Only 10% of those who apply for jobs in Africa are qualified

This has been uncovered by research conducted by ROAM (Ringier One Africa Media), who is encompassing the market-leading job portals in West Africa (Jobberman) and East Africa (Brighter monday), as well as Executive Recruitment and HR Solutions firm, The African Talent Company. The company has analyzed data sets from more than 12 million users, as well as from more than 100,000 employers, across Nigeria and Kenya active in the last two years.

Close to 90% of applicants that apply to a job position are objectively not a match for the role advertised. This is caused less by a shortage of jobs, but a fundamental misunderstanding of job requirements, both from employers and candidates.

The company’s research further brought to light that an average job listing receives about 140 – 160 applications. This showcases that there are huge hiring efforts involved in the application and recruitment process, even before the interview. This is both on the candidate side, to launch this large number of wrong applications, as well as from the employer, to identify the 10% of right candidates, amidst a large number of unqualified requests.


Co-Founder of Faro, Roxsanne Dyssell to Host Tech Bae Event In NYC

Roxsanne Dyssell, Managing Partner at Afamba LLC, a telecom market access consultancy and a network supplier based in New York City will host Tech Bae Event in NYC. 

TECH BAE is a new series (created by Fikile M Kani) that follows Ayanda (Aya); a passionate entrepreneur who stumbles her way into tech, when she attempts to create a better dating app experience for black women. It’s a comical take on the rapidly changing social behaviors around dating, impetuous internet culture – and what it takes to navigate the startup world as a Black woman.

WHERE: Okay Space Gallery, 281 North 7th Street, New York. 

WHEN: Dec 05, 2018; 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Watch the trailer here: Tech Bae 

Honeywell Group-Backed Accelerator Showcases Leading Lagos Tech Startups

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Lagos-based accelerator and investment vehicle Itanna, backed by leading Nigerian corporate the Honeywell Group, today held its inaugural Demo Day, marking the end of its four-month innovation program for tech-enabled, for-profit African startups. Held at Itanna’s Enterprise Factory, Demo Day saw the pilot Cohort pitch to Honeywell Group’s extensive network of high net-worth investors, as they, the cohorts, vied to secure investment, corporate backing and strategic partnerships, for their companies.

A step in the journey of Honeywell Group’s reinvention through its new innovation strategy, Itanna’s Demo Day also hosted a panel of leading players in the Nigerian tech and business ecosystems, who discussed the role of corporate Nigeria in achieving win-win collaborations with tech startups. Panellists included Deji Oguntonade, Head Fintech & Innovation, Guaranty Trust Bank, Lola Ekugo, Head Digital Innovation Lab, First Bank, Obi Emetatom, Managing Director, Appzone and Seun Faluyi, Managing Director, Uraga Power Solutions.

Launched in August 2018, Itanna’s four founding Cohort companies were chosen from over 200 applications from across Africa. They included:

  • Accounteer – providers of online accounting services for SMEs across Africa
  • KoloPay  – a cashless target savings mobile and web application
  • Tradebuza – an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme
  • PowerCube – providers of affordable power supply using renewable energy.

Along with up to USD $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group, startups received training and mentorship from leading industry experts in the form of UI/UX Sessions, legal and HR workshops, classes on technology, business and marketing, reviews of revenue/pricing model and operational metrics, mentorship sessions and guest lectures from some of Nigeria’s most renowned entrepreneurs and business icons.

With plans underway for a second cohort intake in 2019, Itanna will also invest in more developed tech startups looking for growth capital with its direct investment arm, which will support investee companies in scaling, by leveraging Honeywell Group’s extensive network and industry expertise.

Operating from the brand new Enterprise Factory located in Iganmu, Itanna is at the heart of industrial Lagos where businesses are built. The state of the art 627 square metre collaborative space boasts work spaces, offices, meeting rooms and a conference space. Trusted partners in this year’s accelerator included MEST, First Registrars, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie and Hans and Rene.

