Venture Beat reports that Jumia, one of Nigeria’s largest online retailers has allegedly laid off 300 of its workers in Nigeria, which accounts for about 30% of its 1000-person workforce in Nigeria. This has raised concerns as to whether the end is near for the online retailer and what this could mean for the Rocket-funded e-commerce outfit. The major investor in Jumia, Rocket internet has a reputation for downsizing. In a similar event, Rocket Internet closed some of its offices in Turkey in 2012, firing 400 workers in the process. While a similar event may be playing out in Nigeria, Kaymu (another Rocket Internet portfolio company) closed its Zambia office. Citing “macroeconomic reasons,” the online shopping platform shut down its operations in Zambia at the beginning of the month.
A series of ambitious new Innovation Partnerships between the UK and Africa are expected to stimulate significant economic growth and support the creation of thousands of new jobs. The partnerships, announced by the Prime Minister as the UK strengthens ties with the region, will be established in African countries with growing tech sectors where there are young, expanding populations with ideas and innovations developing at a rapid pace. Building on the UK’s already-strong investment in science and research in Africa, the partnerships will enable UK and African entrepreneurs to share skills and ideas, and encourage future trade. The increased engagement comes after the Department for International Trade announced the appointment of a dedicated HM Trade Commissioner to Africa. Emma W
It seems like there are smart speakers just about everywhere these days and security experts warn smart speakers from secondary sellers could be used to spy on unsuspecting consumers, according to Forbes. Ariel Hochstadt, the co-founder of online privacy company vpnMentor, warned that it’s possible for hackers and malicious actors to manipulate smart home speakers, and specifically to bug the device and insert spying tools. “The buyer would not be aware that they have purchased a pre-hacked device and, therefore, once in the home, the hackers would be able to access it remotely without ever having to enter the home,” he warned, per Forbes. Primarily at risk to this type of attack is the first-generation Amazon Echo — the original model of Amazon’s wildly popular smart speaker equippe
Google's YouTube says it is taking several steps to ensure the veracity of news on its service by cracking down on misinformation and supporting news organizations. The company is joining its parent company Google, as well as Facebook and Apple, in campaigns to stem fake news ahead of the US midterm elections. The company said on Monday it will make "authoritative" news sources more prominent, especially in the wake of breaking news events when misinformation can spread quickly. YouTube also said it will commit $25 million over the next several years to improving news on YouTube and tackling "emerging challenges" such as misinformation. That sum includes funding to help news organizations around the world build "sustainable video operations," such as by training staff and improving prod...
The Shoprite Group has announced ‘Shoprite Money’ – a new mobile transactional banking service which is available to everyone, even those without existing bank accounts the retailer said in a statement on Wednesday. The service has been launched in partnership with global fintech company Celbux, Google and Standard Bank. “Using their Shoprite Money mobile wallet, this new service will allow customers to deposit, withdraw or send money as well as buy groceries at any of the till points in all Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or Usave stores,” it said. Customers can also send money and buy electricity or airtime using their mobile phones, provided they have funds in their Shoprite Money account. “Basic transactional banking services in South Africa are expensive and in many cases