After amassing support from millions across the globe, the protests came to a bloody end when the Nigerian government authorised the use of deadly force in an event now known as the Lekki shooting.
Like a lot of things, the protests has a history with tech. Nigerians, over the years, have been victims of extrajudicial killings by the police and its rogue unit, the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS). Many have been killed for “reasons” as simple as refusing to give bribes; others were victimised for having tech jobs the Nigerian police still mislabels as fraud.
Today, there are memorials offline and online in Nigeria to remember the victims of the shooting, and the events that led up to it. If you’re going out there, please be safe and careful.
In today’s edition:
Editi Effiong: Father, writer, witness
Earning in crypto is reliable…and illegal too
Namibia’s digital vaccine-booking system
What to expect from Endeavor Nigeria’s “Catalysing Conversations”
EDITI EFFIONG: FATHER, WRITER, WITNESS
“The night of the shootings, I could hear the gunshots. And I was going to drive out there because our people were bleeding and needed help, but my wife said, “No, you cannot go. It is too dangerous.” So, I didn’t go, and that night, I couldn’t speak at all. For hours, I could not say a word. Anytime I tried to say a word, something came up from inside me and blocked off my speech.”
A few months after the #ENDSARS massacre, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu set up a nine-person Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate allegations of police brutality perpetuated by the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos State.
While similar panels were set up in 25 other states across the West African country, the Lagos state panel received the highest number of inquiries, a total of 255.
That’s 255 instances of police brutality. 255 stories. 255 families affected by rogue police outfits.
And Editi Effiong sat through most of it, and documented it too.
Some others might know him for the films he made through his production company, Anakle Films or might have stumbled across him after his involvement in the post-#ENDSARS judicial hearing panel in 2020. Editi attended and documented the daily proceedings, sharing videos, photos and commentaries on his Twitter page. His dedication to reporting on how Lagos State investigated the unforgettable event that took place on October 20 last year garnered him respect, admiration and a flock of new followers and cheerleaders.
Behind the witness, however, lies a multifaceted creator, builder and thinker who is unafraid to tackle the impossible.
At the beginning of this year, Nigerians could buy a bag of beans for as low as $47. Nine months into the year, the same quantity now goes for $190.
The same applies to everyday household items like eggs and milk, and even tech products like phones.
What this means for everyday people and most salary earners is that they’re having to spend more with the same paycheck.
For those earning in crypto, though, it’s a different story.
Decrypting Nigeria’s rising inflation
Nigeria, like many African countries, grapples with currency risk.
Since 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari took over, the value of the naira has plunged because demand for the dollar continues to outstrip supply. Nigeria’s increasing devaluation rate threw over 7 million people into poverty in 2020 alone while millions more are skirting the edges.
This plunge in the value of the naira has been majorly fueled by Nigeria importing more goods than it exports.
How are Nigerians coping?
Most are barely getting by.
Others have found a solution in saving their earnings in foreign currencies. Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that Nigeria had a total domiciliary account balance of ₦6.566 trillion ($16 billion), as of March 2021.
Then there are the outliers who have found work in companies that pay them in digital money like cryptocurrencies. The problem with this is, cryptocurrencies are banned in Nigeria and not recognised as legal tender.
Ever arrived somewhere to find that they’re fresh out of the thing you wanted? It’s a situation that’s become all too common when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines in certain parts of the world. But Namibian mobile service provider, Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), wants to change that.
On Tuesday, Namibia’s first mobile service provider announced its all-new 081Vax mobile platform. It debuts this Thursday and will give Namibians access to information about available vaccines and enable digital bookings for vaccination appointments via mobile devices. The hope is that this will help reduce wait time and turn-aways for COVID19 vaccinations.
Don’t walk away!
“…we seem to be walking away from the vaccines,” said Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes Gawaxab at a public lecture earlier in October.
More than long lines, Namibia’s vaccination schedule has also been hampered by vaccine hesitancy.
This has had a major impact on Namibia’s economy. Tourism is the third-largest contributor to the nation’s economy, and its hospitality industry shrank 31% last year. The goal is to vaccinate citizens and get the tourism industry back on track.
Show me the #’s
To date, Namibia has administered 495,048 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, enough to vaccinate a mere 9% of its population. According to Reuters, Namibia averages 4,507 administered vaccines each day. At this rate, it will take 111 days to vaccinate an additional 10% of the country.
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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM ENDEAVOR NIGERIA’S “CATALYSING CONVERSATIONS”
Ahead of Endeavor Nigeria’s 2021 ScaleUp Summit set to hold on Thursday, October 21, we spoke with Bolaji Balogun, founder and CEO of Chapel Hill Denham, who also sits on the board of Endeavor Nigeria as vice chairman, about what to expect from this year’s summit. Read some excerpts from the interview below.
TC: Can you give me a glimpse into what you do at Endeavor Nigeria?
Bolaji: I was one of the founding directors and am vice chairman of its board. The Endeavor model is not-for-profit and we count on certain people to support us with their time and resources, in terms of providing capital to run the organisation and mentorship time. The board finances our operations so each of us, as directors, makes a commitment every year to support the running of operations.
TC: What’s the experience been like, working with a network of entrepreneurs?
Bolaji: Exciting. It’s important because no nation has been ever built without a strong core of local entrepreneurship. The more you invest in the ecosystem, the more the nation will become prosperous, and big, sustainable and valuable businesses will be built. That is really key and there’s no organisation like Endeavor in that sense anywhere in this country. It’s quite unique.
TC: What inspired the new 10-week Endeavor ScaleUp Program and how’s it different?
Bolaji: The ScaleUp is an opportunity to provide entrepreneurs with detailed immersion in terms of understanding elements that are important to scaling a business and doing that very quickly. The best and most successful startups have one particular concept. Often, the businesses that succeed aren’t necessarily the most perfect ones where people waited and got everything right. But those that are able to enter the market, disrupt it, gain market share very quickly, continue to sustain that growth, and deliver very significant margins.
TC: And what can we expect from the 2021 ScaleUp summit?
Bolaji: The event is about bringing together a cross-section of entrepreneurs, experienced business leaders, and mentors to exchange ideas, provide content and context for the wider entrepreneurship ecosystem here around the attributes required to scale.
VC4 and the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) are hosting the 8th edition of the Africa Early-Stage Investor Summit (#AESIS2021) which will take place in a hybrid event from November 3-5, 2021.
The “for investors, by investors” event aims to shed light on new insights and trends taking over Africa’s startup space, share best practices, open the floor for powerful new deal-flows, celebrate successes and promote a culture of early-stage investing on the African continent.
This year’s edition will feature industry giants such as Rebecca Enonchong, Eghosa Omoigui, Lauren Cochran, Justin Norman, Zachariah George, Kola Aina, Idris Ayodeji Bello and Aly El-Shakany amongst others.