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Happy pre-Friday ☀️

And our condolences to MTN users in Nigeria—including this writer—who, yesterday, found that the network was never where we go. 

The telecom, which holds the majority market share—about 38.7%—experienced an outage which left some of its 76.7 million subscribers unable to connect to the internet or make calls for over four hours. The telecom says the outage was due to damages to its fibre optic cables which it is “working hard to resolve”.

For now, it seems that the service is slowly being restored to users whose not-so-patient bones are yellowing with distrust.


Two Binance executives arrested in Nigeria

Nigeria’s crypto industry is facing a significant regulatory upheaval.

Last week, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, restricted the sale of USDT—a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar—and imposed a fixed buying price of ₦1,802 ($1.12), reportedly under directives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other governmental entities, amidst a depreciation of the naira.

Yesterday, the most recent development revealed  the arrest of two Binance executives in Nigeria this week.

Why? According to Premium Times, the executives flew to Nigeria after their website was blocked to negotiate with the government. Although their identities remain undisclosed, one is reportedly American and the other British-Pakistani. Talks with Nigerian authorities hit a deadlock as the executives refused to meet certain demands.

What demands? The Nigerian authorities reportedly requested transaction data involving the Nigerian Naira on the Binance platform in the last seven years and also the removal of specific Nigerian-related data from the platform. However, the Binance executives insisted they would only comply after they were escorted to their respective countries’ embassies.

Following their refusal, the government reportedly obtained a court warrant to detain the officials for at least 12 days, and the EFCC took over the investigation while they were held at a guest house near the office of the National Security Adviser.

Central Bank continues to tighten grip: Adding to the anxiety, on Tuesday, during a monetary committee meeting, Yemi Cardoso, Nigeria’s CBN governor, disclosed that “illicit flows” totaling $26 billion had traversed through Binance Nigeria from unknown sources and users. The governor also hinted at stricter regulations and upcoming actions from security agencies. 

In response to recent regulatory scrutinies, some crypto exchanges have suspended USDT and USDC stablecoins purchases. Regulators also blocked access to the websites of exchanges like Coinbase, Quidax, and Binance. These restrictions are coming at the wrong time as cryptocurrencies—which several Nigerians have used to fight inflation—are resurging with bitcoin at a three year high at $62,000.

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Canal+ gets greenlight to make offer to MultiChoice shareholders

On February 6 2024, MultiChoice, Africa’s leading pay-TV company, turned down a bid from its biggest shareholder, Canal+, to acquire the remaining shares it didn’t already own. Canal+ offered R105 ($5.65) per share, but MultiChoice deemed this price too low and rejected the offer.

At the time, Canal+ had 32.6% of MultiChoice’s shares. Now, the French broadcasting company has increased its ownership stake in MultiChoice to 35%, triggering a mandatory offer requirement under South African regulations.

The news: The South African Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) has ruled that according to the Companies Act of 2008 and JSE Listings Requirements, Canal+ must make a formal offer to buy shares of MultiChoice that it does not already own. The TRP also ruled that MultiChoice’s public disclosure of Canal+’s initial offer was unlawful but MultiChoice plans to appeal this decision.

What does this mean for Multichoice? The takeover panel ruling could lead to a bidding war which Canal+ is likely to win, as its parent company, Vivendi, isn’t new to takeover battles. In October 2015, Vivendi acquired minority stakes in gaming firms Gameloft (6.2%) and Ubisoft (6.6%), eventually increasing ownership to 10% in both. Vivendi then executeda hostile takeover of Gameloft, obtaining over 30% before persuading other shareholders to sell. By June 2016, Gameloft had become a Vivendi subsidiary. If history is any pointer, Canal+’s moves could lead to a takeover of MultiChoice.

The company has increased its focus on Africa in the past decade and has grown from 1 million African subscribers in 2016 to 7.6 million in 2023.


Maliyo Games and Disney launch Rising Chef

Yesterday, Disney’s first animated series set in Nigeria, Iwaju, premiered on the Disney+ streaming channel. Set against the vibrant backdrop of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital, the series tells the story of Simisola Gbadamosi, a young girl on the cusp of adulthood. Iwaju paints a futuristic picture of Lagos, imagining the usually trafficked roads and crowded markets with flying cars and other future tech stuff. 

Economics of scale: While Iwaju is not Disney’s first foray into African storytelling, accessibility concerns remain. Last year, it released Kizazi Moto, an animated sci-fi anthology that didnt gain much traction on the continent because people couldnt watch it. Currently, the Disney+ app is only available in South Africa. This limited reach raises concerns about the accessibility of these African stories for the very audience they represent.

It’s also investing in gaming: In more news about Disney in Africa, Maliyo Games, a leading African game developer, yesterday, announced a partnership with Disney Games for the launch of its new mobile game, Rising Chef. Think of it as the African version of Cooking Fever, the fast-paced cooking simulation set in Nigeria’s local “Mama Put” and “Bukka” restaurants with players serving up hot plates of national Amala and Jollof Rice. The game also features characters from the Iwájú series as patrons. 

The game was reportedly developed by Maliyo’s team of developers who were trained in Maliyo’s intensive five-month virtual bootcamp GameUp Africa. Rising Chef is now available for purchase for $1.99 (USD) on Android and iOS via Google Play and Apple Store.

The big picture: Disney might also be taking huge clues from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Multichoice who have invested heavily in creating African content. It remains to be seen if Iwaju and Kizazi Moto are mere teasers of Disney’s future investment.

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Bolt bolts into Botswana

Bolt is in the habit of giving freebies. 

Known for waiving driver commissions during new market entries, Bolt, the ride-hailing company, is continuing its strategy in Southern Africa. Last month, Bolt launched in Zimbabwe, waiving drivers’ commission for six months. 

And yesterday, the Estonian ride-hailing company, in a similar fashion, launched in Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone, with a six-month commission-free period for drivers. 

Bolt’s launch in Botswana—its 14th African country since launch—marks its latest inroad into the continent even as it drives deeper into southern Africa. Over the last six months, has launched in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.

Bolt is bringing the fight to inDrive, the only ride-hailing platform in the 2 million populated country.

inDrive, which launched in Botswana five years ago, has had a hard time settling in, battling allegations of driver misconduct and pushback from public transport operators. Bolt’s entry into the market means more trouble for inDrive which may need to innovate to catch up with its rival security features. 

For example, features like Bolt’s SOS button, which allows riders and drivers to contact the police in case of emergency, and a “driver unmatching” feature which allows a rider or driver to never be matched up with one another present an edge for Bolt.

While Botswana’s ride-hailing market appears appealing, it is not without constraints. Calls for a ban on its incumbent, inDrive, by public transport operators paint a picture of a tough operating environment for the newcomer.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $62,592

+ 9.83%

+ 48.90%

Ether $3,382

+ 4.34%

+ 49.12%



+ 8.65%

+ 15.49%

XRP $0.57

– 1.95%

+ 7.60%

* Data as of 12:54 AM WAT, Febraury 29, 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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