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27 - 9 - 2018

Good morning!

Despite criticism and threats of job losses from SA telcos, ICASA is going ahead to publish the final copy of its revised call termination rates this week. The regulator says it is cutting termination rates (which is a source of revenue for telcos) in order to reduce the cost of communication. Telkom's CEO Sipho Maseko has been very vocal about the negative effects of the new rates and was reported to have met with labour unions in August to discuss the possibility of job cuts.

The Google Partners programme launched in Nigeria yesterday. The programme which first launched globally in 2013 will provide digital agencies and brands with online marketing tools to connect with users. The platform will also provide trainings and industry research to agencies and digital marketing consultants as well certifications they can display on their websites. 

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed about $2m to initiatives under its Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy. The funds will go to its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab (eLab) programme as well as its Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace, an ecommerce platform for fashion and textiles entrepreneurs. The funds will be made available through the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance which is co-funded by the Japanese and Australian governments alongside AfDB. 

Off-grid startup BBOXX has partnered General Electric to deploy the latter's Hybrid Distributed Power System in the Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma.  A local school has already been connected to the system and more customers are expected to be added in the coming weeks. The system is capable of delivering up to 30kW of power.

Insurtech startup Bluewave has emerged winner of the Seedstars Kenya pitch event. The startup beat 7 others including Optimetriks and Angaza Elimu which clinched second and third positions respectively.  

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, Founder of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) has been arrested in Angola. He was arrested in connection with corruption charges against Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of Angola's former president. Jose Filomeno was in charge of his country's Sovereign Wealth Fund for which Bastos de Morais' company Quantum Global acted as asset manager. The IPA event which was scheduled to hold on October 11 & 12 in Kigali has now been postponed. The IPA celebrates leading entrepreneurs and innovators on the continent annually and is run by the African Innovation Foundation. Quantum Global's PR rep is expected to release an official statement soon.

Samsung South Africa's VP of Integrated Mobility, Craige Fleischer has stepped down per a report by HyperText. While the reason for his departure is unknown, Samsung has announced Justin Hume, its former chief marketing officer as his replacement.

Ivory Coast's ticketing platform mTick is looking to expand across more African nations. The startup launched in Senegal in April and already has 150 users while it has more than 2,800 users in Ivory Coast. The company is also seeking investments and partners in Mali and Nigeria. 

Angola Cables has launched the South Atlantic Cable System (Sacs), a new, high-speed submarine cable connecting Africa (Angola) and South America (Brazil). The cable is expected to aid an improvement in data transfer speeds, about five times faster than existing cable routings.

Cairo-based Sawari Ventures is set to launch a ~$55 million VC fund. The fund is awaiting approval from Egypt's Central Bank for kick-off. It is looking to invest in 15 to 20 startups in education, energy-generation, and healthcare, with ticket sizes in the range of $2.5 million.

Benefactor's CEO, Olivia Zank had a chat with TechMoran. The startup offers factoring services by providing working capital solutions to SMEs and it won the Seedstars Kigali pitch in July.

Chinese billionaire, Bruno Wu, Chairman of Ideanomics is seeking to use blockchain to improve  transparency in Africa's commodity market. More from Quartz here

Startup South is partnering with TechCabal for the Off-Grid Energy session at #StartupSouth4. The session will explore the challenges and opportunities in the off-grid energy sector and will feature top industry experts and analysts. The event holds on November 2 in Owerri, South East Nigeria. Find out more here

Co-working company Venia Hub is hiring for a Business Manager, Community Manager and a Growth & Execution Associate. Check here to apply before October 5.

CcHub Nigeria is looking for media and communications professionals for an upcoming project. Find out more here

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- Olanrewaju
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