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Lagos, one of Africa’s busiest tech hubs , is asking all tech hubs and co-working spaces in the city to remit an annual sum of ₦150,000 ($347) to the state government.
The popular there’s-money-in-tech catchphrase will finally benefit the Lagos state government, which is only now enforcing a law made 11 years ago.
What exactly is the money for?
For your safety.
The Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC) was established to “oversee matters relating to the safety of residents’ life and properties”. The commission has 16 departments, one of which is responsible for the safety audits that are about to sweep through the city’s tech hubs and co-working spaces.
The safety audit costs an annual documentation fee of ₦50,000 ($115.92), with an additional fee of ₦100,000($115.92) for certifications.
Starting this month, a private safety assessment company, Aquicorn Projects Limited, will work with the enforcing authorities to visit these hubs to identify potential hazards and recommend proper safety measures.
An earlier version of this news stated the certification fee as ₦150,000($347.76). The error has been corrected to reflect the actual figure, ₦100,000($231.84)
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CAPITEC AND CELL C TEAM UP TO LAUCH DATA THAT NEVER EXPIRES
Image source: 247HowTo
South African bank Capitec and mobile network operator Cell C are partnering up to launch Capitec Connect, a package which will provide data that lasts indefinitely provided the SIM card is used every six months.
The package will cost users R4.50 ($0.2) for 100 megabytes of data and R45.00 ($2.5) for a gigabyte of data.
The problem being solved
We all know the pain of spending your hard-earned money to buy (overpriced) data from your mobile network operator and then having it expire before you use it all because you hadn’t used it within the stipulated time.
The package by Capitec Connect aims to solve that problem, offering customers data and airtime that they can use indefinitely without having to worry about its validity expiring.
“Bundle pricing, off-peak and peak rates, and the fact that your data expired are all things that make no sense,” said Capitec CEO, Gerrie Fourie.
Some background: In 2017, telecoms industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the National Consumer Commission advocated for data to remain valid for at least three years, but the provisions were later removed from the final service charter amendments and replaced with more lenient provisions.
The bank states that its new package aims to change this for the benefit of consumers.
Zoom out: Capitec Connect will function as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs provides cellular services to clients without owning the network infrastructure. Last week, MTN announced that it was pushing into the business of MVNO service provision.
UBER AND BOLT DRIVERS GO SLOW IN KENYA FOR HIGHER PAY
There is a go-slow in Kenya.
To put pressure on Uber and Bolt to lower their commissions to 18%, Uber and Bolt drivers in Kenya organised a go-slow protest. The drivers have long complained that the cost of fuel is increasing while their pay is decreasing. Since the hailing platforms are unable to haggle with the riders on pricing, they believe it is only reasonable for them to lower their commission.
Kenya’s command falls flat
In response to the years of protests, on June 20, Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) established regulations that set a national cap of 18% commission on all rides. Local ride-hailing services like Safaricom’s Little already operate within that range, at 15%. Bolt and Uber were required to lower their commissions by September 22—three months after the notice—but they haven’t, hence the strike. Some drivers are refusing to take rides while others are concluding their trips offline.
A repeat of history
Bolt is yet to say anything, but drivers on both platforms have gone on strike since Monday. Uber has affirmed that it values its customers and is open to listening to their concerns, but it has also been in court for two weeks contesting the new regulations, citing that NTSA shouldn’t interfere in its business and that the new rules will stifle its investments in the country. Something similar happened in Tanzania, where taxi companies were mandated to reduce commissions to 15%. While Uber ceased operations in the country, Bolt made its services exclusive to corporate customers. Will that also happen in Kenya?
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MEST AND MASTERCARD GRANT $30,000 TO SIX GHANAIAN STARTUPS
In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, MEST Africa has awarded a $30,000 grant to support six promising early and growth stage startups in Ghana through the MEST Express Accelerator. The startups include local e-commerce startups Shaq Express, Africa Goodnest, and Tiny Reusers, fintech Fluid Finance, health tech company Digital Health Access, and agritech Sommalife. Each of them will get $5000.
MEST has an accelerator?
Yes, it has been running one since 2020 in partnership with Mastercard Foundation. The accelerator aims to make promising early and growth stage startups in Ghana investor-ready. This cohort is different from the others as it specifically focuses on startups using technology to drive sustainability. The participating startups will also receive more personalised solutions and guidance than other cohorts did.
TIKTOK FACES MILLION-POUND FINE IN THE UK
We frequently hear of big tech companies like Meta, Apple and Alphabet—A.K.A Google—getting fined for various reasons across the globe.
For TikTok, the clock is ticking as it faces several panels this year on its misuse of children’s data.
Yesterday, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed that TikTok breached child data protection laws for a two-year period.
In 2019, the ICO initiated an investigation to find out how TikTok collects private data. And yesterday, it revealed that TikTok “may have” processed data of children under the age of 13 without their parents’ consent.
The ICO also said that the short-form video platform may be guilty of processing special category data—which includes gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious or political affiliations—without any legal grounds.
This comes a few months after a UK High court, in March, approved a class-action lawsuit against TikTok for misusing children’s data. In the Netherlands, it also faces another billion-pound suit for allegedly harvesting and auctioning sensitive data.
Last year, it was fined €750,000 ($718,000) by the Dutch Data Protection Agency (DPA) in the Netherlands for violating the privacy of minors.
In the latest hurdle, it’s facing fines of up to £27 million ($29 million). UK’s data protection laws empower the nation to fine companies that contravene UK GDPR or the Data Protection Act up to 4% of their global turnover.
Zoom out: TikTok’s prescient troubles are not the most recent tumble with social media platforms and how they manage children’s data. Just this month, Ireland’s data privacy levied a €405 million ($402 million) fine against Instagram for the same reason. Social media sites might be tightening up their privacy guidelines, but regulators aren’t letting them go scot-free for past mistakes.
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Applications are open for the UK Research and Innovation African Research Leaders’ Programme. Talented researchers in sub-Saharan Africa who are leading quality health research in the region can apply to get up to £750,000 in funding. Apply by December 1.
The USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 is now open to applications from MSMEs in Africa who are prioritising job creation and job and youth productivity on the continent. Winning applications will receive grants of up to $250,000. Apply by September 30.
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