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Starlink not coming to SA unless it meets ISP requirements

South Africans may not see Starlink anytime soon. 

This week, communications minister Mondli Gungubele reiterated the government’s stance on why Starlink cannot officially operate in the country: it needs to meet the SouthAfrica’s internet service provider (ISP) ownership equity rules first.

The most critical of these rules is that ISPs like Starlink will have to give up a 30% ownership stake for historically disadvantaged groups (HDG) including black people, women, youth, or people with disabilities.

SA Comms Minister
Communications minister Mondli Gungubele

It could take a really long time: Amending the regulations to accommodate Starlink would not be a simple process and would likely take several months or even years to pass through the public consultation process and government sign-off.

Gungebele said that Starlink or its parent company SpaceX could engage with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to seek advice on local operations.

Zoom out: Icasa has confirmed it had discussions with SpaceX regarding Starlink on two occasions. During these meetings, SpaceX sought guidance on the regulatory requirements or process for acquiring the necessary electronic communications service licences in South Africa.

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service has already connected several African countries, including Mozambique, Rwanda, and Mauritius, with 35 more African countries scheduled for launch in 2023 and 2024.

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Kenyan government introduces payroll management system

President William Ruto
President William Ruto

President William Ruto is ensuring civil servants in Kenya stay in check.

The Kenyan president has ordered the implementation of a Unified Payroll Number (UPN) system in all state agencies to reduce the government’s wage bill and streamline payroll management.

Promoting accountability: The UPN system aims to unify the payment structure for all government officials, including civil servants, teachers, and employees of state agencies, into a single, simplified system, ensuring fair and equal compensation for all public servants. 

Through a permanent and unique identification number assigned to each individual, the system can effectively address concerns like ghost workers, double-dipping, and incorrect compensation, safeguarding public funds and fostering accountable governance.

Side bar: Double-dipping is when an individual receives multiple payments or benefits for the same period of work or service.

On August 4, 2022, the head of the public service notified all Public Service organisations about the national government’s adoption of the Unified Human Resource System (UHR). This integrated system will function as a centralised platform for managing data related to human resources in the public sector, including payroll information. 

To this end, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has embraced the use of the UPN per the head of the public service’s decision last August.

Zoom out: The introduction of the UPN system represents a major stride in the ongoing efforts to modernise administrative processes and establish a fair and efficient payment structure for government officials.


Zimbabwean industry seeks $246 million for floating solar panels

Kariba Dam Zimbabwe
Image source: Britannica

Zimbabwe’s industrial electricity consumers are aiming to raise R4.7 billion ($246 million) for phase one of floating solar panels on Kariba Dam.

Ownership agreement: The Zimbabwean government’s sovereign wealth fund will possess a 10% share in the company, while the remaining 38% will be open to investors, including development banks. 

Members of The Intensive Energy User Group, including mining companies, will have a 52% ownership stake in a development company responsible for the project located in Kariba Dam. The power station initially designed for 250 megawatts will generate electricity sold to the group and other eligible customers through a 25-year power-purchase agreement.

Electricity shortages in Zimbabwe: Kariba Dam, the world’s largest dam between Zimbabwe and Zambia, causes acute electricity shortages in Zimbabwe. Low water levels hinder generation from the hydropower plant, coupled with frequent breakdowns at the thermal power station, leading to blackouts lasting over half a day.

By installing 1.8 million photovoltaic panels on 146 modular units, the site has the potential to accommodate 1 gigawatt of capacity, according to a March report compiled for Zimbabwe Power Co. by China Energy Engineering Group.

What are photovoltaic panels? Photovoltaic panels, also called solar panels, are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. 

Zoom out: These power supply challenges highlight the need for alternative solutions and investments in renewable energy sources to ensure a more reliable and sustainable electricity supply.

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TC Insights

Funding Tracker

Funding tracker chart
Image source: TechCabal Insights

This week, Nuru, a solar company in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), raised $40 million in equity funding. The round was led by IFC, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Proparco, E3 Capital, Voltalia, the Schmidt Family Foundation, GAIA Impact Fund, and the Joseph Family Foundation. 

Here are the other deals this week:

  • MYDAWA, a Kenyan online pharmacy, received $20 million in an undisclosed round from Alta Semper Capital, a private equity firm.
  • Zuvy, a fintech company, secured $4.5 million in debt and equity funding from TLG Capital.
  • Egyptian fintech company Masroofi raised $1.5 million in an undisclosed round from undisclosed investors.
  • Kenya-based B2B company Revivo raised $ 635 K in pre-seed funding from Raba Partnership, Village Global, Musha Ventures, Satgana, and strategic business angels. 

That’s it for this week!

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3



Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $30,103

– 1.26%

+ 11.82%

Ether $1,853

– 3.13%

– 1.27%



– 2.77%

– 16.34%

Cardano $0.28

– 1.32%

– 18.73%

* Data as of 05:40 AM WAT, July 7, 2023.


The Africa Social Impact Summit

This August, join key players and leaders across the African private and public sectors, the government, donor and civil society communities, as they discuss policy-shaping ideas and new impact investing strategies for Africa at the 2nd edition of the Africa Social Impact Summit. 

Save your seat here.


  • The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards 2023 ($5,000 prize)  is now open to applications from reporters doing work for independent news organisations around the world, with articles readily accessible to the public by subscription, newsstand sales or online access, with the submitted work available in English are eligible to Apply by August 1.
  • If you are a young (no older than 24 years of age) and emerging photographer looking to embark on a career in the world of photojournalism, the Ian Parry Photojournalism Grant 2023 (up to £10,000) is open for Applications. Apply by August 31.
  • Applications are open for the L’Oreal-UNESCO Young Talents for Women in Science Program – Maghreb 2023. Awarded doctoral and post-doctoral candidates will each receive an endowment of €10,000. Apply by July 30.
  • Applications are open for the Sir Harry Evans Global Fellowship 2024 for Early-career Journalists (Stipends available). The fellowship has a monthly salary of £4,444, a £1,250 per month living stipend, and a one-off payment of £1,800 for travel and related expenses. Apply by July 10.

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