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Missing Charity Aiyedogbon: One Year After



Missing Charity Aiyedogbon: One Year After

Missing Charity Aiyedogbon: One Year After

Destiny Ugorji

It is exactly one year that an Abuja-based business woman, Charity Aiyedgbon was declared missing by her Facebook friends. Charity, popularly known as ‘Chacha’, is said to have gone missing since the 9th of May, 2016 and family, friends and Security Agencies said to be working to unravel the mystery behind her sudden disappearance.

Speculations on the possible whereabouts of the 44-year-old mother of four, also known as Deepdeal Chacha Dehammer were rife.

First, a Lagos-based lawyer, Emeka Ugwuonye said he had overwhelming evidence that the missing Charity was dead, accusing her erstwhile husband, David Aiyedogbon of having a hand in her disappearance; an allegation he posted on his Facebook group, The Due Process Advocates.

Reacting to Ugwuonye’s allegation, former husband of the missing woman, Mr. David Aiyedogbon washed his hands over the disappearance of the lady and wrote his accuser, through his lawyers, demanding an apology, failure which he would seek legal redress.

The letter titled: “Defamation of the character of David Aiyedogbon; demand for apology,” signed by his lawyer, Obiora Illo esq (Ogbulafor Chambers) and made available to newsmen, expressly states: “It is our instruction to demand an unqualified apology from you to our client through our chambers for the defamatory publications you have made of and concerning our client.”

Also, addressing newsmen in Abuja, Mr. Aiyedogbon urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to investigate the allegation against him, describing it as “cruel, criminal and untrue”, stressing that his estranged wife Charity left their matrimonial home on the 28th of May, 2014, noting that since then, he had neither heard from her, nor had any dealings with her.

While the controversy lasted, a Civil Society Organisation, Coalition against Crime (CAC) called on Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to arrest Lagos-based lawyer, Ugwuonye to explain his role in the disappearance of Charity Aiyedogbon.

National Coordinator of the group, Harrison Pepple, made the call while addressing newsmen in Abuja, arguing that Mr. Ugwuonye had some questions to answer.

In a Petition to the Inspector General of Police, the group quoted Mr. Ugwuonye as saying: “…Charity Aiyedogbon is said to have been missing since the 11th of May, 2016 and one Emeka Ugwuonye claims he has evidence that the woman is dead and was murdered. He also posted a photograph of a dead person, part of whose body was dismembered. How can Police be looking for a missing person and someone says he has a clue and he has not been invited or arrested.”?

Following the intervention by the Civil Society Organisation, the Police eventually arrested Mr. Ugwuonye and later released him on bail, after questioning, while investigations continued.

Several developments aided Police investigations. First, those believed to be close to Chacha are quoted as saying that she went missing on the 9th of May, 2016, but her lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udoh, handling a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lokoja on 29th April, 2016 against 29 respondents, including her biological children and former husband, claimed she (Chacha) came to his house on the 18th of May, 2016 (eight days after her purported disappearance) and one of his staff accompanied her to Federal High Court, to sign and depose to an affidavit in support of the ex-parte motion filed along with the case. How could someone who was declared missing on the 9th of May reappear on the 18th and then disappear again?

Today, it has been established that Chacha’s signature was forged; as the lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udo has recanted. He says he did not see Chacha, as earlier claimed. He confessed to the Police that he forged Charity’s signature in an affidavit he filed in court. Apparently, Charity was not behind the filing of the suit, but her lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udoh. He therefore lied on oath. Both himself and the Commissioner for oaths in the Federal High Court Abuja jurisdiction risk being prosecuted by the Police for forgery and perjury.

Another puzzle is that a corpse, said to have been dismembered beyond identification was allegedly seen in Abuja on the 12th of May and Mr. Ugwuonye claimed it was Chacha’s body. Till date, who has identified the corpse as that of Chacha? Impeccable sources say a DNA test conducted on the body revealed otherwise. Children of the missing woman have also chorused on several platforms that their mother was NOT dead. They have also stated that the displayed corpse is not that of their mother. The missing woman also has siblings and parents who have been going about their normal businesses and have neither said their sister was missing, dead, nor joined in the search for her.

The missing Chacha has a case of forgery that is yet to be concluded. A suit instituted in a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT High Court 8) on the 14th of March, 2016, with suit number CV/1231/16, between Messrs Chibuzor Ogugua and Chigozie Eme (plaintiffs) and Mrs. Charity Aiyedogbon (defendant), made eight prayers to the Court. The last prayer reads: “an order of the Honourable Court directing the defendant to pay the plaintiffs the sum of 200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) as damages for the losses suffered on the ground of the unauthorized and fabricated Valuation Report by the defendant.”Could she have disappeared to frustrate the Suit or evade justice?

