No. 74: Rebecca Enonchong is a Rockstar | Nigeria Pushes Business Environment | Ghana’s Mobile Money Regulatory Environment Matures

Founder, Investor, Activist: Rebecca Enonchong’s Multi-Lane Road as a Tech Powerhouse (techcabal)

Nigeria Extends 50% Discount For Business Name Registration (The Will)

NCA drafts Mobile Money quality of service regulations for Ghana (Ghana Business News)

No. 73: Edouardo Jordan Remembers Black Food | Ghana at Venice Biennale | Satya Levels Up Microsoft

Showing Up at Your Dream Job Uninvited (Without Fail Podcast)

Ghana arrives at the Venice Biennale, bringing new narratives with it (Financial Times)

The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance (Bloomberg)

No. 69: Force Majeure in Nigerian Oil | Softbank Leveling Up | UIPath Deposits $568M

Nigeria’s Bonny Light, Amenam crude under force majeure as disruptions resume (S&P Global Platts)

If there is a global heat map showing the frequency of force majeure declarations in countries, I want to see it. It’s awful that Nigeria is still going through this waste of its lives and resources.

SoftBank Vision Fund says its team will balloon to a whopping 800 people in the next 24 months (TechCrunch)

Masayoshi Son is constantly applying pressure. For some reason, Eike Batista came to mind while reading this piece. Years ago, he was worth $30B. Within the span of a few years, his investments went left and he wasn’t a billionaire anymore. Last year, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. I don’t see any connection between the two right now, but some folks have pointed out concerns about how Softbank’s various arms deal with each other.

A Closer Look at our Series D Funding Round—and Why It’s So Exciting (UIPath)

UIPath raising $568M is a good example of Peter Thiel’s zero to one concept – building something from nothing. This company was founded back in 2005. A couple years ago they had $8 million in annual recurring revenue. Now, they’ve got $200 million in ARR. I imagine Softbank has its eyes on them considering Masayoshi Son’s strong belief in benevolent artificial intelligence. So, we could be seeing a $1 billion+ Series E Round if they don’t go public after this round.

No. 68: Safaricom CEO Search | Nigerian Fashion Designers | AI Upheaval

Kenya wants to replace Bob Collymore with a local at Safaricom (Daily Nation)

Young Designers Dismantle Cultural Stereotypes At Nigeria’s Arise Fashion Week (British Vogue)

Fei-Fei Li & Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation – The Coming AI Upheaval (YouTube)

No. 67: AI Breakthroughs | Ghana’s Economic Growth | Uganda’s Family Owned Businesses

5 AI Breakthroughs We’ll Likely See in the Next 5 Years (Singularity Hub)

Is Ghana’s Economic Growth Failing to Reach The People? (Global Risk Insights)

Uganda’s Leading Family Owned Businesses (Asoko Insight)

No. 23: 3 Thursday AM Reads – Fashion Startups | Wizkid Hits New Levels | 3D Printing in Africa

  1. The retail industry is so different from just a few years ago. I remember buying a shirt from Everlane when all the startup made were t-shirts. The kicker that got me to spend my money was that I could get better quality for cheaper because there were no retailers like Macy’s selling the product and trying to get a cut. My pieces came directly from Everlane. This model has really caught on with fashion startups going from raising $22m in 2010 to nearly $236m in 2015.

  2. Aside from the awkward photo of Wizkid sitting on an imaginary toilet, here is a cool piece on the attention the Nigerian vibe-dispenser is attracting globally. This was quite the year for notable collaborations. Wizkid, Drake and Skepta took the cake with their remix to Ojuelegba. I’m vibing to it as I write, in fact.

  3. Here’s an interesting case for African countries taking a coordinated approach to investing in 3D manufacturing capacity development. I would be interested in seeing some data on the growth of 3D printing globally.

 

P.S. Sign up for the Dine Diaspora newsletter. Nina, Maame, and Nana have put together some quality dinners and I look forward to seeing the brand grow. Give them a call if you are looking to put together a corporate event!

No. 22: 3 Tuesday PM Reads – Power Struggle | Renewables Rescue the Day |Startups for Demographics

  1. Jacqueline Musiitwa shares personal anecdotes on the struggle of working in Lusaka when the power is out. Lights off is a situation Africans across the continent experience, and it impacts education, bottom lines, and general quality of life – for women, especially. Jacqueline points to initiatives like the Power Africa initiative as important in alleviating unreliable power supply across the continent.

  2. Speaking of power, Jake Cusack and other players in the renewable energy space recently shared insights on the possibilities for renewable energy and power provision now that renewable energy costs are competitive with fossil fuels. Some highlights from the piece – global subsidies for coal, oil, and natural gas totaling $550b compared to $120b for renewables; 10k customers in African countries signing up for renewable energy; and global investments in renewable energy growing from $40b in 2004 to $320b in 2011.

  3. Ablorde Ashigbi wrote a really solid analysis of the prospects for venture-backed firms seeking to serve a particular demographic. He uses Walker & Company and its first brand Bevel, a shaving system targeting black men (whenever I get out of Sampson mode and shave my beard, I look forward to using the product) as a case study.