Connect with us


Anambra: 50 SMEs receive digital tools worth N5m, 20 gain instant job opportunity



It was a moment of joy at Stanel World, Anambra State, venue of the maiden Digipreneur Week (#DPWeek2018) which ended on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, as over one thousand (1000) Anambra youths were trained on digital skills, with fifty small businesses receiving digital tools worth five million naira (N5million), courtesy of DigitalPR-Wire.

In addition, the SMEs are to receive six months business advisory and supports from Digipreneur Initiative including free online PR/Media clinics and mentorships.

The Digipreneur Week was convened by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Youth Development and Digital Entrepreneurship, Engineer Ifeanyi Aniagoh and supported by Dr Stanley Uzochukwu, the CEO of Stanel World.

Speakers with the winners

Also, a new milestone was set as seventeen (17) startups emerged from the Digipreneur Initiative with solutions in transportation, logistics, agriculture, security, e-learning, e-commerce, etc., while twenty (20) other participants were instantly employed by companies present at the venue.

According to Governor Willie Obiano who was represented by the Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke at the maiden Anambra DigiPrenueur Week tagged `The Next Level’ in Awka, the programme which is in line with the administration’s agenda for the youths has raised the pool of entrepreneurs that would dictate the pace in the digital world.

Also speaking, Mr Bonaventure Enemali, the Commissioner for Youth Empowerment and Creative Economy, described the event as apt hence the motivation, mentorship and provided platform for Anambra Youths to network and take advantage of the growing impact of ICT.

Expatiating on the event concept, Engineer Aniagoh, said the idea of Digipreneur Week was to facilitate an exchange of ideas among the attendees and stakeholders in the digital entrepreneurship space as well as showcase Anambra as a hub for digipreneurs.

The Digipreneur Week 2018 featured seasoned experts and facilitators such, Celestine Achi, Founder of DigitalPRWire; Jerry Guma, a Google Certified Trainer; HRH Igwe Emeka Ilouno, Eze Dunu and Traditional Ruler of Ifitedunu; Peter Oluka, Editor of, among others.

array of speakers is on a critical mission; to objectively and honestly represent the voice of ‘grassrooters’ in International, Federal, State and Local Government fora; heralding the achievements of political and other leaders and investors alike, without discrimination. This daily, digital news publication platform serves as the leading source of up-to-date information on how people and events reflect on the global community. The pragmatic articles reflect on the life of the community people, covering news/current affairs, business, technology, culture and fashion, entertainment, sports, State, National and International issues that directly impact the locals.


Heifer Announces Three AgriTech Innovators as AYuTe Africa Challenge (Nigeria) Winners

As a result, the competition will increase visibility for growth and improve smallholder farmers’ productivity.



Heifer Announces Three AYuTe Winners for 2022

Three young agric-tech innovators in Nigeria have emerged final winners of this year’s Agriculture, Youth and Technology (AYuTe) Africa Challenge Nigeria, an enterprise development program initiated by Heifer International to identify, nurture, and support innovative, relevant, and technology-driven agric-centric enterprises that grow, scale and help smallholder farmers to thrive in Africa.

Announcing the winners in Lagos on Wednesday, November 30 at the Grand Finale of the keenly contested Challenge that saw well over 600 entries, the Country Director, Rufus Idris said the newly introduced annual challenge in Nigeria serves as a springboard for identifying outstanding young agritech innovators, as well as assisting in the formation of strong partnerships.

As a result, the competition will increase visibility for growth and improve smallholder farmers’ productivity.

Ifeoluwa Olatayo, the Managing Director, Soupah Farm-en-Market Limited emerged the grand prize winner for the maiden edition of AYuTe ‘s competition in Nigeria having met all requirements to get the topmost position. She got $10,000 grants as the overall best at the conclusion of Heifer Africa AYuTe’s Challenge to expand her business initiatives in the agriculture value chain.

The second runner’s -up, Rejoice Usim, the Chief Executive of Simkay Foods Limited got $6,000, while Stephen Obe, the CEO of Evet Technology got $4,000 grants to emerge the third place winner.

