Wednesday, December 2

West Africa

Norwegian tech company exits Nigerian venture
West Africa

Norwegian tech company exits Nigerian venture

Norwegian software company, Opera, announced it has made a $6.1 million divestment from a Nigerian subsidiary. The disclosure was made during the company’s second quarterly report for 2020. Opera did not mention the name of the company it exited. In Nigeria, Opera operates a few companies alongside a partnership in portfolio company OPay.  The European company owns the Opera browser, one of the most popular browsers in the country thanks to its data saving features. Opera also operates OList, the classifieds listing platform, Opera News and OKash, the lending service. OKash exits as both a separate app and on  OPay through a partnership. So which Nigerian venture did Opera divest from? Obviously, it’s not OPay. Opera considers the Nigeria-based fintech to be a s...
Africa’s Technology Hub Rises in a Congested Lagos Neighborhood
Trends, West Africa

Africa’s Technology Hub Rises in a Congested Lagos Neighborhood

The fading facades of century-old buildings in a neighborhood of the Nigerian megacity of Lagos house a vibrant technology cluster that’s caught the eye of Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The Yaba area, home to the Yaba College of Technology and the University of Lagos, is an emerging technology ecosystem -- from fewer than 10 startups in 2013 to more than 60 today, including businesses like booking site Hotels.ng. It also hosts digital labs for Nigeria’s oldest bank, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., and Stanbic IBTC, the local subsidiary of Africa’s largest lender. “Lagos, like other major cities such as Nairobi and Accra, is at the height of this exciting expansion in innovation across tech, with Yaba quickly finding itself at the center,” said Chimdindu A...
Can Nigeria’s tech community contribute to solving the country’s energy crisis?
Energy, Opinion, West Africa

Can Nigeria’s tech community contribute to solving the country’s energy crisis?

Two weeks ago, I tried renewing energy credits online via my bank’s website. I got debited instantly and immediately proceeded to check if power was restored. It wasn’t and I didn’t receive a refund until a week later. Although in the past, I have successfully used the system a few times, the unreliability of the service is a problem for many. At least 30,000 electronic payment transactions fail every day, according to one Nigerian commercial bank. Nigeria is a nation where its citizens live with limited power daily.  Last month, the power supply droppedfrom 4,000 megawatts to 2,039 megawatts, grossly insufficient for a nation of 180 million people. The power generated dropped due to a shortage of gas supply to power stations. If all the country’s power facilities work to the...
New innovation centre launched in Lagos
Nigeria, West Africa

New innovation centre launched in Lagos

Governor of Lagos state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has unveiled the Eko Innovation Centre, a tech hub that is private sector-driven. The initiative was developed to strategically increase entrepreneurial and technological capacity across the state. Speaking during the launch of the centre located at Ikoyi, Sanwo-Olu, who would be sworn in today as Governor of Lagos State, said the location of the innovation centre used to be one of his campaign offices. “It used to be a place where I had lots of young people who used to spend long nights to develop a lot of concepts around my manifesto. “So, we said to ourselves, what is the best thing we can use this place for and so we decided to turn it into a tech hub, where people can come here to develop ideas. “So, it is for Lagosians t...
Liberia has blocked social media as protesters demand the return of missing millions
Social Networks, West Africa

Liberia has blocked social media as protesters demand the return of missing millions

Thousands of Liberians descended on the capital Monrovia today to protest the corruption that has bedeviled president George Weah’s administration. The government’s response: blocking social media outlets. The internet monitoring organization NetBlocks said platforms including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook were blocked to subdue the protests. While the cut-off didn’t impact all providers, restrictions affected mobile internet provider Orange Liberia and internet service provider Lonestar. The social media shutdown was confirmed by assessing user measurements in the Liberian capital and in collaboration with the digital advocacy Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa. Dubbed “Save The State,” the anti-government protests come just over a year after...
Motorcycles Enter Ride-Hailing App Industry in Nigeria
Ridehailing, West Africa

Motorcycles Enter Ride-Hailing App Industry in Nigeria

When a customer scrolls through the options on a ride-hailing app in Lagos, Africa’s largest city, cars are no longer the only things that show up. Over the past 18 months, motorcycle-hailing startups have become players in the city’s tech ecosystem, all competing for traction and market share in a city beset with some of the continent’s worst transportation challenges. By itself, the idea of an on-demand, flexible transport service to get around Lagos’ hours-long traffic jams and congestion is an appealing proposition for millions of Lagosians. It’s also cheaper compared with established car-hailing services like Uber and Taxify. To be clear, commercial transport motorcycles, known locally as okadas have long existed in Lagos, like in many other African cities where they ...
Nigeria attains steady increase in internet subscriptions
West Africa

Nigeria attains steady increase in internet subscriptions

NIGERIA has recorded an 11 percent increase in internet subscriptions over the past year to 113, 9 million users. The figure indicates a density of 61 percent in a population estimated at 185 million, placing Nigeria well above the African average of around 16 percent, according to McKinsey, the management consulting firm. Statistics released by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) indicates there were 2,24 million new internet subscriptions recorded, compared with 3,18 million the previous month. MTN accounted for the biggest share (40 percent) of total subscriptions. Since June last year, MTN has recorded month-on-month (m/m) increases in its internet subscriptions. For January, it recorded an increase of 4,6 percent or 2 million new subs...
Techabal Releases New Report on Health Tech in Nigeria
West Africa

Techabal Releases New Report on Health Tech in Nigeria

TechCabal is pleased to introduce its first paid report, The State of Health Tech in Nigeria. This deeply researched report examines general health indicators and challenges in Nigeria, and then dives into the health tech industry, profiling the innovative startups working to find technology solutions to Nigeria’s health-related problems. The report profiles 75 active and 15 inactive health tech startups across 12 subsectors. It further examines the challenges these startups face, the opportunities in the space and makes actionable recommendations for entrepreneurs, investors and regulators to consider. This report was prepared using both primary and secondary data. We started with publicly available information about the healthcare system and health tech industry in Nigeria. We...
Nigerian motorcycle taxi app Gokada to open driver training school
Apps, West Africa

Nigerian motorcycle taxi app Gokada to open driver training school

Lagos-based on-demand motorcycle taxi app Gokada has celebrated its first birthday with the launch of its new office in Ilupeju, which will house a state-of-the-art driver training school to train and verify up to 500 riders at a time. Gokada customers can order a motorbike ride through the company’s website, or by using its geo-location -based smartphone app. In 12 months of operation, the startup has secured close to 1,000 bikes and completes around 5,000 rides across Lagos’ Mainland each day. It has now launched its new office, which will house its driver training school. The school, which is due to open in April, will assist with the smoother, more efficient training of more Gokada drivers. “Gokada was built on a super simple premise; moving Lagos citizens around the traffi...
Microsoft to open office in Lagos dedicated to developing mixed reality and artificial intelligence
AI, West Africa

Microsoft to open office in Lagos dedicated to developing mixed reality and artificial intelligence

Alex Kipman, a Microsoft Technical Fellow and the co-creator of HoloLens, announced on Twitter Microsoft is opening an engineering office in Lagos, Nigeria. The Cognition Africa engineering team is looking for a software engineer to assist with the building of Mixed Reality Cloud Services that bring those technologies to a wider range of devices. For more information, click here. https://twitter.com/akipman/status/1104062105844559878