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There’s been a lot about AI in the news with Google’s Gemini spurring out innacurate Nazi content all through last week. 

In Africa, though, the conversation has always been centred around how the legislations are always ten steps behind the tech. But last year, Nigeria’s tech minister announced plans for an AI strategy that made many, as they say, change mouth. Critics argued that there are more pressing problems in the country from an ailing currency to ever-rising inflation and the growing scarcity of Five Alive Berry Blast.

We, however, argue differently. In this article, my colleagues Faith and Ganiu talk about why Bosun Tijani’s AI plan is more than just a lofty ambition.


Universal Music Group acquires majority stake in Mavin Records

In 2012, long after the dispute between Nigeria’s record producer/musician Don Jazzy and D’banj led to the closure of their record label, Mo’ Hits Records, Don Jazzy branched out and his own record label, Mavin Records.

The record label has grown to become one of the most renowned music labels in Africa housing some of Nigeria’s finest A-list artists including Tiwa Savage, Rema, and Grammy-nominated Arya Starr. Wande Coal, Reekado Banks and Iyanya were all formerly signed to the label.

The music group has also recorded tremendous success with its entire roaster of artists since it began. For example, Rema’s big hit “Calm Down”—which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and remains in the top 10 on the chart after 56 weeks, recorded a staggering one billion streams on Spotify. Similarly, Mavin said its artists had achieved 6 billion in streams from their group releases. With an average payout of $0.003 to $0.005 per stream, Mavin earned an estimated $18 million to $30 million from streaming alone.

With a lot of success behind its back and rising to become one of the most renowned record labels in Africa. Mavin has no intention to calm down.

To fund its artist dreams, the entertainment group has had to rely on investors’ funds, raising $11 million since its launch. In October last year, the group said it was looking to be acquired. Universal Music Group and HYBE were touted as potential buyers at the time. 

The news: Yesterday, Universal Music Group (UMG), the largest record label in the world with $10 billion in revenue per year, acquired a majority stake in Mavin. 

While the terms of the deal are undisclosed, Billboard previously estimated the sales price to be around $125 million—$200 million. The acquisition by Universal means an exit for Mavin’s former investors Kupanda Capital and TPG Growth, which invested about $5 million in 2019. Don Jazzy and Tega Oghenejobo will remain at the helm with Kupanda Capital serving as strategic advisors.

Mavin, which was estimated to be worth $25 million in 2019, reportedly generates more than $500,000 annually while its frontline catalogue generates over a million dollars in revenue. Mavin also makes an estimated $2 million from live events annually. 

The road ahead: The move could also lead to a complete acquisition by UMG which, in 2012, completed its acquisition of British multinational label EMI Records for $1.2 billion. Presently, UMG is estimated to control about 31% of the world’s music records and has acquired over fifteen companies globally across the past ten years.

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Paramount+ lands in Africa via MultiChoice deal

Despite a financial dip of $50 million for April to September 2023—the first half of its fiscal year—and a battled takeover bid from French giant Canal+, MultiChoice has shown no signs of slowing down. In November 2023, its streaming platform, Showmax, claimed the top spot in subscriber numbers, reaching 1.8 million subscribers, surpassing competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

This momentum continues with a game-changing deal: the African entertainment company has signed a licensing deal with US entertainment company, Paramount, which will see Paramount’s streaming platform—Paramount+—enter the African market.

What’s in it for both companies? The deal will see a dedicated “Paramount+ branded destination” feature within the MultiChoice platform, with access to an audience of 22 million MultiChoice subscribers across 16 African countries. It also means Paramount+ won’t have to go through the lengthy licensing process foreign companies are subject to.

MultiChoice viewers, on the other hand, will gain access to a wealth of content through this collaboration. They can expect programming from CBS, Paramount+ Originals, SHOWTIME, and Paramount Pictures, all housed within the dedicated “Paramount+ branded destination.” DStv subscribers will find a dedicated Paramount+ section within the DStv app, as well as a tile available within the Showmax app.