In the last one year, a lot has happened. The law enforcement agencies and private investigators have worked very hard to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Mrs. Charity Aiyedogbon, aka Chacha Dehammer. Cases have been instituted and some already decided.

Some friends of Chacha, believed to have earlier raised the alarm recanted. They are said to be at war with Emeka Ugwuonye, who said he was briefed by same Chacha’s friends on the matter. They engaged in war of words on Facebook. One of them, Pamela Nwansoh allegedly confronted Mr. Ugwuonye in a Police premises in Abuja over an obvious sense of disenchantment with his activities, alleging extortion of members of the public (in the name of looking for Chacha) using his Facebook Group, the Due Process Advocates (DPA). Ugwuonye had, via a post on the group, solicited financial contributions for his trip to Abuja to respond to Police invitation to explain himself over the case of the missing Chacha.

One of the ladies said to be involved in the search for Chacha, Viola Ifeyinwa Okolie, on the 14th of July, 2016, also made a worrisome post on her Facebook wall, expressing disenchantment with Mr. Ugwuonye’s antics.

Also in a post on The Due Process Advocates on the 17th of July, 2016, Ugwuonye attacked Viola Okolie, making spurious allegations. The post was titled: “How the search for Chacha took strange turns and her friends turn out not to be friends after all.” The drama continued.

But, how did Emeka Ugwuonye get involved in this matter? Was he really in America when the incident happened, as he claimed? Available records suggest otherwise.

Barrister Ugwuonye claimed to have been in the United States of America as at the time of Chacha’s disappearance and only came into Nigeria in June, 2016, after being briefed to handle the matter, but his call log betrayed him, showing that he was in Abuja on the 10th, 11th and 12th of May, 2016; same time Chacha is said to have got missing. Information from private investigators and telecommunication service providers revealed that he made calls around Jabi area of Abuja, up till midnight same 10th and 11th and departed Abuja on the 12th of May, 2016. When confronted by the Police in Abuja with evidence of his movement, he owned up.

Three key suspects earlier arrested by the Police in connection with Chacha’s disappearance were said to have been released at his instance. He claimed at the FCT Police Hqrs that they were his clients; but when brought face to face with Mr. Ugwuonye, they denied all his claims, saying they neither briefed him nor identified any corpse to him as that of Chacha.

As at today, Police sources reveal that Mr. Ugwuonye has not provided any evidence to substantiate his claims. The only person he claims showed and identified the corpse as that of missing Chacha (Jo) denied him.

Today, Chacha’s car has been recovered. Two of her handsets have also been recovered. Is it a coincidence that he (Ugwuonye) has been questioned more than thrice by the Police in Chacha’s case?

The first puzzle is solved, with the admission by one of Chacha’s lawyers, Barrister Nsikak Udo that Chacha’s signature was forged. He admitted that he lied on oath and his fate shall be determined by the laws of the land soon.

Second, Chacha’s last Facebook post before she ‘went missing’ shows that she sat on the passenger’s seat of her car. That was the last she posted on Facebook, using that particular User ID- Deepdealdehammer. The question of who drove the car may have also been addressed.

Her car has been recovered, following a tip-off by one of the suspects that were in Police custody, IK Ezeugo. IK never opened up until Police arrested one of Jekwu’s friends, who now gave the lead, indicating that he (IK) personally drove the vehicle to the place where it was parked. His (Ik’s) younger brother, identified as Paul Chukwujekwu Ezeugo (still at large) is believed to have been in custody of the vehicle. He (Chukwujekwu) is also believed to have driven the missing woman on that last trip. The car was found in Enugu State by the Police, in the residence of one Uche, with its Plate Number and particulars already changed.

Again, Chacha’s two handsets have been recovered. One of them, a Nokia handset, is said to have been found with Chukwujekwu’s biological mother, Mrs. Ezeugo. The second handset (a Samsung phone) was recovered from one Augustine, who claimed that one Odinaka, Chukwujekwu’s friend and phone repairer sold it to him for Twenty Five Thousand Naira. The proceeds, according to Odinaka, were handed over to Chukwujekwu. Just like the vehicle, the both handsets were found in Enugu. Chukwujekwu is still at large.

