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You no longer have to worry about WhatsApp reducing the quality of your pictures. 

Last week, amidst deciding whether or not he would fight Elon Musk, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature that will let users send images in higher resolutions

Images will still be compressed, but they’ll look sharp enough that you don’t have to squint every time you receive them.

Social media

Somalia bans Tiktok

Illustration of Somalia's ban on TikTok
Image source: TechCabal

Time has run out for TikTok in Somalia.

The East African country’s government says it will shut down access to certain social media platforms including TikTok and Telegram, which authorities believe disproportionately harm youth.

According to the ministry of communications and technology, the move was to counter the spread of extremist content, nude images and other materials deemed offensive to Somali culture and Islam. 

The ministry will also ban the gambling platform 1XBET. 

This is Somalia’s first attempt to shut down any platform on social media. The ban will kick off on Thursday, August 24.

Moral Issues? Questions of whether TikTok is a threat to cultural and religious values is becoming a trend on the continent. Earlier this month, Kenyan citizen “Bob Ndolo” reportedly petitioned the lawmakers to look into the social media platform because it’s “a threat to the cultural and religious values of Kenya”. Ndolo told lawmakers that if TikTok is not banned in Kenya, it could lead to a decline in academic performance and mental health issues among youth.

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South Africa sanctions the importation of Starlink

Speaking of bans, South Africa’s telecommunications regulator wants Starlink users to come back to Earth.

This week, the country’s ICT regulator (ICASA) asked IT Lec, a local Internet service provider (ISP), to stop importing Starlink kits. It also wants IT Lec to cut off existing Starlink users in South Africa from the satellite internet service.

Dont do that GIF
GIF source: Tenor

Why? Starlink needs the Individual Electronic Communications Service (IECS) licence and Individual Electronic Communications Network Service (IECNS) licence to operate as an internet service in the country. But according to the regulating bodies, Starlink has not applied for the licenses yet.

Why haven’t they? Turns out, to snag those licenses, you need more than just a star-studded name. There’s a clause in South Africa’s rulebook that demands all telecoms applying for these licenses should have at least 30% ownership in the hands of persons from historically disadvantaged groups such as black people, youth, women, and people with disabilities. Starlink is missing that essential 30% equity puzzle piece.

So how are people using Starlink? Starlink’s cosmic web stretches across the globe and is available anywhere unless Starlink specifically barred the service in a designated area. Starlink has not barred South Africa, so people there can still access its network. However, they cannot order the kit or pay the monthly subscription fees directly from the website. This is why thousands of people living in rural areas and sparsely populated areas in South Africa are ordering through third parties like IT Lec which imports Starlink kits on their behalf and also manages their accounts with Starlink.

What will happen now? Per MyBroadband, IT Lec has been will move its operation to Mozambique, one of five African countries where Starlink has rolled out. From there, it will continue to provide its services to its customers in South Africa and other countries where Starlink has not launched yet.


Nigerian ride-hailing drivers’ union becomes official

Congratulations o meme
GIF Source: Tenor

Drivers of ride-hailing platforms in Nigeria have formed what is arguably the first union for gig workers in Africa. 

Nigeria’s ride-hailing drivers merged all their existing unions and groups into one body, and this newly united front goes by the name: the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON). This is good news for riders across the country who have been protesting against unfair working conditions in various ride-hailing companies, particularly Bolt and Uber. 

Sounds interesting? Well even though the union only just got official, the road to forming this groundbreaking union actually kicked off seven years ago. However, it hit a heavy snag earlier this year when Uber and Bolt objected to the union’s application notice.

Why? Both companies argued that drivers cannot form trade unions because they are independent contractors, not workers. And, the first name that AUATON had decided to go by—Amalgamated Union of App-Based Transport Workers Of Nigeria (AUATWON)—labelled the transporters as workers. 

This distinction in how drivers are classified is a legal question that Uber has fought and lost in countries like the United Kingdom. Anyway, the drivers changed the name from AUATWON to Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria (AUATON), and have now been officially recognised by Nigeria’s Ministry of Labour and ride-hailing companies as a legitimate union. 


SA wants to change how remote workers are taxed

You're getting taxed GIF
GIF Source: TechCabal

South Africa is taxing its remote workers differently. 

Yesterday, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) shared a draft of the proposed Tax Administration Laws (Amendment) bill, which seeks to change how remote workers pay taxes. Part of the changes includes removing the distinction between remote and non-remote workers, and requiring employers of South Africa-based remote workers to deduct pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax.

Currently, remote workers pay taxes by declaring their earned income during the tax season—July to October every year. SARS has valid concerns that this method of tax collection leads to revenue losses. By switching to a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) model for remote workers, the revenue authority can collect tax deductions directly from employers and increase revenues. 

Getting a PAYE is tough: To efficiently withhold the PAYE tax of South African staff, foreign companies would need to apply for and receive a SARS income tax number, register a branch company within South Africa, and register for Skills Development Levy (SDL) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions.

While the proposed amendments are yet to be signed into law, labour and tax experts state that these complex demands might prevent international companies from considering South African personnel for remote work opportunities. The new regulations will add to existing challenges such as load shedding which affects workers’ productivity and makes it harder for workers to be considered for remote opportunities.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


Coin Market Cap logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $26,012

– 0.19%

– 13.01%

Ether $1,661

– 0.87%

– 11.30%



+ 7.30%

+ 162.20%

XRP $0.52

– 1.50%

– 29.76%

* Data as of 05:55 AM WAT, August 22, 2023.


NTICE Expo 2023

The Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS) is hosting the second edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE). 

The 2nd edition, NTICE 2023, is themed “Harnessing Indigenous Content for Economic Growth”, and is set for August 22 to 24 at Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. The event will emphasise manufacturing, service, people, and R&D in line with diversifying the economy.

Register here.


  • Visa is open to applications for its Africa Fintech Accelerator Program. Startups up to the Series A stage are encouraged to apply for a chance to gain unparalleled expertise, valuable industry connections, cutting-edge technology, and potential investment funding. Apply by August 25.
  • If you are an aspiring economist entering your first year of undergraduate studies in the 2024 academic year, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB)  Economic Research Department in collaboration with the SARB Academy, invites you to apply for competitive SARB bursaries in the field of economics, economics and econometrics, economics and mathematical statistics and economic science. Apply by September 30.
  • Applications are open for the Cambridge Africa ALBORADA Research Fund 2023 for sub-Saharan African Researchers ($20,000 in Grants). The Cambridge Africa ALBORADA Research Fund competitively awards grants between £1,000 and £20,000 for research costs, research-related travel between Cambridge and Africa, and conducting research training activities in Africa. Apply by September 4.
  • The SaaS Accelerator Programme: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.

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