24 Aug 2016

Igniting entrepreneurship through African mHealth services


By Kyle Moss - Program Manager & Head of Global Entrepreneurship, Qualcomm Wireless Reach
&
Okey Okuzu - Founder & CEO, InStrat Global Health Solutions


As one of the continent's leading economies, Nigeria is home to a flourishing ICT sector, which has spurred numerous technological innovations in recent years. Unfortunately, the nation is still to traverse a range of challenges when it comes to safeguarding the health, safety and development of it's 180 million citizens.

Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ is an initiative which brings advanced wireless technologies to under-served communities globally, improving lives with projects that strengthen economic and social development. The initiative implements programs in five areas: health care, education, entrepreneurship, public safety, and the environment. Important, strategic, and clear cut, each of these can, and does benefit greatly from the introduction of advanced wireless technology as a well-suited solution to development issues. Mobile is creative, pervasive, and according to the GSMA’s 2015 The Mobile Economy Report, it’s becoming more and more affordable – even in emerging economies.

"The most successful outcomes have been achieved when the boundaries between each program are able to fluidly respond and adapt according to their specific demands"

But what I’ve found in my six years of managing global projects, is that hardly any of our unique programs actually fall squarely into one vertical area. Rather, the most successful outcomes and a clear path to sustainability have been achieved when the boundaries between each program are able to fluidly respond and adapt according to their specific demands. For example, a health care pilot may also be able to utilize the strengths and expertise of an entrepreneurial venture.


A perfect example of the cross-cutting nature of these wireless programs is our mHealth CliniPAK360 effort in Nigeria. Nigeria is home to numerous technological innovations; it’s also, unfortunately, home to one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates. Knowing both of these things were motivation enough to team up with VecnaCares and InStrat Global Health Solutions (InStrat); now, for over three years, we’ve invested in this program which provides mobile technology as a solution for frontline health care workers in maternal health clinics and is continually evolving to help solve other health challenges (see this example and this Ebola research that speaks to the adaptive and expansive nature of the program).

On the ground in more than four Nigerian states, InStrat is the implementation partner and is run by an incredible entrepreneurial founder, Okey Okuzu. I’ll let him tell you a little more about our experiences with mobile and how our mHealth program has benefited and flourished due to his entrepreneurial mindset and efforts:

“I started InStrat in 2010 after a lengthy life sciences and financial services career with a vision of driving an e-health revolution in Africa, starting from Nigeria. Skittish officials and investors were too nervous to provide the funding required for demonstration or proof of concept projects. About a year later, in collaboration with VecnaCares, we applied for a competitive Qualcomm Wireless Reach grant for CliniPAK360 to form the basis of an electronic health data management platform in Nigeria’s Primary Healthcare system. This opportunity was squarely in line with InStrat’s vision of advancing the e-health revolution. Fortunately, VecnaCares and InStrat were awarded the grant. 

"Electronic health data can be transmitted to the National Health Information Management System in real time"

We established a consortium that embarked on a journey that started with the installation of CliniPAKs in two facilities in 2013 and expanded to 51 by the end of 2015. Along the way, we have demonstrated the benefits of electronic health data management through the following accomplishments: conducting health worker education and preparedness for the Ebola campaign; instituted an electronic disease surveillance mechanism that identified the cause of a methanol poisoning outbreak; validated that electronic health data can be transmitted to the National Health Information Management System in real time; demonstrated that rural primary health facilities can operate in a fully paperless environment. We have now established partnerships with visionary officials that have become evangelists of that eHealth revolution. And Qualcomm Wireless Reach remains steadfast in its support of this vision. 



Officials and investors are no longer skittish – local funding opportunities are beginning to emerge – increasing the likelihood of sustainability. In the last few months, InStrat has received calls to leverage CliniPAK360 and other available eHealth technologies for disease surveillance and response; emergency management; health insurance claims processing; health program enrollment; front line health worker training and capacity building, just to name a few. 

