How Internet in Africa works

Episode 216 March 21, 2024 00:41:03
How Internet in Africa works
Techpoint Africa Podcast
How Internet in Africa works

Mar 21 2024 | 00:41:03

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Hosted By

Chimgozirim Nwokoma Oluwanifemi Kolawole Bolu Abiodun

Show Notes

Today's podcast sees us welcome a familiar face (Emmanuel Paul) as we discuss:
  • New registration fees for Nigerian crypto exchanges
  • Ethiopian bank loses $40 million to system glitch
  • Nigeria's $593.6 million loss to Internet disruption
 
Timestamps
00:00 - Intro
01:40 - New registration fees for Nigerian crypto exchange
14:55 - Ethiopian bank loses $40 million to system glitch
22:27 - Nigeria's $593.6 million loss to Internet disruption
 
Useful link
This episode was produced by Ogheneruemu Oneyibo
 
Email us your feedback at podcast@techpoint.africa. Visit www.techpoint.africa/ for more stories.
 
Music - Beach by MBB - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEnQ8dHwDSk
 
Find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok @TechpointAfrica
 
View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the tech Metal Car podcast. Today we discuss SEC's new guidelines for crypto exchanges in Nigeria, how the Commercial bank of Ethiopia might have lost $40 million to a system glitch, and how much Nigeria might have lost to the recent Internet disruption. You and with me in the studio is Bolu. [00:00:32] Speaker B: Tim Gadri. [00:00:34] Speaker A: Yes, those are the familiar voices you are used to on this podcast, at least for the best part of this year. Joining us in the studio today is a voice you've always known and probably missed. I'm not the one to decide that, but joining us in the studio again today is Emmanuel Paul. [00:00:54] Speaker C: Hello. [00:00:55] Speaker D: How's it going? [00:00:56] Speaker C: How's it going? [00:01:00] Speaker A: It's great to have you back with us in the studio today. And he's joining us as a guest today. He's feeling proud, but, yeah, we're going to bring that down. So with that, let's just get straight into the stories we have today. As you already know, Bolu is a person that talks about crypto on this podcast because we're not going to drag it with him. But at some point, we drop our two cent with the ongoing. What do you mean by we can try? You are trying to say we don't have anything to say about it. [00:01:35] Speaker C: You can try to drag it with me. [00:01:40] Speaker A: So the Nigerian securities and Exchange Commission SEC has issued rules and regulations or new guidelines that would affect crypto exchanges in Nigeria. And this includes different things like registration fees. So Boli will give us a rundown on that and what they should expect. [00:02:05] Speaker C: Okay. Yeah. So what the SEC is doing is actually proposing changes to guidelines for setting up crypto exchanges and other forms of companies that provide digital asset services. Right. So they issued those guidelines in 2022, I think, May 2022, and it had guidelines for running a crypto exchange, running a company that provided wallet services and all forms of digital asset services. I think the name they gave them is the collective name for all of them is virtual asset service providers. Right. So they introduced it in 2022, and now they are trying to make some changes. And I think there are a lot of changes. Right. But I think the most important ones. Right, the major ones were the registration fee, the paid up capital. Yes, the registration fee and paid up capital. So in 2022, the paid up capital was 500 million. [00:03:16] Speaker D: Right? [00:03:17] Speaker C: 500 million error. [00:03:19] Speaker D: Yes. [00:03:19] Speaker C: And the registration fee was 30 million error. So now they are proposing a change. They want the registration fee to now be 50 million error. And they paid up capital to be 1 billion error, 50 million, 150,000,000 yeah. [00:03:36] Speaker D: 150,000,000. [00:03:37] Speaker A: Yes. [00:03:37] Speaker D: How much is this in dollars, please? I can't relate to it. [00:03:40] Speaker C: Okay. [00:03:41] Speaker A: Get out of my face. [00:03:43] Speaker C: All right. So I think 1 billion naira since the nigerian exchange rate under a million dollars. Well, the narrator gained a bit yesterday. [00:03:57] Speaker D: Under a million dollars. When you think about it. Yeah, it's still under a million. [00:04:02] Speaker C: Except is this still under a million dollars? [00:04:04] Speaker D: Yeah, it does gain by 100 error. Now it's not like it made. [00:04:09] Speaker C: Yeah. So it's around 706, $706,000. Right. I think when you change it to dollar, it now sounds a bit smaller. Right. But even at that. Even at that. Okay, let's not go to that. I think you ask a question on that. But the SEC is proposing it because there has been a lot of recent changes. Even the CBN made some changes like that to imto licenses and other things like that. So that is what the SEC is doing and they are doing it at a time where Nigeria and crypto companies are having their slogan. [00:04:51] Speaker A: Okay. So I understand the fact that regulations have to come in to guide how players in a space operate and make sure that the users are safe. So I'm trying to understand the