It’s gotten easier to find songs from your favourite Netflix shows.
Spotify has released a new hub that houses all the soundtracks of Netflix’s shows and films. The good news is that it’s accessible to both free and premium users.
This is Spotify’s second collaboration with an entertainment company. In 2019, Spotify introduced Disney hub to help users find songs from their favourite Disney shows.
In today’s edition
Rwanda for the win
Growing the Busha
Who’s on the GRAMMY nominee list this year?
FINTECH FOCUS: BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL MERCHANTS PAYMENTS SERVICE
The promise of digital merchant payments is clear: They help facilitate payments. Beyond this, they also offer other add-on services to businesses including solutions to track payments, manage inventory, understand business data, and collect outstanding invoices.
What’s not clear is the road to success as a service provider in the $19 trillion merchants payment industry.
In this month’s episode of Fintech Focus, Ifeoluwa “IO” Orioke, Chief Commercial Officer at Flutterwave, paves the way with a few succinct points.
Making merchant payment a success starts with fully identifying your clients and understanding their needs.
Offer everything merchants need on a single platform or dashboard.
Typically, SME-focused payment startups could offer digital toolkits that can help grow businesses, such as a website, inventory management dashboard, and other solutions.
Develop a user-friendly API that can be used to integrate your solution within an existing application or website.
Finally, secure your platform. Industry compliance standards to have include the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).
It is also exploring areas for cooperation with Google, writes The New Times, a national English language newspaper in Uganda. The projects, if rolled out, will include development in flagship fintech innovation programmes, startup, and developer ecosystems in the East African country.
Skills to ink deals
Rwanda seems to be particularly interested in digital skills training. One of the Rwanda-Google initiatives will train 500 Rwandans in Android mobile application and cloud development.
The country also wants a bit more funding, guidance, and attention for its startups. According to Esther Kunda, Director General, Innovation and Emerging Technologies at the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Google will also work with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation and Kigali Innovation City to increase the number of Rwandan upstarts in Google for Startups, the company’s pan-African accelerator programme.
Rwanda for the win: Rwanda never fails to show the world how serious it is about tech development. In 2019 alone, the country became the first African country to roll out a (partially) Africa-made smartphone, launch a satellite, and unveil a digital transformation centre.
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Sorry, this column won’t be telling you how to grow a beard. 🤧
It will however tell you how Busha, a Nigeria-based digital platform that helps people buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency raised seed funding of $4.2 million.
The round was led by Jump Capital, Cadenza Ventures, Blockwall Capital, CMT Digital, and other investors.
According to the company, the new funding will go towards deepening its market positioning in Nigeria, the leading crypto economy in Africa where all of its users are based.
Backstory: Founded in 2018 by CEO Michael Adeyeri and Chief Product Officer (CPO) Moyo Sodipo, the cryptocurrency exchange claims to have more than 200,000 users.
Recently, the startup launched a revamped version of its app that allows users to buy crypto for less than $1 (₦550) while offering features such as one-click limit orders and automated recurring buys.
Busha isn’t stopping there. Next month, it intends to launch a savings feature that will allow users to earn interest on their crypto. Early next year, Busha will launch another that will let users spend cryptocurrencies at select online and offline retail outlets. The latter is being developed in partnership with SureGifts, a gift card company.
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WHO’S ON THE GRAMMY NOMINEE LIST THIS YEAR?
The Grammy Awards ceremony was launched in 1959 by the Recording Academy to recognise global talents in the music industry.
While the ceremony identified 28 categories to be awarded, including general fields like Album of the Year or Song of the Year, it has since grown to encompass over 75 awards, including special awards like the Lifetime Achievement Award.
To date, at least 7,500 Grammys have been awarded to artistes all over the world. In Africa, over 95 nominations have been given to artistes from seven countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Mali, and Benin Republic. A total of 24 Grammys have been won by African artistes, the first of whom was Mariam Makeba who won for Best Folk Recording at the 9th edition of the awards in 1966.
Last year, Nigeria’s Wizkid and Burna Boy both received Grammys, the former for Best Music Video and the latter for Best World Music Album. Nominations for the 64th ceremony have been announced and African artists received 9. Here are those on the list:
Nigeria’s Burna Boy is up for two awards including Album of the Year and Best Global Music Performance with Angélique Kidjo.
Ghana’s Rocky Dawuni is up for the Best Global Music Album Award for Voice of Bunbon Vol. 1
Nigeria’s Femi Kuti is up for Best Global Music Performance Award for Pà Pá Pà. With Made Kuti—his son—he’s also up for the Best Global Music Album Award for Legacy +
Benin’s Angélique Kidjo has three nominations including two for Best Global Music Performance—which she shares with Burna Boy and Yo-Yo Ma—and one for Best Global Music Album.
Nigeria’s Wizkid is up for Best Global Music Album, and Best Global Music Performance which he shares with Tems for their song, “Essence”.
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The FutureLearn Scholarship is calling for applications to its very first cohort. Innovators in the field of tech, mental health, teaching, and climate studies are invited to apply to get £5,000 worth of world-class education and eight hours worth of mentorship from leading experts. Learn more and apply here.
The Obama Foundation Scholars Programme is open to applications from emerging leaders from around the world who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities. Successful candidates will get scholarships for an academic year at Columbia University, living stipends, and air travel costs. Apply or nominate someone here.
The Google Research Scholar Programme is now open to applications for its 2022 cohort. The programme provides early-career professors with up to $60,000 worth of funding who are pursuing research in fields relevant to Google including machine perception, quantum computing, and networking. Find out more about the programme here.