Why is it that almost all the persons arrested/suspected so far in connection with Chacha’s case are from Enugu State? Precisely, six suspects so far arrested in the case are from Enugu State. Emeka Ugwuonye is from Enugu and Chacha’s car and handsets were found in Enugu. Chacha’s maternal home is Enugu. In fact, Paul Chukwujekwu Ezeugo and the missing Chacha’s mother are both from Oba-Nsukka, in Enugu State.

Mr Ugwuonye’s relationship with one of the prime suspects, Chukwujekwu Ezeugo is suspicious and his call log points in the same direction. He is also suspected to have aided his escape, as, according to Police sources, the day he (Jekwu) was to be arrested, Ugwuonye personally called the Police, promising to produce him, only to revert 24hours later, telling the Police that he had escaped.

Understanding how bad the matter was getting, Ugwuonye at a point, announced his withdrawal from Chacha’s case, a move Police sources described as diversionary, since he is already a suspect in the case.

David Aiyedogbon fights back

Following his refusal to apologize, ex-husband of the missing woman, Mr. David Aiyedogbon dragged Lagos- based Lawyer, Emeka Ugwuonye to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over what he described as unprofessional publications against his person.

A letter dated 22nd August, 2016, captioned: “Petition against Emeka Ugwuonye for Unprofessional Publications and False Allegations”, addressed to the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), urged the professional body to investigate the matter and invoke appropriate disciplinary actions against the lawyer. Till date, Mr. Ugwuonye has not responded to a query issued him by the NBA, following Aiyedogbon’s petition.

Also, for falsely accusing him of, having a hand in the sudden disappearance of his estranged wife, Charity Aiyedogbon, Mr. Aiyedogbon instituted a defamation of character suit of Ten Billion Naira (N10b) against Lagos Lawyer, Emeka Ephraim Ugwuonye.

The Suit, with number CV/2750/16, between David Aiyedogbon (Plaintiff) and Emeka Ugwuonye (Defendant) on defamation of character, before Justice Peter Kekemeke of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 14, Apo Abuja; also prays that the defendant be ordered to pay the cost of the suit.

The Plaintiff is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction “restraining the Defendant, his Agents, Privies, Associates or whosoever called” from making further defamatory publications against him and his family members. The matter is adjourned to Thursday, 18th May, 2017.

Sources also reveal that Mr. Aiyedogbon’s lawyer, Tony Ogbulafor may have also filed a personal suit against Mr. Ugwuonye for wrongly accusing him of giving a bribe (in an envelope) to a Police man to detain him.

Police sources also reveal that, while some persons have already been charged to Court (awaiting trial) for their roles in the disappearance of Charity Aiyedogbon, others that have questions to answer will also be charged soon, to explain their roles in the controversy.

Meanwhile, the suit purportedly filed by Chacha at the Federal High Court, Lokoja, wherein Barrister Nsikak Udoh represented her has been decided in favour of David Aiyedogbon.

One year after, Chacha’s case is getting more interesting. We await the explanation of those in possession of Chacha’s car and handsets on their roles, accomplices and her whereabouts.

While we wait patiently for the unfolding drama, the Police must realise that Nigerians and indeed the world are watching. They must address Nigerians now on the extent of their investigation.

Again, Police must expedite actions in charging suspects to court. Waiting endlessly on the matter does not help the course of justice.

One is still at a loss as to why the prime suspect in the matter, Jekwu is yet to be declared wanted; and why Charity Aiyedogbon has not been declared missing. The Police must clear the air now.

As the whereabouts of Charity Aiyedogbon remain unknown, I join millions of Nigerians to demand that Emeka Ugwuonye provides his “overwhelming evidence” regarding what happened to Chacha or get prosecuted for false information and criminal conspiracy.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via


AI Could Completely Transform Interactive Advertising



interactive advertising Marcellus van der Merwe

By Marcellus van der Merwe

In recent months, you have probably seen a plethora of image and text posts produced by artificial intelligence (AI) applications, with DALL-E and ChatGPT featuring as the most popular in their respective fields. For the curious-minded, you may well have already experimented with these or other AI apps. Inevitably, as is the case with any new attention-grabbing app, follows a lot of media speculation on how the application could transform a variety of jobs and industries. 

But what about interactive advertising? This is a question worth asking. The sector is, after all, poised to be worth $123.3 billion by 2030. Advertising has also been at the forefront and the driving seat of many major technological shifts that have defined the past two decades. Search and social media, in particular, owe much of their growth and profitability to advertising revenue while also forcing the industry to evolve in new and exciting directions.

