Today’s Quote

“In Tanganyika we believe that only evil, Godless men would make the color of a man’s skin the criteria for granting him civil rights”.

Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, addressing British Governor, General Richard Gordon Turnbull, prior to taking up the premiership in 1960.

Africa

Teleology Holdings won the bid on 9mobile acquisition

Last month, Teleology Holdings and Smile Communications were the only two telcos that had placed substantial bids to acquire 9mobile. Each of them bade $500 million and $300 million, respectively.

Fresh reports now confirm that Teleology Holdings was announced the preferred bidder in the sale of the struggling telco. In this light, Teleology Holdings will make a non-refundable cash deposit of $50 million within 21 days or lose the bid to Smile Holdings. For what it took Teleology to win this bid, it won’t take long for the company to deposit that cash.

Going by the official statement released last month by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) amidst speculations that Globacom had won the bid, Teleology Holdings will have to apply in order to commence the processes for securing the regulatory approvals from the Boards of the NCC necessary to give full effect to the transfer.

Expresso ventures into Africa’s mobile money market

After several years, the telecoms operator Expresso, a subsidiary of Sudanese telecoms group Sudatel, announced the launch of its mobile money service, E-Money. This launch will allow the firm to expand its range of products, and enter the daily life of Senegalese, via the very lucrative service of money transfer and purchase of services via mobile money.

According to Abdalla Saeed, General Manager of Expresso Senegal, “this new service will benefit all our customers and all segments of Senegalese society. Expresso intends to increase financial inclusion by providing end-to-end and affordable financial services. The vision of our Group is to be at the forefront of companies with the ambition to enable our African continent to transform and develop in the digital economy.”

Besides providing standard banking services for money transfers, bill payments and telecom products, E-Money will also allow Expresso customers to access a wide range of financial and services.

South Sudan and Somalia take global stage on corruption

The anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has published its 2017 Corruption Perception Index report, relating to the most corrupt countries in the world and the fight against this social ill in the world.

Transparency international, in its report says there’s been a surge in the corruption burden in more than two-thirds of countries, with crackdowns on NGOs and media exacerbating levels of corruption. War-torn countries like South Sudan and Somalia are identified by the report as two countries where the global corruption burden is worst.

According to the report, several countries significantly improved their Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score over the last six years, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Kingdom.The Majority of countries, according to the agency are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while journalists and activists in corrupt countries are risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.

Cameroon

Two ads firms merge to become the leader of classified ads in Francophone Africa

Cameroonian classified ads website kerawa.com recently announced the conclusion of a merger agreement with Afrimalin. The website that bought Leportail.ci earlier in 2017 made this known in a statement published on February 12, 2018. The statement reveals that the new entity formed by Leportail.ci, Kerawa.com and Afrimalin.com will become the leader of classified ads in Francophone Africa.

“For us, it seemed natural to merge to progress quickly. We have decided to merge with kerawa.com and leportail.ci which are leaders in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, respectively. With this, we can exceed the million visitors monthly and increase the countries we cover from 8 to 10”, Thibault Launay, co-founder of Afrimalin explained.

This merger has led to the presence of Afrimalin in 10 countries namely; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, DR Congo, Senegal, Congo Brazzaville and Gabon.

Cameroon officially concludes privatization of water production and distribution

President Paul Biya, on February 20, 2018, officially terminated the privatization of water production and distribution in the country. This was through a presidential decree signed to reorganize the Cameroon Water Utilities (CAMWATER) which was until then in charge of managing potable water. The company is now in charge of the production and distribution of water in urban and semi-urban areas.

For over ten years now, Camerounaise des eaux (CDE), a private consortium made up of ONEP, MEDZ, DELTA holding and INGEMA, has been in charge of the production and distribution of water in the country. During these years of privatization, the services have not been the best (with the water shortage constantly being experienced in Yaoundé in the past few months). The government has decided to end the privatization and return the water sector to a public company as had been the case for decades.

Before the privatization to CDE, Société Nationale des eaux du Cameroun (SNEC) handled water production and distribution service in Cameroon.

Cameroon’s main opposition leader in a running battle with Anglophone separatists

The Chairman of the main opposition party in Cameroon, Ni John Fru Ndi, defied threats from Anglophone separatists to organize an elective convention of his Social Democratic Front (SDF) party. Despite the total shutdown of economic activities witnessed in the Anglophone town of Bamenda, in protest against the convention, the event still went on as planned under very tied security.

The party’s convention to elect its presidential candidate in the upcoming election and a new party chair had previously been postponed on three occasions due to the ongoing Anglophone crisis. In his opening speech, the chairman John Fru Ndi castigated the Biya’s regime for mismanagement of the Anglophone crisis and announced his non participation in the presidential race.

The SDF, whose strongest base are the two Anglophone regions has come under heavy criticisms from Anglophone Cameroonians for insisting on holding the convention at a time the region is politically unstable. Pressure from the people had led the Catholic and Presbyterian churches to refuse offering their premises as venues for the convention.

World

Walmart watched as $30 billion in market capital circled down the drain

Shares plunged more than 10% on February 20, 2018 after the world’s largest retailer missed fourth-quarter earnings expectations. Walmart reported a drop in profit and online sales growth during the 2017 holiday season. It was Walmart’s worst single-day stock performance in more than 30 years.

