Year 4 | Edition 62 | 22 October 2021

Mastercard partners with TNM Mpamba to boost digital payments in Malawi

In a country-first for Malawi, mobile money service provider TNM Mpamba has launched a Mastercard debit card, enabling its customers – even those without bank accounts – to make safe and seamless in-person and online digital payments on the Mastercard network.

Dubbed “Khadi Mbambande”, the new card is expected to enhance financial inclusion and improve access to the digital economy. Powered by National Bank of Malawi, the physical Mastercard debit card is linked to the TNM Mpamba mobile...

Read more and Smart Africa sign agreement to digitize public services in the continent and the international organization Smart Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the digitization of all types of public processes through the use of the SaaS services belonging to the Spanish company.

Smart Africa is the African Union agency in charge of promoting the digitization of the continent. Its partners include Google, Huawei, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Softbank, the World Bank, and the United Nations. The agreement will empower state organizations in African countries to...

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Africell opens high-tech data centre in Angola

Africell has taken another major step towards launching services in Angola by opening a data center in Luanda. The facility results from a substantial financial investment and will be the cornerstone of Africell's network in Angola, providing a platform for a digital ecosystem for mobile users, entrepreneurs and innovators.

"The opening of the data center is a significant milestone," says Christopher Lundh, CEO of Africell Angola. "We want to lead a digital transformation. Africell is...

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[Kenya] Equity Revamps its Online Banking Solutions to Drive Customer Convenience

Equity Bank has revamped its online banking offering, previously known as Eazzy Net, in line with the bank’s One Equity strategy to provide a seamless customer experience across all banking channels.

The newly revamped platform dubbed Equity Online provides a unified service offering across channels, an improved customer experience with simpler customer journeys, fresh and user-friendly interface and more digital financial services such as buying Mpesa float, paying for parking among others. This...

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Mondia Digital and Mondia Pay join Vodacom’s VodaPay Super App offering

Mondia Digital, a consolidation of the Mondia Group's digital content distribution business, an end-to-end, product-centric and data-driven company with a focus on opportunities in the B2B segment, and its digital payments company, Mondia Pay, have contributed their expertise and innovative payment, content and B2B platforms to Vodacom’s VodaPay “Super App”, which launched in South Africa in August 2021.

The VodaPay Super App, designed in collaboration with Alibaba Group-owned fintech services platform Alipay, allows consumers to do everything from paying bills to sending...

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[Angola] South Atlantic Cable System Steps up to Support Major Telco Operators and Global Content Providers

The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) has seen a considerable increase in traffic as major telco players look for direct access to markets in the US and South America.

When the 6 156 km intercontinental subsea cable came on stream in September 2018, latency between Africa and the Americas was almost halved, opening an express digital connection to accelerate digital and economic growth on either side of the Atlantic. Since that time traffic on the system has increased tenfold providing major telecoms, content delivery...

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AfDB, MTN sign $500,000 grant agreement to study women’s access to financial services in Nigeria

The African Development Bank (AfDB), signed a grant agreement for $500,000 with Y’ello Digital Financial Services (YDFS), a fintech subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, to be used for a study into economic, religious, and social factors hampering access to finance for women in northern Nigeria.

The research, which includes a feasibility study, women-focused design and testing, will focus on both agents and customers to provide insights into women’s use of mobile money services, will be funded through the Africa Digital...

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Vodafone partners with Thales to connect customers with Eco-SIM card

Vodafone has partnered with Thales to connect customers with an Eco-SIM card, a product whose card body is made out of 100% recycled plastic from refrigerator interiors. Vodafone initially plans to deploy the Eco-SIM in ten countries in Europe and Africa.

Over 4.5 billion SIM cards are produced every year2, representing 20,000 tons of plastic - the equivalent weight of two Eiffel towers. Developed in partnership with Veolia, the global leader in ecological transformation, the Thales Eco...

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PEACE submarine cable lands in Marseille

Announced back in September 2019, the new Pakistan & East Africa Connecting Europe, PEACE, submarine cable has now landed on the shores of Marseille. It will connect Europe to Asia via East Africa.

PEACE system will provide the most direct and high-capacity route from Asia and East Africa to Europe. These features, combined with exceptionally low latency, are vitally important for a wide array of commercial and consumer applications. Moreover, PEACE deploys a state-of-the-art “system within a...

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[Nigeria] Fintech Startup Brass Secures $1.7m Financing Round

Brass, a Nigerian digital bank delivering easy access to affordable premium banking services for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), has today secured $1.7mn in funding to address the heavily underserved banking needs of local entrepreneurs, traders, and fast-growing businesses.

The financing round sees participation from Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola (Co-Founder of Flutterwave), Ezra Olubi (Co-Founder of Paystack, acquired by Stripe), Hustle FundAcuity VenturesUncovered Fund and Ventures Platform. The new...

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MFS Africa signs agreement to acquire Nigerian fintech startup Baxi

Pan-African digital payments hub MFS Africa signed an agreement to acquire Baxi, one of Nigeria's super-agent networks. The deal, which is subject to approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, will be the second highest fintech acquisition in Nigeria to date.

Nigeria is home to one of the most dynamic markets on the continent; it is Africa's largest economy and home to the largest number of SMEs. It is also the largest remittance market in Africa and home to one-third of intra-Africa...

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[Column] Mark Dankworth: The connected continent

Mobile transacting is fast becoming the golden egg of financial services – and nowhere more so than in Africa.

According to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) 2021 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money, the number of registered mobile money accounts grew by 12.7% globally in 2021 to 1.21 billion accounts – double the forecasted growth rate. Sub-Saharan Africa makes up the biggest slice of this pie on all fronts – number of accounts (548 million of the 1.2 billion accounts)...

