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Konga, Yudala Merge to Disrupt Ecommerce

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Konga, Nigeria’s largest online mall and Yudala, Africa’s pioneer composite e-commerce company have officially announced a merger of their operations which will see them effectively become the biggest organized retail and e-commerce/marketplace outfit on the African continent.

 

The business merger, which takes effect from Tuesday May 1, will see both companies operate under the Konga brand name.

 

The strategic decision will see both companies leverage the combined strengths of both platforms and is expected to further broaden the scope of organized retail and e-commerce in Nigeria and deliver more value to customers and merchants.

“Combining forces to power the new Konga will enable us effectively achieve our goals of platform expansion and accelerated growth, as we embark on an ambitious journey to redefine the retail ecosystem with the industry’s most advanced technology,” disclosed Olusiji Ijogun, Konga chairman.

 

“Effective from May 1st, Yudala will now operate under the name Konga, with dual CEOs in the persons of Nick Imudia who will be in charge of online among others and Prince Nnamdi Ekeh who will be responsible for offline. This merger will further strengthen our position in the Nigerian retail market as we creatively position Konga as the first profitable e-commerce company in Africa.

“The efficiency of Konga’s cutting-edge online platform, access to thousands of merchants and Yudala’s expansive network of fully stocked offline stores is poised to give our customers the best shopping experience imaginable. We will be working closely with all our combined clients, customers, merchants and employees to make the integration process as seamless as possible and thereafter make public our road map to sustain our leadership on the continent,” Ijogun said.

 

One of the exciting benefits of this merger is the possibility it offers prospective shoppers to order online, pay and pick-up the product(s) at the nearest Konga offline store. There are also increasing business opportunities for merchants nationwide.

 

“We are very excited about the operational merger between Yudala and Konga into the new Konga,” noted Prince Ekeh.

 

“A merger of this magnitude has never been experienced in Africa. We will be leveraging on Konga’s strong technology backbone and online experience as well as Yudala’s offline experience, network of retail stores and operational efficiency. In the near future, we plan to have a Konga store in every local government area in Nigeria. While this is ambitious, we believe that every Nigerian deserves the right to have access to the full range of genuine products offered by Konga,” Prince Ekeh declared.

 

Plans are also underway to showcase the full power of the merger with expanded access to thousands of products in Konga online and offline stores for all categories of shoppers.

 

According to Imudia, “We believe this operational merger between Konga and Yudala will bring immense opportunities for consumers in the e-commerce space. We urge all shoppers, consumers, merchants and clients to stay tuned as we unveil the massive ambitious contents we have to offer.”

Widely applauded by industry watchers as a masterstroke, the merger will broaden the range of products and solutions on offer within the Konga/Yudala stable, while giving the customers and merchants more options and access to an expanded variety of guaranteed quality offerings and payment methods.

 

The Konga Business platform will now include two distinct but fully integrated aspects including Konga Online, the e-commerce/marketplace platform and Konga Retail, the offline arm of the business.

 

Both will be supported by Konga Pay, a CBN-licensed mobile money platform and Konga Express, a world-class logistics company with advanced delivery capabilities for internal and external customers.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

ESET, Airtel Unveil New Security app for Smartphone Users

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ESET, a security solution company on Thursday launched a new mobile security app specially designed for Airtel Nigeria subscribers.

 

Olufemi Ake, country manager of ESET, said that the mobile security application would provide smartphone users with features for prevention and management of cyber risks associated to android mobile devices.

 

Ake made this known during the ESET Mobile Security Airtel Edition Launch held in Lagos.

 

He said that there was need for average smartphone users in Nigeria to install mobile security apps on their phones, “especially in this age where cyber criminals steal personal data online”.

 

The country manager added that the first telecom-focused security product was optimised for Android and also for bringing both unmatched performance coupled with proactive protection.

 

He said: “The new ESET mobile security for Airtel also welcomes the brand-new premium features such as Anti-Phishing, which protects against malicious websites attempting to acquire sensitive information – usernames, passwords, banking information or credit card details.

 

“It also features Anti-Theft, which locks a device upon detection of suspicious behaviour or when unauthorised SIM is inserted.

 

“The security app also has the Remote Lock feature, allowing a device owner to lock his or her phone remotely, thereby preventing unauthorised access to all stored information, including photos and emails.

 

“It also has the SMS and Call Filter feature, which enables smartphone owners to solely receive the calls and messages that they want and also empower them to define the sender and the time to receive SMS or calls with time-based call management.”

 

Ake noted that the ESET Mobile Security product already exists globally on Google Play Store with over ten million downloads.

He explained that the app also offered precise detection of known and unknown mobile threats with complement of advanced features such as Anti-Theft, Security Audit, App Lock, SMS and Call Filter and Password Protection, amongst others.

 

Dinesh Balsingh, chief commercial officer, Airtel Nigeria, said that the partnership with ESET affirms their strong commitment to protecting customers from cyber criminals.

 

He said that by introducing such apps to subscribers, they would be protected from cyber criminals hacking into their personal data.

 

Balsingh said that Airtel subscribers who wish to benefit from the new security app could subscribe via Google Play store at subsidized and flexible cost of N150 monthly.

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MainOne Takes Blame for Google Glitch

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Main One Cable has took responsibility for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network upgrade.

The issue surfaced on Monday afternoon as Internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an e-mail that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the Internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, said the West African firm.

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem on Monday in a post on its Web site that said it was investigating the glitch and said it believed the problem originated outside the company. It did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers.

Google representatives could not be reached on Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement.

Even though MainOne said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the Internet.

The US China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington-based group that advises the US Congress on security issues, plans to look into the issue, said commissioner Michael Wessel.

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said.

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases where traffic from US Internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus.

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible Monday’s issue was not an accident.

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging the Chinese government had conducted a series of Internet hijacks.

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again.

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Nigerian Study Wins WhatsApp Misinformation Award Grant

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WhatsApp has announced the recipients of its $1 million research grants to academics from around the world for the purpose of studying misinformation and its impact on society. Fake news, calls for violence, election-related propaganda and other topics come under the different proposals for which the grants were given.

 

The goal of the research award is to facilitate high quality, external research on a wide range of topics by academics and experts who are in the countries where WhatsApp is frequently used and where there is limited research on the topic.

 

Tagged ‘WhatsApp Misinformation and Social Science Research Awards’, approximately 600 proposals were submitted and reviewed with the awardees representing the highest quality projects across several relevant research areas.  WhatsApp awarded 20 grants up to $50,000 each to researchers in several countries including Nigeria, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.

 

Among the winning projects is the research topic; ‘The use and abuse of WhatsApp in an African election: Nigeria 2019’, an international collaboration put together by Jonathan Fisher (University of Birmingham), Idayat Hassan (Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja), Jamie Hitchen (AREA Consulting) as well as Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham).

 

The study employs multi-method social science research instruments including in-country interviews, focus groups and surveys to explore how WhatsApp is used by political candidates, and their campaigns and supporters to tailor messages to key audiences during elections.

 

The research will focus on two gubernatorial elections in the upcoming 2019 Nigerian polls – those of Kano (northern Nigeria) and Oyo (southern Nigeria).

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