Our dear readers,
I want to say a big thank you for loving the brand, engaging with the publication, sharing our articles and reports, attending our events, and doing business with us. It’s been an incredible year for us in which we launched TechCabal 3.0 to build a truly pan-African technology publication. We established a physical presence in Kenya and hired Nairobi-based African American technology journalist, Alexandria Williams. Our newsroom grew in order to expand our coverage beyond startup reporting to include consumer tech and Big Tech, which covers the telecoms and banking payment sectors. We broke the earth-shattering news of the dissolution of First Bank’s board by the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the unsuspected high churn of tech talent within Nigeria’s fifth-largest lender Guaranty Trust Bank, which was responsible for its poor mobile services.
We have held hands with high-profile leaders in technology and governance to work on the Nigerian Startup Bill to straighten things up as the country’s startup ecosystem witnessed shocking regulatory interruptions this year. Thankfully, the bill has been approved by the executive and is now headed to parliament, hopefully for passing into law soon.
2022 will see us expand into more countries and hire writers on ground across the continent to bring you unrivalled reports on the impact of technology in Africa. Thank you once again and remember to share our articles with your network, because everyone is invited!
Happy new year!
- Adegoke Oyeniyi, Editor-in-Chief
So, how about 2021, am I right? What a whirlwind of a year for Africa’s technology and business ecosystem. We raised money, backed new founders, launched new venture funds, acquired smaller companies, and expanded into new markets.
I joined TechCabal in January of this year to help drive TechCabal’s transition from a Nigerian tech publication to a pan-African tech and media publication. This transition had already begun before I said “yes” to the job, but TechCabal 3.0 really grew legs and picked up speed in 2021. And what a hectic year it was for the newsroom.
Two brilliant TechCabal reporters moved to other companies (Alexander Onukwue is now at Quartz, and Muyiwa Olowogboyega is doing great work with Lemonade Finance). We brought in new reporters, contributors, and editors onboard (Michael Ajifowoke, Damilare Dosunmu, Timi Odueso, Alexandria Williams, Sultan Quadri and Kelechi Njoku). And as always, we wrote about the impact of technology in Africa.
TechCabal Wrapped is our way of walking you through our most-loved and most-read articles in 2021. I encourage you to (re)read, share, and discuss your favourite pieces with your friends and peers.
Thanks for sticking with us this year. I can’t wait to connect with you in the new year.
Happy holidays. 🥂
- Koromone Koroye, Managing Editor
Here’s what you enjoyed reading from TechCabal in 2021
In 2021, TechCabal published 683 articles, 265 editions of TC Daily—including this one—and 50 editions of Next Wave. the Next Wave. Of all these articles, here are the top ten you enjoyed reading the most:
1. iPhone 13 series price in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa
After about a year of speculation and anticipation, Apple released the iPhone 13 series with newer features like larger batteries, more storage (maximum of 1 terabyte storage), new A15 Bionic processors, smaller notches, and new camera features.
In this article, we reached out to trusted Apple retailers across the country and explored the prices of the new iPhones in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
2. The Next Wave: When tweeting becomes a crime
The Next Wave is a weekly in-depth analysis of tech and innovation in Africa that serves as a post-pandemic guide.
In this edition, Alexander Onwukwue examined digital regression and social media activism in the aftermath of Nigeria’s ongoing Twitter ban.
3. Kenya’s high court issues landmark ruling against Uber
In 2016, 34 plaintiffs filed a suit against Uber Kenya Limited. Their claim? Uber’s group of companies had violated an online contract signed by drivers in Kenya.
In October, the High Court of Kenya finally issued its ruling on the issue, highlighting growing contradictions between faraway multinational tech companies and the growth of Kenya’s tech industry.
4. Overworked staff, mass exits: The inside story of GTBank’s mobile app and USSD transaction failures
The Great Resignation hit one of Nigeria’s largest banks and, like in other countries, was brought on by rampant stress and the shift to remote work.
In this article, Daniel Adeyemi and Goke Oyeniyi took us behind the scenes of GTBank’s mobile app and USSD transaction failures, a phenomenon that plagued many of the bank’s customers in the first half of 2021.
5. Five top instant loan apps in Nigeria
This year, loan apps on the continent have garnered a reputation for their uncouth recovery methods. Loans, however, still remain the go-to outlet for developing businesses or personal finances.
As countries continue to clamp down on the unethical practices of some of these apps, TechCabal made a list of some of the best instant loan apps democratising access to credit and bridging financial inclusion with healthy practices.
6. Meet Abeg, Big Brother Naija sponsor and app of the hour
With an audience of 309 million and billions of impressions across social media, Big Brother Nigeria is one of West Africa’s most-watched television programmes.
Last year, tech companies like Kudabank, Patricia, and even Flutterwave threw their weight behind the show with sponsorship. This year, one of the biggest sponsors of BBN, however, was a newcomer platform called Abeg, who reportedly sponsored the show with $2 million.
7. Nigeria’s Central Bank freezes bank accounts of fintech platforms Risevest, Bamboo, Trove, and Chaka
As this year marks several wins for the Nigerian startup scene at large, it’s also the year the Nigerian government came down hard on the ecosystem. From crippling bans to questionable policies, Nigeria went after creators and founders in the economy.
In August, this manifested with the Central Bank of Nigeria freezing the bank accounts of Nigerian fintech platforms Risevest, Bamboo, Trove, and Chaka.
8. From hawking dry fish to coding at Bloomberg: the story of a Nigerian first class graduate
One of the trending questions of the ecosystem in 2021 was: How can more people get into tech?
To this end, TechCabal wrote quite a number of articles and flagships to help people navigate the wonderful world of tech. This article, however, takes a different approach with a narrative voice that follows the story of Kemi, who went from hawking dry fish to working as a software engineer at Bloomberg.
9. How Herconomy raised a $600,000 pre-seed round in 24 hours
In 2021, Nigerian startups raised about $1.4 billion. TechCabal has done a number of stories on some of these raises, most of which are led by venture capitals or private equity firms.
Very few have angel investors leading the raises and even fewer have product users participating in those ventures. In this article, we explored how one startup, Herconomy, raised a $600,000 pre-seed round in 24 hours, with members of its community as angel investors.
10. Africa’s tech ecosystem pays tribute to Nnena Nkongho
The African tech ecosystem mourns the passing of Nnena Nkongho, an African investor who championed diversity and excellence.
As a way of remembering Nkongho’s greatness and contribution to technology communities at home and abroad, TechCabal published tributes sent to us by people who knew and worked with Nkongho during her lifetime.
If you’ve enjoyed any of our articles, please forward and share them with your networks on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Telegram.
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