28 JUNE, 2021


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Good morning ☀️ ️

Finally, you can skip the screenshots. iOS users can now share a tweet directly to an Instagram story. Good to see Twitter and Instagram getting along.

In today’s edition:

  • Senegal’s new data center
  • Nigerian businesses face an avalanche of losses due to Twitter ban
  • TC Insights: Watch and grow

Senegal to move all government data to Huawei-run data center

“I’m instructing the government from henceforth to migrate all state data and platforms to the data centre. We have to rapidly repatriate all national data hosted out of the country,” 

That’s Senegal’s President Macky Sall at the launch of the country’s new 46 billion CFA francs (70 million euro) data centre on 22 June.

Senegal is building a new government data centre with the aim of ‘guaranteeing Senegalese digital sovereignty.’

Sounds great!

Yes, it does. The first phase of the new facility will be done in around six months’ time and will offer hosting services to enterprises and other public bodies. 

This project is a move by the francophone African country to control all its data without relying on external services subject to foreign influence. But there’s a twist.

Trust issues: It’s financed with a Chinese loan and built with Huawei providing equipment and technical support. This has raised eyebrows at a time the Chinese company is under attack by the US and its allies. Washington has imposed sanctions on Huawei, banning it from purchasing US equipment, while in Europe, it faces hurdles in the UK which banned it from the 5G mobile network.

Two years ago, there were also reports that China spied on the servers at the African Union’s Chinese-built headquarters for more than five years, gaining access to confidential information.

Zoom out: Huawei has denied these allegations but the fear is that the Chinese company can be exploited by the Chinese government to provide certain information that pose national security risks to the countries where its services are used. 

For Senegal, it looks like a good step forward but time will tell.


We’re looking for an experienced Product Marketing Leader to help Paystack acquire, engage, and retain Africa’s most ambitious businesses. Does this sound like you? Apply here →

Nigerian businesses face an avalanche of losses as the Twitter ban continues

On Saturday the 5th of June, Wunmi*, a digital marketer lost a gig worth ₦600,000 ($1,200). The marketing campaign was to start the next day but she got a call from the client telling her they couldn’t proceed anymore due to ‘orders from above.’ She was dumbfounded.

That same day, about 39 million Nigerians woke up to realize that they couldn’t access Twitter except via VPNs. Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Nigeria like MTN and Airtel had blocked all access to Twitter.

When Peju, owner of Abebi Organics, describes the day the ban was enforced, she recounts how the jokes kept coming until one by one people found that they could not tweet anymore. 

The question: How much have Nigerian businesses lost as a result of the Twitter ban? That’s a question I’ve been pondering on for a while. 

It’s been three weeks since Twitter has been suspended in Nigeria. In this article, different Nigerian businesses talk about how they’ve been affected and what they’re doing to salvage the situation.


The portal to apply for the The Future is Female Mentorship Program will open at noon (WAT) on Monday, June 7, 2021, and close at 11:59 pm (WAT) on Monday, July 5. The successful founders will be announced on Monday, July 26. 

African female founders interested in applying to be part of The Future is Female Mentorship Program can find more information here.


Applications are now being accepted for Inclusive Fintech 50! IF50 provides key exposure for the most promising early-stage inclusive fintechs that have the potential to drive financial inclusion.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/IF50-2021

TC Insights: Watch and Grow

The year is 2005. You’re at home, bored and unsure of what to do. You remember that you rented a movie from the video store. You have two days to return it so you have a very short window to watch it.

Fast forward to 2020, there is a pandemic and lockdowns have become the order of the day. Isolated from friends and family, you don’t need a video store. There are enough movies to last a lifetime. You are among the millions of subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa, expected to rise from 2.75 million in 2019 to 12.96 million by 2025, driving the growth of these platforms.

Despite this impressive growth, the Sub-Saharan Africa OTT TV & Video Forecasts report estimates that SVOD revenues will only be $775 million by 2023 as many platforms have cheap subscriptions. This reflects the low disposable income across many markets on the continent. The consequence is that many African consumers are price-sensitive.

Also, the constant threat of piracy looms over the continent. It is expected that piracy will decline due to more affordable, legitimate Pay-TV packages, and improved content (local and international) on free-to-air. New entrants and established names spend heavily to ensure their content is protected with the latest anti-piracy strategies.

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Undeterred by these challenges, platforms are taking advantage of mobile devices and networks. The numbers favour them: 3G subscriptions now account for 48% of the continent’s mobile subscriptions while 4G connections account for 12%. Furthermore, mobile devices and networks — based on 3G and above — accounted for 60% of connections on the continent in Q1 2020. 

Mobile is indeed a critical part of the future of SVOD on the continent. While low broadband penetration continues to hinder the development and adoption of IPTV and other IP-based VOD services in the region, innovating around mobile services and pricing may just be the key that unlocks more growth.

Get all our reports here and watch videos from our events. Send your custom research requests to tcinsights@bigcabal.com.

    – Written by Mobolaji Adebayo

Is TechCabal Africa’s most important tech media company?

Fatu Ogwuche described TechCabal as Africa’s most important tech media company. 

Last week, she sat down with Tomiwa Aladekomo, CEO of Big Cabal Media – publishers of TechCabal and Zikoko. They spoke about the big bets TechCabal is making.

Some stats: Big Cabal’s portfolio reaches nearly a million people a month and about 20 million people across platforms. In addition, TechCabal is read in over 30 countries and read by investors in Silicon Valley, Europe, and Asia.

How do we approach covering the tech ecosystem?

“Empathy is important to us in the ecosystem. We understand we give people a voice. So covering technology and working from inside an industry will sometimes come upon people behaving badly or in controversies. Being empathetic means we give people a fair hearing. Sometimes you’ve got to say this is bad behaviour, but we’re not in the game to play “gtcha”. We want to report honestly, we want to keep the ecosystem honest, and we are optimistic.

Got any plans to expand out of Lagos/Nigeria?

“We are making a big effort to ensure we’re covering the entire continent. We’ve been recruiting writers, and we’re keen to have more depth in East Africa, Francophone Africa and Southern Africa.”

They go on to cover other issues like TechCabal’s design strategy and new look, whether Radar is coming back, funding raising and the possibility of getting acquired. Read more here.

The Future of Commerce Conference

How is the world of commerce changing, and how can you take advantage of this shift?

On the 30th of July at the Future of Commerce, we’re bringing together the most influential business leaders, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts from across the world to discuss the major changes coming to how we buy and sell.

The event will cover the range of the commerce landscape, from e-commerce to payments, logistics, banks and all the major players who facilitate commerce in a rapidly evolving African tech landscape.

Sign up here to get an invite.

Note: By clicking on the registration link for this event, you’ve indicated interest in the event and will get an invite to attend. To opt-out, please ignore the invite.


Every week TechCabal shares job opportunities in the African tech ecosystem.

See some more job opportunities here


Written by – Daniel Adeyemi

Edited by – Edwin Madu


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