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YouTube Announce Afrobeats Talent Support

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YouTube has announced that four fast-rising Nigerian artists have been selected to receive support on their individual music journey. YouTube will be providing the artists with the tools to propel their music, grow their presence on YouTube and accelerate the growth of their audience globally. This was announced at an event tagged, “A celebration of Afrobeats” held in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday, 26th of November, 2019.

The four Nigerian artists are Kizz DanielReekado BanksSimi and Teni. This follows a YouTube commitment to Nigerian Afrobeats talent that was made at the Google for Nigeria event in July; when the initiative to support 10 emerging Nigerian artists through Mr. Eazi’s emPawa program was announced.

These four selected artists will be engaged in a series of workshops and content creation sessions, experimenting with content formats on YouTube. They will develop their music and visual content, becoming experts at building deep connections with their fans. In addition, they will receive marketing promotion and education on best practices for growing and engaging their audience on an international scale.

The artists will also serve as models for other African artists on utilising the global power of the YouTube platform to expand and build a global audience. Leanings from their experience will be gathered as feedback to be shared with the entire artist community.

YouTube has not just played an essential role in the discovery and development of African sound but also in exporting African music to listeners worldwide. Through this partnership with the artists, YouTube is reinforcing its commitment to exporting Afrobeats music, culture and dance – beyond just the sound – to audiences across the world who may not have experienced it.

Source:  Tech City NG

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Africa

Strive Masiyiwa Appointed to Netflix Board of Directors

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Netflix has announced it has appointed top Zimbabwean businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa to its board.

Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Global, a telco company that traverses 29 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Econet group offers mobile payment, broadband distribution, and satellite services.

His appointment comes in hand with Netflix’s need to expand in other continents like Africa and Asia.

“Netflix is at the forefront of bringing great entertainment from anywhere in the world to everyone in the world, and I look forward to working with the board and all stakeholders to continue its traditions of innovation and growth,” said Strive Masiyiwa.

Netflix now has more than 190 million subscribers with U.S. and Europe taking the lead.

Masiyiwa is one of Africa’s richest billionaires and has been recognized for his generosity even in his home country, Zimbabwe.

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Africa

Jumia closes shop in Tanzania 10 days after leaving Cameroon

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Jumia, an ‘Amazon’ for Africa has closed its e-commerce operations in Tanzania, after a similar move in Cameroon, raising questions on the future of the firm known for rapid expansion.

Jumia, which looks to be on a path to pivot from eCommerce portals to classifieds platforms in its weaker markets, said in a statement that based on its review of the path to success, it decided to cease operations in Tanzania yesterday, 27th Nov 2019.

“While Tanzania has strong potential and we’re proud of the growth we’ve collectively seen stemming from Jumia’s adoption, we have to focus our resources on our other markets. This decision isn’t easy but will help put our focus and resources where they can bring the best value and help Jumia thrive.”

The firm added that it would continue to support buyers and vendors through its classifieds portal, previously called Jumia Deals, which will now be the main portal jumia.tz.

Recently, Jumia shut down its eCommerce portal and suspended its e-commerce operations in Cameroon on 18th November with the same view of putting its focus and resources on mature markets.

In a statement, Jumia Co-Founders Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara said: “Jumia is grateful to its employees in Cameroon for the hard work over the past five years and we know that Cameroon is not short of talent. The team has fought to change the way business is done and with the support of its employees, the company has proven to be the leading eCommerce in the region. This would not be possible without the combined efforts, great contribution and dedication of our Jumia Cameroon team.“

In Cameroon, Jumia also announced it will continue to support buyers and vendors via its classifieds portal, previously called Jumia Deals and which will now be the main portal jumia.cm.

Though it makes perfect sense for Jumia to close shop and focus on major markets in Africa, Jumia is generally struggling due to poor uptake of e-commerce in Africa.

Jumia, which has positioned itself as the first African tech firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has seen its share price plummet since a Wall Street debut in April 2019. The firm has missed revenue estimates for the second time in three quarters, according to results announced this month.

Source: Techmoran

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Africa

Sim Shagaya’s Edtech Startup uLesson Raises $3.1 Million Seed Funding

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uLesson, an edtech startup founded by ex-Konga boss, Sim Shagaya has raised $3.1 million in seed funding. The funding round was led by TLCom, with participation from Shagaya, its founder and former Konga founder and former CEO, ahead of its market launch in Nigeria in February 2020.

Sim Shagaya said it will use the funding to “address infrastructure and learning gaps in Africa’s education sector.”

uLesson was Founded and officially announced in March 2019, uLesson is a platform looking to leverage technology in making learning more individual-oriented.

uLesson aims to address infrastructure and learning gaps in Africa’s education sector targeting secondary school learners across the West African region, uLesson has been in development and beta testing for 12 months and will use the funding to take the product to market in West Africa, before looking to develop educational content and a product for the East African market.

The startup aims to deploy curriculum-relevant content via smartphones, uLesson will offer an app-based home education kit for students with an up-front yearly subscription price of around $70 and the option to pay as you go. The startup’s product pack will contain a dongle, SD card, and a set of headphones to connect to Android devices.

Curriculum on the uLesson program will include practice tests and tailored content around math, physics, chemistry, and biology. The venture has already created 3000 animated videos for core subjects, according to Shagaya.

Shagaya likened the idea use of SD cards to the old Netflix model of sending and returning DVD’s by mail, prior to faster and more affordable internet service in the U.S.

Shagaya had said, “We work collaboratively, passionately & relentlessly, utilizing every tool available, to deliver high-quality affordable education to all Africans.

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