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Africa’s missing people, ear1’s pre-seed round, More on the eNaira

August 30, 2021 · 3 min read
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Good day,

Today I’m discussing:

  • Africa’s 44,000 missing people
  • ear1’s $520k pre-seed raise
  • CBN’s latest update on the eNaira

Observing the International Day of the Disappeared

Africa reportedly has 44,000 missing people.

How do we know this? According to statistics from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), that’s the number of reported missing people in Africa as of 2020.

Surprising? Maybe not. Social media is rife with reports of missing or disappeared people. It’s almost impossible to scroll through your feed/timeline without seeing a missing person’s post.

Although, in my opinion, the number is almost certainly more than that. To be fair, the ICRC only has data on cases people directly report to them.

Can technology help? Yes, it can. And apart from using social media to create awareness and using geolocation data, a missing people’s register would be a considerable boost. 

However, African countries do not keep records of missing people. Nigeria, in particular, has promised a missing people register since 2016 but is yet to create one.

It’s no surprise, considering the country’s decade-long struggle to have effective identification — something other African countries have battled with.

Take a peek: Inside Nigeria’s 13-year-old quest for widespread digital identification

But I still haven’t told you what a missing people register has to do with tech. Think identity tech startups like VerifyMe and BACE Ghana, and you might have an answer.

Still want to know more? Watch out for my story on our website today by 12 p.m. as we observe the International Day of the Disappeared.

ear1’s $520k pre-seed raise

ear1’s website

What’s the story? African social media platform, ear1, has announced the raise of a $520k pre-seed in an exclusive with benjamindada.com.

Who participated? The round was led by Danny Oyekan of early-stage VC, Dan Ventures. Other investors include Prosper Otemuyiwa (CTO Eden Life) and Alkesh Thavrani of Stellar International.

Founded in 2020 by Atsu Davoh, Bitsika CEO and Co-founder, ear1 aims to connect individuals to influencers and professionals for a small fee. 

Essentially, the platform is trying to make it easier and faster for users to message influencers and professionals — sort of a LinkedIn and OnlyFans combo.

The app — which was launched in August 2021 — is still in beta and has been submitted to the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for consideration. 

But what is the problem? Typically, most influencers and professionals receive tons of messages on social media platforms, most of which they can’t respond to. ear1 wants to make this process faster.

I find the mechanics behind this idea interesting. Why not send emails? But maybe, like Minly, we might see some intriguing numbers to assuage our curiosity.

CBN guidelines on eNaira

The eNaira will launch on the 1st of October, 2021

The Central Bank of Nigeria has reportedly sent a presentation on the eNaira project to banks in the country. According to Nairametrics, it reveals more details about the design and the operation module. 

However, there is no official circular or guideline to that effect on CBN’s website.

Per Nairametrics, the implementation of the project would take place in five stages, involving licensed financial institutions, the CBN, and merchants. The apex bank would be the leading force in the first stage. 

It would issue, distribute, redeem, and destroy the currency, store data on a cloud server, monitor and analyse transactions.

We’ve explored some of this information here: How Nigeria’s eNaira will work

Interestingly, there is to be no charge on user-to-merchant transactions and peer-to-peer transactions.

Did you see this last week?

What I’m reading/watching

  • Anxiety, depression, poor mental health – our brains broke during Covid-19, so how do we fix them once the coronavirus pandemic is over? Read
  • How $150,000 Hyperrealistic Murals Come To Life. Watch
  • Why Sơn Mài Painting Is So Expensive. Watch
  • How This Guy Uses A.I. to Create Art. Watch

Opportunities

  • Topship Ghana is hiring. Check out the roles here
  • Jetstream is hiring. Apply here

Have a beautiful week ahead!

Ogheneruemu Oneyibo

Ogheneruemu Oneyibo

Author

Writer, Humanoid, Forever she/her, Lover of words. Find me on Twitter @OnomeOneyibo.

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