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Africa’s Talking co-founder sues company over unlawful termination

After a 7-year tenure as CEO of Africa’s Talking, Bilha Ndirangu was allegedly forced to step down in June 2021, to pursue other interests while still serving on the board of directors.

Africa’s Talking,—a platform that makes it easier for developers to build their solutions with easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs)—is now being led by a new CEO Samuel Gikandi who reportedly removed Ndirangu as director two years after she stepped down as CEO. 

What’s the story? In a recent lawsuit filed with the Nairobi High Court, Ndirangu, who owns 6.33% of the company, is accusing the company of wrongfully terminating her position as director. She alleges she was removed just seven months after raising concerns about misconduct by senior company officials. Court documents reveal that Gikandi and other shareholders, including a trust holding unvested shares for employees voted to remove Ndirangu as director in June 2023.

Ndirangu claims she was denied the right to contest her removal, which is a violation of legal procedures. Additionally, the lawsuit states that her dismissal occurred despite a court order protecting her position. Three other individuals, including Eston Maina, another co-founder, are listed alongside Ndirangu in the suit. She also argues the removal process was flawed.

How? Typically, removing a director requires a majority vote from shareholders. However, in this case, court documents show that AT Group ESOP Trust participated in the vote to reach the majority needed. Ndirangu contests the legitimacy of this vote, claiming the trust is inactive and shouldn’t have been allowed to participate.

Ndirangu and her co-petitioners own 20.83% of Africa’s Talking, while Gikandi and his team own 25.25% of the company. This is a developing story.

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CIPC hackers want $100k reward

Yesterday, we brought you news of South Africa’s business registry—Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)—getting hacked. An anonymous group has claimed responsibility for the hack and claims that they have had total control of the website since 2021.

Dig in: The group told MyBroadband, a South African publication yesterday that the CIPC responsible for managing roughly 2.1 million active businesses and overseeing intellectual property rights had weak security.

The group which claims it does not have any affiliations or agenda besides exposing the vulnerabilities of large companies, found many such vulnerabilities in the CIPC including accessing a CIPC user account without knowing their password. This vulnerability granted the group full control over company registration data, allowing the group to potentially add or remove directors from companies or alter other critical information at will.

This is not the first hack on the CIPC—the group explored vulnerabilities in the CIPC in 2021—the hacker group is asking for a “reasonable” R1.9 million ($100,000) ransom for its latest attempt. 

While MyBroadband informed the CIPC about the hacker group revelations, the CIPC said it was “handling the matter with the relevant law enforcement agencies.”


Canal+ takeover bid for MultiChoice extended until April 8

French media giant, Canal+ has until April 8, 2024, to formally offer to acquire the remaining shares in MultiChoice, Africa’s leading pay-TV company.

Initially, South Africa’s Takeover Regulation Panel ordered Canal+, to formally offer to buy the remaining shares in MultiChoice after reaching a 35% stake in the company, which triggered a mandatory offer requirement.

Zoom in: The mandatory offer came after Canal+’s earlier offer in February to buy MultiChoice’s remaining shares for R105 ($5.52) per share, was deemed too low by MultiChoice. Now, Canal+ has secured an exemption from the Panel, which translates to an additional 25 business days for Canal+ to finalise their offer before the new deadline of April 8th, 2024.

MyBroadband estimates Canal+ has shelled out roughly R17.2 billion ($904.2 million) to acquire its current 35.01% stake in MultiChoice, averaging around R111 ($5.84) per share. To buy the remaining shares, the cost could balloon to R30.2 billion ($1.5 billion), for a total purchase price of R47.4 billion ($2.4 billion).

MultiChoice has stated it will continue to act in the best interests of its shareholders as the company awaits further developments from Canal+. 

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Bolt launches in Cairo days after Botswana entry

Bolt, an Estonian ride-hailing platform, has officially launched in the Egyptian capital, Cairo—its second foray into North Africa after Tunis in 2019—and is ready to compete with other ride-hailing players like Uber and Careem in the market. This news also comes just one week after the service launched in Botswana

The ride-hailing company, whose strategy hinges on attractive pricing, plans to eliminate its standard 15% commission for drivers. This time, riders also get a 50% discount on their trips for the next six months.

Bolt’s African expansion: This launch marks Bolt’s 15th African market, capping off a recent expansion in Zimbabwe andBotswana in January and February 2024, respectively, with a similar driver commission waiver for six months.

Cairo’s ride-hailing landscape is a crowded arena: Uber currently reigns supreme in Cairo, but its reputation for being pricey precedes it. Careem offers similar prices but throws in occasional discounts. Their driver commission ranges from 22% to 33%. InDrive, which launched in Cairo in September 2020 charges the lowest commission fee of 10%

Bolt’s commitment to Africa is strong. Back in February 2023, they pledged to invest over $500 million in the continent by year’s end. This investment fuels service expansion and creates job opportunities across Africa.

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The World Wide Web3


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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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