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19 - 10 - 2018

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In Zambia, Barclays Bank, MTN and technology company JUMO have partnered to drive financial inclusion. For the next phase of MTN's digital lending product Kongola, JUMO will continue providing the technology that connects eligible MTN mobile money customers to loans funded by Barclays. Meanwhile, the partnership is working on a new interest-bearing savings product, Kasaka, which will be introduced in a few weeks.

More news from Zambia: Musanga, an on-demand delivery startup, has also partnered with MTN to incentivize its drivers with various financial offerings from the telco. Musanga is looking to increase the number of drivers from about 450 to 1500 by close of 2018 through the partnership.
Jumia has appointed Ron Kawamara the new CEO for Uganda. Ron has been with Jumia for  five years and has served as Country Manager for Jumia Food Uganda to head of Jumia Food East Africa. Though he also served as Managing Director for Jumia Uganda, he said the position was limited and focused on "compliance and investor relations" not "individual performance."
Kenyan sports betting company Sportpesa has denied a Bloomberg report that it is planning to go public. The CEO Ronald Karauri simply answered Reuters "no," when asked about the matter on Thursday.

South African Insurtech startup, Simply, has disclosed that the funding by Yellowwoods announced on Tuesday is worth “tens of millions of rands” and will give it “at least three years of runway.” Simply CEO Anthony Miller said the startup will nbe investing heavily in marketing.

Vodacom says it can cut its data prices in South Africa in half if the government gave it more spectrum. Speaking at 2018 MyBroadband Conference, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub explained that "at the moment, the company needs to refarm spectrum and cannot invest optimally in its network."

MTN South Africa's CEO Godfrey Motsa reiterated this sentiment while speaking with the Competition Commission in Pretoria on Thursday. Although he couldn't say specifically by how much data prices would drop, he reassured that “they will go down faster." 

Standard Bank in South Africa has confirmed that it is launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). This is following earlier reports that the bank hired former Virgin Mobile South Africa CEO Steve Bailey to its executive team. However, in 2016, Standard Bank reportedly decided against launching an MVNO. will make it the second bank in South Africa to launch an MVNO after FNB.
South African service provider Echo is merging with the ISP operations of Gondwana International Networks (GIN). The resulting entity of the merger, which took almost a year to conclude, will be operating in nine African markets.

re:publica, a European digital conference will be held for the first time in Ghana. This will also be the first time the conference will hold outside Europe. Tagged “Next Level”, re:publica Accra will take place at the capital city's Round Pavilion at the Trade Fair Center from from 14 to 15 December 2018. Find out more.

GSMA has launched an Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity to provide grants of up to £300,000. The fund, backed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is targeted at companies that can deploy solutions for connecting unserved rural communities. 


Thanks for reading!

Have a lovely weekend. 
- Samuel

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