Today’s Quote

“Money will soon just be a number on your phone. Your wallet will become redundant.”

Karthik Vaidyanathan, Momoe

Africa

A trip that resulted in a new venture fund for Nigerian entrepreneurs

In a bid to promote Nigeria’s growing tech ecosystem and work with Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem, an agreement has been signed to set up a new corporate venture fund in partnership with US-Nigeria council. Venture platform startup is directly responsible for this fund. The agreement was signed during the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s trip to Silicon Valley. His entourage was made up of senior policy-makers and young tech enthusiasts.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

Up to $250,000 will be invested into the startup initially. The fund will not only provide capital but will also grant investee companies access to market and distribution, growth support and partnerships, talent development and technology.

Such partnership is an opportunity for Nigerian corporations and corporate leaders to work to build Nigeria for a better future.

Obama preaches against brain drain in Johannesburg

Former U.S. president Barack Obama has called on talented young Africans to be at the forefront of driving change at home rather than running out of their countries. The president was speaking on Wednesday in Johannesburg in a gathering of young Africans under the Obama Foundation program.

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The president urged African governments to do more by creating an enabling environment to curb a brain drain in the continent.  “If we have African leaders, governments and institutions which are creating a platform for success and opportunity, then you will increasingly get more talent wanting to stay,” He said.

The former President whose Kenyan-born father studied in the United States and returned home to work as an economist, described the phenomenon of brain as “a real issue. He had earlier called on Kenya’s leaders to turn their backs on divisive ethnic politics and clamp down on corruption.

Cameroon to increase Tollgate fees

The only thing that is constant in life is change but most times, this change can demand so much from us. The Cameroon government has decided to construct 14 automatic toll gates across the country.

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According to the government, the main aim of this project is to make the 14 toll gates which produce 75% of the toll gates revenues in Cameroon, more profitable.

However, transporters worry that the toll gate ticket fees might increase once it is completed. Just as the government sees this opportunity as a way of increasing its revenues, it might be a problem to the drivers and passengers.

Paul Biya announces 7th Presidential ambition on Twitter

The 86-year old President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, last weekend declared his intention to run for another 7-year term as President. Mr. Biya who has been in power for 36 years, made the declaration on Twitter which was followed up within the week by the submission of files for his candidature at the ELECAM head office.

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The Presidential election is to take place on October 7, 2018. Mr. Biya is to be challenged by a good number of opposition candidates. The inability of the opposition to form a coalition or unified platform puts Biya on a vantage position. The Cameroon parliament last week approved a bill from the president requesting the postponement of the legislative and Municipal elections by 12 months.

With this declaration, it is evident that only death will remove Mr. Biya from power. Paul Biya, who has been Cameroon’s President for 36 years, is facing accusations of brutal human rights abuses from different international organizations following the appearance of different videos on social media depicting gross human rights violations.

South Africa on a quest to power rural Kenya

In order to help provide access to energy in rural Kenya, Sun Exchange, South African solar micro-leasing marketplace, has partnered with rural mini-grid solutions provider Powerhive to utilize the crypto-economy.

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Sun Exchange will allow users to buy solar panel with crypto currencies and lease them to various projects, while Powerhive, which has offices in both the US and Kenya, will enable development, financing and management of bankable solar micro-grids.  

According to Abraham Cambridge, CEO of Sun Exchange, their aim is to work towards a world where no one will be forced to cook with unsafe kerosene or wood-burning stoves. Also, children will not have to worry about how they will study after dark and lack of energy access will cease to propel cycles of poverty.

Kofi Annan leads delegation of the Elders to Zimbabwe

Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan on Wednesday led a team of ‘The Elders’ to a three-day trip in Zimbabwe where they engaged political stakeholders ahead of general elections this month. The delegation is among others that met with the different political leaders, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the diplomatic community, civil society representatives and media.

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The elections, which are scheduled for July 30, 2018, is the first post-Mugabe polls which puts incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa against main opposition Nelson Chamisa. The tense political atmosphere, so far, is probably what has necessitated the visit of the Elders to calm political nerves.

“The Elders” are an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights. The group was founded in 2007 by iconic anti-Apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela. They represent an independent voice, not bound by the interests of any nation, government or institution.

Egypt wants to regulate popular social media users

From now on, be careful with your tweets and posts. Egypt’s parliament has passed a controversial law that will allow the state to regulate social media users. Under the law, a personal social media account, blog or website with more than 5.000 followers could be considered a media outlet and subject to media law.

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But not everyone is happy with the law. Critics say the legislation will increase the authorities’ ability to crack down on free speech and dissent. Earlier this month, Amnesty International warned that the law would legalize mass censorship and step up the assault on the right to freedom of expression in Egypt — already one of the world’s most oppressive environments for media and journalism.

The new law — passed on Sunday by two-thirds of MPs — placed popular accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms under the supervision of Egypt’s media regulator, the Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media. The law also gives the council the power to block websites. Reporters Without Borders describes Egypt as “one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists”.

