I hope you are as eager to start the new week as I am. Yeah, I know: I dislike Mondays.
But I had a fun weekend thanks to a friend and Digest reader who saw my request to escape from home and decided to grant it.
Besides, I am looking forward to the week and hoping to avoid Snickers and Maryland cookies, even though I am on my second chocolate bar as I write this. I am reporting myself so you can hold me accountable by Friday. 😉
I’ve got some news: The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) plans to build Artificial Intelligence (AI) developers’ communities across Nigeria to shape the future of technology in the country.
Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General of NITDA, stated that they would begin in three states in 2023 and then strategise on expanding it to other states and, eventually, local government areas.
Here's what I've got for you today:
- Uber says drivers are not responsible for attacks on riders
- Malawi plans to connect almost 8K public schools to the Internet
Uber says drivers are not responsible for attacks on riders in South Africa
Last Sunday, the Sunday Times reported that four people in Pretoria, South Africa, accused some Uber drivers of robbery and assault. It followed complaints from several Facebook users who said that alleged Uber drivers had attacked them.
Between then and now, the number of cases reported increased by three more people to seven.
So, what’s Uber saying? The ride-hailing company said drivers on its platform were not responsible for the recent attacks on riders. It stated that passengers who got into the wrong cars were more likely to be blamed.
Uber's General Manager for sub-Saharan Africa, Kagiso Khaole, urged passengers to double-check their driver and vehicle information before getting into a car. He also said riders can enable PIN verification, which is necessary for a trip to begin.
Khaole stated that the company investigated the situation by gathering statements from drivers and analysing allegations using its technology, among other things.
She urged riders to check the drivers’ boots and ensure the child lock is not on and Uber drivers take the correct route.
Sidebar Alert: Following altercations between ride-hailing drivers and minibus taxi owners, the Soweto United E-hailing Association and the Soweto Taxi Association banned Uber and Bolt drivers from picking up or dropping off passengers at any malls in the South African town on June 7, 2023.
Malawi plans to connect almost 8K public schools to the Internet
The Malawian government intends to provide Internet access to 7,962 public schools through the Connect a School Project.
Formerly known as the Connect a Constituency Project, the government implemented it to bridge the digital divide over the last eight years.
Nevertheless, it faced several challenges, such as the suitability of the telecentres' locations, high construction costs, and rising material and equipment costs.
Because of these difficulties, the project had less value in terms of long-term societal and economic advancement.
Moses Kunkuyu, the Minister of Information and Digitalisation, explained that the Connect a School Project is a turnaround strategy that will use existing infrastructure (schools) to connect students and community members to the Internet.
Why? Kunkuyu said connecting schools has many benefits, including access to an expanding library of educational materials, online education, and cost savings due to the automation of labour-intensive tasks and reducing textbook printing and distribution costs.
Also, 4.03 million people in Malawi — 20.2% of the country's total population — used the Internet in January 2022. Thus, Kunkuya says focusing on schools and the neighbourhoods around them is a potentially effective way to bring excluded communities into the digital economy.
Last week on Techpoint Africa
- Kobo 360 Founder, Obi Ozor, joins Enugu state cabinet as Commissioner for Transport
- Join us for the Nigerian Fintech Executive Mixer
- Kenyan police raid Worldcoin warehouse, confiscate equipment and documents for analysis
- Safaricom Ethiopia to receive $257.4 million from the World Bank Group to increase mobile connectivity
- Talents Arena raises $750,000 pre-seed round to drive Middle East and North Africa expansion
- Grinta makes its third acquisition in three years as it snaps up Auto Cure
- Influencer shares how he made ₦220k from Twitter (now X)
- Maziv responds to regulator’s recommendation to block the R13.2-billion Vodacom-Maziv merger
- Sendy is reportedly ceasing operations and considering a sale of its assets
- MultiChoice pulls the plug on DStv service in Malawi after government bars price hikes
- Airtel Kenya plans to invest over $150 million to expand network coverage
- From ProductDive to uniting product leaders at The Dive 2023 conference: How Tobi Otokiti is empowering present and future product managers
- Moove raises $76 million in new funding to support global expansion
- Safaricom Ethiopia suspends operations in the country’s second-largest region
What I'm reading and watching
- How Did The Universe Make Our Existence Possible?
- Narcissism and Its Discontents
- What Does IQ Actually Measure?
- Techpoint Africa's research and data arm, Intelpoint, is holding the Fintech Executive Mixer at Lekki Phase 1, Lagos on Thursday, August 17, 2023. To attend, register here.
- TechCircle is hiring a Venture Analyst. Apply here.
- Gen F, a three-month initiative sponsored by Founders Factory Africa, is open to idea-stage founders. Participants will receive a monthly stipend, an experimentation budget, and access to experts to help them test and launch their ideas. Apply here.
- MTN MoMo is hosting tech developers and innovators from 15 African countries, including Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, and Cameroon, to participate in its online application programming interface (API) hackathon. Apply before September 3, 2023, here.
- African Startups can now apply to join the first cohort of the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator programme. Startups up to the Series A stage are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to acquire unrivaled expertise, beneficial industry connections, cutting-edge technology, and potential investment funding. Apply by August 25, 2023 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 productive week!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.