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Space

SANSA clarifies plans to send two female astronauts to ISS

Not ready GIF
GIF source: Tenor

South African astronauts won’t be making a trip to space anytime soon.

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has clarified its position on a recent claim that South Africa plans to send two female astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) within two years.

SANSA has acknowledged it had ambitions to send South African astronauts on global space exploration missions, but the CEO Humbulani Mudau clarified that South Africa is still “years away” from realising that ambition.

ICYMI: This clarification comes after the Russian Embassy in South Africa issued a statement by SANSA’s CEO Humbulani Mudau revealing the plan to send two female astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) within two years, as part of the grand opening of a joint project between SANSA and Roscosmos, a Russian space debris detection centre in South Africa.

Space scientists and industry experts in South Africa expressed disbelief at the initial announcement, as the training of astronauts and cosmonauts is a lengthy process that takes years to complete. Furthermore, there were no calls for candidates, no shortlisting, and no indication of the research that South Africa’s spacewomen would undertake on the ISS.

Zoom out: Mudau says SANSA is committed to formalising plans with its space partners in the near future, and it is already contributing to human space travel through its partnership in developing the next Deep Space Network, which will support both manned and unmanned space exploration missions.

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Policy

Nigerian DisCos face punishment for outrageous estimated billing

You will pay meme
Image source: YungNollywood

No one wants DisCos to rule, especially not Nigerian lawmakers. 

In a resolution, the Nigerian House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to instruct Distribution Companies (DisCos) to cease extortive estimated/arbitrary billing.

A unanimous motion: This action came about after the plenary adopted a motion sponsored by Hon. Afuape Moruf. According to him, the Electricity Act of 2023 prescribes a comprehensive and institutional framework to guide the operation of a privatised, contract, and rule-based electricity market, which is within the ambit of which every participant in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) must operate.

An unfair increase in revenue: In Q1 of 2023, DisCos witnessed a surge in revenue, generating ₦247.33 billion ($312.37 million), which represents a significant 20.81% increase compared to the ₦204.74 billion ($257.33 million) earned in Q1 of 2022. However, during the same period, electricity supply declined from 5,956 gigawatt-hour in Q1 of 2022 to 5,852 gigawatt-hour in Q1 of 2023, despite the rise in earnings. Furthermore, in July 2023, DisCos in Nigeria raised electricity tariffs by 40%, attributing it to the impact of high exchange rates and inflation in the country.

People who don’t have access to prepaid meters in Nigeria often get billed exorbitantly. This is because the DisCos are allowed to charge them higher tariffs than those who have prepaid meters.

A way forward: The house has called upon the NERC to implement a robust metering strategy that guarantees fair billing for consumers, adding the importance of invoking relevant legal provisions and agreements to penalise DisCos that exploit and abuse consumers’ rights.


Funding

Clafiya raises $610,000 in pre-seed round

Clafiya Webpage

Nigerian health-tech startup Clafiya has raised $610,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed round. The round is a mix of VC funds, angel investments, and grants. The investors include Norrsken Accelerator, Acquired Wisdom Fund (AWF), Hustle Fund, Voltron Capital, Microtraction, Ajim Capital, HoaQ, Bold Angel Fund, Shivdasani Family and other angel investors. 

What does Clafiya do? Clafiya brings healthcare to the doorsteps of users through in-person and virtual medical consultations. People who use Clafiya can say goodbye to pharmacy trips too! The company delivers medicines right to patients. If they need diagnostic testing, it collects samples from their residence too. Users can access all these services for themselves and their family. Employees can use it to offer their employees health insurance. 

What will it use the funding for? The company says the investment will finance product development and team expansion.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3

Source:

Coin Market Cap logo

Coin Name

Current Value

Day

Month

Bitcoin $29,198

+ 0.07%

– 4.23%

Ether $1,858

+ 0.50%

+ 2.31%

Worldcoin

$2.28

+ 7.22%

+ 36.64%

XRP $0.71

+ 0.78%

+ 44.66%

* Data as of 00:15 AM WAT, July 26, 2023.

Binance is ready to put up a fight. Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao has decided to argue against the lawsuits levied by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

What lawsuit? In March, the CFTC accused Binance and the founder of not registering as a digital asset company with the agency and avoiding regulatory oversight. It also accused Binance of breaking several US financial rules including those intended to prevent money laundering.

Binance is asking for extra sheets.Per MyBroadband, the crypto platform is supposed to respond to the CFTC complaint by July 27. Binance says that it is definitely going to respond and has even asked the court for permission to exceed a 15-page limit on supporting briefs to accommodate its robust arguments.

More regulatory problems: The platform has been receiving accusations of impropriety from regulators left and right. Last month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company of mishandling customer funds, misleading investors and regulators, and breaking securities rules. Binance also recently exited the Canadian market because it couldn’t handle the regulatory hurdles on that end either. 

Events

TC Live: The State of Tech in Africa, Q2 2023

Join us on Friday, August 4, 2023, for a special edition of TC Live, as TechCabal Insights will be launching The State of Tech report, the Q2 2023 edition. This is our flagship report offering a bird’s eye view of African tech trends and analyzing quarterly data on funding, acquisitions, expansions, regulations, policies, and emerging developments in the continent’s digital economy.

The latest edition will explore happenings during the previous quarter in retrospect with actionable insights and expert perspectives on notable patterns and trends to look out for. At the launch event, we would also bring together various ecosystem stakeholders to discuss our exciting findings and highlight from the report with you towards shaping conversations about the general outlook of African tech. 

Register to reserve your seat here.

Opportunities

  • 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.
  • Are you a startup founder looking to build your company? The ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator program is open for applications. Each company receives up to $120,000 in funding, and access to the worldwide network of investors, hands-on mentorship, and over $4M of perks. Join the 7,000+ founders who built their businesses with Techstars. Apply by August 9.

Written by –

Mariam Muhammad & Ngozi Chukwu

Edited by –

Timi Odueso

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