What to Expect in the Nigerian Tech Industry in 2019

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I have been thinking hard about how 2018 had been very challenging for most businesses in Nigeria especially online where most Nigerians are still having a difficult time converting their valuable products and services into profitable online ventures.

I'd been particularly silent on this matter because I had not seen any interesting growth in the last 9 years in 2015 (last time I posted "news"). I was keeping an eye on the industry but all I was posting were merely opinions from hype men that didn't necessarily provide any real business solutions to large Numbers of Nigerians.

I'm coming out to talk now because yes we have something to discuss about. There are changes and we can all leverage on these changes for business growth and profit especially in 2019.

In the past, I have discussed about IoT - Internet of Things, Payment systems e.g PayPal, e-commerce companies like Konga, Tech Entrepreneurs like Raymond Njoku and more but while I was having a conversation with an old friend today, my attention was called to Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Big Data as well and how these are the next level technologies. I agree but I wonder how these will affect Nigerian startups in 2019

So here it goes: The reason I thought I must write this blog tonight is to call your attention to the new FINTECH disruption that is about to happen through Facebook and WhatsApp. It is a Facebook stablecoin. In my mind it means that all my WhatsApp contacts can pay me from WhatsApp without necessarily having my bank details and the payment will hit my bank account instantly and I can pull the cash out of the ATM machine or make a payment online using my card. So all my kenyan, Ghanaian, South African, Canadian, American contacts can pay me directly on WhatsApp on my local currency.

Of course it is more technical than that so let's get to it: 

Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a stable asset, such as gold or fiat currencies, or backed by collateral (that could also be a cryptocurrency), or even an algorithm that governs the approach to expanding and contracting the money supply. The goal of every stablecoin project is to achieve the scale and adoption of modern monetary systems, as a store of value and also as a medium of exchange.

I've been staying away from Cryptocurrencies since I learnt about OneCoin on the day it launched in 2013. I even blogged about it but with Facebook's 2.5 Billion users globally, more than $40 Billion in annual revenues and more experience in navigating regulatory bodies, they stand a better chance than Tether, Basis and 120 other startups in this stablecoins space.

This is just one of the disruptive ideas to look out for in 2019. I will share more as we round up this year. Let's chat about what you are looking out for in 2019. Merry Christmas

W3C Web of Things Interest Group meeting in Sunnyvale, California

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The Web of Things Interest Group will meet in Sunnyvale, California, on 29-31 July 2015, hosted by Fujitsu. This will be our second face to face meeting this year. We plan to discuss progress on use cases and requirements for realising the vision of the Web of Things as a means to connect different IoT (Internet of Things) platforms via the Web and enable a global market of services. We will review a draft charter for the proposed W3C Working Group on the Web of Things, that we hope to launch later this year.

The Web of Things Working Group will have the objective of standardizing core metadata for the Web of Things Framework, along with APIs and bindings to protocols such as HTTP, Web Sockets, CoAP, MQTT and XMPP. The aim is to provide open standards for discovery and interoperability of services on a world wide basis.

Interest Group members should register for the Sunnyvale meeting as soon as possible. We also have space for a limited number of invited guests, for people who are interested in joining the Interest Group and finding more about its activities. More details of the meeting are on the IG wiki.


HTTP: The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.

WebSockets is an advanced technology that makes it possible to open an interactive communication session between the user's browser and a server. With this API, you can send messages to a server and receive event-driven responses without having to poll the server for a reply

CoAP: The Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is a specialized web transfer protocol for use with constrained nodes and constrained networks in the Internet of Things. 

The protocol is designed for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications such as smart energy and building automation.

MQTT stands for MQ Telemetry Transport. It is a publish/subscribe, extremely simple and lightweight messaging protocol, designed for constrained devices and low-bandwidth, high-latency or unreliable networks. The design principles are to minimise network bandwidth and device resource requirements whilst also attempting to ensure reliability and some degree of assurance of delivery. These principles also turn out to make the protocol ideal of the emerging “machine-to-machine” (M2M) or “Internet of Things” world of connected devices, and for mobile applications where bandwidth and battery power are at a premium.

XMPP: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is a communications protocol for message-oriented middleware based on XML (Extensible Markup Language)


With 120 Million Facebook Users in Africa, Facebook Officially Opens For Business

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Facebook has opened its first office in Africa to further the company’s commitment to help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally, according to a company statement.

