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Ruto’s Hustlers Fund gets $72 million more
President Ruto’s Hustlers Fund has hustled its way into Kenya’s 2023/2024 budget.
The Kenyan government announced its allocation of Ksh.10 billion ($72 million) to the Hustler Fund to support entrepreneurial efforts.
President William Ruto of Kenya
What is the Hustlers Fund about? President William Ruto launched the Hustlers Fund in November 2022 with the aim of providing loans to small businesses in the country that have faced challenges in accessing funding from local banks. The second phase of the Hustlers Fund was launched in June 2023, targeting registered investment groups and savings and credit cooperative societies.
How much has been disbursed so far? While presenting his inaugural budget in the Kenya Kwanza government, treasury cabinet secretary, Njuguna Ndung’u, revealed that Ksh30.8 billion ($220.1 million) has been borrowed from the Hustlers Fund. Also, a total of 16 million Kenyans, of which 7.1 million are repeat customers, have accessed the fund.
Zoom Out: The government has experienced remarkable growth in transactions, with a total of 43.5 million transactions recorded. The fund has also been a success. “The largest number a single customer borrower has borrowed from the Hustler’s Fund is about 50 times,” said Ndung’u.
Moniepoint ranked 2nd fastest-growing African company
Moniepoint is Africa’s second-fastest growing company, as shown in FTs latest report. We also processed 1 billion transactions worth $43 billion in Q1 alone.
Read all about it here.
Google cautions employees about using chatbots
Google has warned its employees to not share confidential information with talking bots!
According to four sources familiar with the matter, Google is simultaneously warning its employees about using chatbots, including its own Bard, while promoting the programme globally.
This includes discouraging engineers from directly employing computer-generated code that chatbots can generate.
Image source: Zikoko Memes
What are AI chatbots? Chatbots like Bard and ChatGPT use AI to engage in human-like conversations and respond to various prompts. They can answer questions and generate text. However, researchers found that these chatbots can also reproduce data they were trained on, which could lead to data leaks.
Why the sudden concern? Google’s concern highlights its intention to mitigate potential business risks arising from its software—Bard—which directly competes with ChatGPT. The competition between Google and the backers of ChatGPT, OpenAI and Microsoft Corp, is not only about billions of dollars in investment but also about the substantial revenue generated from advertising and cloud services tied to new AI programmes. The exact magnitude of this revenue is yet to be determined.
Zoom out: Google also informed Reuters that it has engaged in thorough discussions with Ireland’s Data Protection Commission and is actively responding to inquiries from regulators. This comes after a report by Politico on Tuesday stated that the company had postponed the launch of Bard in the European Union for this week, over privacy concerns.
SA pushes back television analogue switch-off date
Image source: Google
South Africa’s minister of communications, Mondli Gungubele, has announced that the analogue switch-off date, which would mean that all analogue television sets would no longer be supported, has been pushed back once again.
The minister published a notice in the government gazette on Thursday saying all analogue broadcasters using bands above 694MHz must vacate those frequencies by no later than July 31.
Final switch off: Gungubele also stated that all analogue signals would be switched off no later than December 31, 2024, meaning that not only would broadcasters not be able to broadcast the signals, but end users would also not be able to receive them. In 2022, experts estimated that over 8 million South Africans would lose access to television if the switch-off was effected.
Zoom out: According to the International Telecommunication Union, which South Africa is a part of, the switch off, which is meant to improve the quality of broadcast, should have happened by July 2015, meaning the country is almost a decade late to the party.
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Image source: Ayomide Agbaje/TechCabal
This week, Nigerian communications-as-a-service startup, Termii, raised $3.65 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Fintech Collective and Ventures Platform; other participating investors include Launch Africa Ventures, Nama Ventures, Aidi Ventures, Ralicap Ventures, Now Venture Partners, Vastly Valuable Ventures, NOA Capital, and others.
Here are the other deals closed:
- Egyptian logistics company, Trella, received $3.5 million in an undisclosed funding round from private equity fund, Avanz Capital Egypt.
- South African agri-tech company, Maltento, raised $3.3 million in an undisclosed funding round from Sand River Venture Capital.
- Nigerian logistics company, Messenger, raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Nama Ventures, with participation from Aidi Ventures and other angels.
That’s all for this week!
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The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 06:20 AM WAT, June 16, 2023.
CoinEx banned in New York. Per Cointelegraph, Hong Kong-based crypto exchange CoinEx has been banned from operating in New York. Over $1.7 million worth of the exchange’s funds were seized for allegedly failing to register as a securities and commodities brokerage.
Bitkey to integrate with Cashapp and Coinbase CoinDesk reports that Jack Dorsey’s fintech company Block will integrate its new self-custody bitcoin wallet, Bitkey, with its financial services platform Cashapp and the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
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