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Happy pre-Friday ☀️
Threads launched earlier today, and it’s looking good so far!
ICYMI: Instagram launched a Twitter-like app that will allow users to do everything they can do on Twitter but with their Instagram usernames.
A snapshot of Threads
Already, the platform surpassed 2 million users within its first two hours. The platform’s interface and look are so similar to Twitter’s, Elon Musk will have to thread carefully or he’ll lose the fight for the next big social media space.
Department of Justice fined $266,331 for breaking security rules
Justice is in trouble.
South Africa’s Information Regulator has fined the Department of Justice R5 million ($266,331) for not renewing its licences for antivirus software.
Image source: YungNolly
The Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia) sets basic rules for gathering and exchanging personal information. Mail & Guardian reports that when the regulator discovered that the department was breaking some of these rules, it issued an enforcement notice on May 9. It had 30 days to follow the notice, but it didn’t. As a result, the regulator has now imposed a fine on the department, using its power for the first time since it was established two years ago.
Why is this a big deal? In September 2021, the department experienced a severe ransomware attack. This attack disrupted court operations and all electronic services provided by the department because employees couldn’t access information systems. Personal information in documents was compromised, and a significant amount of files were lost.
Two years prior, the court faced another hacking incident in which hackers stole R10,000 ($532) from the Guardian’s Fund account at the Pietermaritzburg office. Recently, there were reports of hackers stealing R18 million ($958,071) from the fund once again. The Guardian’s Fund was established to receive and manage money on behalf of individuals who are legally incapable or unable to handle their own financial matters. Now, due to inadequate security measures, their money has been lost.
Zoom out: South Africa is increasingly becoming a hotbed for financial cybercrimes. Some businesses are paying $5 million dollars or more to ransomware attackers.
Per Business Daily, the establishment of the new subsidiaries is subject to shareholders’ approval at the July 28 annual general meeting.
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Safaricom to incorporate two VC subsidiaries
Safaricom is venturing into venture capital.
The Kenya-born telecom giant Safaricom is set to incorporate two venture capital firms into its business, Business Daily reports. The VC firms will focus on funding and incubating seed-stage and growth-stage start-ups. With this, Safaricom hopes to gain a big share of the startups in the country as it currently does in the telecom and mobile money sector.
Sidebar: Seed-stage startups are those that are typically yet to begin generating revenue and are in need of capital to turn their money-making ideas into reality. Growth-stage businesses are those that are actively generating revenue even though they may still not be profitable.
DRC’s Nuru secures $40 million in Series B funding
Nuru’s solar installations in Goma, DRC
Nuru, a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) solar startup, has raised $40 million to build the biggest mini-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Series B equity fund will see to the construction of three mini-grids in Eastern DRC, including Goma and Kindu, with the largest in Bunia. The grids will use solar power and batteries with a total generation capacity of 13.7 megawatts.
Investor highlights: The round was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Proparco, E3 Capital, Voltalia, the Schmidt Family Foundation, GAIA Impact Fund, and the Joseph Family Foundation.
Future plans: Nuru plans to raise $300 million to hit its target to provide 24-hour electricity to five million people in DRC by September 24, 2024. Its Series B raise of $40 million is still far from the $300 million needed to achieve this goal. However, Bloomberg reports that a $90-million Series C round is expected to get underway later this year.
The company also hopes to close off an additional $28 million in project finance by the end of July
Zoom out: Less than 20% of the 100 million people in DRC have access to energy, with the majority who lack access in eastern DRC. The upcoming mini-grids in eastern DRC will enable renewable energy adoption, eliminating reliance on fossil fuels for power generation.
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Mastercard partners with SomBank to launch debit card
Image source: SomBank
SomBank is making banking more accessible to its customers.
On Tuesday, SomBank announced its partnership with Mastercard, a leading global technology company in the payments industry to bring digital payments to consumers in Somalia.
The partnership: Through the introduction of the SomBank card, the Mastercard-branded debit card, Sombank now offers secure Mastercard payments, enabling customers to make safe transactions for purchases, withdrawals, and online payments. The card will be initially provided to 100,000 SomBank customers in 2023, with future program expansion in subsequent years.
The Sombank card also offers a seamless payment solution for daily transactions across Somalia, offering access to an extensive network of merchants, ATMs, branches, and agents, all accepting Mastercard payments.
Zoom out: Through this partnership, financial inclusion in Somalia will be advanced, allowing more individuals to participate in the economy and gain access to vital financial services like savings, loans, and insurance.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 05:00 AM WAT, July 6, 2023.
Event: TC Twitter Space
Join our Twitter Space on July 7 to explore the perils of digital loan recovery in Nigeria and Kenya.
Discover the real stories behind the headlines, understand the privacy risks associated with quick loans, and gain insights into protecting your digital rights. Do not miss out on this informative discussion!
📅 Date: July 7
⌚ Time: 6 PM WAT
Set a reminder on Twitter Spaces.
- The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards 2023 ($5,000 prize) is now open to applications from reporters doing work for independent news organisations around the world, with articles readily accessible to the public by subscription, newsstand sales or online access, with the submitted work available in English are eligible to Apply by August 1.
- If you are a young (no older than 24 years of age) and emerging photographer looking to embark on a career in the world of photojournalism, the Ian Parry Photojournalism Grant 2023 (up to £10,000) is open for Applications. Apply by August 31.
- 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.
- Applications are open for the Sir Harry Evans Global Fellowship 2024 for Early-career Journalists (Stipends available). The fellowship has a monthly salary of £4,444, a £1,250 per month living stipend, and a one-off payment of £1,800 for travel and related expenses. Apply by July 10.
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