The availability and distribution of academic material remains a huge challenge for African universities, predominantly due to the shortage of books written by African academics, which has forced the continent's universities to rely heavily on imported works. This external body of learning material tends to be expensive, even those with African-specific content in history, literature, music, politics, sociology and economics. Additionally, poor marketing and distribution channels can mean that those who manage to publish struggle to make their works visible to their target readers - a huge lost opportunity in the $20b higher education market in Africa.
Martins Fidelis experienced this challenge first hand while studying Computer Science at university in Nigeria, which inspired him and Kayode Adegbuyi to collaborate on the creation of Qataloog. Qataloog is a higher education learning and content distribution platform, offering users a centralised distribution network where publishers and vendors in Europe, USA and Africa can upload their content for access by a network of universities in Africa, at a very affordable rate.
The Afritech Verified Podcast is back with a new host - Towsyn Omowole, Community Lead at Afritech XYZ. In this month’s episode, she speaks to Josh Nzewi, co-founder of Eze [pronounced easy], the world’s first fully automated marketplace for trading new and used electronics in wholesale quantities. From telling us what it’s like going through YC, to comparing doing business in Africa and the US, Josh gives us a great insight on the rewards and challenges of the founder journey.
Josh spent his formative years in North Carolina in the United States and studied petroleum engineering at university. He was a reservoir engineer at Shell for 3 years before exploring the used mobile phone marketplace. As he delved deeper into the sector, he discovered an industry much bigger than he had imagined but fraught with inefficiencies, fraud and bad actors.
Josh also takes us through his experience of taking two startups through Y Combinator - first with Releaf and then with Eze. He tells us about YC’s “high intensity environment” and how it pushed Eze to its limits but also provided a great network to be plugged into.
Finally Josh shares his hopes of growing Eze’s presence beyond Nigeria and much more.
Listen to the full episode here.
You can connect with Josh Nzewi via LinkedIn or Twitter.