Extrajudicial execution of women and children triggers international outrage

A video emerged on social media last week showing the brutal extrajudicial execution of two women and children purportedly by members of the Cameroonian army. Cameroon’s Minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma, described the video as fake news but promised government’s investigation to verify the authenticity of the video.

Amnesty International after an investigation, declared that the soldiers involved are actually Cameroon soldiers and the weapons used also belong to Cameroon’s security forces. The human rights body has also called on the government of Serbia that has been supplying weapons to Cameroon, to consider stopping the sales.

Reactions from the international community have been very massive. The United States Department of State, the British government, the UN and other international human rights organizations have all condemned the carnage and called for investigation of the video and sanctions meted out on the perpetrators of the genocide.  

Orange Cote d’Ivoire proposes an electronic payment card for its Orange Money Service

The Ivorian subsidiary of the French telecommunications group Orange, announced on July 10, 2018 the launch of its VISA card for withdrawals and payments on its Orange Money Service. The group has partnered with Africa Atlantic bank to market its VISA card which started on July 17, 2018. The card is a quick and secured solution that will enable customers make financial transactions from their mobile money accounts.

In Africa, Orange Group has more than 30 million Orange Money customers in 17 countries. And Cote d’Ivoire is the first subsidiary in West Africa and the third African subsidiary to offer this electronic payment card, after Botswana and Cameroon.

According to the group, introducing this innovation confirms its commitment to provide trustworthy services to international standards.

South Sudan government going inclusive with five vice presidents

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir agreed to set up an inclusive transitional government that accommodates all warring factions. This is a move aimed at ending the civil war that has ravaged the young nation since independence.

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“The people of South Sudan are looking for peace and if that arrangement can bring about peace to the people of South Sudan, I am ready to take it,” said Kiir on Wednesday while swearing-in his foreign minister.

The peace deal which is being negotiated in Sudan would give the country five vice presidents and also covers other security and power sharing arrangements. An end to the South Sudan Civil war will certainly mark a new era in the country’s history, as it will pave the way for massive reconstruction.

Safaricom is considering taking M-Pesa to Ethiopia

In recent years, some Nairobi-based firms have expressed interest in setting foot in Ethiopia, mostly owing to its huge population of over 100 million people and lack of economic development. Now, Kenya’s Safaricom wants to introduce its popular M-Pesa mobile money service to neighbouring Ethiopia. Vodafone, Safaricom’s parent company, will license the service to an Ethiopian bank while Safaricom will host the servers in Nairobi, Reuters reports.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

Since launching in 2007, M-Pesa has built a dominant base in Kenya and a strong presence across East Africa. If this goes ahead, the deal will present Safaricom with a lucrative opportunity to grow revenue and deposits in a market more than twice the size of its home country, with over 100 million Ethiopians.

The service’s introduction could also have a notable impact on Ethiopians, who could use it to not only send and receive money but also borrow, save, and pay for services.

Ethiopia’s set to sign $483.1m contract to upgrade its roads

As part of the country’s second growth and transformation plan, the Ethiopian Road Authority and contractors have signed a US $483.1m agreement to upgrade various roads across the country.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

“The upgrading of the roads will be conducted on eight national road projects. It will cover 749.37 km and are mainly implemented in Amhara, Somali, Oromia, SNNPs and Benisangul Gumuz states,” said Samson Wondimu, the Authority Communication Directorate Director.

Nevertheless, the execution of these projects will ease traffic flow in the country and also provide job opportunities to the unemployed. Also, it will strengthen socio-economic relationships between the various communities within and among the states.

Eritrea withdraws her troops from border with Ethiopia as a sign of reconciliation

Following the peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea, after a 21-year long war between the two nations, Eritrea, on Thursday reportedly withdrew her troops from the heavily militarized border with Ethiopia. According to the Eritrean government, it’s a “gesture of reconciliation.”

“It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that brought so much suffering on both people,” said an Eritrean pro-government news agency.

The leaders of the two countries had on July 9 restored ties between the two once warring nations, and have since then moved swiftly to sweep away the two decades of hostility. Both countries have so far appointed Ambassadors to both countries. The Ethiopian Airlines also made its first flight to Eritrea, helping to a reunite many separated families. It is a new dawn for Ethiopia and Eritrea.

World

Amazon crashed on its biggest day of the year

Monday happened to be Amazon’s made-up holiday, Prime Day. And the day started out well for Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos. Pre-Prime hype sent his personal fortune past $150 billion, making him the richest man in recent history. But Amazon’s site crashed, dropping the company’s stock nearly 1% on a day when it was supposed to soar. By 5pm, Amazon issued a statement saying shoppers were successfully back on the site spending.

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And it was supposed to be a company-wide mourning for Amazon. But this subprime experience was not the worst of Jeff’s worries. 1.8k warehouse workers seized the opportunity to protest low pay and poor working conditions.

