TechCabal daily: A new way of doing things

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It’s Friday… ūüėÄ

1.¬†Reverse Innovation¬†Everyone seems to have an opinion about the role of payment solutions in Africa – be it derisive (the argument being the supposed dilution of creativity on account of the ubiquitous nature of fintech), or complimentary (isn’t it often said that one could never have too many solutions for a tenacious problem?). The voices of dissent almost always revolve around (variations of) the two arguments. Mugabe and his cohorts, however, seem to have abandoned the conventions of this discussion, and adopted a completely unique take on payment options – a modest Zimbabwean struggling to pay tuition fees is now allowed to offer livestock as payment. HmmLink

2. Investment Index Quantum Global Research Lab has ranked Botswana as the most attractive investment destination in Africa, with Morocco, Egypt and South Africa coming in second, third and fourth respectively. For those already wondering and on the verge of throwing wild fits, yes, Nigeria and Kenya both did not make the top ten list.

3. Biometric cards and the future –¬†South Africa will be the first market in the world to try out Mastercard‚Äôs innovative biometric cards. Each one comes with a fingerprint sensor that serves as a replacement for your four-digit PIN. This is especially good news for special folk who, for whatever reason, always seem to break a sweat in trying to recall their combinations. Mastercard is currently extending its trials to other parts of the world and hopes to introduce the cards in Europe and Asia next.

4. The internet is to be restored in Anglophone Cameroon after 94 jarring days of internet blackout and approximately $3.1million lost to the wind. This is coming on the back of President Paul Biya’s order to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. It has also been confirmed that MTN subscribers can now access the Internet in the North-West and Southwest regions.

+ Such perfect timing as today happens to be Friday, which means the affected Cameroonians and pro-internet activists have a long night of celebrations ahead of them.

Chatclass¬†NG is offering a social media management course where participants will learn how to develop and execute social media strategies that deliver results. The program will feature thorough masterclasses to help you launch and grow a successful social media career. School’s already in session for April but you can register for May classes which begin on the 7th. Register here.

Other interesting things…

+ In this¬†post,¬†Collins Onuegbu moves¬†the spotlight away from Yaba, for the briefest of moments, to the place that, he believes, started it all about two decades ago: Surulere. He argues that the lack of infrastructure¬†and the dominance of the B2B industry (where innovators moved¬†out of Surulere to be closer to larger corporations) all led to the utter desolation of Surulere. After reading¬†it, I couldn’t help but imagine what horrible things whoever came up with something as cringe-worthy as ‘Yabacon Valley’ (drawing from as plain a name as Yaba), could have done with as mouthful a name as Surulere.

+ Cue an African¬†nation’s space ambitions and the ensuing outrage. Ethiopia’s Ministry of Science and Technology has announced that it will launch a satellite into orbit in 3-5 years, and not everyone thinks it should be a priority for a nation that is still struggling with drought. Link

+ Taking a Page Out of Black Mirror’s Script, someone at Facebook¬†thinks it’s an oh-so-splendid idea for the platform to be able to directly transform thoughts into posts ‚Äď without having to move a muscle at a physical input system or a[n] [ever inconsistent] speech-to-text feature. Clearly, beyond the confines of fatalist sci-fi, present-day technology is not robust enough (yet) to accommodate this innovation at scale. This might sound like the tone of a pessimist, but it really isn’t. My only question is, should someone like me who mostly thinks in crooked Klingon be worried about the transparency of my future posts, even after the patchy operations of a…patchy automatic translation system?

There’s a new accelerator in town.¬†Frontline Accelerator is what you’d get if social enterprise and venture capital got married and had a baby. They’re launching with an entrepreneur sales challenge with cash prizes of up to $1000 and job offers to the top 5 applicants. So if you’re an enterprising job seeker¬†looking for the next big opportunity, you should definitely apply here. Deadline’s May 6th.

Upcoming events…

Abuja: Hive Africa Global Leaders Programme, April 19th to 22nd. Link

Lagos: Screening of Nigeria’s environmental crisis documentary, Nowhere to Run, at CcHub, April 21st. Link

Accra: Screening of an empowering film on female entrepreneurs at MEST, April 21st. Link

Lagos: Localhost software architecture design meetup, April 21st. Link

Lagos: Free pass Friday and an all-day wellness and mindfulness session followed by a Yin Yoga session in the evening, April 21st at Capital Square. Link

Abuja: ForLoop meetup at enspire Incubator, April 22nd. Link

Next week

Lagos: Oracle Security Summit, April 25th. Link

Lagos: Digital Marketing & Social Media Workshop With Futuresoft, April 26th. Link

Abidjan: GSMA Mobile 360 West Africa 2017, April 27th. Link

Lagos: ReactJs Workshop, April 29th. Link

Lagos: Startup Grind with Bassey Eyo, April 29th. Link

Want to see your event in here? Add your event

Upcoming deadlines…

CAMSCORP Ventures Lab: Applications close today. Link

Mastercard Start Path Global Programme: Applications close on April 23rd. Link


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