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Flourish survey reveals impact of COVID-19 on gig workers

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Gig worker
Source: iQoncept / Shutterstock
  • Study Tracks Experience Of Gig Workers Across The Globe

  • South Africa Report Shows Significant Financial and Lifestyle Impact

Flourish, a mission-oriented global venture capital firm with portfolio investments throughout Africa, today published the South African edition of The Digital Hustle: Gig Worker Financial Lives Under Pressure.

The report tracks the experiences of gig workers, including those who use digital platforms such as e-hailing or delivery apps, to learn more about how they are faring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The South African survey is part of a bigger study in May tracking the experiences of gig workers across the globe.

The firm released the Brazil edition in June 2020 and is currently fielding surveys in India, Indonesia, and the U.S. With each of its country-specific studies, Flourish aims to help fintech entrepreneurs connect with the people most in need of aid and better understand their needs.

Surveying more than 600 South African gig workers, Flourish found that 76% experienced a large decrease in income since March 2020.

The report also summarizes how gig workers are coping with economic dislocation. Below are the key findings from the report:

  • Approximately 4 out of 5 workers now earn less than $240 USD per month, compared to 16% before the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • 91% are very concerned about COVID-19, specifically, how gig workers believe it will affect their ability to earn an income (46%) and the risk to their family’s health (26%).
  • Some gig workers are impacted more than others. E-hailing drivers were twice as likely as delivery workers to report a significant decline in quality of life, with 83% suffering a large decrease in income.
  • Coping strategies among South African gig workers vary. Some have a financial cushion, but a majority live on the edge. If they lost their main source of income, 58% of respondents reported they could not cover household expenses for a month without borrowing. Most have made sacrifices to cope with the pandemic and accompanying economic dislocation. Over half of gig workers have already reduced their household expenses, almost half borrowed money, and nearly 3 out of 4 had to rely on savings. Yet, only 1 in 5 are seeking additional income – a low figure possibly driven by the strictly enforced COVID-19 lockdown.

As part of the survey questionnaire, gig workers were asked to share anonymous comments to describe how they are faring in the current conditions. “People are not buying as they used to do,” said a delivery driver. “The number of deliveries has dramatically dropped. It is a big challenge now.” An e-hailing driver said, “We are eating two meals a day. That is what we can afford now.”Future PlansIn the next 6 months, nearly all respondents plan to restart or continue the work they were doing before the lockdown.

The majority are concerned about the ability to earn an income, find work, cover day-to-day work expenses. For 4 out of 5 people, health risk associated with returning to work was not a top concern.

Despite recent hardships, Flourish expects continued growth in online platforms and financial tools to support gig workers. In addition to these findings, the South African edition of The Digital Hustle: Gig Worker Financial Lives Under Pressure provides early insights into how platforms and financial services providers can best serve this emerging digital workforce.“ Digital platforms have made it possible for workers around the world to participate in the gig economy, providing a degree of formality and stability to their work,” said the Managing Partner at Flourish, Arjuna Costa. “When the coronavirus outbreak caused the global economy to come to a halt in Q1 of this year, workers were severely impacted. By tracking gig worker experiences in South Africa, and elsewhere, we hope to open conversations about how fintech companies can build lasting solutions for this vulnerable population of citizens.”

What you should know about Flourish

Flourish is a mission-oriented global venture fund investing in entrepreneurs whose innovations advance financial health and prosperity for individuals and small businesses.

Flourish logo

Flourish logo

The global portfolio includes more than 60 companies such as Steady and Neon for gig workers, Pula and Apollo Agriculture for smallholder farmers, and several challenger banks including Chime.

Founded in 2019, the firm also funds research and non-profit organizations to better understand the underserved and help foster a fair, more inclusive economy.

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Danbatta, others show encomiums on Sonny Aragba-Akpore as he bows out of NCC

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NCC

It was encomiums galore recently as Management and Staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) bid the Commission’s Head of Media Management and Public Relations, Sonny Aragba-Akpore, farewell following his retirement.