AI has the potential to be similarly transformative. While many marketing companies already use AI for numerous functions, including data intelligence and analysis, it’s also clear that marketing is just beginning its AI journey. In the coming years, AI could result in unprecedented evolutionary leaps forward for interactive advertising, especially in creative execution. 

Digging through the data 

With that in mind, it’s worth reiterating how big a role AI already plays in marketing, with its ability to understand and analyse large amounts of data, in a condensed amount of time. Remember, to provide truly personalised experiences expected from advertisers, large amounts of data are required. However, the task of manually pulling apart data and extracting useful intelligence can be incredibly time-consuming and expensive. AI automates a lot of that heavy lifting whilst ensuring that data is kept accurate and up-to-date. 

As a result, marketers alike gain a clearer idea of which channels are able to best deliver against the spend placed on them, as well as the types of messaging working for which segments. This is highly beneficial for an industry that historically had a hard time demonstrating precise value. 

It’s also worth noting that many of the platforms so successfully used by marketers are making successful use of AI. Spotify, for example, uses it to ensure its position in the market as the preferred audio streaming platform. AI analyses listener habits and builds custom playlists based on previous listening and serve them to the user on a daily basis, ensuring the music served is curated from previous preferences of audio chosen. 

The creative element

AI is already starting to go one step further. Increasingly, it plays an important role in helping marketers deliver creatively excellent, interactive experiences that meet the needs and wants of consumers.

A number of companies, for instance, are already making use of AI-powered chatbots to ensure their consumers are directed to the correct products or services. This approach recognises that marketing can play an important role in providing great customer experiences. It is also one that we can expect to see employed more frequently in the future, having been successfully applied to sectors as diverse as make-up and DIY.

But the text and image creation capabilities of applications such as ChatGPT and DALL-E could easily take those crucial steps further. The conceptualisation would still be done by humans, of course, but there is massive potential for a big shift in interactive advertising. Imagine, for example, being able to provide text, visual, and even audio-visual marketing experiences (the same AI tech used in deep fakes has legitimate uses, too) that are truly unique to every consumer who sees them.

With those abilities locked in, advertising agencies can surprise and delight customers in new and innovative ways. For example, with in-store or event activations, if consumers were able to see their own customised creative in just a few prompts, customers would feel like they’ve created something truly unique for their favourite brand.

Fostering individual connections

Ultimately, you have the potential to achieve a huge shift in how people perceive companies advertising to them. Whereas previously, questions may have arisen from consumers on exactly how companies know so much about them, instead now, they’d simply feel that a company actually ‘gets’ them as individuals. And essentially, instilling feelings of relatability and understanding is foundational to building the kind of real, meaningful, and lasting relationships that every company should strive for. 

It’s a future vision on the cusp of becoming a reality. As such, it’s something that all advertisers and marketers should be moving towards and striving to achieve from the get-go.

Marcellus van der Merwe is the Spotify Sales Lead at Ad Dynamo by Aleph

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What Tech Takeoff Could Mean for Industries Across Board



MFS Africa Tech Takeoff

It’s no secret that technology across the continent is burgeoning at unprecedented rates. Homegrown innovations that speak to socio-economic bottlenecks are plenty due to increased access to resources, training and development, and investment. This can largely be attributed in part to the growing number of ‘technology hubs’ being established on the continent that are fostering innovation for startups and helping to bridge the gap to a more developed and economically sustainable continent. 

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF),  92% of Africa’s investment in technology is won by Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa, which account for a third of the continent’s start-up incubators and accelerators. While these four regions lead the way in terms of technology hubs, regions such as Zanzibar, Tanzania, through its new initiative ‘Silicon Zanzibar’ are joining the race to attract and relocate technology companies and workers from across Africa and beyond to the island. 

The continent has a long way to go if it is to reach the record figures raised by US startups. As we continue to bear witness to the continued rise of innovative solutions from the continent, here’s what an increase in local tech hubs could mean for industries and what to take into consideration:

Increased partnerships and collaboration

Africa has been at the forefront of world-class innovation for a long time, especially when it comes to homegrown technology solutions that speak to and solve socio-economic problems in communities across the continent. Countries such as Kenya and Nigeria have been at the forefront, but the likes of Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana are establishing intentional tech ecosystems that foster entrepreneurship and skills development, which will open up endless possibilities, particularly for fintech, an industry that is rapidly growing, evolving and one that has often relied on foreign investment.

