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Business of Tech

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African startups raise almost $4B in 2021
  • Paula Gilbert
Africa's startup ecosystem raised almost $4 billion in 2021 according to startups deals database Africa: The Big Deal – with Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya taking the lion's share.
MTN reduces Nigerian shareholding
  • Paula Gilbert
MTN Group has received approval to sell 575 million ordinary shares in MTN Nigeria, part of plans to reduce its shareholding in the country.
Airtel launches Africa developer portal
  • Connecting Africa News
Airtel Money has launched the Airtel Africa Developer Portal which will let businesses and app developers integrate remote payments with Airtel Money wallets.
Omdia View: October 2021
  • Guest Perspectives
Across the Middle East and Africa, regulators are beginning to facilitate spectrum allocation to operators in the region for the deployment of new and innovative technology.
MTN to sell SA towers to IHS
  • Paula Gilbert
MTN is selling over 5,700 towers in South Africa to IHS Towers for R6.4 billion (US$413 million).
Vodacom customers grow as new service offerings deliver
  • Paula Gilbert
The Vodacom group now has almost 130 million customers across six markets in Africa and is seeing good growth from its 'new service offerings' like financial and digital services, which are diversifying revenue streams.
M-Pesa remains apple of Safaricom's eye
  • Paula Gilbert
M-Pesa remains a cash cow for Kenya's Safaricom with M-Pesa revenue growing 45.8% year-on-year for the first six months of the financial year.
Telkom SA roaming on MTN again
  • Paula Gilbert
Telkom South Africa is back roaming on the MTN network almost three years after calling off its previous agreement and switching to Vodacom.
Nigerian SIM rules keep biting into MTN subs
  • Paula Gilbert
Nigeria's SIM card registration regulations continue to hamper subscriber growth for local telcos, with MTN Nigeria losing 7.5 million users over the past year.
Cell C earnings improve under new strategy
  • Paula Gilbert
South African operator Cell C's half year results were a noticeable improvement from a year ago, with net income swinging from a loss to a profit.
Orange sees major 4G boom in MEA
  • Paula Gilbert
Orange Africa and Middle East saw a 33.6% year-on-year increase in 4G customers while revenue saw double digit growth in the region, according to Q3 earnings from the French telco.
Connecting Africa Podcast: Ep. 4 – Cutting out the middleman
  • Paula Gilbert
This week the team caught up with Amitruck Founder and CEO Mark Mwangi. The startup's digital logistics marketplace is helping Kenyans secure transport directly from truck drivers and owners by cutting out the need for brokers.
Vodacom launches VodaPay 'super app'
  • Paula Gilbert
Vodacom's long awaited 'super app' VodaPay is now officially live in South Africa and has ambitious goals to boost financial and digital inclusion.
Omdia View: September 2021
  • Guest Perspectives
This month's Omdia View covers Africell's Ugandan exit and MTC's Namibian stock exchange IPO; as well as Netflix's free Kenyan offering and a new broadband service in SA from Multichoice and MTN.
Google pledges $1B for Africa's digital transformation
  • Paula Gilbert
Google has pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa over the next five years through a range of initiatives, from improved connectivity to investments in startups and low-interest loans to help small businesses.
MTN to list in Uganda
  • Paula Gilbert
MTN Uganda will float 20% of its shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).
IHS Towers launches IPO
  • Paula Gilbert
IHS Towers has been approved to list on the New York Stock Exchange, with its IPO expected to be the largest US listing by an African company.
Nigeria to lift Twitter ban, with conditions
  • Paula Gilbert
Nigeria's ban on Twitter could be lifted, but only if the social media company meets certain conditions from the government including setting up a physical presence and paying taxes locally.
Virgin Mobile SA closes after 15 years
  • Paula Gilbert
Cell C is switching off services for Virgin Mobile SA today, following the MVNO's announced plans to close up shop in SA after 15 years.
Omdia View: August 2021
  • Guest Perspectives
Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about MTN's decision to exit Syria and not bid again for an Ethiopian license, as well as 5G news from Mauritius, Ghana, Mayotte and Reunion.
MTN plans $35M investment in KZN following SA riots
  • Paula Gilbert
MTN SA will invest over $35 million on network upgrades in KwaZulu-Natal with 30% going toward replacing stolen and vandalized network infrastructure following civil unrest and looting in July.
SA operators will have to wait until 2022 for spectrum
  • Paula Gilbert
South Africa's telcos are not getting more high-demand radio frequency spectrum anytime soon, after settlement talks between the regulator and some operators failed to reach an agreement this week.
Africa Data Centres planning major expansion
  • Connecting Africa News
Africa Data Centres is planning to build ten hyperscale data centers in ten African countries over the next two years, spending over US$500 million.
Safaricom begins hiring in Ethiopia
  • Paula Gilbert
Safaricom plans to recruit 1,000 employees for its new Ethiopian business by June next year and is also launching a three-year graduate program in the country.
Cell C recapitalization edges closer
  • Paula Gilbert
Embattled South African operator Cell C's recapitalization plans seem to be edging closer to a conclusion, although we have heard that before.
Telkom SA Consumer gets new CEO
  • Paula Gilbert
Telkom South Africa's executive reshuffle continues with the announcement that Lunga Siyo has been named the new CEO of Telkom Consumer.
Malware on the rise in Africa
  • Connecting Africa News
Four African countries accounted for 85 million malware attacks in the first six months of 2021, with South Africa the most targeted, according to research from cybersecurity company Kaspersky.
Vodacom goes green with eco rating for handsets
  • Paula Gilbert