motive of the SEC for increasing this money at a time like this. [00:05:10] Speaker D: All right. [00:05:10] Speaker C: So they actually shared their motives. Right. I think at the end of the documents there was something like justification for what they are proposing. So he said the changes were based on the engagements they've had with stakeholders and the CBN. They are learning from the CBN. But then when they say engagements with stakeholders, I don't really understand what they mean because stakeholders in the crypto space, when they released the first guidelines in 2022 when the paid of capital was 500 million, stakeholders were like, that is too much. And the reason they said it was too much is because it will not give. We don't have crypto exchanges or crypto companies in Nigeria. Nigerian crypto companies that die established one. So they said it will just make the foreign ones have an unfair advantage. They already do. I mean, finance already has an unfair advantage over any sort of nigerian crypto exchange you can think of. But then when you now make the entry for those local players to be even more difficult, you take away whatever leg they were standing on at all in the first place. [00:06:33] Speaker A: Right. [00:06:33] Speaker C: So yes, regulations are required to owe people's money to provide financial services. I think everything is financial to provide services like that. We need to know that, you know, run away people's money, which I think is why some of these things are needed. But based on that space. It's a nonsense space. It's a new space. We don't have players that are die established. Maybe these guidelines need to be reviewed. [00:07:06] Speaker A: Yes, I think when we are talking about the volume of money moved through crypto exchanges might be big, but I don't think it translates to value to revenue of those crypto exchanges. [00:07:26] Speaker C: I think that subject has debated a bit recently. When you talk about what the size is of the nigerian crypto market, how much do people really use crypto in Nigeria? Genalysis, from the reports they've been releasing has made us believe that Nigeria is a massive crypto market. That, in a way is correct. Right. A lot of people are using crypto, but what is the size of transactions they are doing? So if you ask, I think someone at FTX recently know they got access to the transactions people do in Nigeria. And while there might be a lot of users, the amount they were transacting was quite small compared to countries like South Africa and compared to an even smaller country like Seychelles. Seychelles is just a small island. And the value of the crypto transactions we are doing in big Nigeria is not to seashells. [00:08:33] Speaker A: So. [00:08:35] Speaker C: I think if you now look at things from that perspective, you now understand that, yes, a lot of users, yes, adoption, which I think is where the mistake is, adoption, volume, value, I think those things, we don't fully understand it yet in Nigeria. So you might think, oh, there are people using a lot of. Using crypto, so local crypto players, they are making money and things like that. So it might not be true, actually. [00:09:01] Speaker A: So I think in a way it might be influencing the SEC's decision, because when you call those big numbers, you are not really looking at the capacity of the exchanges. [00:09:15] Speaker D: No. So I'm actually curious if the value is that low because it's like finance is kind of debunking that myth that Nigeria is this big crypto market. [00:09:23] Speaker C: Yeah, this is less than 1%. [00:09:25] Speaker D: Less than 1% of their value. I'm struggling to see what the securities and Exchange Commission is trying to achieve by increasing the. [00:09:35] Speaker B: I think I can see it. [00:09:37] Speaker D: Please. What is. [00:09:43] Speaker B: Okay, so they say they had consultations with stakeholders, but they mentioned the CBN. [00:09:49] Speaker C: Yes. [00:09:56] Speaker B: They are saying banks can transact with crypto, but on the other hand, you are saying 20 billion moved through finance that was unaccounted for, which presents like this hostile attitude towards cryptocurrency. So if the SEC is telling me that we consulted with the CBN and decided to raise capital requirements, there are only two major reasons you raise capital requirements. One is that you're a rent seeking body and you just want to grab as much money as you think you can get. Second is that you want to discourage entry into a particular space. Easiest way to do it is to create a barrier to entry. There's a reason why you cannot wake up today and go and start a bank because you do not have the paid up capital to do it. If you're going to get it, you probably have to sell your entire village depending on what part of the country you come from in order to raise the money. I think what the SEC wants to do. Sorry, your part of the country doesn't really. [00:10:59] Speaker A: Please, move on. Sorry, move on. [00:11:01] Speaker B: But yes, I think what the SEC is trying to do with this is discourage entry. That's the way I interpret it. Because you really don't have any justification to raise, what do you call it? To significantly raise those. So, because I like to think that the