Regional updates: Africa

What were the main digital policy regional updates in Africa? This space brings you the main updates month by month, summarised by the observatory's curators.

Follow the GIP's October 2019 briefing on Internet governance, which will include updates from the Africa region during October. Register to attend.

September 2019

Curated by Jacob Odame-Baiden

Toyota Motors introduces Africa’s first connected cars

9 Sep 2019 |  Internet of Things (IoT)

A news report has shown that Toyota Motors South Africa (TMSA) has made a major breakthrough towards the realisation of their Internet of Things (IoT) strategy in Africa, by introducing an in-car WiFi solution for all their new Toyota and Lexus vehicle models sold in South Africa. The innovation, which is made possible through a partnership with Vodacom and Altron Netstar, provides major extension features to the MyToyota Connect App.

According to the report, TSMA president Andrew Kirby highlighted the importance of the partnership as strategic to the realisation of Toyota’s vision which has seen them ‘transitioned from an automotive to a mobility-solutions organisation’. The partnership also aligns with Vodacom’s vision of being a leading IoT solutions provider. 

Vodacom Tanzania and Smart Lab partner to support business start-ups

10 Sep 2019 |  Digital business models, Economic - other issues, Development - other

According to a news report, Vodacom Tanzania and Smart Lab have launched the programme, ‘Vodacom Digital Accelerator in Tanzania’. The programme aims at identifying and providing support for entrepreneurs in mobile, telecom, fintech, media, health, education, and e-commerce, and at providing the needed help to turn early-stage and growth-stage start-ups into profitable businesses. Vodacom Digital Accelerator in Tanzania will adopt a three phase approach of application, selection, and acceleration.

Vodacom believes that the programme offers a unique opportunity for the youth through job creation, and thus, sees the partnership with Smart Labs as a way of speeding up the realisation of this objective. So far, Vodacom has invested USD$ 150 000 into the programme.

Bulk surveillance is unlawful, says the High Court of South Africa

16 Sep 2019 |  Privacy and data protection, Other human rights, Jurisdiction

In a historic judgement delivered on 16 September, the High Court in Pretoria South Africa ‘declared that the bulk surveillance activities and foreign signals interception undertaken by the National Communications Centre are unlawful and invalid’.
The decision, as reported by Privacy International, serves as a ‘powerful rejection of years of secret and unchecked surveillance by South African authorities against millions of people - irrespective of whether they reside in South Africa’.
The case was brought forward by two applicants, the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism and journalist Stephen Patrick Sole. They sought to challenge the constitutionality of certain sections of the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act of 2002 (RICA) and the National Strategic Intelligence Act 39 of 1994 (NSIA) since in their view, they violate the right to privacy. They court’s decision has therefore brought to rest the contentious provisions of those Acts.

Facebook to train Kenyan SMEs on digital opportunities for Growth in Kenya

19 Sep 2019 |  Economic - other issues, Access, Development - other, Capacity development, Digital business models

According to a news report, Facebook announced the creation of a programme that will train and equip small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with the technologies and digital tools to make them productive and grow sustainable businesses in Kenya.

The programme which is being implemented in partnership with Wylde International, aims to train 3000 SMEs on how to connect with their customers and create more awareness about their businesses online. The programme will target businesses located in Nairobi, Kisimu, Nakuru, and Mombasa cities in Kenya and will be available in the format of a 5-hour workshop, commencing the week of 23 September 2019.

According to the report, Mercy Ndegwa, Facebook's Head of Public Policy, East Africa, speaking at the launch said, ‘Entrepreneurship plays an integral role in driving Kenya's economy and providing economic opportunities for Kenyans’.

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