The Kenyan High Court has issued an order prohibiting Meta, Facebook’s parent company, from using any third-party content moderator company other than Sama to examine its platform’s content.
The order comes after Meta disobeyed earlier orders to solely work with Sama as its content reviewer until the case about Sama’s working conditions was heard. Meta had gone against the order and employed unnamed “global partners” to handle its content moderation in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sama’s poor working conditions: Last year, Sama was accused of treating its content moderators poorly and illegally firing some. Amidst these allegations, Sama announced that its agreement with Meta expired on March 31, 2023. It also shut down its content moderation division to focus on labelling—computer vision data annotation.
Due to these changes, Sama planned to lay off over 200 moderators but hasn’t been able to do so due to court orders stemming from the lawsuits concerning its contract with Meta. So even though it has no content moderation going on, Sama is still paying its content moderators, which it claims have been on paid leave since April.
A new player: Meta hired Majorel, a different content moderation company, to replace Sama. However, Meta can’t work with Majorel due to court orders to work with only Sama. The lawsuit also accuses Majorel of refusing to employ moderators who used to work with Sama. Majorel argues that this court decision would waste the investment they made in setting up a hub in Kenya in 2022.
At the moment of writing this, Meta has not disclosed who its new content moderators are. So far, there’s nothing indicating Meta will not ignore this order the same way it disregarded the earlier one.
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AUTOCHEK ACQUIRES MAJORITY STAKE IN EGYPT’S AUTOTAGER
Autochek, a Nigerian automotive technology company, has acquired a majority stake in AutoTager, an Egyptian automotive technology company, as part of its expansion into Egypt.
This marks Autochek’s second acquisition in North Africa, following its acquisition of Moroccan KIFAL Autos last year. It also marks Autochek’s sixth acquisition in the past two years as the company expands its presence across East, West, and North Africa.
Egypt’s pressing need: Thanks to its strategic position and large population, there is a huge demand for cars and auto financing solutions in Egypt. In 2021 alone, over 215,000 cars were sold in Egypt, creating a wave of new jobs for the local workforce.
AutoTager provides vetted vehicles, financing options, and technology solutions to connect dealers with buyers and improve its operations. Through this partnership with AutoTager, Autochek aims to provide Egyptians with the much-needed infrastructure to make car ownership more accessible and affordable for everyone.
NETFLIX TO EXPAND OPERATIONS IN AFRICA
Looks like subscription prices are not the only thing Netflix is increasing.
The streaming giant has announced plans to also increase its presence in Africa, following the success of its local content production ventures in the region.
According to a recently released impact survey report, Netflix claims to have invested €160 million ($176 million) in film content production in Africa since 2016, creating over 12,000 jobs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. For South Africa alone, the service has reportedly budgeted $63 million for 2022–2023.
Africa is still watching: The expansion is expected to help Netflix establish itself as a dominant player in the African market, with the increasing demand for local content and rising competition from other streaming platforms.
Zoom out: Netflix’s move to expand comes on the back of the success of its South African series Blood and Water, which achieved significant international acclaim in 2020, ranking first in the United States.
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Venture funding for Africa’s blockchain industry rose by 500% in 2022. A new report by CV VC and Standard Bank shows that startups in Africa employing blockchain technologies raised a total of $474 million in 2022, compared to $89.6 million a year earlier.
Is a crypto-specific regulation coming to the UK soon? CNBC reports that the economic secretary to the UK treasury, Andrew Griffith, has noted that Britain is working on cryptocurrency legislation that may be implemented within the next 12 months.
Israel’s central bank is presently exploring whether stablecoins and CBDCs can be useful. CoinDesk reports that the Bank of Israel is outlining scenarios where CBDCs and stablecoins would come into play in its society for both international and domestic use.
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.
Growth4Her, a 6-month investment program, is calling for applications from founders in West and Central Africa. Apply by May 8.
Young Impact Associate (YIA) fellowship which is funded and implemented in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is open for applications. Apply by May 15.
WEMA Bank Hackaholic 4.0, a startup competition that enables founders and innovators to blitzscale their ventures, is receiving applications from Nigerian designers, developers, and creative thinkers. Apply before May 1.
Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration, an accelerator for entrepreneurs championing ecosystem restoration throughout sub-Saharan Africa, is open for applications. Apply by May 14.
Football club, Paris Saint-Germain, is looking for a startup that can develop a collaborative platform that can solve the challenges of product development in Africa. Apply before April 30.
Wise Guys SaaS Accelerator Program is looking to help SaaS startups level up through tailored guidance and support from world-class mentors and experts. Apply before September 7.
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.
Applications for a new cycle of the Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP Nigeria) have kicked off. If you are passionate about clean technologies, tackling climate change and making a positive impact in Nigeria apply by May 5.
The Africa 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.
Female-focused accelerator programme ShEquity Business Accelerator by the African investment firm ShEquity Partners has opened applications for its 4th edition in West Africa. Apply by April 21.
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