Author Archives: Uwagbale Edward-Ekpu

About Uwagbale Edward-Ekpu

An Industrial Chemist, Science Communicator, Digital Technology Commentator, Social Media Strategist, Entrepreneur and a Researcher with a huge interest in Food Chemistry and Technology.

Online Presence for Small Business: Facebook Page vs Website

Small businesses in Africa are mainly services or retail operations such as convenience stores, small grocery stores, bakeries or delicatessens, restaurants, guest houses, or tradespeople (e.g., carpenters, electricians, hairdressers, photographers), very small-scale manufacturing, and Internet-related businesses such as web design and computer programming.

Some professionals operate as small businesses, such as lawyers, accountants, dentists and medical doctors (although they can also work for large organizations or companies).

Typically, small businesses like these have less than 15 employees. While many have less than 5 employees some are actually one-man businesses. The internet offers different measures of business opportunities for core online business and also for offline buses which can use online tools to boost revenue and profit.

Since the advent of the internet, it has become traditional for businesses to have a website. However, in Africa, most small businesses don’t have online presence, despite the fact that most Nigerian internet users are on Facebook. Small business owners either lack skill to manage a website, capital to pay for a website or a webmaster for site maintenance. Maintaining a website requires time and money that small business owners don’t always have in good supply.

This makes Facebook page the best option for small businesses that cannot afford to own a website because creating a Facebook page is a relatively a simple process. Unlike websites, Facebook is easy and affordable and since so many people use Facebook for personal social media, it’s often easier and more familiar than using a website builder or blog.

Also Facebook is free, whereas there’s a cost involved if you hire a firm, a freelancer, or an employee to build and maintain a business website. So using a Facebook page as both social media tool and business website can make the work of building an online presence simpler, easier, and cheaper.

With 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook brings what small businesses need the most: access to a growing customer base. This may seem like a no-brainer as far as making your decision: go where the people are.

When you are using Facebook as compared to a website, you do not have to worry about mobile optimization issues. Having a big company take care of mobile optimization for your digital marketing is a huge relief, for example; you know you shouldn’t ignore mobile consumers, but keeping up with mobile requirements can be a real headache. Using Facebook guarantees that your efforts, on the Facebook platform, anyway, will be mobile optimized and kept up-to-date.

Facebook page has been optimizing for small businesses, to connect to the platform’s more than two billion monthly active users. This means a typical small business can establish a strong online presence without worrying about building or managing a website.

Facebook business page have themes with features and tools optimised to be use by professionals like, lawyers, accountants, dentists and medical doctors to interact with clients. There is a theme for local businesses such as hairdressers, barbers shop, guest house; retail and e-commerce operations such as convenience stores, small grocery stores, bakeries or delicatessens etc.

This means small businesses can display their goods and services on their Facebook pages, with description and additional information like Price/Fee; and call-to-action like “Make Enquiry” and “Buy”. With the advent of payments platforms like Paystack, a small business in Nigeria can now deliver their goods or services, sell their products online and received payments directly through their Facebook page seamlessly.

Nigerian Small business, especially those who own Facebook account are not exploiting Facebook business Page tools to grow their business, improve revenue or profit, this includes. This is mainly due to lack of social media skills. Many do not understand how a Facebook page work or hoe to use it for their businesses. This calls for massive training of small business owners on how to use Facebook Page in place of a website, for professional business, e-commerce and marketing.

Since the beginning of 2018, I have been teaching small business owners how to use social media to grow their businesses through my consultancy company, U & D inc., I am focused on helping small business owners integrate digital technology into their business to boost revenue, profit and growth at a very minimal cost.

My aim is to increase digital literacy among small business owners in Nigeria. Most of the businesses in Nigeria are small businesses as such the country will be better off if a good number of these businesses can be digitalised to achieve accelerated growth and development.

For enquiry about Social Media for Business training click here or send a WhatsApp message to +234 701 090 2972.