One Giant Leap for FinTech in Nigeria by Dewale Otolorin

Almost two years ago, I got the opportunity to contribute my quota to the adoption of Open Banking in the Nigerian financial industry; I did this from my corner at GTBank by helping to re-position the Bank’s corporate payment solutions as democratized APIs for consumption by FinTechs and MSMEs.

It was a challenging experience — from convincing senior management to embrace long-term, win-win partnerships with FinTechs as enablers and not solely as competition; to getting the right support from the Bank’s technology team for go-to-market (timeliness & readiness).

Integrating the bank’s payment APIs with these FinTechs also threw up a myriad of technical issues; and in analyzing these issues, one of the biggest contributing factor was found to be in the way NUBAN was implemented in Nigeria. There were cases of the same NUBANs existing in different banks; with increasing occurrences as more NUBANs are generated. This defeats the purpose of NUBAN asa unique bank account identifier in Nigeria. As it stands, NUBAN’s uniqueness depends on the customer or user’s conscious usage of bank codes / bank names with the NUBAN, even at API level (requiring the inclusion of an interface to identify bank code or bank name mapped to the bank code). 

When uniqueness of an identifier depends on user input, it loses the potency for uniqueness. 

There was also the implicit problem of the character length and how quickly the unique combination of the (10 digits) of NUBAN will be used up, given the rise in MFBs and OFIs. Given these challenges, a practical solution was recommended here (also published on LinkedIn) to include the 3-digit unique bank code to the current implementation dynamics to arrive at a 13 digit NUBAN that will truly be unique, and vastly expandable to accommodate an exponentially larger instances of NUBAN.

Below is a snapshot of the proposal:

Eight months later, the CBN has not only considered this proposition, it has issued a draft of how it plans to revise the implementationarchitecture of NUBAN in alignment with this recommendation. Theapex bank has gone further to introduce 3 extra digits taking the tally to 16digits (i.e. from Step 5 above, the CBN is introducing three preceding zeros asa buffer for when more Banks, MFBs and OFIs are incorporated for business).

This implementation will further ease integrations between banks, OFIs, FinTechs and the many MSMEs that will embrace open banking for innovative developments and implementations to deliver quality financial services toNigerians. Also, CBN is doing this to rubber-stamp its strategy to open upNUBAN issuance to more non-DMBs, implying that you may not need to hold a bank account before you have a NUBAN number. However, funds (value) transactions will happen across issuers and providers within the ecosystem. This is good news for wallet-based FinTechs.

One of the expected criticism to this new approach is the shift from remembering your 10 digits NUBAN to 16 digits; this is anticipated and highlighted in the initial article, with the comfort being that in the days before NUBAN,Nigerians were provided with 12–15 digits account numbers by their banks based on differing account numbering nomenclatures unique to each bank. (In those days, Banks’ account number system depended hugely on the architecture of their core banking applications).

I believe the CBN considered critical feedback and recommendations on how to reposition NUBAN to achieve its intended aim of unifying account number nomenclature in Nigeria; and this highlights the importance of independent contribution to the general body of knowledge for the advancement of underlying infrastructure (standards, policies and procedures) that power financial service delivery in Nigeria. If implemented right, I believe this will position NUBAN as the truly unique, unified account numbering system that will be the bedrock for the CBN National Financial Inclusion strategy outlined in its CBN-funded Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) initiative.

About the Author: 

Dewale Otolorin specializes in providing Technology Advisory Services to financial service clients. ‘Dewale has worked as a bridge between Technology and Business Groups over the past 9 years in the consulting, financial, technology and professional services industries. His strengths are in his ability to continuously fuse the core capabilities of people, technology, and industry expertise to address complex business and people challenges in organizations.

L’Afrique Excelle to Support Francophone Africa’s Top Tech Entrepreneurs

 L’Afrique Excelle is a six-month business acceleration program designed to support 20 most promising growth stage technology start-ups operating in Francophone Africa.

Entrepreneurs will receive mentoring from global and local experts, learn through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their brand visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors. Through collaboration with prominent Francophone Africa-focused investment groups, L’Afrique Excelle will help the selected start-ups attract early stage capital between $250,000 and $5 million.

