iAfrikan Daily Brief - Cameroon Internet Shutdown, #LipaKamaTender, MEST Africa, And Central Bank Of Nigeria

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Cameroon Has Allegedly Shut Down The Internet In The Bamenda Region Where Protests Are Ongoing

Cameroon Has Shut Down The Internet In The Bamenda Region Where Protests Are Ongoing
Credit: Sharp Drop In Internet Traffic From Cameroon / Akamai State Of The Internet

Internet users in Cameroon’s Bamenda have been reporting that the Internet has been cut in the country’s English speaking region amid ongoing protests. This claim is supported by Akamai’s State of the Internet who have seen a sharp drop in Internet traffic from Cameroon since the reports were made. It is alleged that the Internet shutdown was ordered by the government. The ongoing violent protests are a result of a strike by teachers and lawyers who say that Cameroon’s government is letting French sideline English in the country. Futhermore the protestors have even gone on to suggest that the English speaking regions cesede from the rest of the country, an option which the government is not entertaining.

Kenya's Latest Healthcare Crisis Highlights How Social Media Can Serve As A Force For Public Good

Kenya's Latest Healthcare Crisis Highlights How Social Media Can Serve As A Force For Public Good

Kenyan medical practitioners announced that they would down their tools on 5 December, following the failure of the national government to honour a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that it had signed with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists' Union. The strike commenced two days later, leading to the closure of the country's public medical facilities. For the last two weeks, the #LipaKamaTender hashtag has been especially visible as the KMPDU has taken to social media to explain the current state of affairs. Using the hashtag, the union is calling on the Government to honour the CBA that they signed with the doctors' union in 2013, which saw the end of a strike that had seen a similar shutdown of medical facilities. The conversation has become a matter of life or death, as the facilities remain closed, and Kenyans remain unable to access all but essential medical services.

MEST Is Recruiting South African Entrepreneurs For The Next Round Of Its Intensive Twelve-Month Training Program

MEST Is Recruiting South African Entrepreneurs For The Next Round Of Its Intensive Twelve-Month Training Program
Credit: MEST Africa

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is calling South African techies and entrepreneurs to join its next dynamic cohort of trainees, with the opportunity to become a world-class class software developer and receive funding for tech startup by entering the year-long program in Accra, Ghana which begins in August 2017. After completion of the program, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch a business concept. Winning teams receive seed funding of USD $50,000 – $100,000 from the Meltwater Foundation Incubator to pursue their idea.
Successful South African applicants will join others from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire, as MEST seeks to create a pan-African network and curate a rich pool of talent and ideas.

Nigeria's Central Bank Issues Circular Warning Against Virtual Currencies

Nigeria's Central Bank Issues Circular Warning Against Virtual Currencies
Credit: Central Bank of Nigeria

Nigeria's Central Bank (CBN) have issued a circular to Banks and Other Financial Institutions in the country warning them on the use of Virtual Currency Operations. Effectively the message from the Central Bank bans banks and financial institutions in Nigeria from transacting and using virtual currencies like bitcoin. “Transactions in VCs (Virtual Currencies) are largely untraceable and anonymous making them susceptible to abuse by criminals, especially in money laundering and financing of terrorism. VCs are traded in exchange platforms that are unregulated, all over the world. Consumers may, therefore, lose their money without any
legal redress in the event these exchanges collapse or close business.” the CBN stated in their circular. They further emphasized that “Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecion, Onecoin and similar products are not legal tenders in Nigeria”. This will likely have a negative impact on any company, especially FinTech startups, in Nigeria that was looking to innovate using Bitcoin.

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