African Leaders Who Have Sought Healthcare Outside Africa

Most Africans don’t have access to the most basic health facilities or even first aid treatment when they are ill. This has never been the concern of most African presidents. As long as they and their families get treatments overseas, all is settled for them.

There are many examples of African presidents who have sought treatment outside Africa. Some actually died in office while on treatment abroad, or at least they had received treatment abroad.

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria is the leader of the pack. He spent more than 100 days in the UK for medical treatment in 2017.

Patrice Talon, the President of the Republic of Benin, underwent surgery in France in June 2017.

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe for the past 37 years, frequently seeks eye-related treatment in Singapore, traveled thrice in 2017.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has just stepped down as Angola’s leader after 38 years, also travels to Spain for treatment in may 2017.

In October 2014, President Michael Sata of Zambia died in the UK, after being taken to Israel and India for treatments.

In 2014, Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria has been to France twice for treatment.

In November 2012, Guinea Bissau’s Malam Bacai Sanha died in France.

In August 2012, Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi died in Belgium after 17 years in power.

In July 2012, Ghana’s Atta Mills died in Accra after returning from a brief medical spell in the US.

In May 2010, Nigeria’s Musa Yar’Adua died in Abuja after returning from treatment in Saudi Arabia.

In June 2009, Gabon’s President Omar Bongo Ondimba died in Spain. He had ruled for 38 years.

In August 2008, Zambia’s President Levy Mwanawasa died in France.

In December 2008, Guinea’s President Lansana Conté died in Conakry after 24 years in power. He had been receiving treatment in Switzerland.

In February 2005, after 38 years in office, President Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo died on board the aircraft that was evacuating him for emergency treatment abroad.

In March 1984, President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea passed away in the US after 26 years as President. He had been rushed to the US after being stricken in Saudi Arabia the previous day.

As presidents and Head of States, their medical expenses are paid from their country’s purse (tax payer’s money). This courtesy also extends to senior government employees.

Note: Nelson Mandela received treatment and care in his own country till he passed away.

Wakanda: Zimbabwean Produced Car Powered with Radio Frequency

African youths are obviously handling the challenges of the continents in innovative ways and changing the narrative, despite having to always battle the obsolete mind-sets, institutions, processes and systems that dominate the continents.

This brings us to the story of 38 years old Sangulani Maxwell Chikumbutso from Zimbabwe, the self-taught engineer who dropped out of school at age 14 and has gone ahead to invent some incredible devices and machines.

He is the founder of Saith Technologies and is known to have developed a controversial green energy technology which he started developing in 2003. He says the technology converts radio frequencies directly into clean and renewable energy.

As reported by SABC (video), Chikumbutso has succeeded in putting this technology into a car, making the car the first electric vehicle in the world that converts radio frequencies into energy. This means the electric car does not have a recharging system due to perpetual motion; thus zero emissions. Only pure energy!

This is pure Wakanda technology in all sense. In 2007 Maxwell says he tried to patent this technology but was unable to file a patent because the technology violates the present day natural laws of physics. Instead, patent examiners proposed classifying it as a perpetual motion device.

The technology is so strange that in 2009, some prominent professors in Zimbabwe he discussed the idea of creating a self-powered generator using the technology with, told him it was impossible. However according to TechZim he went ahead and built the first prototype of the Greener generator  which generated 1,200 Watts.

According to Wikipedia, a Perpetual Motion Machine is a hypothetical machine that can do work indefinitely without an energy source. This kind of machine is impossible, as it would violate the first or second law of thermodynamics.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has made an official policy of refusing to grant patents for perpetual motion machines without a working model. And according to the United Kingdom Patent law, perpetual motion machines does industrial application. Even back home in Africa, Zimbabwe and South Africa likewise failed to patent the invention.

According to the Saith Technologies‘s website Maxwell Sangulani advanced the ability to produce electricity by exposing an “undisclosed substance (industry secreted) to radio wavelengths, the Eco-friendly power generator has the capacity to funnel the power generated into functional electrical energy.

