4 OCTOBER, 2021
Good morning ☀️ ️
The Nigerian government has revealed terms and conditions for the reinstatement of Twitter in the country.
On Friday, during the country’s 61st Independence anniversary, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that Nigeria’s Twitter ban would only be suspended if the company sets up a local unit in Nigeria and pays taxes.
In today’s edition:
Nigeria ranks 82nd for digital wellbeing
Kigali’s car-free zone speeds up
TC Insights: Stake by stake
The internet’s first free porn site shuts down
NIGERIA RANKS 82ND FOR DIGITAL WELLBEING
The Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) has given Nigeria a lot to think about on its 61st anniversary.
Every year, Surfshark, a cybersecurity company, carries out research to reveal the factors that affect countries’ digital wellbeing. Last year, of the 85 countries surveyed – six of them African –Nigeria ranked 81st and South Africa 59th.
This year the results are not so different.
110 countries were surveyed by Surfshark this year and Nigeria ranked 82nd.
The report indexes the countries across five fundamental pillars including internet affordability, internet quality, electronic infrastructure, security and government.
For internet affordability, Nigeria ranks 107, one position above Ghana, with 1GB of data in the country costing an average of $0.88. One important thing to note is that while Nigeria’s data plans may be high, according to Surfshark’s report, it’s widely considered one of the few African nations with cheap cheaper data plans.
How did other African countries perform?
This year, 18 African countries were included in the index.
While Zambia ranked the highest of all in the 68th position, Ethiopia ranked lowest of all 110 countries, coming last.
Big picture: There’s always space for improvement. Even the countries that rank high on the list, like the Netherlands and Germany, still have a long way to go to improve their internet speeds, broadband connection and online service quality. Germany ranks 56th for online service quality, while the Netherlands ranks 50 for mobile internet speed.
KIGALI’S CAR-FREE ZONE SPEEDS UP
With fresh air, walkable streets and luscious rolling hills, Kigali is a city on the rise. Expected to reach nearly 2 million residents by 2030, the city’s population has grown from a mere 500,000 in 2000 to more than 1 million today.
Rapid urbanisation usually results in pollution, environmental degradation and an overall lower quality of life, but Kigali is ahead of the game.
For over 15 years, the capital city has made green transport and sustainability a top priority, with efforts like better city planning and public transportation systems. Now in 2021, the cleanest city in Africa has revamped their famous car-free zone.
The Number 11 Bus
In 2015, the Kigali city office implemented a car-free zone that aimed to ban all cars from the Central Business District. The policy was meant to be part of a larger plan to create a pedestrian-zone city with dependable public transportation.
The car-free CBD has done so well that Kigali’s department of Urban Planning revamped the area in 2021. The area now includes new features like areas of meditation, benches, free Wifi and a children’s play area.
Kigali shows us that there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between urban growth and environmental conservation, but it may be hard for other cities in Africa to replicate the model.
In the 27 years since the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has achieved high levels of political stability, public safety, economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Some attribute this success to Rwandan President Paul Kagame who took office in the 2000s. Kagame is known to run a tight ship with restrictions on political and civil rights. While his supporters say he’s a visionary with a knack for getting things done, others argue that the tight control he exercises over society can mask political, ethnic and social tensions. It makes us wonder what the real trade-off is.
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TC INSIGHTS: STAKE BY STAKE
From Lagos to Cape Town, punters are steadfast in their chase. They long for the odds to be in their favour. Gambling shops and kiosks have thus become ubiquitous.
Although Africa accounts for just 2% of global sports gambling revenue, its growth rate has been impressive. South Africa’s gambling revenue is projected to increase from R27 billion (US$1.88 billion) in 2016 to R35 billion (US$2.44 billion) in 2021, a 5.1% compound annual increase.
In Nigeria, bettors spend almost ₦2 billion (US$4.87 million) on sports betting daily. This translates to about ₦730 billion (US$1.78 billion) annually. African PayTV giant, Multichoice, recently increased its stakes in BetKing, a pan-African betting business with major operations in Nigeria.
So, what exactly is driving this growth?
Compared to other regions, regulations guiding the industry in Africa are relatively lax. In countries such as Nigeria, there are no strict rules restricting the industry. There are no game restrictions when playing online. Due to the lax regulations, gambling sites operating in Nigeria do not pay taxes.
Africa has the world’s youngest population. In 2019, 60% of its population was under 25. By 2030, young Africans are expected to make up 42%of the world’s youth. So there’s a potential market for the betting industry. Growing smartphone and internet penetration means anyone can book games from the comfort of their homes with a simple click. Kiosks and shops make it easy for anyone to walk into a betting shop and play games.
Betting provides an avenue for young Africans to make some money. On the one hand, there’s a deep love for football and sporting activities. On the other hand, young people lack jobs and a means of earning an income. About 30% of the youth population are unemployed and discouraged. According to a 2019 report, less than 20% of young sub-Saharan Africans (aged 15-24) have received wages in the past year.
Yet, there are concerns about the drawbacks of gambling. In Kenya, for example, reports say gambling addiction is on the rise and leaving young people bankrupt and suicidal. Research shows that young men who experience problems with their gambling are nine times more likely to attempt suicide than those with no problems, and young women are five times more likely.
Despite awareness of these drawbacks, 76% of young people in Kenya have gambled at some point. Betting on the continent is witnessing a boom and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down soon.
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The 34th rule of the internet is: if it exists, then there’s a porn version of it.
This unproven belief sounds reasonable when you consider that there are 1.3 million porn sites on the internet right now, accounting for about 4.7% of internet traffic across the world. What this means is, every second, at least 28,000 people are watching porn.
It’s a booming business too. Estimates for the value of the global porn industry go as high as $97 billion!
Sadly, some of the industry’s actors aren’t willing participants. At least 3,000 websites illegally distribute child pornography – and that’s just the English-speaking ones.
This is why the world’s first video hosting and social networking site, Xtube, is shutting down.
Side-bar: Xtube is not the world’s first porn site. That glory belongs to sex.com, which was registered in 1994. Xtube, however, is the first video-only site that offered free content to users since its launch in 2006, allowing members to upload videos and get paid for viewership. YouTube, but make it porn.
The journey to becoming EX-Tube
Xtube was founded by MindGeek, the same company that owns PornHub. Here’s another thing both platforms have in common: they have been the subjects of lawsuits regarding human trafficking and illegal content.
About 600,000 people are trafficked each year and majority of them end up in the sex trade. A number of these victims end up as unwilling participants in videos shared online.
About 34 women filed lawsuits against MindGeek for distributing this type of content, even after they wrote to the company to have it taken down. MindGeek is also the subject of six other class-action lawsuits, including one from the US’s National Centre for Sexual Exploitation, and another from the Justice Defence Fund.
To address mounting legal pressure, MindGeek had PornHub restructure its content last year, deleting two-thirds of videos uploaded by unverified users.
Xtube, on the other hand, decided to shut down. By September 5, the platform blocked users from uploading new content, and by September 21, the site was shut down with a message directing users to PornHub.
Zoom out: If you’re wondering why Xtube got shut down while PornHub only got to change scenes, it’s all in the numbers. PornHub recorded 2.31 billion visits by May, this year. Xtube, on the other hand, had only 10.77 million.
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What else we’re reading
The Lagos Angel Networks has appointed Kola Aina as Chair for its new Board of Governors.
After an eight-year reign, South Africa’s WhatsApp sex pest has finally been apprehended.
Afreximbank and AfCFTA have announced the operational roll-out of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)
These hackers stole $670,000 from a South African university. And then lost most of it a few moments after.