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26 - 07 - 2019

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Tek Experts, a leading, global provider of business and IT support services with presence in 7 countries, including Nigeria, is recruiting heavily for various IT roles in its Lagos office. Tek Experts provides service options that enables global teams work effectively by developing technologies that enhance customer experience. Whether it’s providing follow-the-sun software support services that deliver exceptional customer experiences, developing technologies that enable sales teams to increase and retain revenue or training and developing people to be the best they can be, Tek Experts’ focus is always on putting the customer first. Interested candidates can view available vacancies and apply here.

South African electricity distribution company, City Power Johannesburg suffered a ransomware attack on Thursday. The virus blocked access to different portions of the company technological systems including its website, which is used to pay utility bills and make complaints. It is not clear how the virus got onto their system in the first place. However in the later hours on Thursday, the company acknowledged the event and disclosed that its networks and applications have since been cleaned up and restored. This is a rare case of such an attack on an African country’s power system, although it is unconfirmed if this was a targeted attack. This event reminds us of the need to secure critical infrastructure from software attacks. Meanwhile, outside the continent, attacks on a country’s national infrastructure including the power grids, are now considered an important cyberattack strategy. This is something to watch closely.

Chinese phone maker, Transsion Holdings has received regulatory approval to pursue its billion dollar stock market listing. The company filed for an initial public offering (IPO) way back in March 2019, but has now received the go ahead to list as a publicly traded company. It plans to raise $437 million on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Transsion’s mobile brands, Tecno, Infinix and Itel are three of the most popular devices on the African continent. Thanks to their affordability, the company now controls over 50% of African phone market. News of its IPO is coming at a time when the company is expanding it Africa presence to South Africa.

GreenTech Capital Partners, a German investment firm, has signed an agreement with the Senegalese government to fund startups in the country. By partnering the country’s General Delegation for the Acceleration of Entrepreneurship for Women and Young People (DER), the firm will establish the Venture Building Center and provide startup funding between €10,000 and €500,000. Considering the low financing for startups in the francophone region, the plan is to strengthen the operational capacities of startups.

Kenyan agritceh startup, Taimba has secured $100,000 investment from US venture firm, Gray Matters Capital. The funding was raised through the investor’s gender-focused GMC coLabs. Taimba is a business-to-business platform that provides go-to market platform for rural farmers. Using its platform, farmers can directly reach new customers in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. The company said the new funding will be used to strengthen its warehouse and cold storage operations as well as its logistics operations.

Nigeria’s former minister of communication technology, Dr Omobola Johnson has joined the board of MTN Nigeria. The company announced her appointment following the retirement of Pascal Dozie and Sani Bello. Since leaving government, Omobola has worked as an investor and is a Senior Partner at TLCom Capital. She now joins the MTN board alongside Dr Ernest Ndukwe, a former head of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Goshen Farm, a Kenyan agrictech company has won the 2019 AgriPitch Competition held in South Africa by the African Development Bank (AfDB). Goshen Farm is an exporter of agricultural products and domestic distributor of farm produce in Kenya. For finishing tops in the Mature Business Category of the AfDB competition, the company was awarded $25,000.

South Africa’s Naspers led a $30 million funding round in Polish company, peer-to-peer learning platform, Brainly. This deal is the latest that amplify Naspers’ shift towards a global investment strategy. Over the last few years, the company has gradually divested from notable businesses in South Africa and Africa generally, including long term cashcow, Multichoice. In the last nine months, Naspers has only invested in once in any Africa based startup, according to Crunchbase. But the company is not completely done investing in Africa though. It recently created Naspers Foundry, a fund dedicated to South African startups which made its first investment in SweepSouth in June 2019.

Applications are now open for the GreenHouse Lab Accelerator, Nigeria’s first female focused tech accelerator programme. This is the second edition of the programme and it includes an expanded array of benefits. These include: $100,000 startup funding, exposure to Google mentors and industry experts, access to a global network of cross-industry investors, among many others. Applications close August 4, 2019. Interested applicants can apply for the programme by creating a profile on the VC4 platform.

A recently leaked trove of over 200,000 documents belonging to the former Mauritius office of Bermuda-based offshore law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman, has exposed how foreign companies and investors avoid paying taxes at the expense of poor countries in Africa. In this article, Max de Haldevang & Justin Rohrlich revealed how Aircastle, a US-based company which leases aircraft, avoided paying over $14 million in taxes to the South African government.

From TechCabal + 10 African startups have been selected to tour Asia as part of Co-Creation Hub’s PitchDrive II. Kay Ugwuede writes that PitchDrive II is a 14 day tour that helps the startups explore funding opportunities and transnational ecosystem relationships. +  The Nigerian government has signed a roadmap agreement with Siemens AG to help the country improve its power supply to 11,000 megawatts by 2023. I write that despite the fact that the country's power sector has been privatized, industry stakeholders are in support of this sort of government intervention.

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We'll see you next week.   - Abubakar
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