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Breaking Down Barriers to Voter Engagement: The Success Story of Infobip and Yiaga Africa

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In an effort to drive more meaningful voter engagement in Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, Yiaga Africa, a leading non-partisan, non-profit organisation, partnered with Infobip, a global cloud communication company to implement an innovative WhatsApp conversational chatbot solution to better connect with, and educate voters across the country.

A first-of-its-kind project for Infobip in Africa, the voter education chatbot named #MyElectionBuddy was developed to provide critical election-related information to the citizens of Nigeria, in line with Yiaga Africa’s drive to increase voters’ education and citizen engagements.

Isaac Akanni, Customer Growth Manager for Africa at Infobip Nigeria, who led the project implementation, noted that this election is crucial for the country, and concerned organisations like Yiaga Africa have worked hard to ensure that eligible voters have all the right information they need to cast their vote at the polls.

Lack of information

“Even though large numbers of people usually register to vote, a relatively lower number turn out in the polls. This is because people often struggle to obtain information about how to cast their votes, where to vote, how to get or renew a voter’s card, or which polling unit they fall under,” he says.

“Voter education was therefore the biggest challenge Yiaga Africa was looking to solve, and they wanted to address it through a comprehensive WhatsApp-driven chatbot that would reach many people.”

The developed chatbot can answer an array of users’ questions and links to the official electoral websites where voters can find external information, like election results.

Global Presence, Local Reach

Akanni explains that after being appointed to the project, Infobip completed implementation by 1 February 2023, amidst very tight timelines.

“With time, we will continue to improve the chatbot and its functionality. However, the user feedback has been positive since the launch, clocking thousands of active users.

Akanni says Yiaga appointed Infobip based on the strength of its solutions and local presence. Infobip gave them a good understanding of the technical requirements to deploy a project of this scale and local insights into the kind of user experience and content that would resonate with Nigerians. One initiative that resonates with the public is the inclusion of a pledge for peace. This feature allows users to win a peace badge for pledging to keep things peaceful and non-violent during the election process.

“We are very honoured to be associated with a prestigious organisation like Yiaga Africa, which has promoted participatory democracy, human rights, and civic participation in Nigeria through its numerous initiatives. With the fantastic relationship we have built with this project, we are confident that we will continue to work together to explore other use cases to help them achieve all their objectives in Africa.”

According to Mark Amaza, Senior Communications Officer at Yiaga Africa, the chatbot increased voters’ confidence in participating in the elections.

“The WhatsApp chatbot enabled us to reach thousands of voters with accurate and timely information in the 2023 Nigerian elections. This information ranged from understanding the electoral process, locating their polling locations, and knowing how to track election results.”

Amaza says they especially appreciate how the Infobip team supported them with the development and launch of the project.

“Infobip ensured that we understood how the chatbot would work and built our capacity to maintain it as an important communication channel for our organisation. Importantly, they were always prompt to respond to inquiries and troubleshoot problems, providing us with 24/7 support.”

You can access the #MyElectionBuddy chatbot by messaging +234 (0) 906 283 0860 on WhatsApp or clicking wa.me/+2349062830860.


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Nigerian Idol’s Spectacular Live Shows Begin this Sunday

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Nigerian Idol, the nation’s biggest singing competition, is set to ignite screens across Nigeria as it kicks off the highly anticipated live shows for Season 8 on Sunday, May 28, 2023. This season promises to be an electrifying display of talent, extraordinary performances, and unparalleled entertainment.

Nigerian Idol

After a series of intense auditions and captivating episodes, the judges have discovered the country’s most exceptional vocalists, now forming the highly coveted Top 10. These extraordinary talents have captivated the hearts of millions and are ready to showcase their skills on the grand stage.

Viewers can expect a thrilling rollercoaster of emotions as the Top 10 contestants unleash their vocal prowess and battle it out week after week. From spine-tingling ballads to explosive power anthems, each performance promises to be an unforgettable musical journey.

