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16 - 07 - 2019

Hey there! Welcome to another edition of TC Daily, your one-stop-shop for information about recent developments in the African technology scene! If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe so you don't miss out on future editions.

First off, independent power producers based in China, Germany, the US, and Saudi Arabia have reportedly made offers to Egypt's Electricity Ministry to construct new wind farms with a combined capacity of 2,150 MW, according to ministry officials. There are reports that General Electric is also interested in wind power in Egypt and has joined forces with Danish company Vestas Wind Systems for a 4,000 MW wind power project although progress on these talks have been at a standstill. Egypt wants 20% of the electricity it consumes by 2022 produced from clean sources. To actualize this goal, the government is putting in place structures and policies to guide private investment in the renewables energy sector development.

Telkom plans to switch off its legacy 2G network in South Africa within the next 12 to 18 months and will likely become the first mobile operator in the country to do so. With only a tiny fraction of its mobile base still using its 2G network. The company says it will henceforth focus on 4G/LTE and is keen to launch a next-generation 5G network, but unlikely to do so until after a spectrum auction likely to take place later this year.

Nigerian fintech startups Cowrywise and Scale My Hustle are partnering to provide financial and growth advisory services to African small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 500,000 SMEs have been targeted to benefit from the partnership in the next 10 years. From their interactions with small and medium scale businesses during an extensive tour, both companies will develop free financial tools that satisfy demand and improve the day-to-day activities of African businesses.

On July 11, we convened the TC Townhall: Renewable Energy bringing together regulators, investors, development agencies, multinationals and entrepreneurs to discuss The Future of Africa’s Energy. In case you missed it (how could you?), we've put together an event wrap up which you can find here.

Applications are open till July 31 for the six-month fully funded 2019 Westerwelle Young Founders Programme. 25 entrepreneurs will be selected to join the Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding programme and have the opportunity to connect with other young founders from developing and emerging economies and the German startup scene.  Here's a link to apply. 

IROKOtv's film studio, ROK, has been acquired by French television company Canal+ for an undisclosed fee. ROK film studios was incubated to create original content for IROKOtv, a streaming platform with an extensive offering of Nollywood movies founded in 2010 by Jason Njoku. ROK film studio founder and actress/producer, Mary Njoku, will stay on as Director-General. Launched in 2013, ROK has since produced over 540 movies and 25 original television series. Canal+ wants to replicate the productivity that the Nigerian movie industry has become synonymous with, even with low to average budgets, in French-speaking regions across Africa. Under the deal, ROK will continue to create unique content for IROKOtv, ROK’s four existing channels—three on DSTV and ROK Sky in the UK—as well as Canal+’s Africa and global channels.

An Egyptian on-demand nursing services platform is partly franchising its business to expand its services. 7keema (pronounced Hakeema) was launched in 2017. With 700 nurses signed on and 11,000 requests completed in Egypt, the platform sees a 33% growth month-on-month. The startup is in the process of scaling into Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and across Africa. 7keema is looking to tap into a US$400 billion home healthcare industry of which the MENA region represents 20%. The company is seeking healthcare entrepreneurs based in Africa to take on franchises in their local communities while they provide the technology, knowledge and support they require to sustain the 7keema brand.

South Africa's Ministry of Small Business Development is converting former teachers training colleges into digital hubs. An already existing partnership between Vodacom and the Department of Basic Education is turning these colleges into youth centres which the ministry aims to expand into digital hubs where young entrepreneurs have access to technology tools for ideation, experimentation, testing, and end-user computing. Eight more hubs will come from the Small Enterprise Development Agency this year in addition to 52 existing hubs across the country. The Department of Small Business Development is looking to ramp up its support for small businesses in the country with these initiatives.

From The CabalAccess to funding and a shortage of technical-know-how are two challenges that need to be solved for the Nigerian solar industry to shine, writes Olanrewaju Odunowo.

What We're Reading + Why would a self-driving vehicle that uses cameras, lasers and sensors to get around need headlights or mirrors? In this article, Bloomberg takes a look at the fate of some automobile parts and their suppliers as the autonomous car industry continues to grow.

That's all for today,

We'll see you tomorrow.   - Kay
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