As Africa’s economic development continues to reach new heights, Nomanini has announced its expansion into West Africa having secured a partnership with Nigerian enterprise Aurora VM.
Nomanini is a Cape Town-based technology solutions provider that builds tools to facilitate cash payments in informal markets.
Nomanini’s core business of facilitating cash transactions in informal markets is well-aligned with Aurora’s goal of alleviating poverty in Nigeria.
With this, Aurora will use Nomanini’s technology to enable self-employment opportunities to empower women and unemployed youth to alleviate poverty in Nigeria.
“Nigeria represents a key market in Africa. It is the continent’s biggest, and by some estimations, most dynamic market. We are delighted that, together with Aurora VM, our solutions are providing opportunities for women and youth,” Nomanini CEO Vahid Mondajem, said.
“The most commonly used form of prepayment in Nigeria is scratch cards. We were looking for a better form and researched POS terminals used both in Nigeria and abroad as an alternative. Unfortunately, they generally have a steep learning curve and are difficult to operate. What we wanted was a simple and quick solution that satisfied all our needs and Nomanini offers us this,” said Aurora CEO Iyabode Uko,
Local enterprises and grassroots entrepreneurs, Uko said use Nomanini’s solution to earn extra income. By doing so, they also provide their communities with convenient, reliable and safe access to essential mobile and financial services.
“Aurora is a partnership of common ideas, celebrating our diverse backgrounds by synergizing talents, experiences, skills and resources to bring about positive change in individual lives as well as the economy, while redefining the perception of the power of women in business,” Uko, added.
She also noted that while all businesses face challenges, particularly small businesses in emerging economies, it must be acknowledged that these challenges are multiplied for women
“From the pressure of gender stereotypes in the workplace and expected behaviour, to the gender pay gap and unequal compensation for services rendered, women are expected to conform to imperfect ideals. Despite this, it is important to note that women can and do succeed, much as anyone else, and often even exceed expectations. It is this drive to exceed expectations, to tap into that which unites us as women, to pursue our commonly held values of social justice and economic empowerment that has given birth to Aurora.”
Nomanini’s hardware enables traders in the informal economy to sell prepaid mobile services, prepaid utility services and can be used as a cash collection point for microloans, microinsurance and mobile money. Vendors provide these services to their communities by utilising Nomanini’s portable point of sale terminals which are easy to use, fully mobile, and which have been specifically designed for use in informal markets. Nomanini’s technology enables local clients like Aurora to customise its technology for their regions.
Aurora VM is a Nigerian women-run social enterprise that was formed in 2013. Aurora currently consists of eight women. They have come together as change agents for a single goal: to reach out to the underprivileged, specifically empowering women and unemployed youth, to alleviate poverty in Nigeria.
Aurora’s first initiative is to introduce airtime vending solutions for the informal sector in Nigeria. This initiative specifically targets the economic empowerment of traditionally ostracised females – widows, abandoned wives, the uneducated – in the first phase of the programme.
The most widely traded virtual commodity in Africa is prepaid mobile service. There are over 120 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria, 97% of which are prepaid. At present, prepaid distribution is achieved via trade in physical scratch cards primarily because they are easy to use and relatively quick to trade.
However, their production is costly and they effectively leave informal entrepreneurs with little profit as they are at the end of a very long distribution chain.
Nomanini’s technology makes this process more efficient and cost effective. It puts the informal entrepreneur at the heart of the process. In addition, this provides more people in remote areas with access to these basic services at a fair price.