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What was it like to build a tech startup in 2023? What will it take to succeed in 2024? The founders of Bamboo, SendStack, and ShopFawl have the answers! 

Join them in our International Women’s Day Vodcast, “Hustle & Heart,” live on our YouTube Channel. Watch it here!

Quick Fire 🔥

Andela’s Koffi Kelvin breaks down Quality Assurance

Koffi Kelvin is a QA Engineer at GitHub and an Andela technologist. He is passionate about learning and recently graduated from an 11-month leadership course. Koffi is an Andela community champion, supporting and mentoring other community members across the globe, as well as organizing region-wide events for Andela. Outside of tech, Koffi is interested in music, art, and African culture.

  • Explain your job to a five-year-old

Imagine you built the world’s most incredible treehouse ever! It has slides, secret tunnels, and a throne made from your softest teddy bear. But before you invite all your friends over, wouldn’t you want to ensure it’s perfect?

That’s where a QA engineer comes in, like the ultimate fort inspector with a magnifying glass! We’re the ones who crawl through the tunnels, bounce on the pillows, and push all the buttons (carefully, of course!) to see if anything is wonky or doesn’t work quite right.

We might find a slide that topples over too easily or a tunnel too small for even the tiniest teddy bear. We’ll then tell the treehouse builders (the programmers) about these funny mishaps so they can fix them and make the treehouse even more epic!

  • Can you share a memorable experience where your attention to detail in QA uncovered a critical issue in a project?

Off the top of my head, I discovered a critical OS issue when I was at Hewlett-Packard. I was analysing data, and it revealed a bug; I would upload a particular file to an RGB keyboard app, which then caused the entire operating system to crash. This was precarious because, of course, apps require operating systems to run. We were building the operating system alongside the required apps; one needed the other to perform efficiently. It was a close shave!

  • Your background also showcases a transition from hands-on QA engineering to customer support. What sparked this shift in focus, and what excites you most about the support role?

QA is a very customer-centric role where, in some instances, during user acceptance testing (UAT), one works with the actual application users to address any issues they might have with the product, making customer support a function within QA. Hence, the transition was as seamless as running from walking.

  • What skills would you say have been critical to your career growth and trajectory?

Curiosity and tenacity. I remain curious and interested in all functions within and around my work. I’m constantly researching, reading, and learning. This exposes me to as many recent and emerging technologies as possible, which helps keep me sharp and up-to-date. I tend to seek out content from some notable thought leaders within QA like James Bach, who is christened “The father of Agile testing” through his blog and a few others like.

I gravitate towards the daunting and challenging tasks many people avoid, which has ensured I’ve learned the most within the team. I welcome a challenge, as it makes me learn the most or fail spectacularly. And when you fail, you learn; you never make the same mistake twice. 

  • You’ve been a digital business mentor for two years now. What would you say is the most rewarding thing about mentoring?

At this point in my career, I would love to give back to the Andela community as much as possible because I realise how privileged I have been in my career journey. This is why I am drawn to mentoring and supporting other technologists. The Andela community is a network of global technologists, and I regularly speak to people worldwide. The most rewarding part is helping others be successful in specific fields using tools that improve the quality, efficiency, and even the quantity of their output.

I guide new members through the Andela talent community landscape, offering support and advice on everything from how to navigate the job engagement process, to questions about tax and, of course, technology and skills guidance.

  • What are some of your hobbies or passions that fuel your creativity and energy outside of work?

I always make time for physical activity, regularly playing at the local rugby club and swimming. Recently, I’ve embraced farming, starting with building two beehives, planting some fruit trees (mango and apple), and growing hot chilies. I love being outdoors as much as possible.

  • Finally, what lessons have you learned from your experiences in QA that have had the most significant impact on your professional growth and development?

Developing my teamwork and collaboration skills during our day-to-day QA operations has impacted my leadership. Most recently, I took an 11-month leadership development program led by renowned scholars including Dr Phidel Baraza (Ph.D.) and Professor Emmanuel Bellon, where I was recognized as one of the course’s top performers. When I first began leadership training, I was taught to lead from the front and demonstrate/explain how my team should perform. But working in QA, I’ve learned how to lead from behind when needed, encouraging and trusting my team to have autonomy over their roles. 

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Subsea cable cuts disrupt internet service in Africa

If you experienced bad internet service yesterday, we are here to let you know that it’s not the fault of your network provider, it might just be a case of the Red Sea parting—again. 

The news: Yesterday’s internet disruptions were due to damaged subsea cables of MainOne—a major internet provider for most Nigerian banks and internet providers— in Ghana and Seacom, South Africa’s internet connectivity provider. 

The cuts affected several mobile operators and internet service providers across eight African countries. Per NetBlocks, an internet watchdog, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Benin were the most affected, while Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon were mildly impacted. 

The disruption also affected several Nigerian banks with users losing access to their banking apps and being unable to use any USSD service. Similarly, In South Africa, network providers, MTN Group and Vodacom Group Ltd had connectivity issues as a result of the disruption. Also, Microsoft cloud services and its Microsoft 365 applications were hampered by the internet cuts.

