Year 6 | Edition 4 | 2 February 2023
Convergence Partners raises $296 million to drive digital inclusion across Africa

Private equity investor Convergence Partners, which is dedicated to the technology sector across sub-Saharan Africa has announced the successful closing of its Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF) at $296 million. The raise surpasses its initial target by over 18%.

This achievement is despite subdued private capital fundraising on the continent in 2022. The recent close of CPDIF marks a significant milestone for the company, as it represents Convergence Partners’ largest fund to date...

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Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Nokia partner to drive innovation and connectivity in Africa

Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group, has announced that it has partnered with Nokia. Through this partnership, Liquid deployed Nokia’s innovative transport network technology in the new terrestrial fibre route connecting Mombasa (Kenya) to Johannesburg (South Africa).

This announcement comes in light of the imminent launch of the new terrestrial data superhighway built by Liquid, connecting Kenya and South Africa. The technology used has allowed Liquid to build its first terrestrial route that will...

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Nigeria launches payments card program to rival Visa and Mastercard

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a national domestic payments card program called AfriGo, meant to help the country gain a competitive edge in a market dominated by Visa and Mastercard.

The AfriGo card has the potential to disrupt and perhaps control a rapidly expanding market in a move that CBN believes will drive financial inclusion. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said, “At this time when foreign exchange issues are still present globally, it is...

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CR2 partners with M2P Fintech to secure e-commerce transactions with ACS

This partnership provides banks with an innovative solution to secure e-commerce payments and prevent ‘card-not-present’ fraud. The objective is simple-increase payment security for bank customers without increasing checkout times unnecessarily.

Online shopping growth continues with a 17.1% increase in global e-commerce in 2021. Retail e-commerce sales exceeded $5.2 trillion USD globally in 2021. As e-commerce transactions increase, so do the possibilities of fraud. Banks...

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Cellulant partners with Dubai fintech company Money Q to boost mobile remittances in Africa

Cellulant, Africa's Payments Solutions Provider has partnered with Dubai-based fintech solutions company to enable expatriates to seamlessly pay for bills and recharge airtime for their beneficiaries across Africa.

These customers will be able to make these payments through KrosPayz, Money Q's Africa-wide digital payments platform that enables online payment for transactions and value-added services at the point of sale. Mobile remittances present a unique opportunity for millions of people to access the...

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Sendy unveils Payment on Delivery product for e-commerce in Africa

Kenya's fulfillment and Logistics enabler, Sendy, has introduced a  Payment on Delivery product for e-commerce and social commerce vendors in Africa. This product will facilitate secure online shopping in Africa by supporting the way online payments are made, allowing customers to make purchases without any security concerns.

Through this product, customers will be able to inspect the state of their packages before making payments thus giving them peace of mind and confidence in their purchases. With online sales in Africa projected to grow significantly in the...

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Women founders in Africa invited to apply for Google’s new accelerator program

Google on Tuesday announced a women's accelerator program aimed at providing resources and opportunities for women founders in Africa. The First Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders in Africa will facilitate women’s inclusiveness in the continent’s tech space.

Eligible applicants must have a working product or service, a viable business model, and a working team. The 12-week program will commence in March 2023 and include one boot camp per month, held via a hybrid style of online and in...

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12 African startups selected for the first ever Techstars Accelerator Program in Lagos

ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator, a Lagos-based program to build early-stage African fintech and proptech startups has announced its inaugural class. The cohort is made up of 10 Nigerian and 2 Kenyan startups, with 50% female CEOs. 

The founders officially began the 13-week program on the 5th of December 2022, and have had engagements with over 100 mentors and speakers including Tunde Kehinde - Co-founder & CEO, Lidya, Bode Abifarin- COO, Flutterwave, Fara Ashiru Jituboh - Founder & CEO, Okra and Amandine Lobelle - COO...

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Spotcovery, serving as a bridge between African Americans and Africans, launches optimization tool on site

Spotcovery, the innovative media platform that connects descendants of the African continent while promoting culture, creativity, entrepreneurship and economic growth, has launched the Slickstream optimization tool on its website.

Slickstream is a user interface optimization tool that allows users of Spotcovery to smoothly and quickly scroll and search for content, creating a more enjoyable experience. Slickstream also includes features that allow users to share content with friends and family. The communications manager for the...

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Workonline Communications establishes new point-of-presence in Nigeria

Workonline Communications, one of the largest IP network providers in Africa, has launched its first Point of Presence (PoP) in Nigeria, further enhancing the group's West African presence.

The new megaPoP went live late last year, ready to provide 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps services at Rack Centre  in Lagos, West Africa's best-connected datacentre. This adds to the growing list of African markets in which the company manages megaPoPs including Ghana, Kenya, and South  Africa...

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Telecom Egypt confirms new spectrum package

Telecom Egypt has announced that the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has accepted its financial and technical offer to obtain an additional 5MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band using FDD technology.

The 10-year spectrum allocation was competitively priced at USD 125mn compared with the spectrum awarded in late 2020. The company viewed this as a strategic move to support heavier traffic from a growing customer base while cost-effectively improving service speed and quality...

