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Nigeria’s Ad regulator, ARCON, slams Facebook ₦30 billion lawsuit over violations

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Nigeria’s advertising agency, ARCON, has initiated a lawsuit against Meta incorporated, owners of Facebook, over violation of advertising laws.

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) in a statement revealed that it is seeking ₦30 billion for violation and for revenue loss as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.

The statement revealed ARCON is seeking “A declaration “that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria”.

The regulatory agency “is seeking ₦30b in sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms,

The agency maintained that “it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on Nigeria’s advertising space”

The Nigerian authorities under President Muhammadu Buhari have some strained relationships with an international tech company and social media platforms.

Recall that the Nigerian Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohamed, in May hinted that the country is monitoring Meta incorporated whose platforms include Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp,  over the use of the platform by the proscribed separatist group, IPOB.

Also, between 5 June 2021 to 13 January 2022, the government of Nigeria officially banned and restricted the micro-blogging site, Twitter from operating in the country.

But all the other side of the coin, the emergence of unregulated use of social media has provided grounds for vices like cybercrime, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and hate speech amongst others.

To that end, regulation isn’t out of place. With the reality of the world being a global village, stringent laws against social media might be counter-productive. If the intention isn’t to breed a pariah state, then a balance and compromise should be struck between regulators and social media platforms.

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Ghana’s agrotech startup, FLUID, launches platform to help small scale farmers access to credit

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Ghana’s agrotech startup, FLUID, has successfully launched a new platform that will help small scale farmers access to loans, according to founder and CEO, Moustapha Seck.

Founded in January, 2020, to give fillip to local farmers who had no access to loan and credit facilities, Seck said the company has already signed a 12-month contract with a local bank to provide financing to 25,000 farmers in Northern Ghana.

“We penetrated the Ghanaian financial industry through research first. In October 2020, we partnered with 29 financial institutions to study the challenges in the rural banking space,” Seck said while announcing the launch of the platform.

“Through this engagement, we developed FLUID SafeSusu, a mobile application to create bank accounts and track savings deposits in rural areas without connectivity,” Seck, who left his job at the Canadian investment fund, Clearco, to pursue his goal of helping the poorest Africans access financial services, said.

He added that the FLUID SafeSusu platform has piloted with four banks and connected 26,000 bank accounts to its platform, with an investment fund base of $200,000 in savings deposits.

“Our research led us to discover that half of Ghanaians work in agriculture, but only 4.6 per cent of loans go to farming. This disparity leaves close to 12.5 million smallholders farmers in Ghana financially excluded.”

“While banks use many different technology providers to be closer to the field, only FLUID and AgroCenta, to our knowledge, focus on the huge market of smallholder financing. FLUID stands alone in its focus on mitigating risks for the bank and the farmer,” he added.

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South African tech startup, Peachz, launches foremost online store for mobile accessories

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South Africa’s tech startup, Peachz, has launched an online mobile accessories market place, six months after its formation.

According to its founder and CEO, Tali Flax, the startup is aiming to become the country’s foremost online tech and mobile accessories retailer with its current stocks of sophisticated and a variety of phone mounts and holders for the desk, car or motorcycle, including Aux cables, Type C and A cables, and Mifi-certified iPhone cables.

“Peachz aims to make shopping for well-priced, durable products online “peachy”, with that early uptake has been beyond expectation,” Flax said.

The Johannesburg-based startup, according to the CEO, is “committed to providing the best quality and prices within its sector”, with the understanding that customers should only have to purchase an accessory once.

“It’s frustrating replacing a charging cable every six months – regardless of whether it was expensive or not. We are so confident about the reliability and durability of our products that we offer a 12-month money-back guarantee,” said Flax.

Peachz is off to a promising start, which I believe indicates the strong demand for high-quality accessories that perform as well as the electronic devices for which they are designed. We will continue to listen and cater to market needs,” he added.

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