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Focus Africa News Roundup- Issue #38

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 #38

FINTECH

Safaricom’s stake in the Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium now at 56%
East Africa mobile telecommunication giant Safaricom has raised its controlling stake to 56% in the Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium that has bid for one of two telecom licenses in Ethiopia. This is a 5 point rise from its initial 51%.
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom

World Bank To Help MTN Grow Its ‘Human ATMs’ Mobile Money Network
The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation has announced a $2 million partnership with MTN, Africa’s largest cellular operator, to grow its mobile money network in South Africa. MTN’s Mobile Money (MoMo) business hopes to replicate the extensive network of agents that was one of the key reasons for the success of Kenya’s M-Pesa
Ralph Mupita is the Group President & CEO at MTN

Mobile money is helping Airtel Africa and its rivals bounce back from Covid-19
Mobile money is providing a much-needed revenue buffer against disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic for Africa’s big telecoms companies, such as Airtel Africa, MTN and Safaricom.
Ian Ferrao is the Regional Director at East Africa – Airtel Africa
Ralph Mupita is the Group President & CEO at MTN
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom

M-Pesa agents reap more commissions.
Safaricom paid Sh28.2 billion in commissions to M-Pesa agents last year, up from Sh23.8 billion that it paid in 2019. The company last year recorded Sh82.5 billion in M-Pesa revenue, two per cent lower than the Sh84 billion made in 2019, with the firm attributing this drop to the waiver of fees on cash transfers and Lipa Na M-Pesa transactions of below Sh1,000.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit is the CEO at M-Pesa

Safaricom in Talks with Amazon for M-Pesa integration as a payment option
Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom is reportedly in talks with U.S e-commerce giant Amazon to integrate M-PESA as a payment option. The move, according to a report by Bloomberg,  is part of the telco’s efforts to expand its global reach and bounce back from a first profit decline in a decade.
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom

Mukuru Partners with Thunes to Expand Footprint in Nigeria
Mukuru has partnered with Thunes to expand its digital footprint across Nigeria. The fintech company expects this will streamline the process of cross-border money transfer through a single API connection, resulting in greater speed and operational efficiencies.
Andy Jury is the CEO at Makuru
Peter De Caluwe is the CEO at Thunes

Flutterwave Partners with Amole to Facilitate Remittances into Ethiopia to Amole’s Digital Wallet and Bank Accounts
Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, has today announced its partnership with Amole, Ethiopia’s largest mobile Digital Wallet platform, to facilitate money transfer into Ethiopia through Amole, to Amole Wallet, bank accounts and cash pickup locations at over 2500 locations.
Olugbenga GB Agboola is the Founder & CEO at Flutterwave

Vodacom set to disrupt financial services with launch of Vodapay app in SA
Vodacom, is making a bold move into e-commerce through the launch of a “super app” to be launched in South Africa within the next few months. The group announced that it was partnering with Alipay, the Chinese online payment system, to launch its single lifestyle app, Vodapay, in South Africa.
Shameel Joosub is the Group CEO at Vodacom

M-Pesa transfers across the borders hit Sh290 billion
The value of M-Pesa transactions between users in Kenya and those outside the country have grown to Sh289.69 billion on the rising popularity of cross boarder deals. M-Pesa global, a Safaricom service that enables M-Pesa registered customers to send and receive money from countries across the world, booked a 75.8 percent growth in the financial year ended March from Sh164.78 billion in the previous period.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit is the CEO at M-Pesa

Airtel Uganda scoops East Africa Innovation award for Airtel Money Service
Airtel Uganda has been recognized and awarded for its continuous innovation under the Airtel Money service accelerated financial inclusion s that has in Uganda. Airtel Uganda scooped the 2021 FinTech Innovation Award at the at the prestigious 18th Annual East Africa Com Virtual Awards, 2021 Awards ceremony held last week in Nairobi – Kenya.
Tom Gutjahr is the CEO at Vodacom Uganda

Kenya Based Technology Firm Switches to Pancakeswap, Cites High Gas Fees on Uniswap
In its bid to help users avoid high gas fees on Uniswap, a Kenya-based fintech firm, UTU, recently launched a liquidity pool on the decentralized exchange (dex), Pancakeswap. This launch enables prospective UTU coin buyers to acquire the token “with low fees and fast confirmation times.

KFS defends M-Pesa use at Likoni channel.
The Kenya Ferry Services has defended the rollout of M-Pesa mobile money payment system at the Likoni ferry crossing channel saying it is meant to implement government guidelines to curb Covid spread. KFS said the government issued the guidelines on measures to be adopted to mitigate severity of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit is the CEO at M-Pesa

AGRTECH

Nigeria’s Farmula is building the infrastructure connecting food producers to retailers
Nigerian agri-tech startup Farmula is building the B2B digital infrastructure that makes it possible for farmers and bulk buyers to directly interact, driving up margins on both ends of the chain.
ViVian Opondoh, and Ibrahim Abdulmalik are the founders at Farmula.

Founders Factory partners with Small Foundation to invest in 18 Agritechstartups.
Johannesburg-based investment company Founders Factory Africa (FFA) today announced a partnership with Small Foundation that will see it select 18 agritech startups for an acceleration and incubation program.
Alina Truhina is the Co-founder & CSO at Founders Factory Africa (FFA)
Roo Rodgers is the Co-founder and CEO at Founders Factory Africa (FFA)

Nigerian agri-tech startups invited to apply for $3m COVID-19 Food Security Challenge
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the USAID/Nigeria COVID-19 Food Security Challenge, which will offer US$3 million in funding and technical assistance to Nigerian companies mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s agri-food systems.

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