L’Afrique Excelle is the Francophone edition of XL Africa, a pan-African accelerator launched by the World Bank Group in 2017. Since the completion of the first edition, half of the XL Africa portfolio has secured almost $18 M in funding.

The program highlights include two one-week residencies – one in Bamako, Mali and another in Paris, France – giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow their business network and learn from mentors, peers, and local partners. The France residency will culminate in the Venture Showcase at the 2019 VivaTech conference in Paris, where the founders will present their business models to a large audience of corporations, investors, technology experts and media.

DEADLINE to apply: January 14, 2019

 Apply hereL’Afrique Excelle

Millennial Youtuber, Florentina Agu Wants to Change How Restaurants Serve Nigerians

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Florentina Agu is on a mission to improve restaurant service quality in Nigeria using her YouTube channel as a tool for change. Agu states, “I was inspired to start “Dining Out with Flo” after attending a YouTube masterclass organized by Google Nigeria on July 27, 2018. It was after this event that I decided to start a restaurant review channel.”  I quit my job recently and prior to leaving, I had little to no time to shop for groceries and other food items, so I constantly had to eat out. I was fond of eating out so frequently that I was dining at various restaurants at least ten times in a week. This exposed me to the different types of restaurants here in Lagos.

What or who inspired you to start? 

As previously stated, the Youtube event organized by Google Nigeria inspired me to start this channel. Also, as I logged on to social media, especially twitter, I often saw tweets from people asking for recommendations on restaurants in Lagos. They would ask for reviews on trendy restaurants with good food and of course I had all of that information. Easily, I could name at least three restaurants in any major area in Lagos.

In the course of reviewing restaurants, I also became aware of locations with bad food or those who lacked good customer service. I felt like because we do not have a Zagat style restaurant review website, many restaurants have no incentive to better serve their customers. I needed to create this channel to fulfill this need. On my channel I review restaurants, their food quality, quantity, price and customer service – all for my audience and followers.

Who is your target market?

Anyone who wants information, recommendations and reviews on quality food and restaurants in Lagos.

How have you financed the idea?

In addition to this, I run an events management company, which I started while I was at university. I would consider my Youtube channel more of a hobby than a job. Although my hope is that over time, the channel will sustain itself through sponsorships. The funding from my events management company finances this ‘hobby.’ It is important to note that some of my Youtube videos are sponsored by restaurants or brands looking to advertise their products on my channel.

What is your competitive edge? 

There are not many Nigerian Youtube channels solely dedicated to reviewing restaurants so there is little to no competition. With Youtube generally there are a lot of other “Youtube influencers” and many of them have been on Youtube way before me. My channel I believe, is dedicated to something different so that allows for healthy competition and collaborations.

What is the long-term plan for this idea?

The long-term plan is to showcase restaurants outside Lagos and in other states within Nigeria. To create more jobs in my community and to get the segment on a local television channel. I plan to achieve this by being consistent and staying true to my course.

What challenges do you face?

My team and I face some challenges. The first is that most restaurants in Lagos do not want to be reviewed for the fear of being found to be inadequate.  Filming can also be challenging because restaurants are public spaces and some people do not want to be around the camera and in some areas, filming is just not allowed.

What key things have you learned since starting this idea?

  •  To be more expressive and communicate better. 
  •  To learn how to accept positive criticisms. 
  • To be patient. 
  •  Since starting this, I have learned a great deal about digital marketing and brand influencing.

What key things do startup entrepreneurs need to know?

1. Put your work out there. The era of privacy is over; advertise your business loudly and boldly.

2. Speak to others about what you do. In the first month of starting this channel, I had a goal to walk up to at least five people a day to tell them about my channel and plead with them to subscribe. It is just part of the job. 

3. Do not let the fear of failure stop you from trying.

4. No market is saturated, there is always room for improvement and for competition.

5. Entrepreneurship is certainly not the easy way out of a 9-5; it can be just as hard or harder.

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What advice do you have for youths looking to start an idea but say ‘there is no money’?

