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04- 10 - 2019

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Cape Town-based startup Sentian has secured a round of an undisclosed amount of funding from Johannesburg-based Imfezeko Investment Holdings. Founded in 2013, Sentian builds IoT smart security systems. Its flagship product, Sentian 3i, is an IoT smart hub that physically connects to existing intruder alarm systems, CCTV cameras and home automation systems, making them smart and easy to control. The startup said its latest investment will enable it to expand its current reach as well as gain access to new market opportunities.
Two days ago, Zimbabwe's government asked mobile money operators to stop paying out cash. The government said the move was to protect the public from operators abusing payment facilities. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has now restored mobile money cash-out payouts following a court filing by telecoms Econet. There's however, a new ZW$100 (about US$5) cap. Econet's mobile money venture, Ecocash, stood to lose the most with the new directive being Zimbabwe's largest mobile money operator with about 10.6 million users at the shorter end of the stick.
We won't stop talking about #JollofRoad! Fu'ad, Toke and Kayode are travelling in a bus through West Africa for 80 days curating their experiences of the food, people and culture. They are currently in Ghana, the third country on the itinerary. Head over to jollofroad.com and binge on all the stories from the first two countries they've visited and check in every day for new stories.

If you joined us at our TC Townhall: Mobility last Friday, we would like some feedback from you. This will ensure that the next townhall which takes place in November is more tailored to your needs and can be more impactful to you and your business. Please fill out this survey. 

MainOne has finally landed a submarine cable in Grand Bassam, Cote d’Iviore, months after obtaining a  submarine cable landing license in the country. This is the final leg of the ongoing expansion to reach Senegal and the West African country. The cable will be connected to an existing branching unit on the MainOne cable trunk already strategically located offshore, the pair providing 10 Terabits of capacity to operators.

Uber has launched a job search platform called Uber Works. The app connects job seekers with employers who have available shifts to fill. Users can keep track of their work log and payments using the app. It also offers time management tools to track working hours as well as break periods. Currently, the platform is only available in Chicago and while the company is yet to announce where else they plan to take Uber Works, it will be  interesting to see it join a number of other such services here on the continent and how it may be adapted for this market.

Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) is raising US$60 million for its Growth Capital investment arm to back startups across Africa in the wake of its expansion into Kenya with the acquisition of iHub. Startups in Rwanda and Kenya will be among the beneficiaries of the enlarged Growth Capital fund, as will those from other African countries. CcHUB is rapidly expanding its reach across the continent with its recent acquisition and a desire to deepen its support network for African entrepreneurs. According to CEO, Bosun Tijani, the hope is that the funding round will be closed in the next 12 months.

The Nigerian Senate has reportedly rejected the proposed 7.5% Value Added Tax (from its current 5% value) which was to take effect from January 2020 and is now gunning for a 9% tax on Communications Services including SMS, MMS, voice, data and PayTV. The senator sponsoring the bill, Ali Ndume, says that while the proposed 7.5% VAT will deepen financial inequality, the 9% Communications Service tax will distribute wealth in a manner favourable for everyday Nigerians. This is coming after a proposed 5% VAT on online retail transactions which the Federal Inland Revenue Service says it is considering rolling out in Q1 2020. Nigeria has a serious revenue problem and all of these efforts show its government is looking to grow its revenue base however it can.

That's it for today,
We'll be back on Monday, - Kay. If you enjoyed reading this, share it with your friends!
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