Welcome to TC Daily! In today’s digest: A government parastatal in Zimbabwe had their Zoom meeting ‘bombed’ and now, the government is developing its own ‘Zoom’ plus WeBuyCars has been partially acquired by Transaction Capital. You will also find details of our next event which will focus on the very timely issue of digital identity.
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ZOOMBOMBING IN ZIMBABWE
A week ago, for about ten minutes, the Zimbabwean Meteorological Services Department’s National Climate Outlook Forum struggled to take back charge of a Zoom meeting which had been usurped by hackers. While the government parastatal attempted to discuss the 2020/2021 weather forecasts for the farming season, hackers shared pornographic material in the virtual meeting room causing the meeting to disband temporarily.
Permanent secretary, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry,
Munesu Munodawafa was said to have apologised on behalf of the government and spoke of the need to expedite the country’s Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill which many have kicked against given the government’s notoriety for stifling public freedoms through internet lockdowns.
Zoombombings, or hackings on virtual Zoom meetings intensified as adoption of the platform spiked as a result of lockdowns and the significant shift towards virtual platforms to remain connected. The company, in an attempt to stop this widespread attacks, have in the past months implemented changes to its platform particularly enforcing the use of passwords even for free subscribers.
Well, in Zimbabwe, the government has no plans to continue with Zoom moving forward. They are now trialing a local virtual conferencing platform called TrueConf which, they say, will ensure hassle free virtual meetings amongst staff members henceforth. The platform will be under the complete control of the government and ensure that sensitive state matters and/or information do not run the risk of being exposed to the wrong people.
The platform is being developed by the ICT ministry and will be embedded into another government-developed digital system, the Public Finance Management System (PFMS) which is in use in the Ministry of Finance and Economic
As long as the platform stays within the confines of government activities and does not become a platform Zimbabweans will become mandated to use, all seems well and good for local ‘innovation’.
for R1.8 billion (US$106 million). Transaction Capital will pay R1.47 billion (US$86 million) in cash and in shares worth R329.3 million (US$19 million) with the option to take a controlling stake in the future. Earlier this year, plans by Naspers to buy the company (WeBuyCars) through its subsidiary OLX was nipped in the bud by The Competition Tribunal because the acquisition was “likely to substantially prevent or lessen competition”.
WeBuyCars launched in 2001. The company buys used vehicles from owners (up to 6,000 monthly) and sells to consumers. In addition to physical auto shops scattered across South Africa, the company offers hassle-free automated vehicle pricing, tracking services, and online car auctions among other things. This year, the company says it has sold over 65,000 vehicle units up from 50,700 units sold in 2019.
“This investment is an exceptional opportunity to own a significant interest in a trader of used vehicles in South Africa, serving its clients through both an e-commerce and physical dealership infrastructure,” says Transaction Capital CE0, David Hurwitz.
WeBuyCars says with the pandemic, they expect to see an increase in demand for used cars as well as the need for more efficient e-commerce channels to drive purchase.
BRIDGING DIGITAL GAPS
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) have launched a project to address digital gender inequality gaps in Burundi, Haiti and Ethiopia. Under the partnership, women in low income communities will receive digital skills training in hopes that they can leverage these tools to boost their businesses regardless of what sectors they are in. While more Africans are coming online, the gap between male and female genders in terms of internet use is widening. In 2019, only 22.6% of African women had access to and used the internet compared to 33.8% of the male population.
TC LIVE in partnership with VERIFYME
Have you ever tried to set up a bank account or bid for a contract without any means of identification? If the contracting officer or banking officer did their jobs well, you must have been unable to proceed without an ID. Now, imagine what the experiences of those who have no formal means of ID are.
Digital identities are important. They can make the difference between whether people access economic opportunities or not.
This month, on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020, TechCabal in partnership with identity verification company, VerifyMe will mark International ID-day by bringing industry veterans together to explore the
state of digital identity in Nigeria.
Speakers include Mitchell Elegbe, Founder / Group Managing Director, Interswitch, and Esigie Aguele, Co-Founder and CEO, VerifyMe Nigeria. They will answer questions including how a digital identity ecosystem will enable the Nigerian tech community, particularly fintech; and how entrepreneurs and professionals can shape and take advantage of a working digital identity system?