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BROUGHT TO YOU BY FRIENDS OF NIGERIA
29 - 08 - 2019

Hello, folks! Welcome to today's edition of TC Daily! If this mail was forwarded to you, please take a moment to subscribe and have this delivered directly to your mail box every weekday. 

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER

Register to attend the 4th edition of the Spotlight Nigeria Business Forum.

The event is hosted by Friends of Nigeria with the support of the Embassy of Nigeria Paris. Strategic partners include: the France Nigeria Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FNCCI), Paris Chambers of Commerce and Industries, ADEPTA (a network of top Agriculture companies in France), PwC, Council of Investors in Africa (CIAN), Nigeria Export Promotion Commission (NEPC), Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC), Business France, French Foreign trade advisors, amongst others. To register, visit: https://spotlightnigeria-france.com/participant-registration/
Mauritius Telecom has partnered with Hong Kong's PCCW Global to launch My.t Money, a mobile payment service. According to the country’s Prime Minister, Honourable Pravind Jugnauth, the new service is the Island country’s first national mobile payment solution. The government said the service will help to address digital divide in Mauritius and promote financial inclusion. However, data from the World Bank shows that the country is already relatively financially inclusive. With a population of 1.3 million people, data shows that 90% of adults in the country owned bank accounts in 2017, up from 80% in 2011. Regardless, the new mobile payment service still reportedly garnered 200,000 customers and 1,000 merchants well ahead of its launch.
Techpoint in partnership with Jumia is holding an interactive session with tech entrepreneurs in Nigeria titled “Moving from Zero to Growth.” Headlining the event is Nigerian-American NBA star, Andre Iguodala. Andre is a startup investor and is a Jumia board member. At the event, he will share insights on how he became an investor and how domestic founders can position their business for growth. The event will hold on September 11 and attendance is strictly by invitation. You can apply for an invite here.
The Rwandan government wants to introduce a national mobility policy that will replace gas-powered motorbikes with electric alternatives. The policy has already been developed and is awaiting approval. In my article, I wrote that the move is part of the government’s efforts to promote a clean and healthy environment.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has suspended the planned merger between Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya. The merger will remain on hold until Kenya’s anti-corruption agency, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), concludes investigations on Telkom Kenya. Telkom Kenya is the country’s third-biggest telco by subscribers, and is owned by 60% owned by Helios Investment Partners and 40% owned by the Kenyan government. The EACC is conducting investigations “into allegations of misappropriation of public funds in the process of privatisation, recapitalisation and restructuring of balance sheets” at the company. The anti-graft agency is also investigating how the merger deal was brokered and will evaluate it to safeguard “the interest of taxpayers.” This is the second time the Kenyan government has intervened in the Airtel-Telkom merger plans. In July, the government successfully forced Telkom to exclude strategic assets, such as fibre networks, from the deal.
Off-grid electricity company BBOXX has secured a $50 million investment in a Series D round led by the Japanese conglomerate, Mitsubishi. Other investors in the round include ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies; Bamboo Capital Partners; DOEN Participaties; and MacKinnon, Bennett & Company (MKB). Founded in 2010, the UK-based company designs and distributes solar systems in developing countries including African countries. Using innovative financing options, BBOXX operates 200,000 solar home systems. The company wants to use its latest funding to pursue growth in Asia and the African continent.
The Rwandan Development Board (RDB) and Africa50 have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to develop the Kigali Innovation City project. Located in one of the country's Special Economic Zones, Kigali Innovation City is a park designed to fast-track the country’s tech sector. It will accommodate research centres, tech hubs, foreign universities, among many others. The RDB and Africa50 had earlier signed a term sheet last November to develop the City. But with the new JDA agreement, Africa50, a special-purpose company by the African Development Bank (AfDB), will “crowd in private sector investment” for the project.
Still on Rwanda, the country's central bank, officially known as the National Bank of Rwanda (NCB), is considering its own digital currency according to Bloomberg. The banking regulator believes this will boost economic growth and improve efficiency when processing transactions. However, it is in no hurry to introduce the new currency. The NCB is still considering the issues with the currency, but says it will join in “once we are ready.”
The #PitchdriveAsia Tour organised by CcHUB in partnership with GoogleforStartups is still ongoing and the ten participating startups are presently in Japan. These deep technology and hardware startups will continue through three other Asian cities known for their deep tech and hardware ecosystems. Learn more here and sign up to follow the tour. You can also keep up with the tour on Twitter by following CcHUB or by using the #StoriesfromPitchDrive and #PitchDriveII hashtags
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched the Africa Growth Platform to help African startups grow and compete in the global business environment. The initiative will use three measures to attain its goal. First, it will convince governments to make reforms that support business growth. Second, it will build an investor community comprising of private investors and multilateral institutions, among others. And third, it will build a community for startup businesses for easy collaboration and knowledge sharing.
NowPay, an Egyptian fintech company has secured $600,000 seed funding from Endure Capital and 500 Startups. Founded last year, the startup is a loan app for corporate employees. NowPay partners with corporate groups and allows their employees to request salary advances at any point in a month. The employer then deducts the borrowed money from monthly salaries and repays NowPay. With the new funding, the startup said it will work on expanding its client base and plans to expand to more countries over the next two years.
New technologies can be a force for good in Africa if they’re developed from the ground
Funding is important for any early-stage startup. But in Africa, securing capital at this stage is challenging despite the rising number of tech investments into the continent. However, Disrupt Africa's Tom Jackson writes that locally-based angel networks are working to address this by providing funding and mentoring to startups.
Design thinking is a popular problem-solving approach. The methodology relies on an iterative process to develop creative solutions to problems. In this article, Andela's Akonam Ikpelue provides a good understanding of the Design Thinking process and uses a practical example to explain how it works.
 

That's all for now,

We'll see you tomorrow.   - Abubakar
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