👨🏿‍🚀 TechCabal Daily – South Africa’s flight tests

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6 JUNE, 2022

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Good morning 🌄

Meta is rolling out new Reel features in a bid to catch up with TikTok. 

Last week, the company announced new creator tools that should help creators edit and curate Reels easily on Facebook and Instagram. 

Users can now import their own audio, create reels of up to 90 seconds, and use interactive stickers that support polls, quizzes, and emojis. 

Meta may be adding new features to Reels, but it probably needs to do more if it wants to reel in users from TikTok, like maybe a feature that allows users easily share their Reels. 🤷🏾

In today’s edition

  • Ryanair’s quiz for South Africans
  • Zipline launches in Nigeria
  • TC Insights: IP rights for tech
  • Job opportunities
  • Puzzle: Guess the Startup

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* Data as of 08:20 PM WAT, June 5, 2022.

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RYANAIR’S QUIZ FOR SOUTH AFRICANS

Paying for passports, visas, and flight tickets is no longer enough. 

Now, South Africans are being made to take a quiz before they can board a flight to and from the UK. 

What’s happening?

Irish airline, Ryanair, is making some South African passengers take a general knowledge quiz about their own country before they board the plane. If flagged passengers pass the “simple questionnaire” as Ryanair calls it, they’re allowed to board. If not, they’ll be denied access to their flights. 

According to Ryanair, the quiz is brought on by a recent “increase in passengers attempting to travel on fraudulent South African passports”. 

The quiz is also only available in 1 language, Afrikaans, to which Ryanair says, “As language proficiency is the least intrusive further safety assessment method, this questionnaire is conducted through Afrikaans, one of South Africa’s most prevalent official languages”.


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What Ryanair got wrong—a fact verifiable with a simple Google search—is that only 14% of South Africans speak Afrikaans. The most prevalent South African language, in fact, is isiZulu with a 22% proficiency rate. 

Regardless of this, Ryanair has been running the quiz for at least 2 weeks, and many South Africans with valid documentation have been turned back from their flights. A South African woman and her 3-year-old son were turned back after they got just 3 of the answers on the test wrong. Another had to use Google Translate to scale through the test. 

What’s being done about it?

If there’s anything the South African government is good at, it’s facing mega-companies head-on. 

The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) is already looking into the issue. 

Both the British High Commission and the Irish Embassy have however stated that the quiz is not an entry requirement. 


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ZIPLINE LAUNCHES IN NIGERIA


US-based drone delivery service, Zipline, has launched its first Nigerian distribution centre in Kaduna, a northwestern state in the country. 

Last October, during the company’s fifth anniversary, Zipline announced a partnership with the Kaduna state government that would see to the development of 3 distribution centres in the state. 

What does Zipline do?

It uses drones to deliver medical equipment and supplies to doctors in rural areas. This is especially useful in countries like Nigeria where only 30% of the roads are paved and half of the population live in rural areas with little access to unpaved roads. 

In this case, Zipline shines through. 

The company launched in Rwanda in 2016 where it reduced blood delivery times from 4 hours to 20 minutes using drones that travel up to 100 km/h. In 2019, the company launched in Ghana to help deliver yellow fever vaccines to rural areas. 

Since launch, the company has executed over 200,000 deliveries to 2,000 medical centres in Ghana and Rwanda. 

In Kaduna

In Kaduna, Zipline’s strategy lies in easing medical transportation in a state plagued by banditry and kidnapping. 

In 2021 alone, over 1,192 people were killed in the state while 3,348 people were kidnapped. In many of these cases, the required medical attention could not reach victims because roads were unpassable. With its drones, the company can bypass security threats and potholes, and take medical attention where needed. 

Senior Vice President Daniel Marfo also announced that the company is looking to expand to Bayelsa and Cross River, 2 other Nigerian states plagued by banditry. 

It looks like the Nigerian government has once again found a band-aid for its bullet wounds. 


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TC INSIGHTS: IP RIGHTS FOR TECH

Nigeria is Africa’s leading information and technology hub. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the sector contributed 15.21 per cent to the total real GDP in the fourth quarter of 2021. The sector’s contribution is higher than in the same quarter of the previous year.

Still, startups operating within the country have attracted record investments from venture capitalists in recent years. Amidst these positive signs lies a worrying trend of piracy. Pirated software packages are the order of the day across the country. This robs software developers’ efforts and reduces potential government revenue from levies and taxes. 


According to Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication, the country lost about $286 million annually to software piracy in 2016. There is a need to protect intellectual property and sensitise the public on what it entails

“Currently, Nigeria’s Intellectual property laws are old and were enacted at a time technology wasn’t popular. The extant Copyright Act was enacted in 1990. The Patents and Design Act in 1970 and Trademarks Act, 1965 and may be inadequate to address tech-related issues,” Ifeoma Solanke, Senior Associate at Strachan Partners shared via email with TechCabal. 

However, tech companies can take advantage of the existing laws/provisions like copyright, patentable inventions and designs. “In recent years, there have been discussions about Intellectual property and tech within relevant circles. In 2017 the National Assembly passed a law on the collaterisation of IP rights. This allows individuals and businesses to capitalise on their IP Rights as collateral for loans.”

Solanke explained that Intellectual property laws should be updated to be in accordance with global standards such as WIPO and WTO treaties. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies should be well equipped and trained in the investigation, prosecuting, and conviction of IPR violators. 

“With a thriving IP Rights regime, these advancements will increase standard of living by providing the necessary conditions for transfer of technology.” 

“Tech companies can exploit their Intellectual Property by engaging in IP licensing transactions such as Licensing, Franchising, IP Securitization and Assignment.” Ifeoma Solanke further shared.

While it is important to enforce intellectual property rights, sensitising Nigerians about intellectual property and respect for the rights of innovators and creators is equally crucial. 

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GUESS THE STARTUP


Africa has over 3,000 startups. Can you guess the names of these ones?


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