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31 - 8 - 2018


Accelerating Youth-Led Enterprises in Nigeria: The GALI/Oxfam knowledge brief explores the challenges that incubators and accelerators face in providing support to youth-led enterprises in Nigeria. It further highlights recommendations to improve support for these target enterprises. This brief combines data from the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) with information gleaned from a series of interviews and roundtables. To access the knowledge brief and gain more information on incubators and accelerators in Nigeria, click here

Azuri Technologies has secured a partnership with Unilever to distribute its pay-as-you-go solar systems in Kenya through the latter's distribution network. Under the terms of the partnership, Azuri's Quad Solar home system will be co-branded with the Unilever Sunlight brand and offered to consumers through Unilever's network of 67,000 smallholder traders. Azuri has been working with its partners lately to double down on its distribution strategy, earlier in the month its Zambian partner, Kazang Solar, received $1.6M funding to reach 7,000 homes with the Quad solar lighting products.

South Africa’s Wala, Nigeria's RecyclePoints and Kenya's Tulaa have emerged the top three winners in the 2018 Zambezi Prize. Wala which took the top prize was awarded $100,000 while the two others were given $30,000 each by MIT and the MasterCard Foundation, the organizers of the event.

Kenya's Communications Authority has revealed new equipment that will be used to check the quality of service rendered by mobile operators in the country. The previous equipment it used was acquired about a decade ago and could only test the quality of voice services, according to a report by Techweez. The new equipment can test for data and SMS quality and there are plans to also begin testing the quality of mobile money services in the nearest future.

EcoCash and Mastercard have announced the launch of EcoCash Scan & Pay in Zimbabwe. The solution is powered by Mastercard's Masterpass QR service and is now available to EcoCash’s five million active subscribers and accepted at 3,800 retail locations and businesses in the country. Subscribers can simply make payments from their EcoCash mobile money account by scanning a QR code with their smartphone or entering the QR code's ID on their feature phone.

Infinix's online store called X Mall which is already live in Egypt (for about a year now), will be launching in Kenya on September 3. The platform will offer only smartphones from Infinix and sell accessories from Infinix and third party sellers including Oriamo (which is actually a sister brand). However, the company is considering adding more merchants to the platform and will be using M-Pesa to receive payments when it goes live in Kenya.

According to TechPoint, Gabriel Okeowo has been appointed the new CEO of social enterprise BudgIT. This follows Oluseun Onigbinde's (Co-founder & Lead Partner) acceptance into the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University, New York which will last for 10 months. Per the announcement by BudgIT, it appears Gabriel Okeowo will be Acting Team Lead until Oluseun's return. Oluseun will continue to support fundraising efforts in-spite of his absence from day to day operations.

Bamba Group, a Kenyan data collection company has been acquired by the UK's Maximeyes Group. Bamba Group uses proprietary technology to collect data by incentivizing respondents with mobile airtime and now energy credits. The company was accepted into the TechStars accelerator in 2016.

MTN's share price has dropped by 20% following Wednesday's news that Nigeria's Central Bank ordered four banks to return $8.1 billion they reported was illegally expatriated by the company. MTN has released a statement saying it will engage with the relevant authorities, will vigorously defend its position on the matter and will provide further information when available.

FinAccess (Kenya), PraxiLabs (Egypt) and Think.IT (Tunisia) have been selected among 12 startups to join the Katapult Accelerator in Norway.  The current cohort will run for the next three months until November and each startup will receive up to US$150,000 for an 8% equity stake.

Canada's Citrusxchange Inc. has launched its blockchain-based platform, Kwikxchange in Kenya. The platform provides SMEs access to supply chain and invoice financing. SMEs can apply for loans from multiple lenders and banks via the platform. 

Interswitch has entered into an agreement with Azimo that will allow instant money transfers from 23 European countries to any customer in Nigeria. Azimo, an online remittance service with headquarters in London, was part of the trade delegation with Theresa May (British PM) who just ended her trip to Africa that saw her visit South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

Global money transfer company, Okapi Finance has launched in Kenya in collaboration with Guaranty Trust Bank. Customers can access its service through its network of agents or using its digital platform. The company so far has 100,000 subscribers in Kenya.  

Quartz wrote a good piece on Transsion Holding's Africa growth story and aggressive expansion plan. Read it here. The company's smartphone brands have a combined (dominant) market share of 34% and its iTel feature phone led with market share of no less than 35% in 2017. It currently has two factories in Ethiopia with over 1,900 employees and is also assembling TVs in the country. 

Afrilabs and Sahara Sparks are holding an event themed "Innovation in the Data Age" from October 11 - 13 in Dar Es Salaam. Register to attend the event here

The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) has launched the latest of its Tech Skills and Job-Readiness Programmes for disadvantaged South African youths interested in a future coding or software development career. Candidates between ages 18 -35 have until September 10 to apply here

From TechCabal

Nigeria’s Tech Entrepreneurs Want Government To Prioritize Fixing Electricity

Nigeria Has A Fake News Problem It’s Not Paying Attention To


That's all.

Have a great weekend, folks. We'll see you next week. 
- Olanrewaju

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