The company’s Africa approach will see it partnering with governments, telecom operators, agencies and other stakeholders to deliver localised solutions to advertisers and users continent-wide.

Most especially, it will continue to focus on tailoring solutions, metrics and ad formats to the needs of customers and advertisers in the mobile-first, mobile-only African environment.

Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook’s newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Head of Africa.

The office is expected to support the significant growth of businesses and people using Facebook, with the social network’s active user population in Africa growing 20% from 100 million in September 2014 to 120 million in June 2015.

More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones.

Facebook will initially focus on growing its business in anchor countries in the major regions of Sub Saharan Africa, including Kenya (East Africa), Nigeria (West Africa), and South Africa (Southern Africa).

The company would also be looking to grow its business in other supported territories such as Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.


Konga CEO Sim Shagaya Featured in Forbes

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In a recent Forbes interview, Konga CEO and founder, Sim Shagaya shared his vision for the company. The world leading business news and financial information publication also recognized Konga’s role in the lives of Nigerians today saying, “…everyday, consumers in Nigeria and across West Africa started to log onto Konga.com for products that they otherwise were purchasing in physical retail stores”…

Excerpts from the interview below:

Chatting with Sim Shagaya is like an intense, super-charged colloquy on doing business….in Africa. “We are the custodians of the dreams of the middle-class of Africa,” Shagaya emphasized repeatedly, as he talked about his fast-growing e-commerce company, Konga.com, that he founded just 2 years ago, July 2012. With his ambitious goal of making Konga.com ’the engine of trade and commerce in Africa’, the e-retailer’s dynamic founder and CEO is betting big that Africa is poised to be the next frontier for online retail. “

PS4 Slim images appear, but are they real?

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Early this morning a number of images appeared on gaming forum NeoGAF claiming to be a new, slimmer version of the PlayStation 4 carrying the codename Monolith. We’ve included the images here for your scrutiny.

Sony has been slimming down and re-releasing its console during every hardware generation since the original PlayStation. That first PlayStation became the tiny PSOne, the PlayStation 2 got a similar, tiny re-release using the name PlayStation 2 Slim. But with the PS3 we got two slimmed down models in the form of the Slim and then Super Slim. Inevitably this will also be the case for the PS4, but isn’t it a bit early for Sony to be considering a new SKU?


Typically a slim model console takes 3-6 years to appear. We’re only just entering the second year of the original PS4 being on sale, however, the components inside the console are much more common than in previous machines, so it could be optimizations have already been made that bring Sony a significant cost saving they can’t ignore. And that’s what Slim models are all about. Sure, we as consumers may desire a smaller machine, but Sony wants to maximize profit as quickly as possible.


This PS4 Slim design looks much more basic than the current PS4, but it’s also significantly smaller while still able to be used vertically in a stand. The NeoGAF community is calling these images out as fake, but they may just be planning phase documents for the Slim that will arrive, maybe in 2016-17.

What do you think? The general consensus seems to be it’s just too early in the lifecycle to be anything other than a well put together fake.


21 Amazing Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google

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You'll be a master of the internet with these awesome Google hacks. Pay attention to number 3 and check when the sun will rise in your city with Number 12. Enjoy!

21.) You can use Google as a timer by entering the time in the search bar. Tick...tock...tick...tock...I was virtually screaming when I heard the sound of my old analogue alarm clock at the end of the count down.

20.) You can ask Google to calculate the tip on dinner.

Google Hacks

19.) You can use Google to find out when any holiday is.

18.) You can look up movie release dates in a jiffy.

17.) You can use it like TV Guide and look up the schedules of all your favorite shows.

16.) Trying to be healthy? Get help deciding what to eat.

15.) You can have Google find songs from bands you like.

14.) Or if you feel like reading, find out the titles of books by your favorite authors.

13.) It can check on your flight for you.

12.) And tell you the exact times of sunrise and sunset.

11.) It’ll give you info about any company.

10.) You can tell it to roll over—and it'll do it for you. Just type in "do a barrel roll." Woooow!!!

9.) Or you can make it lean over just a little bit by telling it to "tilt." Coooool!

8.) Search for “recursion,” and you’ll get stuck in a loop.

7.) If you include anagram in a search, Google will create anagrams out of the words you enter!

6.) And make a joke if you're just trying to define "anagram."

5.) Searching for “Festivus,” brings up the sacred aluminum pole.

4.) Google totally geeks out on you if you enter “binary” or “hexadecimal."