NCC

Former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore (a.k.a ‘The GrandMaster’) during a valedictory session organised in his honour at his retirement by the Management of the Nigerian Communications Commission in Abuja recently…

The erstwhile Information and Communications Technology/News editor at the Guardian Newspaper, Aragba-Akpore, joined the service of the Commission in 2014.

Speaking at the valedictory party held in his honour on Thursday, July 16, 2020, which was attended physically and virtually by staff of the Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, appreciated the level of professionalism Aragba-Akpore brought to bear on his work at the Commission.

Represented at the event by the Director, Projects, Abigail Sholanke, Danbatta commended Sonny Aragba-Akpore for using his many years of industry experience and knowledge as a media professional and corporate communication manager to create a robust relationship with both mainstream and online media stakeholders, which, he said, has contributed significantly to the overall positive image and favourable public perception of NCC.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Commission, we wish you a successful retirement and fruitful engagements in your future endeavours,” Danbatta said.

In his remarks, Director, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said “Within the short time I worked with Mr. Aragba-Akpore, I found him to be a man of uncommon passion for his work,” describing him as a very committed and hardworking colleague. “We, therefore, wish you increased divine favour, as you retire from the services of the Commission.”

Other staff of the Commission, including directors, deputy directors, middle management staff, among others, took turns to talk about the favourable working relationship they had with Aragba-Akpore while at the NCC and wished him well in his retirement life.

Responding, Aragba-Akpore expressed gratitude to the Management and Staff of the Commission for their support and cooperation during his service and for organising a befitting valedictory ceremony in his honour, saying he enjoyed working with the NCC.

NCC

From left to right: Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Henry Nkemadu; Director, Finance Services, NCC, Mr. Yakubu Gontor; Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde; former Head, Media and Public Relations, NCC/celebrant, Mr. Sonny Aragba-Akpore; his wife, Florence and Director, Projects, NCC, Mrs. Abigail Solanke; Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mr. Efosa; and Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, during a valedictory session organised in honour of Aragba-Akpore, who retired from the services of the Commission in Abuja recently…

“This is one event I will not forget in a hurry. Indeed, I feel I am very lucky and singularly blessed and very appreciative of the privilege to work with a leading telecoms regulator like the NCC. For me, it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

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139 Nigerian students receive prestigious Cambridge International awards

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Cambridge International

BY: Chisom ADA

Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award has following categories:

  • Top in the World: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject.

  • Top in Country: learners who gained the highest standard mark in the country for a single subject.

  • High Achievement: learners who achieved outstanding results in subjects which are not so widely taken and which, under the current criteria, would not qualify for ‘Top in Country’ Awards.

  • Best Across: awards issued to learners who attained the highest cumulative standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Nigeria students have once again received outstanding results in their Cambridge International examinations for the June 2018, November 2019 and December 2019 exam series.

139 students have been granted the prestigious Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards in various subjects in Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

The award winners include 16 students who have excelled in subjects such as Geography, Mathematics and Business to receive the ‘Top in the World’ honour.

Cambridge International also granted 101 ‘Top in Nigeria’ awards to learners who achieved the highest standard mark in their country for a single subject, 64 ‘High Achievement’ awards and 10 ‘Best Across’ awards to students who attained the highest cumulative total standard marks over a set number of subjects.

Juan Visser

Juan Visser

Cambridge International’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Juan Visser, said: “Well done once again to the Cambridge top achievers in Nigeria. We are delighted that learners in Nigeria produce such fantastic results year-in-and-year-out; this points to the quality of the schools in Nigeria registered to offer Cambridge programmes.’’

Cambridge International operates in partnership with the British Council in Nigeria.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson

The Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Lucy Pearson, says: “At the British Council, we create international opportunities through our work in arts, English Language, education, administering exams and building stronger societies. The exams we administer help people all over the world gain educational and professional development, so they are better positioned for success in life. Education is a key enabler for these opportunities, and we believe in ensuring young learners have access to world-class education and assessments which we have achieved through our partners Cambridge Assessment International Education and the schools in our Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN).”

