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Focus Africa News Roundup- Issue #32

Every fortnight we compile a list of important news updates and events covering the East African FINTECH, MFGTECH, CLNTECH, and AGRTECH sectors.

For a downloadable copy of Africa’s Issue #32

FINTECH

Safaricom, Helb launch M-Pesa student loans payment solution
The solution will aid Helb to promote responsible spending with the funds locked for specific allocations, such as tuition or library fees only accessible to the specific Paybill account of the recipient’s University or TVET institution.
Charles Ringera is the CEO at HELB
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit is the CEO at M-Pesa

The World Bank wants greater competition in Ethiopia’s telecom sector plans
The plans to privatize the telecommunications industry have been a stop-start process since the first announcement back in 2018. Government-owned operator Ethio Telecom currently monopolizes the country’s telecoms sector, one of the largest on the continent.
Frehiwot Tamru is the CIO at Ethiopian Telecommunications

Tanzania fintech Nala enters the UK market with money transfer App.
Nala, the Tanzania fintech that creates a hassle-free payment solution where users can send money to anyone on any device. Nala is planning to roll out their beta app targeting UK customers sending back remittances to Uganda and Kenya in February 2021. This payment option will also be available to Tanzanian customers.
Benjamin Fernandes is the Founder & CEO at NALA

MTN and Mastercard empower millions in Africa to make payments.
The MTN Group and Mastercard has announced a strategic partnership through a Mastercard virtual payment solution linked to MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) wallets, to enable millions of consumers in 16 countries across Africa to make global e-commerce payments safely and securely.
Ralph Mupita is the Group President and CEO at MTN
Mark Elliot is the President at Sothern Africa MasterCard.

A web platform for loans and credit launches in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana
Loanspot is a leading credit and loans content platform that constantly focuses on educating and providing information on loans and credit to Africans. With the global pandemic challenges, the platform is consistently informing and engaging the public on ways to getting loans in South Africa, Kenya and in Ghana leveraging this information for the best loan decisions.

Somalia Issues First License to Mobile Money Service
Somali officials issued the country’s first license to a mobile money service, bringing regulation to the widely used digital payment process for the first time. The Central Bank of Somalia awarded the license to the country’s largest telecommunications provider, Hormuud Telecom, which runs the Electronic Voucher Card or EVCPlus, a free mobile money service used by 3 million of its 3.6 million subscribers in the Horn of Africa country.
Abdirahman Isse is the CEO at Hormuud Telecom

How Egyptian startupRaseedi is helping mobile users save money.
Egyptian startup Raseedi, a self-described “social fintech” solution, claims to be building the largest network of underbanked customers who want to communicate, save money and find easy financing without a formal credit history.
Ahmed Atalla is the CEO & Co-Founder at Raseedi

Ethiopian Startup Gebeya Launches Gebeya Launches New Mobile App to connect Freelancers to Employers.
Gebeya, is an Ethiopian startup and an online talent marketplace focused on cultivating the potential of African youth, training them with technical skills, and helping them find jobs. It has recently launched its new app, Gebeya Talent, a portal through which it is expanding access to its network across the continent and around the globe.
Amadou Daffe is the CEO & Co-Founder at Gebeya Inc.

Binance Closes M-PESA Deposit and Funding Option Following the Nigerian Crypto Ban
Binance has closed down the M-PESA funding option for Kenyan users following a directive from its service providers. The service suspension follows a recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requiring all financial institutions and deposit-taking firms from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges.
ChangPeng Zhao is the CEO at Binance
SitoyoLopokoiyit is the CEO at M-Pesa

HF Group launches diaspora money transfer product.
HF Group has partnered with Interswitch Groupof Kenya, a leading digital payments and commerce company, to expand its digital banking services to include International Money Transfer (IMT). It allows customers in the diaspora to remit funds up to $10,000 instantly from their debit or credit cards.
Robert Kibaara is the Group CEO at HF Group

MTN records massive fintech growth in Nigeria.
MTN Nigeria’s Mobile Money (MoMo) service ballooned in the year ended December 2020, as the mobile operator drives its fintech business in Africa’s most populous nation. The telco, which has been seeking to reposition itself and push into new sources of revenue, recorded increased uptake in its fintech business, which includes MoMo, insurance, airtime lending and e-commerce.
Ralph Mupita is the Group President and CEO at MTN

M-PESA Beats Parent Company as Kenya’s Top SuperbrandThe announcement implies that M-PESA’s continues to be solidified, and continues to play a key role in the running of SMEs. The ranking was derived from a vast study that was administered to urban Kenya consumers in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit is the Interim CEO at M-Pesa Africa

AGRTECH

Garissa seeks to become Kenya’s breadbasket through agri-tech
Garissa seeks to tap the enormous irrigation potential and enhance the management of the rangelands for crop and livestock productivity. This will be achieved through development of production technologies for new crop and livestock varieties, innovative soil and crop management

South African Agritech startup Skudu raises funding from AgVentures
South African agritech startup Skudu has raised funding from AgVentures, a leading agrifood tech investor in Africa. This move will help Skudu achieve its goal of becoming the leading online marketplace for agricultural inputs (animal feeds, fertilizers, plant protection chemicals) and produce on the continent.
Gerhard Visagie is the CEO at AgVentures

Farm4Me Awarded West African Best World Class Digital Agricultural Investment Platform Brand of the Year 2021

Fast-growing Nigerian Agritech company, Farm4Me has been awarded the West Africa’s Best World Class Digital Agricultural Investment Platform Brand of The Year 2021. Farm4Me is a contract farming company with distinction and the largest farm equipment rental service in Nigeria.
Adama J Adama is the Founder and CEO at Farm4Me

Naspers backs SA agritech with investment in Aerobotics
Aerobotics is a subscription-based platform that provides tree crop health and yield intelligence data to the agricultural industry using drone and satellite-enabled AI technology. The company uses aerial imagery from satellites and drone flights together with machine learning algorithms to
collect crucial data for farmers.
James Paterson is the CEO at Aerobotics

Kenyan agritech insurance startup, Pula secures $6m in Series A funding round
Pula, a Kenyan agricultural insurance startup focused on smallholder farmers in Global South nations has raised a $6m Series A round led by Pan-Africa early-stage VC firm, TLcom, with collaboration from a non-profit organisation, Women’s World Banking.
Rose Goslinga is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder at PULA
Thomas Njeru is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder at PULA

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