Ethiopia ends a 5-month social media ban 

July 20, 2023
6 min read
Image of social media apps on a mobile phone
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

Choum Reap Sor,

The City of Cape Town has introduced a municipal app that residents can use to view their load-shedding schedules, report a challenge, access online services, and stay informed about the City's news.

Available on App Store and Play Store, residents can participate in municipal decision-making on the platform.

Deputy Mayor, Eddie Andrews, said the decision to introduce a comprehensive app was due to the pilot success of Cape Town's load-shedding app in 2022.


Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Ethiopia ends a 5-month social media ban
  • Nigeria plans to develop electric vehicles
  • Kenyans to send and receive money from South-East Asia
  • Banks, telcos to register with the Nigerian Data Protection Commission by December 2023

Ethiopia ends a 5-month social media ban

Image of social media apps on a mobile phone
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

Ethiopia has lifted Internet restrictions imposed in February 2023 due to anti-government protests brought on by conflicts within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC).

Here’s what happened: When three church leaders proclaimed themselves archbishops and established their governing body in January 2023, protests erupted in the Oromiya region. While some protesters criticised their action, others backed it.

The Ethiopian state has long had close ties with the Orthodox Church — more than 40% of its citizens are members.

As at February 10, the church reported that over 30 people had been killed, accusing the Ethiopian government of "meddling" in its internal affairs even after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed asked his ministers to stay out of the dispute.

Following the ban, human rights organisations criticised the decision. In March 2023, Amnesty International said the restriction blatantly violated people's rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

A local Chief Security Officer (CSO), Center for the Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD), claimed last week that Ethiopia suffered a staggering economic loss of more than $140 million due to the five-month Internet ban.

Sidebar Alert: In June 2023, Senegal censored access to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, and Telegram in response to a widespread protest over the sentencing of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

The Senegalese government hasn’t lifted the ban.

Nigeria plans to develop electric vehicles

Electric vehicle charging

The Nigerian government has announced plans to begin the development of Electric Vehicles (EVs) as part of its Automotive Policy.

This comes as the fuel pump price has risen to ₦‎617 ($0.78) per litre in the country following subsidy removal.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Evelyn Ngige, represented by the ministry's Director of Industry Development, Adewale Bakare, noted that the plan outlines the steps the government will take to develop, expand, and use EVs in Nigeria.

In other EV news, the Nigerian Government, via the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), has acquired Jet Motors’ locally assembled EVs and their charging infrastructure.

Chidi Ajaere, Chairman of the GIG Group, founded Jet Motors in 2018 to provide affordable and eco-friendly transportation options in Africa.

The company also manufactures a range of electric vehicles, including delivery vans, ambulances, and military and utility vehicles.

In April 2023, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu, announced the arrival of the first set of electric buses in the Lagos State Mass Transit Plan.

Kenyans to send and receive money from South-East Asia 

A picture of a man sitting in a restaurant holding is phone.
Image by Freepik

Safaricom has collaborated with UK-based fintech company, TerraPay, to enable over 32 million M-PESA customers to send and receive money to over 200 million people in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Customers can send and receive funds to these countries via the M-PESA Global service available through the M-PESA Super app. They can also dial the USSD code, *334#, and select M-PESA Global from the "Send Money" menu.

The telco mentioned that M-PESA customers will soon send and receive money to people in India and Nepal in a few months.

With the addition of TerraPay, the M-PESA Global service now offers more than 35 partners, allowing customers in Kenya to send and receive money and send and receive payments to more than 170 different countries.

In Safaricom's most recent fiscal year, over 917,000 M-PESA Global service users used it to conduct more than 31.8 million transactions totalling over Ksh 418 billion.

Thus, M-PESA handled more than 90% of the country’s remittances.

Banks, telcos to register with the Nigerian Data Protection Commission by December 2023

Featured image 2

All banks, telcos, schools, and other businesses that manage Nigerians' data must register with the Nigerian Data Protection Commission (NDPC) for data compliance monitoring by December 2023.

The National Commissioner of the NDPC, Vincent Olatunji, stated yesterday at a sensitisation forum on the Nigeria Data Protection Act that doing so follows the Act's provisions, which require all data controllers and data processors to register within six months of the law's enactment.

Nigeria has over 500,000 data processors and controllers, and Olatunji said the law specifies that the NDPC must give these organisations six months to become familiar with its provisions.  

Why should you care? Olatunji stated that every Nigerian is a data subject because they all have data with either the government or private organisations.

Consequently, you have the choice to consent or not to the collection of your data and the right to correct inaccurate data. Additionally, you are entitled to transfer your data from one data controller to another.

On the other hand, data controllers and data processors owe you the duty of care and accountability to ensure that the data with them is well protected.What's more, between January and March 2024, all registered organisations must submit annual audit reports to the commission, informing the NDPC of their progress in protecting Nigerians’ data.  

Let's take a walk down memory lane from a similar situation in 2020.

Read this: NITDA is on a mission to safeguard the data privacy rights of Nigerians

Then this: Techpoint Africa is now NDPR compliant; here’s how we beat the June 30 deadline

Bear with me: Nigeria data protection, March 15 compliance deadline: What you should knowAnd the last one, I promise: 1 month after NITDA deadline, Nigerian startups appear not fully complaint with online data privacy policy

In case you missed it

What I'm reading and watching


  • African startups can apply for the SaaS Accelerator Program, which supports early-stage digital B2B SaaS startups. Apply here.
  • Flapmax is looking for African startup leaders to apply for the second edition of its FAST Accelerator programme. Apply here.
  • Moolu Venture Lab is organising another edition of the Emerald PitchFest Competition for startups in Nigeria. Apply here.
  • Applications are open for the AWS Startup Loft Accelerator. It's an equity-free programme focused on supporting early stage startups in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with technology, product development, and go-to-market advice; it also prepares them to receive funding. Apply here.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.

Have a beautiful Thursday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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