"When you introduce mobile as a tool in this arena, the transformation, economic development and opportunities that arise are limitless"

The revolution has started! This movement has been inspired by the thought leadership and project management provided by Qualcomm Wireless Reach as well as VecnaCares’ technical prowess. And it has manifested in a dramatic increase in the demand for CliniPAK and InStrat’s other eHealth support services. This is the true story of entrepreneurship.”

Entrepreneurship has a natural cross-cutting ability to enhance several areas; when you introduce mobile as a tool in this arena, the transformation, economic development and opportunities that arise are limitless. I’ve seen this in my work with Wireless Reach when managing other vertical focused programs and especially in this example with InStrat and VecnaCares (and other incredible stakeholders) in Nigeria. As our program efforts soar to greater heights, in the wake of an improved health delivery system in Nigeria, we at Qualcomm Wireless Reach take continued pride in our role to facilitate entrepreneurial success through our investment in mHealth.

About the authors:

Kyle Moss

Program Manager & Head of Global Entrepreneurship, Qualcomm Wireless Reach


Kyle Moss serves as a Government Affairs Program Manager and Head of Global Entrepreneurship for Qualcomm Wireless Reach. Based in San Diego, Moss designs, implements, and manages, social impact programs throughout Africa, Asia, and the U.S. She also leads her team's efforts in support of SMEs, SGBs, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs, using mobile tools. These activities are all on behalf of Wireless Reach, the strategic program that brings the benefits of advanced wireless technologies to under-served communities globally.

Okey Okuzu

Founder & CEO, InStrat Global Health Solutions

Okey Okuzu is an accomplished healthcare visionary able to identify ways of improving healthcare delivery to under-served markets and populations using emerging technologies. Okey founded InStrat Global Health Solutions in 2010 to focus on Global Health Innovation by identifying and deploying technology based healthcare solutions to underserved markets using SMS and 3G wireless technologies. He is a member of the board of trustees of Oando Foundation USA and serves on the Advisory Boards of Center for Public Policy Alternatives and Trigen HealthCare Ltd.


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22 Aug 2016

"You've got to be able to bridge people's lives" - Kakono's Owen Ruwodo

By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365


Coming soon to the Com Series blog and YouTube channel.

Here's a sneak preview of our interview with Kakono's CTO, Owen Ruwodo.

We sat down with Owen at the launch of the bigger, better, bolder AfricaCom, where we chatted about his background and experience, as well as his connection to the African continent.

He discussed tech and telecommunications development in Africa, making connections and including all - truly bridging the gap and empowering young Africans to achieve more.

Owen also went on to talk about the telecommunications success in Africa and how job creation in the sectors of technology and telecommunications enriches all aspects of society - from healthcare and farming to retail and manufacturing.




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19 Aug 2016

Nigeria Com speaker spotlight - Jara Mobile's Emeka Akano


By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365


There's only one month to go until Nigeria Com 2016, and to set the scene for the event dedicated to the Nigerian digital and telco ecosystem, the Com Series team have introduced the Nigeria Com Speaker Spotlight series - where we talk with some of the sector's biggest influencers and thought-leaders in their respective fields.

Emeka Akano is the digital distuptor who has innovated the Nigerian apps market, by forecasting the African mobile revolution and utilising it make the everyday consumers' lives more convenient, while simultaneously helping foster brand loyalty in the region.

We spoke with Forbes Africa's Most Promising Young Entrepreneur and Jara Mobile CEO about the rate of digital development in the country, how to support and spur content creation and what motivated him to step into the apps space.
"The mobile revolution in Africa has indeed created a lot of opportunities, as well as creating what I would refer to as positive change"

1. We look forward to welcoming you to Nigeria Com, next month. You’re taking part in our keynote panel on the rise of data driven services through smart devices, what fundamental societal and institutional changes in Nigeria have you seen as a result of what is often termed the African mobile revolution? 

The mobile revolution in Africa has indeed created a lot of opportunities, as well as creating what I would refer to as positive change. In Nigeria, I've seen the ease at which our creative youth are now able to showcase their talents effortlessly in the areas of comedy, music or even administrating live workshops via short videos skits, shared on social media platforms, such as: Instagram, Snapchat, and more recently live video streaming platform Periscope. 

