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04 - 11 - 2019

Hello! Welcome to another Monday edition of TC Daily! Please take a moment to subscribe if you are yet to. You can also join our Telegram channel for the latest stories in the African tech ecosystem. Join our community!

MTN Group has dropped its plan to sell its 53% stake in Mascom Wireless Botswana worth $300 million. According to the telco, the sale was abandoned because “certain conditions to the transaction were not met.” In recent times, MTN has been looking to exit businesses and markets it no longer finds attractive or that it finds problematic. Last year, it sold MTN Cyprus to Monaco Telecom for around €260 million. It was reportedly planning to sell off its Liberia, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau businesses too. It also wants to sell tower assets in Uganda and Ghana.
In more MTN news, its Nigerian subsidiary has launched a new streaming service called "MusicTime". MusicTime was developed in partnership with Simfy Africa, a streaming company that MTN acquired this year. The streaming service is the latest attempt by the telecom company to diversify its revenue away from voice and SMS services. With the growth of internet services like WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger, many telcos could see a decline in their voice and SMS revenues. To support its long term growth, MTN has introduced its own instant messaging platform, mobile money services and has started selling mobile devices (feature phones running on kaiOS).
The Ugandan government has ordered telecom companies to list on the Ugandan Securities Exchange (USE) within two years. The Museveni-led government wants telcos to list at least 20% their shares. With Airtel and MTN controlling over 90% of the market, the government said the goal is to improve local ownership in the telecom sector. Stock market listing will also become a licencing condition for both old and new players in the telecom industry.
In Rwanda, mobile money penetration is growing, but the service is quite expensive to use. In this article, The New Times' Collins Mwai explains how withdrawal fees have pushed people away from mobile money and how operators are planning to solve this problem.
Tickets are now available for the next edition of the TechCabal Townhall! TC Townhall: Edtech & the Future of Work will hold on November 29, 2019. We are bringing together regulators, government agencies, investors, entrepreneurs, NGOs, social enterprises and schools to set a strong agenda about how to use technology to leapfrog Africa’s education challenges and prepare our citizens for future jobs. Click here to buy your tickets. To enjoy our early-bird discount, click here or use the code TCEDTECH at checkout. Further discounts apply for companies/individuals buying at least 5 tickets. If you require the discount code for that, please fill this form
We are also putting together a map of the African edtech industry. If you have an edtech startup or you are a technology company doing significant work in the industry we would like to hear from you. Please fill this form.
In Kigali, 12 hackers have been arrested for attempting to hack into Equity Bank Rwanda accounts. Those arrested include eight Kenyans, three Rwandans and one Ugandan. The suspects had allegedly carried out similar attacks in Kenya and Uganda. But when they arrived Rwanda, security agencies had them under surveillance. The hackers were reportedly caught before they could even penetrate the bank's systems. There has been an increase in the number of such hackings in the East African region recently. Over 100 cases were reported last year, up from 47 in 2017.
Burundi Backbone Systems (BBS) has secured a $6 million fibre optics deal with Tanzania. Under the arrangement, The Tanzanian Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL) will extend its fibre optics capabilities to Burundi. The deal run over the next ten years. This is the latest of such deals by the TTCL as it has already connected countries like Zambia, Rwanda and Malawi. For Burundi, it said will provide its 11 million citizens with "first-class broadband internet services" in a country where only 5% of the population has internet access.
The first 40 days of the exciting #JollofRoad adventure has been completed. The team, Fu'ad, Toke and Kayode, are on a tour of every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa. During this 80 days tour, they will explore everything from the food, the language, the currency, infrastructure and tech in these countries. Read Fu'ad's Jollof Road entry to find out what to expect for the next 40 days. Keep up with the team and their experiences. Visit jollofroad.com every day to catch up on all the stories from the road!
Early-stage fintech accelerator DFS Lab and The Subtext are organising a 5-part course about the opportunities in African Fintech. Learn more about the course and sign up here.
Nigerian startup, Flex Finance, has won $100,000 prize money at the Demo Day of the Accion Company Builder. The event was organised by the Accion Venture Lab, a seed-stage fintech investor. Accion Company Builder is a pre-idea stage fintech incubator. This year the programme brought together 12 innovators and split them into five teams to develop financial services. The teams include Flex, Shores Invest, Znap, Toju and Bankai. Although Flex won the Demo Day event, Yele Badamosi, founder of VC firm, Microtraction, announced that he will "take another look" at the two runners up, Toju and Bankai.
Events this week: Seedstars Lagos: The Nigerian leg of the Seedstars Global startup competition is holding on Friday, 8 November. The venue is the Seedspace GrowthLab in Lekki, Lagos. Click here for more information. Ayada Lab Seminar Session: This event is for entrepreneurs who want to scale the businesses across West Africa. The Session will help develop relationships with entrepreneurs across West Africa and expand knowledge of trading in the region. Click here for more information.
That's all for today  
Do have a productive week   - Abubakar Remember to share TC Daily with your friends!
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