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PRESENTED BY TEK EXPERTS
30 - 07 - 2019

Hi there! Welcome to today's edition of TC Daily. If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe so you don't miss out on future editions.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR

Tek Experts, a leading, global provider of business and IT support services with presence in 7 countries, including Nigeria, is recruiting heavily for Technical Support Engineers in its Lagos office.

Tek Experts provides service options that enables global teams work effectively by developing technologies that enhance customer experience.  Whether it’s providing follow-the-sun software support services that deliver exceptional customer experiences, developing technologies that enable sales teams to increase and retain revenue or training and developing people to be the best they can be, Tek Experts’ focus is always on putting the customer first. Interested in the opportunity of a lifetime? Apply here!

Branch International, an online lending platform, has raised $5 million debt financing through Barium Capital to scale its operations in KenyaThis is the fourth time the US based Branch has raised debt funding and the sum was secured locally in Kenya. Debt funding has been an important financing option for the company since it launched. In April 2019, the company closed a $170 million funding round with $100 million of this amount coming as debt funding.

Econet Media has officially shutdown Kwese Play in Zimbabwe and it will provide compensation to users, said a TechZim report. Kwese Play, an Internet TV service previously available via Roku, stopped working over 4 weeks ago. Several reports and a Roku statement since then claim the service was shutdown. But now, the service has, reportedly, officially shutdown in Zimbabwe, and will offer compensation in the form of Econet airtime to users. We reached out to Econet for confirmation on the shutdown, but they insist that negotiations are still ongoing with Roku, dismissing reports of Kwese’s shutdown in the process.

Jumia has announced a new partnership with Vivo Energy, an oil retailer with several fuel stations across Africa. Under the partnership, both companies will develop and pilot different initiatives for Jumia users in selected countries. But a key part of the agreement disclosed that Vivo’s fuel stations will be used as pick up and drop off points for Jumia ecommerce operations. With Vivo operating over 2,000 Shell and Engen-branded fuel stations, this partnership will help push Jumia’s delivery operations to more locations on the continent.

MTN South Africa is suffering from rising cases of battery theft at its cell towers across the country. According to one report, criminals have stolen no less than 199 batteries over the last two weeks, and over 733 batteries have been stolen since April 2019.  The company is now tightening security at its cell towers and will offer rewards for information to stop the thefts.

South Africa has issued a new spectrum policy white paper for its telecom industry operators. The country's minister of communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams unveiled the new policy which looks to increase competition in the industry. Under the proposed arrangement, over 400 small telecom operators would be allowed to use the country's wholesale open access network (‘WOAN’). This announcement aims to reduce the cost of data in the country. However, the move is not what the country's biggest telecom companies expected. MTN and Vodacom have been waiting for spectrum auctions in order to gain more access and reduce data costs. But the decision to allow 400 new telecom operators would delay the auction since the new operators would need to apply for licences first.

Nigerian finetch company, Flutterwave has partnered with China’s biggest ecommerce platform, Alibaba to operate payments between Alipay and African merchants. Alipay is Alibaba’s financial service and payment solution; it surpassed PayPal in terms of payment volume in 2013 and it is the biggest payment platform in China. Its partnership with Flutterwave means the Nigerian company is now strategically poised to tap into the over $200 billion worth of trade between Africa and China via platforms like Aliexpress. Its users will be able to use Alipay to accept payment thus opening the window for a host of transnational solutions. As part of the deal, Flutterwave will earn 2.8% on each transaction, a standard international fee that has helped the company process over $2.6 billion since 2016. News of the partnership is significant, as it provides a lifeline for African ecommerce traders, many of whom are barred from receiving payment with PayPal.

The population and number of Africa's urban areas are rising, and so are the problems they face. But unlike rural areas, these urban locations don't receive much international development focus. This article on TechCentral advocates for a different approach by foreign bodies when dealing with Africa. It recommends that policies and investments should be shifted heavily toward major urban clusters.

From TechCabal

+ Cybercriminals (Yahoo boys) in Nigeria continue to operate and improve their dating scams with tech tools and social engineering. Despite the fact that these scams are now well known and even obvious, many still fall for it. Wole Olayinka provides a rich insight into how these fraudsters manage to score more victims and why their victims fall for their tricks so easily. +  Jumia wants more Africans to shop online. But 58% of ecommerce users say they abandon their carts when the cost of shipping is higher than expected. Jumia has now launched Jumia Prime, a monthly subscription service that allows users to buy items without worrying about delivery costs. I write that Jumia Prime is part of the company's latest growth tactics.

That's it,

We'll see you tomorrow.   - Abubakar
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