Africa

9mobile is on sale again. Who’s buying this time?

When creditors took over Etisalat Nigeria in July last year, the company’s new owners rebranded it to ‘9mobile.’ The takeover was as a result of a $1.7 billion debt the firm could not pay. Since then, speculations have continued to mount over who could possibly acquire the telecoms firm.

However, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has finally approved the deal of selling 9mobile to the grandmasters of data, Globacom Nigeria, with January 16, 2018 set as official handover date.

If this acquisition goes through, Glo will add 9mobile’s 17 million subscribers to its network, making it Nigeria’s largest telecoms giant.

MTN and Ericsson start first 5G tech applications trial in Africa

MTN and Ericsson will start the 5G demonstration in Africa in the first quarter of 2018. The telecoms giant made the announcement at the MTN headquarters in South Africa where it tested a range of 5G use cases and applications.

According to the telecoms giant, this Test Lab proof of concept will lead to a commercial deployment in the near future which is based on commercially available baseband hardware. However, MTN actually achieved a throughput of more than 20Gbps with less than 5ms latency, which is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa.

Attempted Coup in Equatorial Guinea; Border Closure Hurt Business

President Obiang Nguema’s battle for political survival has set some business persons between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon on deficit journey. President Obiang, two weeks ago, ordered the closure of the border between the two countries. This was in response to a failed attempted coup against his government, with mercenaries allegedly to have come from Cameroon.

Merchants in Kiossi, a Cameroun border town, say the shutdown is costing them a lot of business. Traders are no longer bringing goods and the town looks deserted. Merchants from both countries are feeling the effect of the closure.

Equatorial Guinea security forces, had some weeks back arrested people on the common  border area in possession of a stockpile of ammunition. According to the security sources, the men planned to destabilize the government of President Theodoro Obiang.

Cameroon

A program designated to incubate startups

The program 237BA-seeds intends to offer mentorship and hands-on sessions for business startup preparation. This program is developing with the help of partners, considering the fact that most young entrepreneurs are at their first experience.

All the parts of the program run from “sourcing”, followed by a selection in the presentation contest that is the trial phase. Votes from the audience and jury will select the project that makes it to the top as a seed.

A mentor is designated, as well as the incubator partner who will host the seed in a specific program, with a duration of 6 months maximum. During this time, a business startup is developed and the project leader is prepared for pitching followed by closing.

Performance of ART reinforced in 2018

The Telecommunication Regulatory Agency held its 40th Board of Directors meeting on December 26, 2017 to examine in detail, the Annual Performance Report as of November 30, 2017 to define the main issues to be prioritized in 2018.

At the end, the Council adopted the ART 2018 Administrative Performance Project with the sum of Forty-nine billion five hundred and eighty million FCFA. The audit recommended training and equipping the technical capacity of ART to better control the market through annual audits.

Arrest of Cameroon separatist leaders in Nigeria, the drama continues

A political drama continues to play with the governments of Cameroon, Nigeria and Anglophone Cameroon separatists, as principal actors. Both Nigeria and Cameroon have remained silent over the arrest of ten Anglophone Cameroon separatist leaders.

Last week, Nigerian security forces allegedly abducted Julius Ayuk-Tabe and other members of his virtual cabinet. According to sources, they were arrested in complicity with Cameroonian authorities. They have since been held incommunicado in an undisclosed location in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Supporters of the leaders have taken the war to social media and Nigerian Embassies across the world to protest and call for their immediate release.

World

Tech addiction is everywhere. What is Apple saying about it?

Major shareholders at Apple have spent the last couple of days criticizing Apple for lacking the necessary mechanisms to control smartphone overuse (especially among teens). The World Health Organization recently classified video game addiction as a mental health condition.

As technology gets faster and smarter, more health professionals believe device addiction is going to get worse. Africa should be a watchout destination for smartphone addiction.

Apple might be in the hot seat right now, but the tech juggernaut claims they’re already making parental control tools for their devices even more robust. Regardless, there’s certainly a conflict of interest here for a smart device company like Apple.

Uber and Careem are recruiting their first female drivers

Ride hailing applications in Saudi Arabia are preparing to hire Saudi female chauffeurs. This comes just after authorities announced plans to lift a ban that prevents women from driving or issuing driving licenses in the country. Female customers currently represent 80% of Uber’s Saudi rider base and 70% of business for its Dubai-based counterpart, Careem. However, all drivers currently employed by the two firms are male.

Following the ground-breaking royal decree last September, both companies have been preparing to hire their first female drivers. Meanwhile, Uber’s Chinese rival, Didi Chuxing has advertised online for a range of jobs in Mexico as it prepares to break into the country.

At the news of a shutdown in South Korea, cryptocurrency markets begin tanking

News of a Bitcoin crackdown in South Korea sent the market for digital coins into a tailspin on Thursday morning. That news was on the heels of a report that South Korean authorities were working on a bill to ban cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

By the time the news hit, Bitcoin was trading down more than 11% at $13.415 a coin. In total, the entire cryptocurrency market was down more than $100 billion from $636 billion. Then, it hit an all-time high of $830 billion earlier this month.

According to Choi Jong-ku, head of South Korea’s Financial Services, “there is growing concern that banks, which should actively act as gatekeepers to prevent the distribution of crime and illegal funds, are aiding and encouraging them.” Bitcoin’s crackdown was imminent.

Donald Trump denies making ‘shithole countries’ comment on immigration

US President Donald Trump, has denied describing certain nations as “shithole countries.” Trump is accused of making the derogatory comment during a meeting on a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the US. The President is said to have turned down the deal during the meeting.

Trump had tweeted on Friday that, “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA.”

The White House however, did not deny the “shithole” remark but said; Trump “is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”

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