South African telecoms operator Vodacom says it has introduced a pan-industry 'Eco Rating' for mobile phones as it moves toward improving its environmental impact.
Telkom SA appoints new CEO from within
  • Paula Gilbert
Telkom South Africa has tapped Telkom Consumer Business CEO Serame Taukobong to take over as Group CEO when Sipho Maseko steps down next year.
CEO Sipho Maseko is leaving Telkom SA
  • Paula Gilbert
South Africa's third-biggest mobile operator announced that its long-serving Group CEO Sipho Maseko will leave the group in June 2022.
SA operators count the cost of recent riots
  • Paula Gilbert
South Africa's telecoms operators are still trying to count the cost of last week's riots and looting that impacted many retail outlets and saw telecoms infrastructure damaged across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Omdia View: June 2021
  • Guest Perspectives
This month, Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about Nigeria's Twitter ban, the privatization of Ethio Telecom and Vivendi's fiber plans in Burkina Faso.
MTN sued for Internet shutdown in Eswatini
  • Paula Gilbert
MTN is being taken to court in Eswatini for blocking Internet services to its users after being instructed to do so by the Eswatini Communications Commission.
VEON sells Algeria's Djezzy to FNI
  • Connecting Africa News
Operator to offload 45.7% stake in Omnium to Fonds National D'Invesstissement, the Algerian National Investment Fund.
Nigerian SIM registrations limp on
  • Paula Gilbert
Nigeria's SIM card registration process continues this month after yet another extension in the deadline, this time until July 26, 2021.
MTN commits $1.5B Nigerian investment
  • Paula Gilbert
MTN has pledged to invest 640 billion naira (US$1.5 billion) over the next three years to expand broadband access in Nigeria and will also build a new flagship headquarters in Lagos.
Former Vodacom CTO to take reins at DFA
  • Paula Gilbert
Former Vodacom Group CTO Andries Delport will take over as the CEO of Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), with long serving CEO Thinus Mulder stepping down in September.
SA spectrum impasse could be settled by August
  • Paula Gilbert
South Africa's spectrum auction could be in motion as early as September, according to the SA telecoms regulator, which says settlement negotiations on spectrum litigation are unfolding well.
SA towers hit by power cuts, theft and vandalism
  • Paula Gilbert
Telkom SA says it could have built about 35 new basestations with the money it lost from battery theft last year, while Vodacom says it loses about $8.8 million to vandalism and theft annually.
Interview: Nir Kshetri on cybersecurity in Africa
  • Connecting Africa Video
Ahead of North Africa Com 2021 Emily Parrett sat down with Professor Nir Kshetri to discuss increased cybersecurity risks amid digital transformation in emerging economies.
Spectrum delay tactics hurting SA's 5G future
  • Paula Gilbert
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub believes that the court cases which are delaying South Africa's spectrum licensing process are just delay tactics which will ultimately hurt SA's 5G future.
Omdia View: May 2021
  • Guest Perspectives
This month, Omdia's analysts provide context and analysis about new licenses for operators in Ethiopia and Uganda, and Nigeria's 5G rollout plans.
Comment: Lesotho cleaning up - Cleanup - 6/1/2021
Safaricom consortium gets Ethiopia license
  • Paula Gilbert
A consortium of Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone has been awarded a telecoms license in Ethiopia, ahead of fellow bidder MTN, with plans to launch services in 2022.
Telkom SA's mobile customers pass 15M
  • Paula Gilbert
Telkom SA's mobile business has surpassed 15 million subscribers for the first time while COVID-19 impacted its fixed line revenues and saw a slowdown from enterprise customers.
East Africa Com 2021: Ethiopia deep dive
  • Connecting Africa Video
A fireside chat at East Africa Com 2021 revealed some key details about Ethiopia's telecoms liberalization and the issuing of two new licenses in the country.
Ethiopia would have liked Orange & Etisalat to bid for licenses
  • Paula Gilbert
A senior advisor to the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance told East Africa Com that it had expected four companies to bid for new licenses in the country, Orange and Etisalat being the operators that did not and MTN and a Safaricom consortium the ones that did.
Omdia View: April 2021
  • Guest Perspectives
This month, Omdia's analysts provide context around Ethiopia's telecoms licensing process, Millicom's plans to exit Tanzania and Ghana, and Airtel Africa's successful capital raise.
Airtel Africa has a new CEO
  • Paula Gilbert
Segun Ogunsanya has been appointed as the new CEO of Airtel Africa, replacing long-serving leader Raghunath Mandava, who is retiring.


Innovation hub

Story

Super-app Gozem raises $5M for expansion plans

Gozem, the Francophone African super-app, has raised $5 million in a Series A round to help fund its expansion plans.

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African startups raise almost $4B in 2021

Africa's startup ecosystem raised almost $4 billion in 2021 according to startups deals database Africa: The Big Deal – with Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya taking the lion's share.

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Omdia View: October 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Across the Middle East and Africa, regulators are beginning to facilitate spectrum allocation to operators in the region for the deployment of new and innovative technology.

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Research Bites: Why Africans stop using mobile apps

By Chinedu Wilfred Okonkwo, Magda Huisman and Estelle Taylor

This article – in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development – explores the reasons behind why Africans stop using certain mobile apps.

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AfricaCom perspectives

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Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

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Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

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