10 things you need to know in tech across Africa this week, January 20- 24, 2020

Good morning Africa!

Sub marine cable laying (TechSpot)

These are tech trending news across Sub-Saharan Africa you need to know this week, January 20 to 24, 2020.

1. A submarine communications cable in Sub-Saharan Africa is damaged.

Two undersea cables that powered internet connectivity across sub-Saharan Africa are damaged. This resulted in a downturn in services last week per a press release South Africa's infrastructure provider, Openserve, the damaged cable systems are called West Africa Cable System (WACS) and SAT3/WASC.

These cables are embedded in the Atlantic Ocean and connect South Africa and many other African countries to Europe, according to Openserve, a unit of South Africa’s biggest fixed-line telecommunications provider, Telkom SA SOC Ltd.

WACS is a submarine communications cable linking South Africa with the United Kingdom along the west coast of Africa that was constructed by Alcatel-Lucent.

In an email note on Monday, January 20th, 2020, Openserve told Business Insider SSA that the repair is a complex and will require due time to identify location of the break and then determined what’s required to restore. West Africa Cable System is yet to reply email.

2. Google's market value currently sits at $1 trillion

Last week, Google-parent Alphabet became the fourth US company to reach a $1 trillion market valuation, pushing the total value of the five biggest tech companies to a record $5 trillion.

The tech giant now joins the likes of Apple and Microsoft on the four-comma market threshold.

Today s a public holiday in the United States and the market is closed till tomorrow.

3. Social media giant Facebook back-off plans to sell ads for placement on WhatsApp

Facebook is still looking for a monetisation model for its popular messaging app, WhatsApp. The social media giant has reportedly halted plans to sell ads for placement on WhatsApp, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

4. Kenya's online ticketing startup raises seed investment from UAE-based capitalist

QuickBus, a Kenyan online bus booking and ticketing startup has raised seed investment led by Shorooq Partners, a venture fund based in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

In Kenya, QuickBus allows Africans to easily book bus tickets at a click or through their smartphone or a basic feature phone, from the convenience of their homes and offices.

5. Bolt allows users to add extra stops to their rides

Bolt has added a new feature to its app. The app will now allow users to add extra stops to their rides.

6. Rwanda to host tech giants, industry leaders in February

Start-ups, international investors, and industry leaders will storm Rwanda in the first week of February 2020 for the third edition of Africa Tech Summit.

The pan-African event will hold at the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda between February 5th and 6th 2020.

7. African tech startups to benefit in $66 million Janngo Capital Startup

Janngo, a pan-African digital platform, has pledged $66.51 million to back technology startups with a double bottom line approach through its dedicated investment vehicle Janngo Capital Startup Fund.

The fund is a first of its kind Venture Capital & Impact vehicle investing from seed through growth stage across Africa and targeting at least 50% of startups founded, co-founded, or benefiting women.

This initiative is part of Janngo’s broader commitment to financing the SDGs in Africa, as a member of the Goalkeepers Community and the Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda of the World Economic Forum.

8. Nigerian regulator urges Service providers to provide readily accessible unsubscribe mechanism

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has urged network operators across the country to provide readily accessible unsubscribe mechanism for each content service rendered to their consumers without undue delay.

9. Report estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa lost $2.16b to internet shutdown in 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa lost $2.16 billion to internet shutdown in 2019, according to a report by Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns.

Internet shut down is one of the tools used by government authorities to tame oppositions and suppressed freedom of expression, but they termed such action as means of controlling internal uprising.

10. An investment guide for tech entrepreneurs launched in Ghana

An investment guide for tech entrepreneurs has been launched in Ghana by Make-IT in Africa, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).

The guide titled, “Scale Up! Entrepreneur’s Guide to Investment in Ghana” is designed to provide early to mid-stage entrepreneurs operating in the tech sector with the requisite information required to navigate the Ghanaian entrepreneurial ecosystem and investment landscape.


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