Top African technology news for January 18, 2017

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14. The Nigerian Communications Commission is planning to impose a N5 million fine on any mobile operator that violates the Do Not Disturb code

This was announced by the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Dambatta. He said the Commission is planning to impose the N5 million fine as a measure of last resort to ensure that mobile operators in the country comply with its directive. The NCC earlier introduced the Do Not Disturb (DND) code to protect customers from unsolicited text messages usually sent by mobile operators.

Read all about it here.

 

13. GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator report advocates for improved synergies between mobile operators and startups to ensure impact in emerging markets

The GSMA report examines challenges faced by startups and mobile operators in emerging markets and proffers solutions that can be achieved if there is collaboration. Startups struggle to reach scale in emerging markets while mobile operators are finding it difficult to keep with the fast pace of innovation and dwindling revenue from voice calls. “Mobile operators have reached the scale that startups lack, while start-ups have the local innovation mobile operators need,” the report, therefore, calls on mobile operators and startups in emerging markets to continue seeking partnerships and opportunities for collaboration.

Read iAfrikan’s summary of the report here.

 

12. Nanjira Sambuli of the Web Foundation on a few things you should know about Kenya’s cyber policy landscape

In this article published on iAfrikan, Nanjira examines what the government of Kenya is doing in terms of policies that will protect the fundamental rights and online freedom of its citizens. She outlined existing laws and those that are needed.

Read the full article here.

 

11. iDEA Nigeria is hosting a fireside chat with Mark Essien in Lagos this Friday

iDEA Nigeria will be chatting with hotels.ng founder, Mark Essien, on topics such as customer acquisition, digital marketing, sales, HR, and more.

Register here.

 

10. The Global Game Jam is also taking place in Abuja this January

Apart from the Lagos event, Twin Crown Studios will host developers and creatives in Abuja for the 2017 Global Game Jam. The event is taking place from January 20 – 22, 2017 at 84 Romford Street, Sun-City Estate, Abuja.

Interested participants can register here.

 

9. ICANN is hosting a workshop for its Africa Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) members in Nairobi this January

ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation that regulates protocol parameters, internet number resources and domain names. ICANN will be hosting a workshop in Nairobi from January 23-24, 2017 for its Africa Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) members with the support of the Communications Authority and Government of Kenya. The workshop will focus on raising awareness and building the capacity of the African GAC representatives and governments on how best to effectively participate and contribute to policy making at ICANN.

More information here.

 

8. MEST is now accepting applications from aspiring South African entrepreneurs into its Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) programme

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is looking for aspiring South African entrepreneurs to join its 2017 Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) programme. MEST offers fully-sponsored, intensive, one-year entrepreneurship training and the chance to get $50,000 to $100,000 seed funding to launch your startup. Applications close on March 10, 2017.

Interested? Apply here.

 

7. The 2017 Global Game Jam is taking place in another location in Lagos this January

Apart from the jam being hosted by Center4Tech, the International Game Developers Association, Nigerian Chapter (IGDA Nigeria) is also hosting the 2017 Global Game Jam in Lagos. This means there will be two locations in Lagos for the 48 hours game development hackathon.  IGDA is hosting talks and seminars on how to address the issues in game development in Nigeria from January 17 to January 19 while the Game Jam proper will kick off on the 2oth to the 22nd of January.

You can register for the event here.

 

6. Startups working on solutions in affordable internet access can now apply to the 2017 edition of Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative grant fund

Microsoft has renewed its Affordable Access Initiative grant fund for the second year. Last year’s programme provided grant funding and software to 12 companies, 5 of which were African. Applications are now open for a new set of companies and it will close on January 31, 2017.

You can find more information here and apply here.

 

5. Online marketplace, Letgo, has raised $175 million in a new funding round led by South Africa’s Naspers

Letgo raised $175 million in Series C financing from South Africa’s Naspers and other investors such as Insight Venture Partners, Accel, 14W, Eight Roads Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners and FJ Labs. Letgo also disclosed that its active user base grew by 359% in 2016 and it will use the new funding to accelerate U.S. and international growth.

More information here.

 

4. Disrupt Africa has published the 2017 edition of its African Tech Startups Funding Report

The report released yesterday showed that African tech startups raised over $129 million in funding in 2016 with South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya being the top three destinations for tech investors. Interestingly, even though the number of startups that secured funding increased, the overall amount of funding declined. This must be as a result of economic challenges faced in 2016.

More information on the report is here and you can purchase the full report here.

 

3. The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned banks and financial institutions in the country against the use of virtual currencies

In a circular issued to banks and other financial institutions in the country, the CBN warned that transactions in virtual currencies are largely untraceable and anonymous making them susceptible to abuse. The apex bank warned that banks should not use, hold or trade in virtual currencies “pending substantive regulation or decision by the CBN” adding that any bank that transacts in virtual currencies does so at is own risk.

Read all about it here.

 

 2. Are you a social innovator or entrepreneur based in Cape Town? Apply to RLab’s 2017 InnovIA programme

Cape Town based social impact incubator, RLabs, is now accepting applications into the 2017 edition of its Innovation Incubation and Accelerator (InnovIA) Programme. The 12-week programme will help Cape Town based social innovators and entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into scalable social enterprises.

Read more on it here and if you fulfil the requirements, apply here.

 

1. Internet access has reportedly been shut down in parts of Cameroon

Local journalists say internet access in Anglophone regions of Cameroon has been blocked following a new wave of protests. Civil unrest has been ongoing in the country since October 2016 to protest the marginalisation of Cameroonian anglophone communities. When the Cameroonian government arrested and detained two leaders of a top Anglophone community organising group yesterday, it sparked fresh protests that seem to be the basis for the internet blockage.

More information here.