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Happy Moonshot Week 🌙🚀
Thank you so much for joining us on Day 1 of the Moonshot Conference!
Day 2 promises more excitement, with keynotes from Sabi’s Anuoluwapo Adedoyin Adasolum, PiggyVest’s Josh Chibueze, and Flutterwave’s Olugbenga Agboola, and panels with Fisayo Fosudo, Jola Ayeye, and Korty EO. There’s also the announcement of the winner of TC Battlefield! Check out the full schedule to find out what’s coming up.
P.S. If you came over yesterday, please don’t forget to come along with your access card so you can breeze through registration.
Nigeria appoints new leaders in tech and innovation
Image source: ZikokoMemes
Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the appointment of new and returning CEOs across multiple tech agencies.
According to the statement issued by the special adviser to the President on media and publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, on Wednesday, October 11, President Tinubu approved appointments under the ministry of communications, innovation, and digital economy.
Who’s in? Here’s a list of who we’ll expect to see leading tech regulation and policy:
- Aminu Maida assumes leadership as the EVC/CEO at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
- Nkechi Egerton-Idehen assumes leadership as the MD/CEO of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT).
- Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who was at Moonshot yesterday, has been reappointed as the DG/CEO National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
- Vincent Olatunji also returns as the National Commissioner/CEO Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC).
- Tola Odeyemi assumes leadership as the Postmaster General/CEO of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
Furthermore, a special adviser to the President on technology and digital economy, Idris Alubankudi, has been appointed.
Zoom out: These appointments are effective immediately, marking a significant step in President Tinubu’s vision for a digitally empowered and economically inclusive Nigeria.
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Kenya halts Bolts licence renewal
Image source: ZikokoMemes
Kenya`s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) isn’t renewing the licence of the ride-hailing platform, Bolt, just yet.
Why? According to the law, ride railing platforms in the country should receive 18% commission from drivers. However, Bolt defaulted by charging additional booking fees, and higher commissions than the NTSA benchmark.
The clock is ticking: Bolt had written for a renewal of its operating licence with only 17 days left to its expiry. However, the NTSA deputy director and head of licencing, Cosmas Ngeso, informed Bolt that the ride-hailing company would lose its license unless it addressed the breaches. Bolt told TechCabal that it is working with the regulator to get its licence.
The NTSA has asked Bolt to explain the rationale behind its commission structure, and also stop its “ïllegal” booking fee. Per Bolt, the booking fee is an additional fee that “covers support and enhanced technological features that ensure an even more efficient service on our platform”.
The regulator says it has received several formal complaints from drivers on the non-adherence of Bolt to regulations, and says these complaints must be addressed before the company’s licence can be renewed.
Zoom out: Bolt is not the only ride-hailing company in Kenya that charges booking fees; Uber does too but Uber has explained that its booking fees are used to cover taxes such as VAT. Without charging the booking fee, the charges would reduce driver earnings, the company explained.
Nigeria share plans to train tech talents
Minister Bosun Tijani at TechCabal’s Moonshot
Last week, the Nigerian minister of comms, innovation and digital economy, Bosun Tijani, announced plans to equip 3 million early-to-mid-career Nigerians with tech skills by 2027 as part of the ministry’s strategic blueprint.
At TechCabal’s Moonshot Conference, the minister revealed plans for how the country will achieve that goal.
A 1-10-100 model: According to Tijani, the ministry will kick off with a pilot phase of training 1%—about 30,000 people—of the 3 million target within the next three months. Tijani hinted that the 30,000 learners will be spread across each state of the country. After that, it will commence training 300,000—or 10%—of the 3 million target.
According to Tijani, the 1-10-100 approach is a good route to reach its 3 million target and bridge the talent gap in the Nigeria tech ecosystem.
Applications for learners and tutors will open by Friday, October 13.
Zoom out: The ministry’s approach to training tech talents in the country is not a one-off model. Per the minister, the model will replicated to achieve the ministry’s goal to position Nigeria in the top 25% percentile in research globally across six pivotal Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
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Meta launches $500,000 grant programme to support AI-Powered solutions
GIF source: Zikoko Memes
Meta is offering $500,000 in grants to projects that use its open-source AI model.
The Llama Impact Grants programme, initiated by Meta, is offering $500,000 in grants to projects using Llama 2, its open-source large language model to address challenges in education, environment and social innovation.
Meta and Microsoft released Llama 2 as an open-source program in July, making it available to researchers and developers around the world. Llama 2 is a powerful AI model that can be used for a variety of tasks, including generating text, translating languages, and writing different kinds of creative content.
Yesterday, at TechCabal’s Moonshot event, Adaora Ikenze, Meta’s public policy director for Anglophone West Africa, expressed that AI should not be monopolised, echoing Meta’s vision of broader AI accessibility.
Assessing grant applicants: Grant applicants will be evaluated on multiple criteria, including technical feasibility, adherence to data privacy best practices, the envisioned utilisation of Llama 2, and the anticipated impact on their target communities.
Zoom out: This strategic move is Meta’s latest endeavour in its quest to construct a generative AI platform capable of rivalling OpenAI’s GPT series of AI models.
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Nigerian fintech Payhippo appoints new CEO
L-R: Dami Olawoye, new CEO of Payhippo, co-founder Chioma Okotcha, and ex-CEO Zach Bijesse
Nigerian fintech company Payhippo has undergone a significant leadership transition.
Dami Olawoye, Payhippo’s former chief financial officer (CFO), is now the new chief executive officer (CEO). The outgoing CEO, Zach Bijesse, will transition to an undisclosed role on the company’s board of directors.
Payhippo specialises in using artificial intelligence to provide credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. With Olawoye at the helm, the company plans to shift its focus toward supporting small businesses in the renewable energy sector, assisting them in scaling up operations and generating employment opportunities through the introduction of new products.
What new products? Payhippo is set to expand its product offerings to include asset finance and inventory finance. The company claims to have identified a substantial gap in the lower end of the solar equipment distribution chain and aims to leverage its expertise in SME lending to address this gap effectively.
The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 06:50 AM WAT, October 12, 2023.
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- The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through the Office for Nigeria Digital Innovation (ONDI), in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), are organising a one-week networking visit to Japan by selected Nigerian CleanTech Startups. Apply here.
- Applications are open for the Aurora Tech Award 2024. The Award is an annual global prize for women founders of tech startups. Winners of the first prize get $30,000, the second prize gets $20,000 and the third prize gets $10,000. Apply by December 1.
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