This is as a result of the increasing internet penetration rate, as well as increase in smartphones in the market, mainly due to the decline in smartphone prices as competition increases, with more global smartphone players coming into the Nigerian market. 

This, in turn, is resulting to the high dependence on smart devices as our growing middle class continue to build their lives around a smart device, forming addictive habits around them. Institutions and organisations, more than ever before, are beginning to conform to this new reality that anyone has the liberty to, and can easily, engage with them them in open conversation, via social media platforms like Twitter; be it an unsatisfied citizen or perhaps a customer who was not happy with their experience with a product or service. 



2. In what ways can effective broadband provisioning spur the development of 
new content and bridge the mobile revenue gap in the country? 

Effective broadband provisioning can spur development of new content in two main ways but not limited to;

i) Ease of distribution of new content: When there is fast, reliable and cheap access to the internet (affordable broadband), this opens up the market for content consumers, as well as increasing the demand for it. For example, more people have access to the internet and can afford it, so it increases revenue. Also, content developers are guaranteed an easier, economic and efficient way to distribute their work or content to their end consumers.

ii) Ease of access to new content: Which is closely related to the above point, with effective broadband provisioning, demand for new content from consumers is bound to go up, because consumers now have the liberty to access much more content than they would have done if they had no access to reliable and affordable internet. This results to the supply of new content to match demand and of course an increase in mobile-related revenues.

"Without reliable supply of power the cost of this broadband would still be higher than it should be"

3. What do you believe are still the major challenges or blockers to enhancing digital integration and bridging this digital revenue gap, specifically in a Nigerian context? 

Internet penetration plays a major and vital role in fostering the process of bridging the gap you speak of. Although the penetration rate is at 38% in Nigeria, as reported by Internetsociety.org in their "Global Internet Report", is very impressive and shows some good steps in the right direction.

Saying that, much more has to be done to ensure it grows at a much faster rate, while paving the way for faster, cheaper and more reliable access to broadband internet in the market. All of which are very much tied to the energy sector's infrastructure development. Without reliable supply of power, the cost of this broadband would still be higher than it should be, and therefore limit digital integration in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
"When it comes to gaming, the youth market don't mind paying for in-app content"

4. Having a look at Nigerian youth culture, what kinds of content does the youth market seek out free of charge and what are they happy to pay for? 

The youth market seeks content around gossip, entertainment (music, videos, movies), sports, games. As is the case with every person, getting content that we care about for free is never a bad idea and the youth here largely want gossip, entertainment and sports news content for free. 

This is different when it comes to gaming, as the youth market don't mind paying for in-app content within games. When they have become addicted to a particular game, paying to get an extra life to proceed to the next stage or perhaps getting better equipment to enable them to get ahead in a level is usually a welcome idea.

Paying for music is also another growing trend with recent developments like MTN, the largest mobile operator in Nigeria, recently disclosing that they made $70 million in revenues from digital music distribution across Africa (from January to June 2016). The  majority of this arguably comes from West Africa, who are largely responsible for the 50 million downloads across all their music offerings, each month. 


5. In your experience, how do you balance creating unique offerings against short term walled profits, that inhibit long term growth? 

In my experience, it all boils down to the vision of the founder(s) and the stage the business is at, whether it is at the early stage of development, or at the stage where the business is established and perhaps thriving. 

Where there is a business with a unique offering and a clearly defined vision and road map, a short term opportunity to make some profit, that is not necessarily in line with that vision, may indeed inhibit long term growth.

If a business is at the startup level (a stage where the business needs capital) and has not raised enough investment yet, the founders would have to be proactive about exploiting such opportunities as a means to an end, knowing clearly that it is a means to raise capital for the achievement of the vision of the company, in the interim. With such a strategy one would know the type of decisions to make, which would not inhibit the long term growth of the business, be it exploiting the short term opportunity with a different brand or entity entirely. 

