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For the first time, there is an international payments network in Somalia and Mastercard is leading the charge. And in Mali, the Senegal-born African-American pop star, Akon moves closer to lighting up Africa — in a good way. Here are the stories that made the rounds today.

Mastercard Becomes the First International Payments Network in Somalia
Mastercard has partnered with a Somali’s Premier Bank to introduce the MasterCard payment card in the country.

Akon Launches Solar Power Academy in Mali
Akon and his partners through the Akon Lighting Africa initiative has announced they will open a Solar Academy in Bamako, Mali this year to teach solar engineering.

EbonyLifeTV Launches Multiscreen VOD Platform
Lifestyle and Entertainment TV station, EbonyLife TV has announced its partnership with Summview to release its video-on-demand subscription service.

Jumia Kenya Provides Insight into the Kenyan Smartphone Market
Jumia Kenya released a white paper report on the smartphone market in Kenya, shedding light into consumer behaviour and factors leading to the growth of the industry.

Africa Needs to Improve its Interconnectivity – Internet Society
The Internet Society has released a report on the Internet Development and Governance in Africa which reveals that internet interconnectivity needs to be improved acrss the continent.

Submit Your Application in the 43North’s Business Plan Competition
Startups around the world with scalable business plans can submit applications for 43North’s million dollar backed competition.

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Listen to Nigerian Radio Stations Online
Internet radio may not be popular in Nigeria but a good number of popular traditional broadcast houses are exploring online listenership. These Nigerian radio stations have mobile apps.

Here’s What You Should Know About GTB’s USSD Transfers
Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank recently introduced a money transfer service through USSD. Here all you should know about that.

The Brands That Rock Nigerian Social Media
Mastering the use of Social media and more importantly the internet has become necessary for the business visibility, customer onboarding and retention. This piece looks into a few businesses in Nigeria that does this so well.

Image credit: Exaqueo

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