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Focus Africa News Roundup- Issue #43

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 #43


Airtel’s Covid bounce-back sees revenue jump 31%
Airtel Africa reported a revenue increase of 30.7% year on year in its second quarter results, reaching $1.1 billion, as the business recovered from the impacts of Covid-19 in 2020. Strong revenue growth was recorded across all regions. In Nigeria revenue was up 38.2%; in East Africa 32.8%; and in Francophone Africa 24.9%.
Raghunath Mandava is the CEO at Airtel Africa

MTN Ghana launches 2021 Ayoba Hackathon to drive digitization agenda
MTN Ghana launched its 2021 Ayoba Hackaton contest aimed at driving its digitization agenda while providing opportunities for developers and start-ups. As part of MTN’s Ambition 2025, the business is ably positioning itself to be a digital company that will help to set the tone for the total transformation of the business.
Ebenezer Asante is the CEO at MTN Ghana

Nigeria drops to 57th in Global Fintech Ranking but remains 3rd in Africa
Nigeria has fallen 5 spots to rank 57th in the 2021 Global Fintech Ranking despite Flutterwave and Chipper hitting unicorn status.

Nigeria to launch digital currency, “e-naira”, in October
The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to launch its own crypto currency, called the “e-naira”, in October after the ban of banks and financial institutions dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies in February.
Godwin Emefiele is the Director at Central Bank of Nigeria

Fintech company, Tangerine officially launches in Nigeria
Leading financial services and technology platform, Tangerine officially launched its financial service product offerings in a press conference recently.
Dapo Akisanya is the Managing Director at Tangerine

Safaricom To Stop Displaying Lipa na M-PESA Customer Identity to Curb Fraud
Safaricom is reportedly planning to add a new feature that will customer contact details are hidden when making Lipa na M-PESA transactions. This is all in an effort to stop personal information from being traded to advertisers or fraudsters.
Peter Ndegwa is the CEO at Safaricom

Angola’s Unitel to launch mobile money services
The National Bank of Angola granted Unitel a license to provide this mobile payment service in 2020. The service is being developed entirely by the company. It will be supported by Unitel Money stores and agents – who are seen as the backbone of the service – in a network of hundreds of mirrored branches throughout the country.
Michael Worster is the President & CEO at Unitel

Tanzania Taxes 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. 

MTN Nigeria Loses 7.6 Million Customers Due to Regulatory Restrictions On New SIM Sales
Nigeria mobile subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million for the half-year ended 30 June 2021, impacted by the regulatory restrictions on new SIM sales and activations.
Michael Ikpoki is the CEO at MTN

Bolt launches the ‘Early Cash-Out’ feature for cash withdrawals for its drivers
Bolt, an on-demand transport platform, has launched an on-demand cash withdrawal feature dubbed Early Cash-Out. The feature enables drivers to instantly withdraw their earnings such as bonuses, passenger discounts and card payments as and when they need it.
Kenneth Micah is the Regional Manager at Bolt East Africa

Payment for Kenya’s modern train passenger service goes cashless
Passengers using Kenya’s standard gauge railway (SGR) trains will from Sunday pay for the service using cashless means only, Kenya Railways said in a notice on Saturday. The Chinese-built railway that has been in operation since 2017 has been using a hybrid payment system that involves cash, mobile money, and plastic money.

Airtel Africa’s Mobile-Money Unit Gets $200 Mln Investment From Qatar
Airtel Africa PLC said Friday that the Qatar Investment Authority will invest $200 million in its Airtel Mobile Commerce subsidiary at a valuation of $2.65 billion. The London-listed, Africa-focused telecommunications company said QIA will hold a minority stake in the subsidiary, which
houses several of Airtel Africa’s mobile-money operations, with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the majority stake.
Raghunath Mandava is the CEO at Airtel Africa


UNCDF Agritech Challenge 2021 open for innovative Agritech solutions
The United Nations Capital Development Fund has partnered with Atal Innovation Mission, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Rabo Foundation to launch the Agritech Challenge 2021. This should address issues faced by smallholder farmers around climate change, productivity, and supply chains. 
Preeti Sinha is the Executive Secretary at UNCDF

Start-up, IBM put data in the henhouse
IBM has announced its backing for a small South African start-up called Omniolytics, to help transform poultry farming through the use of digital sensors linked to the IBM Cloud and its artificial intelligence platform, Watson.The poultry industry was valued at more than R46bn in 2019, and makes up more than 16% of the total value of agricultural production in SA.

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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