Social media regulation: Nigeria returns to a familiar conversation
A week after #EndSARS protests, social media regulation
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE 28.10.2020
Good morning. "They mobilised using social media...these young men don't even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers" - Nigeria's information minister, Lai Mohammed In today's edition: -Finding talent -Social media -Renewable energy
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FINDING TALENT
"What we are doing with this acquisition is to consolidate the job search entry points for Nigerians so that we are able to bring our technology to more people faster." - Clemens Weitz. CEO, ROAM. ICYMI: The online recruitment platform, Jobberman which is owned by Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) acquired NG careers. The acquisition means that two of the most recognisable names in online recruiting in Nigeria will now become one company. The big picture: The plan is to combine Jobberman’s strength in technology with NG Careers’ excellent SEO. Jobberman also says it wants to bring its technology and innovative product offerings to more people. Question: As the channels to list jobs online increase (LinkedIn, Facebook Jobs, Stack Overflow, Twitter), why should organisations continue to use platforms like Jobberman? The answer is interesting and revealing. On one hand, while organisations have more channels to post jobs, the real problem is that they cannot find the right people. According to Jobberman's data, 2400 people apply to one position in Africa. In Switzerland for example, Jobberman says that number would be 5. Bottom line: Recruiting is about finding the people who are the right fit. As long as talent remains scarce on the African continent, platforms like Jobberman will continue to sell themselves on the promise of helping organisations find the right sort of talent. Go Deeper: Jobberman's acquisition of NG Careers is a bold push for the world's largest job market
SOCIAL MEDIA
Ahead of today's Presidential elections in Tanzania, multiple reports say that the government has blocked access to social media applications. Tanzanians on Twitter have complained that they have only been able to access Social media apps with VPNs.
  • Earlier in the week, Tanzania issued a directive restricting text messaging within the country
  • More than 40 opposition activists have been arrested in the run up to today's elections
  • Existing legislation prevents international press from covering issues in Tanzania without local media partnership
  • Tanzania recently introduced Online Content Regulations (2020) and it criminalises messages that ridicule or harm the reputation of the country
While there has been no official confirmation from the government, NetBlocks internet observatory confirmed the disruption in Tanzania. "Real-time metrics show that Twitter, WhatsApp, backend servers for Instagram and some Google services including GMail and Translate are generally or partially unavailable via Tanzania’s leading network operators Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo, Halotel and ZanTel. Meanwhile, data indicate a more generalized disruption of services on state-owned operator TTCL, the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation." Bottom line: Tanzania's incumbent president, John Magufuli, will stop at nothing to win a re-election.
In Nigeria, there's talk once again of another bill to regulate social media. In March, Alex was at a public hearing in Abuja where Civil Liberties Organisations and citizens pushed back against a bill that stifled free speech as a solution to fake news. While that bill is dead, the events of the past week in Nigeria and the crucial role social media played in mobilising #EndSARS protests have led to new conversations about social media regulation. On Monday, it was a topic on the floor of the Lagos State House Of Assembly's plenary session. On Tuesday, Nigeria's minister for information and culture, Lai Mohammed, told the House of Representatives that social media regulation is necessary. His words: "They mobilised using social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smart phones and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers. We are sitting on a time bomb on this issue of fake news. Unfortunately, we have no national policy on social media and we need one. When we went to China, we could not get google, Facebook, and Instagram. You could not even use your email in China because they made sure it is censored and well regulated." Bottom line: Expect the conversations on social media regulation to continue this year as well as a bill or two along these lines in Nigeria's legislature.
RENEWABLE ENERGY
After 13 years of dependence on ESKOM, South Africa's unreliable electricity public utility, two major cities will now be allowed to source their own power. Johannesburg and Cape Town, which have a combined population of about 10 million people, plan to diversify away from the electricity produced mainly from coal by Eskom to more sustainable sources such as solar and power generated from landfill gas. How quickly can this happen? It could take up to two years. Go Deeper: Cape Town, Jo'Burg to switch to solar as ESKOM monopoly ends
SURVEY Financing is a tough job for SMEs. In Nigeria, chances are it’s even tougher. TC Insights is trying to understand this financing problem, but more importantly, proffer a solution. So, if you own a small business or startup in Nigeria, please fill this survey
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- Olumuyiwa

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