These are tech trending news across Sub-Saharan Africa you need to know this week, February 17- 21, 2020

Coronavirus forces cancellation of GSMA Mobile Congress in Barcelona

The Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, forced the cancellation of the annual GSMA Mobile Congress in Barcelona last week. Organizers, participants, and corporate sponsors are already counting a huge financial hit. The deadly has killed more than 1,000 around the world and Egypt recorded first confirmed case in Africa last week

The Next TechCabal Townhall will help businesses and policymakers understand AI and Blockchain.

Next Week Friday, February 28, 2020, TechCabal will host Townhall entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and corporate organizations including telcos and financial institutions to examine how businesses, individuals and countries across the continent can maximize the benefits of emerging technologies, specifically AI and Blockchain.

Speakers during a panel session at the TechCabal TownHall Mobility event in Sept 2019 (TechCabal)
Speakers during a panel session at the TechCabal TownHall Mobility event in Sept 2019 (TechCabal)
techcabal

The event is part of its TC Townhall series, with the theme, “Emerging Tech – AI & Blockchain.”

The event will answer the key questions that businesses, big corporations, and policymakers have about Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.

Applications are now open for ETHLagos Hackathon

ETHLagos is a blockchain hackathon in Africa focused on decentralized energy solutions and sustainable development. The hackathon happening from March 29 - April 4, 2020, in Lagos, Nigeria.

Organised by Luno, the event will present an opportunity for developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and companies to work alongside global thought leaders on solutions that will transform the blockchain and energy sectors. Collaborating organizations for the event include EthImpact, GIZ, Africa Blockchain Alliance and IEEE.

The hackathon is open to pretty much everyone - developers, business analysts, designers, marketing/sales, engineers, entrepreneurs, etc.

Kenyan health app joins Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator.

Lily health, a Kenyan digital health startup, that gives over 120,000 women in Kenya their own personal health advisor via Whatsapp and Messenger, has been awarded a spot in the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator.

Lily health will join five other social enterprises in the Innovation Accelerator program to develop and scale innovations that are addressing menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) in East Africa and beyond

New features are coming to WhatsApp after crossing 2 billion users worldwide

WhatsApp has crossed 2 billion users worldwide.

The news was revealed by the head of the messaging app, Will Cathcart, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. The WhatsApp CEO stated that there are no plans to disable encryption.

The platform is also planning to launch Dark Mode and Self-destructing messages.

Terragon has launched a first-of-its-kind customer data software in Africa.

Terragon, a data analytics and marketing cloud company, has launched a customer data software in Africa.

The data analytical firm is also partnering with a top brewer in Nigeria to deliver personalized brand experiences to customers.

Airtel Africa Plc raises $37.5 million from Malawi IPO

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Airtel Africa Plc has raised a total of $37.5 million from its Malawi Stock Exchange listing.

The telco with presence across 14 African countries, listed 20% of shares outstanding on the Malawian bourse. The company said the ordinary shares was fukky subscribed with a total number of offered shares at 2,200,000,000. The price was $0.02, representung MK 12.69

Nigeria's communication minister threatened over plans to integrate SIM cards with National ID

Boko Haram leader has threatened Nigeria's communication minister, Isa Pantami, over plans to reduce individuals' telephone lines and integrate SIM cards with National ID.

The terrorist group leader stated this in a new video.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami at the Annual Cyber Security Conference organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. [Twitter/@FMoCDENigeria]
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami at the Annual Cyber Security Conference organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. [Twitter/@FMoCDENigeria]

Last week, the Minister called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to link up Sim cards registration to National Identification Card (ID Card) and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Dr Pantami said this would help to curtail criminal activities and ensure Nigeria is protected.

Digital Rights Organisation cautions Ethiopia over hate speech Law

Paradigm Initiative has urged the government of Ethiopia to reconsider the much-contested proclamation on fake news and hate speech regulation.

The group in a statement made available to Business Insider SSA said the realisation that hate speech cannot be combated by regulating speech but rather it will only fuel rights violations and lead to greater damages.

Google discontinues free Wifi offering “Google Station” in South Africa

Google will not continue with its free Wifi offering “Google Station” - three months after official launch, according to a report by Business Insider South Africa.

Google told Business Insider SA that it will hand over operations to its partner Think WiFi through 2020. “We are transferring our Station operations in South Africa to Think WiFi who will now carry out the project independently.”