All posts tagged Africa

changemaker

#Wennovation Hub Emerges as a SAP / Ashoka Global Competition Finalist

The Wennovation Hub Initiative, a grooming place for start-ups and Entrepreneurs located in Ikeja Lagos has emerged as a finalist in the SAP/Ashoka “The Power of Small Competition”. This is a competition for Entrepreneurs Strengthening Local Economies. Over 370 innovations were submitted globally and Wennovation Hub made the list of the 11 finalists selected based on a voting system by the public. These 370 innovations focus on tackling various issues around innovation and entrepreneurship.

As a finalist, Wennovation Hub is “being honored for outstanding demonstration of innovation, social impact, and sustainability” according to a Press Release by the Ashoka Changemaker organizers.

The Wennovation Hub has also been invited to participate in the SAPPHIRE NOW event organized by SAP in Madrid from November 13-16, 2012.  Idris Bello, the Program Director, will be showcasing the power of Wennovation’s innovative model for powering start-ups in Frontier Markets. This model of “Product to Commercialization” has yielded six portfolio companies in the past year, three of which were funded by outside investors, and four of which are in full operations today.

The four finalists with the highest number of online votes will be announced as winners at the SAPPHIRE NOW event in Madrid. So, it is time to support our own. Visit changemakers.com/powerofsmall to vote for Wennovation Hub now. The voting is done by clicking the check icon next to the entry and  Login into your Facebook Account to add your vote.

What are you waiting for? Join us in voting for Wennovation Hub now.

airtel

Bharti Airtel Becomes the Fourth Largest Mobile Operator in the World

Bharti Airtel, a leading Telecom service provider in the world with presence in over 20 countries across Asia and Africa has emerged as the Fourth largest mobile operator in the world with over 250 million mobile subscribers. This was made known by a recent ranking analysis conducted by Wireless Intelligence, company.

At the end of the quarter ended June 2012, Bharti Airtel had over 250 million mobile subscribers across its operations, representing 13% Y-o-Y (Year over Year) growth. The company climbed the ladder as the fifth largest mobile operator in the world after its acquisition of Zain Group’s mobile operations across 15 African countries in June 2010.

But, Bharti Airtel has now moved up the ladder to the fourth position by over-taking the “Telefonica Group”, on the rankings table and the Telefonica Group now holds the fifth place.

The Rankings of the Top Five Operators Globally are Shown Below:

Operator Connections(millions)* Y-o-Y Growth,connections
China Mobile 683.08 11 %
Vodafone Group 386.88 5 %
America Movil Group 251.83 7 %
Bharti Airtel 250.04 13 %
Telefonica Group 243.51 7 %

(Source: Wirelessintelligence.com Photo: Wayan Vota)

(Mobile operator worldwide group global ranking by connections, Q2 2012)

konga

Konga, Nigerian Online Retailer Launches Loyalty Points Program

Konga.com, a leading e-commerce start-up in Nigeria, has just launched a Points Loyalty Program as a way of saying thank you to their loyal customers. The Loyalty points, named ‘Konga points’, can be earned by completing an order or registering on the website if you are a new user.

You can use your earned Konga points to purchase goods that have accrued to a certain level equivalent to the monetary value of a product.

Below are the details of the Konga points loyalty program:

How Much Points Do You Earn?

As a Konga customer, you earn Konga Points for every completed transaction or for events like registration, as per the following rules:

  • Order size between N500 and N5,000: Get 1 Konga Point per N100
  • Order size between N5,000 and N10,000: Get 1.2 Konga Points per N100
  • Order size between N10,000 and N20,000: Get 1.4 Konga Points per N100
  • Order size between N20,000 and N50,000: Get 1.6 Konga Points per N100
  • Order size between N50,000 and N100,000: Get 1.8 Konga Points per N100
  • Order size above N100,000: Get 2 Konga Points per N100

Every newly registered user gets 100 Konga Points to start.

How do you redeem a Konga Point?

At the time of checkout, a customer can specify Konga Points to be debited. Two Points worth is N1

Do my Konga Points expire?

A Konga Point expires after a year. For instance, the points earned on 26th of September, 2012, will expire on 25th of September, 2013.  At the time of redemption, the earlier points get debited first.

For instance, if you have earned 2000 points from transactions on 26th of January (400 points), 1st of February (600 points) and 8th of February (1000 points) and want to redeem 1500 points on the 14th of February transaction, the points earned on 26th of January will be used first, followed by the ones earned on 1st of February and then the points from 8th of February will be used.

How do you check your Konga Points?

You can check the status of your points by logging into your account and going to the “My Account” section. One can view the details of all transactions that helped earn and redeem Konga Points.

Can I transfer my Konga Points?

A Konga Point is tied to a user account and is non-transferable to any other account.