The stock rout slashed about $30 billion off Walmart’s market cap, which finished the day at around $280 billion, down from $310 billion on February 16, 2018. Walmart’s poor quarterly results are the latest evidence of how even the giants of retail are under siege from Amazon. On its earnings call, Walmart executives said the company would double down on its investments in e-commerce and online grocery sales, a consumer sector that’s thought to increase both shopper numbers and loyalty.

While Walmart’s shares have fallen about 5% this year, Amazon’s are up 25%. The company gained a modest 1.4% on February 20, closing at $1.468.35. Walmart isn’t the only retailer feeling the pinch as Amazon has begun wreaking havoc on other grocers like Albertsons.

Travel platform KKDay raises $10.5 million

KKDay, a startup from Taiwan that operates a platform that helps travelers find local activities, raised $10.5 million recently. With participation from existing backers like Hong Kong-based VC MindWorks, Japanese travel operator H.I.S, led the funding round.

KKDay caters to Asia’s burgeoning regional tourism market. The idea is to allow travelers find experiences, tours and travel in their destination city. The target is to digitize and then take a slice of the travel tour and activities market that is predicted to grow by to reach $183 billion by 2020. To get there, KKDay has turned to a traditional player for help.

H.I.S which recorded more than $5.5 billion in annual sales, is an old school, bricks and mortar travel firm, whereas three-year-old KKDay is a new, digital entrant that’s predominantly Asia-focused. Hence, there is plenty of potential to work together. KitSplit, which operates an online rental marketplace for creative equipment, also announced that it raised $2.1 million in seed funding.

Black Panther resets Africa’s image

Racist teachings about Africa influenced American perceptions for centuries. In mid February this year, the high-profile superhero comic, Black Panther hit the air. And then social media took the “Panther” craze to another level with people of every color and ethnicity posting selfies in multicolored warrior helmets, neck beads, spears and gold-plated everything.

That excitement, credited to a high-profile superhero film made by a mostly black cast and crew, running a $200 million budget in white Hollywood, made many Wakanda-ready. Who would have ever thought that many Americans would get excited about celebrating a story about Africa and Africans?

Silicon Times

Events

  • On February 28, 2018, take part in the Angel Investor Masterclass Abuja event and understand how to mobilize early-stage investment.
  • You can’t afford to miss the Disruptive Entrepreneurship seminar on March 3, 2018 from 8 AM to 1 PM at Rhema Restaurant Buea, Cameroon.
  • Connect with top customer experience firms in Cameroon as they share their stories at the Cameroon Customer Experience Summit 2018 on May 12, 2018 from 9 AM to 5 PM at Place St. David, Douala Cameroon.
  • Attend the maiden edition of Moments in Space organized by ActivSpaces on February 24, 2018, 10 AM at ActivSpaces Buea and expose your startup to influencers.
  • Secure your place at the Leadership Round-table Summit and learn how to be a good leader on February 24, 2018, from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Theater, Creative Art Department, University of Lagos.
  • Get your ticket and attend the Wearable Technology Show 2018 from March 13, 2018 at 9 AM to March 14, 2018 at 5 PM, London, United Kingdom.
  • If you’re a first-time buyer looking for help to get on the property ladder, join the London Home Show Spring 2018 on March 3, 2018 from 11 AM to 5 PM at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center, London.

Jobs

  • Program officer at RainForest Alliance needed to work in Yaounde. Applications are currently going on.
  • Guinness Cameroon S.A. Douala, needs the services of a Sales Manager for Beer Partner Markets. Apply before March 8, 2018.
  • Get a job as an International Accountant at Amnesty International in London. Follow this link to apply before March 7, 2018.
  • Get a job at Save the Children in Spain as a Director of Social Intervention Programs before March 12, 2018.
  • Become the Chief of Child Protection at the UN Children’s Fund in Windhoek, Namibia. Apply before March 15, 2018.
  • Beetle Heritage Holding SA / CA is currently looking for a Community Manager in its marketing department in Douala. Deadline for application is February 26, 2018.
  • Send in your application now and get a chance to become an Administrative Assistant at Citibank Cameroon.

Opportunities

  • Are you an African Entrepreneur with a business in Africa? Would you like to receive training, funding and mentoring to help your business grow? Here’s your chance to apply for the #TEF2018.
  • The UNFCCC–UNU Early Career Climate Fellowship Program is a fully-funded fellowship that offers young people from a unique opportunity to build great careers. Apply here. Deadline is 28th February, 2018.
  • Do you run a church, Mosque or any religious organization? Then participate in the upcoming training on Web Development for Evangelism organized by Makonjo Media, Buea. Training will run from April 18 to 21, 2018. Visit; www.makonjo.com for more information.
  •  Time is running out. Apply for the Education for Sustainable Energy Development (ESED) Scholarship Program 2018. It all ends on March 9, 2018.
  • The Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalist is now accepting applications from Professional Journalists for its 2018 Fellowship Program. Latest date is March 12, 2018
  • Are you a start-up into Blockchain, Drones, Virtual and Augmented reality, Data Science then Apply for the UNICEF Innovation Fund. The fund invests in frontier technologies existing at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs. Application deadline is  February 28, 2018 at 23:59 GMT
  • Are you an aspiring scholar from any of the Southern African countries or do you know anyone from there? Then apply for the Ruth First Education Trust Scholarship Program.  Deadline for applications is 15th March 2018.

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