The winner, Olatayo described the impact of her innovation at Soupah Farm-en-Market Limited thus: “Basically, we connect rural smallholder farmers to urban markets by using short code as a procurement interface. So, rural smallholder farmers will no longer market agriculture produce through middlemen – they will communicate with us directly to collect their produce while we sell to large off takers. Majorly, we are improving the livelihood of the smaller farmers because we buy their farm produce at better prices of about 50% higher than the typical traditional markets”.

She urged youths to engage and think of how to use technology to better the lots of young farmers and boost food production and supply. “I encourage other youth techies to look for those problems within the agriculture industry and solve them with the use of technology to scale faster and grow bigger”,

“The grant will majorly be a benefit to our local farmers. It will also create a supply chain system for them in terms of purchase, storage and selling in a way that it makes them make higher profits than they are making at the moment” she said.

The national competition represents a new phase of Heifer International’s AYuTe Africa Challenge, established in 2021 to award cash grants annually to the most promising young agritech innovators from across Africa. Like the Regional Champions competition, the AYuTe National Champions competition offers prize money and mentorship, helping translate the energy and ideas of young Nigerian agritech innovators into meaningful impact for smallholder farmers across the country, and supporting winners to grow their businesses and profile.

“More than half of our population consists of young people and with inflation skyrocketing, fueled mainly by food inflation, we’ll need the youths with energy, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial skills that can be channeled to transform the agricultural sector,” said Rufus Idris, Country Director, Heifer Nigeria.

Presenting the awards and the grant to the finalists, Heifer Nigeria’s Country Director, Rufus Idris, said that “We are excited to announce a starting cash grant of $20,000 to the most promising young agritech innovator in Nigeria. This is in line with Heifer’s strategic goal of unleashing the hidden agricultural treasures among African youths.

“We strongly believe that the new ideas and technologies by this Africa’s tech-savvy youths discovered in this competition will help to convert the huge potential in agriculture to economic growth and employment across Africa while transforming the sector.

“Through this challenge, we hope to further inspire the Nigerian youth population to continue to embrace agriculture as a career option of choice, while promoting creative professionals that are using technology to re-imagine farming and food production across the country”, said Idris at the close of the competition.

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 39 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.

The event brought together stakeholders within the ecosystem including government representatives, tech hubs and agripreneurs, who are relevant to supporting the development and scale-up of innovative, commercially viable and sustainable agricultural technologies, capable of transforming Nigeria’s agricultural sector and her food security.

The keynote speaker and Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms.Abiola Olusanya who was represented by the Director of Agriculture Training Institute, Mr Emmanuel Fatai Audu, said that “At every point in time, there is always a demand for food in Lagos State. Food worth N9 billion is consumed every day. If we can expand that across Nigeria and Africa, that tells you the immense potential that the food value chain brings to the table in terms of economic gains to value chain outburst, especially our youths here today. He encouraged the youths to go into Agriculture as it is the next oil.

Continue Reading


OnePort 365 Secures $5 million Seed Funding To Digitize Freight Management In Africa



OnePort 365, a digital freight forwarding company that makes it easier to move cargo to, from and within Africa, has raised $5 million in seed funding to drive the end-to-end digitisation of freight management in Africa and support its expansion into new markets across the continent.

The seed funding round was led by Mobility 54 (the Venture Capital arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group), with participation from SBI Investment, Flexport, ODX, a Singaporean syndicate fund and other strategic angel investors. Samurai Incubate also re-invested after participating in the previous round.

With active operations in Nigeria and Ghana, and ongoing explorations in other markets, OnePort 365 is building an operating system for cross-border trade in Africa, helping traders to manage their freight processes through a digital platform that enables seamless freight forwarding and other value-added services.

With this new funding, OnePort 365 is positioned to further improve efficiency and lower overheads in cross-border trading across the continent, as well as deliver a wide range of new services that will increase profitability across the board.

Africa contributes an increasingly significant amount to global maritime trade, with a reported 12 percent of the 811 million containers handled at ports worldwide. Africa’s clearing and forwarding market is also growing, with latest figures suggesting a market size of $4.2 billion and a projected 12.5 percent growth with new services emerging.

However, a wide range of challenges including congestion at ports, difficulty with accessing effective service providers and complex payment systems have resulted in increased costs, inefficiencies and many missed opportunities for traders.

With OnePort 365, traders no longer have to wait up to two weeks to compare the best rates from different service providers. With pre-negotiated rates, they can explore competitive offers on the platform and book freights in 30 seconds or less.

