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30 - 10 - 2019

Hello! Welcome to today's edition of TC Daily! Please take a moment to subscribe if you are yet to. You can also join our Telegram channel for the latest stories in the African tech ecosystem. Join our community!

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The Nigerian government is once again threatening to regulate social media. During a press conference, Nigeria’s minister of information, Lai Mohammed said: “social media has reached a level that the government may just no longer fold its arms and allow this to continue.” Without going into details of the plan, Mr Muhammad, a controversial minister, said the move will not silent the media, but will help to restore sanity online. This is not the first time the government has declared plans to regulate social media. Over the last four years, it has tried to introduce different laws for the online space.
Uber has unveiled a new division called Uber Money to handle the company’s financial innovations. The ride-hailing company has already developed a number of financial services that will roll out in the coming weeks. Some of the services include a digital wallet that allows users (drivers and riders) to hold funds on the app, pay for Uber services and track their spending. It has also introduced instant ride payment for drivers, debit accounts, debit cards and credit cards services. Some of these features will become available in the US in the next few weeks, while a global roll out will come after.
MTN Nigeria’s multibillion dollars lawsuit against Nigeria’s Attorney General will continue on January 30, 2020. Last year, as the telco faced another round of government challenges, the Attorney General ordered it to pay $2 billion back taxes. The taxes spanned a ten year period and were related to foreign equipment that MTN had imported into the country. Coming at a time when the telco was facing another $8.1 billion fine from the CBN, the telco decided to challenge the Attorney General's claims in court. The matter has remained unresolved since 2018 but could finally be settled in January next year.
Smartphone adoption in Africa is relatively high and growing. But a large portion of the smartphone market is cornered by Chinese brands like Tecno, Xiaomi and Infinix. Antonio Cascais writes that African companies that are pushing their way into the market could have a hard time competing with these foreign brands especially in terms of prices.
Tickets are now available for the next edition of the TechCabal Townhall! TC Townhall: Edtech & the Future of Work will hold on November 29, 2019. We are bringing together regulators, government agencies, investors, entrepreneurs, NGOs, social enterprises and schools to set a strong agenda about how to use technology to leapfrog Africa’s education challenges and prepare our citizens for future jobs. Click here to buy your tickets. To enjoy our early-bird discount, click here or use the code TCEDTECH at checkout. Further discounts apply for companies/individuals buying at least 5 tickets. If you require the discount code for that, please fill this form
We are also putting together a map of the African edtech industry. If you have an edtech startup or you are a technology company doing significant work in the industry we would like to hear from you. Please fill this form.
SICO, Egypt’s first smartphone company, will start exporting devices to Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa from November. The company started producing smartphones in 2017 but it sells primarily focuses on the Gulf, Reuters reported. After growing its production capacity following the launch a new plant last year, SICO wants to export at least 50% of its capacity by the end of 2020. From November, its devices will be sold in Germany, Holland and Austria before adding more location in Europe.
Join key regulators at the Nigeria Fintech Week (today, 30th October 2019) including the DG, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs Aishah Ahmad; DG, Securities & Exchange Commission, Ms Mary Uduk; Immediate Past Governor, Central Bank of Sierre Leone, Dr Patrick Conteh, CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, among others. Learn more here. Secure your seat by registering on the website or send your inquiries to enquiries@nigeriafintechweek.org.
Kenyan logistics startup, Sendy, has raised $2 million funding from Goodwell Investments. Sendy is a last-mile delivery solution that connects people to drivers and bikers using its mobile app. The company was founded in 2014 and now has a revenue of $1.5 million according to Disrupt Africa. Sendy currently operates in three East African countries, but with the new funding, the company said it will expand to more countries in the region.
"When you walk past this gate, you can fill the shift in the atmosphere," Toke wrote as the #JollofRoad team crossed into Guinea from Sierra Leone. "The uniforms change, you start to hear people speaking in French and most importantly, the demands for money begin," she said. Read her #JollofRoad entry to find out how border crossing works in the two countries. Keep up with the team and their experiences. Visit jollofroad.com every day to catch up on all the stories from the road!
South Africa has unveiled the plans to save Eskom, its embattled energy company. Eskom has been in the news too often that it causes a migraine. Basically, the company is a state-owned electricity company that has a near-monopoly over South Africa’s power sector. But over the last decade, the company’s revenue has been dropping and it has struggled to meet national electricity needs. Eskom has also incurred $31 billion debt and has been involved in a corruption scandal. The new government plan will break up the company into three beginning from March next year.
Early-stage fintech accelerator DFS Lab and The Subtext are organising a 5-part course about the opportunities in African Fintech. Learn more about the course and sign up here.
US-based Atlas Towers wants to sell over 900 cell towers in South Africa to SBA Communications. The sale is worth R2 billion rand ($137 million) and it shows the high value of cell towers as demand for high-speed internet in Africa is growing. Recently, Helios Towers, another cell tower builder in Africa, successfully raised $364 million through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
That's it for today,  
See you tomorrow.   - Abubakar Remember to share TC Daily with your friends!
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