government has really good hands working with them or that they can assess virtually any information they need to get. So, yes, analysis tells us huge volumes of huge numbers of Nigerians use crypto. But we also know that Nigeria is not exactly the most prosperous country in Africa. We've lost our place as the largest economy to Egypt. And even with fiat, you can't tell me that people are doing more with cryptocurrency than they are doing with fiat. How much are we transacting with fiat then? Now let's compare it with cryptocurrency. Right? So even if me, the layman on the street, doesn't know all of that, the government at that high level should be able to look and say, okay, is Boobu, they are boobing you. People bought Shah know what's up. So they just want to reduce barrier to entry. It makes sense for them anyway. [00:12:10] Speaker A: Yeah. So reducing, when it comes to reducing barrier to entry, I don't know if, Emmanuel, from your experience looking at how regulations have influenced some sectors, when stuff like this come up to reduce, to increase barrier to entry or discourage people from entering those spaces, what do the players in those space usually result to? [00:12:32] Speaker D: Like the existing players? [00:12:33] Speaker A: Yes. [00:12:34] Speaker D: Well, what I've noticed in under industry, let's take the telco space, for instance, you find that you just have a few guys who kind of dominate the space and it's very difficult for any new player to take them. So even though we say, oh, Nigeria has four major telcos, in essence two and a half, I will leave you to guess who the half is. [00:13:03] Speaker B: You know who the half is. [00:13:06] Speaker D: Apart from that, right? I think, yes. Typically for really critical sector. So what I'm even struggling with is how critical is crypto to whatever it is your plan is. Right. Telecoms is very critical to the country. Banking very critical to the country. So you just can't let any cowboy commands your opponents. One day has a dream of opening a crypto company and changing the world. [00:13:36] Speaker A: And that's just fund money. [00:13:38] Speaker D: Exactly. So you just can't let it. Even if you have the money based on the checks that this SEC would do, they should even discourage you from getting into the place ball. What I think will happen is the few players that are strong enough, you could have measures. People join together to buy the license and become one company. You could have measures, you could have acquisitions. Then you now have, like, a few strong players that are beholden to the regulators and a little bit more structured. And we hope that they have fewer issues than binance does, because binance seems to be having issues globally. I don't know what's going on. [00:14:18] Speaker C: Just because they are very large. They are the biggest. So they definitely get the most attention. [00:14:24] Speaker D: They're not really large company. [00:14:26] Speaker C: They're the largest. [00:14:28] Speaker D: No. [00:14:28] Speaker C: In that space. [00:14:29] Speaker D: In crypto? Yes. Why is it that they are having bass? [00:14:35] Speaker C: I think they are more israeli. Louder. Because even Coinbase, that is american, they've also faced their own share of. [00:14:45] Speaker A: Okay, anyways, let's move from there to another story that has to do with the banking sector in Ethiopia. The Commercial bank of Ethiopia probably lost about $40 million, which they are saying it's not up to due to air quotes. If you can't see me, air quote, system glitch. Just give us in a few seconds what exactly happened. [00:15:23] Speaker B: Okay, so sometime last week, the commercial bank of Ethiopia saw mass withdrawals. So basically, customers saw that they could withdraw more money than they had. So imagine you go to the ATM and then for some reason, you discover that you can withdraw more money than you have. I mean, we've seen something like that in telco. [00:15:51] Speaker D: I've seen something like that in a meme, not in real life. [00:15:54] Speaker B: Okay. We've seen something like that with MTN, where some people discovered, I think, they could access more data than normal. And then, as usual, stories like this spread. So apparently there are a lot of WhatsApp groups. So people put it in WhatsApp groups, and students in Ethiopia rushed to ATMs to withdraw the money. So right now, the media is reporting that $42 million was withdrawn from the bank. But the bank is saying, or the bank CEO is saying that's not entirely accurate, that what was taken out was way less. And they are currently conducting an audit to find out exactly how much was lost in the process. [00:16:37] Speaker A: Okay. The government and the bank, they are denying. Right? Denying that it might be a cyber attack. That is a system glitch that came up from a technical update that they were doing. But I discovered that while it might be that they are denying, they might actually not know whether it's a cyber attack or not, because sometimes cyber attackers actually disguise as glitch. So instead of the company going after or putting measures in place to stop the attack, they are probably trying to fix the technical glitch so it gives them enough time to perform whatever