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Nigerian Firm Develops App For Blocking Stolen Phones

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A Nigerian company -E.F. Network Ltd, has developed a mobile application that can make a device unusable by thieves, to curb theft or resale of mobile phones and other gadgets in the country.

Mr Ameh Ochojila, the company’s public relations officer said this in a statement on Tuesday, in Abuja.

Ochojila said that the application named ‘ephonetaxi’ will help provide a solution to the growing number of stolen phones in the country and across the globe.

“The application ‘ephonetaxi’ helps to lock out anyone who is unauthorised to use the phone, making it unusable and unsellable,” he said.

According to him, the application is designed to protect phone owners and the information stored on their phones from being compromised in the event of a phone theft.

“The application helps retrieve and send the user’s stored contents to his email.

“It also locks the phone, prevents either unauthorised access to stored pictures, videos, messages, or contacts of the phone owner.

“The app alerts the phone owner of any change in SIM card, monitors, and tracks the phone location including taking pictures of criminals in possession of the phone and sending the pictures to the email address of the owner,” he said.

Ochojila added: “The owner can do all these remotely in spite of the phone being lost or stolen.

“Once a phone is locked remotely by the owner, buying it will be a mere waste of money.”

The technical manager of the company, Mr Kelvin Raymond said that the application could also be used to trace kidnappers as it can reveal real-time location of mobile phones.

Mr Gideon Egbuchulam, Chairman of the company said that the application was one of the application lined up by the company to meet technical and software needs of Nigerians.

Egbuchulam said that the company had opened an incubation centre in Abuja where he planned to recruit brilliant young Nigerian Information Technology (IT) professionals.

“Given enabling environment, Nigerian youths will take Nigeria to the next Silicon Valley in Africa.

“Almost all giant tech companies in the world are interested in the Nigerian market and that is the reason our company is recruiting over 1000 people by the end of 2020 to support talented youths,” he said.

Available data showed that in 2016 alone, over 400,000 phones were stolen in the UK, with a good number of them shipped abroad for resale.

The data also showed that many of the stolen phones were first sold to criminal gangs who tried to access them for information that could be used to hack bank accounts of their owners, before selling them to end users.

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ECOWAS Court To Digitise Operations In January 2021

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A new electronic case management system that will digitise the entire case management processes of the ECOWAS Court of Justice will become operational in January 2021.

The President of the court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante made the disclosure in statement issued by the court in Abuja on Tuesday.

Asante, who spoke at a training for staff on the use of the new system, said that it would allow for electronic filing and processing of cases.

The president said that the introduction of the system would not only align the court’s case management system with international best practice but also enable the remote filing of documents by parties.

He said that the new process would eliminate the necessity of travelling to the seat of the Court in Abuja with the attendant cost implications.

He told the participants, who are mainly the end users of the system, that the system would ensure that interaction among stakeholders in the proceedings before the Court would henceforth be based on the use of the new electronic management system.

The President noted that it would not only eliminate the problems associated with the use of paper during proceedings but would also increase the performance of the court.

According to him, the digital process will also enable the saving of data relating to cases and eliminate the problem associated with the use of files including mutilation and loss.

“Moreover, it is more cost effective for all parties because it will not only bring the Court closer to the litigants but also improve its visibility and accessibility as applications and other filings will be made electronically,” he said.

Asante charged the participants to familiarise themselves with the new tool, asking them to pay close attention to detail to ensure that the system corresponded to realities of the Court.

In his remark, the Deputy Chief Registrar, Mr Athanase Atannon used the opportunity of presenting the objectives of the training to congratulate the management for bringing the project to fruition.

“This training, which will run until 5 December 2020 for different staff, will provide the judges and staff with all the necessary skills to operate the platform”, he said.

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‘FBSuccessStory Campaign’ Debuts in Nigeria

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Facebook Clamps Down on Fake Accounts

Facebook says it has partnered with BellaNaija and Guardian TV to launch its Nigerian Small and Medium Business (SMB) success stories series.

Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday that the ‘FBSuccessStory campaign’ was aimed at spotlighting Nigerian entrepreneurs using Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to grow their businesses.

It said the campaign, which would be running for six weeks, was designed to celebrate and inspire future entrepreneurs and highlight the tools available to scale their businesses.

Kezia Anim-Addo, Facebook’s Head of Communications, Africa said :“We are proud of the role that we have in enabling SMBs to grow and scale.

“We know that small businesses are the cornerstone of economies and they make significant contributions.

