Hey there! Today’s TechCabal digest is brought to you by Tizeti; they are offering Lagos residents unlimited internet for N5,000, and you can sign up for that here. 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. Gearboxing – Kenyan makerspace, Gearbox, is launching a Fab Lab in partnership with Fab Academy. Fab Labs are community spaces where users can access tools and training to engage in (personal) digital fabrication. The Fab Academy x Gearbox program will run for six months and participants will learn how to prototype and document their projects and ideas through hours of hands-on experience with digital fabrication. Participants will even get certificates on relevant technical topics as well as a Fab Diploma. I like.

2. Remember the Communications Authority of Kenya’s attempt to install a Device Management System that will allow it snoop on citizen’s calls, messages and mobile money transactions? Well, they denied the surveillance allegations and said the system was only to detect counterfeit devices. Anyway, Kenyan activist, Okiya Omtatah petitioned the decision and a Kenyan high court has suspended the whole shebang pending a court hearing on Thursday. All hail the rule of law.

3. Tholoana Enterprise Programme – SAB Foundation is looking for black-owned business operating in Southern Africa to enter its Tholoana Enterprise Programme. Sixty participants will be selected to receive “wrap-around support,” mentorship, skills training workshops, access to markets, and qualified investment-readiness support. Applications are open from now until March 15 and further information is here. If you meet the requirements, apply here.

4. Another Andela fellowship cycle is live. Apply to be an Andela fellow in Abuja and Calabar. Deadline is March 20.

5. African Technology Foundation is hosting the five winners from last year’s Demo Africa in Silicon Valley this week. The trip is part of the 2017 edition of the Lions@frica Innovation Tour and the startups will be engaging with the Valley’s venture ecosystem through a series of curated events and activities. They will also be joining other startups to participate in the Startup Grind conference.

6. Day 37 – Please lend your voice and ask the Cameroonian government to #BringBackOurInternet.

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?

+ ProTeach CEO, Obasolape Abiola wrote about the secret behind his company’s 95% customer retention rate.

+ PwC Nigeria has released the results from its 2017 survey of Nigeria’s Fintech space. Here it is. The report assesses the rise and impact of Fintech startups on traditional players in the financial services industry.

+ Jobs in the age of automation. Mad ting.

+ Jay Z is really winning at life. Turns out, he’s launching a venture capital firm soon. We don’t know the details yet but this gon’ be good.

+ If you’d asked me yesterday, how many programming languages there were in the world, I’d have guessed at 30 max. But I’m older and wiser now. Apparently, there are at least 647 of them. Peter Gleeson compiled a few that caught his attention here.

+ A US-based hedge fund is launching its own cryptocurrency. That’s all well and good but why does it look eerily similar to the Nigerian Naira?

Hot topic(s) on TechCabal Radar

+ CcHub is conducting free digital security threat assessment & security audits for Nigerian civil society organisations and media agencies. Link.

+ People are sharing the workshops they’ll be attending at Social Media Week Lagos next week.

Upcoming events

Joburg: Africa Energy Indaba Conference, 21st – 22nd February. Link

Cape Town: e-Commerce MoneyAfrica Confex 2017, 22nd – 23rd February. Link

Nairobi: Tech4Integrity challenge launch, 23rd February. Link.

Lagos: usable meetup, 23rd February. Link.

Nairobi: Sankalp Africa Summit 2017, 23rd – 24th February. Link

Lagos: Agile Lagos Meetup, 24th February. Link.

Lagos: Office of the Citizen Hackathon 2.0, 24th – 26th February. Link.

Lagos: Lagos on Rails 2017, 25th February. Link

Lagos: Startup Grind, with Nimi Akinkugbe, 25th February. Link

Add your event

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.

That’s all folks

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