Killing the Starlink dream

February 5, 2024
5 min read

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

  • Innovest Afrika partners Techpoint Africa for startup acceleration
  • Starlink faces yet another pushback
  • Safaricom's new mobile money rule

Innovest partners Techpoint Africa for startup acceleration  

Black men and women sitting in an office

Innovest Afrika, in partnership with Techpoint Africa, has launched the inaugural accelerator programme Innovest Ignite Lagos.

So, what's the deal? The accelerator intends to give Nigerian startup founders the necessary momentum to succeed. Picture this: mentorship, global connections, and funding! Oh yeah, it's the whole package.

Femi Moito, the brain behind Innovest Afrika, is on a mission to turbocharge 5,000 African startups by 2030. And with Techpoint Africa onboard, you know it means business.

Why now? Moito says it's prime time for African startups to shine. Obtaining venture capital funding has not always been easy, but success stories abound, demonstrating the enormous potential of African founders.

So, what's in it for you? If you are an early-stage startup based in Nigeria with big ambitions, this could be your ticket to the big leagues. Innovest is looking for ten top startups to participate in their fully remote six-week programme, which concludes with a demo day in Lagos where you can pitch potential investors.

And get this: Top performers could get up to $20,000 in equity funding! You will also have access to excellent learning sessions led by industry experts from around the world.

But wait, there's more! After the programme, you won't be left high and dry. Innovest Afrika will continue to support you with investor connections, business advice, and hiring assistance.

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Does it sound like your cup of tea? Go to the link and submit your application.

Starlink faces yet another pushback 

A Starlink dish

Starlink's application to operate in Botswana has been denied.

Why? Botswana's Communication Authority said the company owned by billionaire Elon Musk, did not share all the necessary information that was required for it to operate in the country.

Which information? The regulator did not say the specific information that was not shared by Starlink. However, someone within the regulator's office said "There were issues regarding missing requirements with the application, which were identified and pointed out.”

That still doesn't make it clear what information was left out. I think Botswana doesn't want Starlink, but it's looking for a legitimate reason to keep the Musk-owned company out of the country.

Zoom out: Botswana is not the only Southern African country that is standing in the way of Starlink's dream of reaching every corner of the Earth. Zimbabwe is not allowing the low-orbit satellite company because Musk is also the owner of X (formerly Twitter), which is being used to disparage its leadership. Distributors of Starlink in the country are now even being arrested.

South Africa is also not allowing the company to operate as the Electronics Communications Act (ECA) mandates that historically disadvantaged groups (HDGs) must own 30% of a company before it can get the necessary telecoms licences to operate a broadband service locally.

Safaricom bars mobile money transfers from M-PESA to unregistered customers 

safaricom logo
Source: RegTech Africa

As of today, February 5, 2024, M-PESA users will not be able to send money to unregistered mobile money customers.

Safaricom made this known in a statement it shared on X encouraging unregistered customers to register. It, however, assured registered customers that they would be "able to receive and send money across different mobile money providers such as Airtel and T-Kash."

While Safaricom did not state the reason for this move, it is clear it is a bid to get unregistered mobile money users to get registered.

These mobile money accounts could be used to move money around without revealing the owner of the account, a good way to perpetrate illegal transactions.

Last week on Techpoint Africa

What I'm reading and watching


  • Application for the Innovest Afrika accelerator programme is open. Apply before February 14, 2024, here.
  • Kenyan startups focused on embedded finance, future fintech, SME productivity tools, and content like local gaming and mobile advertising can apply for Safaricom’s Spark Accelerator programme. For more information, check this out.
  • The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is looking for an editor to support the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. Apply here.
  • Application for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Class of 2025 is now open. Check out the one-year, fully sponsored, graduate-level programme in tech entrepreneurship here before March 18, 2023.
  • 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.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • 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 great day.

Bolu Abiodun for Techpoint Africa.

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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