September 25, 2020

Welcome to another edition of the Weekly RoundUp.  In this week’s edition,  the Federal government launches an Entrepreneurship Scheme for Digital skills; Audiomack,  the music streaming platform opens an office in Lagos and many more.

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  • The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched its Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scheme for start-ups. It aims to give young Nigerians  the needed skills to build their start-ups and also train hub managers on the needed support skills for those growing their businesses.  There is also a mentorship component to it where,  successful participants  are matched with mentors with an option to either start a business or get a paid employment. Link.


Why this is Important:  Despite the timing,  the government may have taken the acquisition of digital skills seriously  this time.  Business owners, especially when starting out,  need mentorship; this is another step in the right direction with the mentorship model incorporated in the program especially in a fast-paced business environment. Hubs are good, they provide clusters  for ideas generation and iteration for entrepreneurs.

  • Music streaming platform, Audiomack,  has launched an African office in Lagos,    Audiomack  has in not time become a favourite amongst Indie artistes in Nigeria in recent times. Link


Why this is Important:  Audiomack would be diversifying its listenership and content catalogue with this entry into Africa.  It may have beaten other streaming giants towards having a relationship with Nigerian entertainment ecosystem early enough.  It is also true that the consumer side in the music ecosystem are gradually getting used to paying for content like album purchase and streaming,  Audiomack be here when that attitude becomes a norm.

Importantly,  by making this entry,  it gets to understand the challenges faced by Nigerian entertainment creators and respond appropriately.

  • Amazon has launched the Interactive Video Service (IVS). According to the release,  IVS is ‘ ideal for creating interactive video experiences.’  It listed its benefits as easy to integrate on a website,  ability and flexibility to create and launch a video stream in seconds and optimization for live streaming. Just few weeks ago,  Amazon launched the Honeycode, a service that let’s you create a simple website without writing lines of code. Link


Why this is Important:  With the ease of integration,  businesses in low-trust environment can earn trust with additional videos to convince a customer on a product or service before purchase. This will come handy in a place like Nigeria where lack of trust has hampered the takeoff of e-commerce and social commerce.

With a voting API,  this service can be used for a fairly large audience by researchers and politicians for quick feedback from respondents and their constituents.

Fundraising websites may now use the service to generate video on a project to gain the donors’ trust to encourage their support and subsequent donations.

Intermittent users of video services can now reduce their fixed overhead on video streaming expenses.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of MTN is pictured in Abuja, Nigeria September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo
  • Telecommunications service provider, MTN has officially launched its  e-SIM.  The e-SIM does all the features of a SIM and more without the tangibility of a normal SIM.  If we would recall,  it was announced in 2016, perhaps regulatory approval and infrastructure support might have delayed it until now.  Link


Why this is Important:  With users these days having their data and other vital information on multiple devices and locations,  housing and aggregating in a single SIM may help Nigeria with identity management, crime prevention and investigations as well.  Health records may now be accessed via SIM since profiles and laptops from smartwatches can be integrated with the e-SIM.

An ongoing concern is the problem of identity theft. How secure would this SIM be in future when it sees mass adoption and appeal?  For a missing phone,  how does the user protect his/her information before compromise?  For the regulator, NCC having shown caution by allowing trials for a year, what policy tools do we need to prevent financial and in some cases,  reputational damage to innocent subscribers?

We could see phone manufacturers scramble further for marketshare as they race to bring affordable but durable e-SIM-ready and compliant devices once the regulator gives a final nod.



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Chinedu Okoro
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