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09 - 07 - 2019

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a memo declaring that deposit monetary banks (DMBs) can now operate mobile money wallet services without prior approval. In the memo titled “Operation of Mobile Money Wallets by DMBs”, the CBN says it wants this approach to accelerate financial inclusion in the country. Yet even though prior approval is not necessary, banks are expected to notify the regulator before they launch their mobile money services.
Slyd, an electric scooter ride-sharing platform has launched in Cairo, Egypt. Slyd allows users in Egypt to pick up and use scooters to destinations of their choice and then drop them safely after their trips at designated areas and then lock them and pay for the trip via the app. This is not the first bicycle hailing platform to emerge in Africa though. In Nigeria, AwaBike provides a similar services.

Nigerian venture capital firm, Microtraction has launched the Microtraction Scout Program, an initiative that empowers venture-backed founders and operators to identify and invest in high potential startups across the African continent. With its portfolio composed of only Nigerian startups, the main pivot of the Scout Program is to provide Microtraction with knowledgeable and connected individuals who can help identify innovative startups in other African countries. Application for the Microtraction Scout Program is currently open. Deadline for application is next month.

Two African startups, Wella Health (Nigeria) and Cowtribe (Ghana) have been selected for the Techstars Impact 2019 class. Both startups will join 8 other startups at this year's program holding in Texas. As cohorts of the three months program, they will receive funding, mentoring and support designed to help them scale their operations.

On July 15th, Africa 3.0 is hosting a VIP Pitching Day in Nairobi. There will be 30 pitches from startups in AgriTech, HealthTech & InsurTech, the best in each category will be awarded prizes ranging from presentation slots at ITC Las Vegas and Insurance 3.0 in London. There are a few places left, send your pitches to team@market-minds.co.uk to apply or apply via the website.

Bolt, a leading ride hailing startup operating in parts of Africa, has raised a new round of funding at an over $1 billion valuation. According to TechCrunch, this is the Estonian company's Series C round of funding. The new funding will be used to support its international expansions in 2019.

Logicalis, a subsidiary of South African IT giant Datatec, has acquired Mars Technologies. With a focus on SMEs, Mars Technologies delivers managed IT services ranging from the remote monitoring of networks and servers, managed desktop, antivirus, cloud backup, and printers, to full outsourcing. Logicalis says the acquisition will help it extend its footprints in South Africa, while upselling new services to customers of either firm.

Join African governments, regulators, investors, development agencies, multinationals and entrepreneurs on July 11 at TC Townhall: Renewable Energy as Techcabal convenes them to discuss "The Future of Africa’s Energy". We will be attempting to answer the question “How do we quickly build a modern energy infrastructure, that is affordable and provides last-mile access, using abundant renewable energy resources, in a friendly policy environment?” Register here to attend.

Applications are now open for the 2019 AppsAfrica awards. The award categories that will be eligible for entries (each category gets an award) include: Disruptive Innovation, Health Tech, Best African App, Enterprise, Blockchain, News & Entertainment, Edtech, Fintech, Agritech, IoT, mCommerce, Mobility, Social Impact, Changing Africa Award. Click here to apply.

More data won't solve social problems

On Sunday, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was launched by the African Union. The AfCFTA aims to unlock unlock Africa's economic potential by boosting intra-regional trade, strengthening supply chains, and facilitating cross border transfer of knowledge. With 54 signatories, this is the largest trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1994. Meanwhile, African startups and tech leaders are keen to tap into the benefits of the trade agreement to unlock value in African economies. Bosun Tijani of CcHub has called on industry players to work closely to develop a tech agenda for the trade agreement, while some startups like MAX and Kobo360 look to tap into the agreement to fuel international growth.

From TechCabal +  Despite the Traction, Bike Hailing Startups in Lagos are Operating in a Regulatory Grey Area +  54gene Raises $4.5 million to Create the World’s First African DNA Biobank

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Have a great week!   - Abubakar
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