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Happy new month ☀️

Get ready to mark your calendars for the biggest female-only party in Nigeria: HERtitude2024, hosted by our sister publication Zikoko! It’s happening on April 20, 2024, and it’s the perfect chance for women to celebrate and connect. Ladies, you do not want to miss out on the fun!

Before you sign out for the week, grab your tickets now for the amazing women in your life.


Nigeria orders blockage of unlinked SIMs

In December 2020, Nigeria’s former minister of communications and digital economy Isa Pantami announced an integration policy to link SIM cards to the country’s National Identity Network NIN database.

The goal was simple: to ensure the NIN was a robust identification system for its citizens. Think of it as the equivalent of a social security number in the US. The government also hoped that the move would make it easy to track offenders of phone-related crime cases like kidnapping and banditry. 

The move was however widely criticised by the citizens due to the inconvenience of linking their SIMs with the NIN and the almost impossible deadline of December 15, 2020, at which time telecoms would have to block all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs.

The government has however postponed this deadline multiple times. And now, it appears the government is ready to take action. 

Time’s up: Yesterday, the Nigerian Communication Commission directed all telecoms to block subscribers not yet linked to NIN. MTN, AIrtel and Glo are set to block about 12 million subscribers who are yet to comply with the Nigerian government directive.

The NCC said it “was committed to protecting consumers’ rights while ensuring their satisfaction.”

The NCC has made this promise before. In May 2023, the regulator directed all licensed mobile network operators (MNO) to use unified shortcodes—*310#—so users with multiple SIMs don’t need to have a headache memorising multiple short codes. 

It remains to be seen if the NCC—out of its sheer love for users—will approve yet another deadline for the NIN SIM linkage.

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Lay offs

Spleet to layoff staff

Nigeria’s headline inflation rose to a near three-decade high of 29.92% in January. The inflation coupled with Nigeria’s depreciating currency has fastened its fangs on the purchasing muscles of its people of which 133 million are multidimensionally poor. 

Businesses and tech startups also bear the brunt, recording increases in operating costs and reduced profits. 

For property tech startup Spleet which allows monthly rental on its leased properties instead of a yearly rental charge, the inflation and devaluation are driving rental prices up by 2x. 

To cope with these new price changes, the proptech startup, on Thursday, said it was reducing operating costs and laying off some members of its workforce. 

Dig deeper here.


Nigeria signs MoU to build Abuja Tech City

By the close of 2022, the tech ecosystem in Lagos, Nigeria, had reached a valuation of $8.4 billion. Yaba, a suburb within Lagos, emerged as a prime location for numerous companies, including the pioneering startup incubator, CcHUB.

Founded in 2010 by Bosun Tijani—now the minister of communications, innovation and digital economy—and his colleagues, CcHUB played a pivotal role in Yaba’s development. It gained momentum and collaborated with the government to install fibre optic cables in Yaba, which has now played a crucial role in creating what is arguably Africa’s most organic tech cluster, with CcHUB becoming Lagos’ leading tech innovation centre.

Abuja gears up for tech city: In more technological advancements, Nigeria’s federal government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Domineum/Edenbase UK to develop a state-of-the-art tech hub—Abuja Tech City— in the capital city of Nigeria. 

The project seeks to replicate the success of London Tech City, valued at over £61 billion ($77 billion) in its fifth year of operation. Notably, the same consortium responsible for developing London Tech City will be behind the construction of Abuja Tech City.

The Abuja Tech City project, originally conceived as Abuja Tech Village during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has received renewed attention under the current administration. A standout feature of the Abuja Tech City is its designation as a Free Trade Zone, offering a conducive environment for tech-driven startups, industries, and innovation initiatives, with a vision for a smart and green city.

Clearing the Path for Progress: To pave the way for development, the government has directed illegal occupants to vacate the Pyakassa area of Abuja, where the Tech City will be built. The indigenous community had already received compensation in 2015, making the current step essential for taking full possession of the land and starting construction.

Zoom out: Other regions are catching up. Kaduna, in the north, which boasts of CoLab, the city’s first tech hub, has also partnered with the state government to establish Kaduna Technology City.

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Mastercard partners with MTN to launch MoMo Virtual cards

Millions of Africans will enjoy greater access to digital payments thanks to a multi-market partnership between MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile network operator, and Mastercard, a global payment processing company.

The deal will introduce a prepaid virtual card specifically designed for MTN’s MoMo customers, enabling them to access over 100 million acceptance points globally. This initiative will impact MoMo’s active monthly wallets, totalling 60 million across its expansive presence in 13 African markets, including Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda.

There’s more: For Mastercard, the partnership also extends its benefits to entrepreneurs by providing access to Mastercard’s “SME-in-a-Box” solution—a package that equips businesses with the tools they need to accept digital payments, manage their online presence, and drive innovation. 

The partnership follows Mastercard and MTN’s recent agreement to invest $200 million to acquire a minority stake in the digital financial services division of MTN Group.

Driving financial inclusion: With MTN’s extensive subscriber base of 290 million, the multi-market partnership holds significant potential for widespread adoption. Moreover, MoMo merchants will seamlessly integrate card payments into their operations, enhancing the platform’s capabilities for cross-border money remittances.

This partnership also aligns with Mastercard’s commitment to bringing one billion people and 50 million SMEs into the global digital economy by 2025.

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TC Insights

Funding tracker

This week, MoneyHash, an Egyptian fintech startup, raised $4.5 million in seed funding. COTU Ventures and Sukna Venture led the round, and other investment outfits such as RZM Investment, Dubai Future District Fund, VentureFriends, and individuals like Tom Preston-Werner (founder of GitHub), among other strategic investors, participated.

Here are other deals for the week:

  • South African AI-driven startup Cue secured $2 million in a seed funding round from angel investors .
  • Kenyan e-commerce startup Tappi secured a $1.5 million pre-seed funding round from Acasia Ventures, along with Mercy Corps Ventures and Chui Ventures, and international VC firms and angel investors, as well as advisors from Google and Salesforce.
  • Bfree, a Nigerian startup enabling lenders to recover debt ethically, secured $3M in a round led by Capria Ventures. Angaza Capital, GreenHouse Capital, Launch Africa, Modus Africa, Axian CVC, and several angel investors.

Before you go, our much anticipated State Of Tech In Africa Report for Q4 2023 is now out. Click this link to download it.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $61,333

– 1.97%

+ 41.71%

Ether $3,349

– 0.92%

+ 44.67%

Tether USDt


– 0.07%

+ 0.03%

BNB $400.30

– 3.85%

+ 28.85%

* Data as of 12:53 AM WAT, March 1, 2024.

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The Africa eGovernance Conference is set to hold from the 12th to the 14th of March 2024. The conference and exhibition will feature

plenary and deep-dive, networking and dealmaking sessions featuring relevant technology solutions tailored for the urgent transformation

 of Africa. Join strategists and policymakers like Bak Barnaba Chol, Minister for Finance South Sudan; Cina Lawson, Minister for Digital Economy and Transformations, Togo; and Paula Ngabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda to create the pathways into the future of digital governance. Register here

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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