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. Fintech startup, Lidya, has raised $1.5 million seed funding in a round led by Accion Venture Lab. Lidya was established sometime last year by Africa Courier Express founders, Tunde Kehinde and Ercin Eksin. It provides unsecured loans to SMEs in Africa and currently has 20,000 businesses registered.

2.  CcHub’s re:learn centre giving a shot at improving education and unemployment in Nigeria. They’ve launched an Educators’ Network that will comprise of trained facilitators who are capable of leveraging technology to enhance the learning experience in classrooms. The Network will be launching in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Jigawa, and it’s open to individuals between the ages of 21–35 years.

3. In a bid to get ahead of their new competition, Safaricom is reducing M-Pesa to bank/merchant transaction fees. From next week, there’ll be a 50% discount on all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant fees, reducing the tariff from 1% of the transaction amount to 0.5%.

+ Word is PesaLink has already acquired 2 million customers since its launch in February, so it’s not particularly difficult to see why Safaricom is keen on staying ahead.

4. Nigeria’s Flutterwave and South Africa’s Hepstar have been accepted into Plug and Play’s accelerator programmes. Flutterwave will be part of the Fintech accelerator, while Hepstar will be in Travel & Hospitality. Both programmes will run simultaneously for 12 weeks after which they’ll graduate in June.

5. Today marks Day 73 of the internet shutdown in Anglophone Cameroon. #BringBackOurInternet

The Zunde Africa Fund (ZAF), a group that invests in student-run businesses, is looking for passionate student entrepreneurs across Africa who are ready to take their businesses to the next level. Applications are open until May 1st. You can apply here.

Interesting stuff…

+ Victor Asemota’s article about poverty addiction. According to him, poverty is largely a mindset more than a circumstance, and people find it hard to shift their frame of reference from the struggle when they have lingered too long in it.

+ Africa as you’ve probably never seen it before, courtesy of NASA.

+ Seyi Fabode on how Google is mining for Dollars from the next billion.

This April, ChatClass NG is offering a 2-month program designed to develop and support social media managers. The program will feature a thorough masterclass, real-life assessments and internships. Apply here if you’re interested. Deadline’s April 1st.

Hot topics on Radar

+ Jumia Food Nigeria’s amazing Managing Director, Olamide Bada was around for an AMA yesterday. You can catch up here.

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And the tweet of the week goes to…

Victor Mutua for providing some context to the news of Mpesa Kadogo’s transaction volume growth, and at the same time showing why African fintech data needs new impact metrics.

Upcoming events…

London: LSE Africa Summit, March 31st. Link.

Lagos: LeadSpace Happy Hour, March 31st. Link.

Kaduna: StartUp Friday, March 31st. Link.

Nairobi: Mettā MasterClass : How to Raise Money for your Startup , March 31st. Link.

Lagos: Introduction to Android Things, April 1st. Link.

Upcoming Deadlines…

Anzisha Prize 2017: Applications close on the 1st of April 2017. Link.

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That’s all folks!

Have a great weekend. Be nice and share.

For a perfect end to your week, read today’s TechCabal digest here –

Tola Agunbiade Author

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