Built in Africa

Built in Africa is a podcast that puts the spotlight on African startups, innovators and everything that makes them tick. Follow us on social media @BinAfripod Fan mail: [email protected] Ad placements: [email protected]

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Latest Episodes

December 14, 2020 00:13:09
Nollywood’s first feature-length animated film: LBMM

Nollywood’s first feature-length animated film: LBMM

Build the money of the future at https://currency.techpoint.africa/ FULL TRANSCRIPT Narrator: It is a cozy Sunday afternoon as I walk into a dimly lit movie theatre in Lagos, Nigeria.  Already seated are hundreds of guests, including celebrities and members of the press like myself. As I make my way to empty rows in the middle, I spot a few extra-young faces in front, two of which I later learn are part of the cast for the movie about to be screened to a select audience, 1 week ahead of its premiere. Popcorn in hand, I settle in my seat beside other adults as the last of the theatre lights goes off. Then the huge screen lights up as the movie opens to pre-colonial scenes of Oloibiri, the South-South Nigeria town where crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantities in the 1950s. The lead character is Bukky, a happy-go-lucky eight-year-old whose blissful life is abruptly interrupted by major events that will change the course of her destiny. Following a successful premiere event that was held on December 11, 2020, Lady Buckit and the Motley Mopster became Nigeria’s first feature-length animated movie to make it to the big screens. You may recall that a similar project, titled SADE, only made it to press briefs in 2018 but never took off for undisclosed reasons. Animated in 4k resolution, at 24 frames per second (for a cinematic effect), the movie is estimated to have cost over $1m to produce. And with themes that centre around education, family morals and a fair share of humour, it infuses Nigerianisms with other seemingly foreign elements. Unusual names such as Ladybuckit, Sleeperhead, Pantylegs, Dustee, and Mopps ...

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December 07, 2020 00:12:25
M-Lugha: Building digital interactive apps in African native languages

M-Lugha: Building digital interactive apps in African native languages

Build the money of the future at https://currency.techpoint.africa/ Additional music from www.zapsplat.com. Photo Credit: Global Partnership for Education – GPE Flickr via Compfight FULL TRANSCRIPT [Voices: Call and response] Narrator: The voices you just heard are from a regular pre-primary class in rural Kenya. Only that the language of instruction is neither English nor Kiswahili, the two officially recognised languages of instruction in the country. Teaching in Kiswahili or English is not an issue if you were in Nairobi, Mombasa, or the 30% of counties that make up urban Kenya. But for kids in the remaining 70% of counties, it’s definitely inconvenient.   Abdinoor Almahdi: Imagine walking into a classroom, you’re just like me (I only know Somali) but the syllabus is in English or in Swahili or in French or some other countries like Rwanda and Djibouti. It’s like adding insult to injury. Narrator: That’s Abdinoor Almahdi, a Kenyan information technologist and telecommunications engineer, and the brain behind Kenyan edtech startup, M-Lugha. On this episode of Built in Africa, we tell the story of a young innovator building digital interactive apps in several Kenyan native languages, to support early childhood learning, despite locational challenges. Abdinoor grew up in Northern Kenya, a predominantly nomadic and pastoralist region, where most of the people speak only either Somali/Kalenji, as opposed to the country’s official languages of English and Kiswahili.  Abdinoor Almahdi: And actually it is almost 80% of the landmass  of Kenya. When I say ‘Northern Kenya’, we’re talking about almost 10 counties. And it’s where actually they experience the most severe educational crisis because of the socio-economic issues we have, from famine to droughts, sometimes flooding ...

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November 16, 2020 00:15:40
Bento Africa: Influencing the monthly spend culture of Nigerians

Bento Africa: Influencing the monthly spend culture of Nigerians

Credits: Music by Mixaund – mixaund.bandcamp.com Upbeat Corporate – JP Bianchini https://jpbianchini.com FULL TRANSCRIPT Narrator: For many companies, hiring can be one of the most daunting tasks.  Ebun Okubanjo and Chidozie Okonkwo, serial entrepreneurs who run Fitness Central, a chain of wellness and fitness centres in Lagos, Nigeria know this all to well In one particular incident, they were interviewing candidates to head their fitness centre. A particular applicant had an excellent resume with various qualifications and degrees but at the end of quite an underwhelming interview, the founders were left startled. Ebun Okubanjo: “My co-founder said, ‘dude, his degrees are probably fake’.” Narrator: That’s Ebun Okubanjo, Co-founder and CEO of Bento. Ebun Okubanjo: “I was like, ‘how can you have fake degrees?’, I was naive. And he was like, ‘dude, there’s a market for it’. So I thought to myself, ‘if someone is faking a degree to get a job as a head of fitness, then people must be out there faking degrees to get jobs as accountants, as nurses, as lawyers and a whole bunch of stuff’.” Narrator: On this episode of Built in Africa, we take a look at how Nigerian payroll software startup, Bento is working to influence the monthly spend culture of Nigerians. The interview experience inspired Ebun and Chidozie to launch Verifi.ng, an HR platform originally built to help companies in Nigeria verify the credentials of potential employees. Ebun Okubanjo: “We started it off as a hobby. The idea was to help employers verify degrees. So, everytime you get a CV, we plug in to all the schools and we would use the matriculation number to let you know if that degree or certificate is real”. Narrator: But they hit a roadblock. Most ...