Start with where you are and with whatever you have. I shot my first video with my phone.  Start small and I mean small. Down the line, you may be interested in starting a tech company, but you have to sell sachet water first to save up for the bigger dream.

What do young entrepreneurs and executives need to know about finding investors and securing investment deals?

Focus on what investors can gain from investing in your business. Prove to them that your business is not a dead end for their funds and definitely put your work out there as much as possible and maybe an investor will find your work interesting.

How do you think African youths can continue to support each other?

African youths can support one another through empowerment, upliftment and collaboration. We should also put our best in everything that we do and eradicate mediocrity from our work.

How many jobs have you created so far?

I have a small team, but I hope to create more jobs as my channel grows.

How has technology enhanced your business idea? 

Technology has provided me with a platform to showcase my work. Technology has opened up for me, new doors of possibilities. Technology has also helped my team and I with the most up to date video editing software, which has allowed me to edit my videos with ease.

How can we support and improve innovation in Africa? 

To support and improve innovation in Africa, we must encourage creatives and not be a source of discouragement to them.We must think outside the box and learn how to focus on solutions rather than wallow in our problems.

Instagram: Dining Out with Flo 

Twitter: Dining Out with Flo 

YouTube: Dining Out with Flo

Facebook: Dining Out with Flo







Founder of AWP Network, Mary Olushoga to Speak at Georgetown University

Mary Olushoga

Mary Olushoga, Founder of AWP Network will speak at Georgetown University on November 12, 2018. 

She will lead the workshop on “Leveraging Women’s Power for Economic Growth in Africa.”

The Africa Forum (TAF) in collaboration with the African Studies Department and Young African Professionals (YAP DC) convenes thought leaders from different academic and professional backgrounds to discuss the state of women, technology, business and finance in Africa and the way forward. 

WHEN: Monday, November 12, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM 

WHERE: Georgetown University, 3700 O Street Northwest, Washington, DC 

Learn more here: AWP@Georgetown

Founder of AWP Network, Mary Olushoga Joins the Host Committee for the African Diaspora Awards

Mary Olushoga, Founder of AWP Network will once again serve as a host committee member for the 8th Annual African Diaspora Awards scheduled to take place in New York on Saturday, December 1st, 2018.

The African Diaspora Awards is SAiD’s groundbreaking effort to celebrate exemplary individuals who have made a significant difference in the African community in the United States. ADA aims to recognize notable Africans in the Diaspora who have excelled in various spheres of life and will honor civic leaders who have contributed to the advancement of Africans both on the continent and abroad.

Under the theme, “African Renaissance: Choose your Tribe,” the 2018 ADA will inspire fellow diaspora leaders, innovators and influencers to choose who they will surround themselves with, who they will invest in, and who will invest in them.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec 1st, 2018 from 6pm to 10pm

WHERE: Schomburg CenteR,  515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037

Buy your tickets here: Society of Africans in the Diaspora

Other members of the committee are:

8th Annual African Diaspora Awards Co-Chairs
 Beatrice Sibblies and Elizabeth Natasha Ngonzi

Host Committee

  • CeCe Olisa
  • Famod Konneh
  • Inez Nelson
  • Bette Mengesha
  • Ade Adeniran
  • Folake Eniola
  • Adeola Adejobi
  • NaMó Skee
  • Mary Olushoga
  • Lolade Siyonbola
  • Matilda Sarpong

Founder of Infiuss, Melissa Bime Wins 2018 Anzisha Prize

The Mastercard Foundation and African Leadership Academy are thrilled to announce that 22-year-old healthcare entrepreneur Melissa Bime has won the US$25,000 Grand Prize at the 8th annual Anzisha Prize awards gala.  Bime is the founder of INFIUSS, an online blood bank and digital supply chain platform that ensures patients in 23 hospitals in Cameroon have life-saving blood when and where they need it.

Melissa Bime is the second woman to win the grand prize since Best Ayiorworth took it home in 2013.

Bime was selected from among 20 finalists during a ceremony on 23 October that was live streamed to over 3,000 viewers and created a social media buzz across the continent.

