Meta plans to launch two submarine cables in Nigeria, one in Lagos and the other in Akwa Ibom, by the end of November 2023. This could improve network connectivity in the country.
According to Abdullahi Kashifu, Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA), this move is part of the government's efforts to increase broadband penetration and improve the nation's digital infrastructure.
In October, TechCabal reported that the 45,000 km long undersea cable will land in 32 other African countries to encircle Africa when complete.
This news follows Google’s launch of Equiano undersea cable in April 2022.
Here's what I've got for you today:
- Okada Books will shut down soon
- Nigeria’s CBN issues approval-in-principle to Bloc MFB
Okada Books will shut down soon
You've probably heard of Okada Books if you are a Nigerian writer who was not in secondary school between 2013 and 2018 and wanted to publish your book.
I'll stray a little here. Since I might be a member of Generation Z, I won't cast jabs at them. Well, I’m not saying I am Gen Z, neither am I saying I’m not. Which is it? Put on your detective hats. 😉 It’s fun that way. 😂
Back to my story: Publishing on Okada Books is free if anyone has the copyright to sell. The catch is that Okada Books receives a 30% commission upon publication, while the author or publisher gets 70%.
So, what’s the news? Yesterday, the Nigerian digital publishing and bookselling platform announced it would shut down on November 30, 2023.
Not so fun fact: Nigeria has one of the world's lowest reading cultures, with a preference for videos over text.
Per the company's statement Okada Books looked into several options to maintain its virtual bookshelves, but the challenges are insurmountable.
But what could be the reason for its demise? I mean, it’s not that most Nigerians can’t read or write.
Some numbers: Nigeria has seen a decrease in its illiteracy rate. According to a report from 2021, the literacy rate was 77.62%, with a 0.13% annual increase in the same year.
Yet, Nigeria has one of the lowest reading cultures worldwide. It has declined due to several factors, including limited book availability, inadequate educational resources, and a preference for other forms of entertainment.
Nigeria’s CBN issues approval-in-principle to Bloc MFB
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted approval-in-principle to Bloc Microfinance Bank.
Pending final approval from the apex bank, the bank will receive a licence to operate a microfinance bank in Nigeria.
“This sets the right tone for Bloc as a financial technology company and puts us on our path to global success,” CEO, Edmund Olotu, said in a statement.
The CBN issues an approval-in-principle to promoters of a microfinance bank before incorporation. While the AIP is not a licence, it indicates the bank's willingness to work with the regulator and is frequently a precursor to a licence.
If it is granted this licence, the startup will be able to provide its customers with virtual account numbers with advanced features.
Before August 2023, Bloc provided APIs that businesses could use to provide banking and financial services to their customers
It launched a business banking solution in August, allowing businesses to create virtual naira and dollar cards and bank accounts and make and accept payments.
It also provides an embedded finance service, enabling third parties to issue virtual accounts and cards. What’s more, all virtual accounts run by Bloc MFB will be insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
In case you missed it
- We need to create consequences for bad borrowers – Sycamore CEO on how to protect digital lenders
What I'm reading and watching
- OpenAI staff demand board resign over Sam Altman sacking
- Microsoft hires former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
- How to Go to Hell in Every Religion (Detailed Instructions)
- Herpes - The Gift That Keeps On Giving
- If you are a female between the ages of 18 and 28 who lives in Africa and is interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, apply for the CyberGirls Fellowship by December 11, 2023 here.
- Apply for the Women Who Code fellowship by November 25, 2023 here.
- Do you live in Nigeria and work with a local or foreign company? Whether it's remotely, on-site, hybrid, full-time, part-time or as a freelancer, @TheIntelpoint is trying to understand the Nigerian workspace: how you work, and toxicity in the workspace among others. Please, fill out the questionnaire 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 superb Tuesday!
Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.