3.) Play a hidden game built into the search engine. Enter “Zerg Rush."...Destroy the zeroes before they eat up your search results...cool!

2.) Look up the meaning and etymology of any word.

1.) Lastly, type in “Google 1998″ for a retro version of the search engine.


Toyota, Kia Okay Nigeria’s Assembly Plants

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Nigeria’s dream of being the hub of automobile industry in West Africa has received a boost with two key manufacturers agreeing to establish assembly plants in the country, RASHEED BISIRIYU writes

The Federal Government’s new automotive policy has attracted two major vehicle manufacturers, Toyota Motor Corporation and Kia Motor Corporation, which have commenced preparation towards setting up assembly plants in the country.

Indications emerged on Sunday that the Japanese automaker, Toyota, had finally given in to pressure from its representative in the country, Toyota Nigeria Limited, to start an assembly plant in Nigeria next year if it hoped to retain its number one position in the local auto market.

The move coincided with a confirmation on Friday by Kia, a Korean firm, to roll out its first set of vehicles from its Nigerian plant in September this year.

This is coming less than three months after another auto giant from Japan, Nissan Motor Company, unveiled the first set of Patrol jeeps assembled in its Lagos-based assembly plant, which were presented to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.

The new auto policy announced in September last year, which took effect on July 1 this year, had raised the import tariff on fully built cars from 20 per cent to 70 per cent for companies without assembly plants in the country, with a zero per cent duty on imported Completely Knocked Down vehicles. The CKD refers to the total number of parts required to assemble a vehicle.

The TNL and the National Automotive Council, an agency of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, had before now, confirmed that the TMC was carrying out a feasibility study on the possibility of setting up an assembly plant in Nigeria.

Our correspondent reliably learnt on Sunday that after two visits by a technical team from Japan, the TMC agreed to set up an assembly plant in the country in July next year.

The one-year period, according to the source, is to enable the country to stabilise its erratic electricity supply, which the Federal Government says looks promising with the privatisation of the power sector.

The team also reportedly raised the issue of volume or the buying capacity of Nigerians as a major factor in establishing an assembly plant.

But it got strong assurances from the TNL that the markets in the neighbouring countries would also be mobilised to buy their new Toyota vehicles from Nigeria.

“The good news is that Toyota has finally agreed to set up a plant in Nigeria; we should expect it by July next year; it is for real,” said the source.

The Chairman, TNL, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, first dropped the hint of a Toyota assembly plant in Nigeria last year at the unveiling of the new generation RAV4 in Abuja.

He had said, “This is a serious plan that should materialise soon by God’s grace; when we get most of the things (required), I can assure you, we will get an assembly plant in Nigeria.”

He listed the conditions as regular power supply and a big market to continually consume the volume that would be coming from the assembly plant.

It is expected that a Toyota assembly plant in Nigeria will lead to a reduction in the price of the brand of vehicles; create more jobs, and result in improvement in technology and economic development.

Ade.Ojo had said the company was carrying out a survey to obtain necessary data that would lead to the establishment of the plant.

Toyota currently sells between 18,000 and 20,000 new vehicles in Nigeria annually through its seven accredited dealers nationwide.

The figure represents about 40 per cent of the new vehicles being sold in the country every year; while imported used vehicles, popularly known as Tokunbo, dominate the auto market, with about 200,000 units yearly.

The Korean automaker, KMC, has also announced its plan to roll out the first set of made-in-Nigeria Kia vehicles from its plant in Lagos in September.

The automaker’s Africa and Middle East Manager, Mr. Homer Kim, gave the indication at a ceremony to inaugurate the Kia ultramodern showroom in Lagos.

A statement by the company on Friday said Kia’s decision to establish a local plant in Nigeria followed the “Federal Government’s proclamation of a modified National Automotive Policy that seeks to revolutionise Nigeria’s automotive industry and steadily discourage the importation of fully built-up vehicles.” 


DealDey launches more awoof

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Are you a merchant, distributor or importer? Do you have slow-moving/open-box inventory that has been a source of worry to you for a while? Electronics? Home Appliances? Gadgets? Furniture? Are you already counting losses on the stock-pile of inventory that can still bring you some returns to you if fed to the right audience? Seeking a visible platform to sell them off quickly and still make money? 

DealDey, Nigeria’s best Online Store and Daily Deals website, recently launched a liquidation platform that focuses on this kind of merchandise at ridiculously discounted prices. This category is called ‘CARRY GO!'

