)

Furthermore, I will not be addressing this from the perspective of the professional critic whose only insight into doing startups in Africa is from what he gleans from binging on TechCrunch, PandoDaily, GigaOm and the like—most of which have no relevance WHATSOEVER to the very mortal nature of the combat of doing startups here in Africa. (You cannot even begin to guess how different and so far apart those startup terrains are from what obtains here in Africa, and especially Nigeria.)

And it will not be from the angle of the Conference Junkie—or Conference Hoe, if you prefer—the wannaprenuer, the guy whose face you ALWAYS see at all those shitty conferences that have no semblance of having anything to do with technology business or startups on this side of the world.

Finally, I will not be doing this from the vista of the dude who is usually the one you see on that stage at every Demo Day that is happening in town. Yes, you know yourself.

So whose perspective will it be from? Stay tuned…for my next blog post in the new year 2014—the year of THE Gloo!

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of OTEKBITS.

A Christmas Opportunity For Tech Entrepreneurs – 88mph

While average people are using the holidays to enjoy family and down time, entrepreneurs just cant seem to sit still.

If you would like something to do, and you’ve got an exciting, scalable mobile or web idea, 88mph would love to hear from you. Applications for the Cape Town 2014 program are still open for the next 7 days.

Apply here for funding with your startup idea.

Merry Christmas.

Gloo Joins Jumia and Konga In Moving Into Bigger Fulfillment Center

Gloo.ng (Formerly BuyCommonthings.com), one of Nigeria’s biggest online supermarket has announced their relocation to the new bigger space of 20,000sqft (Square Feet) from 5,000sqft which would enable them to ser their growing customers better.

The message was passed by Gloo.ng CEO, Olumide Olusanya on Sunday evening to their customer.

 Dear Valued Gloo.ng Customer,

It is with deep gratitude to God and His loving kindness that i write to inform you that your favourite online supermarket, Gloo.ng, will be relocating in 2 weeks time to a newly secured 20,000sqft Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) from our present 5,000sqft CFC. The relocation is planned for the weekend of 3rd to 5th January 2014.

This movement has been necessitated by the growth we have experienced, and which we continue to experience, by virtue of your kind and loyal patronage of our service, as well as to further guaranty improvement in the service you have thus enjoyed till date. However, as we are still a young and growing team in the ecommerce space in Nigeria, all the hands we have available will be on deck that weekend to ensure a smooth relocation. Consequently, all your orders received during that weekend, from 12:01pm on Thursday 2nd January shall be delivered on Monday, 6th January 2014, processed from the new CFC. Furthermore, we will also be having a delivery-free day on the 1st of January 2014, being the first day of the new year 2014. More updates will be sent to you on developments related to the relocation.

Finally, i would like to use this opportunity to thank you for the trust you have reposed in us. This has indeed been a tough journey, from the point this idea occurred to me while watching my extremely loving and dutiful wife–and mother of my son–combine keeping a happy home with holding down a full-time executive role. Gloo.ng has been an outpouring of affection to my wife to try to relieve her of the stress of this balancing act. I eventually asked her about a month after to resign from that executive role to join me in building Nigeria’s biggest supermarket as my co-founder. And she has not looked back since then–a daughter of consolation, a rock of support, and a treasure trove of advice. There would not have been a Gloo.ng as you now know it without this woman–either in idea or even in execution. She is as much a celebration of Gloo.ng as you all our treasured customers are. I therefore use this occasion of our relocation to celebrate her–and to celebrate you. And to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.

God bless you. God bless Gloo.ng, Nigeria’s Biggest Online Supermarket.

Yours faithfully,
Olumide Olusanya, Dr.
CEO, Gloo.ng

*end*

Gloo joins the likes of Jumia and Konga in moving into new warehouse facilities, perhaps and indicator that the e-commerce space is indeed experiencing growth and has a profitable future ahead.

Hugo Obi, Jobberman Trio Emerge Winners At The Future Awards 2013

The names of the 15 winners of this year’s ‘The Future Awards Africa’ 2013 were formally announced last night, at an annual awards ceremony held in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and it was great to see winners emerge from the Tech Space including: Hugo Obi of Maliyo Games, and the Jobberman Trio - Ayodeji Adewunnmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude.

Chude Jideonwo, executive director of The Future Project and co-founder of The Future Awards Africa, commented, “I am delighted to announce the winners of this year’s The Future Awards Africa. This year has been the most difficult year to judge to date, with so many compelling and inspiring stories of young Africans, all of who deserve to be recognised and rewarded. The winners of this year’s Awards will go on to inspire a new generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs acrossAfrica and we’re looking forward to seeing the winners go on to touch thousands of lives across our great continent, leaving behind a legacy that will be recognised for years to come.”

The Future Awards Africa, described by the World Bank as ‘The Nobel Prize for young Africans’, recognise and reward the success and achievements of young people aged between 18 and 31 living in Africa. They have been awarded in 15 separate categories, including: advocacy and activism, business, agriculture, education and fashion.

In just eight years, the Awards have produced over 120 winners and 1,200 nominees in Nigeria. This year the awards became pan-African for the first time with 85 young Africans from countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda,Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Liberia all nominated to receive awards. The Awards were presented in partnership with Microsoft, the British Council, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and Access Bank.

