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10 – 10 – 2018

Good morning, folks!

Parcel IT has received an undisclosed amount in funding from Germany-based Greentec Capital. The Nigeria-based on-demand logistics startup was launched in 2017 and is a beneficiary of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program. Earlier this year, Greentec Capital invested in Kenyan insurtech startup, Bismart. The investment firm has also backed FarmCrowdy (Nigeria), ARED (Rwanda) and AgroCenta (Ghana) in the past.  

Zimbabwe’s incoming ICT Minister, Kazembi Kazembi has dismissed the board of Netone, the state owned mobile network operator. The reasons for the dismissal are expected to be communicated soonest per a statement from the ICT ministry. On the other hand, the government has issued Netone, Telecel, TelOne and other parastatals a 6-9 month ultimatum to privatize due to under-performance. More than a third of the country’s parastatals incurred a combined loss of $270 million last year.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued draft guidelines for the regulation and licensing of Payment Service Banks (PSBs) in the country. The key objective of the PSBs, per the guidelines, is to leverage mobile and digital platforms to enhance financial inclusion in rural areas by increasing access to deposit products and payment services. However, PSBs won’t be allowed to grant loans, trade in the forex market or partake in insurance underwriting. Telcos, retail chains and mobile money operators will be allowed to set-up these banks. Mobile money has been slow in taking off in Nigeria and this appears to be an attempt to tackle some of the issues. The draft guidelines are available for comments and observations from industry stakeholders here.

In more CBN news, the bank’s governor, Godwin Emiefele was expected to meet with MTN and four banks yesterday to negotiate the $8.1 billion it claims the telco illegally transferred out of the country. This follows news that MTN has provided additional documents that may help reduce the size of the claim. 

Helios Towers is looking to enter into the South African market within the next one year. It will not only offer mobile tower services but may also invest in adjacent spaces such as fiber, small cells and data centers. The company is also planning a stock listing that may happen in early 2019. There are 30,000 towers in South Africa and only 10% of them are operated by independent tower operators. Across Africa, there are 150,000 towers, and only 50,000 are owned by tower companies.

Wefarm, a farmer-to-farmer digital network, has reached over 1.1 million users in Kenya and Uganda. One in five farms in both countries are reported to be on the network. The startup is now looking to expand across Africa in 2019 starting with Tanzania. The platform which allows farmers ask one another questions via SMS processed about 1 million questions/answers within a month. The service is available in three regional languages; Kiswahili, Luganda, and Runyankore in addition to English.

SqwidNet has officially appointed Phathizwe Malinga as MD of the company. Malinga previously served in acting capacity following the resignation of Reshaad Sha. Sha resigned to join Liquid Telecom South Africa as CEO. SqwidNet is a network provider for the Internet of Things in South Africa.

CcHub and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research yesterday launched Nimcure, a digital patient care tool. The app which will help tuberculosis patients adhere to treatment is pre-installed on mid-range smartphones from Samsung. The phones will be provided to patients for the duration of the medical trial which commences this week with 30 patients and 6 caregivers. The phones will be equipped with sim cards and data. Nimcure connects patients and care givers enabling the latter monitor treatment adherence through video submissions. 

Uber has launched a competition to predict demand for public transportation into Nairobi. The competition was launched in partnership with Mobiticket and insight2impact. Participants will compete to “create a predictive model using traffic data provided from Uber Movement and historic bus ticket sales data from Mobiticket.” The model will “predict the number of tickets that will be sold for buses into Nairobi from cities in “up country” Kenya.” $12,000 is up for grabs. Join the competition here before January 13, 2019.

Quartz explores how social media platforms like Youtube and other digital distribution platforms have contributed to the global reach of Afrobeats. In the early days, artists partly depended on ring-back tones by telcos for revenue. The sub-sector is estimated to have been worth $100 million annually. Today, local artists are now earning from global platforms like Spotify and iTunes. 

Applications are now open for the WorldLab’s Elevating Ideas Pitch Competition. Entrepreneurs and startups of all growth stages and sectors are eligible. Apply here before October 22.

Bankole Oluwafemi and Tomiwa Aladekomo will be holding an AMA session on Radar tomorrow. They will be answering your questions about Radar, digital media in Africa, TechCabal, and Big Cabal Media. Mark your calendar.

From TechCabal

How Is Technology Helping Cross-Border Logistics In Africa?

The World Is Leaving Africa Behind In Electric Vehicle Adoption


That’s it!

We’ll be back tomorrow.
– Olanrewaju

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