Nǐ hǎo,

If you live anywhere in Nigeria and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you have probably noticed some problems that you would like to solve.

While you can’t figure everything out due to limited resources, you do need to understand how to evaluate startup ideas.

At Pitch Friday in February, we’ll look at how entrepreneurs can test startup ideas. Zion Thompson, CEO of Startup Launchcode, will facilitate the session.

Click on this link if you would like to submit an idea or a product. You can also register to attend.

This is what I have for you today:

  • Everything you need to know about AfriGo
  • When not to self-diagnose
  • Amazon delays plan to launch its African markets

Everything you need to know about AfriGo

Recall that on Thursday, January 26, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched a national card scheme in partnership with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS).

The card, AfriGo, is the first of its kind in Africa and joins RuPay, UnionPay, Elo and JCB as a card scheme launched by a national government.

Because it is important? According to CBN, AfriGo will reduce the operating costs of the cards in the country.

For example, charges on the cards will be paid using naira and will not be susceptible to dollar fluctuations.

But what are card schemes? They provide the infrastructure for users to carry out transactions using their debit, credit or prepaid cards.

For example, if you want to withdraw money from an ATM or point-of-sale agent, that transaction is made possible by the technology provided by a card system.

There are three main card schemes in Nigeria: Mastercard, Visa and Verve. With the addition of AfriGo, we can expect a fourth major player.

Consequently, CBN’s decision to launch a card system has puzzled some people and raised several questions.

In his latest article, Chimgozirim provides answers to some of these questions. Read it here: All you need to know about AfriGo, CBN’s national card scheme

Self-diagnosis is good, but this is where you draw the line

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Photo by Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance, Ngozi, and I had a discussion about self-diagnosis and neurodevelopmental disorders.

After the conversation, I started to think about it and decided to write an article because I assumed that every Internet user had self-diagnosed a medical condition. But I was wrong.

Let’s take a quick poll: Have you ever self-diagnosed a physical, mental, neurodevelopmental, or sexual health condition?

While I don’t like being diagnosed with my physical illnesses, I am self-diagnosed with sexual and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Sidebar: Sex conditions vary, and I think now is a good time to check out this story: How technology can improve your sex life in Africa

Self-diagnosis is the process of identifying and interpreting one’s own symptoms and determining a possible diagnosis without the assistance of a medical professional.

You can self-diagnose through a number of methods, including symptom research online, using symptom checkers or home test kits, or interpreting the results of a physical exam.

Interestingly, self-diagnosis is becoming more common around the world due to the proliferation of technological self-diagnostic tools and the increased availability of telemedicine.

In Africa, where medical care is often limited and expensive, self-diagnosis seems to be the only option; however, is it beneficial?

I will say that because we live in the information age, self-diagnosis can be a good thing.

However, it is essential to understand that self-diagnosis is not the same as talking to a doctor. So you have to know where to draw the line. But where? You can find out here: self-diagnostics are good, but this is where you draw the line

Amazon delays plan to launch its African markets


When Amazon announced plans to lay off 18,000 employees in January 2023, it knew it would affect its plans to launch its African market.

Remember, in June 2022, Amazon announced plans to expand into five African, European, and South American countries: Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The e-commerce giant confirmed its African project, codenamed “Fela Project,” two months later by registering the domains “Amazon.com.ng” and “Amazon.co.za.”

Amazon had planned to launch its South African market in February 2023, and secured warehouse space, but the company reportedly delayed the launch until the end of the year.

He also intended to introduce his “Fulfillment by Amazon” service to third-party sellers.

The company was supposed to make its Prime membership program available to South Africans soon after its market launch.

However, all this would be on hold until its release between the third and fourth quarters of 2023.

Sidebar: Amazon had also started hiring for its South African marketplace launch. He advertised numerous positions last year, including management positions related to his “ZA market.”

Furthermore, the company has reportedly halted its launch in the Nigerian market.

What I’m reading and watching


  • Applications for the Future Africa Challenge 2023 are designed to explore the creative potential of young Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. Apply here.
  • If you are a business professional, investor or entrepreneur, please apply for the VC4A mentoring program here.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a technician looking for an internship position, check out this website.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

victoria fakiya for Techpoint Africa.