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“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.”

Mark Zuckerberg

Africa

MTN Nigeria’s IPO aims to finalize at the end of 2018

MTN Nigeria’s CEO Rob Shuter announced in his speech that the company will finalize its IPO at the end of 2018 instead of the anticipated mid-2018. He stressed on the fact that MTN is doing very well with Nigeria listing and if market conditions are appropriate, MTN will close the deal.

The MTN group is also trying somehow to reassure the Ghanaian subsidiary, whose IPO is also scheduled for 2018 that the Introduction Ghana Stock Exchange is well advanced and that they will make a specific announcement in accordance with the schedule of the IPO of Accra Square. It should be noted that these MTN’s IPOs are expected to bring enough funding to finance its 5G investments in Africa and the Middle East.

PayPal Partners with Safaricom in Kenya

PayPal’s managing Director, Efi Dahan and Joseph Ogutu, Director of Strategy at Safaricom, announced with delight the signing of a partnership in Kenya on April 10, 2018. The partnership between PayPal and Safaricom will allow Kenyans to easily transfer money between their M-PESA and PayPal accounts. According to Efi Dahan, the collaboration is part of the company’s long-term strategy to enable e-commerce and the democratization of financial services on the African continent.

In the same vein, Joseph Ogutu sees this new development as an opening to a new era of speed and convenience across borders. They will work to develop innovative and robust platforms that enable entrepreneurs and consumers to benefit from international cash transfers and the growth of e-commerce. This eliminates the significant obstacles that have prevented consumers and businesses across the country from taking full advantage of global e-commerce.

China seems to be getting something really big from Pan African institutions

The magnificent edifice of the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is a donation of China to the Pan African body. China has again announced another giant project for Africa. This time, it’s going to be a $32 million edifice in Abuja, Nigeria, as the new headquarters of ECOWAS. Following the agreement between China and ECOWAS, Beijing will fund and build the new headquarters and then maintain the building for three years after its completion.

While some ECOWAS citizens have described the donation, as a good initiative that will consolidate ECOWAS operations in one building from the three it now uses, others describe it as a gift with strings attached. This follows the recent accusation from the African Union that China had hacked its information system at the headquarters. As stated earlier, the headquarters of the AU is a $200 million infrastructure donation from China.

Cameroon

Submarine cable connects Cameroon with Brazil

In order to reinforce the great cooperation existing between Cameroon and Brazil, both governments have created a submarine cable, South Atlantic InterLink (SAIL). The cable will be the first submarine cable that will directly connect the African Continent to the south of America. The cable is related to a linear of 6 000 kilometers with a capacity of 32 terabits.

As part of the interconnection project, Cameroon’s Telecommunications giant (Camtel) announced the laying of the submarine cable, with commencement on the third week of April 2018. The entry into service of this cable might enable Camtel to boost its infrastructural capacities, thereby playing a leading role in the implantation of the digital economy towards which the nation is seeking. The French company, Nexans has received the contract t deploy the submarine cable

Cameroon government targets tax revenues of FCFA 300 billion

The Cameroon government has taken upon itself the burden to develop the country’s digital economy. Consequently, she is also expecting to see a positive outcome in the country’s budget. Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, Minette Libom Li Likeng, notes that the Digital Strategy Plan for 2020 is expected to bring the average annual income of about 300 billion FCFA from various taxes.

In the wake of this growth, the government is expecting much revenue from the telecommunications sector. Comparing with 2016, the contribution in public finances is expected double from 5 to 10% in 2020. Meanwhile, the contribution has amounted to 136 billion FCFA, for the moment.

A Senate without an opposition Parliamentary group

Cameroon is gearing up to run a Senate without an opposition parliamentary group. The main opposition party the Social Democratic Front (SDF), is going to be represented by just 7 elected senators, who are not up to the parliamentary group of 10. They had depended on the benevolence of the President, Paul Biya, to help them form a parliamentary group, by appointing 3 of theirs among the 30 appointed senators.

Unfortunately, the president has sidelined the opposition. Mr. Biya, on Wednesday, recycled old guards of his CPDM party into the Senate to fill up the 30 Senatorial seats. This gives the ruling party a total of 89 senators, as against 11 for the opposition parties. It is, therefore, going to be an all CPDM senate, with the opposition watching from the sidelines. With this precedence set at the senatorial, is President Biya’s reelection in October a foregone conclusion?

World

Lawmakers still can’t figure out how to regulate Facebook

The federal government is already investigating Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But how much further will it go to regulate it? Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, started his two-day apology tour in DC on Tuesday where he addressed a room full of Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee members who struggled to comprehend what Facebook really does. They also wanted to know how they could regulate it. What Facebook will do on its own will likely no longer be enough. Calls have grown for the government to try to rein in the social media giant.

Even Zuckerberg has acknowledged it might be time for regulators to step in. This is about Cambridge Analytica – the political consulting firm that got access to the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users. Then used that info to make targeted political ads without users’ permission.

But, aside from Zuck flat-out denying that Facebook listens to your conversations, important questions about consumer data rights went largely unanswered – in part because they weren’t asked. Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica began cleaning up its own mess, announcing their CEO would step down to “focus on the various technical investigations and inquiries.”

Apple caught up in a $503 million patent infringement battle

The tech giant just lost a $ 503 million battle against VirnetX Holding Corp. for patent infringement. VirnetX is a “patent troll,” – a company that collects patents for the sole purpose of licensing them to companies and individuals who need them to develop their technology. They litigate anyone who infringes upon them like Apple, their latest victim. VirnetX share value rose more than 40% following the court’s decision, a ruling which has seen Apple’s quarterly revenue plummet.
Basically, VirnetX has become a patent troll over the years as its revenues seem to depend on suing large tech giants. The company has a history of profiting from lawsuits. The Nevada-based company made just $1m in revenue last year from licensing its tech. But, they made a boatload more off lawsuits. Back in 2010, Microsoft paid the company $200m to end its ongoing lawsuit against the company. And this ruling against Apple now is part of an 8-year saga of rulings against the tech giant.

Finally, Western intervention looms in Syria

The US and her allies are threatening to strike Syria, in response to accusations of the use of chemical weapons on civilian populations by the Syrian government. There has been serious bickering within the week between the West and Russia (the strongest ally of the Syrian government). US President Donald Trump had said that a final decision on Syria will come pretty soon. In addition to Trump’s statement, French President noted that
“We have proof that last week … chemical weapons were used, at least with chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” Mr Macron said. “We will need to take decisions in due course when we judge it most useful and effective,” he told a news agency.
However, Russia has warned against any of such interventions in Syria. According to the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, Russia “cannot exclude” war with the US if President Donald Trump uses missile strikes on Syria, as he has threatened.

Silicon Times

Events

Jobs

  • Public Services International is in need of a Human Resources Personal in France. Closing date: 29 April 2018.
  • Apply for the post of a National Consultant at UN Children’s Fund. Yaounde-Cameroon. Deadline: 26 April 2018.
  • The service of a Deputy chief of party is needed by Chemonics Senegal. Closing date: 20 April 2018.
  • Apply as an Administrative Assistant at Wellcome Trust. In Kilifi-Kenya. Deadline: 27 April 2018.
  • Global Alliance for improved nutrition is in need of a Project Manager in Abuja – Nigeria. Closing date: 10 May.
  • INTERSOS is in need of a Project Manager – Protection – Cameroon in Cameroon. Deadline: 25 April 2018.

Opportunities

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