Merchandise in this category usually are aged stock, slow movers and products that have superficial blemishes which do not alter the general functionality of the product. All products on Carry Go are DealDey has successfully cleared out stock-piled inventory ranging from generators, television sets, air conditioners, kitchen appliances and lots more from the warehouses of notable brands within a few weeks. Your business can experience the same boost!


Abuja Grocery Shopping Made Easy with Ahia Online Mart

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Abuja's first online grocery supermarket launched on Monday, 30th June 2014. With hectic schedules and increasing unrest in the nation's capital, this seems to be a welcome alternative. 

Abuja residents can now enjoy grocery shopping online and have their orders delivered within 24 hours. A delivery fee of N300 is charged with free delivery on orders over N10,000. Continue...

The website is user-friendly, with vibrant pictures which gives the site a nice tone. Ahia's founder says the website is company is working on a mobile platform but works perfectly on a desktop or tablet.

Customers are to expect more products and categories such as recipe corner and ready meals. 

Check out the website on www.ahiaonline.com 


Konga Rewards Best Performing Affiliate

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Konga.com, Nigeria's online marketplace, celebrated her best performing affiliate marketer in Lagos last week. Incidentally, the best performing affiliate partner is the Team Lead, NaijaTechGuide, Paschal Okafor, was invited to Konga's Headquarters in Lagos to celebrate this achievement. NaijaTechGuide have been promoting products on Konga for about 9 months now and currently boasts of 6-figures monthly commissions (in Naira).

Like most milestone celebrations there was cake and lots of photos, but, the opportunity was also used to rub minds on how to improve the affiliate programme. Paschal Okafor was also presented with a 50,000 Naira Konga Shopping Voucher.


For Real?? Is this SUV really made in Nigeria?

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Made in Nigeria or assembled in Nigeria? Segun Awolowo, the Executive Director/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said this is a made in Nigeria SUV, manufactured by Innoson. He shared the photos on his instagram page. For real? See more pics after the cut...


Jovago partners with Nigeria racing Eagle to host first African Racing Competition

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For the first time ever in history, Africa will be hosting a car racing competition with African drivers! The Nigeria Racing Eagle (NRE) has partnered with Africa’s No.1 Hotel Booking Portal, Jovago.com to launch this campaign. 

Jovago will also be the official hotel partner and advisor for the Nigeria Racing Eagle team and with its expertise, provide a robust service handling the entire team’s and guests travelling itinerary to NRE races around the world.

Jason Njoku about not giving up (must read)

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Jason Njoku is the founder of iROKO which is worth millions of dollars today. Here he writes about how in 2010 he had less than N10,000 in his account and how not giving up on his dreams changed his life. He shares his story and encourages others to keep fighting. 

Konga turns 2, celebrates in a customer-centric style

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Konga.com, Nigeria’s largest online marketplace, is celebrating its second year anniversary. In just two years, Konga.com has achieved major milestones in its operations due its relentless focus on its customers.  To celebrate, Konga.com will show appreciation and reward its many customers who have made the journey such a success.

Everyday for two weeks, Konga.com is setting the celebration in motion with a special customer gift where customers stand a chance of winning N25,000 when they shop using the Konga Android App.

Paypal in Nigeria 2014

PayPal Account Sign Up With Nigeria IP Now Possible!

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We're very delighted to inform you that Paypal now accepts Nigerians i.e Nigeria is now listed on Paypal website.  This simply means you no longer have to change or hide your IP for you to open a Paypal account in Nigeria. You can now sign up for a Paypal account with Nigerian IP address. 

Borrow/Get Airtime Loan From All Nigerian Network Providers

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When it comes to Nigerian service providers, you no longer have to be scared of running out of call credit or airtime as you can easily borrow or loan airtime from various Nigerian service providers such as MTN, Airtel and Glo with an option to pay back later when you recharge.

Internet Browsing Access Codes For Data Plan Activation

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To enjoy cost effective internet, you need to activate an internet plan for your internet browsing. If not you will be browsing at pay as you go, which is billed at per kb or per minute bases. Internet browsing on pay as you go is very expensive, so going for bundled internet access is recommended. Here we have provided information on Internet browsing activation codes for various data plans offered by networks in Nigeria. The aim is to provide easy access to activation codes for internet browsing bundles across networks in Nigeria. To make it more useful, we also included the cost and data limit of the internet browsing bundles. You will also find info on checking your data balance.


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