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Kenya is keeping tabs on sex offenders, literally and digitally.
The country has launched a digital sex offenders registry where you can easily find out if someone is a sex offender with just a few clicks. Isn’t that good news? The registry is reportedly the first of its kind in Africa.
Do you know which other offenders we are personally keeping tabs on? Those who are combining the name of their family members and distant relatives with “@gmail.com” to win prizes of our referral programme. We see you and will reward your scam as detailed here on our T&Cs page.
Bill to tax digital creators becomes a law
Internet money has finally become real money in the eyes of the Kenyan government.
Kenyan president William Ruto has signed the Finance Bill 2023 into law. From July 1, digital content creators, crypto traders, and digital lenders will begin to pay taxes.
Image source: GIF Generator
Content creators? Yes, the government has gotten wind of how much content creators are making from their social media platforms and from brand sponsorships. Now they want a piece of that cake. And it’s not just influencers. Affiliate marketers, photographers, musicians, skitmakers, bloggers—anyone who creates any kind of content and posts them on any platform and makes money from it.
How much will they pay? At first the bill proposed a 15% tax, but digital creators kicked against it and the Kenyan National Assembly reduced it to 1.5%. So, from July 1, anyone who wants to pay a content creator is required by law to withhold 1.5% of the payment and remit it to the government.
Digital lenders are not left out. Digital loans in Kenya are about to get more expensive as the new law now includes any charges on loans and lending transactions.
Crypto bros too: As if the unyielding bear market is not discouraging enough, this new law is mandating a 3% tax on any digital asset being transferred or exchanged. It is called a Digital Asset Tax (DAT). Ironically, this news is coming just three weeks after the outgoing Kenya Central Bank governor, Patrick Njoroge, reiterated the apex bank’s anti-crypto stance.
Zoom out: This development is similar to Nigeria amending its 2022 Finance Act to include a 10% tax on profits on digital assets.
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Smile Identity lays off 10% of staff
The Smile Identity Team
Smile Identity isn’t smiling with its employees.
The KYC compliance and ID verification startup recently laid off 10% of its staff, in early June. In a brief statement shared with TechCabal, the startup said the firing was a bid to “better navigate the changing macroeconomic landscape of the tech startup world”.
Surprising turn of events. It is shocking that the five-year-old startup is tightening its belt as it recently raised a $20 million Series B round in February. It is even more shocking when you consider that during the raise announcement, the startup said that it would use the funds to hire more people for its operations across Africa.
Any cause for concern? We don’t know. This news of job cuts is the only non-native development that has made the news so far. In fact, in April, the startup acquired Ghanaian identity verification software, Appruve, as part of its plan to expand its footprints across Africa. Smile Identity is currently in six markets across Africa: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda. It provides KYC for popular companies like Paystack, Binance, Kuda, Paxful, and Chippercash, among others.
Kenya launches cybersecurity hackathon and bootcamp
Cybersecurity Bootcamp Winners of 2022
Kenya’s Communication Authority (CA) announced the launch of its 2023 bootcamp and hackathon series on Twitter.
The initiative is organised in collaboration with Huawei and the Kenya Cybersecurity Forensics Association. The hackathon and bootcamp will serve as a lead-up to Cybersecurity Awareness Month (OCSAM) in October.
About the initiative: The bootcamp offers an intensive and short-term training experience, featuring the Huawei certification e-learning course on cybersecurity, virtual lab exercises, and mentorship from industry experts. These sessions and courses are designed to equip participants with the necessary skills for a successful career in cybersecurity.
A huge turnout:Over 6,000 students have enrolled in the online bootcamp and hackathon. The event was initiated in Nairobi and will expand to various towns across Kenya, such as Kisumu, Mombasa, Nyeri, and Eldoret. The top 100 students from each region will participate in the regional finals, in collaboration with university partners.
Following the regional finals, the winning hackathon and bootcamp teams from each region will proceed to Mombasa for the national final. This prestigious event will be held during the October Cyber Security Awareness Month (OCSAM) and will include participation in the National OCSAM cyber security conference.
Zoom out: Building upon the success of last year’s programme, which resulted in numerous students securing jobs across various sectors, this program aims to further empower participants for future opportunities.
Weeks after fraud allegations, Customers of Heritage Bank struggle to access funds
Two weeks after Nigerian bank Heritage Bank dismissed rumours about an alleged ₦49 billion ($64 million) fraud, its customers are still struggling to access their funds, and are threatening a bank run.
ICYMI: Earlier this month, there were viral reports that an IT employee of Heritage Bank stole ₦49 billion ($64 million) from the bank. Heritage Bank has denied the report, but its customers are not convinced as they have been experiencing persistent trouble withdrawing their money from ATMs or making digital transfers.
Image source: TechCabal
Growing distrust: The bank has assured customers that all is well, but they are finding it hard to believe the bank, for several reasons. One is that the bank keeps lowering the daily withdrawal limits. Another is that customers remain unable to withdraw from their accounts using ATMs and it is taking days to make transfers online. One customer said that her mother’s account seems to be missing some money and the bank has been unable to provide a statement of activities in the account. Some customers say that they are already moving the money they can out of the bank to other alternatives.
However, the bank maintains that this hassle is due to an internal upgrade of its system and that things will return to normalcy soon.
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The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 06:25 AM WAT, June 28 2023.
State of Web 3.0 in Africa. Blockchain investment company EMURGO Africa and global accounting firm PwC, have published the State of Web 3.0 Report. The report details the growth of the global blockchain industry in Africa.
Hermes wins case against MetaBirkins NFT. A US court has ruled against the MetaBirkins’ creator, and charged him with violating the copyrights of French luxury fashion house Hermès.
The DBN Techpreneur Summit 2.0
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- Applications are open for the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator 2023. Startups will receive connections, 1 year of mentorship, training, advice, exposure and access to $120,000 in IBM cloud credits, up to $10,000 per month for the first year. Apply by June 30.
- The window for applications for the TWBS-ICCBS Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme 2023 (Stipend available) is now opento scientists from developing countries (other than Pakistan) withan age maximum of 45 years, who wish to pursue postdoctoral research. Apply by June 30.
- Applications are open for the Google Women Techmakers Ambassador Program 2023. If you are 18 years or older, you stand a chance to network with over a thousand Ambassadors worldwide, lead and organise events in your tech community with support from Google, receive exclusive access to Google-led talks and workshops. Apply June 30.
- Applications are open for the L’Oreal-UNESCO Young Talents for Women in Science Program – Maghreb 2023. Awarded doctoral and post-doctoral candidates will each receive an endowment of €10,000. Apply by July 30.
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