When it comes to opportunities for businesses that are already established and successful, the size of the return would warrant whether it would be worth the effort, as opposed to a startup business which usually has cashflow or capital requirements at the early days and may have to try to exploit short term walled opportunities as an interim action.
"The reduction in prices of mobile data...would make a huge impact in encouraging the new waves of content creation"

6. Did you believe networks are sufficiently supporting new waves of content creation for mobile?

I believe they are doing their best to support as much as they can given the circumstances, but I also believe things can always be improved upon and done much better, regardless. 

The reduction in prices of mobile data by the telcos in Nigeria recently, is a good example. If such competitive services are rendered at affordable rates, this would, in my opinion, make a huge impact in encouraging the new waves of content creation, since the access to this content would be easier and affordable when mobile data/internet cost are cheaper.



7. How do you believe technology companies can support local Nigerian content creation?


I believe in optimising the process of content creation and also in the distribution of the content created. Technology companies can support by building products which can help local Nigerian content creation to be much more seamless and thereafter, distributing the created content to the right customers, in a way that can be measured with the use of analytics.
"We reward users for what they normally do routinely, without taking them out of their way"

8. You have recently founded rewards app "Jara", how do you differentiate yourself from other reward apps globally, and what have your adoption rates been like since the launch, earlier in the year? 

Our value proposition is very clear to our customers and is unique in the sense that we reward users for what they normally do routinely, without taking them out of their way. Our model is very different from how most rewards apps globally go about their business. In Nigeria, where we've launched, we've localised the experience, while maintaining a global standard experience. 

Most importantly, we are very passionate about the social impact when doing business, so much so that we added a social impact scheme to our business model, where we donate a percentage of each transaction done on our platform to a reputable charitable organisation, towards the educating of underprivileged children in society, starting with Nigeria.

For product adoption, we did a private beta launch a few months ago, where we got our early users to use the product, and we gained critical feedback for improvement. We are at the verge of now re-launching the product again to market, where we would now market it much more aggressively. 

The adoption rate has been encouraging, as we were particularly keen to learn quickly from our early customers on how to better serve them our innovative, first-of-its-kind app in this country.
I knew that Africa would eventually be mobile-driven, due to the 'African mobile revolution' very much in motion

9. What was your major motivator, as an entrepreneur and innovator, to found Jara Mobile? 

After I encountered a report by the World Bank and the National Bureau of Statistics for the fiscal year of 2012/2013, which revealed how much Nigerians spent on telecommunications services, which was in the billions of dollars each month, and how the major mode of transactions (paying bills etc) was through the traditional means of physically going out of our way buy and recharge cards from a road-side hawker or shop - I clearly recall that I hardly slept that night.

Also, I knew that Africa would eventually be mobile-driven, due to the 'African mobile revolution' very much in motion and in the very near future, maybe 5 years from now, most transactions would be done on mobile. Mobile money success amidst other trends are indicators of this already happening. 

We knew they were a few digital (web and mobile) alternatives for purchasing airtime or paying bills already in the market, who are also trying to service the market digitally, so in a bid to position ourselves in readiness to exploit this inevitable change in the telecommunications sector, we founded Jara Mobile with our flagship product Jara app. 

To make our product unique i.e differentiate ourselves, we developed a model whereby consumers get rewarded in for doing their routine bill payment or airtime recharge through our platform, whereby normally all they would enjoy would have been the convenience of doing it digitally through their phones. We decided to take it a step further by adding a reward from their favourite brands, in addition to this convenience. In addition, we also help brands to turn consumers into customers in a measurable way, as their coupons serve as an economic way to market their brands and convert their marketing budget to actual measurable sales.



10. What is next for Jara, where do you see the app developing in the near future? 

In the near future, I see the app being used in neighbouring African countries, as well as the addition of several more varieties of brands across different categories, added to the platform.

