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The rich are beating themselves…or at least they want to.
Billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have expressed interest in fighting one another. Elon Musk, on Wedneday, tweeted that he would be “up for a cage fight” with Zuckerberg, and the Meta CEO shot back by posting a screenshot of Musk’s tweet with the caption “send me location.”
Now the world waits with bated breath to watch what will possibly be the shortest match in history.
Mr Price blames load-shedding for $54 million revenue loss
According to its latest financial results released on Thursday, South African retail giant Mr Price lost R1 billion ($54 million) in revenue.
The company cites load-shedding as the major cause of the loss as a result of over 318,000 of trading hours lost in the past financial year.
Image source: Zikoko Memes
It’s all load-shedding’s fault: Additionally, the company stated that the indirect impacts of load-shedding such as changing customer shopping behaviour and lower levels of consumer confidence, as well as the need to mark down unsold stock, further exacerbated the company’s poor performance.
To counter the impact of load shedding on its operations going forward, Mr Price stated that it has accelerated its energy continuity roll-out plans and invested R220 million in backup solutions, including inverters and batteries, which will cover all its stores by the end of June.
Zoom out: Mr Price joins other publicly traded companies including MultiChoice, Vodacom, Telkom, and MTN, who have blamed their suboptimal performances on load-shedding.
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Safaricom forms partnership to tackle M-Pesa fraud
Image source: GIPHY
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Safaricom have joined forces to investigate M-Pesa fraud conducted through the telco’s mobile network.
Today, over 30 million people use M-Pesa in Kenya.
M-Pesa has been huge for Kenya’s economy and, unfortunately, for scammers too.
Numerous fraud allegations: Safaricom has faced multiple M-Pesa fraud allegations, including SIM swap fraud, where fraudsters replace and take over a customer’s line, and a fraud network that exploits the Fuliza service—a Safaricom M-Pesa overdraft feature—to illicitly steal money.
Measures taken: Although Safaricom introduced measures to curb sim fraud, the telecom and security agencies acknowledge the importance of adopting a new approach. A key aspect will be fostering information sharing. Both parties will join forces to raise awareness and educate the public about digital crime. Through diverse platforms, including social media, they are dedicated to informing the public on identifying and avoiding potential traps.
The telco, relevant authorities, and millions of M-Pesa users share the hope that this partnership will yield tangible results and benefits for all parties involved.
Student expulsion in Nigeria sparks digital rights debate
At the University of Abuja in Nigeria, a student sent a WhatsApp message that invoked an expulsion and a debate on digital rights.
Cyprian Igwe, a student union executive and sociology major, sent a message to the Student Union’s WhatsApp group stating his displeasure at the university’s decision to increase tuition fees by 50% on April 29, 2023. That message got him expelled.
Image source: GIPHY
Why did he get expelled? Cyprian was accused of circulating an “inciteful press release”, in a suspension letter signed by Alkasim Umar, the university’s deputy registrar.
Part of the letter states, “Your actions are capable of jeopardising the peaceful smooth conduct of academic activities in the university and a breach of the university matriculation oath. By the powers conferred on the vice chancellor, as contained in the University of Abuja Act, he on behalf of the senate, has directed your immediate rustication from the university. Accordingly, you are banned from all university campuses pending the determination of the case.”
A stroke of luck: Fortune smiled upon Cyprian in May 2023 when his tweet gained traction among journalists and activists. The subsequent media frenzy exerted enough pressure on the university, compelling them to backtrack on their decision and re-admit Cyprian as a student.
Similar cases: Aderemi Ojo, the former President of the University of Ibadan student Union was expelled after a 2017 protest. Similarly, in 2010, four student union leaders at the University of Nigeria faced expulsion for protesting against a tuition fee increase.
Zoom out: Observers, including journalists and lawyers, argue that the university’s actions violated Cyprian’s digital rights, encompassing freedom of expression and privacy. The perplexing aspect remains how the University authorities discovered Cyprian’s message within a private WhatsApp group.
Image source: TechCabal Insights
This week, South African solar energy company Yellow raised $14 million in Series B funding, in a round led by Convergence Partners. Other participating investors include the Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund and Platform Investment Partners.
Here are the other deals this week:
- Nigerian electronics B2B marketplace Eze received $3.7 million in seed funding. The round was led by Right Side Capital Management, and other participating investors included C2 Ventures, Boro Capital, EVPI Investments, and several angel investors.
- Egypt’s fintech company Agel raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding led by Plus Venture Capital (+VC), Seedstars International Ventures, and Flat6labs. Other participating investors included SEEDRA Ventures, Banque Misr Acceleration Program, and angel investors.
That’s it for this week!
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The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 08:45 PM WAT, June 22, 2023.
One year after launching in Nigeria, crypto platform Pillow Fund is exiting the country. Yesterday, the Singapore-based startup disclosed the news in an in-app message to its user base—reportedly over 75,000 individuals across 60 different countries.
In the note, Pillow attributed its closure to the “current regulatory climate and its impact on associated financial infrastructure”.
The platform has informed all existing users that have until July 31, 2023 to withdraw their holdings. While the app will be removed from the Play Store by that date, the platform plans to suspend bank withdrawals on July 7, with crypto withdrawals to follow on July 31.
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