Monday, September 21

Southern Africa

Malawi warns against cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency, Southern Africa

Malawi warns against cryptocurrencies

A statement issued by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has warned people in the country that cryptocurrencies are not to be used as legal tender for goods and services in the same way they would use the country's currency, the Malawi Kwacha. This comes as more and more people in Malawi have been enquiring about using cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, as a form of payment or receiving payments. The statement was issued by RBM Governor, Dr. Dalitso Kabambe, who also added that RBM had noted with concern increased public interest in cryptocurrencies as observed through the growing number of enquiries on the subject received from the general public and other stakeholders. “Reserve Bank of Malawi wishes to advise the general public that cryptocurrencies are not legal t...
This South African-founded podcast startup has just been acquired by global podcasting company Acast
Southern Africa, Start-ups

This South African-founded podcast startup has just been acquired by global podcasting company Acast

South African-founded podcast technology startup Pippa has been acquired by large global podcasting company Acast. Pippa provides people who create podcasts with a space to host their podcasts, and shares it to all the relevant outlets including iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and every podcast app. The platform also provides in-depth analytics on how their podcast is performing, as well as allowing them to place adverts in their content. ‘’Joining Acast represents an important, necessary, and extremely exciting leap forward for Pippa.’’ the company said in a statement. ‘’Acast’s reputation as the premier podcast company in the world is well deserved. We’re honoured to join their team and — with you — to continue crafting the future of podcasting together.’’ “We’re incredibly proud...
IT Professionals Leaving South Africa Cite Political and Economic Concerns
Southern Africa, Trends

IT Professionals Leaving South Africa Cite Political and Economic Concerns

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently called on young white South Africans not to leave the country in a pre-election campaign drive in Stellenbosch. He said that the fears that many white South Africans have of not being wanted, “is entirely not true”. “There is a place, there is room for all of us,” the president said. The problem of professionals leaving South Africa, however, extends far beyond the young white population. Many qualified people are leaving the country in search for a better future for themselves and their families. IT professionals leaving South Africa MyBroadband’s 2019 IT Salary Survey revealed that 46% of IT professionals in South Africa are planning to leave South Africa permanently, or work abroad, in the near future. The survey was conducted in Apr...
South Africa Ranked Top Startup Ecosystem in Africa, But Drops in World Rankings
Southern Africa, Trends

South Africa Ranked Top Startup Ecosystem in Africa, But Drops in World Rankings

South Africa may still have the highest ranked startup ecosystem for an African country, but it is no longer in the top 50 club, after dropping 13 spots, a new ranking shows. The ranking — developed by StartupBlink, a global startup ecosystem map with tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces and accelerators — was released last week. It ranks 100 countries and 1000 cities for 2018. Startup Blink draws its data from what it claims is an algorithm that analyses tens of thousands of data points on registered startups, accelerators and coworking spaces listed on the StartupBlink global startup ecosystem map, as well as data received from its global partners such as Crunchbase and SimilarWeb. The report puts South Africa just behind Malaysia, Slovakia, Slovenia and C...
South African voter details exposed on IEC website
Cybersecurity, Southern Africa

South African voter details exposed on IEC website

The South African National Elections will be held on 8 May 2019, and voters have been encouraged to register online through the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) website. The online portal has not always been the most secure platform, however, and a security flaw revealed in 2017 allowed attackers to potentially manipulate the registration system. This week, MyBroadband was made aware of another security flaw affecting the IEC online registration portal – this time affecting those applying to vote from overseas. Citizens who wish to vote in the 2019 elections while overseas must inform the IEC of their intention and submit a VEC 10 application online. The VEC 10 application must be submitted through the elections registration portal before 13 March 2019 to be proce...
South Africa will be tracking social media fake news ahead of the 2019 elections
Social Networks, Southern Africa

South Africa will be tracking social media fake news ahead of the 2019 elections

Can South Africa really hold a general election on 8 May 2019 in a way that it really represents the views of its people? One might have thought this was an academic question. The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa is well respected and the country's legal system is robust. There are certainly enough political parties – around 285 are registered even if most are unlikely to participate in the May 2019 elections – for the national and nine provincial legislatures. However, there have been worrying signs about the use of disinformation during previous elections and these need to be heeded. Google is deploying some of its vast resources to train political parties, journalists and editors how to spot and fight fake ...
South Africa tech startup InvestSure raises $685k funding round
Southern Africa

South Africa tech startup InvestSure raises $685k funding round

South African insurtech startup InvestSure has raised ZAR9.6 million (US$685,000) in funding to broaden its offering and expand into new markets. Launched in May of last year, InvestSure is an insurance offering for investors, protecting shareholders against losses in shares of listed companies caused by allegations of management misleading or deceiving shareholders. The funding has been secured from Hannover Re Africa subsidiaries Lireas Holdings and Compass Insure, as well as venture capital firm 4Di Capital, following two years of incubation at Compass Insure, and totals ZAR9.6 million (US$685,000). InvestSure said the direct investment from the specialist insurer was a big statement on the potential impact it could have in the market as it becomes available across a...
Zimbabweans Are Calling For Help, But No One Can Hear Them
Southern Africa

Zimbabweans Are Calling For Help, But No One Can Hear Them

NAIROBI — WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been blocked in Zimbabwe amid huge anti-government protests and a brutal police crackdown. Zimbabweans have been unable to access nearly all social media platforms since Tuesday, when the government issued a total internet shutdown. Doctors say they have treated nearly 70 people for gunshot wounds, with reports of random arrests by the police and military, and demonstrators being beaten in the streets. The internet blackout caused thousands of Zimbabweans to rely on location-masking virtual private networks (VPNs) in order to stay connected. Those who managed to get online made desperate calls for help. Continue reading photo Jekesai Njikizana / AFP / Getty Images
Zimbabwe’s internet blackout shows how powerless major telcos are against governments
Central Africa, East Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, Tech Policy, West Africa

Zimbabwe’s internet blackout shows how powerless major telcos are against governments

Internet access was restored in Zimbabwe late on Wednesday, but on Thursday WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter remained inaccessible. More than 600 people were arrested this week as police armed with AK-47 rifles rounded up protestors, according to the Associated Press. At least six people were killed when the military was deployed to quell protests against high fuel prices on Monday. Amnesty International reported eight deaths, while the Association of Doctors for Human Rights reported treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and more than 100 other cases of assaults. A tense calm returned on Thursday. Zimbabweans were protesting a fuel hike that would see the price of petrol and diesel rise by 150%in a country that already had fuel shortages. Amid the violent crackdown on pro...
Internet Switched Back On Again In Zimbabwe After A Total Blackout For The Second Time In A Week
Central Africa, East Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, Tech Policy, West Africa

Internet Switched Back On Again In Zimbabwe After A Total Blackout For The Second Time In A Week

The Zimbabwean story continues to be crazier at every turn. Around mid day on Tuesday the government ordered internet service providers to block all citizens from the internet. The nation was switched back on yesterday after 30 hours of darkness. When we thought that it was all done, the government issued another directive at Nicodemus time last night around 10 pm instructing total shut down again. Zimbabwe woke up to no internet today and Econet subscribers had the following message in their SMS inbox: At 22:05 17/01/19, we were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice. Our lawyers advised we are required to comply with the directive pending the Courts decision on its legality. The earlier directives are already the subject of a pendin...