So, if you are a Konga user, start buying and earning more points to your account. If you are not yet a user, register to get 100 points instantly.

crowd

Airtel Crosses 60 Million Active Customer Mark In Africa

AIRTEL a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today celebrated its 60 millionth customer in Africa. Airtel, which recently moved up one notch in global rankings to become the fourth largest mobile operator in the world in terms of subscribers, added 10 million customers across its operations in 17 African countries in less than 12 months of having crossed 50 million subscribers.

“Since launching the Airtel brand in Africa in 2010, Airtel has been on a steady growth path,” explains Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa. “The ability to communicate with each other is no longer a privilege on this continent, but a necessity. Airtel remains committed to ensuring that it continues to provide innovative and relevant communications solutions to all, which positively impacts as many lives as possible.”

Adds 10 million customers in less than 12 months

  • Rapid expansion of world class 3.75G high speed data services across 11 markets
  • Growth of mobile commerce service “Airtel Money” in 15 markets
  • Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in all markets, especially 30 schools for the underprivileged children
  • Largest football tournament in Africa for girls and boys under 17 in collaboration with Manchester United and Arsenal

Road To The Future

Though Airtel has already notched up significant milestones, it remains dedicated to marking more successes in Africa. Moving forward, the company is hoping to grow its subscriber base on the continent through maintaining a strong focus on rural penetration, innovation and customer responsiveness.

About Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 5 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 259 million customers across its operations at the end of September 2012. To know more please visit airtel.com

[image via Flickr/ alexkess]

web

Initiative Unveiled To Increase ICANN’s Presence And Participation Across Africa

The leaders of Africa’s internet community have unveiled a comprehensive plan designed to dramatically increase African involvement in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model. The plan was presented to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at the organization’s 45th public meeting in Toronto, Canada by the Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG).

The Africa Strategy Working Group (ASWG) was formed after ICANN new President and Chief Executive Officer, Fadi Chehadé, encouraged a stronger voice from the African continent in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model. Chehadé said, “When we met three months ago at the ICANN meeting in Prague, I felt a sense of frustration at our inability to come together and move the Africa agenda forward.

“It’s incredible what this working group has achieved in such a short period of time by engaging with many concerned groups and individuals through the multi-stakeholder process.”

Nii Quaynor of Ghana, a well-respected Internet leader in Africa and Chair of the ASWG, said, “We employed a bottom-up, open and public process in developing this initiative. We think this plan will lead to dramatically increased African participation in ICANN and greater presence for the organization on the African continent.”

The plan was written with the input and broad support of ICANN’s African community, Africa’s Regional Registry for Internet Number Resources (AFRINIC), and other influential African organizations involved in the internet ecosystem.

Tarek Kamel, a senior advisor to the ICANN President, also said that they are taking a new approach to Africa – this plan is based on capacity building, business development, specifically developing the Domain Name System (DNS) business in Africa and insuring inclusion.

The three year initiative titled ‘ICANN’s New Approach to Africa’, lays out clear goals and milestones and an action plan for the first 12 months. It is a collaborative effort by AFRINIC, Africa’s Regional Registry for Internet Number Resources, and the ICANN community. Currently, African internet users represent only 6 per cent of internet users worldwide. This initiative is designed to dramatically increase that number.

[image via Flickr/ marfis75]

interswitch

Uncovering The Interswitch You May Not Know At October’s #DevParapo

With the CBN’s decision to drive through the Cashless Nigeria policy, paramount on the mind of most people in the technology and financial services ecosystem is the critical infrastructure to drive this policy.

Interswitch has been the dominant private player delivering electronic payments and transaction processing in Nigeria. Love or hate them, Interswitch’s role as a critical player in the ecosystem cannot be denied.

At October Developers Parapo, software developers, technology entrepreneurs and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to explore other dimensions of the Interswitch that are not apparent at first glance.

The event will provide the opportunity to discover, understand and engage in fruitful conversations with Interswitch on their strategy and plans particularly as relates to monetising our digital creations. Developers and stakeholders alike in the Nigerian technology and finance ecosystems would find this event a must-attend to ask their burning questions and to provide objective feedback to Interswitch to improve their services to the ecosystem.

Interswitch Limited is an integrated payment and transaction processing company that provides technology integration, advisory services, transaction processing and payment infrastructure to government, banks and corporate organizations.

Interswitch, through its Super Switch provides online, real-time transaction switching that enable businesses and individuals have access to their funds across the 20 banks in Nigeria and across a variety of payment channels such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMS), Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, Mobile Phones, Kiosks, Web and Bank Branches.

Mr. Babafemi Ogungbamila – Divisional Head, TechQuest (R&D Division of Interswitch) would be speaking on ‘The Interswitch You May Not Know” and we bet the audience will be looking to throw all the question they have at him.