11. What do you expect from speaking at Nigeria Com 2016? 

I expect to exchange ideas and have meaningful conversations with stakeholders which would continue to shape the digital, telecommunications and ICT space in Nigeria and Africa. I also expect to build up good PR for Jara Mobile which is an innovative technology startup founded by young Nigerians, as a means to also inspire and encourage entrepreneurship among the youth in Nigeria and Africa. 

I am really looking forward to meeting with stakeholders across different sectors, keen to network and make new connections

12. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?

I am really looking forward to meeting with stakeholders across different sectors, keen to network and make new connections with policy makers, potential investors for my startup, industry-shapers and top executives from the long list of technology ventures, telecommunications giants, telecommunications and ICT service providers all meeting up in one place.


Emeka Akano will be speaking on day 2 of Nigeria Com 2016, on the panel discussion: Enhancing content integration to bridge the digital revenue gap - the rise of data driven services through smart devices.

You can find out more about the event here.

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17 Aug 2016

The gateway to Africa - carrier-neutral data centres in Kenya

By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365



At this year's East Africa Com in Nairobi, we sat down with Ranjith Cherickel, Founder and CEO of the first ever carrier-neutral data centre in East Africa - icolo.io.

As our sponsor of the poolside after party, we grabbed a few moments during the evening to chat to Ranjith about providing an ecosyestem of open opportunity for clients to collaborate and house data effectively, what kinds of clients this ecosystem can benefit, as well as what the knock-on socio-economic benefits for Mombasa, and Kenya as a whole, will be.

icolo.io hopes establishing a centre in Mombasa will provide another, and very much needed, gateway to Africa.



You can find out more about icolo.io here.


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16 Aug 2016

AfricaCom Speakers 2016


By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365


This year's AfricaCom is going to be a game changer.

From the new and expanded agenda - transforming the event into a festival of African tech, to serving as a platform to host the continent's most influential though-leaders, there is something for everyone at the bigger, better, bolder AfricaCom. We've even added the AFest, the music festival spreading AfricaCom vibes across Cape Town.

Stay tuned over on our Twitter and Instagram, this week - we're announcing some of the biggest names that will be gracing our stage at this year's event.


From big data, smart cities and IoT and digital entertainment to mobile finance and commerce, SDN and NFV proof of concept and connecting Africa - we've got you covered at AfricaCom 2016.

You can find out more about the event here.

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15 Aug 2016

Nigeria Com speaker spotlight - Dressmeoutlet.com's Olatorera Oniru


By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365


Businesswoman, fashion disruptor, CEO and African designers' biggest champion - Olatorera Oniru is changing the face of shopping and e-commerce in Nigeria; channeling her experience both home and abroad to cultivate a truly African brand, with a service that is up there with the world's most sophisticated stores.

We had a chat with the Dressmeoutlet.com Founder and CEO about digital innovation and African e-commerce growth, some of the industry-specific challenges faced by Nigerian businesses such as her's, and the role the African mobile revolution is playing in enhancing the e-commerce industry.


"There has been notable growth in the industry with lots of players trooping in"


1. We look forward to welcoming you to Nigeria Com, next month. You’re taking part in a panel discussion on how to create a culture of digital innovation and a more inclusive business environment for online SMEs in Nigeria. From your own experience, what growth and development have you seen in this area in the last 3-5 years?

There has been notable growth in the industry with lots of players trooping in. Over the past 3 to 5 years, we have witnessed increased local innovation with companies analysing how to expand on offerings to the end consumer. Currently, we have industry players analysing the potential of drones for deliveries, we’ve seen POS on delivery gadgets and software made particularly for the Nigerian market.



"Currently, we have industry players analysing the potential of drones for deliveries, we’ve seen POS on delivery gadgets and software made particularly for the Nigerian market"


We have also witnessed the banking and telecommunications industries expand into the online retail market. The market has a ton of potential and with each passing day, the goal remains for Dressmeoutlet.com to be the foremost player in retailing fashion, beauty and home goods for our customers, with rapid fast delivery. This entails partnering with strong service providers and constantly innovating on our sourcing channels and business processes.

