World Bank’s XL Africa programme announces its first cohort

1 – Putting the app before the horse 🇳🇬

From Techmoran (emphasis mine):

The Nigeria Police Force in partnership with indigenous and foreign technology firms, has rolled out an app named Hawk Eye, aimed at curbing insecurity across the country.

Hawk Eye is a mobile app that will allow users to report crimes anonymously to the police by video, voice or text.

Developed by Lagos-based tech firm, Web Assets Nigeria Limited, in partnership with U.S. based tech firms BBGN&K, and tech giant Microsoft, in collaboration with the Nigeria Police, the solution provides key technologies such as facial recognition and key performance indicators.

Well, congratulations to Web Assets 😉, but considering all we know about the size of the Nigerian internet market, it is difficult to see how this makes sense. Most people, living in most places do not have internet connected smartphones and most of the ones who do are not likely to use your app (or any app that is not Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp).

Rolling out a user-facing app with “facial recognition” (not sure if this is for the citizen reporting a crime or if they are supposed to ask the suspect for a selfie 🙄) might make sense AFTER you have fixed the rot in the police force, built a database of citizens, set up a network of connected vehicles, staffed them with competent officials versed in actual investigative work, and brought response time down to a few minutes. But I guess you can’t award crony contracts off of most of those things. 😒

+ And since when did KPIs become “key technologies” nitori olorun?

+ Related: No app can make up for a lack of political will – Nanjira. Link.


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2 – XL Africa

These 👇🏾 are the 20 startups who made it into the World Bank’s XL Africa accelerator. At the end of the four-month programme, they will present their businesses to investors at the African Angel Investor Summit to raise $250k – $1.5m in Series A capital.

+ Nigeria is the most represented country with 9 startups in the cohort, followed by Kenya with 5, South Africa, 3, Tanzania, 2, and Senegal, 1. (Has anyone else noticed how its the same startups who get into most of these accelerator programmes? No? Okay.)


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What else is interesting?

+ Data from space hints that Nigeria’s economy is improving. Link. (Spoiler: someone measured light intensity, used it as a proxy for electricity usage and concluded that it must mean the economy is getting better. I have no further comments at this time)

+ Filed under headlines I did not expect to read today: “Nigerian invents computer that can smell explosives” Link.

+ Bitpesa raises $4m. (Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain) Link.

+ Uber SA now verifies cash trip riders via Facebook. Link.

+ Iflix launches in Kenya. Link.

+ This Agritech bullshit. Link.

+ Uganda’s Uber for Motorcycles has launched a virtual wallet to let users pay for their rides with MTN and Airtel Money. Link.


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Opportunities

+ Printivo is hiring a full-stack developer. Deets.

+ OMG Digital, Tress, and Paystack will sponsor 3 Ghanaian startups to come network and learn at the Y Combinator Lagos Meetup happening on September 23rd. Find out more here and apply.

+ NESA by Makers is looking for a Front End Web Development Instructor and a Back End Web Development Instructor. Send an email to teach@makers.ng to apply.

+ Applications for Airbus BizLab’s Africa4Future initiative are open, with a September 6th deadline. If your startup is in aerospace, apply and get an opportunity to pitch your product, here.

+ Union Bank is launching an acceleration programme with CcHub. The carrot seems to be strategic partnerships with, and support from the bank. Link.

+ Are you developing open source VR/AR technologies that can help improve children’s lives? The UNICEF Innovation fund is offering $50,000- $90,000 in equity free funding. Apply by September 17, 11:59pm EDT.


Upcoming events

Abuja: The Abuja Masterclass on the 31st of August will be ‘an introduction to Angel investing’ conducted by Tomi Davies. Check it out if you’d love to deepen your understanding of early-stage investing. Link

Lagos: Alert Clinic will launch today, at Civic Hive, 42 Montgomery Street, Yaba, Lagos.

Lagos: At this month’s Usable meetup on the 31st, the discussion will be about the steps to take to recruit the right users for your research. Link

Lagos: MEST Masterclass, on September 1st: A Masterclass session for startup entrepreneurs looking to learn what angel Investors look for in startups. Link

London: Africans in AI is a meetup for Africans living in London who are interested or involved in Artificial Intelligence. It will hold tomorrow, September 1, and you can find out more/register here: Link.

Lagos: Paystack is organizing a Y-Combinator Lagos Meetup on September 23. Meet YC founders and gain insight into the process. Link.