it is they want to do. So I'm leaning towards a cyber attack. [00:17:31] Speaker D: I mean, give them some credits. Now it could actually be technical glitch. [00:17:36] Speaker C: I'm late towards technical glitch because. [00:17:39] Speaker B: Yeah, same year. [00:17:43] Speaker C: They had to shut down the entire banking system to resolve the issue. And we've also seen things like that, even in, should I say places or companies that would have advanced technical. With Wells Fargo, right, where people, some people saw depleted account balance. [00:18:13] Speaker B: We saw something similar. Now we see things like this every few days on Nigerian Twitter. So a bank has pushed updates and then you're now seeing some that happened. [00:18:25] Speaker A: With Kudada a few weeks ago that a user came to tweet about and says they were able to. I think they got an amount in their account. [00:18:37] Speaker B: Okay. I think I saw something like that. [00:18:38] Speaker A: Yeah. Then they reported to the customer care. [00:18:43] Speaker B: Unlike the guys in Ethiopia, who decided, well, let's milk this. [00:18:49] Speaker A: This is a national cake. Well, the bank has been trying to retrieve some of the funds. In fact, they are saying that you can tell us that you withdrew more than what was in your account. We will not prosecute you. We not prosecute you. So I think the media is saying that some people have come back to tell them that we redeem more than what you have access to. I don't know whether they are giving it back. [00:19:15] Speaker B: Of course. Why are you telling me you redeem or without giving back? [00:19:19] Speaker A: Let you know that. [00:19:21] Speaker C: What if I tell you I've spent it? [00:19:23] Speaker B: Well, you can find it. [00:19:24] Speaker D: It's in a banking system, so technically. [00:19:26] Speaker B: We can call it Amdru. You stole money. Really? [00:19:34] Speaker C: Let's look at it through the lens of. Let's take it out of the digital. I'm in my house. Money entered through the window. [00:19:47] Speaker D: This is not. [00:19:52] Speaker A: Deliberate. [00:19:57] Speaker D: Think of it this way, right? You put 500 in your wallet. You woke up the next morning, you now saw 5000 error a day. Okay. And no question that's even nice. [00:20:07] Speaker B: So you know how we have a Joe. So you've been saving money for six months and it's 1010K. We are saving is 60K. You now go one day to visit your trips collector. And then you go there and you see bags of money. You now enter weight. [00:20:25] Speaker D: Okay? [00:20:25] Speaker B: You now enter. Maybe he left his house open or she left her house open. You enter. You know your money is 60K. But you took three hundred K and you walked out. You now went to a WhatsApp group and said there's money in our job. Then everybody now followed you and they went there. [00:20:46] Speaker C: They had money outside. No, I have a safe like Manus wallet own works. I put 500. Yeah, I saw 5000 is my wallet. No came and carry money. [00:20:59] Speaker B: You are not the one who keeps custody of your money. True or false? [00:21:03] Speaker C: True. [00:21:03] Speaker B: So you had to take an action. You stood up from your bed, wherever you are sitting, walked to an ATM and took money that did not belong to you. If you are just withdrawn what you had, maybe you are scared that oh, if people can withdraw money like this, then maybe you are in trouble. If that was why you decided to take out all your money, it's fine. But now you took out more than you should be in Greek or whatever. [00:21:29] Speaker C: I think there's a time I got one bonus. I was afraid. [00:21:42] Speaker A: Yes. As good citizens actually, when situations like this happen, if you're not in the situation to report it, don't participate. You can get Nigeria. [00:21:55] Speaker D: Since I don't do banking system, nothing like this. Insufficient phones. [00:22:03] Speaker A: You can't assess your phone. Those are the ones that I hope they can recoup their money back. And situations like this are prevented. Since I don't know if they've experienced this before, but I'm sure that when they are able to do analysis of what happened, they should be able to prevent it in the future. So let's come back to Nigeria and probably the rest of Africa. In the last two weeks we experienced Internet disruption which started like a joke on the Thursday. Meanwhile, some people have been experiencing it earlier. That was the Thursday of March 14. That was when it actually became quite mainstream, if I could use that word. And many african countries were experiencing Internet disruption. You can't access some website, some application, some mobile and website applications. And it happened that it's really disrupted a lot of things. And a report came and reviewed how much Nigeria has lost in that space of time. So I think we should discuss what is not responsible for this destruction, because we've had a lot of things. Many people have blamed Tinubu, blamed, blamed boson, that's the minister of information and digital economy. Many people have caused their banks, caused them tn caused anybody that they know. Even when I was not aware of the cause of the disruption, I knew it was a generous thing