24 MAY, 2021

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According to Vice, leaked emails show crime app Citizen is testing an on-demand private security force that would be deployed at the request of users.

In today’s edition:

  • Ethiopia makes up its mind
  • Netflix is playing games
  • TC Insights

Ethiopia and Vodacom

Ethiopia has made up its mind about one of the two telecom licences it’s looking to grant to foreign telcos.

For some background, Ethiopia opened up its telecoms sector and invited bids. Before now, Ethiotel, the state controlled provider had a monopoly. When the bids were announced, it became a competitive affair, with Safaricom claiming at one time that it had secured a license

Here’s what we know now: Ethiopia awarded a new telecommunication license to a consortium including the U.K.’s Vodafone Group Plc.

What about the second licence? The government also called off the sale of a second new permit, but will invite fresh bids from international wireless carriers after some policy adjustments, according to Brook Taye, a senior adviser at the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance.

The country’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed said, “With over $8 billion total investment, this will be the single largest foreign direct investment into Ethiopia to date.”

This investment will also lead to the creation of 1.1 million jobs initially with the possibillity of creating even more in the next decade. There’s no overstating it; this is a big opportunity

Read more: Vodacom awarded Ethiopian license

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Netflix is ready for games

Netflix may be cashflow positive and have more than enough money to finance its content but it has plans to grow its revenue.

It is mulling over a plan to stop password sharing because of the belief that it is leaving money on the table by allowing people to share accounts.

While that is still up in the air, the company is now looking at videogames. An exclusive report from The Information says that Netflix has approached veteran game industry executives about joining the company.

What has it got to do with us? Netflix now has its attention on Africa. New features like this – although the details are scant – could still be important. Remember how we’ve talked a bit this year about Opera’s gaming browser which reported 9.5 million users in Q1 2021?

Netflix explains away: “Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering—from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love—through interactive shows like ‘Bandersnatch’ and ‘You v. Wild,’ or games based on ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘La Casa de Papel’ and ‘To All the Boys.’ So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”

A future-proof Africa

Asabe is 22. Fresh from rounding up her undergraduate studies, she’s beginning to lose hope in getting a decent job. She has received very few responses to the applications she sent out. One recruiter was kind enough to inform her of the mismatch between her skills and the job requirements.

She is one out of many young people that make up 60% of Africa’s population. According to an AFDB report, 10-20 million african youth enter the workforce every year without the required skills. Many young people are not getting the education they need to secure high-quality jobs. Digital skills penetration is lower in Sub-Saharan Africa than other regions.

To close the skills gap, edtech startups are using technology to help young people become job-ready. In Kenya, Yusudi, an edtech startup that teaches young people sales skills has trained more than 2,500 Kenyan young people through its blended learning programs.

Engineering talent accelerator, Andela trained 1,100 youths in Nigeria and Kenya within the first four years of its existence: releasing top tier engineering talent across the continent.

Despite the efforts of these startups, some challenges persist. There is limited digital infrastructure and education remains a highly regulated industry within the continent. In a bid to scale their impact, edtech startups are partnering with government and corporate entities.

Nigeria-based Scholar X recently announced a partnership with telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria to extend the reach of its mobile learning platform. In Edo State in Nigeria, Decagon, another engineering talent accelerator, partnered with the government to build a 15,000 person software hub.

It’s still early days but much more can be done. To scale solutions that address the huge skills gap, there is the need for close dialogue between education companies and job providers.

Also, edtech startups will need to play the long game and influence government policy. Finally, there is a need for an innovation sandbox for edtech entrepreneurs. This will require collaboration among schools, telcos, and government.

Get our keynote presentation on Edtech in Africa here and watch videos from our conversations about the sector. Send your custom research requests to tcinsights@bigcabal.com.

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Written by – Olumuyiwa

Edited by – Edwin Madu & Koromone Koroye

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Olumuyiwa Olowogboyega | Author