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03 – 04 – 2020

Hi there and welcome to your daily dose of tech and innovation news across Africa. If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe. Also, join our growing community on Telegram.

Binance, the world’s biggest trading platform whose vision is to increase the freedom of money globally, now accepts Naira! Visit to start trading.

South African health authorities will have access to cellphone data of any suspected COVID-19 case within the country. Since a national disaster response law went into effect on March 26th, companies like Telkom and Samsung have reportedly started offering cellphone data of 1,500 customers to the authorities.

The content of electronic communications are off limits. But location and movement data, as well as personal identifiers including name, identity number/passport number, cellphone number, and COVID-19 test results will be stored in a database. Also, personal details of all known or suspected contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the virus will be collected.

Why is this allowed? It would seem an invasion of privacy for the government to be able to track individuals via location data. Cellphone companies must give the required information to the government without seeking users’ consent. However, the government appears to have evaluated the measure as necessary for efficient contact tracing, one of the key processes necessary for containing the spread of the virus. The country has discovered 1,462 cases from over 47,000 tests. Taking advantage of a 21-day lockdown, the tracing of phone data is ostensibly going to further curb community transmission. About 19 countries – including South Korea, Germany, Italy and Israel – are using cellphone data to track the coronavirus.

The law states that all data collected must be deleted “within six weeks after the national state of disaster has lapsed, or has been terminated, notify every person whose information has been obtained… that information regarding their location or movements was obtained in terms of the subregulation.” Will this become a model for other African countries?

Sulyman, Andela’s VP of Global Operations, will leave his role in May

Over the next month, Sulyman will transition out of active duty as Andela’s Vice President for Global Operations. Sulyman, thirty-five, has spent the last four years at the company since joining as director of operations for Nigeria. He spent twenty months as the country director for Nigeria, before a three-month stint heading operations in Kenya.

His departure, as his announcement post notes, comes at a time of global economic uncertainty. But besides the broad problems that businesses will face ahead of an anticipated recession, Andela has had to deal with turbulence unique to its business. The company continues to reduce the number of junior developers on its roll, following up on its much-discussed September-2019 retrenchment of 420 developers.

Sulyman is leaving his role to “rest for a few months.” What that means for the rest of the company will be seen as weeks go by.

No porting during the coronavirus lockdown

South Afrcan telco subscribers will not be able to port from one network provider to another during the period of the country’s 21-day lockdown. The directive is paired with a restriction on price increases, preventing telcos from pushing the increased burdens of operations (if any) on to customers. Top providers like Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Cell C have agreed to both directives, though MTN noted that no official reason has been provided.

For ambitious founders striving to build their companies in these unforeseen circumstances, access to capital is critical. Join Endeavor Nigeria and Eghosa Omoigui for a session on Optimising Capital Through the Crisis. Register for the webinar.

On March 31, we released our Nigerian Women in Tech Report. The report, powered by the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, examines the distribution and level of involvement of women in Nigeria’s technology and STEM fields. It features 21 women entrepreneurs and C-suite executives as well as 7 female developers. It celebrates successes, looks at the gaps that exist in women participation, show challenges and highlights recommendations for improvement. Download the report for free. All reports from TechCabal are available for download here.

As Coronavirus cases continue to grow in Africa, Zikoko, our Sister publication under Big Cabal Media, has put together a microsite — — that provides accurate information and free downloadable resources for the general public to help understand and keep up with the Coronavirus pandemic. Visit to check it out.

Other things we are reading

+ A South African digital tax assistance startup expands operations to Nigeria

+ This gamified e-learning platform wants to have 500,000 users by the end of the year

+ Nigeria’s technology development body enlists Iyin Aboyeji, nine others to advise on COVID-19 efforts

+ Why you should be excited about West Africa’s mobile money market this year


Now that you’re up to date,

Stay safe, don’t touch your face!

– Alexander

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