and, well, what is not responsible for the disruption? Emmanuel, can you enlighten some people? [00:23:58] Speaker D: What is not responsible? Those people you mentioned, to the best of my knowledge, I don't think they are responsible for the disruption. [00:24:06] Speaker A: Right. Okay. [00:24:06] Speaker D: I don't think it was an internal issue. It was not a technical glitch that we're just discussing just now. But for you to really get what I'm trying to say, I think I should point this out. MTN, ETL, glow, nymobi they lose money anytime your network is not going. [00:24:28] Speaker A: So they're not after your life. They are not deliberately not giving you. [00:24:32] Speaker D: Internet, MTN, et glue and the rest of them, they have every incentive for your data to be moving as fast as possible because that you can renew again when your data finish, when your 20 gig that you just loaded yesterday finishes fast, it pays them more than when Internet. You are trying to load Netflix and it's struggling. No, the Netflix should be playing smoothly, be playing HD plus, and you'll be happy then you're not going to complain that your data finishes fast. Those are the kind of good complaints, right? But for this, where you say, oh, I know it's not going, what is wrong with MTN? People should start selling corn or whatever, they are losing money during that period. So that is why it is difficult to blame MTN and the rest. It is also difficult to blame the government too, kind of disruption, because the success of these telcos is also tied to their own, responsible for these subsequebles, right? From what we've learnt. So to understand subsequebles like the Internet, we know today that all those things you hear, cloud and everything's under the water, the ocean cloud, under the water cloud. Oh, we are uploading. [00:25:47] Speaker A: No, it is lying in the water. [00:25:51] Speaker D: No, just computer lingo, right? The idea is the subset cables help connect the entire world. So think of the Internet as a network of computers. So if you connect Jingo Zerim's laptop to your laptop now, and you can now share information between these two laptops, that is like an oversimplified sample of what we call the Internet. In this case, you can call it intranet because it's just the two of you. [00:26:18] Speaker A: Right. [00:26:19] Speaker D: So subsequebles, they are on the ocean. They laid them on the ocean bed. Then when it gets to the shore, they bury them under the sand. So if there's any major construction going on close to the shore, it could affect the subsequents because it's shallow on the deep part of the ocean. Many other things, it could be in geography. They call them seismic shifts or et tremors. So if there's anything going on in the ground, it could affect the cables. [00:26:47] Speaker A: Okay. [00:26:47] Speaker D: If a ship sinks and is creeping along the ocean floor, affect the cables. [00:26:56] Speaker A: Ignore that. Please remove that from this conversation. Please go. [00:27:00] Speaker D: Those are most likely going to. So to the best of my knowledge, I don't think anything happened close to the shores in the west african coast, but I think there were some major earth tremors or shifts or whatever, or maybe floating debris or sinking debris rather affected the cables. But on the other side of the continent, the eastern parts, the middle eastern side, I think I've seen ties to the conflict in the Middle east with the Red Sea and all of that. So I hear they've been cutting cables around that side, too. So, yes, it's an international incident. And I guess you have more questions for me. [00:27:43] Speaker A: Yes. I don't know whether there are conspiracy theories, but there are some parts of media reporting that it might be a terrorist attack. [00:27:57] Speaker D: To be honest, it's unlikely, but I can't really speak to that, especially for the western coast. You could make an argument for the middle eastern side, but I'm not sure about the one that happened with Africa. So I know they are on opposite ends of the continent. So you can't really. [00:28:17] Speaker A: The chances that they happened around the same. [00:28:20] Speaker D: Yeah, yeah. It happened around the same time. But, you know, all these cables are also connected to each other. So, for instance, May 1 cable connects to Asia. So you can add whatever two and two you want to add, but it's not my terrorist attack. [00:28:35] Speaker C: How difficult is it to actually, I don't know if I should say, lay those cables to fix them. If something happens, it's quite difficult. [00:28:44] Speaker D: So you have to actually trace where the court happened. You can't look at it on your system. We have to go into the ocean and trace where the court happened and go and fix them with special equipment because you can't go that deep yourself. So you are using special equipment to fix it. It's on the ocean floor. So don't forget about. So even the lane of the cable itself is not that anybody is scuba diving. [00:29:06] Speaker C: They don't. [00:29:07] Speaker D: No. [00:29:07] Speaker A: They use special ship easily used for those scuba divers. [00:29:16] Speaker D: I saw that picture on Thursday and I was. [00:29:20] Speaker A: Now lays the cable. [00:29:21] Speaker