15 DECEMBER, 2021


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What’s up? ☀️ ️

The UK has removed all 11 African countries from its red list. 

Last month, it banned non-citizens from flying in after South Africa became the first country to identify the Omicron variant. 

It’s removing the ban now because, according to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, “Omicron has spread so widely across the world the travel red list is now less effective in slowing the incursion of Omicron from abroad.”

Seems like the phrase is true. There is no point crying over spilt vials.

In today’s edition

  • Blowing up on TikTok with 1da Banton
  • Is Ghana en route to a new EV plant?
  • Tracking Apples with Androids
  • It’s about Tyme


A few months ago, Nigerian artiste, 1da Banton, logged into his TikTok account, which he rarely used, only to discover that one of his songs, “No wahala”, was being used in videos captioned in French. 

The Afro dancehall artiste’s song was being used in a TikTok challenge that would take his music straight to the ears of millions of fans around the world. The song was featured in videos of afro-dances; and reactions or replies to challenges or questions, sometimes from a loved one or crush. Some of the funniest videos under the challenge featured videos of Nigerian social media influencers, James Brown and Idris Okuneye (popularly known as Bobrisky), dancing, kicking a football, or in the gym.

How much wahala did the song bring to 1da?

Since the challenge began, “No wahala” has been used as a soundtrack in more than 190,000 videos and was at some point the second most Shazamed song in the world. The song is also charting in over 10 countries, including the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Uganda, and Kenya.

Blowing up on TikTok

Living up to its name, TikTok is ticking down African artists’ pivot to fame

This year alone, TikTok has taken at least three African songs to the global stage, and it is making Africans feel represented. Somali singer Nimco Happy’s song, “Isii Nafta”, became an internet sensation, with celebrities like Cardi B, Trevor Noah, and Bella Hadid using the song in content. More than 100,000 videos have been created using the song. The viral song which switches between Swahili, English, Arabic, and Somali has left many Somalis celebrating the fact that their culture is in the global spotlight. 

CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” also took over TikTok for weeks, earlier this year, with more than three million videos created using the song. As of September of this year, it was the most Shazamed song in the world and charting in 160 countries.

*TechCabal is considering targeting TikTok fame. At the time of writing this, Managing Editor Koromone Koroye is taxing some of TechCabal’s writers to create catchy holiday tunes. “WAGMI,” sings Koroye. “And if we don’t, we can at least jingle some bells along the way.”


Agilitee Africa, a company that claims to be the first electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer in Africa, has revealed plans to build an assembly plant for electric vehicles in Ghana.

If realised, such a move would see the South Africa-based firm expand into Ghana, its choice market in West Africa, which CEO Mandla Lamba believes is “more ready for the green revolution”.

The company says it is concluding discussions with its Ghanaian partners for the facility, after which the production of EV solutions—including battery swapping stations, solar charging facilities, solar television sets, etc.—are expected to commence.

“Our belief is based on the efforts of the Ghanaian President to push not only Ghana but the entire continent towards that direction,” Lamba said. “We aim to change the continent by driving clean energy solutions and carbon reduction.”

A boost for Ghana’s green transport ambitions?

Ghana’s public transportation has, for a long time, been a major emitter of carbon dioxide. As of 2020, the average number of imported vehicles in the West African country stood at around 100,000 per annum, about 90% of which were used vehicles with high fume emissions.

The government has ambitions to put in place a sustainable transportation system for its citizens, helped by private sector players. In 2019, the Ghana Energy Commission launched the Drive Electric Initiative to promote the adoption of electric vehicles in the country.

Meanwhile, companies such as SolarTaxi and Accraine Ghana are among those working towards making transportation in Ghana greener.

Agilitee’s plan to launch an EV factory should complement public and private efforts aimed at driving Ghana’s green transportation ambitions. And its impact, in the long run, will depend on the company’s ability to scale while navigating the common challenges that plague manufacturing businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.


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No, this isn’t a Snow White/Star Wars crossover (although we’d love to watch that). 

This news is about our friendly neighbourhood hardware company, Apple. They’ve cooked up an Android app called Tracker Detect to help non-Apple users identify unexpected AirTags. 

Side-bar: AirTags are small coin-shaped trackers which Apple users can use to locate easily misplaced or stolen stuff like keys and chargers. 

Hold up, why would Android users be looking for AirTags?

Well, because of unwanted tracking. 

To use an AirTag, you attach it to things and use the Find My app to track it. The problem is that people are using it to track other people to their homes, popping the tags into unminded luggage and stalking the unaware victim.

When the alarm for this was raised in April, Apple updated the software of AirTags. With the update, iPhones can detect when somebody else’s tracker is following users around. The tags were also programmed to beep at random times if they were away from their owner’s iPhone. 

The updates, however, only protect Apple users and not the millions of others using Androids. 

So how does Tracker Detect work?

It works on AirTags and any other Find My network-equipped sensors. 

If the Tracker Detect app finds an unexpected AirTag that’s away from its owner, it will mark it as “Unknown AirTag.” The Android app can then play a sound within 10 minutes of identifying the tracker. It could take up to 15 minutes after a tracker is separated from its owner before it shows up in the app. 

The app also comes with instructions on how to return lost tags to owners using NFC-capable devices.


South Africa’s Tyme Bank has announced the completion of a $180 million Series B round. 

Didn’t they just raise $110 million?

Well, it’s all part of it. 

Earlier this year, Tyme kicked off its Series B round by securing $110 million from Apis Partners, JG Summit, and African Rainbow Capital (ARC). 

Now, the bank has gotten an additional $70 million investment from Chinese tech giant Tencent and UK development finance institution CDC.

Right on Tyme

Tyme recently announced that it had logged four million South African customers within its 32 months of operation. 

With its new funding, the bank intends to grow its presence in South Africa, enter new countries where CDC has a presence, and bolster its presence in the Philippines where it has secured a digital bank licence in partnership with Filipino conglomerate Gokongwei Group.



Quidax is an African-founded cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easy for you to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They also make it possible for Fintech companies to offer cryptocurrency services to their customers. 

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  • Applications are open for the African Union Civic Tech Fund 2022. Civic tech initiatives that have the potential to champion citizen-led action across Africa can get up to $22,000. Check it out.
  • The Making More Health Business Accelerator Programme is now open to applications from human or animal healthcare enterprises operating in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda. Each enterprise can get up to $56,000 in investment as well as access to an impactful network. See if you are eligible.
  • The Udacity/Access Bank Advance Africa Scholarship Programme is open, giving 2,000 nanodegree programme scholarships to Africans interested in building practical, in-demand tech skills like business analytics, intro to programming and digital marketing. Find out more.

What else we’re reading

  • Meta and HerHustle launch programme to equip women entrepreneurs in Kenya with digital skills.
  • In East Africa, Bolt is launching a new feature that allows drivers to name their prices.


Written by – Timi Odueso & Michael Ajifowoke

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku


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