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Focus Africa News Roundup- Issue #42

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 #42


Uganda’s telecom sector demonstrates resilience amidst COVID19
According to the quarterly market tracking report produced by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), there was a net account addition of 590,000 mobile and fixed subscriptions in the period January to March 2021.

Tanzania Charges Mobile Transactions
A new so-called “patriotism levy” imposed on mobile money transfers in Tanzania has come into effect amid criticism. The tax, which was approved last month by the country’s parliament, will impose additional charges every time payments are sent or received via phones.

Safaricom retains brand name in Ethiopia
Giant telco, Safaricom, will operate under the same brand name in Ethiopia as it seeks to stamp its regional footprint. This follows the issuance of a telecommunications operator license by the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA).
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom

UTU unveils Creditworthiness API to improve accuracy of credit assessments for lenders
UTU, a decentralized trust infrastructure provider building new models of digital trust via artificial intelligence and blockchain has announced the launch of its Creditworthiness API to improve the accuracy of credit assessments for financial institutions and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms globally.
Jason Eisen is the Founder & CEO at UTU

Government considering a U-turn on mobile money transaction charges
The government may make a u-turn on its newly-introduced mobile money levy after the public unanimously rebuffed the move on the ground that it was defeating Tanzania’s financial inclusivity goal.

How Pick-Up Mtaani is thriving in the Kenyan e-commerce delivery space
Pick-Up Mtaani is an e-commerce logistics start-up in Kenya which been working to bring safe, secure and tech-driven delivery services to consumers. With a rise in demand for internet shopping in recent years, platforms like MPESA have made it easier for consumers to pay for products they buy online.
Robert Mwalugha is the CEO and Co-Founder at PICK-UP MTAANI

Kenyan fintech M-Kopa announces Nigeria expansion
The platform, founded in 2011, has evolved from its role as a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar power pioneer to including smartphone financing in 2019, providing over 1 million PAYG solar systems and 500 000 smartphones to customers in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, with over 75% of M-Kopa users owning a smartphone device for the first time.
Babajide Duroshola is the General Manager at M-KOPA

Timely settlement gives Jumia an edge in Uganda’s e-commerce business
While most Ugandan businesses are used to physical cash payments, there is a gradual shift to electronic commerce that has forced them to move to digital payment channels, which in most cases are done through service providers that do not settle the payments immediately.
Timothy Mugume is the Country Manager at Jumia Food

Airtel Malawi Splashes K68.5m in Yabeba Promotion
One of the country’s leading mobile phone service providers, Airtel Malawi, has spent K68, 500, 000 on 2, 386 lucky customers in Yabeba Promotion, which the company has been running for nine weeks now.
Norah Chirwa is the PR, Communications at Airtel Malawi telecommunication sector have said mobile money services should be driven by telecoms companies, a position that runs contrary to that of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Telcos disagree with CBN, push to lead mobile money
Stakeholders in the telecommunication sector have said mobile money services should be driven by telecoms companies, a position that runs contrary to that of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ethio Telecom’s mobile money lures 4 million in first month.
Ethio Telecom has signed up 4 million Ethiopians for a mobile money service that it launched in May, a document published by the Finance Ministry said, as the government seeks to sell a stake in the state-owned company.

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


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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