TechCabal daily: Safaricom goes dark

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Good morning!

1. Darkest…over dawn – Subscribers of Kenya’s largest telecom services provider, Safaricom, were hit unawares by a countrywide network outage – starting at 9:30 AM on Monday – that saw businesses and individuals cut off from calls, data, and M-Pesa services for 3 hours. Like every major disaster in the 21st century, what immediately followed was a press release on social media.

+ Some of the best tweets in the wake of the event. Link.

+ Have you ever wondered what three hours’ worth of network outage translates to in revenue loss for a telecom giant? Me neither – but these figures are interesting. Link.

2. Clean energy – Still on Kenya, PayGo has raised $1.43m in a seed, equity, and debt financing round. Novastar Ventures, Energy Access Ventures, Village Capital, Global Innovation Fund, and Global Partnerships/Eleos Social Venture Fund all took part in the funding round. Link

+ Launched in 2016, PayGo is a distribution service based in Nairobi that provides clean cooking fuels for households on a pay-per-use access model while operating a smart metering system that monitors fuel consumption.

3. Incubate and conquer – The World Bank is set to support 20 African digital startups with its new business acceleration programme – XL Africa. The selected startups will receive mentoring from a long list of industry experts, be exposed to potential investors and partners, and stand a chance of attracting early stage funding between $250,000 and $1.5 million. Interested companies can apply here.


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…

Here’s an interesting Lagos-inspired Danfo theme.

+ Bankole’s S8 finally arrived, reminding us once again of one of the perks of being a big boy in tech.

+ The 10 Bank Directors That Have Earned the Highest Dividends in 2016. Link

+ What a time to be alive – ALAT seems to have settled really well with one person. Link

+ Pretty visitors – Few Nigerian music stars are as sheltered from the spotlight outside the music scene as Vic-O, but last week he took precious time out to bless the four walls that housed the HNGInterns party with his rousing presence – million-dollar smile on, fresh-faced, tinted glasses on, you know the rest – and yes, yes, a few souls were kind enough to take photos for the naysayers.

+ The Lagos State Government is experimenting with mobile surveillance cameras. Link.

+ MTN Ghana and the Police are teaming up to sneak-attack mobile money fraudsters. Well, it isn’t much of a ‘sneak’ attack now. Link.

+ I was oddly intrigued by this piece on how to keep yourself safe when buying a secondhand phone.

+ Telkom chairman warns against anti-white monopoly capital propaganda. Hmmm. Link.

AreaStatus is an online platform that helps you keep track of happenings – chaotic or serene – in your neighbourhood. It seems especially valuable for folk in volatile neighbourhoods.


Get a job as Sales Manager in a growing technology company with offices in Lagos & Dubai and win a signup bonus of $500 in the required selection process plus a one free month intensive training on Sales & Digital marketing. Application deadline is April 26th. Apply here.


Upcoming events

Lagos: Oracle Security Summit, April 25th. Link

Lagos: Tax Office Hours at Capital Square, April 25th. Link

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

Lagos: Paradigm Initiative’s Internet Freedom Forum, April 26 to April 27th. Link

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

Lagos: Lead Space Happy Hour, April 28th. Link

Lagos: ReactJs Workshop, April 29th. Link

Lagos: Berkeley Haas Africa Business Forum 2017, April 29th. Link

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

Upcoming deadlines

Africa Entrepreneurship Award application deadline, April 28th. Link

Adansonia accelerator: Applications close on April 30th. Link

GoIgnite startup programme: Applications end on April 30th. Link

Up Accelerate: Applications also close on April 30th. Link

SpeedUp Africa: Apply before May 1st, people. Link

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Catch up on all things tech around Africa in today’s digest