If you, like some of my colleagues, are not so excited to get back to work after the long Easter weekend, cheer up. We may have two more long weekends coming up in the next couple of weeks!
If the crescent moon is sighted early enough, we should have an extra day off on Monday, April 24.
Workers’ Day comes exactly one week later on May 1 so we could also get another Monday off. Let’s just hope the big wigs and Chief Execution Officers don’t offer video recordings or in-office karaoke parties instead of the actual reward of paid time off.
Anyway, there’s not much in today’s edition. Everyone, from investors to builders, took much-needed breaks. 👌🏾
For the first time in almost one year, bitcoin has passed the $30,000 mark! Bloomberg reports that this is the first time since June 2022 that the cryptocurrency has been so high. Some analysts say that a drop in liquidity, its 10-month low and market makers losing access to US banking rails provided by Silvergate Capital Corp. and Signature Bank could explain the rebound.
Hackers have stolen $13 million in crypto from South Korean crypto exchange GDAC. Decrypt reports that the stolen assets represent roughly 23% of GDAC’s total holdings, and included 60.8 bitcoin, 350.5 ether, 10 million WEMIX tokens, and 220,000 in the dollar-pegged stablecoin USDT.
An international sting operation to catch North Korean crypto hackers. A CNN report reveals that a team of South Korean spies and American private investigators teamed up to track $100 million stolen in cryptocurrency, money that could fund North Korea’s illegal missile problem.
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KENYA LAUNCHES OPERATIONAL SATELLITE TODAY
Kenya’s first operational satellite will launch today, April 11.
The Taifa-1—Swahili for “Nation-1”—will blast off aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The satellite, tested and developed by Kenyan engineers, will reportedly be used to provide data on areas like agriculture and food security for Kenya, a country suffering a severe drought that’s affecting over 5 million people.
The satellite will also be used to develop Kenya’s technical capacity on the whole value chain of space technology development and applications.
If you’re in Kenya and you want to watch the launch, the KSA is inviting everyone to join them by 8:00 AM (EAT) at the University of Nairobi.
Zoom out: With the launch, Kenya joins 14 other African countries including Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria and Ghana that have launched satellites into space. There are also 125 new satellites being lined up for development by 2025 by 23 African countries. It is projected that Africa’s space market will be valued at over $10 billion in 2024.
ESKOM’S $10 BILLION VC FIRM FORAY
South African electricity supply company Eskom is charging up to explore venture capital.
Per Bloomberg, the company plans to invest parts of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund plans via venture capital to reduce its dependence on traditional investments.
The fund has about R185 billion (~$10 billion) worth of assets under management, with roughly two-thirds allocated to South African stocks, inflation-linked debt, property and nominal bonds.
“We are about to invest in venture capital, which is a subset of private equity,” said Phathutshedzo Mabogo, deputy chief investment officer of the fund. “We’ll start with the offshore development markets like North America and Europe. We’ve committed $100 million.”
Mabogo further adds that private equity and venture capital represent “an area of growth that could deliver decent returns without introducing too much risk in the total portfolio”.
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The Next Wave: Crypto’s quick-money promise for Africa is collapsing.
The SaaS Accelerator Program: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.
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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