Date: 25th October 2012

Time: 4.00pm – 7.30pm

Venue: Co-Creation Hub, 6th Floor, 294 Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba

Get your ticket here.

About Developer Parapo

Developers Parapo is an event where Nigerian web and mobile application developers network, share, and gain knowledge required to start and grow viable businesses. We’ll bring industry experts from Nigeria and across the world to the events to share key insights that will grow the Nigerian application development ecosystem. Developer Parapo is an event of CcHub Nigeria (Nigeria’s first open living lab). cchubnigeria.com

cloud

Let’s Talk Cloud – National Software Conference And Competition 2012

In both the government and business world today, organizations that benefit most from the transformational role of Information Technology (IT) are those that treat IT as a key strategic resource for achieving organisational goals rather than as a purely technical input. Most organisations are a leading proponent of the latter as demonstrated by the huge commitment put into deploying technology for national development.

As such, the National Software Conference  is being introduced to provide an interactive forum through which members of the software ecosystem—developers, consumers, regulators, policy makers, related professionals, and other interest groups—can interact and give feedback on issues impacting the articulation of this key, albeit nascent, economic sector.

The National Software Conference will be the first edition organised by the Institute of Software Practitioners in Nigeria (ISPON). ISPON believes that the prioritisation of Software Development & Design (SD&D) and Deployment, is one of the best avenues to engage the challenges of global competitiveness, empower the citizenry and enthrone sustainable development and progress.

The overriding vision for the ISPON National Software Conference/Software Competition for Universities is to promote an awareness of the imperative of developing Nigeria’s indigenous software development capacity as a national priority. It is hoped that by exposing the issues, establishing the strategic relevance of the sub-sector in meeting the challenge of national growth and prosperity, and providing a continuous platform for interaction and articulation of the industry’s needs amongst a diverse target audience, a specific momentum can be built to create an enabling environment for the growth of the sub-sector.

The objective of this program is to organise an exhibition and conference of international standard, befitting of Nigeria’s stature on the continent and her standing in the international community of software developers and service providers. In order to achieve this, the program intends in every respect to be comprehensively packaged and presented. - ISPON

Venue: Tinapa, Calabar

Date: 28th – 30th October, 2012

Speakers expected include: The Minister of Communications and Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, Governor of the Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, and other know names in the area of tech such as: Jim Ovia, Saheed Adepoju (Encipher Group), Bayo Puddicombe and Zubair Abubakar (Pledge Fifty-One).

You can check speaker’s profile for full details.

[image via Flickr/  tuuux]

photo (2)

Google Hosts +200 Celebrities And Social Influencers At #TGITLasgidi

The Google hosted event, Thank Goodness It’s Thursday (TGIT), was an event organized to celebrate the early adopters of Google+ in Nigeria and showcase some of the great ways various users use the platform to connect, share, network and inspire fellow Nigerians.

TGIT held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos on October 18th, 2012, and was an eventful night as social influencers, bloggers, celebrities in the music and entertainment industry – such as Darey Art-Alade, Tosyn Bucknor, Dr Sid, Bez, Uti Nwachukwu, Yung6ix and the Project Fame winners – as well as individuals that have been active on Google+ since its launch were in attendance.

As the guests arrived, they socialised on the red carpet and joined a Google+ Hangout with fans online to get an idea of the excitement that lay ahead. Taking a show and tell approach, the team from Google Nigeria shared a video of the Google+ launch and exhibited some of the latest features on the platform through interactive quizzes with the attendees.

A live Google+ Hangout initiated by The Beat FM allowed fans from around the world connect with guests at the event. Guests also shared photos using Google+ Events and participated in a challenge to connect with all the attendees via photos. The evening progressed with live performances by former Project Fame West Africa finalists – Marvellous, Adetoun, Tolu, Ochuko, Ella, Season5 winner, Ayo, and Season 4 winner, Monica.

The highlight of the evening was the premiere of +Naija: Come Make We Hangout, a short documentary about Nigerians and their engagement on Google+. It featured celebrities like Darey Art-Alade, Tosyn Bucknor, Dr Sid, Bez, Uti Nwachukwu, Yung6ix, as well as representatives from The Beat FM, Channels TV, and Ultima Media (Project Fame West Africa).

TGIT was a fun experience for all who attended both physically and virtually and as the event came to a close, I expected to see attendees exchanging contact cards as is usually done in tech events I have attended. To my surprise, people were chatting and taking picture so I joined in and took pictures with Adetoun – she was my favourite contestant in the house during Project Fame Season 5.

cdma

The Rebirth Of CDMA In Nigeria – Introducing CAPCOM

Editor’s Note: Oyek Dan is passionate about economics and technology, sees data as the meeting point of these two ends with a vested interest in how this interaction can best be protected. Hence, data security at the front and back end. You can follow him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Blog.

