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Work is less fun in Europe.
Yesterday, the European Commission officially banned its staff from using TikTok on their work/corporate phones.
The good news is that it’s not because of productivity, or any of the other excuses bosses use to make work harder.
According to the Commission, it’s making the decision due to “cybersecurity threats”. All its 32,000 staff have until March 15 to remove TikTok from their work phones or personal phones that have work accounts or apps on them.
The US and Canadian governments have also enacted similar policies in past weeks, banning government workers from using the app on their work phones.
ICYMI: TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, have once again come under scrutiny from authorities in the US, Canada and Europe who claim that the Chinese-owned platform might be misusing the data it has and poses a security threat.
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FATF GREYLISTS SOUTH AFRICA AND NIGERIA
Nigeria and South Africa are being watched.
Last week, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)—the international financial crime watchdog—announced that it had added the two countries to its “grey list” for countries with weak money laundering and terror financing laws.
The FATF’s listing is divided into two: black and grey. The black list encompasses high-risk territories with significant strategic deficiencies, examples being North Korea and Iran. The grey list includes countries like South Africa and Nigeria who have adopted action plans to address the deficiencies and are being monitored for implementation of those plans by the FATF.
South Africa reportedly joins the list after being given one year to address the 67 recommendations made by FATF in 2021. These recommendations came after the FATF released a report in 2019 that revealed how billions were looted from the South African government. While South Africa has reduced the number of areas to address, FATF has noted it still has eight strategic anti-money laundering (AML) points to address.
Nigeria was also added to the list because it had nine AML shortcomings to address.
The grey listing means both countries may suffer as international organisations will take extra steps before investing in the country. South Africa’s rand also fell against the dollar after the country was placed on the list last Friday. The FATF has more than 200 member countries, and being placed on the grey list warns countries that doing business with a greylisted country might help facilitate terrorism and money laundering.
Other than Nigeria and South Africa, there are at least eight more countries, including Morocco, Uganda and Tanzania on FATF’s list.
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KENYANS GET APP FOR BUYING BILLS AND BONDS
Kenyans are marching into ease.
From March, citizens of the East African country will be able to buy government securities from a digital platform known as DhowCSD, instead of its current USSD system.
The DhowCSD is a mobile app and will be available on Android and Apple stores. It is supposed to fill the gaps in the current USSD system of buying and selling securities, treasury bills and bonds. According to TrendsKe, the digital platform will also enable the generation of detailed investor reports. The DhowCSD is capable of making interbank payments, a module to buy and sell securities in the secondary market.
The platform may also feel like a teleportation device for people in the diaspora who usually have to come to the country’s central bank to be able to buy bonds and bills. The DhowCSD will enable anyone from anywhere to bid and buy from their phone.
The Central Bank of Kenya is excited about this development as it promises to boost its remittance revenue which is already growing faster and taller than its money from tea and horticulture.
CHIMONEY AND MY CHOICE GET INTO GOOGLE ACCELERATOR
Two Toronto-based African startups, Chimoney and My Choice, have been selected as two of the 12 participants in the 2023 Google for Startups Accelerator Canada. They are the only African startups in this edition of the cohort-based accelerator.
What is the accelerator about?
The accelerator, which begins in March, is a 10-week program for bright Canadian startups leveraging AI and ML to solve complex problems and tackle the toughest challenges in their industry. It will offer them mentorship and technical project support from Google, as well as deep dives and workshops focused on areas like product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development. They will have access to Google experts and technology to enhance their strategy and navigate their most pressing technical and business needs.
Here’s a little bit about both startups
Chimoney aims to connect anything to everything and anywhere to everywhere.
The startup, founded by Uchi Uchibeke, has a technology that makes value move between currencies, countries, asset types, and ledger types. It is reportedly connected to banks in 20 countries and offers hyper-personalised global payouts and commerce using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
My Choice is an insurance aggregator founded by Temi Lateef. It empowers users with the power of choice and transparency. It partners with insurance companies and brokerages and offers customers the services in a seamless and personalised experience, free of the bias and bait-and-switch nature of online insurance shopping.
IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL
The Next Wave: Africa’s election season comes with risks investors cannot ignore.
- The 100x Impact Accelerator is open to applications from impact-driven social enterprises that work across eight sectors including health, climate and education. Selected enterprises will receive £150,000 grants and access to LSE’s world-class expertise, plus a 12-week programme of bespoke support from experts and social unicorn founders. Register by March 10.
- Do you have what it takes to become the next supplier to leading South African enterprises in the furniture sector? Apply for the 2023 eThekwini Furniture Cluster Acceleration Programme. Apply by February 28.
- The Jasiri Talent Investor Programme is looking for highly driven individuals with a history of achievement and/or entrepreneurial action who aspire to launch a high-growth venture. Apply by April 23.
- The Catalyst Fund makes grants between $2,500–$15,000 to anyone, anywhere in the world who has an early-stage idea or project that addresses pressing global challenges. Apply by February 28.
- The Growth Africa Accelerator Programme is calling for applications from ambitious and committed entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia or Ghana with the potential to grow and create impact through their businesses. Apply now.
- Applications are now open for the Nigeria Media Innovation Programme’s (NAMIP’s) Sustainability Challenge. Winners will be awarded up to $50,000 for their project and join NAMIP’s innovation and capacity building program that extends up to 2024. Apply by February 28.
What else is happening in tech?
Written by – Timi Odueso & Ngozi Chukwu
Edited by – Kelechi Njoku
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