Africa News Roundup: China spying on Africa, LifeBank raises $200,000

by | Feb 1, 2018

Here are this week’s top headlines on startups, entrepreneurship, innovation and tech around Africa

A Chinese-Trojan horse?: In 2012, the African Union inaugurated its new headquarters in Addis Ababa. Worth over $200m, the project was fully funded by China, which also built and paid for the building’s computer network.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema, president of Equatorial Guinea and then AU chairperson, reportedly proclaimed it “a reflection of the new Africa”.

Five years after however, the small computer unit of the AU discovered that the entire content of its servers was periodically transferred to Shanghai between midnight and 2am everyday, Le Monde reports (in French, use Chrome to translate).

The Chinese government has since denied the report. Read more on Quartz Africa.

LifeBank raises seed round. Nigerian digital blood bank, LifeBank has raised $200,000 in seed funding to enable nationwide expansion. Investors in this seed round include EchoVC and Fola Laoye — an angel investor with over 20 years of experience in Nigeria’s healthcare industry — with participation from CcHub. Read more on Innovation Village.

Cab wars. Egypt’s local taxi drivers have filed a lawsuit against Uber and Careem — two of the biggest e-hailing platforms in the country — for unfair competition. Their demand is that government should suspend both services.

The Egyptian Administrative Court has however postponed the hearing will later in the month. Read more on AI-Monitor.

Rensource, a Lagos-based renewable energy startup, has raised $3.5 million in bridge financing to expand its business. This is coming nearly 2 years after a previous seed round of $1.1m in 2016. Read more on Techpoint.

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