Renowned for its distinguished panel of judges, Nigerian Idol brings together expertise and industry knowledge. The judges’ panel for this season of the show comprises D’banj, Simi, and Obi Asika, who are music icons and industry trailblazers. Their constructive criticism and insightful feedback provide the contestants with invaluable guidance, helping them reach new heights in their artistic journey.

In addition to the remarkable performances and expert judging, Nigerian Idol promises premium entertainment that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Spectacular stage designs, dazzling light displays, and heart-stopping production values will elevate the live shows to an entirely new level of spectacle.

To catch all the exhilarating performances, emotional moments, and edge-of-your-seat drama, tune in to Nigerian Idol on DStv Africa Magic Channels – Showcase, Urban, and Family by 7pm on Sunday, May 28, 2023.

The excitement reaches new heights with a dedicated Nigerian Idol pop-up channel (DStv ch. 199). Fans can enjoy exclusive “behind-the-stage” conversations and catch up on all the auditions.


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How MTN’s Endorsement Changed Davido’s Musical Career

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Davido’s reputation as an “Omo baba Olowo” (son of a rich man) has never been in question but even the filthy rich have been known to enjoy a financial boost from time to time. The Afro-pop star revealed he received his big boost as a teenager when telecommunications giant, MTN came calling with a N20 million naira endorsement deal.

“I remember when MTN, a telecommunication company, came, and they were like they want to do endorsement, but then he (Dad) was like how much, and I said 20 million. I was like I’m 17. Nobody (had) seen that kind of money. Wow, this is from music, and it’s off like two songs, of course.”

Davido further explained that the deal came at the right time as it proved to be the incentive needed to convince his multi-billionaire father, Dr Adedeji Adeleke of the potential in the music business

“I’m like, ‘Daddy see, we can do this’. “He built me a studio and gave me some money to run my stuff and did my first album, and it came out really really successful.”

Davido was the face of MTN Pulse between 2012 and 2016 and during that time the pop star dropped hit songs like Damiduro, Skelewu, and Gobe to mention a few whilst picking up a number of awards along the way.

How MTN’s Endorsement Changed 17-year Davido’s Musical Career

Davido’s reputation as “Omo baba Olowo” (son of a rich man) has never been in question but even the wealthy have been known to enjoy a financial boost from time to time. The Afro-pop star revealed he received his big boost as a teenager when telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria came calling with a N20 million naira endorsement deal.

“I remember when MTN, a telecommunication company, came, and they were like they want to do endorsement, but then he (Dad) was like how much, and I said 20 million. I was like I’m 17. Nobody (had) seen that kind of money. Wow, this is from music, and it’s off like two songs, of course.”

Davido further explained that the deal came at the right time as it proved to be the incentive needed to convince his multi-billionaire father, Dr Adedeji Adeleke of the potential in the music business.

“I’m like, ‘Daddy see, we can do this’. “He built me a studio and gave me some money to run my stuff and did my first album, and it came out really really successful.”

Davido was the face of MTN Pulse between 2012 and 2016 and during that time the pop star dropped hit songs like Aye, Skelewu, and Gobe to mention a few whilst picking up a number of awards along the way.

Davido has since risen to become one of Africa’s biggest musical export, selling out various venues across the world including the O2 Arena in London, performing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, earning billions of streams across multiple platforms and collaborating with some of the world’s biggest artistes. He recently released his fourth studio album “Timeless” which peaked at number 2 on the World Album charts.


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Role of FMCG in Tackling Climate Change: The Challenges and Opportunities for Consumer Goods Companies in Nigeria

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By Lovelyn Okafor

I was always attracted by the natural beauty that surrounded me as a little girl growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, the country’s major city at the time. Nigeria possessed a wealth of natural resources, ranging from lush green forests to crystal-clear rivers. However, as I got older, I became more aware of the influence of climate change on my city. The once-green woods were being destroyed at an alarming pace, and the waterways were filling up with rubbish from human activity, particularly plastic pollution. It was then that I saw the crucial role that Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) firms may play in the battle against climate change.

