The Nigeria Startup Bill Has been Passed into Law

This Week In Tech

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The Nigeria Startup Bill (NSB) has been passed into law and is now recognised as the Nigeria Start-up Act, 2022.
Over a year after its first draft was produced, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the NBS, which is targeted at the growth of the country’s tech ecosystem.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, disclosed this via his Twitter handle.
He said the new act would establish the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council.
The bill’s passage into an act automatically eradicates the legal uncertainties that have trailed the startup industry in the past.
The new act is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech startup ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of the country’s digital economy through co-created regulations.

It is believed that it will ensure that Nigeria’s laws and regulations are clear, planned and work for the tech ecosystem.
According to Pantami, it is an executive bill initiated by the offices of the chief of staff and the minister of communications and digital economy.
With the new act, Nigeria’s tech ecosystem should see an improved enabling environment soon. Tech startups in Nigeria face several regulatory hurdles and suffer from a lack of basic amenities like constant power supply and limited funding.

Moove Raises £15m to Scale up Operations
Nigerian Mobility fintech, Moove has raised £15 million in financing from Emso Asset Management to scale up its UK operations following a successful launch in August.
The new financing facility is expected to enable Moove to scale up to 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2025.
Moove launched in London in August with a 100 per cent EV rent-to-buy model that provides mobility entrepreneurs access to brand-new, zero-emissions vehicles for a flat weekly fee.

Moove’s alternative credit scoring technology provides access to vehicle financing to customers who may have previously been excluded from financial services.
Ladi Delano, co-founder and co-CEO at Moove, said, “This financing comes at a really exciting time for Moove. With our international expansion underway in the UK and India, we have already shown that affordable and accessible vehicle financing for mobility entrepreneurs is a global challenge and one we are committed to solving at moove. We’re looking forward to scaling up our operations in the UK to enable drivers to transition to electric vehicles to drive forward the electrification of mobility.”

London is the global leader for Uber’s electrification efforts, with over 7,000 EVs on the platform – the most of any Uber city. Moove’s London operations will enable Uber to achieve its goal of becoming an all-electric platform in the capital by 2025.
To enable this transition to EVs in London, Moove also launched Moove Charge, the first end-to-end charge experience and complete EV charging network app specifically for ride-hailing drivers, enabling customers to locate, control, and pay for charging across one of the largest roaming networks in London.

South Africa Recognises Bitcoin As Financial Product
South Africa has recognised bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as financial products.
 South Africa’s financial regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), posted a notice indicating that cryptocurrency assets will now be classified as financial products, enabling them to be regulated.

The FSCA referred to crypto assets as “a digital representation of value,” and mandated that they be regulated in the country.
The regulator indicated that the 2002 Financial Advisory and Financial Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) has now been updated to include a definition of crypto assets, which has been anticipated for several months. With its implementation, cryptocurrencies will be regulated in South Africa for the first time.
The FAIS (local regulator) clarifies the term “crypto-asset” in its declaration. This includes all digital currencies issued by non-central banks that use cryptographic techniques. Such assets are recognised in South Africa as financial products.

The title of the new notice is the declaration of a crypto asset as a financial product under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2022.
The FAIS defines a financial product as a security, debenture, “any money-making instrument,” or an instrument conferring rights to securities and instruments. Financial service providers that are licensed in South Africa can legally offer access to financial products.
The declaration from FAIS kicks off the long-awaited regulation of crypto assets in South Africa. It will help protect consumer rights and comply with AML/KYC regulations.

Ed-tech Startup Gives Students Online Resources Via Whatsapp
The ed-tech startup, Foondamate, has expanded its operations in Nigeria to give students access to online learning resources in multiple languages through low-data instant messaging applications like Whatsapp.
The South African fintech uses WhatsApp to teach students, as the platform helps students who do not have adequate access to the internet to learn with the aid of localised chatbots.
It also enables students to use the platform to search for concepts, download research papers, do simple mathematics calculations, and define words. With its recent launch in Nigeria, students can access localised learning materials, such as junior and senior WAEC examination papers from previous years.
The Ed-tech platform is available in 10 different African languages, as users are engaged in their native languages, creating a unique form of user excitement that considers users while providing access to education.

Since its launch, it has been on a mission to help students prosper, irrespective of their available resources at home or school. The company believes that even though opportunities are not available to everyone, talent can still be distributed equally.
The FoondaMate chatbot works the same way as when chatting with a friend. All the students must do is to message the specialised Whatsapp number to begin a conversation.
Once they send messages asking a question, the chatbot will give feedback of detailed information based on the question that was asked, sent in the form of a response.

MoneyHash Expands Operations to Drive Payment Solutions in Africa
Egypt and U.S-based fintech, MoneyHash has disclosed that it will plug into different payments gateways and processors active in Africa.
MoneyHash has now rolled out its product in Sub-Saharan Africa, starting with Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa—integrating providers like; Yoco, Paystack and Flutterwave.

Founded in 2020 by Nader Abdelrazik, Mustafa Eid, and Anisha Sekar, MoneyHash is building a super-API for payment orchestration and revenue operations expected to solve problems around operational inefficiencies and technicalities involved in integrating payment across Africa.

In a statement, CEO and co-founder, MoneyHash, Nader Abdelrazik, said, “The different payment and fintech avenues in the region are a lot, and the opportunity for non-cash payments in the region is huge. We see massive opportunities for us to be pan-regional, to build corridors between Africa and MENA, and to explore strategic partnerships with BaaS and other key fintech players in the region to offer maximum value.
The fintech’s clients cut across different industries, including e-commerce, travel and tourism, and remittances. They can integrate payment providers with a few clicks, embed a unified checkout system, and access micro-services such as transaction routing, subscription management and invoicing on the platform.

Tech Personality of The Week:

Judith Okonkwo

This week’s tech personality is the founder of Imisi 3D, Judith Okonkwo.
Imisi 3D is Nigeria’s first Virtual Reality (VR) creation lab championing the move from technology consumption to creation.
It is dedicated to growing a community of VR developers in Nigeria, creating solutions using VR, and providing educational and engaging experiences with VR. She believes there is an enormous potential for VR as a tool for creating everyday solutions and intends to change the technology narrative.

In 2016, Judith set up the lab in Lagos and was focused on building the ecosystem for extended reality technologies (AR/VR/MR) and connecting XR communities across the African continent. The lab provides learning opportunities and access to XR resources for creators and enthusiasts while supporting engagement and adoption by the wider community and consulting and creating content for clients.

In 2018 she convened the AR/VR Africa consortium, which held the largest XR event on the continent, an AR/VR hackathon across 7 African countries simultaneously. Judith is enthusiastic about using immersive technologies for education, particularly low-cost virtual reality.
Judith sits on the European Organisation Design Forum board, advising startups, not-for-profits, and SMEs on emerging technologies.
She is also a co-founder of Tomorrow by Design, a facilitation practice that inspires solutions via Afrocentric interpretations of group genius methodology.

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