Amazon was projected to bring in $3.4 billion over the course of the 36-hour sale. Meaning that every minute the site was down, the company potentially lost $1.57 million in sales. Prime Day started at 3pm ET. But by 3:05pm ET, the site had crashed — leaving many shoppers stranded staring at pictures of ‘dogs of Amazon.’

Netflix is falling off a cliff

While Netflix is still adding subscribers, the company fell below the forecasts it set for itself during the second quarter. That, in turn, shaved off more than $10 billion in its market capitalization on Monday afternoon. MarketWatch reports that Netflix shares fell around 14% upon news that they added just 5.2 million users, down from 6.2 million estimate the company listed in April.

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But they did hit their domestic earnings expectations. On the bright side, the company reported a profit of $384 million at 85 cents a share, topping their projection of 79 cents, up from $66 million in Q2 a year ago. Unfortunately, they couldn’t say the same for their international revenue. In April, Netflix predicted a $65 million+ impact on international revenue. But Netflix says that a strengthened US dollar reduced the impact.

Netflix shares have risen 109% so far this year, while the rest of the S&P 500 rose around 4.7% combined. But, the one concern that still plagues analysts is Netflix’s spending. The company blew through $559 million more than it brought in (down around 8.8% from last year).

Luckin coffee wants to challenge Starbucks in China as it’s now worth $1 billion

Chinese company Luckin Coffee, recently closed a $200m funding round, giving the young company a $1 billion valuation, as they attempt to steal Starbucks’ crown in the area. With over 3k stores, Starbucks is currently the largest coffee slosher in China — its 2nd largest market after the US.

The Hustler’s Digest - Safaricom is Taking M-Pesa To Ethiopia

The Beijing-based coffee startup has grown at an insane rate. It has opened 525 outlets across China’s major cities less than 9 months after its launch. As part of their “new retail” strategy, the company makes their customers download their app to order coffee. Meanwhile, Luckin’s also trying a new legal strategy: suing Starbucks in May for “monopolistic behavior.”

The EU and Japan just shook hands on a major trade agreement

The deal creates an open-trade zone between the two and waves goodbye to almost all tariffs between them. And this should save companies in the EU a little over $1 billion a year. The deal has been in the works for years. Both parties reached an agreement about a year ago — few months after the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two trade partners signed the deal on Wednesday. Now, it’s up to their parliaments to give it the thumbs up before it can take effect — which could be next year.

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Why should you care? It’s the largest bilateral trade deal ever. Plus, Japan and the EU produce almost a third of the world’s GDP. But because Trump is not a fan of trade deals, he pulled the US out of the TPP. Ever since, he’s been slapping tariffs on everyone from China to the EU. He says this will help US workers by bringing jobs back to the states.

But many lawmakers say this will hurt the US economy instead. The IMF says trade wars could cost the world economy billions of dollars. And that the US is especially vulnerable, exactly what the US is trying to avoid by using the WTO to challenge countries that hit back at the US with tariffs. This was probably Japan’s and the EU’s way of telling the US, ‘we’re moving on without you.’

Silicon Times

Events

  • Attend the event on Powering up at continent at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018, from July 17 – 19, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Be part of the most influential christian business networking event, The Royalty Business Breakfast on July 21, 2018, 7 PM at Rhema Restaurant Molyko, Buea.
  • Join Techstars Startup Weekend Benin-City and get experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs, from July 20, 4:00 PM to 22, 2018, 7:00 PM in Benin City, Nigeria.
  • Be part of ZOOM’s ENTREPRENEURS ‘FAIR 237 on August 10, 2018 9 AM – 8 PM in Douala and network with like-minded entrepreneurs from Cameroon.
  • Register now for an insightful session with numerous networking opportunities at the Africa Singapore Business Forum (ASBF) 2018, from August 28 – 29, 2018 in Singapore.
  • Don’t miss the SME Economy Conference on funding and get the chance to pitch your business idea to potential investors, coming up from September 22, 9:00 am – 23, 2018, 11:00 pm in Lagos, Nigeria.

Jobs

  • DAI Global needs the service of a Consultancy – Territorial Marketing Strategy personal in Morocco. Deadline: July 25, 2018.
  • I – Care Foundation is in need of a Communication Officer. Karachi – Pakistan. Deadline: July 28, 2019.
  • Waterlex organization is currently open for Communication Intern. Geneva – Switzerland. Deadline: July 30, 2018.
  • Work as a Program Officer (Reporting and Communication) at Mercy Without Limits. Gaziantep – Turkey. Closing date: July 31, 2018.
  • Work as a Project Manager MNPSS at COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale. Kousseri – Cameroon. Closing date: July 30, 2018.
  • Apply as an ICT Manager at Concern Worldwide. Nairobi – Kenya. Closing date:  August 05, 2018.
  • Apply as a Grants Manager at International Rescue Committee. Cameroon. Closing date: August 11, 2018.
  • Work as a Deputy Nursery Manager at Future schools trust. London. Closing date: August 19, 2018.

Opportunities

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