World Bank’s XL Africa Programme Announces Its First Cohort [SEE HERE]

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in partnership with indigenous and foreign technology firms, has rolled out an app named Hawk Eye, aimed at curbing insecurity across the country.

Hawk Eye is a mobile app that will allow users to report crimes anonymously to the police by video, voice or text.
Developed by Lagos-based tech firm, Web Assets Nigeria Limited, in partnership with U.S. based tech firms BBGN&K, and tech giant Microsoft, in collaboration with the Nigeria Police, the solution provides key technologies such as facial recognition and key performance indicators.
Well, congratulations to Web Assets 😉, but considering all we know about the size of the Nigerian internet market, it is difficult to see how this makes sense. Most people, living in most places do not have internet connected smartphones and most of the ones who do are not likely to use your app (or any app that is not Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp).
Rolling out a user-facing app with “facial recognition” (not sure if this is for the citizen reporting a crime or if they are supposed to ask the suspect for a selfie 🙄) might make sense AFTER you have fixed the rot in the police force, built a database of citizens, set up a network of connected vehicles, staffed them with competent officials versed in actual investigative work, and brought response time down to a few minutes. But I guess you can’t award crony contracts off of most of those things. 😒

 XL Africa

tech startups

These are the 20 startups who made it into the World Bank’s XL Africa accelerator. At the end of the four-month programme, they will present their businesses to investors at the African Angel Investor Summit to raise $250k – $1.5m in Series A capital.

Nigeria is the most represented country with 9 startups in the cohort, followed by Kenya with 5, South Africa, 3, Tanzania, 2, and Senegal, 1. (Has anyone else noticed how its the same startups who get into most of these accelerator programmes? No? Okay.)