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20 - 12 - 2019

Good morning and welcome to your daily dose of tech news from across Africa. Please take a moment to subscribe if you haven't. Also, join us on Telegram. Don't miss out on all the tech news and analysis on digital innovations from around the continent!

The countdown to Afrobytes 2020 is on. Afrobytes is the premier event that brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and more to explore business opportunities between the African tech ecosystem and players in the global tech world. Here are key reasons why you should attend Afrobytes 2020:

  • Finance: pitch world-leading Africa-focused tech funds
  • Network: connect with global companies and African tech leaders
  • Scale: find tech partners at the largest startup campus
  • Feature: talk to international media covering African markets

Get your early bird ticket here

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I remember back in 2010, a Nigerian telecom company sold 150MB of internet data for N1,000 (~$6.8 using 2010 rates). Today, N1,000 ($2.77 using 2019 rates) can get me 1.5GB of data. We’ve come a long way. However, considering that millions of Nigerians and other Africans survive on than $2 a day, $2.77 worth of data is still too expensive. Writing for The Conversation, Clement Prince Addo believes that internet costs could be reduced if telcos change how telecom masts are built.
Zimbabwe is launching a ZW$500 million startup fund. To be clear, that figure is Zimbabwean dollars and it is $1.4 million when converted to US dollars. The country’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced the fund in November and said it would be part of the 2020 budget and will be active by February next year. With startups in the country struggling to raise funding, no thanks to Zim’s difficult economy, the new fund could accelerate startup development. Ncube said the fund will not be sector specific: “we just want to see new companies, new investments and jobs – those are critical pressure points.”
Applications are now open for the Digital Africa Initiative, a startup exhibition for African innovators. The exhibition is part of the Africa-France Summit scheduled to hold between June 4 and June 6, 2020, in the French city of Bordeaux. Want to apply? Follow this link.
Nigerian banks have doubled their revenue from electronic transactions. 10 banks made N135.15 billion ($373.9 million) between January and September 2019; that’s a 57% growth from the same period in 2018. Where did they make their money from? Automated Teller Machines transactions (ATMs), USSD, Point of Sales (POS), electronic bills and other electronic options.
Many venture capital funds in Africa are domiciled abroad. They do this because countries like Nigeria have uncertain business environments and regulations that make it hard to get funds out of the country. So to get more VC funding, many African startups are choosing to incorporate abroad. While this is true, more funds are being launched to target startups on the African continent. VentureBurn compiled this list of over 20 Africa-focused funds that launched in 2019 alone.
Nigerian fintech company, Carbon has expanded to Kenya. Originally focused on digital lending, Carbon has expanded its offerings, supporting investment services and wallet features. Its CEO, Chijioke Dozie, says the plan is now to become a "Pan-African digital bank for Africans and Africans in the diaspora." However in the Kenyan market it will be competing with over 40 fintech apps including OKash, Branch, mPesa and Tala. TechCabal's Muyiwa has more on this.
Bamboo, a Flutterwave merchant, gives you unrestricted access to buy and sell U.S. stocks right from your mobile phone. Start 2020 right, create and fund your Bamboo account with your Naira or Dollar cards or through bank transfers and start buying and selling shares in just a few taps. It's quick and easy. Be more than just another consumer. Become a smart investor. Download the app right now to get started.
What would you do if you woke tomorrow to find that Facebook was shut down, Twitter was no more, and all your precious pictures on Instagram have been wiped away? Of course, there are some people that have no real attachment to these platforms because of government restrictions. Muyiwa has been tracking this. But for the rest of us, how will you react if your precious free social platforms disappeared with all your content? iAfrikan’s Jacob Mugendi asked this hard question in this article. But FYI, Kay Ugwuede has already provided some answers.
Eaton, one of Africa’s leading telco infrastructure operator, has switched off Telkom Kenya’s transmitters over unpaid debts, TechMoran reports. The move comes as Telkom is closing in on a merger with Airtel Kenya.  Eaton’s decision affected 70 base transmitter stations and many Telkom subscribers in different areas.
Last year Sweden launched a platform that offers a crash course on artificial intelligence for its citizens. This week, the Nordic country opened up the platform for citizens of other countries. At least one percent of Sweden’s 5.5 million population have signed up for it. Speaking of AI, next February, TechCabal is holding a townhall on emerging technologies. AI is an emerging tech with numerous possibilities. Do you want updates about this townhall? Signup here.
Egyptian healthtech startup, Hospitalia, has won the Seedstars regional summit for the Middle East and North Africa. It will join 10 startups from Sub-Saharan Africa and startups from other regions at the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland in April 2020.
4G Capital has secured $2 million debt funding from Ceniarth LLC. 4G Capital is a Mauritius-based lending company that targets small and medium businesses in East Africa. The company has provided 750,000 loans worth $90 million TechMoran reports. It will use the new capital to grow its business in the region.
Facebook OS. Facebook is working on its own operating system. According to TechCrunch, the social media giant has hired Mark Lucovsky, a co-author of Microsoft's Windows NT, to build a new OS. The OS will serve Facebook's smart home, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) products.
And just before we go... Everything we do at TechCabal is for you, dear reader, and as 2019 inches to a close, we'd like to hear from you. What do you like about our work? How can we improve? Please let us know by filling this form. Tell your friends to tell their friends.
And it's a wrap!
See you next week. - Abubakar       Share TC Daily with your friends!
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