Hi there! Here’s everything interesting in African technology today. If you’re reading this, you’re probably not subscribed to TechCabal’s daily digest. Click here to get this goodness in your mailbox every day at 7am (GMT +1).
First off, major stuff happening
1. On Friday, Kenya’s president thought it’d be cool to start a dab challenge on Twitter. He later regretted it. LMAO.
+ Apparently, he did it to cosy up to the increasingly woke population ahead of his impending re-election bid. Brilliant.
2. Hold up, Konga raised more funding and no one’s heard/talking about it? Konga’s CEO, Shola Adekoya, released a super vague op-ed about why Nigerian ecommerce continues to attract investment. It’s so boring and devoid of data that even I missed the reference to a 2017 capital injection by Naspers and Kinnevik.
+ This is after the latter threw them under the bus in 2016 when it released some rather chilling subscriber numbers that shook the the startup ecosystem’s faith in the whole African internet enterprise.
+ Shola went on to tweet his thanks to Konga’s investors and former CEO, Sim Shagaya for helping them keep the lights on till they become sustainable. “Our quest for the perfect customer experience just got some nitrous boost”. Congrats!
3. It’s day 28 of Anglophone Cameroon’s internet blackout. For more education about this increasingly brazen behaviour, read this on NYT.
+ Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, acknowledged the the Cameroonian kid that won Google’s code challenge in spite of the internet blockade, on Twitter.
You can now apply for Ventures Platform‘s (VP) accelerator program. It’s a 4-month program that’s designed to support startups at the MVP stage with mentorship, business re-engineering, work space, living space, back office support, shared services and seed funding. Link.
What else is going on?
+ Mark Essien tweeted that Nigeria’s space agency’s motto is “the sky is the limit”, a quote which I’m sure is both apocryphal and tongue-in-cheek. Because I had nothing better to do, I decided to look their website up, which looks like it was designed in 1995, and made the exciting discovery that the last and only time the agency tweeted was three years ago. Not that tweeting has that much to do with the actual business of being in space, but neither is pushing paper. Welp.
+ Want to know which Nigerian agency is killing it on Twitter though? That would be the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Whoever is running that Twitter account is positively raving. Like WTAF??? And they seem to be actually doing their actual job of late…last week they found almost $10 million cash in the possession of a former boss of Nigeria’s petroleum corporation. All that remains to cement their cool cred would be to setup a live spreadsheet that tracks recovered monies in realtime. Jollzy, your head is there.
+ In other news, can we talk about the Nigerian bot proliferation, across the nation?
+ Why the Apple Store and Apple Music don’t work in Nigeria anymore? Well, Nigerian banks, dollars and dynamic currency conversion. Timi is pissed.
+ Scaling operations outside of Lagos flies in the face of sane market logic, says Nigerian ecommerce entrepreneur, Olumide Olusanya in this Twitter thread. But they do it anyway, to keep their investors happy. Ah well.
+ A friendly reminder that ecosystems get better when startups patronise other startups. Be like Jason Njoku.
+ Jake Bright and I are praying for the longest shot in the universe. A Daft Punk and Justaband collabo.
Registration is now open for Starta’s Side Hustle Bootcamp taking place in Lagos in February. 25 entrepreneurs will undergo one weekend of intensive practical learning on how to ideate, start, launch and get funding for tech-enabled businesses. The bootcamp is from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, February 26. The fee starts at N60,000 but digest subscribers can get 10% off using our discount code – SHBTC10. Apply here.
Hot topics on TechCabal Radar
+ Forty limited edition “Buy Okadas and be happy” tees will ship this week. El fantastico.
+ Speaking of Nigerian banks, Radar users are also asking if they are ready for this fintech business.
+ Etisalat users in Nigeria can now browse Facebook for free. Many of them will probably not read the terms and conditions.
Joburg: National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) Summit, 15th and 16th February, 2017. Link
Lagos: The 2017 edition of Connect Nigeria’s Business Fair is going down on the 18th. Link
Lagos: TensorFlow Dev Summit Viewing Party, February 15th. Ah, sold out.
Lagos: Silicon Drinkup, by Starta, February 17th. Link
Lagos: The Afropreneur Pitchdeck Workshop, February 18th. Link
Lagos: Hackaday Hardware Lagos, February 18th. Link
Today’s digest is longer than usual (so much going on), well done for sticking it out. Have a great week ahead. And don’t forget to share (by clicking below).