ICYMI: Equiano is Google’s first subsea cable in Africa. It is meant to connect Europe and Africa via a cable running along the west coast of Africa from Portugal to South Africa. What this means is that Africans will have faster internet speeds and less latency.
The cable landed in Togo in March of this year, and Nigeria in April. After 2 months of snaking its way across the continent, it’s finally in Swakopmund, Namibia.
In a statement shared on LinkedIn, CEO of Paratus Group Barney Harmse, whose company was 1 of 2 selected to build the cable landing station (CLS) in Namibia (the other one being Telecom Namibia) stated that the cable will significantly increase Namibia’s international bandwidth capacity.
Equiano is set to increase internet speeds in Namibia by over 2.5 times and also increase Namibia’s 41% internet penetration by 7.5% in the next 3 years.
Zoom out: At its anchoring in Togo, experts predicted that Equiano would help create approximately 37,000 new jobs between 2022 and 2025. In Namibia, the cable is also expected to indirectly help create 21,000 jobs by 2025.
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With boots on the ground and eyes in the sky, the South African Police Service (SAPS) is planning to get on top of the crime rate in South Africa with drones.
It was disclosed in a parliamentary Q & A about the government’s rural safety strategy that 166 pilotless flying devices will be rolled out nationally, across 43 localities at rural, provincial and district police levels.
Can drones really sap the crime rate?
Since 2019, private and government-sponsored organisations have been using drones and other surveillance technologies that are yielding positive results.
South African electricity public utility Eskom has been using drones to mitigate the vandalism of its infrastructure. Private security company Fidelity said drones have proven effective in remote areas where they were used to track criminals breaching perimeters or engaging in other illegal activities. While the drones monitor criminals’ movements, tactical ground teams can be activated to apprehend the suspects.
How will the drones be used?
According to The Sunday Times, officers are already being trained to operate the drones.
The drones will patrol hotspots—places with a high crime occurrence—to act as a deterrent to crime and facilitate a quicker and more robust response to live criminal incidents.
SAPS has already piloted drone units for policing services in Johannesburg, but this will be the first use of drones as part of the national policing strategy.
MONO ROLLS OUT TO KENYA
Nigerian fintech startup Mono has walked its talk into Kenya.
Mono has been talking about expanding to Kenya even months before it raised $15 million in a Series A round in October 2021. Now the Nigeria-born startup is using the funding to finance its expansion into the rest of Africa, and Kenya is its first stop.
What is Mono bringing to Kenya?
Mono is bringing its plug-and-play open banking technology to businesses in Kenya. This offers them easy access to customer financial data that can help them make data-informed decisions and expand their product suite accordingly.
It also brings a simple open banking infrastructure which enables businesses like Flutterwave, Carbon, and Indicina to securely accept direct bank payments on one platform.
Who is Mono for?
It is for businesses exploring the internet economy and taking advantage of the global village that the world has become. It is also for businesses creating innovative solutions in finance, lending, BNPL, finance and asset management, mobile money, and the like.
Talking about the expansion, Mono CEO Abdul Hassan describes Kenya as a thriving East African hub for financial services. We hope Kenya lives up to its promise.
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Realme, the world’s seventh-largest smartphone company, has teamed up with Jumia, an e-commerce giant in Africa, in a partnership that will see the smartphone company have an official store on Jumia’s platform.
Within 2 years, Realme has risen through the ranks of smartphone players to become top 5 in 15 markets across the world. Now, these fast movers have their eyes on Africa, a continent with a fast-growing e-commerce adoption rate.
Pivoting its official online store in Nigeria, Realme will gradually expand to neighbouring countries like Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, and then to 11 other African countries where Jumia has online customers.
According to Realme, they want Africans to access quality technology without breaking the bank for flagship products. Practically put, they want the random Joe to be able to access great phones that are not themed after any fruit.
With sub-saharan Africa being one of the world’s fastest-growing mobile regions and Jumia having a chunk of the pie, this partnership with Realme seems to be exactly what the 2 companies need. For Jumia, they are getting a fast-moving seller with great products on their platform, while Realme gets access to millions of potential African customers. A win-win, if you ask us.
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Spain’s Bdeo has announced a partnership with South Africa’s Hollard Insurance Group. The partnership will help to bring an artificial intelligence (AI) insurance claim assessment tool to the South African market.
Snapchat’s Snap 523 Accelerator Programme is now open to applications from black content creators. Twenty-five selected creators will receive $10,000 per month for 12 months and a Google Pixel 7 Pro. Apply by August 12.
Applications are now open for the Decentralised Umoja Algorand Bounty Hack II, by Algorand and Reach. The hackathon is a great opportunity for African developers to learn and build blockchain projects and win up to $3,000 in prizes. Apply by July 15.
The MESTExpress Accelerator Programme is now open to applications from early- and growth-stage startups in Ghana. Top-performing startups receive equity-free grant funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Apply by July 10.