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Kenya lifts injunction to halt Maisha Namba digital ID rollout

In 2018, Kenya launched Huduma Namba, a digital ID system known as the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) which cost KES 10 billion (over $72 million). However, the programme was discontinued by a Kenyan high court in January 2020 due to overall distrust from Kenyans as the state failed to fully explain the merits of the IDs, including privacy concerns.

In Kenya’s second attempt, President William Ruto’s administration took another shot at digital IDs with the introduction of Maisha Namba in October 2023, to replace the failed Huduma Namba.

The new system aimed to address the shortcomings of its predecessor and was supposed to launch in December 2023. However, its rollout was short-lived, facing another hurdle as the Kenyan high courts blocked it due to missing data protection assessments.

Here’s what you need to know: Maisha Namba, which is also referred to as a Unique Personal Identifier, comes with advanced security features like iris and facial biometrics and fingerprint identification, similar to Huduma Namba. However, the new UPI aims to address previous concerns with Huduma Namba.

The new Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) will act as a child’s school ID through primary and secondary education. By adulthood (18), it becomes their national ID, further integrating with essential services like health insurance, social security, driving license, and even death certificates. However, the rollout was blocked in December 2023.

And now: Kenya’s high court has lifted the December injunction that halted the introduction of the new digital ID cards, and it is anticipated that the rollout will recommence. The lawsuit, originally initiated by a non-governmental organisation, Katiba Institute, has been transferred to the Constitutional Human Rights Division for further review.

Nevertheless, civil society organisations have advised the government against viewing the removal of restrictions as approval to proceed with the production of Maisha Namba cards, despite reports of 60,000 Kenyans having already applied for them.

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CBN raises interest rates

The devil works hard, but Nigeria’s Central Bank is always two steps ahead. 

Over the past two weeks, the CBN has sent out a roaster of new updates and regulations that are proving hard to keep up with. The apex bank has implemented sweeping reforms on Bureau De Change operators, eased foreign exchange rules, and sent BDC operators into hiding.

On Monday, the CBN set a $500 limit on the purchase and sales of the dollar by cash. And yesterday, in fresh moves, it resumed selling dollars to eligible Bureau De Change operators (BDCs)—N1,301 per dollar—as part of its effort to pump more dollars into the FX market after former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele banned it. Under the new guidelines, BDCs can only sell foreign currency to customers at a maximum markup of 1% on top of the price they paid the CBN. If this works, it could align the country’s official exchange rates with its black market rates. 

A rate hike: Yesterday, in his first interest-setting meeting since assuming office in September, Yemi Cardoso, the CBN governor, also raised the interest rate to 22.75%, four percent higher than the previous rate. This move aims to combat inflation and stabilisse the Nigerian Naira. Higher interest rates typically incentivise foreign investment and attract capital inflows, potentially leading to a stronger Naira against the dollar.

Cardoso talked tough in the media briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, stating that the CBN was actively working to arrest the naira’s slump.

Nigeria’s inflation figures in January hit a 30-year high, rising to 29.9% and increasing the cost of living for its people. Experts, who previously predicted less than Cardosso’s increased interest rates, believe the bank is steering in the right direction to bring the naira under control with the newly announced measure. 

Zoom out: The latest moves by the CBN signal aggression in curbing the naira depreciation which has lost 70% of its value since President Bola Tinubu took office. Cardoso is also optimistic that the country will attract new foreign investors. This hope is evidenced in the recent movement of Nigeria’s dollar bonds, outperforming peers this month with returns of 2.6%.


SA regulators nab first spam calling company

Last week, we brought you news that South Africa’s Information regulator (IR) said it will begin cracking down on entities bombarding you with unwanted marketing calls.

The regulator is wasting no time in dishing out punishments to offenders.

The news: Yesterday, MyBroadband reported that the regulator issued its first enforcement notice to FR Ram Consulting, a training institution. 

FR Ram Consulting repeatedly sent marketing emails to a user who had unsubscribed from the mailing list on several occasions. 

In addition to breaking the IR’s latest regulation, the consulting group ran foul of other sections of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) including: directly marketing to individuals without obtaining their consent, persistently sending unsolicited marketing emails, and failing to cease communication even after individuals opted out. 

Tick Tock: FR Ram is at risk of a R10 million (~520,000) fine or a 10-year imprisonment if it fails to send evidence of its compliance with the new orders to the IR within a 90-day window. The regulator is also on the hunt for more offenders. It has identified 14 new prospects which it intends to slap with enforcement notices. 

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Bitcoin has reached $57,000. Here’s why.

Bitcoin has been through a bit. Despite enduring trials such as the Mt. Gox hack in 2014, the “crypto winter” of 2018, and the crypto crash of 2021 which cost investors $2 trillion, the cryptocurrency has persisted and is currently trading at $57,000, a price point not seen since November 30, 2021. 

Why the surge? The recent surge in Bitcoin’s value can be attributed to various factors including bitcoin halving—an event where miner rewards are cut in half—which is expected to reduce supply and potentially push prices up due to scarcity. Additionally, the approval of the bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to track the prices of bitcoin after 10 years of failed applications, is seen by some as a sign of legitimacy and could attract new investors to the market. 

Bitcoin mining companies, which experience price fluctuations more directly than other crypto-related firms, saw the most significant gains after a 3% rise in bitcoin’s price over the past 24 hours. Companies like Cipher Mining, Mawson, Core Scientific, and others saw their stock prices jump between 5% and 15%. MicroStrategy, the largest corporate owner of bitcoin reportedly bought an additional 3,000 tokens for $155 million in the last couple of weeks, bringing its total holdings up to 193,000 coins.

There are uncertainties: While bitcoin’s all-time high of over $65,000 in November 2021 serves as a potential target, there’s ongoing uncertainty over the longevity of the current rise. There’s been recent criticism from central banks, including warnings from the Atlanta Federal Reserve and remarks from the European Central Bank regarding bitcoin’s suitability, as it claims that the introduction of ETFs doesn’t change the fact that crypto is risky, and that bitcoin isn’t sustainable as an investment or means of payment.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $57,088

+ 1.78%

+ 35.15%

Ether $3,266

+ 1.41%

+ 44.07%



– 0.97%

+ 11.72%

XRP $0.58

+ 4.55%

+ 10.09%

* Data as of 05:40 AM WAT, Febraury 28, 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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