The Cardano Ecosystem Accelerator Adaverse has invested in African crypto startup Bitmama. Nodo News reports that the accelerator injected an undisclosed amount of money in pre-seed funding for Nigerian crypto startup Bitmama. This adds to the $2 million pre-seed financing the startup closed last September.
Japan is pushing for a friendlier Web3 environment with a new white paper. CoinTelegraph reports that a Web3 team formed by Japan’s ruling political party created new proposals for expanding the country’s Web3 ecosystem, and pushed for its injection into Japan’s national strategy.
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NIGERIA APPROVES 173 LOAN APPS TO OPERATE IN NIGERIA
More loan apps are scheduled to operate in Nigeria.
Last week, Nigeria’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), released a list of all the loan apps licensed to operate in the country.
Per its statement, 173 digital loan companies have been approved, with 119, including Renmoney and FairMoney, holding full approvals; and 54, including Soko Lending, holding conditional approvals.
Earlier in August 2022, the FCCPC announced the Limited Interim Regulatory/Registration Framework and Guidelines for Digital Lending, a regulation that required digital lenders willing to operate to apply for licences and register with the agency.
So far, 173 loan companies have been licensed, although many more have applied. In an earlier announcement made in January 2023, the agency announced that it had approved 106 companies—65 with full approvals and 41 with conditional approvals.
These processes come at a critical time when loan apps are taking predatory and unethical steps to amass customers and deal with defaulters. Across the continent, many users have reported facing threats and getting doxxed.
Zoom out: Another country taking its digital lending seriously is Kenya. Since the lapse of its registration ultimatum to digital lenders in March 2022, the East African country has only approved 32 digital lenders, although it has received over 400 applications. Last month, Google removed hundreds of Kenya-focused digital loan apps from its Play Store, for failing to meet the licensing requirements.
SPIRO TO DEPLOY 140,000 ELECTRIC BIKES IN UGANDA
Uganda may not like all the colours of the rainbow, but it’s definitely going hard on green.
This week, the Ugandan government partnered with Spiro to set up an electric vehicle plant in the country. Spiro, a company that designs vehicles and smart batteries, will help Uganda deploy over 140,000 electric bikes in the country. The partnership will also see to the creation of 3,000 charge-and-swap stations across the country.
The project, which will run till 2028, is set to reduce emissions from Uganda’s gasoline-powered boda bodas, and add about 9,000 jobs to the country’s economy.
A recent study showed that if electric bikes replaced boda bodas—which number up to 150,000 in the capital city of Kampala alone—Uganda could reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by 38% and 58% respectively.
In a press release sent to TechCabal, Shegun Adjadi Bakari, CEO of Spiro and partner at the African Fund for Transformation and Industrialisation (ATIF), said: “In the coming weeks, we will launch our programme to substitute conventional motorcycles with electric ones. Drivers in Uganda will be able to trade in their old motorcycles for one of our commercially available models, at no cost. This is a groundbreaking move in Africa, and we have already implemented this scheme in Benin, Togo, and Rwanda, with a favourable market reaction. We are excited to bring the same approach to Uganda.”
As if not having electricity was already not bad enough, according to data by DataPortal, 28% of South Africans also do not have access to internet connectivity
According to the report, at the start of 2023, South Africa had 43.48 million internet users. Despite the significant rate of inaccessibility, the number of internet users in the country increased by 357,000 (0.8%), compared to the same period in 2022.
It’s not all gloomy
Apart from the slight increase in penetration, compared to 2022, the data also reveals that the median mobile internet connection speed in the country increased by 6.18 Mbps (20%), while the fixed internet connection speeds increased by 10.39 Mbps (35%).
It’s a southern Africa thing
Elsewhere in the region, Namibia’s internet penetration stood at 53%, translating to 1.37 million internet users, an increase of 1.4% from 2022; while Zambia’s stood at a 21% rate, a total of 4.3 million internet users.
Lastly, Zimbabwe had 5.74 million internet users, an internet penetration rate of 35%. This was an increase of 117,000 users (2%) from the same period in 2022.
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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with TechCabal Insights has released the second edition of the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem report.
The report contains insights that touch on all aspects of tech startups, to deepen your understanding of specific sectors in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. It covers startups in sectors such as fintech, logistics, security, health, and government sectors in the ecosystem. It also covers the gaps in the ecosystem, the distribution of tech hubs/incubators nationwide, and the economic impact of selected sectors in the country amongst other vital information.
ALX Africa is calling for young African learners who are interested in data analytics, data science, cloud computing, and salesforce administration to apply to its new world-class programmes at no cost to them. Apply to any ALX course here.
Dream VC has announced that it’s now open for its Launch Into VC (LIVC) and Invest Accelerator programmes. Junior professionals keen on breaking into the investor space can apply for LIVC to get a carefully curated investor talent accelerator led by existing venture builders. Senior professionals should apply for its Investor Accelerator 2023 Programme where future investment leaders and ecosystem builders will be upskilled. Apply for LIVC and Investor Accelerator Programme by April 16.
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 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition, a philanthropic initiative sponsored by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Philanthropy, is calling for participation from Africa’s entrepreneurial talent. Apply by May 12.
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