As if the year 2020 wasn't weird enough and already hard on everyone, earlier this week the African technology startup ecosystem received the shocking news of the murder of Fahim Saleh, founder, and CEO of Nigerian startup Gokada. What made the news shocking is that Fahim's body was found by his cousin in his New York apartment decapitated and dismembered with an electric chain saw next to it.
Three days after the shocking news, the New York Police Department announced the arrest of Tyrese Haspil, Fahim's assistant, as a suspect for his murder. As you can imagine, even after Tyrese's arrest, speculation has been making the rounds about the possible motive and cause of the gruesome murder.
What caught my attention and is also pure speculation is a question on how tech startups are funded and what the source of those venture capital funds is.
The logic behind the question is that if the money comes from bad actors and venture capital is just one of the steps in washing the money, then should a startup not be profitable or experience problems (e.g. Gokada had to pivot to logistics after the Lagos State government banned "okadas" - motorbike taxis - in the state) what is the likelihood of those looking to wash the money through funding your startup, come for your head?
The question was asked by Marek Zmyslowski, he should be somewhat familiar with bad actors in an ecosystem as he once upon a time ended up being arrested by Interpol after his business partners in Nigeria somehow got him an Interpol Red Notice after their relationship soured.
"How many more tech Founders need to die or disappear until we start looking at where the Investors got their money from. Tech is getting bigger, money amounts more serious, so the people behind it. Can we use dirty money for good things? That's an important moral question," - Marek Zmyslowski
Although the question doesn't apply to Fahim's murder, it is a valid and important one. I would also add it extends beyond investments in technology startups and applies to the NPO/NGO sector too. How many of these organizations know the source of their donor's funds?
What if the source of the funds is from exploiting the very community that they are now funding through an NPO?
All too often across Africa (I am certain it is similar in other parts of the world too) we will celebrate a person's "wealth" when displayed and paraded in contrast with abject poverty (this cuts across all races) and never ask what the source is.
Often, some want to be celebrated as Robin Hoods when they give a small portion of their accumulated wealth back to poorer communities, what is to say they, in fact, have been robbing the hood all along (e.g. not delivering the goods or services as per the government tenders they were awarded)?
And this is not at all about jealousy or policing other people's wealth as I previously discussed with attorney and certified fraud examiner, Nazreen Pandor. It is also about being aware and alert to the fact that by merely receiving such monies, you could legally be considered an alibi.
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Earlier on Friday, 17 July 2020, the NYPD revealed that they had arrested Tyrese Haspil, Saleh's personal assistant as a suspect for the murder. Although Tyrese Haspil has been arrested and charged with second degree murder, NYPD have said that they are still looking into whether a the mentioned dispute was behind Saleh's murder and that the motive for his murder still remains unclear.
The coherence of cybersecurity and data protection laws in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are of premium importance in that methods to overcome security systems as well as the compromising of personal information in South Africa.
Rural electrification was hailed as a game-changer in improving the livelihoods of people in rural areas of Kenya. It didn't go as planned because for people to use electricity, there needs to be some form of economic empowerment.
It's now cheaper to buy a .cm domain name. This announcement by the government of the central African nation has been greeted with approval by those doing business in the ICT sector in Cameroon.
To make health information on YouTube more equitable, those who design recommendation algorithms would have to incorporate feedback from clinicians and patients as well as end users.
Quote of the day
Knowing the source of the funds you receive especially in business dealings is important. By merely receiving "dirty money", you could legally be considered an alibi. (Tweet this)
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