30 AUGUST, 2022


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Investors at Nigeria-based stock investment app, Risevest, have recommended that the company’s founder and CEO, Eke Eleanya Urum, step down from his role due to ongoing investigations into allegations of sexual and non-sexual impropriety, according to a statement seen by TechCabal. 

Urum was first notified of the allegations against him by the investors on August 1. Confirming the accusations on a call with TechCabal yesterday, Urum said, “I was told on the evening of August 1 by investors that someone reached out that there were allegations of bullying, sexual harassment, and intimidation,” Eke told TechCabal over a call. “They didn’t say by whom, but I was told to step aside so an independent panel could carry out an investigation.”

The CEO was asked to step down two days later. 

This marks the second time Urum has been outed for misconduct in the workplace. In February 2021, former Risevest employee, Efe Uduigwomen, accused the CEO of creating a stifling work environment where criticism was unwelcome. Uduigwomen, who before leaving the startup, was its head of marketing, accused Eke of a breach of contract because he had fired her for not wanting to work at the startup’s physical office, a request she had made due to COVID concerns. Eke had initially called the allegations “blatant half-truths”. But in another interview with TechCabal, he took responsibility for the allegations and apologised.

Urum was also accused of sexual misconduct earlier this year when TechCabal’s piece on Bento Africa—and its allegedly abusive CEO Ebun Okubanjo—was published, an accusation Urum publicly disputed. 

In his conversation with TechCabal on the latest accusation, Urum could not confirm if both sexual misconduct allegations were made by the same person. 

What next?

An investigation panel has been set up to look into the allegations. TVC Labs’ Tomi Davies (TD) will chair the panel while TLP Advisory’s Odunoluwa Longe serves as legal adviser, and The People Practice’s Toun Tunde-Anjous as people and culture adviser. 

Risevest’s current head of operations, Tony Odiba, will be acting CEO while Otasowie Evbuomwan, will lead its US operations

Zoom out: Urum joins other CEOs, including aforementioned Okunbanjo, who have been accused of some form of misconduct at work. Earlier this year, Flutterwave CEO Gbenga Agboola was also accused of fraud and insider trading.

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Better late than never.

Safaricom has begun providing 2G, 3G, and 4G network services in Ethiopia—four months later than it was expected to. In May 2021, it led a group of international network providers—Vodafone, Vodacom, CDC Group Plc, and Sumitomo Corp—to secure an $850 million licence to operate in the country. It was set to launch in April but didn’t, for undisclosed reasons.

Intermittent launching

Now, Safaricom has decided to launch its operations in the country intermittently, starting with Dire Dawa. The Ethiopian town’s residents can now purchase Safaricom SIM cards from Kezira, Meskelegna, and Cornell areas, and have access to Safaricom’s 2G, 3G, and 4G coverage.

Customers will be able to make domestic and international calls on the state-owned Ethio Telecom network, and customer service will be available to them in Amharic, English, Afaan Oromo, and Ag-Somali languages. If there are no further delays, Safaricom Ethiopia services will be available in 25 cities by April 2023.

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has given international digital payment provider Direct Pay Online (DPO) Group approval to operate as a Payment Service Provider (PSP) in the nation. In over 20 countries, DPO Group enables businesses to securely and quickly accept payments in all currencies using a variety of payment methods, including cards, mobile money, bank transfers, USSD, and EFT. This licence from the CBK endorses the quality and security of its payment services in Kenya.

The C in CBK isn’t for “Chef”

The CBK isn’t dishing out endorsements to anyone who asks. Weeks prior to this approval, the CBK announced that the Nigerian fintechs and unicorns, Flutterwave and Chipper Cash, lacked the necessary licences to conduct business in Kenya as Payment Service Providers (PSP).

In response, Flutterwave clarified that it wasn’t illegitimately operating in Kenya as it operates “through partnerships with banks and mobile network operators licensed by the CBK”. The startup also emphasised that it applied for a payment service provider licence in 2019 but is yet to receive the much-desired approval from the CBK.

Three years is a long time for a unicorn, but Flutterwave’s wait cannot hold a candle to Pepsal’s 12-year wait nor Cellulant’s 19-year wait. Both fintechs got their PSP licences in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Well, congratulations to DPO on getting such a highly coveted licence.

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Twitter can’t seem to get enough of voice messaging, so podcasts are its next big thing.

Last week, Twitter announced its podcast feature for Android and iOS users. The bird app has finally decided that it is not going to sit around and watch Instagram get all the hype about new features. 

According to Twitter, this is a move to invest in audio creators, as they would now be able to use the app to share messages, hold Spaces, and create audio podcasts!

Why are you doing this, Twitter?

Twitter may say they’re doing this to invest in audio creators, but that’s probably a half story. Experts have analysed Twitter’s move as a response to the massive growth of the podcast market, which is estimated to generate up to $153.07 billion by 2030. 

Another move that suggests that Twitter is doing this to tap into the podcast market is the company’s decision to pilot this feature with groups of English-speaking audiences, which, according to Insider Intelligence, have the highest numbers of podcast listeners in the world.

For whatever reason it was made, Twitter is taking a big step with this move, one that could massively change its business model forever. 

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How can fintechs get compliance right? What are the key elements they must take into consideration? How can regulators help in enabling this?

This Friday, September 2, join us on Inside Identity where we will discuss this with Daluchi Iweanya, head of compliance at Quidax, and other experts in African financial services.

To join this conversation, save a seat here.

Inside Identity is powered by VerifyMe Nigeria in partnership with TechCabal.

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The Next Wave: Open banking in Africa raises more questions than it answers.

After 10 years, Jumia is more than an ecommerce company.

The Future is Female Mentorship Programme announces 25 finalists for its third edition.

Walmart acquisition might help accelerate e-commerce strategy, says Massmart.


  • Enterscale has launched the Technology Investment Programme (TIP) to help founders improve founders to improve their funding narrative and business model. Fintech, logistics and other ventures addressing challenges in healthcare, agriculture, education, and the creator & SME economies should apply to get access to a network of potential partners and management advisors. Check it out.
  • Netflix has extended its Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF) to film and television students in the West and Central Africa region. Applications are now open for students to apply to study at institutions in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and Gabon. Apply by September 4.
  • The UN’s Youth Climate Innovation Lab is calling all young innovators in MENA that are creating climate technology solutions to join a 3-day launchpad. Winners from the launchpad will participate in the 6–8 week Climate Innovation Academy Programme, and the top 3 teams will receive a cash prize as well as the chance to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) happening in Egypt this November 2022. Apply by September 4.
  • Applications are now open for Meta’s AR/VR Africa Metathon. XR developers, programmers, UI/UX designers, artists, animators, storytellers, and professionals resident in Africa can sign up to get curated learning resources from XR experts who will provide mentorship, and facilitate masterclasses and workshops. Apply here

What else is happening in tech?

  • Cameroonian digital solutions startup, Taaply, secures $500,000 from US investors.


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Written by – Timi Odueso, Ngozi Chukwu & Caleb Nnamani

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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