The first runner up, 18-year-old Alhaji Siraj Bah will receive US$15,000 in prize money. He is the founder of Rugsal Trading in Sierra Leone, a company that produces handcrafted paper bags as well as briquettes for cooking fuel. Alhaji hopes that the funds will boost the impact his business is already having and will enable him to hire more youth from his community. 

Joan Nalubega, 21, was the second-runner up. She is the co-founder of Uganics, which produces mosquito-repellent soap to combat malaria in Uganda. With the US$12,500, she will conduct a certification study for the company’s products and prepare Uganics for export to neighboring countries which will help to widen her impact in the fight against malaria.

The Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs, is a partnership between African Leadership Academy and the Mastercard Foundation. The 20 finalists spent 10 days in a business accelerator camp strengthening their business fundamentals before presenting their ventures to a panel of judges that included Ntuthuko Shezi, Bita Diamomande, Saran Kaba Jones, and Polo Leteka.  They join a pool of more than 85 Anzisha Fellows and a network of support that includes access to mentors, experts, and networking. Each returns home with a US$2,500.

The AWP Network Congratulates Winners of the 2018 Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

The AWP Network congratulates winners of the 2018 Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. 

Winners of the Competition were announced on October 6, 2018 at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin. Mary Olushoga, Founder of the AWP Network served as a judge at the event.

The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is a global program and an online platform to mobilize youth-led innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Co-organized by the Goi Peace Foundation (GAP Key Partner), Stiftung Entrepreneurship and Digital Experts United, the Competition invites young entrepreneurs (age 15-35) from around the world to submit their innovative ideas and projects with a societal impact, which champions and implements one or more of the 17 SDGs.

More than 700 participants and thousands livestream viewers witnessed the announcement of the winners and their creative ideas and innovative projects. The ceremony took place in the plenary hall of Henry Ford building at Free University Berlin.

The 2018 Grand Prize winner in the Best Ideas category, Shadi Alzu’bi from Jordan, attended the Winner’s Announcement Ceremony. Shadi was moved and overwhelmed when he heard his name called to come up on stage to receive his certificate, while being applauded and cheered by audience participants.

Serial entrepreneur Lisa Lang, founder of the PowerHouse Group gave the keynote speech at the winners’ announcement ceremony, and expressed how much thrilled she has been to know that members at the Entrepreneurship Campus helped to brush up each other’s ideas and to improve each other’s projects. Despite of the competition component, there has been a great spirit of collaboration among members of the Entrepreneurship Campus. By supporting and giving recommendations to each other of how their ideas and projects can get improved so that they are able to be successful on the market, Campus members have further discovered their entrepreneurial talents and increased their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. Entrepreneurship education is the most important objective and achievement the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is aiming for, and a key component to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In this year edition, 59,403 relevant comments and recommendations have been made by members at Entrepreneurship Campus for a total of 651 best ideas and best projects posted on the Competition website.

Also, 18,768 courses have been taken in entrepreneurship education in 2018. The courses in entrepreneurship education are offered free of charge on the website of the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition.

Young people (15-35 years of age) in 93 countries from all around the world have submitted their social entrepreneurial ideas and projects this year.

Winners in the Best Ideas 2018 Category

  • People’s Choice winner: Educating every person on cardiopulmunary resuscitation by Kratika Gupta, India
  •  Grand Prize winner: Water Watt – Thinking outside the box to generating electricity by Shadi Alzu’bi, Jordan
  • 2nd Prize winner: Cardio Vision by Omar Alhaj Mahmoud, Jordan (living in Saudi Arabia)
  •  3rd Prize winner: UPCYCLERS by Neema Mit, Tanzania

Winners in the Best Projects 2018 Category

  • People’s Choice winner: SWIFTHEAL by Zhahzeb Khan, India
  • Grand Prize winner: “Waridi” is a Swahili word meaning rose flower by Venoranda Kuboka, Kenya
  •  2nd Prize winner: NSSL – An innovative device that can save thousands of lives by Sheetal Kumari, India
  • 3rd Prize winner: CLEVERHOME by Naomi Dinamona, Cameroon

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