Not a first: The latest internet disruptions come less than month after after three telecommunications cables were severed in the Red Sea. This follows similar damage last year to the West African Cable System and the South Atlantic 3 cable, near the Congo River mouth, caused by an undersea landslide.

Zoom out: While the cause of the cable faults is yet to be determined, network providers are currently working to speed up the repair process for the damaged cables. MTN is also looking to “reroute traffic through alternative network paths.”

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Binance in talks to patch things up with Nigerian authorities

After a tumultuous period marked by website bans, executive detentions, and accusations of illegal activity, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is attempting to mend fences with Nigerian authorities.

The exchange released a statement emphasising its commitment to compliance with Nigerian authorities.

Binance pointed out that since 2020, it has responded to over 626 information requests from Nigerian authorities, often within a quick turnaround time of less than 38 hours. This information, according to Binance, has been instrumental in helping Nigerian officials investigate financial crimes like scams, fraud, and money laundering.

Binance also claims to have conducted specialised training sessions in August 2023 for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and has also reportedly been in talks with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Nigeria Police Force to discuss ongoing training and ways to cooperate more effectively.

Zoom out: A condition for the Binance executives who are currently detained, to be released is that Binance releases the info of the top 100 crypto users in Nigeria. If Binance itself has admitted to cooperating with the Nigerian authorities before, does this mean they’ll also share the data that the Nigerian government is requesting for?

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South Africa set to approve 60 crypto licenses

In recent times, Africa has witnessed a surge in crypto adoption, prompting regulatory bodies to enact new guardrails for the space. Weeks after Nigeria lifted its 3-year ban on crypto transactions in the country, it introduced strict rules to allow virtual asset providers to obtain licenses in the country. 

South Africa is set to join the regulatory bandwagon as it will license 60 cryptocurrency platforms by the end of the month. 

The news: South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) yesterday released new frameworks for licensing Crypto advisory services, exchanges, payment gateways, and crypto wallet services. 

Per TechCabal, the regulator has given exchanges until November 30 to brief in their license application. The FSCA received 355 applications of which 60 were approved. The regulator has also promised dire consequences to crypto entities that continue to operate without applying for a license. 

Crypto stakeholders across South Africa and Nigeria agree that the current framework for obtaining licences is steep in both countries—Nigeria requires crypto exchanges to have at least ₦500 million ($553,000) in capital—however, critics say the regulations are a good place to start. 

Zoom out: The FSCA said that licensed entities will be under continuous scrutiny after licensing. The regulator says it will continue to police people operating crypto-related financial services without authorization.


Flutterwave appoints former CBN director as board chair

African fintech giant Flutterwave has once again added a new name to its organisational chart.

After Oneal Bhambani, Flutterwave’s former CFO abruptly left the company in November 2023, Flutterwave hired five new high-profile executives across its risk, compliance, and expansion departments in December 2023. Two weeks ago, the fintech also added a new board member, Olajumoke Adenowo, as part of its efforts to drive its international expansion strategy. The fintech giant didn’t stop there.

In its latest appointment, Flutterwave has named Dipo Fatokun, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) director, as its new board chairman, and Tosin Faniro-Dada, a partner at Breega, an early-stage VC fund in Europe and Africa, as an independent non-executive director.

According to CEO Olugbenga Agboola, the recent leadership changes is a commitment to maintaining the highest regulatory and operational standards 

Building a strong foundation: Fatokun brings a wealth of experience, having served on multiple boards over the past decade and leading critical initiatives at the CBN, including the Cashless Nigeria Project and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) system.

Since its 2016 founding, Flutterwave has grown rapidly, establishing a presence in roughly 30 African countries. This ambition extends beyond the continent, with the recent expansion into India.

TC Insights

Funding tracker

This week, Planet42, a South Africa-based car subscription company, raised $16m in local-currency debt and equity funding from Standard Bank. 

Here are other deals for the week:

  • South Africa-based earth observation startup Simera Sense raised $14.8 million in investment from NewSpace Capital and Knife Capital. 
  • Egypt-based adtech dKilo secured $3.2m in seed funding, a mix of equity and financing, from Upturn Ventures. 
  • Morocco-based fintech startup ORA Technologies raised $1.5 million in seed funding from local entrepreneurs. 
  • Youverify, a Nigerian-based platform that provides banks and startups with identity verification and anti-money laundering (AML) solutions, raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A investment from Elm Investment. 
  • Egypt-based healthtech startup 30Med raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from anonymous angel investors. 

Before you go, our much anticipated State Of Tech In Africa Report for Q4 2023 is now out. Click thislink 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 $71,335

– 2.54%

+ 44.00%

Ether $3,875

– 3.00%

+ 47.25%

Tether USDt


– 0.14%

– 0.15%

BNB $605.40

+ 1.01%

+ 86.68%

* Data as of 11:39 PM WAT, March 14, 2024.

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Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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