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August in Africa: Internet shutdowns, Uber Movement and funding

The African tech scene rightly receives a lot reward for its tempo of construction, however in some months positives will also be outweighed through negatives. September used to be the sort of month.

A large number of African governments had been suspicious of the deserves of bitcoin and different virtual currencies, with Kenya receiving a lot complaint for pointing out them unlawful. Namibia adopted swimsuit this month.

Another West African nation cracked down on web connections over the process the month, following the transfer through the Cameroonian authorities previous in the 12 months. Togo blocked WhatsApp – no longer for the primary time – in the face of anti-government protests, and went on to close down the web altogether.

The Nigerian army additionally began tracking social media posts all over September, with the have an effect on of all this detrimental task highlighted through a file through the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), which discovered web shutdowns in Sub-Saharan Africa have price the area as much as US$237 million since 2015.

There used to be extra certain information from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the place the federal government introduced cellular operators will any longer be anticipated to give a contribution two in line with cent in their turnover to a common get entry to fund designed at expanding rural connectivity in the Central African nation.

It’s good-bye from them…

The continent mentioned its goodbyes to 2 of its most-touted tech startups over the process the month. Pan-African tune streaming corporate web page Afrostream closed its doorways, bringing up the prime price of acquiring get entry to to content material, whilst Nigerian ridesharing startup GoMyWay additionally introduced it used to be to near after failing to earn sufficient revenues to inspire its current backers to re-invest.

There used to be unhealthy information for different shipping firms because the Gauteng provincial government in South Africa introduced they’re set to clamp down on non-compliant Uber drivers. Gauteng did, alternatively, turn into the primary area in Africa to turn into a part of Uber Movement, the corporate’s loose web site that gives the general public and city planners with anonymised information about site visitors flows.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town, as a part of its Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) plan, has proposed launching a ride-hailing app for minibus taxis, which can paintings in a equivalent way to Uber and Taxify.

Supporting the scene

Major tech companies are more and more energetic around the continent, and a rising a part of their have an effect on is in the startup house. Amazon in September partnered Zambian tech hub and incubator BongoHive to supply loose website hosting and get entry to to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the hub’s member firms.

Google, in the meantime, expanded its Launchpad Accelerator program to seven extra African international locations. The program used to be to start with simplest to be had to startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, however with the newest enlargement Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda also are now lined.

A variety of firms raised investor funding to enlarge their operations over the process the month. South Africa-based bitcoin corporate Luno secured US$nine million, whilst Kenya-based Facebook-linked cellular lender Branch raised US$2 million to push into new markets.

Also at the fundraising path have been Kenya’s iProcure, Egypt’s Filkhedma, and South Africa’s Pineapple, whilst South African bitcoin-based assets funding platform ProsperiProp has introduced one of the vital continent’s first preliminary coin choices (ICOs) in order to lift release funding.
This publish is a part of our contributor sequence. The perspectives expressed are the writer’s personal and no longer essentially shared through TNW.

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