His assertion is always that he has moved past the rules of preservation of energy as generally comprehended as equivalent shift of energy from a single form to a different one proclaiming that this kind of “discovery” displays the application of basic gel battery packs in series of 220 volts generating a greater output in electrical power (500,000 Watts).”

“The automobile doesn’t need charging from a source of electricity. It entails just 5 normal gel batteries to begin producing sufficient capacity to start the vehicle and charge the batteries (continuous automobile). Technologically, perpetual motion states that the moment a physical object begins moving except if obstructed by another force, it is constantly going to continue moving forever.

The simple pendulum in secondary school science can be a close illustration. Sangulani, having said that, proposes that perpetual motion units utilize more power compared to the output in which he did the contrary; a lesser amount of power to get more output. Because of this (repelling the acknowledged laws), as outlined by him, his engineering is not capable of filing a patent globally.”

Chikumbutso met with Angolan born pastor and businessman Dr Teddy De Almeida of Bongani Group ( one of the biggest energy companies in Angola) in Johannesburg, who bought into Maxwell’s vision and contributed over $500,000 seed money desiring no return for his investment. No documents signed, just a stern warning to use the money wisely.

After some research and may be visions, Chikumbutso who told TechZim in an interview, that he learnt most of what he knows about electronics from strange visions and visible blueprints from God did not know any electronics at all, eventually completed his Greener Machine and invited Dr Almeida to take up equity in Saith Technologies.

With investment from Dr Teddy De Almeida Chikumbutso was able to manufacture the first prototypes that use his outstanding technology.

Chikumbutso inventions has raised a lot of skeptism especially among non-Africans due to the company secrets way the technology works, this use of perpetual motion which is seen as impossible, the fact that present day knowledge of Radio Frequency can not been proved to have enough energy to power a car, and the fact that the invention is coming from black Africa makes the skepticism stronger.

Chris Joubert who refer to himself as an Electronic Engineer are among those who are skeptical about this invention. The insisted that mobile phones like latest iPhones which have batteries that are about 7-7.5Wh cannot be charged with radio waves from a reasonable distance talk less of electric cars which generally uses between 15-20 kilowatt-hours per 100km.

“The biggest AM broadcast antennas use 10s of kilowatts, but in accordance with the Inverse-Square Law, the power available per unit area drops exponentially as you move away from the antenna”, he said.

“Harvesting radio wave energy is not completely out of the question, but the cutting edge in this field of research deals with powering micro-electronic circuitry which require extremely low amounts of power.” He added.

Another sceptic, Winston Davis said the report may be an infomercial scam to get investor’s interest in the portrayed inventions and that Chikumbutso technology requires electrical-engineering-science peer-review experiments to confirm or debunk the realness of this representation and report the finding in a relevant, reputable scientific journal.

Since the year 2,000, we have seen more young Africans increasingly making positive impacts in the society. This is despite the fact that they are not getting the needed supports from their leaders, the system or the society itself. We must keep this trend growing by supporting any innovator or anyone who attempt to produce anything of positive value in the continent.

Chikumbutso and other Africans making efforts to add value to life in Africa should be supported by all means to turn their imaginations into reality. We should care less about western thoughts and ways towards our innovations, when working to build Africa. We should create independent systems and cultivate independent minds sets.

We should look inward and encourage the development of African technologies. If a solution works for us, then it must be promoted, whether or not the technology is understood by ‘yesterday people’ or approved by Europe or America.

Chikumbutso has also developed, among others, a helicopter that runs on 5/6 different fuels. According to the TechZim interview, he has had earlier inventions which he did not improve on due to lack of funds.

In 1999, he built his first successful project which was a Radio broadcast transmitter made the headlines on ZBC news and in 2001, he developed what he called the Digital Navigation Facilitator which is used to facilitate landing of aircraft from variables that include the size of the aircraft, its position in altitude, speed and so on.