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Internet speeds across Africa are still way below the global minimum standard. None of the 39 ranked countries in Africa achieved average speeds of 10mbps in this new global broadband speed report by New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, and Princeton University’s PlanetLab. The report places 17 African countries in the bottom 30 in the world for slowest internet speeds. Overall, Kenya ranks the highest, while the DRC, Burkina Faso, and Gabon rank the lowest.
The Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency, is set to dismantle cell towers and other infrastructure that were ‘illegally’ deployed by network operators around the state. This is supposed to help them enforce a law that will make it easier to keep a database of telecom infrastructure sites.
Accommodation Direct, the local Airbnb competitor in South Africa, has changed its name to Afristay after closing its latest funding round, bringing the amount they have raised since the start of the year to R7m. The new name is meant to be more in line with what they do (“easy online bookings with friendly customer service in Africa”), and should be the start of many upcoming developments. Link
What we are reading
+ What class is the middle class in Africa? Is a shopping mall in, say, Abidjan a sign of a rising African middle class? ‘The African middle class matters but not for the reasons you think.’ Link
+ There’s a big opportunity to grow an Android app business in emerging markets today: Millions of users are coming online for the first time, and their first online experience will most likely be on a smartphone. So, how do you build for them and grab the opportunity? This playbook has some answers.
Cranium One is looking for a General Manager who will lead and manage performance in operations, and also grow the Cranium One brand through events, public relations efforts, brand awareness, and local specialized support. Find out more here.
What we are listening to
+ Reid Hoffman’s ‘The Next Silicon Valley Is…’ with Linda Rottenberg, who argues that a startup culture can be built anywhere as long as the raw ingredients — a few initial entrepreneurs with access to capital + a willingness to pay forward — are available. This is worth a listen, especially if you’ve been paying attention to the Yaba tech cluster debate. Link
Tizeti is piloting Unlimited Speed to combine with its Unlimited Download wifi service to prospective subscribers in Gbagada, Anthony, Ogudu, Maryland, Ikeja and environs. For Just N9,500 monthly, you can enjoy this upgraded experience. To sign up, click here, or call 01-4405610, 08172004139 or 08170590310
+ Imisi 3D is looking for a lab associate, so send your applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants must live in Lagos.
+ Imisi 3D is offering an Udacity VR Nanodegree scholarship. Complete this form to apply.
Upcoming events and deadlines
London: The sixth edition of Building Things for Nigeria, on the 17th of August. The event is for makers, entrepreneurs, product engineers, product visionaries, investors and people who are interested in building things but are yet to start. You can register here.
Lagos: TechCabal has scheduled an Office Hours session (August 23rd) with Mark Essien for entrepreneurs who would like help and advice with the challenges of running a startup as a technical founder. Seats are capped at 15, so register now.
Radar: Radar AMA sessions are back, and Yele Bademosi, founder and managing partner of Microtraction will be taking your questions on the 25th. Mark your calendar. Link
Owerri: Owerri’s first major tech meetup will be held on the 26th of August. Register here.
Deadline: African startups have three weeks left to enter DEMO Africa 2017. Link