Tech Top 5 News
Tech giant, Apple, has set a deadline of September 5 for employees to resume work fully.
The Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook, said the company required employees to work from the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays and a third regular day that individual teams will determine.
In an internal email sent to the corporate employees, Cook said, “Depending on your role, you will also have the option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year.”
According to him, Apple employees will return to the office three days a week starting September 5 under its hybrid work model, as the tech giant prepares to launch a new set of devices and products next month.
“Now, the third day you come in will be decided by your teams. Each team will work through the decision about which day is right for them, and you will hear from your leaders soon,” he explained.
Apple SVP, software engineering, Craig Federighi said in a memo sent to staff that after years in limbo, “The week of September 5 marks the true start of our hybrid work pilot in the Santa Clara Valley, and I personally can’t wait to experience the special energy of having all of us back in the office together again.”
For all other locations, resumption dates may vary based on the current conditions of COVID-19 around the world.
“You can expect to receive site-specific communications soon from the COVID-19 Response Team with timing details for your locale,” he said.
Cook added that the early ramp-in phase of the hybrid work pilot had been a wonderful opportunity to come together and meet new colleagues in person.
Women-Only Cab Launches in Nigeria
A women-only ride-hailing company, HerRyde, has begun operations in Nigeria.
With Abuja being its kick-off point, this initiative is targeted at female equality.
According to the co-founders, Monsurah Oluwafuyi, Muhammad Muaza, and Kamaldeen Ibrahim, the initiative was born out of the desire to give female drivers and riders a safer alternative while generating employment chances for women.
They, however, said the establishment was crucial for a society where women are more likely to experience verbal and sexual assault from male drivers while on the ride.
HerRyde fares will be determined just as Uber and Bolt charges, based on time and distance.
The founders also claimed that HerRyde originated from individual experiences and that their families and friends had encountered physical, sexual, and verbal assault, robbery, etc.
According to them, they had to develop a ride-hailing network just for female drivers and riders to protect their safety.
They explained that Abuja was chosen as the first state to launch this experience due to its low entry barrier, unlike Lagos, where the demand for several licences from drivers and ride-hailing apps is high.
FG Orders Fintechs to Halt Transactions with Online Loan Sharks
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has told fintechs in the Nigerian space to stop providing payment or transaction services to digital money lenders under investigation.
FCCPC’s Vice-Chairman, Babatunde Irukera, revealed that the commission had secured orders to disable violators’ ability to bypass regulatory efforts to protect citizens.
The government also disclosed that most of these online money lenders did not register their platforms with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and engaged in activities that were against the rights of Nigerian consumers.
He also noted that the interest rates charged by these online institutions violated the ethics of how lending is done.
Some identified fintechs, such as Paystack, Monify, Flutterwave, and OPay, were said to be operating payment systems and providing services to online lenders under its investigation for not operating with applicable regulatory approvals.
He revealed that the commission had ordered telecommunications and technology companies to stop providing servers or connectivity to these online money lenders.
This came several months after the commission had ordered Google and Apple to enforce the withdrawal of these money lending applications from their stores where evidence of inappropriate conduct or use of the application in violation of the rights of consumers had been established.
Going further, he said the order requires permission to proceed in digital lending and give suspension for a limited period for existing businesses to comply in order to continue in digital lending.
Report: Nigeria Has Highest Search on Crypto
Nigeria is reported to have the highest search on cryptocurrency globally.
A recent study by price tracker, CoinGecko showed that the giant of Africa showed more interest in cryptocurrencies than any other country since the digital assets began to decline in April.
According to the report, Nigeria scored 371 in the study that looked at Google Trends data for six searches such as “buy crypto” or “invest in crypto,” which were combined to give each English-speaking nation a total search ranking.
Nigeria was followed by the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
The Nigerian stock exchange said in June, it planned to start a blockchain-enabled platform next year to deepen trade and entice young investors to the market. That came after central bank in early 2021 ordered commercial lenders to stop transactions or operations in cryptocurrencies, citing a threat to the financial system.
Despite its curiosity about the digital asset market, Nigeria did not rank among the top 10 most crypto-ready nations worldwide even though a lot of Nigerians have turned into ‘HODLers’.
A KuCoin report also revealed that 35 per cent of the country’s adults have owned or traded cryptocurrencies in the recent past.
A key reason for looking into the sector could be the limited access to monetary services in Africa’s most-populated country, KuCoin stated.
Microsoft, Others Looking for African Developers
Multinational technology corporation Microsoft says it is looking for people still in school or who have recently completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering, computer science or in related fields.
They also revealed that persons who have one year of programming experience in languages like Java, Python and PHP and can show an understanding of data structures and algorithms are also required.
By going directly to universities for candidates that do not necessarily have years of experience, Microsoft’s betting on the diffusion of the innovation buzz from African tech companies and communities typically based in cities like Lagos, Nairobi, and Kigali, other parts of each country. The tech company may have to thank its competitor, Google, whose developer groups on campuses have become a key channel for introducing young African undergraduates to software development.
Microsoft is not the only tech company directly fishing for new talent in Africa as amazon is currently interviewing Nigerian developers for roles. These moves coincide with the growth of software engineering talent in Africa in the last decade.
Based on studies, greater big tech interest could be the catalyst for schools in other parts of the continent to compete for places on such rankings in the future.