CDMA is a digital wireless technology that, using spread spectrum technologies, allows many users to occupy the same space, time and frequency allocation in a given band – thus allowing multiple users share the airwaves simultaneously unlike alternative technologies such as the GSM.

Greater spectral efficiency yields greater capacity where greater call volume and greater data throughput, if properly managed, can lead to reduced tariffs for voice and data services. A spectrum in a given sector can give nearly three (3) times the capacity allowance of GSM when using CDMA.

This has, however, not been the case in Nigeria as evidenced in the CDMA segment of her telecom sector. A quick peek into the history of this sector in comparison with its more vibrant competitor, the GSM, brings up some interesting facts.

At first, CDMA operators were granted regional based licenses unlike their GSM counterparts who were issued an open license upon their entry in 2001. As a result, while GSM operators could operate anywhere across the country, CDMA operators were limited to regions and had to purchase more spectrum every time they wanted to penetrate a new region. Expensive and cumbersome, right?

Next, there was the non-existence of the Unified Access Service License (UASL) for CDMA operators until late 2006 when the first UASL was issued, finally giving CDMA operators the privilege of national roaming. Prior to that time, all calls were regional, unlike the GSM operators who had unlimited national access from the onset!

And then, to cap it all, some years down the line, the NCC decided not to release any more spectrum for 5 years. So even if the CDMA operators had found a way around the past hurdles, they were stuck because there was no way to get any more spectrum till the year 2015 when the next official sale of spectrum would be commissioned.

All these, and many more, have led to a moribund segment in our telecom industry and in under ten years, we have the few CDMA survivors trying to survive the political, economic and market situation unique to this sector.

It is out of these ashes that a phoenix arises and a beacon of hope seems to shine upon the sector. This phoenix is CAPCOM, a CDMA operator to be born out of the injection of about $200million into the merger of Starcomms and Multilinks with MTS, all old players in the Nigerian telecom sector. To be owned by MBC (53%), Middle East Capital Group (25%), Helios (11%) and a number of Nigerian companies such as AMCON, CAPCOM is “set to merge the assets of Multilinks and MTS with Starcomms, thus forming a big and strong single CDMA operator …with focus on broadband delivery at its full capacity”.

With each of the merging operators already having their pre-assigned spectrum  the simultaneous consolidation would create a single LTE broadband operator with 20MHz of bandwidth which is double the threshold NCC currently offers to any other operator in the country. This would position CAPCOM as the market leader in high speed broadband service until 2015 when all other operators would be back in the spectrum purchasing business.

With the support of the government, the goal of controlling 70% of the data market in Lagos will be highly feasible and will also present an extraordinary opportunity to target SMEs, households and consumer segments of the market.

Unfortunately, funding and mismanagement have always been the bane of many projects in Nigeria. Considering the high cost of deploying bandwidth and data from the undersea cables to the areas of need, one can only hope that the new management, under the proposed leadership of Stefan Allesch-Taylor (an experienced investor), will have the corporate strategy and skill set needed to maximally utilize every bit of funding injected into the consolidation and that an aggressive expansion policy would be adapted before stiff competition arises in 2015.

[image via Flickr/  indi.ca]

mobile inn

Rancard Mobility: Innovating Within The Mobile Network – #MoMoNigeria

The last Mobile Monday (September 2012 edition) was great with the enlightening presentation by Inmobi on “what customers want developers to create”. If you missed it, you can find a recap of the event here.

Recent studies have shown that Africans access majority of their online services on mobile. The statistics show that people spend more time on their mobile phones than they spend watching TV or using their computers. This is due to the portability of mobile devices and the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology. These research conclusions clearly show that mobile technology is the next big thing and presents a lot of opportunities for businesses and investors.

So join in on the discussion on the 29th of October, 2012 at the Function Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos Island as the topic of innovating within the mobile network to access the opportunities of mobile technology is what’s up. The event starts at 5:45pm.

A team from Rancard Mobility, a leading provider of mobile content delivery and service management software in Africa, will be at the event to enlighten developers and key business decision makers on how products from Rancard can help them leverage Operator API’s and create unique solutions for their clients.

As usual, there will be refreshments and the opportunity to network with some of the top industry professionals at the event. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to create new business connections and forge your business ahead.

You can register here.

About Mobile Monday

MoMo, Mobile Monday – mobilemonday.net, is a global community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influential’s fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets.

MoMo is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers from around the world. Originating in Helsinki, Finland, in the year 2000, Mobile Monday has grown into the world’s leading mobile community. And currently has presence in over 100 countries.

[image via Flickr/ armandoalves]