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28 - 08 - 2019

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Endeavor Nigeria is launching our flagship annual scaleup entrepreneurship forum, Catalysing Conversations on Friday, September 13, 2019, in Lagos. Catalysing Conversations 2019 will be chaired by H.E. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN, GCON), Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and features guest speaker, Efosa Ojomo, co-author of ‘The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty’.

Other speakers include Endeavor Entrepreneurs - Bukky George (HealthPlus), Etop Ikpe (Cars45), GB Agboola (Flutterwave) and Kene Okwuosa (FilmHouse). Catalysing Conversations is an invite-only event, but we are opening up 10 guest slots to TechCabal Daily readers. If you're interested in attending, please register your interest through this link.
Bike-hailing startups are exploding in Nigeria and one of their major value propositions over traditional 'Okada' drivers is safety. To guarantee safety for its riders, bike-hailing startups either train their drivers internally or outsource it to training companies. For its own driver training program, ORide, one of the fastest-growing ride-hailing startups owned by Opera's OPay has turned to Tora Africa, a human resources tech company whom one of its founders has described as an Andela for drivers. Today, ORide is Tora Africa's biggest client. Abubakar has the rest of the story here.
Trolley, a Cairo-based grocery delivery platform has closed a $200,000 seed round from a Kuwaiti angel investor. The startup which was founded last year will invest the money into marketing, product development and expanding its team. It is looking to launch in three more Egyptian states outside Cairo and Giza where it is currently present.
South African fintech startup, Nomanini has raised a US$4 million funding round led by Standard Bank with participation from Goodwell Investments. With the new investment, the company plans to expand its portfolio of financial services to include remittances and insurance as well as to scale into new markets. It will now provide access to credit and savings services via its mobile app for millions of informal merchants across 14 African countries.
Another African nation, Cameroon, has enlisted Huawei to help it "keep an eye" on its citizens.  The country unveiled its national command centre for video surveillance facility as part of its Intelligent City Project. Security officials said the facility will help maintain law and order. Yesterday, Abubakar also reported that the Ugandan government was working with the Chinese telco to install facial recognition cameras in cities across the country. There are sufficient reasons for suspicion given recent news about Huawei's privacy records although it continues to deny the accusations. There's this WSJ article about working with African governments to spy on their political opponents and this one about its role in accusations that the Chinese government is spying on the African Union building (it has denied doing so). When you combine the fact that African nations have poor data privacy records themselves and that 70% of Africa's IT infrastructure was reportedly built by Huawei, one begins to wonder what the consequences of letting one company handling all that data will be. One immediate concern though is what African governments will do with the surveillance information. Will they will handle it ethically to maintain law and order or do otherwise?.
Earlier this month, news broke that Nigeria will begin imposing a 5% tax on online transactions in 2020. The public comments that followed showed that Nigerians were generally opposed to the plan. In an email to TechCabal, E-commerce giant, Jumia advised the FIRS (the Federal Inland Revenue Service) to consult industry stakeholders to understand the impacts and challenges before implementing the new tax policy. In a new interview, Tunde Fowler, the FIRS Chairman attempts to explain why the 5% tax on online transactions should exist.
Chinese phone maker, X-TIGI has been charged with $1.94 million in tax evasion in Kenya. The company's Director, Gao Fei, was arraigned before a Nairobi court with a three-count charge which included failure to submit tax returns for the 2015 and 2016 financial years. Fei was released on a cash bail of US$1,450 with a Kenyan surety of one million bond (Ksh). He was ordered to deposit his passport in court and will re-appear in court on 26th September 2019. X-Tigi entered the African market in 2009 and has reportedly sold more than 30 million handsets with sales operations in Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Togo, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Rwanda and Ghana.

EFInA in partnership with SANEF (Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility) with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria will hold its second Quarterly Financial Services Agent Forum in Abuja on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. The event is organized to discuss recent happenings in the agent networks space that is impacting their business. Agents and super-agents interested in attending can register here.

Event management platform, Eventtus is expanding into Saudi Arabia. This will be the third country it is launching in after it was founded in Egypt in 2012. The launch comes after two years of working with events and conferences in Saudi Arabia. In 2017, Eventtus closed a $2 million Series A round to expand its operations in the Middle East and to develop new products. The round was led by 500 startups and Algebra Ventures.
A diplomatic stand-off that saw Uganda and Rwanda block access to news websites in each other's country has now ended. The standoff began when the Uganda Communications Commission asked internet service providers to block pro-government Rwandan publications citing national security reasons. Rwanda equally responded thereby escalating the issue. Before the stand-off, both countries met in Angola last week to sign a peace pact following two years of tensions.

That's All,

We'll be back tomorrow.   - Olanrewaju
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