YTech: Tech News for You Today

These are the tech-related news that you have missed over the previous week.

  • Kenya’s Safaricom lays off 33 staff members
  • Nigerian students win big at Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0
  • 11 African startups selected to partake in the new Google’s AI-First program
  • Ingryd Academy aims to train 1,000 tech aspirants via its scholarship program
  • Koree, Cameroonian fintech emerges winner of Ecobank Fintech competition

Kenya’s Safaricom lays off 33 staff members


Kenya’s leading telecommunications firm, Safaricom, has recently laid off 33 staff members over allegations of corruption and fraud discovered in the financial year, which was concluded in March 2023.

Although this is not the first time the company would be taking such steps to uproot corruption within its organisation, it is the first time many members have been fired in the past four financial years.

Among these layoffs, 17 cases were involved in breaches of company policies, 14 cases were linked to the sim swaps (a major issue ongoing in Kenya), 2 cases were related to asset misappropriation, and 9 cases were taken to the government law enforcement agencies.

Nigerian students win big at Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0

Ten finalists from several prestigious universities across Nigeria competed valiantly to win the ₦15 million grand prize at the Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0 competition.

The ten finalists spanned various world fields, such as climate, civic tech, education, entertainment, financial inclusion, gov tech, gender-based violence, health, and insurance.

The event, which boasts over 50 million in cash prizes across all areas, was to be distributed as 15 million to the winner, 10 million to the first runner-up, and 7 million to the second runner-up.

The event promoted women’s participation in tech, so 5 million was dedicated to the all-female team, and 22 million was given to the university STEM endowments to support future tech leaders.

11 African startups selected to partake in the new Google’s AI-First program

11 African startups, of which two are Nigerian-founded, have been chosen to participate in the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First program, which will witness the participants undergoing a 10-week accelerator journey.

The 11 startups chosen are Avalon Health (South Africa), Chatbots Africa (Ghana), Dial Afrika Inc (Kenya), Famasi Africa (Nigeria), Fastagger Inc (Kenya), Garri Logistics (Ethiopia), Izifin (Nigeria). Others are Lengo AI (Senegal), Logistify AI (Uganda), Telliscope (Ethiopia) and Vzy (Nigeria).

Aside from being beneficiaries of Google’s $350k in Google Cloud Credits, which will be provided to these startups, they will also benefit from the mentorship programs, networking chances and technical direction.

Ingryd Academy aims to train 1,000 tech aspirants via its scholarship program

One of the leading African talent companies, Ingryd Academy, has announced its goal of challenging the shortage of tech talent by training a thousand people on tech skills through its scholarship program.

The company revealed that it was planning to train 4,000 professionals every year as those interested would receive lessons on strategic and popular technical skills like Java, Linux, Cybersecurity, and Data Science.

This development comes within a month after the academy’s strategic collaboration with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was announced.

Koree, Cameroonian fintech emerges winner of Ecobank Fintech Challenge

Koree, a Cameroonian fintech startup, has emerged as the winner of Ecobank Fintech out of almost 1,500 fintech. The fintech was awarded $50,000 while Wolf Technologies, a DRC fintech, took second place and $10,000, and Flexpay, a Kenyan fintech, won $5,000 in third place.

The eight finalists, along with Koree, were Flexpay Technologies (Kenya), IPOXcap AI (South Africa), Kastelo (South Africa), Koree (Cameroon), Kori Tech (Senegal), SmartTeller Technologies (Nigeria), Rubyx (Belgium), Wolf Technologies (DRC).

The founder of Koree, Magalie Gauze, explained how her team used the funds to hire business development and engineering roles; she also shared her innovation of getting an office in Douala, Cameroon.

“Our team members are located in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo, Nigeria, and Senegal since we started fully remote, but having a proper office will help us bond and create a stronger culture,” she said.

Koree is a fintech company focused on permitting customers in cash-based economies to use cards and virtual wallets to allow merchants to return their customers’ spare change.

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