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Corona is Not Just a School in Lagos, Power Play and Ring Ring

Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa! Q
Corona is Not Just a School in Lagos, Power Play and Ring Ring
By TheBrief • Issue #46 • View online
Welcome to this week’s episode of The Brief where we bring you news from across Nigeria and Africa!
Quote of the Week:
Tim Grover was the athletic trainer used by Michael Jordan (and many elite NBA players). Here he is describing the three things he asks of every player:
I don’t care how much you can lift, how fast you can run, how many pull-ups you can do, or whether you can hit a three while blindfolded. There are only three things I ask of every client… Show up, work hard, and listen. That’s it. It requires no talent, no special genetics, or any skill whatsoever to show up, work hard, and listen.

What's The Palava? (What's Going On In Nigeria?)
Social Media takes over Lagos
The 8th annual Social Media Week (SMW) took place in Lagos this week. The event was largely focused on what it means to take a human-first and experience-driven approach to innovation. There were sessions ranging from creating healthy routines and managing stress to building tech-enabled global communities. One of the 21,000 attendees was our very own Fola Pinheiro who listened to Segun Agbaje, the CEO of GTBank, speak about digital banking and the efforts being made by GTBank in that space to focus on the human experience. As we’ve previously reported, the Fintech scene in Nigeria is thriving. It is interesting to see a big player like GTBank hop on the innovation train rather than shying away.
On The Low
Nigeria approved disbursing $268 million in funding to support agricultural entrepreneurs and young technology innovators.
Corona is Not Just A School in Lagos
Nigeria reported its first case of the coronavirus this week, as confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Health, marking the first time the virus has been confirmed in sub-Saharan Africa. The coronavirus spread to Nigeria as an Italian citizen returned to Nigeria from Milan, Italy. He is currently being held at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated its Emergency Operations Centre and is working with Lagos State Health authorities to prevent the spread of the virus. They have begun identifying people who have come in contact with the patient and have issued guidelines to the population - these can be found here.
There is also a designated helpline for the coronavirus: You can call either 0802 316 9485, 0805 281 7243, or 0803 356 5529.
Additionally, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has recently clamped down on price gouging by sellers of face masks, latex gloves, and hand sanitisers. Price gouging is where a seller raises “the price of goods, services, or commodities to an unreasonable or unfair level…often [in response to]…a sudden increase of demand and shortage of goods.” The prices of these items, which could prevent the spread of the coronavirus were recently increased to an extortionate level. As a result, it is encouraging to see the FCCPC step in to defend consumers.
Even Dangote is Hurting
Dangote Cement said on Wednesday it planned to start exports from its Congo Republic plants to neighbouring states after its Nigerian exports fell 41% in 2019 when Nigeria’s government closed its borders.
Separately, the company indicated that it will be initiating a share buyback program subject to regulatory approval, and that its dual-listing/IPO on the London Stock Exchange is still under review.

Japan comes to Lagos
Japanese firms are seeking to invest in the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) located at Ijebu-Lekki, one of the fastest-growing Local Government Areas. Some of these firms include: vehicle manufacturers, medical equipment manufacturers, food manufacturers, home appliances manufacturers, overseas traders, and Government agencies. The LFZ is predicted to contribute approximately 3% to the national GDP by 2025 by attracting billions of dollars in foreign direct investments to Nigeria.
Our verdict: More of the same!
What's Going On Across Africa?
Power Play 
Ghana is considering buying out the debts of independent power producers as a step toward restructuring contracts and reducing its electricity bill. Why? The West African country pays as much as $500 million a year for power it doesn’t consume and has almost double the generation capacity required to meet peak demand. (This are the kinds of problems worth having).
Ring Ring
Econet Global Ltd., owned by Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, is keen to acquire a telecommunications license in Ethiopia, which is opening up the industry to foreign investment for the first time. To this end, the country has announced plans to sell as much as 49% of the state-owned monopoly, Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp., and issue two new spectrum licenses.
Why is this important? Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous nation and a market which has so far been completely closed to international investment. The opportunity this represents for telcos and other companies cannot be understated.
Bumper Series A
Sokowatch, a Kenya-based B2B eCommerce startup has closed a $14 million Series A round. Sokowatch provides a platform that connects merchants directly to local and multinational suppliers such as Unilever and Proctor and Gamble. The startup raised a $2 million seed round in 2018 and afterwards expanded across East Africa; Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The startup will use the capital to broaden its client services and target new African markets.
Probing Mobile Loans
Government watchdog, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) launched an inquiry to the digital credit market in the country. They announced that they will investigate both regulated and unregulated digital lenders which have led a lot of people to be trapped in a debt cycle.
Wind Blowing Djibouti’s Way
DPFZA
We are delighted to be partnering with @africa_finance on this ambitious new wind project that will increase #Djibouti's energy generation capacity by 50% and bring the country closer to achieving 100% renewable energy-based electricity production by 2030. https://t.co/2MhEhzukZS
7:23 PM - 24 Feb 2020
What in the world??
(our segment where we highlight the most outrageous story we have come across while scraping the web for news articles for you). We have taken to using what we call the Ehn scale. The longer the Ehn the more incredulous.
In A Time Of Love And Corona
Nigerians aren’t taking any chances with the Coronavirus. How do you protect what you love? Maybe like this:
Rating: Ehhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnn LOL!
Editor's Corner

  1. “I don’t want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.” — Samuel Goldwyn.
  2. Having strong opinions is only admirable if you are willing to change it when faced with better contradicting evidence.
  3. Think long term. The results we are currently seeing were determined by our actions and habits 6 to 12 months ago. So what are you optimising for now? Are your current actions / habits leading you towards results you will be happy about in a year?
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