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PRESENTED BY TEK EXPERTS
16 - 08 - 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 Subject Matter Experts 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 apply for the career opportunity of a lifetime.

Bosun Tijani, Founder at Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), is leading over 80 Africans in an ongoing two-day summit in Rwanda to discuss how the continent's creative and technological industry entrepreneurs can take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Yesterday, August 15, 2019 was day one of the summit, and it brought together industry stakeholders from 30 African countries. The first day of the summit kicked off with the opening address by Bosun, who emphasized the importance of the AfCFTA and urged the summit's participants to harness it. Next was a panel composed of Vuyisa Qabaka (South Africa), Simeon Umukoro (Nigeria), Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (Nigeria), Ojoma Ochai (Nigeria) and Norbert Haguma (Rwanda). The panelists discussed issues that should be addressed in order for the AfCFTA agreement to work. Oby Ezekwesili, former World Bank Vice President was a key note speaker for day one of the summit, and she urged that the success of the AfCFTA is in the hands of African youths. Clare Akamanzi, head of the Rwanda Development Board was the second keynote speaker of the day. She spoke about how Rwanda has strategically positioned itself to benefit from the African single market. You can read more about the event on the ATCG website. TechCabal is covering the event from Rwanda and will provide updates via live tweets. You can also live stream the event on Youtube, while discussions about the event is available on Twitter using the #MyCFTA hashtag.
Now away from the AfCFTA event, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is planning to impose a 16% VAT on income generating apps used by Kenyans. The KRA says provision of online platforms for use by third-parties is a taxable supply under the country’s Value Added Tax (VAT) Act 2013. It wants to work with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAA) to obtain transaction data of local and foreign developers to mandate them to pay VAT. Kenya joins a growing list of African countries looking to tax certain internet activities or the use of the internet. In Nigeria for instance, the Federal Inland Revenue Agency (FIRS) wants to impose a five percent VAT on ecommerce transactions, an act that some analysts say could be double taxation. In Uganda, the government imposed a social media tax last year. And in Zambia, social media usage is subject to a daily fee.
SOLA Group, a South African solar energy developer, has secured $26.1 million to build 40 megawatts of photovoltaic (PV) facilities across the country. SOLA Group provides energy solutions to businesses and individuals using innovative financing models that reduce the costs for customers. The recent funding, dubbed Orionis fund, was secured from the African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and Nedbank, a South Africa financial institution. With the new funding, the company will build out its solar systems across Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Polokwane, Nelspruit, and Ekurhuleni. This frees customers from the construction costs of PV systems; instead, they will pay for the power output they consume.
Applications are now open for the 2019 Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge. The challenge targets early stage startups by scientists and deep tech entrepreneurs across 14 industries including Artificial intelligence, medical biotech, agriculture, mobility, among others. With 400 industry experts attending, Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge provides exposure for participating startups. The winning startup will receive equity-free €100,000 grand prize, with thirteen other startups receiving €10,000 each. Deadline to apply is 13 September, 2019. Click here to apply. 
JR Kanu, founder of Reach Africa, is holding a launch and review for his recent book, Money Brain: Career and Money Management in Your 20s and 30s. Three notable personalities will be in attendance to give their reviews. They include Omobola Johnson, Nigeria's former minister of ICT and a Senior Partner at TLCom Capital; Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director of Interswitch; and Adenike Adeyemi, Executive Director at Fate Foundation.  The event holds on August 29, 2019 by 12pm at Reach HQ, Third Floor, 109 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Attendance is strictly by RSVP. To reserve a seat, send an email to Boye@reach.africa.
On 27th of September, 2019 TechCabal is holding TC Townhall: Mobility, a gathering of the most knowledgeable and influential entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers in the mobility industry. Speakers and participants will explore activities, trends and challenges in Africa’s mobility sector and what the future holds. Newly confirmed speakers include Taiwo Ketiku, VP Investments at EchoVC; Chinedu Azodoh, Co-founder at MAX; Oluwatoyin Oshinowo, Co-founder/VP Product at FieldInsight; Kola Tubosun, Linguist for African Languages at Google and Emeka Ajene, MD/Co-founder at Goziem. Tickets are now available for purchase and a 10% early bird discount is available for readers who buy their tickets before the end of the week with the code TCMobility. Further discounts apply for companies/individuals buying at least 5 tickets. If you require the discount code for that, please fill this form.
In Ethiopia, the government has continued to block access to services and websites such as Facebook, Whatsapp and, interestingly, African Arguments. Facebook and WhatsApp are regular targets for government censorship globally, but blocking African Arguments, a Pan-African news platform, has led to suspicions that the Ethiopian government has slid back to curtailing freedom of speech. The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had been on a progressive path since it emerged last year. However, in June 2019 the government shutdown the internet in order to curtail examination malpractices. This unfortunate decision was repeated later that month following a coup attempt.
uKheshe, a South African fintech startup, has raised $500,000 seed funding at a $6.5 million valuation. The investment was provided by two fintech-focused investors, Fitech Ventures and Ocean on 76. Using its app, uKheshe allows users to make transactions by simply scanning QR cards powered by Mastercard. With the new funding, the innovative startup aims to widen financial inclusion and reach more users. Following this seed round, the company plans to raise a Series A round next year.
Asusu is a Nigerian fintech startup that wants to digitize informal savings and credit associations in the northern part of the country. It provides digital infrastructure for cooperatives, farmer groups, and thrift associations, helping them migrate to digital ledgers with features like SMS alerts for members. The company has processed over $2.5 million in savings and credit for one hundred cooperatives, according to its CEO, Yusuf Zakari. In this article, Wole writes about how the company has managed to do this despite the structural and socio-economic peculiarities of northern Nigeria.
Kobo360, the Nigerian e-logistics platform, recently secured a $30 million Series A funding. The company has had a quiet run to this significant round. The startup now has a valuation of around $100 million according to Iyin Aboyeji. In this article, Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLCom, a Kobo360 investor since its seed round, shares three lessons other African startups should learn from the funding round.

That's it for today,

We'll be back next week.   - Abubakar
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