According to the World Bank Groundswell reports, by 2050, Sub-Saharan Africa could see as many as 86 million internal climate migrants (move within their countries’ borders) without urgent global and national climate action to mitigate it. At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, President Buhari pledged that Nigeria will attain NetZero (zero carbon emissions) by 2050.

The challenges facing FMCG companies in Nigeria in tackling climate change are significant. The lack of infrastructure and resources for sustainable production and distribution is a major setback. Nigeria has a recycling rate of less than 10%, with most waste ending up in landfills or oceans. This lack of infrastructure also affects the availability of renewable energy sources, which makes it more difficult for companies to switch to clean energy. Also, the lack of awareness among consumers about the environmental impact of their choices is another significant challenge. Despite these challenges, there are significant opportunities for FMCG companies in Nigeria to address climate change. One opportunity is the growing interest in sustainability among consumers.

As awareness about climate change grows, more consumers are looking for sustainable options. Companies that can provide these options have the potential to gain a competitive advantage and build customer loyalty, especially among the younger generations. We see more millennials and Gen Zs taking responsibility for their purchases throughout the globe.  Inputting the environment as a priority will attract and keep such customers who are persistent in looking into new brands that can provide green products.

Another opportunity is the potential for cost savings. Nigeria has a high cost of energy, which means that switching to renewable energy sources can provide long-term cost benefits. Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050, an Oxford University study says.

Additionally, investing in sustainable production and distribution can lead to reduced waste and lower operating costs. Presently, most parts of the world battle with various climate issues, particularly floods in Africa, earthquakes, typhoons, mudslides in Asia, bushfires, and hurricanes in the Americas. This has heightened discussions and adoption of sustainability measures such as the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG among United Nations member states and sundry initiatives by business/corporate organizations.

Apart from working on the SDGs at the governmental level, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods firms are moving quickly to reduce the environmental impact of their operations by manufacturing eco-friendly goods and establishing sustainable supply chains that decrease waste. Unilever Nigeria, for example, has set lofty sustainability goals, such as procuring 100% of its palm oil responsibly by 2023 and going carbon positive by 2030. They have also introduced environmentally friendly goods, such as Sunlight 2-in-1 washing powder, which uses less water and energy than standard washing powders.  Nestle Nigeria is another FMCG firm in Nigeria with a sustainability programme that focuses on waste reduction and energy efficiency. They have also introduced environmentally friendly items, like their Milo refill pack, which eliminates packaging waste.

The measures these FMCG firms undertake in Nigeria serve as a model for others to emulate. It is now up to other FMCG firms to step up and take action to combat climate change. Companies may start by establishing sustainability goals and investing in renewable energy. They may also introduce environmentally aware shoppers to sustainable items.

FMCG firms may enhance infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing and distribution by collaborating with the government and other stakeholders. They may, for example, collaborate with waste management firms to build a recycling infrastructure in Nigeria. They may also collaborate with renewable energy firms to expand the availability of renewable energy in Nigeria.

The role of FMCG companies in tackling climate change is critical in Nigeria. While there are challenges to overcome, such as the lack of infrastructure and consumer demand for sustainable products, there are also significant opportunities, such as cost savings and building customer loyalty. FMCG companies in Nigeria can learn from examples set by other countries and companies and take steps to reduce their environmental impact and provide consumers with more sustainable choices. Working together can create a more sustainable future for Nigeria and the world.

Lovelyn Okafor is a lawyer and a public relations professional. She has over a decade of experience leading and advising businesses across multiple industries on strategy, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance.

She serves on several boards and works actively at the intersection of policy, media relations and business processes and is passionate about youth mentorship and development. Lovelyn has served as a lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and is currently the Country Head of Newmark Group, Nigeria.

She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).


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