“At MFS Africa, we have always believed that the only currency is access, and while we continue to, through our own efforts, create, advocate for, and partner to enable borderless transactions across the continent, the growing ‘tech hub’ culture in Africa will, in the long run, allow us to identify talent and collaborate with and partner with more start-ups. It also has the potential to increase dialogue with governments in regions like Tanzania, where we have partners, as we continue to transform the lives and realities of Africa and the diaspora,” says Cynthia Ponera, Regional Sales Director for East Africa at MFS Africa, a leading digital payments hub in Africa that works continuously with trusted global partners across Africa to connect African consumers to each other and to the global digital economy.

Sufficient power for the necessary infrastructure 

“When we talk about Africa’s quest to be a global tech hub, we need to ensure that we’re also considering the tech needed to power the foundational infrastructure that supports this ambition,” says Matthew Cruise, Head of Business Intelligence at Hohm Energy.

According to the United Nations, some 570 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, which drastically hampers socio-economic development or poverty alleviation for those without this basic human right. Renewable energy in the form of solar energy is the most viable option for addressing this challenge, as the continent holds some of the highest solar radiation numbers in the world. 

The inability of Eskom to meet the energy needs of Africa’s most industrialised country is widely known. But surprisingly, South Africa’s energy crisis has created opportunities for companies and investors to meet the demand for renewable energy alternatives. We see considerable innovation in solar solutions locally and throughout Africa for addressing power outages, and many of these will be replicated in Europe and other first-world countries as they, too, start to grapple with rising fuel costs and power outages. 

As the technology to harness this renewable resource becomes both more sophisticated and more cost-effective, governments and businesses alike need to embrace this as the solution to one of the continent’s most fundamental infrastructure challenges.

Attracting more investment through unique solutions

Tony Mallam, Managing Director of bitcoin micro-saving and investing fintech platform, upnup advises that “entrepreneurs wanting to leverage the potential opportunities of a global Africa tech hub wave should think about building solutions that are unique to Africa, such as the huge unbanked and the ‘Know Your Customer’ KYC’ed population, estimated to be at least 57% of the continent’s population.

“”The Opportunity provided by Africa’s high mobile internet penetration will allow investors to leapfrog last generation infrastructure into cutting-edge solutions. Governments would need to support this opportunity by providing the right infrastructure, a safe regulatory environment, minimal red tape and tax incentives,”explains Mallam.

Training, developing and upskilling will be crucial

Building the continent’s tech and digital capability needs to run parallel with skill development. The World Bank estimates that by 2050, half of Africa’s population of 1 billion people will be under the age of 25, suggesting that the workforce of the future is based here. But in order to effectively harness the potential of this workforce, we need to ensure we’re training, developing, and upskilling people in a relevant and sustainable way. 

Salesforce’s Authorised Training Partner and Workforce Development Partners in South Africa are committed to bringing fit-for-purpose skills into the ecosystem to meet the demands of the future workplace and to also ensure we’re leveraging technology for the greater good. And partnerships are central to reaching these objectives. 

“Indeed, if Africa is to realise its ambitions of being a global tech hub, it is imperative that all the various stakeholders—government, business, civic organisations and educational institutions – work collaboratively. At Salesforce, we believe business is a platform for change and thus has a central role to play in Africa’s tech future’” says Zuko Mdwaba, Country Leader and Area Vice President, Salesforce South Africa.

Access is key and healthtech is central to that 

It is imperative that any reference to tech on the continent makes special mention of health tech, where the room for growth is exponential. In fact, the African healthcare market is expected to be worth US$259 billion by 2030, pointing to an opportunity that cannot be ignored.

“Three thoughts come to mind of how healthtech can significantly impact the continent’s different markets for the better: It can provide access to cheaper healthcare, provide access to healthcare in your pocket (such as telehealth), and technology can play a role in bridging the skills gap and helping medical practitioners do more with less resources,” says Bongani Sithole, CEO of Founders Factory Africa. 

He adds that based on their own experience at Founders Factory Africa, these are problems healthtech can solve, with its ability to improve the lives of users. “In our portfolio alone, Viebeg is enabling hospitals to order medical equipment without paying for it upfront. Neopenda has developed a product – the neoGuard – that is a clinical vital signs monitor for infants and other patients in resource-constrained areas. Healthtech can be successful, especially when innovation is applied in ways that solve pain points of health users on a daily basis.”

