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Focus Africa News Roundup- Issue #39

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 #39

FINTECH

KCB Bank and Azam Pay announce partnership.
KCB Bank and Azam Pay have announced a partnership that will from now on allow customers to pay for service using their cards instead of cash. The statement was issued on May 21, by KCB Bank Cooperate Affairs Manager, Margaret Muhina saying the partnership will solve challenges that customers face when paying for services.
Firas Ahmad is the CEO at AzamPay

Safaricom and Huawei Trial Innovative “Scan & Order” Service for Restaurants
Safaricom and Huawei have announced the trial of an innovative new solution for restaurants, “Scan & Order”. This solution helps restaurants digitize their menu and ordering systems enabling them to provide better customer service, optimize their menu and pricing strategies, and leverage the power of big data.
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom

MTN South Africa signs $2mln expansion deal with IFC
Mobile operator MTN South Africa announced on May 19 it has reached a $2 billion deal with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to develop its mobile money business. Through this partnership, MTN South Africa plans to recruit 10,000 additional agents this year, and a business development team.
Felix Kamenga is the Chief Officer: Digital Financial Services at MTN South Africa

Flutterwave Agrees Deal With Ethiopia Firm Over Cash Transfers
Flutterwave Inc. agreed a partnership with an Ethiopian company to facilitate mobile payments into the Horn of Africa country, part of plans to grow the customer base and add products. The agreement will allow more than eight million Ethiopian diaspora to send money home through local tech firm Amole.
Olugbenga GB Agboola is the Founder & CEO at Flutterwave

SA fintech startup Ukheshe expanding its payment solutions to Asia-Pacific
South African fintech startup Ukheshe Technologies will expand its footprint into the Asia-Pacific region as it introduces innovative digital-first payment solutions via key partnerships in what is emerging as a lucrative growth market for the B2B payment technology specialist.
Clayton Hayward is the CEO at Ukheshe Technologies

MTN, Safaricom bid less than expected for Ethiopia licences
A Vodafone Group consortium and MTN Group submitted bids for permits to operate in Ethiopia that were much less than what was sought by the government of Africa’s second most populous nation, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom
Ralph Mupita is the CEO at MTN

Safaricom makes Sh314m loss in M-Pesa Africa JV
Safaricom recorded this loss in the joint venture it formed with its South African parent firm Vodacom Group — in the year ended March. The loss, caused by initial setup costs and lower M-Pesa revenues in the Covid-19 pandemic era, reversed a Sh3.3 billion profit Safaricom booked in the joint venture the year before.
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom
SitoyoLopokoiyit is the CEO at M-Pesa

Kenyan president urges Ethiopia to open up mobile money market
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta urged Ethiopia to open up its telecoms sector to private mobile money business investors, a move that would complement a process already underway to reform the sector and bring in foreign investment. Ethiopia is opening up its telecoms sector, hitherto a monopoly of the state-owned Ethio Telecom, and last month authorities awarded the first private operator licence.

New law seeks to enable payment interoperability in Rwanda
A draft law governing payment systems has proposed a new provision that allows the Central Bank to impose interoperability – a set of arrangements, procedures and standards that allow participants in different payment schemes to conduct and settle payments across systems.

Unclear regulation slowing Kenya’s digital currency growth
Kenya’s overregulation and slow compliance in cryptocurrency is slowing down the growth of the country’s digital economy, experts have said. According to George Mwakisha , Business Development Manager at Binance Kenya, a cryptocurrency, the government has not taken a clear regulatory stand  in the digital currency space leaving the sector open to fraud.

Telkom launches virtual card for transacting on WhatsApp.
Telecommunication company Telkom has announced that it launched Mastercard virtual cards to be used on WhatsApp for its Telkom Pay customers enabling them to make e-commerce payments. Telkom Pay is a digital payments wallet that enables its users to make and receive payments using WhatsApp on their mobile phones.
Sipho Maseko is the CEO at Telkom Group
Suzanne Morel is the Country Manager for South Africa at Mastercard

AGRTECH

New online market to boost small holder farmers in EAC
An online agribusiness market to help farmers in the East Africa Community sell agricultural produce has been unveiled. Agribusiness Confederation of East Africa (ACEA) has launched the online agribusiness market to help sellers in the region find markets for their green produce.

Old Mutual and SwiftVee Agritech launch new digital solution for livestock buyers
OLD MUTUAL Insure and SwiftVee AgriTech have launched a new digital insurance solution called VeeSure to support the needs of the South African livestock buyers and production auction market.
Russel Luck is the CEO at SwiftVEE

UK-Kenya Tech Hub to support Kenyan female AgriTech entrepreneurs.
The UK-Kenya Tech Hub, in partnership with Future Females, has launched an AgriTech program to support 40 female entrepreneurs to grow their AgriTech–based Businesses. The program will focus in sustainable farming and set to contribute to small business development and gender inclusion to enhance agricultural practices in Kenya.
Sheena Raikundalia is the Director at UK-Kenya Tech Hub

SAMAC Confirms South African Aerobotics as Associate Member
Macadamia South Africa NPC, SAMAC, has confirmed South African agritech and precision farming company, Aerobotics as an associate member. SAMAC is an association of Macadamia industry role-players. With Aerobotics, farmers can monitor every crop and assess the effectiveness of interventions related to pests, diseases, soil-related challenges, and many other operational concerns in the early stages of production.
James Paterson is the CEO at Aerobotics

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