In September 2018, the Benin government proposed a tax on over-the-top services. The proposed tax was two-fold: a 5% tax on the pre-tax price for voice, SMS and internet services and a 5 CFA fee per MB for data used to access social media and OTTs. This move was the latest case in a recent trend among governments to impose consumer-related taxes on internet access with the goal of raising revenues and in some cases stifling free speech. A4aI's previous analysis from Uganda showed that a social media tax (a daily fee to use over-the-top (OTT) services such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Viber) increased costs by as much as 10% for low-income groups. Additional research from CIPESA suggested the tax led to a decrease in the number of people using the internet. Key find
Former Nigerian Minister for Communications Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson, delivered the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) annual Adebayo Adedeji at the ongoing Conference of Ministers in Marrakech. Held in memory of the Nigerian scholar Adebayo Adedeji – arguably one of Africa’s leading proponent of regional integration – the lecture focused around the question of digital transformation in Africa: Hype or Reality? “There is enough evidence that Africa can be digitally transformed. But what is holding us back? asked Dr Johnson when she delivered the lecture to ministers and a host of experts attending the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference of Ministers. As the world-wide-web celebrates 30 years, its inventor Tim Berners-Lee told a Nigerian audie
According to the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report 2018 released by startup news and research portal Disrupt Africa, which is now in its fourth year, African tech startups smashed funding records in 2018 as 210 startups secured US$334.5 million worth of investment. The report, which tracks the total amount of funding raised by African tech startups each year, found 210 startups raised a total of US$334,520,500 in funding in 2018. This represented the best year since records began, and a substantial leap on 2017. The number of startups that raised grew by 32.1 per cent, and total funding jumped by an impressive 71.5 per cent. A key finding of the report was the emergence of Nigeria as Africa’s startup funding hub, after years of playing second fiddle to South Africa. With 5
Facebook is launching an “unsend” feature in Messenger more than 10 months after it promised to do so after it was discovered surreptitiously removing messages sent by Mark Zuckerberg from their recipients’ inboxes. It works when you tap on the message you want to delete within 10 minutes of sending it. Two options will appear: Remove for Everyone and Remove for You. Selecting Remove for Everyone replaces your message with text that the message has been removed by you. The company stopped using the secret feature, which it said it had built “to protect our executives’ communications”, when it was discovered in April 2018, and promised not to delete messages again until it could make “a broader delete message feature available”. A similar approach is taken in WhatsAp
What's a fake review? Exactly what it sounds like: a review posted by a company employee or anyone else with a vested interest in selling more product. Here's a great example: You're in the market for a GoPro-style action camera. A real GoPro will run you $200 to $400 in the US, but there are countless knock-offs priced as low as $40 to $50. But they can't possibly be as good, right? Well, they look like GoPros. They come with lots of accessories. And here's the kicker: high marks from dozens or even hundreds of reviewers. Sold! According to Fakespot, the dashcam gets an "F." But, wait, it might be perfectly decent product. It's just that a big chunk of the reviews failed to make the grade. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET ...