Here’s what happened in Africa’s tech ecosystem in the first month of the last quarter of 2022.
1. FUNDING: NORTH AFRICA LEADS IN OCTOBER
In October 2022, African startups made 32 fully disclosed* raises totalling $186,460,000. So far, this total is the lowest amount raised in a month by African startups in 2022, a 51.4% reduction from September’s $383,465,000.
The top three sectors in September are fintech, e-commerce and mobility/logistics. Fintech startups raised $60 million (32.2%), e-commerce startups raised $50.6 million (27.2%), and mobility/logistics startups raised $23.3 million (12.5%).
Per region, North Africa takes the lead with $113.6 million of the funding, followed closely by West Africa with $46.2 million, East Africa with $21.3 million, and South Africa with $5.3 million in disclosed funding.
The top five disclosed deals of October 2022 are
- MaxAB’s $40 million pre-Series B round.
- Egyptian fintech MoneyFellows’ $31 million raise.
- Egyptian fintech Telda’s $20 million seed round.
- Moove Africa’s £15 million raise.
- Kenya’s Sistema.bio’s $10 million raise.
Note: This data compiles only funding deals announced in October 2022. Raises are often announced later than when the deals are actually made.
This data is exclusive of estimated grants from accelerators like Techstars or Y Combinator.
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2. NIGERIA PASSED ITS STARTUP BILL
October brought to an end a year-long journey between leaders of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and the Nigerian government.
Last month, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Nigeria Startup Bill, passing it into law. All that’s left now is enforcement.
3. UGANDA’S COMPUTER MISUSE BILL COMES INTO LAW
While Nigeria celebrates its new law, activists in Uganda raised alarm over the passing of the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill.
Early last month, President Yoweri Museveni approved the new law which has been described as “a blow to online civil liberties.” The Act prescribes fines up to UGX 15 million ($3,900), and imprisonment of up to 10 years for offences such as online harassment.
4. CELLULANT CO-FOUNDER CLEARED OF CHARGES
Two years after being forced to resign under accusations of mismanagement, Cellulant co-founder Bolaji Akinboro found justice last August.
After two years of litigation, Cellulant arrived at an out-of-court settlement with Akinboro and cleared him of all allegations of financial misconduct and personal improprieties.
5. SAFARICOM PILOTS 5G COMMERCIALLY IN KENYA
In October, Safaricom became the first telco to provide 5G commercially in East Africa.
Safaricom’s trials for 5G in Kenya started in March 2021, piloting in select Kenyan cities, including Nairobi and Kakamega. Last month, it finally made 5G commercially available in Kenya, starting with WiFi services only.
6. KENYA LICENCES FOUR RIDE-HAILING APPS
Right on the heels of Uber slashing its commission fees from 25% to 18% for its Kenyan drivers, Kenya’s National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) started licensing ride-hailing apps in the country.
In October, the regulator considered safety complaints from riders in Kenya and asked all ride-hailing operators to submit documents for licensing. Of the six who complied, only four—Uber, Bolt, Little and Yego Mobility—made the cut.
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7. MTN WALKS FROM TELKOM MERGER TALKS
MTN said no to the talking stage in October.
After months of negotiating a merger with Telkom South Africa, the telco walked away after data-only telco Rain proposed its own merger with Telkom. According to Telkom, MTN’s exit came after it—Telkom—could not assure MTN of exclusivity.
8. ZIMBABWE AND NAMIBIA ANNOUNCE CBDC PLANS
A year after one African country—Nigeria—officially launched its central bank digital currency (CBDC), at least nine more are developing theirs.
In October, Namibia and Zimbabwe joined the fold. Zimbabwe announced that it’s working with the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) to bring its CDBC to life, while the Bank of Namibia will develop the Namibian dollar CBDC.
9. NIGERIA SUES META
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) also sued Meta in October.
The regulator is seeking ₦30 billion ($69 million) in damages for Meta’s violation of its advertising laws, which led to a loss of revenue.
10. KENYA WILL AUDIT DIGITAL LENDERS
Weeks after Kenya’s apex bank licensed only 10 digital lenders from a pool of 288 applicants, the Office of the Data Protection Commission (ODPC)—in October—announced a planned audit on 40 digital lenders who were reported by Kenyans for data abuse.
The ODPC received 1,030 complaints and accepted 555, out of which 299 were directed against digital lenders who had misappropriated customers’ personal data.
11. GOOGLE TO DEVELOP FIRST AFRICAN DATA CENTRE IN SOUTH AFRICA
In October Google announced that it would deploy Africa’s first cloud data centre in South Africa.
The company also announced that it would build cloud interconnect sites and link them to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi through Equiano.
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