2. What do you believe are still the major challenges or blockers to online SME growth in Nigeria?


Beyond the general challenges in Nigeria that affect most businesses, such as lack of stable electricity, corruption, crime, poverty and the like - the online SME market also has industry-unique challenges that may slow growth for some players, specifically new entrants. Some of these challenges include lack of access to adequate finance, low patronage (mostly due to either sub-standard products in the market or lack of trust from customers) and the inability to compete effectively, which can be attributed to either lack of the right mix of founders or employees.


"Mobile commerce is playing a key role in enabling society and growing the economy"


3. From what you have experienced, how is mobile commerce enabling society and growing the Nigerian economy?


Mobile commerce is playing a key role in enabling society and growing the economy. Mobile commerce connects people to the products and services they love the most. Take for instance Dressmeoutlet.com, our products are by high-quality designers and our customers trust that each time they shop with us, they are shopping from the best. 


In line with this, we also dispatch rapidly each and every time. It is exciting to receive a package of fashion and beauty products that helps you look and feel good, with just a click of a button from your mobile phone. Our customers do not have to wait till a store opens or travel thousands of miles to another country.

"It simply felt like the right time - now or never"


4. From a career with some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies, such as General Electric and the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, what led you to set up shop alone and branch out into e-commerce?

I was ready for the entrepreneurial leap from being employed to controlling my own ambitions. It simply felt like the right time - now or never. I was very comfortable in my last job as Head of Sales Governance at Lars Magnus Ericsson and I was sure that too much comfort was not best for me. I needed, and continue to need, to sweat thoroughly to enact needed developments. I believe I have leadership capabilities to create, develop and innovate and now I want to create global visibility for African products, create jobs for people, and generally do my part to make the world a better place.

"I know we need more leaders in Africa coming out of our comfort zones to change the status quo"


I would not have 100% of the freedom I need to grow if I remain employed. I have dreams and I want to make all my dreams come true and this requires me investing as much of my time as possible into my dreams. I want to express my love and care for people in my own way. More importantly, as comfortable as I was, earning way above average with the conglomerates I worked for, I just could not be too comfortable knowing that the poverty rate in Nigeria is 65% and even worse in other African countries. And I know we need more leaders in Africa coming out of our comfort zones to change the status quo.

5. How does the e-commerce industry differ in Nigeria, from say the rest of Africa and abroad?

E-commerce is fairly new to Nigeria compared to the world’s developed nations. Within Africa, Nigeria’s e-commerce industry is thriving, being in the top 5 of all African countries. Nonetheless, the industry is still young with a lot of room for growth. 


Like I’ve said earlier, our strategy for e-commerce is to understand the market thoroughly and provide the best products and services our customers need, while innovatively developing the industry. We must think outside the norm and develop novel ideas for Africa, rather than merely doing things that have worked in other nations.

6. What do you believe is the major ethos behind Dressmeoutlet.com?


The major ethos behind Dressmeoutlet.com would be quality. In terms of the products we retail, in terms of the level of customer service we provide, in terms of the user experience on our website and generally with everything we do. Our customers are #1 and everything we do, engineer or innovate always centres around ensuring our customers have the best technology-driven shopping experience for fashion and beauty products online.


"We are not focused on competing
or creating barriers to entry"


7. How does Dressmeoutlet.com differentiate itself from other online fashion retailers, at home and internationally?


Currently, we are not focused on competing or creating barriers to entry. We naturally do those by being focused on satisfying our customers’ needs and wants whole-heartedly. With that focus, we seem to have things fall into place gradually and naturally. We establish goals and targets month-to-month, year-to-year and ambitiously work towards achieving all set targets. Employees at Dressmeoutlet.com are mostly whizzy with a good percentage of our managing employees having first class degrees.

8. How has your background and previous experience informed how you approach e-commerce?


My background and previous experiences have thoroughly contributed to my approach to e-commerce, even to my approach to life in general. I am definitely grateful for all the opportunities I was afforded to grow, learn and excel over the past 12 years from the $6 an hour jobs to the Fortune 500 jobs, every experience contributed significantly to my life's ambitions. 