The winners of this year’s Awards are:

  • THE FUTURE AWARDS YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR: Ashish J. Thakkar, age 24
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN ADVOCACY & ACTIVISM:Orode Uduaghan-Okpu, age 24
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN COMMUNITY ACTION: Ife Adebayo, age 30
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN NEW MEDIA: Kingsley Ezeani, age 23
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN JOURNALISM: Toyosi Ogunsey, age 29 years
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN BUSINESS: Saeed Jumah, age 28
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICE:Kayode Temenu, age 29
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN AGRICULTURE: Precious Peter Nweke, age 31
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN FASHION & STYLE: Aisha Bello, age 24
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN ARTS & CULTURE: Kenneth Gyang age 27
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN ENTERPRISE SUPPORT: Ayodeji Adewunnmi, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude, ages 29, 25 and 29
  • THE FUTURE AWARDS PRIZE IN EDUCATION: Ottoh Oroondam, age 26
  • THE FUTURE PRIZE YOUNG MEDIA ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: Uche Pedro, age 32
  • THE FUTURE PRIZE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Hugo Obi 32
  • THE FUTURE PRIZE IN ENTERTAINMENT AND TALENT: O.C Ukeje age 32

Profiles of the winners and nominees are provided on thefutureafrica.com/awards.

africa

GE Africa Launches Africa Learning Advisory Board

GE Africa today launched the first African Learning Advisory Board in Nairobi, which will provide leadership and support for both GE Africa and the continent’s talent development.

The board was launched today by Adan Mohammed, cabinet secretary for industrialisation and enterprise development, and brings together approximately 20 members drawn from GE Africa, Europe and North America with a primary focus on local technical and engineering skills development across Africa.

Speaking during the launch, Jay Ireland, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of GE Africa, said the company has aggressive growth plans for the continent focused on local innovation, partnerships and investing in its local presence in the power, healthcare, rail transportation and oil and gas.

“This board is a first for GE and testament to our commitment to developing skilled talent for GE and Africa now and for the future,” he said.

“This is a partnership that leverages GE’s long history in training and skills development, homegrown knowledge and experience from African academia and the best in practice from across the globe,”

Mohammed said there is need for institutions to invest in skills development relevant to market needs.

“My ministry is fully aware of the vital role that technical skills will play in the future of this country especially as we venture into the world of extractive mining and gas exploration,” he said.

“The move by GE is a step in the right direction. As a government, we are committed to offer high quality education and technical training to our youth to enable us create more job opportunities and grow our economy.”

The Advisory Board is chaired by Professor Emmanuel Atoo Ajav, dean at the Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

He said the composition of the board is largely from experts in Africa and this is a testimony that Africa is ready. “What we are doing is not only planting a seed, but also watering the tree root and nurturing its fruits,” he said.

Source – Human IPO

nokia asha

Nokia Wins Most Innovative Smartphone At The 2013 African Product Awards

Country Director, Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology, Ambassador Moses Essien explains that in a research conducted amongst various mobile phones using the parameters of “product high quality, value creation, track record and efficacy; product availability, affordability, acceptability and reliability; conformity with global quality for a good smart mobile phone brand; compliance with government regulatory laws and guidelines” amongst others, Nokia outperformed its competitors.

Speaking on this, Managing Director, Nokia West and Central Africa, Nick Imudia, said “It is an honor receiving such award. We are happy to know that our customers appreciate our products and acknowledge the value that it brings to them. It has been an interesting year, winning awards, which show that we are living up to our promise of providing our customers with innovative mobile products that connect them to what matters most. Nokia is well known for its ability to produce cool, colorful, trendy, affordable and most importantly, reliable devices to its numerous customers in Nigeria and beyond, we thank Nigerians for their patronage of the Nokia brand.”

The African Product Forum is an annual event organized to contribute to the expansion and increment of knowledge with the aim of encouraging businesses through sponsorship of trainings, seminars and public enlightenments in respect of product development. The 2013 edition of the forum held with notable guests and experts from various fields present to impact knowledge to business owners and potential entrepreneurs while also featuring product exhibitions, music and dance.

Earlier in 2013, Nokia received two awards namely the Coolest Phone Brand Award at the maiden edition of The Businessday Generation Next Survey Awards and Mobile Phone Brand of the Year Award at the 2013 Marketing World Awards.

Press Release

Are You Ready To #GoSolo?

On November 22nd, SOLO launched its brand with a bang into the Nigerian market. The company is, “a global device manufacturing company with a mission to develop and market affordable smartphones combined with THE best entertainment and consumer experience to emerging market consumers starting right here, in Nigeria.”

The SOLO team has launched two devices into the market, the SOLO S350 which is currently available for sale for N18,500 and the SOLO S450, which will arrive in the markets soon.

SOLO believes that it has, hands down, put together the best consumer experience in the Nigerian market today: the purchase of a SOLO device allows for unlimited streaming and downloading of up to 20 million local and international songs for the life of the device and has partnered with leading operators to offer consumers amazing FREE data bundles to complete the experience–some are even offering up to 500MB/month for 12 months, FREE!!!*

IYANYA has signed on to SOLO as their Brand ambassador–as long as you have a SOLO device, you always have FREE music….so you can stream or download Iyanya’s album and your choice of other Nigerian and International songs from SOLO’s up to 20 million song catalog for FREE!

Buy your SOLO smartphone now with FREE Music + FREE Data for up to 12 months.

The SOLO S350 comes with a 3.5 ” HVGA and runs on the Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It has 4GB of internal memory (512 MB RAM) and an expandable 8GB SD card and a 3MP camera. The SOLO S450 will come fully loaded with even more features–a 4.5’ FWVGA IPS display, 16GB eMMC ROM and 1GB RAM and a 5MP Main + VGA Front camera.

SOLO devices come ready to go, right out of the box, with all of your favourite apps pre-installed: BBM, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & more!

Are you ready to #GoSolo?

Follow SOLO on Twitter @SOLO_Phone and on Facebook at SOLOPhone. For more information, visit their website at gosolo.ng

*(minimum monthly recharge conditions may apply)

[Sponsored Post]