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22 – 11 – 2019

Hi, the Friday TC Daily is here! Please take a moment to subscribe if you haven’t; join our Telegram channel as well, we are bringing you all the tech news and development from the continent! 

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Samasource, an artificial intelligence solutions firm, has raised $14.8 million in a Series A round. Based in Nairobi and San Francisco, Samasource specializes in producing quality data needed to train smart AI models. A clientele that includes Google, Continental, Walmart and Ford stands it out as one of Africa’s more prominent AI companies. It’s model has drawn comparisons with Andela, both being active players in the business of building African tech talents. CEO Leila Janah says Samasource has increased staff in Kampala to 90 people and will grow the team by 150% in 2020. The round is backed by Ridge Ventures, an early stage US-based venture capital firm.

FirstRand Ltd, the holding company of Africa’s biggest bank, could be in the market for shareholders looking for a big stake. Bloomberg reports that with Johann Rupert spinning off his firms’ stakes in the company. FirstRand no longer has a dominant holder, making its securities are easier to trade. It is being called an “end of an era” moment in South African finance; FirstRand is the country’s largest financial institution by market capitalization and Rupert had backed its initial founders as they grew the company to the impressive R378 billion ($25.7 billion) behemoth it is today.

Social media regulation is on the front burner at Nigeria’s upper legislative house. Majority of the Senators have agreed that it is necessary to protect themselves from “falsehood and manipulation” from Twitter and Facebook users. The Bill has passed second reading and will go through one committee review before possible assent by President Buhari.

TechCabal has had a look at this bill, spoken with a digital rights advocacy organization, and assessed public reception. Political, anti-government speech is expected to be under particular scrutiny. Penalties for breaking the social media law include a fine of up to N300,000 or three years imprisonment for individuals and N10 million for corporate organizations. We can tell you there will be consequences should this bill pass. Stay woke.

Tayo Olaniyan is the Nigeria Adaptation Manager at Ubongo Kids, an animated educational TV series produced in Tanzania that teaches kids STEM skills.

It’s next week! TC Townhall Edtech & the Future of Work will hold on November 29, 2019, at Zone Tech Park, Gbagada Expressway, Lagos. Here’s the agenda for the Townhall.

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.

To attend the Townhall, click here to buy your tickets. To enjoy our favourable discount, click here or use the code TCEDTECH at checkout. Further discounts apply for companies/individuals buying at least 5 tickets. Please click here to enjoy our corporate discounts.

What exactly comes to your mind when you hear “future of work”? Robotics? Remote work? Four-day work weeks? Yea, all correct but there are quite simple technologies also involved. Using Google docs in classrooms is one of a number of first steps we can start taking towards adapting today’s learners to the future of work. Get into edtech townhall mood with this quick read on merging tech into Nigeria’s education system.

Should you partner with Google to create a product that rivals yours? Road Preppers, the logistics technology company behind last-mile direction service sees no harm. Road Preppers worked with the US tech giant to create the ‘informal directions’ feature now available on Google Maps in Lagos. According to Samuel Odeloye, their CEO, it is a collaboration aimed at ensuring “the commuter is the winner”. Wole Olayinka spoke to him in detail and brings you the rationale behind the beneficial partnership.

Team #Jollofroad have set the calendar to _ Days till we arrive Lagos. Their 60-plus days across West Africa have been intense, scary, incredibly fun and illuminating. They are still checking out Senegal. Imagine Toke’s surprise at discovering the difference between Senegalese twists on YouTube and… well, Senegalese don’t even know what that is.

Don’t miss any of the stories and videos as the #JollofRoad trip draws closer to an end. There are 4 countries and 20 days to the end of the trip. For inside gist, join the conversation on Telegram and WhatsApp.

Online bus booking has come to southern Africa and it is Travelstart doing the honours. Travelers will be able to compare bus tickets from competing companies. Customers get access to cheap fares for return or one-way travels within South Africa, or to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Known for their air travel service, Travelstart is moving into bus transport to “make all modes of travel simpler and more accessible for everyone,” according to Jerome Touze, Managing Director at Travelstart.

Zimbabweans have been left strapped for cash after a system upgrade by Ecocash, the country’s largest mobile money service provider. Ecocash is a unit of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and is supposed to help the country navigate payments challenges with cash. Following years of hyperinflation, cash availability has bugged Zimbabwe this year. Even after the Zimbabwe dollar was reintroduced in June, it has since lost almost 85% of its value against the greenback. Mobile money and card payments make up 98% of money transactions in the south African nation.

Before you go: do well to look out for today’s TCQuiz towards the evening. How does it work? Refresh your memory here with our debut quiz based on last week’s biggest tech stories.

That’s all for this week
See you Monday!

– Alexander

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