The Director Examinations, British Council Nigeria, Marniee Nottingham, added: “Through the Partner Schools Global Network (PSGN), the British Council provides professional skills development and networking opportunities to enhance school leadership and teaching talent across our portfolio of about 395 schools across Nigeria.  We not only celebrate student achievement, we also congratulate the school leaders, teachers and parents in promoting excellence in the future of our young learners.  It is great to see the achievements of these students as they embark on their futures in country and worldwide.”

Some of the students who received awards made the following comments about their achievements:

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua

Jefferson Iyanuloluwa Joshua from the Lifeforte International High School who received 1 Top in World, 3 Top in Nigeria and a  Best Across Eight in Cambridge O Levels for the June 2019 exam series said: “I am happy that my hard work and prayers had come to fruition. Initially I found the Cambridge programme a bit challenging because I had to take subjects like Economics and Business Studies which were new to me but the practical, application-based, learner focused style of the programme meant that I was soon comfortable with those subjects and my other subjects and able to excel in them.”

He plans to go to Imperial College for a degree in Mechanical engineering.

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal

Shreya Jindal from The Regent Secondary School, Abuja who received 1 Top in World, 4 Top in Nigeria and a Best Across Eight in Cambridge IGCSE in the June 2019 exam series, said: “The Cambridge programme builds a strong foundation for higher education. Even though it requires you to study a specified syllabus, most of what you’re tested on is applied knowledge. This makes sure you really understand what you’re learning. My advice for other students is to firstly find out how you learn. Don’t be afraid of trying different methods until you find what works best for you. The Regent employs various 21st-century learning ideas that have something to offer to everyone. It is also really important to pay attention in class; you’d be surprised how much of the information actually sticks so you don’t have to go home and read everything again. Take advantage of all the resources provided by the school, and work with your teachers to get the best out of the system which offers holistic education.”

Shreya is currently doing her Cambridge International A Levels.

All the top-performing students will receive certificates from Cambridge International in recognition of their achievements.

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Rich Communication Services market worth $11.7 billion by 2025 – report

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BY: Chisom ADA

Globally, Rich Communication Services (RCS) market is projected to grow from USD 5.2 billion in 2020 to USD 11.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2020 to 2025.

In a recent interview the CEO of Kirusa Inc. Dr Inderpal Mumick, actually hinted that the future of Short Messaging System (SMS) is Rich Communication Services (RCS). Kirusa is believed to be very active in the RCS initiative space in Nigeria and Ghana.

The global forecast to 2025 published by MarketsandMarkets shows that major growth drivers for the market include the growing expenditures on digital marketing across verticals.

Some of the prominent key players are:

  1. Verizon (US)
  2. Telefonica (Spain)
  3. Orange Business (US)
  4. China Mobile (China)
  5. KDDI (Japan)
  6. Slovak Telekom (Slovakia)
  7. Telit (UK)
  8. SK Telecom (South Korea)
  9. Telstra (Australia)

Advertising campaign application to hold a larger market size during the forecast period

  • Advertising campaigns via digital marketing is the prominent approach adopted by enterprises to attract customers.
  • Sharing rich media contents have enabled end-users to engage greatly with the enterprises to take benefits of the services.
  • Enterprises being the prominent stakeholders for RCS in the market, advertising campaign application is expected to maintain dominance throughout the forecast period.

Enterprise end user to hold the largest market size during the forecast period

The enterprises throughout verticals are expected to have a significant dependency on SMS for digital marketing.

Deployment of RCS messaging platforms to share media-rich content amongst the end-users is expected to bring growing instances of customer engagements.

North America to hold the largest market size during the forecast period

The RCS market in North America is expected to grow significantly due to the increasing investments by vertical for digital marketing. Moreover, the region is mainly driven by a large number of enterprises investing heavily for an advertising campaign to promote their offerings, followed by intense internet penetration within the area.

Additionally, telcos in North America are amongst the early adopters of RCS which include AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

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