Soldiers in the Central African country, on Wednesday, declared that they had seized control of the country, and put President Ali Bongo under house arrest.
Why? Gabon’s electoral body announced that President Ali Bongo had won a contentious election, handing him a third term in power. Bongo’s family have ruled the country for 56 years, with Ali Bongo’s father, Omar Bongo, ruling for almost 42 years, from 1967 until his death in 2009.
Bongo’s previous election victories weredisputed as fraudulent by opponents, and achange to voting papers just weeks before this year’s election prompted criticism. In the run up to his re-election, the Gabonese government blocked internet access and prevented three French broadcasters from broadcasting their election coverage.
Zoom out: While this is Gabon’s first coup, it’s the latest in a string of coups in Africa. It comes weeks after the military takeover in Niger— where the country’s military junta also held the elected president captive.West Africa has witnessed seven coups in the last three years. The latest Gabon coup mirrors the growing frustration of African citizens who feel unable to hold governments accountable for their policies and vote them out.
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The Los Angeles-based venture capital firm launched the fund to support African startups in the cleantech, supply chain, agritech, and edtech sectors.
Image source: Zikoko Memes
Supporting African startups: The newly created firm will support startups with check sizes ranging from $50,000 to $200,000, and the fund will focus on startups in Tanzania, Zambia, Morocco, and Uganda. Additionally, the firm will offer a follow-on investment of up to $1 million if the company reaches Series A.
Ajani Windsor-Areago, the general partner of Black Ostrich Ventures, says that the decision to focus on these countries was made because he believes that there are significant opportunities for exits and deal activity in these markets. “If you look at the capital inflows into VC in Africa, the Big Four countries—Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya—attract all the capital. But most exits do not happen in these markets,” he said.
Zoom out: Windsor-Areago also says that the support for African startups will go beyond funding. “We will be working with founders in a very unusual way. We’re going to surround founders with growth experts and marketing experts to help them grow their businesses. It’s one thing to be great at starting a company, understanding the marketing aspect of the business is another,” he said.
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MultiChoice loses $108 million on KingMakers investment
In September 2020, pan-African broadcaster MultiChoice acquired a 20% stake in the Nigerian online sports betting company, then BetKing, for R1.9 billion ($112 million). In 2021, MultiChoice increased its stake to 49% for $281.5 million, bringing the total value of its KingMakers shareholding to R5.9 billion ($393.5 million).
However, in its latest financial results, the company stated that the naira devaluation in Nigeria and the expansion cost had caused an R2 billion ($108 million) write-down in its KingMakers investment. MultiChoice’s R5.9 billion ($318 million) stake in the betting company is now worth R4.6 billion ($248 million).
Zoom out: Experts believe that despite the downturn, the KingMakers investment can still be salvaged. The fate of the KingMakers investment will solely depend on how MultiChoice addresses its operational challenges. Sports betting has proven to be a cash generator for companies that have chosen to play in this area, provided KingMakers maintains consistent client levels.
The Ad promises customers they could “join now for just 1 Rand,” and get unlimited 5G home Wi-Fi and free monthly calls and data for two phones.
The complaint was lodged by one Trevor Hill, who highlighted that the ad led customers to believe they would receive unlimited 5G home Wi-Fi and free monthly calls and data for R1($0.054). However, upon clicking the ad, customers were redirected to Rain’s website where the actual cost was R559 ($30), along with a joining fee of R1($0.054).
The Ruling: The ARB found that the ad’s wording was deceptive, giving the impression of meaningful access to the product for R1($0.054) when, in fact, additional fees applied. The presence of “T’s & C’s apply” did not negate this misleading impression. The ruling noted that the advertisement failed to clarify that the 5G home Wi-Fi and free sim cards incurred separate subscription fees.
Although Rain isn’t a member of the ARB, it is aware of the ruling and has made changes to the advertisement and its website.
Zoom out: This isn’t the first time the ARB has ruled against Rain. In August 2022, Rain was caught in a misleading ad that specified that its unlimited home 5G product offers “Download speeds up to 25Mbps” and “HD (720 pixels) video streaming.” Customers, however, revealed that Rain’s product couldn’t deliver streaming video at resolutions higher than 480 pixels.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 00:13 AM WAT, August 31, 2023.
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