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[Kenya] CBK licenses 12 more digital lenders

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted operating licenses to an additional 12 Digital Credit Providers (DCPs), bringing the total to 22. In a statement to media houses, the CBK said that more DCPs are at various stages of the process, “largely awaiting the submission of requisite documentation.”

The CBK confirmed it has received 381 applications since March 2022. Last year, the regulator cleared 10 digital lenders, but many more have continued to operate even as the evaluation process continues. The review of the digital credit...

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[South Africa] Fintech firm Jumo appoints Kenya's former ICT CS Joe Mucheru as President

JUMO, a South African fintech has appointed former ICT Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru as the president. In his new role, Mucheru will support the company to deliver its growth goals, navigate the regulatory landscape, and build the firm’s presence across the African continent.

“We are honored to be able to welcome Joe to JUMO. He brings an invaluable perspective given his experience as an entrepreneur, Google executive, and regulator,” Jumo founder Andrew Watkins-Ball said. Founded in 2015, JUMO is a...

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Intellimedia Networks expands operations into Kenya

Intellimedia Networks, a provider of technology solutions for government, educational institutions, and businesses, has announced the expansion of its operations into Africa with a new presence in Nairobi, Kenya.

This move follows several meetings with Kenyan government officials and the Kenyan business community at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC on December 13-15, 2022. Intellimedia's participation in the summit was a key step in the company's mission to provide innovative technology...

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Fraud attempts continue to rise in Africa, Smile Identity report reveals

A report released by pan-African identity verification company Smile Identity has revealed that fraud rates across the continent hit an all-time high of 28% in 2022.

The 2022 State of KYC (Know Your Customer) in Africa identifies fraud trends using nearly 50 million KYC checks run across countries and industries. The report says that since 2020, there has been a consistent rise in the percentage of attempts considered fraudulent or invalid. “While the three-year trend suggests an upward trajectory of fraud, it’s...

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Africa will have 57 million pay TV subscribers by 2028, report

About 16 million pay TV subscribers will be added in Africa between 2022 and 2028 to take the total to 57 million. This is according to the latest report by Research and markets.

Subscriber numbers will climb by 38% over this period, but pay TV revenues will rise by only 29% - indicating that subscribers will pay less. Pay TV revenues will reach $6.44 billion by 2028, up from $4.99 billion on 2022. Three groups account for 89% of Africa's pay TV subscribers. Multichoice...

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[Startup Interview] Don Okoth, General Manager, Sendy, Kenya

Don Okoth is General Manager for Kenyan Fulfillment and Logistics startup Sendy. In this interview, he talks about the current state of logistics in Kenya and beyond, including Sendy's role in shaping the industry.

Your first business line Sendy Transport halted its peer-to-peer service last year to focus on supporting businesses. What was the reason for this?

From the onset, Sendy Transport was built to support businesses. Over the years, we have continued to fulfill this need. Our focus remains to impact businesses across the continent using all our solutions, Sendy Transport and Sendy...

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[Startup Interview] James Adebisi, Founder, Oruis Medical, Nigeria

Orius Medical is a Nigerian health startup that provides mental care and support through psychotherapy and mental health education.  The startup’s founder James Adebisi explains.

Tell us about your startup         

Oruis Medical is healthcare company that provides mental health services in the form of psychological assessment, psychotherapy, and mental health education...

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[Column] Hannah Kebble: Artificial Intelligence in Africa: Levelling the narrative

According to the World Economic Forum, artificial intelligence (AI) can contribute up to USD 15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. However, in Africa, AI market growth has stagnated. Estimated at USD 870 million in 2021, with marginal growth forecasted until 2024.

It has been argued that continents in the Global South will continue to benefit less from AI than those in the North. Oxford Insights highlights this because governments require the appropriate environment to support AI development...

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[Column] Patrick Evans: Governing cybersecurity from the top as a strategic business enabler

Cybersecurity breaches pose a major business risk and can no longer be viewed as a technology concern. Business leaders agree on this point according to Gartner’s 2022 Board of Directors Survey which found 88% of respondents viewed cybersecurity as a business risk.

However, only 13% of boards have responded by instituting cybersecurity-specific board committees overseen by a dedicated director. In some instances, it may be the case that directors are not always completely aware of their duties...

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[Column] Christopher Mwangi: Connecting Africa’s potential metre by metre, country by country

In the early 1900s, the Ugandan Railway was built, connecting Mombasa to Lake Victoria, and facilitating trade within the region. This milestone in Kenyan history connected many parts of the country and East Africa not only to each other but to the world and opened many economic opportunities.

So much opportunity that this railway led to the founding of Kenya’s now greatest city, Nairobi, which was originally established in 1899 as a railway depot specifically for the Uganda-Kenya railway. As always, great progress always...

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[Column] Tridiv Vasavada: 3 Key Trends for Africa’s Informal Retail Sector in 2023

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Africa’s informal retail sector accounts for more than 70% of food, beverage and personal care products provided to consumers across the continent.

However, despite their importance, local informal shops throughout Africa have been consistently held back for decades by a host of major challenges including frequent stockouts, limited access to capital and difficulty receiving goods from suppliers. But in recent years, the emergence of...

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