Welcome to today’s edition of TC Daily! In today’s digest: MTN Ghana is taking the country’s telecoms regulator to court over a decision to declare it a dominant market player; Andela confirms it has gone fully remote but has a bold new vision. And in this week’s My Life Tech, we’ve got an investment professional from Zambia.
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MTN Ghana is taking the National Communications Authority (NCA) to court over its decision to declare it a Significant Market Power (SMP).
In early June, the government said it will implement a set of policies to reduce MTN’s dominance in the country’s telecommunications market. The government stated that its aim was to ensure a level-playing field for all network operators within the industry. MTN reportedly has a 70% market share.
In response, MTN Ghana said in a statement that as a last resort, it had made the difficult decision to go to the law courts for a judicial review of NCA’s decision. CEO, Selorm Adadevoh, said that the
government’s decisions raise concerns about clear procedural breaches. While acknowledging the regulator’s ‘duty and powers to promote fair competition amongst licensed operators’, MTN said it must follow ‘the applicable legislations and global industry best practices’.
Two years ago, Safaricom faced a similar struggle in Kenya to declare it a dominant market player. Safaricom dominance is largely attributed to M-Pesa, its globally-acclaimed mobile money service. Although MTN Ghana’s dominance is in data and voice subscriptions, analysts say the government is trying to pre-empt mobile money dominance.
MY LIFE IN TECH
While studying for her undergraduate degree at the University of Zambia, Mercy Zulu-Hume’s interests zeroed into human development, in how Africa could break away from its cyclic dysfunction and create wealth that translated from one generation to the next.
Not long after, with proceeds from a car leasing business and savings, Zulu-Hume packed her bags and
moved to Cape Town to pursue a Master’s degree in Economic Development. It was while studying for her Master’s degree that she first heard about impact investing during a masterclass. It turned out to be a game-changer, just what she had been looking for.
A week after the masterclass ended, a job email came from Goodwell Investments where she now works as an Investment Associate four years down the line. Goodwell is an investment firm with HQ in the Netherlands. Its portfolio companies include MAX.ng, Paga, and Tomato Jos in
Nigeria, Sendy and Copia in Kenya as well as East Africa Fruits in Tanzania.
For this week’s My Life in Tech, Mercy Zulu-Hume shares her journey to impact investment, Goodwell’s investment thesis, and topical issues around the pandemic within the firm.
Following reports last month that it sold all its office assets in all locations and went fully remote, Andela has now confirmed the same. The company says this removes location restrictions and will allow it to double its existing talent pool to more than 500,000 engineers. A press release published on its website says it will “significantly increase the variety of skills and experience levels available to companies all over the world”.
For context, Andela currently has 1,000+ software engineers working as full-time, embedded members of development teams at over 200 leading tech companies, according to its website. It first announced it was pivoting its business model when it laid off 400 junior developers in September 2019 citing market demand for
more senior engineering talent.
In May, a second round of layoffs saw 135 people sent home, prompting questions about the company’s future. While questions remain, the latest announcement provides additional information about where the company is headed.
TECH TALENT DEVELOPMENT
Nigerian-based investment firm, Ingressive Capital has launched a nonprofit arm called Ingressive for Good. The nonprofit is looking to provide African youth with micro-scholarships, technical training, and talent placement.
According to Sean Burrowes, COO and Co-Founder of Ingressive for Good, its major goals include creating 5,000 jobs through
partnerships, connecting 1 million African youth to technical skills training, and awarding partial scholarships to qualified individuals studying computer science courses.
Interested individuals can find more information and sign up here.
Digital Africa is holding the 8th edition of its annual conference & exhibition from August 25-27, 2020. The virtual conference will feature industry experts who will discuss what’s next for the technology sector in Africa.
Confirmed speakers include Prof. Joe Amadi-Echendu, Professor, Engineering & Technology Management, University of Pretoria; Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Karima Rhanem, Chief Executive Officer, Africa My Home, Morocco, and Dr. Isa Pantami, Hon. Minister of Communications & Digital Economy.