Hey there! Today’s TechCabal digest is brought to you by DIYlaw; get N2000 off your next company incorporation here with our coupon code – DIYLAWTC. Here’s everything interesting in African technology today.
Major stuff happening
1. Aluta continua over Cameroon’s internet: My people, there’s still no internet in the English-speaking region of Cameroon. It’s been 55 days now, and folk are reportedly trekking 43 kilometres just to find a signal to get their assignments done. Of course, the gig economy is dying, which makes you wonder about the government’s self-declared ambition to make the country into a tech hub.
+ More people and international organisations are speaking out against the shutdown, including Tim Berners Lee and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, but President Paul Biya’s government seems unbothered so far.
+ [unrelated-rant] Come to think of it, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation might have a lot more award candidates if it created a category for African presidents that come “first from behind.” [/unrelated-rant]
+ Here’s an infographic refresher on how the whole palaver started. Link
2. Etisalat Nigeria vs Banks: In the new week, industry watchers will be keeping an eye on the ongoing standoff between Etisalat Nigeria and its bank creditors. On Friday last week, the Central Bank of Nigeria decided to play umpire. We’ll see how that goes. It’s only N377 billion at stake, right?
3. All eyes on MTN’s new group CEO: Don’t blink. Etisalat Nigeria’s recent travails are not nearly big enough to eclipse the fevered goings-on at MTN where its top brass have been hopping on and off like its a bed of hot coals. Investors will be hoping that Rob Shuter’s assumption of his role as group CEO will steady the ship against the aggressive headwinds — mostly Nigerian regulators — that have been buffeting it since 2015. No pressure at all, Rob, good luck.
+ TechCentral’s podcast interview with the outgoing CEO, Nhleko Phutuma, on his last day at MTN is worth a listen. Link
4. Uber’s African hiccups don’t appear to be slowing it down: It might be a euphemistic way to describe protests in multiple markets. Drivers in Kenya aren’t happy. And metered taxi operators in Johannesburg took to blocking airport roads in fresh anti-Uber sentiment. But the war within and without haven’t stopped the company from pursuing new market experiments. It is currently talking about launching UberRush, a logistics service, in South Africa within the next six months.
Other interesting things…
+ South Africans are conflicted, according to the latest Google search trends. They want to lose weight, but love making meatballs. Welp. Link
+ Someone decided to do a hypothetical brand refresh for the Nigerian Television Authority. I think it’s a tad simplistic, to be honest, and I kinda like the current logo as is. Don’t ask about the rest of the brand or the programming, thanks.
+ Africacheck says y’all need to stop saying that South Africans spend more than 20 percent of their monthly income on data, and cites recent research that puts the number at closer to 3 percent. Link
+ Apparently, South African broadband adoption is also up, according to Akamai data. Link
+ Yet another Nigerian fintech app, Remita, from Systemspecs, who have been around even longer than Appzone. It keeps getting better and better.
+ Banks and fintech will co-exist, but which banks? The tweet of the week (I just made that up, should it be a thing?) comes from Flutterwave’s Iyin Aboyeji. Link
+ Speaking of which, the bank-led plot to end M-Pesa’s dominance in Kenya will probably not work because banks aren’t good at forming Voltron, that’s the TL;DR of this Techweez article.
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Thanks for reading
And please pardon the delay. And the lack of a fun GIF. Apologies in advance for any bloopers. Tola and Mobisola have surpassed me, clearly.
Anyways, it’s going to be an interesting week, as you can see. Friends don’t let their friends miss out on the action, so please share.