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November 02, 2020 00:16:30
Obinna Ukwuani: Robotics in Africa and Digital Initiatives at Bank of Kigali, Rwanda

Obinna Ukwuani: Robotics in Africa and Digital Initiatives at Bank of Kigali, Rwanda

This episode is brought to you by HostGator.com, web hosting that scales from easy to expert. Credits: Music by Mixaund – mixaund.bandcamp.com FULL TRANSCRIPT Narrator 1: In June 2020, Obinna Ukwuani, a Nigerian serial entrepreneur, was appointed Chief Digital Officer for the Bank of Kigali, the largest commercial bank in the East African nation of Rwanda. Such Pan-African appointments are not new, but the circumstances surrounding his, make Obinna’s story truly compelling. . Born and raised in Washington DC, a high school valedictorian, with an economics degree from MIT to boot, you could easily expect Obinna to take his pick of jobs from some of the best companies in North America. But he had his eyes set elsewhere. Obinna Ukwuani: “For whatever reason, I just really felt a desire to be a part of working in Nigeria, building up Nigeria, nation-building, creating opportunities, in my own small way. I felt I was gifted and I wanted my best work to be in a place where the impact would be maximised and closest to home.” Narrator 1: On this episode of Built in Africa, Obinna Ukwuani takes us on his journey from shaping the development of robotics in Africa, to spearheading digital initiatives at the Bank of Kigali, Rwanda.  Obinna’s passion for nation-building did not just come out of the blue. Obinna Ukwuani: “When I was 11 or 12, my dad sent me and my older sister to boarding school in Enugu, Nigeria. I wasn’t a bad kid, I was always a top student, but he really felt a need to make sure that I understood where we came from.” Narrator 1: According to Obinna, those two years ...

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October 05, 2020 00:10:34
BACE Group: Tackling identity theft in Africa

BACE Group: Tackling identity theft in Africa

Credits:Underneath the World by Mid-Air Machine www.freemusicarchive.orgAdditional sound effects from www.zapsplat.com FULL TRANSCRIPT …… A typical conversation between a fraudster and a prospective victim .. [SFX] Phone rings … picks. Frausdter: Good day sir, my name  is James, from Access Bank. Am I speaking with Mr Koffi Zawadi? Customer: Yes, you are. How can I help you? Fraudster: Yeah, so there’s a problem with your account verification and I’m calling to walk you through it.  Customer: Hope I don’t have to be coming to your bank? I’m very busy.  Fraudster: No sir, all you need to do is give us some details. I can see you live at No. 6 Ozumba Mbadiwe and your date of birth is 5th of July, 1987.  Customer: Yes, correct. Fraudster: Okay, just provide me with your BVN, and ATM card details. Customer: ATM card details and BVN? Why? Fraudster: It’s for verification, sir. Don’t you want to sort out your problem? Customer: See, you think I don’t know who you are?… (hurls insults and fades out) Narrator: If you’ve received such a call before, you probably know at least ten people who have also. And this is because these types of calls are pretty rampant. But have you ever wondered how these people know your name, your address, and sometimes your account details?  On this episode of Built in Africa, we delve into how Ghanaian based startup, BACE Group (spelt as BACE) uses state of the art technology to tackle the problem of identity theft in Africa. As the African continent comes to grips with new technologies, research has shown that its people and companies are highly susceptible to cyber thefts and fraud. These incidents are rarely reported by companies, so it’s actually difficult ...

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September 21, 2020 00:18:56
Kiakiaprint: African 'Uber for print' startup partners with Canva

Kiakiaprint: African 'Uber for print' startup partners with Canva

This episode is brought to you by HostGator.com, web hosting that scales from easy to expert. Credits:Upbeat Corporate by JP Bianchini – @jpmbianchiniOptimistic / Inspirational by Mixaund – mixaund.bandcamp.comSafe In Your Arms by Mixaund – mixaund.bandcamp.comAdditional music and sound effects from www.zapsplat.com FULL TRANSCRIPT Narrator: On July 30, 2020, Nigerian-based Kiakiaprint announced its expansion to South Africa and partnership with Australian-based online design and publishing company, Canva. The news came barely a month after Canva raised $60 million, at a $6bn valuation, and partnered with FedEx Office to break into the US market. Canva’s next move was into Africa, and it chose to partner with Kiakiaprint.  For a startup like Kiakiaprint which prints and delivers custom designs on demand, it’s quite a perfect match. Tunde Ademuyiwa: “Canva has 30 million users globally. Before the lockdown, they were 20 million and it’s growing.” Narrator: That’s Tunde Ademuyiwa, co-founder and CEO of Kiakiaprint.  Tunde Ademuyiwa: “They align with our vision. Now, our vision is, help people grow their business, leveraging print technology. When it comes to design technology, sorry nobody beats Canva. It’s easy to use, it’s straightforward. That’s why the partnership just made sense” Narrator: On this episode of Built in Africa, we put the spotlight on how Nigerian print-on-demand startup, Kiakiaprint is taking its business global with Canva partnership and South Africa expansion. Tunde Ademuyiwa didn’t set out to start a printing company, he just happened to stumble on the opportunity. Tunde Ademuyiwa:: “If you asked me back in school, in my wildest of dreams, I never imagined the print industry. Globally, the print industry is worth about $800 billion. It’s bigger than the music industry, it’s massive. I think it’s the 3rd biggest industry ...

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