Learning is powerful, even the volunteer jobs I underwent, taught me something about life. I’ve worked in places where quality was a must, I learnt to engineer or re-engineer processes, I learnt to maximise sales, I learnt to strategise and I learnt that customers are the backbone to every business, thus we give them the very best.



9. What has been the biggest surprise and learning curve for you since founding your own business?

The biggest surprise to me is how much work Africa - or let’s speak specifically for Nigeria - has to do to catch up with developed nations. The gap is pretty huge and I did not realise how huge until I delved full-time into entrepreneurship. We need millions of citizens working day in and day out in industries geared to making the nation better. 


We do not need 12% unemployment, or 65% poverty, or hikes in diesel prices, or the insane corruption that continues to plague the nation or businesses closing down. What we need is strong support for entrepreneurs and the nation’s wealth spreading across the entire nation and into worthy, profitable development projects.


"We will make Africa proud and continue to be a role model company to others"


10. What is next for yourself and Dressmeoutlet.com in the near future?

We continue to innovate and grow and provide our customers, partners and visitors the very best products and services. We will expand to other offerings and are engineering programs to support creative entrepreneurs, in terms of funding and business development. We will expand our reach and expand on our capabilities as we continue to grow. We will make Africa proud and continue to be a role model company to others.

11. What do you expect from speaking at Nigeria Com 2016?


I expect to share knowledge and provide expert and well-researched input to attendees.

12. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?

I mostly look forward to networking with industry experts and leaders. It’s always refreshing being in the midst of like-minded individuals who want to grow the technology and telecommunications industries in Nigeria. I look forward to a great event. Thank you for the invitation to speak at Nigeria Com 2016.



Olatorera Oniru will be speaking on day 1 of Nigeria Com 2016, on the panel discussion: How to create a culture for digital innovation and a more inclusive business environment for online SME's in Nigeria.

You can read Olatorera's speaker biography here.

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9 Aug 2016

AfricaCom TV is here

By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365


Welcome to AfricaCom TV - the home of all things African tech and telco.

In this first episode, we take a look at Bill Gates' Nelson Mandela Lecture, which focused on youth innovation on the African continent.

We report on the latest move by Huawei to increase investment in the Africa tech sector, by opening up their first Innovation and Experience Centre, in South Africa.

The team were also at the Johannesburg launch of this year's expanded AfricaCom, which featured an expert panel discussion on economic development and social empowerment through digital connectivity.

We also take a look at the events calendar, which includes the largest dedicated digital event in the region - Nigeria Com and the bigger, better, bolder, AfricaCom - coming to Cape Town between the 14th-18th November.


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8 Aug 2016

The Telco Engineering Insight - Full interview with Ibrahim Epamba

By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365

Here is the full interview with Orange Kenya's end-to-end engineer, Ibrahim Epamba.

Speaking at this year's East Africa Com, Ibrahim sat down with the Com Series team to talk about his role at Orange, what led him to a career in telecommunications engineering and some of the most interesting projects he's worked on, to date. 


We discussed some of the key challenges facing tech and telco growth in the region and some of the preferred LTE deployment models in the region.   

He also let us in on what he believes could be the next big thing on the horizon for East African telcos and when we're likely to see the roll-out of 5G on the continent.




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Nigeria Com Speakers 2016


By Amy Turner - Com Series Staff Writer, KNect365


The countdown to Nigeria Com continues.

There's a little under 6 weeks to go until the biggest dedicated digital event in the region comes to Lagos.

Stay tuned over on our Twitter and Instagram, this week - we're announcing all our speakers for this year's event.


From keynote addresses by the region's most prominent thought-leaders, to forums and round table discussions, Nigeria Com seeks to strengthen the networks and ICT of digital Nigeria.

With over 40 speakers and more than 750 attendees, Nigeria Com is the annual meeting place and hub for all things digital and tech in the region.



Be part of the African tech and telco conversation, here:
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