This aligns with Paramount’s global strategy, which includes making Paramount+ available through “bundled partnerships” in key markets and “branded destinations” in local markets like Africa.MultiChoice, also continues its efforts to consolidate its position as the leading gateway to streaming services in Africa, following a successful relaunch of Showmax 2.0 in February 2024.


Ponatshego’s shutdown leaves a $25,000 debt trail

Botswana’s e-commerce startup, Ponatshego, has left a revelation of unfulfilled promises since its shutdown a year ago.

The startup, which offered a platform for consumers to order products online, ceased operations a year ago due to financial challenges. However, it left a debt of 350,000 pulas ($25,000) in unpaid refunds to customers whose goods were never delivered. 

Empty carts, empty promises: At one point, Motshidisi Ngaiti, one of the co-founders of Ponatshego, promised one customer that he would sell his car to settle the debts. One customer paid the startup 13,000 pulas (~$940) for a laptop but has only received a partial refund of 4,000 pulas (~$290). Another paid 7,000 pulas ($505) for a gaming console in January 2023 and is yet to get a cent back from the startup.

The blame game between Ngaiti and his co-founder, William Whittle, further complicates matters. While Ngaiti claims he paid 50% of the company’s total debt and settled part of Whittle’s share of the debt too, Whittle refutes the assertions, leaving customers uncertain about the fate of their money.

Zoom out: The future looks bright for Botswana’s tech ecosystem. According to the World Bank, SMEs make up 35% of the country’s GDP and contribute 75% to formal sector employment. Botswana is also making strides in innovation. In October 2022, the southern African country ranked as the continent’s fifth most innovative country. However, despite these positive signs, the journey for individual startups can be fraught with challenges, as exemplified by Ponatshego’s story.

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OjirehPrime rebrands as Pryme

Look who’s got a new look.

Nigerian fintech OjirehPrime has shed its old skin name and will now be called Pryme as part of its bid for global expansion. 

Why? This global rebranding aims to not only sound cooler but also give the millions of Africans living abroad access to its fintech services. Pryme says it has begun applications to secure a European license. 

That’s not all: In addition to offering digital banking services, Pryme says it will expand its product offering to include lending and insurance.

Launched in 2018, Pryme provides digital banking services with access to loans and savings. The startup claims to have over 250,000 monthly active users and processes N30 billion transactions monthly and $1.5 million annual recurring revenue.

Ojirehprime is not the first to embrace a new identity in a bid for global expansion. Last year, Nigerian fintech MFS rebranded as Onafriq Africa. CEO Dare Okoujou at the time said the facelift was due to trademark challenges in the US.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $54,430

+ 8.41%

+ 33.50%

Ether $3,216

+ 3.64%

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+ 11.94%

+ 332.99%

Worldcoin $8.07

– 11.18%

+ 229.69%

* Data as of 06:20 AM WAT, Febraury 27, 2024.

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  • The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Tech4Dev have opened applications for the DigitalforAll Challenge 2.0. The program, which is divided into three categories: Young Learners (Ages 12-18); Youth Category (Ages 19-45); and Civil Servants, will reward winners and runners-up in each category with cash prizes. the winner from each category will receive ₦10 million cash, while the first runner-up will get a consolation prize of ₦7.5 million. The second runner-up for each of the categories will receive ₦5 million. Apply here.
  • Applications are now open for the 2024/2025 PTDF Overseas Postgraduate (Masters & PhD) Scholarship Scheme. The award includes the provision of flight tickets, payment of health insurance, payment of tuition and bench fees (where applicable), and the provision of allowances to meet the costs of accommodation and living expenses. Apply by March 18.
  • The 2024 OWSD Early Career Women Scientists (ECWS) Fellowship Programme ($50,000 award) is open for application. The fellowship programme supports early-career women scientists to lead important research projects in those countries which have been identified as especially lacking in scientific and technological resources. Apply by March 14.

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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