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Happy salary day 💰

Did you know that there are an estimated 17.5 million online freelancers in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, with most from Nigeria?

My colleague, Hannatu, spent some time talking to these multitaskers and they’ve all revealed they’re facing a single growing threat: AI. Some have found themselves working double the hours for half the pay as AI writing tools flood the market. This story tells all about how they’re coping. 


Ethiopia’s largest commercial bank loses $40 million in glitch

It’s raining cash and repercussions in Ethiopia.

Imagine checking your bank account and seeing a much larger balance than usual. This dream was the reality for many Ethiopian bank users two weekends ago, but the story doesn’t end there.

On March 16, Ethiopia’s largest commercial bank, Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), proved more generous than a politician during election season after a glitch in its system allowed users to withdraw and transfer unlimited amounts of cash for about 12 hours through ATMs and digital payment systems.

Now, the state-owned bank is set to take action against people who fail to remit back the excess funds.

Withdraw or regret? The bank, which reportedly lost about 2.4 billion Birr (~$40 million) during the incident, gave a deadline of Saturday, March 23, to offenders who had benefitted from the glitch to return excess funds withdrawn or stand at risk of being prosecuted. The bank says it is willing to publish the names and faces of the offenders in addition to prosecuting them.

University students were the biggest winners looters of the bank glitch. As news about the situation spread quickly through student communities and university campuses, long lines of queues formed outside ATMs of university campuses, before the CBE caught up after a few hours and halted transactions. 

It’s unclear how much of the $40 million taken out has been recovered by the 82-year-old bank, but CBE President Abie Sano has promised that anyone returning money will not be prosecuted.

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Social Media

Meta announces monetisation fees for Nigerian content creators

Contrary to popular belief, Nigerians only make up 2.63% of the total Meta users, and perhaps that’s why content creators in the country haven’t been able to earn on the platform since time immemorial.

Last year, Nigerian individuals petitioned Meta—the parent company to Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook—to expand Facebook’s monetisation eligibility to Nigerian content creators. Many Nigerian creators couldn’t earn from their work on Facebook due to Nigeria’s exclusion from Facebook’s monetisation offerings.

This year, their calls have been answered as Meta has announced monetisation options for Nigerian creators.

What monetisation options? During a recent visit to Nigeria, Meta announced plans to enable creators to monetise their content through ads and other new features on its Instagram platforms. Meta, boasting a global user base of 3.98 billion, is set to introduce monetisation features for Nigerian creators on its platforms before June 2024. This initiative comes as Nigeria demonstrates a strong social media presence, with over 41.6 million Facebook users, 12.2 million on Instagram, and 51 million WhatsApp users.

According to Nick Clegg, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, Nigerian creators will soon have access to in-stream advertising and tools like “Instagram Stars” and “Gifts,” mirroring options enjoyed by creators worldwide. This performance-based system rewards them based on audience engagement, allowing them to focus on creating compelling content that resonates with their viewers.

There’s more: Meta’s commitment extends beyond monetisation. The company recently landed a 45,000km subsea cables in Lagos and Uyo, aiming to significantly improve internet connectivity in Nigeria. Expected to be operational in early 2025, it will double the existing subsea cable capacity in Africa, designed to be 50% deeper underwater, minimising disruptions caused by accidental damage.

Social Media

Meta, South Africa’s electoral body partner to fight misinformation

In more news about Meta in Africa, the company is gearing up to make South Africa’s upcoming election a success. 

How? Across Africa, misinformation has been a dangerous tool in maligning the interests of voters. A 2023 report by CIPESA documented over 20 internet shutdowns in Africa in the last two years, with several linked to attempts to curb the spread of false information, particularly during elections. 

Similarly, a recent study suggests social media misinformation significantly contributed to the outbreak of Ethiopia’s civil war, a conflict estimated to have claimed over 500,000 lives. And now with the advent of AI, bad actors are taking misinformation to new heights. 

The news: Meta, owners of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is teaming up with South Africa’s electoral body, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to prevent its platforms from becoming breeding grounds for misinformation during the upcoming elections which are scheduled for May 29, 2024.

The partnership between Meta and South Africa is particularly important as South Africans living in the diaspora will be voting online for the first time. Facebook, the second-most used platform after WhatsApp houses 30.8 million South Africans, more than half of the country’s 53 million population. 

South Africans are also increasingly turning to social media as a source of news as traditional media houses are increasingly putting content behind paywalls. However, some of this news is largely unverified and can be misconstrued by social media influencers with a large swath of followers to convey false narratives, perpetuating prejudice, hatred, and violence.

The country is no stranger to this. Operation Dudula, the anti-migrant vigilante lobby whose members have faced allegations of hate speech and physical violence, began online. The group has since morphed into a political party. 

Meta says it has provided the IEC with comprehensive guidelines on how to use social media platforms efficiently. Also, Meta’s President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said the company is buddying up with with other ICT giants to deal with misinformation.

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ICASA to reduce call costs in South Africa

In 2022,  the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA)  proposed a regulation that would require all data bundles to be valid for at least six months. However, concerns were raised by stakeholders regarding bundle expiry rules, short expiry periods and unclear rollover policies. 

In response, ICASA published a revised draft amendment to the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter (EUSSC) Regulations. Building on this momentum, ICASA wants to create a more affordable and competitive telecommunications landscape in South Africa.

Cheaper calls on the horizon: The communications regulator has proposed a reduction in call termination fees—a charge levied by the network receiving a call on the network initiating the call. This fee essentially compensates the receiving network for completing the call on its infrastructure.

Under the new rules, The cost of connecting calls between different networks will drop from 9 cents/minute (or 13 cents for smaller operators) to 7 cents in July 2024, with a further reduction to 4 cents by July 2025. Additionally, operators can now set fees based on the rate in the originating country, with a minimum set by South Africa and a maximum capped by the international operator’s rate. 

The regulatory measure aims to boost competition and efficiency in the telecom sector. However, Telkom, a South African telecom company, engaged in court battle to oppose the change.

Why? Previously, SA allowed a practice called “asymmetrical termination rates”. Telkom and Cell C, being smaller networks, could charge higher termination fees to bigger players like Vodacom and MTN when their customers received calls from those networks. The idea was to give smaller operators a bit of an edge in the market.

With the newly proposed change however, the asymmetry will be phased out and the smaller telcos will lose their “asymmetry” advantage over larger telcos beginning next year. While the asymmetry advantage is ending, new companies entering the market will be eligible for three years of asymmetry following launch. 

Operators have until May 10, 2024, to give their feedback before it becomes official.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $66,951

+ 2.85%

+ 29.57%

Ether $3,434

+ 1.26%

+ 14.69%

Book of Meme


– 0.98%

+ 1439.15%

Solana $184.02

+ 5.53%

+ 82.44%

* Data as of 11:35 PM WAT, March 24, 2024.

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Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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