TechCabal daily: May Your Industry Be Glorious

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Hey there! Here’s everything interesting in African technology today. Not subscribed? Click here to get this goodness in your mailbox every day at 7am (GMT + 1).

Today’s n-1, where n = Friday (._. )

1. Come for the words, stay for the downward looking graphs. Jason Njoku has a problem. Last year, Iroko found themselves with hundreds of hours of content in the pipeline, and nowhere to put it. They took a bet and launched a TV channel called ROK on Sky in the UK (and later on DSTV), to distribute it with.

Now, ROK is a lot more successful than they thought (cash flow positive in 6 months), and isn’t so much of a strategic fit with the larger company. In his words…

To say ROK has moved markets, and the incumbents across Africa and Europe now have to react, is an understatement. It has literally changed both markets forever. The innovation across design / EPG / branding and of course content has definitely mixed things up forever.

Time for Iroko to switch gears, he says. To what? We’re not sure.

2. Speaking of switching gears. Jelani Aliyu – you probably know him as the Nigerian who designed General Motors’ flagship electric car, the Chevrolet Volt – has been appointed Director-General of the Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council.

He has worked with GM since 1997, and will soon resume at the Council’s HQ in Abuja. 🇳🇬

+ And now, a quote from Techpoint, to take us to the next blurb in grand style.

…it is quite perplexing that an automobile council exist in the country, and the industry isn’t still glorious.

Turns out all your failing industry needs is a council to come and make it great again (whether or not it was great before now is a different kettle of fish). And to that, we say, “May your road be rough, and may your industry be glorious. In the name of [chosen deity]. Ah-men. AHOO!”

3. I think you know exactly how this story goes… so let’s write it together. [insert African country]’s government is considering a new “cyber-security” law to regulate the use of the internet and social media in the interest of “national security” (or some other vague term said government can invoke whenever the internet becomes an inconvenience). Just over a month ago, it was South Africa. Today, it is their neighbour/tenant, Lesotho.

4. Day 93 – You know who else is meddling with their citizens’ internet rights? The Paul Biya-led Cameroonian Government. It’s been 93 days since they cut off internet access to Anglophone Cameroon. #BringBackOurInternet

+ I need a reason to delete Moyin Adeyemi’s Android app from my phone.


There’s a new accelerator in town. Frontline Accelerator is what you’d get if social enterprise and venture capital got married and had a baby. They’re launching with an entrepreneur sales challenge with cash prizes of up to $1000 and job offers to the top 5 applicants. So if you’re an enterprising job seeker looking for the next big opportunity, you should definitely apply here. Deadline’s May 6th.


Clickbait, but not really…

+ Ghanaians really, really, really want to get into the USA. Link

+ Dropque, the resulting lovechild if Skype, LinkedIn, and Jobberman had a threesome, is now in public beta. Up to 60 companies and 1000 job applicants have used the platform for one-way video interviews so far. You should check it out if you’re hiring or between jobs.

+ Jumia has released their 2017 Mobile Trends report, and it corroborates stuff we knew about the Nigerian internet market. 71% of traffic is mobile, smartphone sales jumped 394% between 2014 – 2016, and so on. Link.

+ We’ve all but agreed that POD (payment on delivery) is a horrible idea that needs to go away. This person thinks his [escrow] solution provides a nice compromise for both customers with trust issues, and the e-commerce platforms that sell to them.


Chatclass NG is offering a social media management course where participants will learn how to develop and execute social media strategies that deliver results. The program will feature thorough masterclasses to help you launch and grow a successful social media career. School’s already in session for April but you can register for May classes which begin on the 7th. Register here.


Opportunities…

+ Cranium One is looking for a co-working community manager. If you’ve got great organisational skills and can nurture a culture of tech and entrepreneurship, apply here.

+ Fibre.ng is also looking for a kickass Marketing Manager. You’ll be creating and managing all client-facing content as well as developing digital marketing strategies and campaigns. Apply here.


Upcoming events…

Durban: Digitize Africa Conference, April 18th to 20th. Link

Abuja: Hive Africa Global Leaders Programme, April 19th to 22nd. Link

Lagos: Cranium One’s fireside chat with Annie Eimiakhena, Director at Lohi Consulting, April 20th. Link

London: Africa Tech Summit, April 20th. Link

Lagos: Screening of Nigeria’s environmental crisis documentary, Nowhere to Run, at CcHub, April 21st. Link

Accra: Screening of an empowering film on female entrepreneurs at MEST, April 21st. Link

Lagos: Localhost software architecture design meetup, April 21st. Link

Lagos: Free pass Friday and an all-day wellness and mindfulness session followed by a Yin Yoga session in the evening, April 21st at Capital Square. Link

Abuja: ForLoop meetup at enspire Incubator, April 22nd. Link

Want to see your event in here? Add your event

Upcoming deadlines…

CAMSCORP Ventures Lab: Apply before April 21st. Link

Mastercard Start Path Global Programme: Applications close on April 23rd. Link


Congratulations.

You made it to the end of today’s (hurriedly-written) digest. If you liked it, make your industry glorious by telling your friends to subscribe, or clicking the link below to share. And as always, thank you for your time.

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