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June 09, 2022

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Good day , 

Victoria here,

I've got some Musk-Twitter gist for you. Twitter plans to grant Elon Musk unprecedented access to the "firehose" API to address his concerns about automated accounts.

What’s "firehose"? It's an API that contains information about every tweet sent, what device it was sent from, and other account information.

This means Musk will now have access to the data Twitter initially refused to hand over.

The move is meant to end a standoff with the billionaire, who has threatened to walk away from his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter unless the company provides access to data he claims is required to assess the number of fake users on the platform.

You may be wondering why this is significant to Musk and his team. Well, if Twitter underestimates the amount of spam on its service, the company's estimates for users that can be shown ads will be lower, affecting revenue.

What would you do if you were Musk? Be as concerned — assuming he truly cares — or proceed with the deal?

Today, I'll be discussing:

  • World-class healthcare with Tibu Health
  • Bridging the funding gap in Sudan
  • Kenya’s 20% tax for digital lenders

Unrelated, but help Techpoint Africa determine how much African tech workers earn by filling out this form or sharing it with your developer friends.

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World-class healthcare with Tibu Health

Unless you're a medical professional, I don't think anyone enjoys going to the hospital. Let’s do a quick survey.

If you enjoy going to the typical African hospital, hands in the air. No hands!

In the same way; I dislike going to the hospital for the same reasons you probably do. Even if I’m in discomfort or pain, I’d be reluctant to visit the hospital due to poor customer service, long queues, and inadequate medical facilities.

But what if there is a startup that eliminates that unpleasantness? A doctor coming to you rather than you going to them. Wouldn't you like it?

So, let's discuss an African company trying to solve this problem. With backpacks!

A brief announcement before we get to it: We've just launched a new series! Prepare to get the lowdown on everything East African with Emmanuel's new series, East Africa Weekly. Whoop whoop!

Every Wednesday at 9 a.m. WAT, he'll talk about the impact of technology in East Africa, focusing on startups, entrepreneurs, investors, regulators, or big tech. Dear reader, get ready for these stories! And if you live in East Africa, please spread the word.

So, in the first episode of East Africa Weekly, he featured Tibu Health, a Kenyan healthtech startup.

Previously, the startup functioned more like on-demand healthcare delivery. Emmanuel described it as you ordering an Uber and being matched with a driver.

Interestingly, before launch, all of their due diligence surveys and data collection revealed people desired an on-demand service, so they went all in. However, Peter Gicharu and Jason Carmichael, Co-founders of Tibu Health, were surprised.

They soon discovered that the market wanted a scheduled approach where the customers did not require the doctor immediately, preferring that the doctor come to their house the following week or weekend.

The company has since grown into a more dynamic startup. Prospective patients can book various services like home consultations, lab work at home, COVID-19 tests, and special services via its website, mobile app, SMS, or email.

But how does the startup work? What does it address? It has something to do with backpacks, but you'd have to read it here: Tibu Health is bringing world-class healthcare to Kenyan doorsteps

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Bridging the funding gap for Sudanese startups

When you hear the word Sudan, what comes to mind? For me, it's the lovely dark-skinned people. Sudan was named after the Arabic phrase, bilād al-sūdān, translated as "land of the blacks."

Also, the country is known for having the world's largest collection of pyramids. There are over 200 recorded pyramids in the country. You thought Egypt had that honour, didn't you? Nah! There's actually some fascinating history here. (DM me for more information 😁).

Aside from that, today, we'll be discussing investment in Sudan. In this week's episode of Equity Merchants, Chimgozirim spoke with Ahmed Elmurtada, Co-founder and Managing Partner of 249startups, about developments in Sudan's tech ecosystem.

What’s 249startups? It is an accelerator that incubates and funds some of Sudan's most promising startups. The mission of the company is to connect Sudanese entrepreneurs with the international community and to reshape the country's economic activities.

Ahmed Elmurtada, Mutaz Mohamednour, and Khansa Alhag co-founded 249startups in 2018. The startup, according to Elmurtada, represents the company's interest in putting Sudanese startups on the map.

Did you know the company has three main programmes? I won't tell you what they are, but I will tell you part of the success story.

Through one of these programmes, 249startups has assisted over 120 businesses in creating over 1,000 jobs and raising over $700,000 in follow-up funding. Interesting, isn't it?

For a country with little investment activity, the firm is certainly trying its best to put Sudanese startups on the map. You can find the story here: Meet Ahmed Elmurtada, the investor bridging the gap in funding for Sudanese startup

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Kenya to introduce 20% tax for digital lenders

On Monday, June 6, 2022, the Kenyan government announced plans to introduce a 20% excise tax on all fees charged by digital lenders.

An amendment to the Excise Duty 2015 was included in a proposal submitted to the Parliament. It wants to tap into the massive demand for digital credit that has risen in recent years due to the ease of obtaining loans in minutes.

Consequently, if passed, the proposal will increase the Kenya Revenue Authority's (KRA) revenue basket.

First off, what are digital loans? Digital loans are credit obtained through mobile banking services like M-Shwari and KCB-Mpesa, or through smartphone apps like Branch and Tala.

So, airtime advances and other forms of digital borrowing are excluded, including Safaricom's overdraft facility, Fuliza.

Also, according to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), charges by digital lenders are all payments that a customer makes, is required to make, or agrees to make to a digital credit provider in exchange for the loan provided by the digital credit provider to the customer. This includes interest, fees, expenses, and costs associated with the loan provision.

So, customers are charged various fees by digital lenders. Branch, for example, charges a monthly interest rate of 17%, while Tala charges as much as 19%.

Interestingly, traditional credit providers like banks and microfinanciers will join digital lenders in paying the excise tax, which is expected to raise billions of shillings for the KRA.

This isn't new. In July 2021, the Kenyan parliament approved changes to the Finance Act that imposed a 20% tax on fees and commissions earned on bank credit.

Members of parliament have until today, Thursday, June 9, 2022, to debate the proposal.

What I'm reading and watching

Opportunities

  • Techpoint Pitch Friday, an event where current and potential founders share their ideas/products with an audience, will take place tomorrow, June 10, 2022. To attend, register here.
  • Torche is looking for a UI/UX designer to join its team. If you’re one, apply here.
  • Binance has open roles in Communication, Business Development, Customer Support, Engineering, Marketing, Product, Customer support, and other departments. Check out the details and how to apply here.
  • The African Leadership Group and Udacity are offering 5,000 scholarships to African citizens who want to advance their careers in tech. by learning new digital skills. Scholarship recipients will enrol in one of the following Udacity Nanodegree programmes: Data Analyst, Full-Stack Web Developer, or Cloud Developer. Apply here.
  • Grant Master has announced the start of its second Creative Writers Fellowship cohort. The Fellowship for Creative Writers will take place virtually from July 4th to August 26th, 2022. Apply here.
Have a lovely Thursday!
victoria_3

Victoria Fakiya (@latoria_ria)

 

A writer with ADHD who is interested in mental health and how technology is improving the lives of Africans with mental disorders.

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