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[Column] James Bayhack: How mobile service cloud can transform customer experience

Service, service, service. That’s been the call for businesses that want to keep their clients happy and turn one-time customers into lifelong fans. Now, however, the focus has moved to brilliant customer experience. But what does this mean? And why are we seeing the shift? 

Think about how you do business today compared to just a few years ago. Customer service was measured by metrics like how many rings there were before your service department answered. In addition, were your retail staff smiling and...

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[Column] Marilyn Moodley: The future of work / Technology stack

In what felt like the blink of an eye, the work landscape was transformed as the pandemic spread across the world in 2020. Entire workforces went mobile, seemingly overnight, while organisations bolstered existing remote working processes.

And when the world emerges on the other side of this life-altering event, it won’t revert to the way things were before. By some estimates, 70 percent of the workforce will work remotely at least five days a month by 2025. Even in South...

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[Column] Warren Myers: AI will reduce SA’s crime stats as early as 2023

When a social media site throws out an ad for a product you were just discussing over the phone, it’s easy to jump to conclusions: They must be listening, surely.

But the truth is that the site employed artificial intelligence (AI) to predict your behaviour. You searched for a yeast starter last week and commented on a friend’s photo of sourdough bread yesterday. The ad for a bread-making course that seemingly pops up out of the blue was shown to you because the data predicted you might be interested in it – based on...

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[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Fintech startup Wapi Pay founders Eddie and Paul Ndichu step down from their roles

This has been a very interesting week in tech in Africa. We covered a number of great announcements from a  number of tech companies in the region, especially startups. 

Brass, a Nigerian digital bank delivering easy access to affordable premium banking services for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs),  secured $1.7mn in funding. Wapi Pay Board of Directors announced that the company’s founders; Eddie and Paul Ndichu will be stepping down from their roles with immediate effect to allow for investigations...

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News Headlines

03-12-2021 | 09:32:50
Africa Data Centres selects DPT to provide renewable energy for its data centres in South Africa
Africa Data Centres has selected Distributed Power Technologies (DPT) to provide renewable energy and storage solutions for its data centres across South Africa.

03-12-2021 | 07:30:00
Mastercard Foundation and Light For The World Launch online platform for persons with disabilities
Light for the World Uganda, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, launched an online platform, Cap-Able, which will enable higher education institutions, primarily Scholars Program Partner Universities, to become more disability inclusive.

02-12-2021 | 13:13:00
[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Africa Data Centres unveils 10MW data centre in Lagos, Nigeria
On Monday, Africa Data Centres officially opened its new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria. The new facility, the company says, will pave the way for Africa Data Centres hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa

02-12-2021 | 10:31:29
Kenyan team wins regional IBM award for developing solution to help reduce food waste
IBM and David Clark Cause have announced Mavuno Link as the Middle East and Africa Regional Winner of the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge.

02-12-2021 | 10:20:00
Kaspersky reports on next-level gamechangers in ransomware distribution and monetisation in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria
Nigeria saw an unexpected 40% decrease in cyber threats with South Africa and Kenya seeing a growth in the attacks of 23% and 6,9% respectively

02-12-2021 | 10:10:00
Liquid Intelligent Technologies launches Microsoft Teams Essential platform for SMEs in Africa
Liquid Intelligent Technologies has announced that it's the launch partner for the new Microsoft Teams Essential offering platform targeting small, medium and micro-enterprises across the continent.

02-12-2021 | 08:03:13
[Tanzania] Tech Mahindra partners with TANESCO to drive digital transformation and improve efficiency
Tech Mahindra, a provider of digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services & solutions, has partnered with Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd. (TANESCO) for one of the biggest Utility Transformation deals.

02-12-2021 | 07:07:00
[Column] Gilbert Lungu: How seamless payment experiences make retail brands more valuable and relevant
As established brands in the retail sector aggressively compete to acquire, cultivate, and defend their share of the Zambian consumer’s spend, those that connect, engage, and transact in the most unified and frictionless ways will be best positioned.

02-12-2021 | 06:05:00
South African proptech firm e4 expands to the UK
After 21 successful years in the South African PropTech industry, digitalisation specialist e4 is expanding into European markets.

02-12-2021 | 05:56:00
[Kenya] Jumia launches electric bicycles for deliveries
Jumia Kenya has partnered with eBee Africa to launch a fleet of electric bicycles, to amplify Jumia’s logistics capacity for delivery.

02-12-2021 | 05:45:00
Mastercard and Meta join forces to support digitization of SMEs in MEA
The two plan to organize a training webinar that will provide SMEs insights from industry experts, and a masterclass on how to manage uncertainty from renowned author and academic Nathan Furr, Associate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD.

02-12-2021 | 05:40:00
[Kenya] 4G Capital partners with CGAP to develop financial stress early warning system
Financial technology credit provider, 4G Capital has developed a new tool that identifies financial stress and helps protect low-income consumers against over-indebtedness.

01-12-2021 | 11:00:00
UNICEF and Liquid Intelligent Technologies launch partnership to help Giga bridge the digital divide in Africa
UNICEF and Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group, announced a partnership in support of Giga’s work to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice.

01-12-2021 | 08:26:21
Huawei and UNESCO to implement project in Africa for digital education systems
UNESCO and Huawei announced the launch of the implementations phase of the Technology-Enabled Open Schools for All (TeOSS) project in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

01-12-2021 | 07:06:07
South African tech company e4 announces international expansion to the UK
As one of the pioneers of property digitalisation, in South Africa e4 has established a significant client base including major South African lenders and law firms and has identified a similar opportunity in the UK market.


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