Traders can also connect with shipping and inland transportation vendors and manage the entire process (from booking to payment) on one single platform. Traders get GPS-enabled, real-time visibility of their shipments and they can view all documents relating to the shipment via the platform, eliminating the laborious process of physically retrieving these documents from offices or shipping line centres.

The platform also leverages advancements in payment technology and the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) to power instant payments.

The platform covers air freight, ocean freight, inland haulage (trucking, barge, and rail), as well as Pay-As-You-Go warehousing, marine insurance, customs brokerage and more. Since OnePort 365 started operations in 2019, it has increased the number of twenty-foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) by 140 percent and grown its revenue by more than 420 percent.

Commenting on the new funding Hio Sola-Usidame, CEO and founder of OnePort 365 said “we are super excited to have these investors onboard to support our mission to optimize cross-border trading across the continent. With new regulations like the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement creating the potential for a new era of trade on the continent, we want to make it easier for traders to maximise the opportunity. We believe managing freights should be as easy as booking a flight or ordering a ride-hailing service and we are building the operating system to make this possible.”

Takeshi Watanabe, CEO of Mobility 54 Investment SAS said “we are delighted to support Hio and the OnePort 365 team as they embark on the journey of digitizing the end-to-end freight management process in Africa. There is great potential to unlock significant commercial opportunities across the continent by addressing the longstanding challenges that have made it difficult to move freights into and around the continent, and we are confident that OnePort 365 has what it takes to succeed.”

Rena Yoneyama, Managing Partner at Samurai Incubate Africa said, “since the first day we joined the company as an investor in 2020, we’ve believed that this team is the one that could build a cross-border trading platform tailored for the African continent. We’re very happy to back OnePort 365 again”.

Continue Reading


Curacel Unveils Grow, Enabling Any Technology Company To Seamlessly Offer Insurance



Curacel, the leading African insurance infrastructure startup, has launched Curacel Grow, an embedded insurance product that empowers technology companies to seamlessly offer insurance as part of their existing products and services.

The startup is also part of the Winter 2022 cohort of Silicon Valley’s prestigious Y Combinator accelerator, joining the growing list of successful African startups that have participated in and benefitted from the program.

Curacel is launching Grow to support more effective distribution of insurance to millions of Africans through partners like Barter by Flutterwave, Float, Payhippo and other leading technology companies. The startup will also enable seamless embedding of insurance in customer user journeys.

With Curacel Grow, airlines will be able to offer travel insurance to their customers through simple APIs. Automotive dealers will also be able to seamlessly sell insurance to customers as a value-added service. Curacel has built its market leading infrastructure that powers claims and fraud protection for forward thinking insurers like AXA Mansard and Old Mutual, and this expansive network of underwriters enables the distribution of insurance at scale.

Insurance penetration in Africa currently stands at less than 3 percent, with most policies sold offline and manually via brokers and agents.

This cumbersome process makes insurance products expensive and out of reach for many price-sensitive Africans. As a result, market penetration of insurance products in Africa is half of the global average and premiums per capita are 11 times lower than the global average.

The insurance industry in Africa also represents less than one percent of insured catastrophe losses worldwide, although it’s home to almost 17 percent of the global population. This suggests that there is significant scope for growth.

With Grow, insurers can accelerate the distribution of their products by taking advantage of Curacel’s technology to easily embed insurance within other digital experiences in a more accessible way.

Technology companies can also increase their recurring revenue by offering the protection their consumers need without the hassle of finding integration and negotiating terms with insurers and brokers.

The solution is designed to integrate seamlessly with any technology platform and Curacel’s AI-powered infrastructure means claims can be submitted and processed in real time.

Commenting on the new product, Henry Mascot, CEO and co-founder of Curacel, said, “risk protection is a major consideration for Africa’s growing middle class. As it becomes easier to access credit and other financial services to enable new experiences, we want to make it easier to protect these experiences and enjoy them with full confidence.

The success of various technology companies over the years has opened the door to many previously underserved people and we want to take advantage of this to accelerate the penetration of much needed insurance products across the continent.”

Curacel has a presence in 8 countries across Africa, enabling insurers to connect with digital distribution channels and administer their claims cost-effectively.

Continue Reading