D: Someone use special ships to lay the cable. They don't actually go down there physically. You can scuba dive close to the shores. Not in the deep part. [00:29:31] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:29:32] Speaker B: They not define you. [00:29:35] Speaker A: At some point, some networks started going. Even in the midst of the disruption, people that were using fiber had respite for whatever reasons, which I will ask you now, at some point to some of the mobile networks started coming back up. There were some platforms, platforms that were easily accessible, like the Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix. Netflix, Google. Yeah. So is there an explanation for all that? [00:30:05] Speaker D: Yeah. So I think it's tied to the conversation about seeing does Africa really have its own Internet? So I guess the question is, does anyone really have their own Internet? Because Internet is connection of multiple computers. So if there's fault on one end, it's going to affect the other end. But the unique case with Nigeria is we don't have as much redundancy contingency plans. So once one route is affected, how many alternative routes do we have to route network? So it is not all the cables that were affected. First of all, I don't think glow one cable was affected. So that's why I think Glow did not really have as much issues as the rest of them. And I saw an ad the way they were shading everybody else. [00:30:56] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:31:00] Speaker D: So they are redundancy contingency plans. Right. And it's something telcos have done really well. They don't just use their own cable, they have their own cables, but they also plug into other people's cables because if anything happens to jazz, they can move to someone else. So fiber guys did not have as we're not hit as much because it was the telcos and the cable system that they used that were mainly affected. So then for Nigeria, you have to think of two things. The number of subset cables we have, data centers we have, and content delivery networks. So content delivery networks is where, like, where do I start from? A lot of the content we consume on the Internet, we are not the ones producing them. The Google, the Facebook, the Netflix, they're not from Nigeria, right? They're not from Africa, they are from elsewhere. And the communication happens through those cable. But with content delivery networks, you can catch them. So you can store them locally in that location. So that is where data centers come in. [00:32:02] Speaker A: Okay. Because I wanted to ask that is that different from data center? [00:32:05] Speaker D: So it's those content delivery networks you now store in the data center. Data center is like a giant building. Data centers locally store these contents locally. So if you want to access Google now, you don't need to pass through the cable to go to the US and back again. You could just go to data center and it comes back to you and the data center is close to you here. So that's what content delivery network means. [00:32:32] Speaker A: May 1 has data centers, Wyok has. [00:32:35] Speaker D: Data centers, lots of data centers. So that is what helps. Some of these services that have local content close to you, they've already pushed the updates to those data centers. Yes, they've pushed the updates. So in computer terms they call it caching. So once something has caged on your browser, I don't know if you've noticed something where site has updated. It's no longer showing something else, but your browser is showing something else because that's what is stored on your browser. So local content has caged in this data center. So that's why there's a push to have more and more data centers, because Nigeria does not have enough data centers, Africa does not have enough data centers. I don't think we have more than 100 data centers. Duel of Africa, the whole of Africa consume content a lot, but compare that to the US, that has over 5000 data centers, just the US alone. Compare that to Singapore alone, a country that is just around the size of Nigeria, they have 99 data centers, but Nigeria, Africa has hundred or thereabouts, right? Subsea cables, we don't have enough subset cables. When I was writing these things, I was always agreeing that, oh, we have enough, we should just move on to, we just plug into the terrestrial fiber and I realized that we just have 20 subset cables. In North America, you're talking over 100 connecting different parts. In Asia, you're talking over 100 connecting many parts of the world, right? In Europe you have at least 50, if I'm not mistaken. So Africa does not even have enough subset cables. So once a bunch of them are affected, you don't have enough to route to, and when you not even route, there's not so much pressure on that one you routed to that your network is not slow, the Internet did not stop, they routed to somewhere else and there was a lot of congestion. So that's what I think is happening there. So what I would say is, okay, we need more local content delivery network, we need more local data centers, we need more subsiciables, we need more terrestrial fiber so that at least you can reroute when something is happening or when