This campaign is a celebration of some of these Nigerian SMBs making an impact, both in Nigeria and beyond,” Anim-Addo said .

She added that the series, which would kick start on November 18 and end on Dec. 21, would air exclusively on both BellaNaija and The Guardian TV.

Anim-Addo said the special series would be showcasing four Nigerians that have experienced growth by using Facebook’s platforms and product offerings to overcome business challenges, connect to their target audiences, and achieve successes in their marketplaces.

“The four entrepreneurs selected include Tricia Ikponmwonba, owner of TriciaBiz, Samiah Oyekan-Ahmed, owner of The Gift Source, Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo, owner of Augustsecrets, and Gina Ehikodi-Ojo, owner of Foodies and Spice, “she said.

Featured in the campaign, and commenting on Facebook’s impact on her business, Samiah Oyekan-Ahmed, a medical doctor turned entrepreneur and founder of The Gift Source, said : “My business experienced phenomenal growth using Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

” I was able to build a formidable community on the platforms using audience insights, which helped me to deliver meaningful messages to new and existing customers,”

According to Facebook, others featured in the campaign are Tricia Ikponmwonba – founder of Tricia Biz, an online training and academy platform in Lagos, that provides affordable and quality business advisory service for micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

Also, Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo, founder of Augustsecrets, an award-winning child nutrition brand in Nigeria that provides healthy, handmade cereals and snacks for babies and young children.

It added that Gina Ehikodi, founder of Foodies and Spice, Nigeria’s foremost food and travel show would also be featured in the campaign.

“As one of Nigeria’s foremost multi-media and news platforms, we are continually seeking new ways to share the authentic African story, media partner, Bunmi Amosu, Head of Video Content at The Guardian TV, said.

“It is exciting to partner with Facebook on this project to showcase entrepreneurs doing their best to rewrite the narrative about Africa.

Also Uche Pedro, Founder of BellaNaija said: “BellaNaija has always believed in celebrating people making an impact in their industries, Pedro said, delighted to work with Facebook to spotlight local entrepreneurs leading change within their communities in West Africa.

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Nigeria’s Pacer Ventures Launches $3m Fund For African Tech Startups

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Pacer Ventures has announced a $3M fund for early-stage African startups that are solving some of the most critical problems on the continent. The focus will be on verticals expedient to the African continent including healthcare, financial inclusion, education and agriculture.

The United Nations has projected that Africa will have a population of 1.68 billion people by 2030, while the GSMA Mobile Economy Report states that 84% of Africa’s population will have access to a sim connection by 2025. This high mobile penetration has and will continue to enable the continent to leapfrog technology consumption, as Africa is expected to account for up to 30% of global consumption of technology and technology-driven solutions within the same period.

“We see a huge opportunity to support early-stage founders making meaningful contributions to their local economies and communities,” said Gbemi Akande, Managing General Partner at Pacer Ventures.

“We are providing much-needed funds to founders leveraging mobile penetration to solve problems at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ across the continent,” he concluded.

Pacer Ventures has already begun to support early-stage founders by participating in seed rounds, including VPD.Money and others.

With an average cheque size of $100k, Pacer VC is positioned to add substantial value to its portfolio companies.

According to Antoinia Norman, Pacer General Partner in charge of Southern Africa, “we won’t just write a cheque, we will enable founders to work in and on their business, by supporting them every step of their journey, with technical and financial skills, team building, access to markets, resources, and our networks.”

The General Partners of Pacer VC have over 40 years of combined experience in consulting, marketing, entrepreneurship, deal flow sourcing and ecosystem development.

Pacer VC’s differentiator is the fund’s focus on sourcing high potential early-stage African startups, while leveraging its strategic partnership with Founder Institute chapters all over Africa to identify and recommend winning teams with solutions that meet market needs.

“Our partnership with Founder Institute gives us an undeniable edge particularly with quality deal-flow at an early stage, which we will leverage to strategically expand Pacer VC’s footprint across multiple African Markets,” said Chukwuemeka Agbata, Regional Director of Founder Institute in Africa, Co-founder, techbuild.africa

Speaking on the Pacer VC Investment thesis, Geoffrey Weli-Wosu, a General Partner at Pacer VC and Co-Founder at VoguePay and Domineum, stated, “We are leveraging our in-depth experience in startups, deal flow sourcing and ecosystem development to take advantage of the early-stage funding gap in Africa.

Our target is seed-stage founders and companies who are usually under the radar of a lot of investors. We know the markets, have access to the founders and our investment team is well qualified to execute this thesis.”

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