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23 - 10 - 2018

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The Malawian government is working on a law that will require businesses operating in the country to offer at least one digital payment method and not charge customers for using said channel, iAfrikan reports. There are two sides to this coin: only 19% of Malawi's ~18 million people are banked so this could help spur growth and drive mobile banking adoption, especially since ~41% of the 26,107 registered mobile money agents are already in rural areas where majority of the unbanked are. On the flip side, businesses will have to invest in infrastructure and capacity for one or more of these channels, thus driving up operational cost and potentially increasing the cost of service for the customer.

As the controversial Kenyan Finance Act 2018, signed into law in September 2018 and imposing a 15% tax on Internet data, comes into effect, Dignited reports price hikes from leading providers Safaricom and Zuku for fixed broadband Internet services. Both companies say the price increases are a direct result of the new tax but interestingly, Kenya's third largest broadband provider, Jamii Telecom Faiba, has left its prices unchanged.

Kwese has partnered with Vodafone to launch its Kwese Play service in Ghana. The service is a hybrid of Kwese's satellite TV service and a VOD service powered by Iflix Africa, in which it acquired a major stake in February 2018. Kwese has been expanding rapidly across the continent over the course of the year launching in various countries as it looks to wrestle market share from segment leader DSTV.

Yesterday, Ghana launched a telecom control platform to track mobile money transactions on SIMs and verify tax payments from telcos. There have already been lawsuits against the platform with concerns or privacy and potential abuse - and they've been thrown out of court already, reports Eromo Egbejule. The government says it will not infringe on citizen's rights. Meanwhile, Eromo also checked out a live cyberattack threat map which showed 2.5 million threats in about 15 hours.

Digest Africa reports that SwiftaCorp founder, Victor Asemota, has joined US-based VC firm Alta Global Ventures as Partner overseeing Africa investments. There is no official announcement yet until 2019 but Victor's LinkedIn profile does list this new role and Alta has added Africa to it's list of offices and "global partners."

Egypt has begun enforcement of its controversial online media regulation law which requires online publications to pay a license fee of ~$2700, reports iAfrikan. Same with social media accounts with more than 5K followers. Egypt has a history of shutting down online voices and anything the government considers to be immoral or against the country's constitution so this is right up their alley.

PayPal has made a strategic investment in Tala, a fintech startup that offers microloans to underserved consumers in Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, and Mexico, through its mobile app. Tala recently raised $50 million in Series C funding led by Revolution Growth and said it will use the PayPal funding to further develop its product and broaden its reach.

That's All!

We'll see you tomorrow.    - Akindare
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