It is the weekend; How was your week? Mine was not productive. I guess I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. But I’m relieved that it’s almost over.
Please make time to enjoy this weekend. No excuses this time, okay? 😉 Spend that money please. 😂
Before we get to the main course, I have an appetizer for you 😂 – The Nigerian government has announced that international visitors must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
This comes on the heels of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in China, Japan, the United States, and other countries.
According to the government, unvaccinated passengers arriving from other countries can be vaccinated against COVID at the airport.
However, it also stated that mandatory wearing of face masks in public places and restrictions on mass gatherings are no longer required and that travelers will no longer be required to upload proof of vaccination on the Nigerian International Travel Portal (NITP).
In December 2022, the Nigerian government relaxed security measures and travel advisories related to COVID-19, including suspending all pre-departure, pre-embarkation and post-arrival PCR testing requirements.
This is what I have for you today:
- CBN wants to end the use of Visa and Mastercard for local payments
- The metaverse is not what we thought it would be
- MTN Uganda partners with the Uganda Ministry of Education
- Substack releases various features
CBN wants to end the use of Visa and Mastercard for local payments
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned the payment of dollar charges on domestic transactions through its recently launched National Nigerian National Card Scheme, AfriGo.
Domestic transaction fees on all cards will now be paid in naira, except for international transactions.
Remember that the CBN announced in October 2022 that it would launch a national domestic card scheme on January 16, 2023.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said AfriGo would help reduce operating costs and charges while preserving foreign exchange.
“Your existing cards are fine. They can continue to use them, but since foreign card charges are in dollars, we are no longer going to pay dollars for charges on those cards,” Emiefele said.
According to him, AfriGo tries to provide more choice for domestic consumers and not discourage international investors from operating in the Nigerian payments space.
He also said it would be less expensive and increase financial inclusion.
For context, read: CBN wants to end the use of VISA and Mastercard for local payments
The metaverse is not what we thought it would be
On October 28, 2021, Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, changed its name to Meta.
The main reason for the rebranding was for the company to be “viewed as a metaverse company”.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw the metaverse as the future of the internet, a world where people interact with virtual and augmented reality.
If you don’t understand how much Meta believes in the future of VR, perhaps the fact that it has invested $36 billion since 2019 would help.
Meta isn’t the only big tech company with high hopes for the metaverse, with Microsoft being the latest to reveal its interest. In September 2022, it acquired the video game company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.
Microsoft’s acquisition of a social virtual reality platform, AltspaceVR, in 2017 was part of the company’s plan to build its mixed reality ecosystem, a social universe containing physical and computer-generated reality interacting in real time.
Following Microsoft’s recent firing, it was revealed that AltspaceVR would be shutting down.
But why is Microsoft changing its plans for the metaverse? You can find out in the latest Bolu article: The metaverse is not what we thought it would be
MTN Uganda partners with the Uganda Ministry of Education
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports and Continuum Financial Group, MTN Uganda has launched ULearn, an online learning platform for teachers and teacher educators across the country for free.
The Minister of State for Higher Education, John C. Muyingo, launched ULearn to digitize teacher training and increase access to quality education.
The platform provides various educational resources, including interactive lessons, quizzes, and videos, to help teachers and their educators deliver remote and blended learning.
It also claims that it includes various features to aid collaboration and communication, such as discussion forums and chat functionality.
ULearn says that more than 41 National Teachers Colleges (NTCs) and Primary Teachers Colleges (PTCs) have joined the platform to offer relevant courses to teachers seeking certification in various subjects.
It also states that more than 1,200 teachers and teacher educators in Uganda have been recruited and trained to study for the Certificate of Teacher Education Proficiency (CTEP), a course of the Department of Teacher Education Training and Development.
MTN Uganda has done something similar. In 2020, the telecommunications company partnered with the Belgian development agency, Enabel, and the Ministry of Education and Sports to provide free access to the learning portal to pre-service teachers on the MTN network.
Substack releases various features
Newsletter platform, Substack, has announced the launch of several new features, including Private Substacks.
A private Substack is a publication that readers can subscribe to in order to read your posts, allowing you to approve or reject the subscription request.
Users can switch from public to private Substack at any time by navigating to their settings and selecting “Private” in the “Import” section.
For users with multiple Substack posts, the company is introducing a new feature that allows users to easily switch between them without having to remember multiple logins and passwords.
Another new feature allows users to “duplicate” posts by reusing templates instead of reformatting from scratch.
Substack is also improving search, with a button now prominently displayed in the top right corner of the web. It will show the three most relevant posts when you search for particular keywords.
There’s more: Readers can now search your web inbox for keywords to find posts, posts, and people. In addition, math and science writers can use LaTeX, a document preparation software system, to embed math equations in any publication.
For Substack Chat, which allows writers to communicate directly with their loyal readers on the mobile app, the company is rolling out a new update that makes it easier to start conversations with current subscribers.
When you share a new post, podcast, or video, you can instantly start a conversation in Chat by sharing the link with a caption.
In case you missed it
What I’m reading and watching
- Applications for the Future Africa Challenge 2023 designed to explore the creative potentials of young Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. Apply here.
- If you are a business professional, investor or entrepreneur, please apply for the VC4A mentoring program here.
- If you’re a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or techie looking for an internship position, check out this website.
Have a fun weekend.
victoria fakiya for Techpoint Africa.