We will start tonight's letter with this worrying stat:
At the end of each academic year, Nigerian universities produce about 600,000 graduates. A report by GetBundi, a Nigerian STEM and Digital Skills Institute says that about 85% of these graduates do not have digital skills.
"I worked with four interns [and NYSC members] within the past few months & not a single one of them knew what Google Docs is," says Pamela Ephraim, a Nigerian journalist. The report names this lack of digital skills as one of the major reasons why most graduates in the country are unable to secure employment.
Osita Oparaugo, CEO of GetBundi blames this on the poor educational system in the country. "The curriculum used in many Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions is outdated and does not adequately cover the practical aspect of relevant digital skills," Oparaugo said.
The Nigerian government has disclosed a plan to train one million technical talents in the next two years. Google also said it intends to equip 20,000 Nigerian women and youth with digital skills.
These efforts, alongside existing ones, will help in bridging this gap.
In this Thursday's brief, we also bring you news about:
- X's (formerly Twitter) hack by Anonymous Sudan
- Airtel Uganda's $216 million IPO
We also curated opportunities and other noteworthy reads.
📰 The Thursday Brief
#1. Why Anonymous Sudan hacked Elon Musk's X
The News: Sudanese hacktivist group, Anonymous Sudan has claimed responsibility for the hack that affected X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, leading to downtime for over two hours on the social network in the US, UK and other countries.
The group has revealed that it executed the hack to put pressure on Elon Musk to expedite the launch of Starlink in Sudan.
Know more: In February, Nigeria became the first African country where Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched its internet service, Starlink. Since then, it has expanded its operations to other countries including, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya and Sierra Leone. However, there have been no defined plans to launch in Sudan yet.
Although Starlink or Elon Musk has not made any public statement on the issue, the delayed launch is likely due to the socio-political unrest in Sudan.
In April, violent clashes erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in Sudan, resulting in the displacement of over 3.3 million people, including internally displaced people, asylum seekers and refugees. Before the current conflict, Sudan had already been grappling with violence and displacement since the onset of the Darfur crisis in 2003, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
During the current conflict, several Sudanese residents have been using social media to mobilise for safety and aid. However, this has been affected sometimes by internet outages. "Internet connectivity has saved lives since the start of the conflict, and its absence will make it more difficult for residents to avoid danger and stay safe," said Isik Mater, director of research at NetBlocks, a global organization that monitors internet freedom.
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#2. Airtel Uganda plans $216 million IPO
The news: Airtel Uganda has announced plans to list shares of the company on the country's stock exchange to raise $216 million at a valuation of $1 billion.
The objective of the IPO is "to provide an opportunity to Ugandan investors to own a stake in Airtel Uganda and share in the success of the company," Airtel said in a statement seen by Bendada.com.
Know more: The IPO is in fulfillment of the country's National Broadband policy, which mandated that the company had to be listed on the stock exchange by December 16.
Airtel Uganda is listing 20% of its shares or eight billion shares, which is almost double the 4.5 billion shares that MTN listed in 2021. The shares started selling on Wednesday for less than a dollar and the listing will close on October 30, 2023. Thereafter, the results of the IPO will be released and the company will start trading on the stock exchange on October 31.
For a market that sees little activity, The Airtel IPO is a welcome development and will bring increased activity to the Ugandan financial markets that have been dampened by a recent economic downturn.
- For Nigerians: NITDA has opened applications for AI developers group training in Abuja. It is open to Nigerian youths aged 15 and above, including National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, students, graduates and tech enthusiasts.
- For African tech startups: Applications are open for the 2023 MEST Africa Challenge. Only early-stage startups in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa, are eligible to apply for the $50,000 in equity pize.
- Job vacancy: Moniepoint is hiring for several roles across its engineering, business operations, compliance, marketing and customer success teams.
🗞️ In case you missed it
- Electric Boda in Kenya: As part of its efforts to be a zero-emission company by 2040, Uber has rolled out electric bikes in Kenya, its first in Africa.
- Asaak acquires FlexClub Mexico: Ugandan mobility fintech startup, Asaak has acquired FlexClub, marking its expansion into Latin America. The undisclosed acquisition does not include FlexClub South Africa.
- India wants to expand its Unified Payments Interface to Africa: India is conversing with African governments including Namibia, Mozambique and Kenya, and BRICS members on the expansion of Unified Payments Interface to enable cross-border payments.
- Bloc launches business banking service: Nigerian fintech startup, Bloc has launched a business banking services. The startup has also announced that former presidential aide, Oswald Osaretin Guobadia will assist in assembling its board.
- From coding on paper to working at Microsoft: After being introduced to coding since 12, Clinton Imaro has gone from first coding on paper to learning over eight programming languages, getting an internship at Microsoft, running his own startup, while still in his second year in school.
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