something is not happening. [00:34:45] Speaker A: While this might open the eyes of fiber Internet providers, Internet service providers, rather mobile Internet providers. I think whatever changes they want to implement might not happen in a long time. Like when the first subsequent was landed in Nigeria was 2001 or 2000. You get when the nest one was going to come. Like the one that actually made, that made the news. Like more than one decade or two decades later, you get. So I think the speed with which distance upon is far spaced. And if we say we want to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, maybe we are counting another one decade, two decades to be able to prevent. I don't know. [00:35:35] Speaker D: Can I disagree? I was saying in the recent years we've been having more and more cables in short span. So Facebook came with Africa, okay. Google came with Aquano. IcrA was not affected by this, by the way. It was working smoothly. Right. So if we now have more of that in short spaces. [00:35:52] Speaker A: Yeah. So I think it could happen in short spaces. But the speed of. [00:35:58] Speaker D: The speed of execution. [00:35:59] Speaker A: Execution. But I think this should kind of open the nation's eyes to the possibility of we've been shut out from the rest of the world. If we don't have this infrastructure in. [00:36:12] Speaker D: Place. [00:36:16] Speaker A: We ourselves, we don't use it. Let's just make peace. So you will use crow if Twitter was not available. [00:36:29] Speaker B: Please buy. [00:36:31] Speaker A: So I'm just trying to say that we can't have beef with global companies being active in our local economy because we use them and they are mainstream. And if you want to say you want to stay connected to every part of the world, these global ones will come true for you. The reason why we don't give alternatives a chance is that we can't give them the benefit of doubt or use them for a long time to see whether they will fill in for what we are giving up. So we don't even give them degrees. So we have to come to peace. We can't give them degrees. If a new social media platform comes up, will you jump on it? You talk about your connectivity with other people. [00:37:17] Speaker B: I'm already fatigued. If that's the example you want to use, I'm already fatigued. But isn't it? Well, yes, we don't give them grace, but the switching course is also a lot. Why do I have to go from Instagram to Grammystar or X to trade when I can always stay where I am? Because really, I'm not performing any serious function. Not, it's not financial transaction or anything. [00:37:46] Speaker A: Even people that are performing financial transactions. [00:37:50] Speaker B: No. Like I'm talking. So your bank, you can say, okay, this bank always, they always have like network downtime. If it's a social network, you can say, oh, yes, they've been saying I should get off social media. This is the perfect opportunity and you leave. Or if it's for more critical digital infrastructure, I think we will move. Yeah, well, already seen people do that. [00:38:14] Speaker A: Ever since the dollar costs moving from global hosting platforms. By the way, we have an Asicon that on tech points. You can find the link in the description. That's it for us in the studio today. There are more stories. Of course, things always happen in the african tech space and we covered them on Techpoint Africa website. So if you've not visited Techpoint Africa website today, you should go to Techpoint Africa, go to your Google and type Techpoint Africa and visit and check out the news and the news that are going on in the african tech space. We also have active newsletters run by journalists in Techpoint Africa. Talk about Techpoint Digest, which is a daily roundup of news in the tech african space. We have the modern workplace newsletter, just the way it sounds, that talk about workplace related conversations. We also have equity merchants that talk about startups, investment and all the things surrounding it. So do well to subscribe to these newsletters as they relate to you. What else am I missing? What else am I missing? Yeah, what else am I missing? [00:39:40] Speaker D: My bank account details. [00:39:42] Speaker A: Your bank account details. Okay. So if you're happy to hear Emmanuel's voice today, you can reach out to me on Twitter at risky in the description. Thank you very much. But to our OG listeners that want to recommend Techpoint Africa podcast to other audio listeners, where can they find it? [00:40:08] Speaker C: Yes, you can find us on Apple Podcast, Spotify at radio on YouTube. Yes, Google Podcast has now moved to YouTube. Google Podcast has now moved to YouTube music. So you can now find us on YouTube music. [00:40:26] Speaker A: Yes. And everywhere else you find your podcast, just type tech points Africa podcast, only one you will find. Please subscribe also. Thank you very much for joining us today. Thank you, Emmanuel, for coming to the studio with us. It's always lovely to have you around. [00:40:43] Speaker D: Thanks for having me. [00:40:44] Speaker A: Yes, hopefully we'll get you back here in the studio with us. Thank you everyone for joining us and bye.

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