Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is fighting a new regulatory bill, and this time, telecoms have joined the fray too.
On Monday, telecoms operators in the country, under the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria (ALTON), wrote to the National Assembly requesting exclusion from the NITDA bill.
A duplicitous bill: Since August 2022, the Nigerian government has been toying with an amendment to the regulatory framework of ICT agency, NITDA. The amendment will bring all sectors of tech, information and communications under NITDA’s purview, allow NITDA to issue and renew licences, force tech companies to pay even more taxes, and levy hefty punishments, including fining and imprisonment, for breach.
Doubt trouble: Per ALTON, telecoms fear that the NITDA bill would mean double trouble for them as they are presently being regulated by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).
If there are already bills regulating these functions, it calls to question why the Nigerian government is spending time and money on yet another legislation that solves nothing.
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SAMA’S EMPLOYEES ARE GOING NOWHERE
Facebook’s former content moderator, Sama, has once again failed to shake off the over 180 content moderators that it has been trying to lay off for months now.
What’s going on: So, basically, Sama has been trying to lay off 180 content moderators for months now, but the court instructed them not to let go of these workers. However, according to Business Daily, Sama resorted to using threats to coerce the workers into accepting their termination. They even threatened not to pay them their dues if they didn’t clear the company of their employer’s duties towards them in nine days.
The workers filed a petition at the Employment and Labour Relations Court, stating Sama’s threat and the fact that if they followed through they would have no legal basis to stay in Kenya. The judge granted their petition and gave them the immigration status of foreign petitioners until the issue with Sama was sorted out.
Why would they have had to leave Kenya? Well, the thing is, these workers are foreigners. Sama brought them in from different countries to filter abusive and toxic posts from Facebook platforms in the Eastern and Southern region of Africa. These regions have different languages, so Sama drew workers from different countries to moderate content in local languages from the office in Nairobi. If Sama lays them off, they would have to immediately leave the country and return to theirs.
The story gets even more complicated because Sama doesn’t do content moderation for Facebook anymore. They cut ties with Meta last year when they and Meta got embroiled in a lawsuit by a Sama employee who claimed that Meta is exploiting them. Meta tried to throw the case out of court, but the Kenyan court refused. Sama and Meta parted ways as Sama announced that it wouldn’t renew its contract with Facebook. In addition, Sama swore off content moderation completely and decided to lay off its 120 content moderators who, in turn, accused Sama of unlawful layoff.
On top of that, they also accused Meta and its new content partner, Majorel, of discriminating against them and refusing to hire any moderator that worked with Sama, even though they have experience working with the Meta platform. Meta has defied this order and goes on to work with an unknown content moderator.
A small mess: Yes, but it feels good to see the court putting its foot down and making sure that multinational platforms like Facebook play by the book in welfare matters on the continent.
NOMBA RAISES $30 MILLION
The numbers show that Africa is getting fewer VC deals, but not this Nomba.
Nomba, a payment service provider from Nigeria, just raised a whopping $30 million in funding in a pre-Series B funding round, which the startup said was oversubscribed. The round was led by Base10 Partners, Helios Digital Ventures, Shopify, Partech, and Khosla Ventures.
First time hearing of Nomba? It’s a payment service provider that started out as a chatbot helping people make online payments on social apps in Nigeria. Since then, they’ve grown into a fully licensed provider that reportedly supports more than 300,000 businesses and processes $1 billion in monthly transactions.
What will Nomba do with the funding? The startup said it will use the financing to provide payment technology that is tailored to the businesses of its customers.
So, instead of having a generic point-of-sale (POS) device to accept payments, it says it will help restaurants access menus, manage inventory, receive payments, and perform other business functions all from the same hardware. Logistic companies will have their own devices specially designed for them too, as will other businesses. Also, Nomba will deliver a range of business tools, including invoicing and order management solutions, starting in Nigeria.
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THE WORLD WIDE WEB3
Name of the coin
Price of the coin
24-hour percentage change
* Data as of 06:15 AM WAT, May 3, 2023.
REPORT: THE STATE OF TECH IN AFRICA
Let’s revisit and review the tech sector in Q1 2023. Here are the main points:
African startups raised $857 million in Q1 2023 alone, down by 42% from Q1 2022’s total VC funding raised.
The fintech sector raised about 69% of the total funding.
The number of acquisitions increased by 43%..
Over 400 tech workers were laid off in Africa.
Technology in Africa is growing at an unprecedented rate and we want you to have a bird’s eye view of it. The State of Tech in Africa report launches in a few days.
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.
Innovation for Ecosystem Restoration, an accelerator for entrepreneurs championing ecosystem restoration throughout sub-Saharan Africa, is open for applications. Apply by May 14.
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.
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.
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