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13 - 01 - 2020

Good morning and welcome to today's edition of TC Daily. Please subscribe to our newsletter if you are yet to and join us on Telegram as well for all technology stories from across Africa. 

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Nigerian SIM cardholders could lose their personal information to identity thieves. A new report by British-based consumer organization, Comparitech, has identified the country's SIM card registration process as invasive. The report highlighted the fact that Nigeria’s Communication Commission can hold registration data for three years and can also share it with third-party agencies. Muyiwa has the tea here, for TechCabal.
--- Safaricom has lost a bid to persuade Kenya's National Assembly to drop a clause in its competition law that requires the telco to disclose its supplier contracts. The telco argued that defining what terms companies can include in their contracts constitutes an interference that contradicts freedom of contract. The National Assembly rejected the petition saying that it saw no harm in disclosing supplier contracts. The Competition Authority of Kenya has stated that the competition law is in place to protect suppliers from dominant buyers including Safaricom.
--- In what can be described as a major breakthrough for MTN, Nigeria's Attorney General has withdrawn a $2 billion tax demand against the telco. The AG's office says the decision shows a commitment to the rule of law. A statement by MTN revealed that the government had decided to drop its case and refer the issue to tax and customs authorities. The Attorney General had previously accused the telco of owing taxes relating to the import of equipment and payments to foreign suppliers from 2007 to 2017. MTN's shares rose 5% in Johannesburg after the latest announcement.
--- Applications are open to the TechEmerge Health programme. The programme was put together by the International Finance Corporation. Healthcare innovators looking to connect with patients and healthcare providers in East African can apply here before February 25.

The countdown to Afrobytes 2020 continues. Afrobytes is the premier event that brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and more to explore business opportunities between the African tech ecosystem and players in the global tech world. Here are key reasons why you should attend Afrobytes 2020:

  • Finance: pitch world-leading Africa-focused tech funds
  • Network: connect with global companies and African tech leaders
  • Scale: find tech partners at the largest startup campus
  • Feature: talk to international media covering African markets

Get your early bird ticket here

In December 2019, two Nigerian artificial intelligence researchers missed out on a Canadian conference due to the embassy’s alleged double standards for Africans. Visa rejections and restrictions are a common occurrence for many Africans looking to take advantage of international career opportunities. Nigerian passport holders can travel to only about 46 countries either visa-free or with a visa on arrival. These countries are mostly in Asia, Africa and a few Carribean islands thereby limiting the opportunities they can take advantage of. Using the 2020 Henley Passport Index, Alex examines the impact of visa restrictions on Africans and the continent's growing tech industry in this TechCabal piece.
--- As part of efforts to diversify its economy, the Nigerian government is planning to invest $732 million in broadband infrastructure over the next four years. The government will provide $180 million in funding while six private infrastructure companies will provide the balance under a public-private partnership. The country is looking to increase fibre coverage by 30,000 KM across its 774 local governments bringing total coverage to about 70,000 KM by 2024.
--- Rwandan renewable energy startup, ARED is launching in Nigeria. The startup has begun a pilot in the country with its Nigerian partner. ARED provides solar kiosks that allow people to charge their phones, connect to the internet as well as access digital content. Founded in 2013, it has 120 access points in Rwanda and Uganda. The startup has processed 500,000 digital transactions and has served about 200,000 customers. ARED is planning to launch in Ethiopia next, sometime in 2020.
--- Over the past year, we've brought together industry stakeholders, policymakers, investors and key sector players in various sectors from healthtech to edutech to spur conversations about these sectors and explore new opportunities and/or collaborations. Come February 28, 2020 the next TechCabal townhall will focus on: Emerging technologies including 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrencies, Robotics and 3D Printing. TC Townhall: Emerging Tech will examine how these technologies are changing (and will change) how Africans live and do business. Want to attend? Indicate interest by filling this form. Are you a member of the press, fill this form to qualify for a pass. Do you have a startup or project with any of these technologies at the core? Tell us about your project or startup here. Have any ideas about the event or suggestions about speakers? Send us an email via and we just might make your wish come true. For sponsorship inquiries, please email Chidi via
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