Improved connectivity will improve competition in business

Africa’s internet penetration is currently half the global average of 62.5 per cent.This affects not only consumers but also small businesses across the continent.

This, along with findings that revealed that  South Africa saw a 66% growth in e-commerce in 2020 indicates that in order to compete and even scale, SMEs need affordable access to the internet. Currently, SMEs that have limited or no access to the internet are stunted in their ability to increase market share and reach new audiences. Head of Marketing and Communication at online booking platform Jurni, Tshepo Matlou says, “With more tech hubs in Africa, will automatically come increased connectivity. This  will in turn lead to more SMEs being able to embrace and leverage online opportunities ultimately allowing them to hold their own in a competitive market.”.

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4 Methods of Meeting Customers At Their Pain Points Instead Of Just Selling



customers pain points

Every business is founded to solve a customer problem, and the vast majority of products and services are designed to alleviate a specific customer pain point. But it is still important to let each customer know how their specific problems are being solved.

One of the best ways to build brand credibility is to understand a customer’s journey and build long-term relationships with them. In this article, we ask industry professionals how they meet the needs of their customers.

Build engagement with customers

It’s no secret that we live in a time of unprecedented technological acceleration. Nowhere is that more true than in the customer experience space. Things that, ten years ago, seemed completely impossible are now commonplace and almost expected.

“Many organisations want to make changes in line with accelerations in technology and customer experiences, but the range of options available out there stops them from even starting, or worse, they settle for an option that they deem to be “good enough,” comments Brent Haumann, Managing Director at a digital communications firm, Tilte.

Importantly, however, is that as technology accelerates, so do customer expectations, and what was considered good enough yesterday is not good enough for tomorrow. It is critical that organisations aim to meet and even exceed these expectations because if they don’t, their competitors will happily oblige.

“The problem is that engaging customers is not about sending an email or introducing a chatbot.” Anyone can do that. It’s about how to get your customers to actually engage with your brand and build a loyal relationship that will see their customer lifetime value grow. This is a lot more difficult and requires expertise in these spaces.” concludes  Haumann

Enhance the user experience

While the use of technology to streamline customer-facing processes is an integral part of SME growth, the user experience of such technology can often become a pain point for the business if the right tool is not chosen.

“While SMEs need technology to reduce manual tasks and automate repetitive processes, complicated software packages and platforms can be more of a hindrance than a help. “In fact, as many as 70% of startups fail within the first five years, according to research from the University of the Western Cape, because they don’t have the technical support they need to get the basics done,” says Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa – Zoho Corporation.

Integrated, seamless solutions need to meet the needs of the user, regardless of the scale of the business. This means having a full-featured Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that will improve the user experience and enhance customer service.

Provide access across borders

It’s no secret that mobile money has revolutionised the financial services industry, allowing individuals to transact within and across borders – opening up a world of possibility for small business owners on the continent.

However, consumer pain points such as a lack of access to financial services, high transaction costs, and regulatory requirements still hurt interoperability and the cross-border payments innovations that are key for scaling access across Africa.

Remittances, for example, are important to African countries, but the cost of intra-African money transfers still remains high. In South Africa, the average cost of sending remittances was 8.14% in 2020 as against the global average remittance fee of 6.01%. Not only are billions lost to high transaction costs, but they also limit financial inclusion and aid to the vulnerable.

MFS Africa has been driving the next step in this revolution, addressing this pain point by bringing more possibilities, more connections and more interoperability to the mobile money user. The organisation’s full-service digital payments network now connects over 400 million mobile money wallets, over 200 million bank accounts and over 150,000 agents in Nigeria.

Harness technology to enhance the experience

“Solving the customer’s pain point is the foundation of a great customer experience. And experience is everything. We know that more consumers and business buyers are noting that the experience companies offer matters as much as their products.” says Zuko Mdwaba, Area Vice President Salesforce South Africa

This is all about meeting the customer where they are. Today, customers’ use of social media, knowledge bases, and live chat is near parity with phone and email. With the decline of in-person service since 2020 showing little sign of recovery, the use of mobile apps, online communities, and video support have seen massive expansion over the past two years.

Mdwaba continues that “Given the rising importance of digital channels, strengthening partnerships between service and IT departments is often key to breaking down data silos, saving on software cost, agent empowerment and resulting in faster time-to-market for new technology solutions.”

By investing in advanced technology, organisations can address customer pain points effectively to achieve greater customer satisfaction, which ultimately boosts engagement and revenue.

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