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Our State of Tech in Africa, Q2 2023 report is finally out!
Venture funding in Q2 reached an impressive $916 million, almost crossing the billion-dollar mark. Fintech is also no longer leading the pack, as energy-focused startups took the lead with $486.9 million in funding, representing 53% of the total funding. Kenyan startups outperformed the Big 4, securing $462.4 million in funding.
Download the report here to explore all the fascinating details! 📥
Multichoice terminates DStv service in Malawi
Multichoice is pulling its DStv service from Malawi.
Why? Well, the country isn’t giving it any choice.The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) secured a temporary court order from the nation’s High Court. This order prevents Multichoice Malawi from altering or adjusting DStv tariffs. On August 8, the High Court issued an additional directive, compelling Multichoice to adhere to the injunction, leading the broadcaster to terminate its DStv offering in Malawi.
Image source: YungNollywood
MACRA obtained an injunction arguing that Multichoice, which does not directly provide DStv services to the public, does not have the authority to set or change tariffs for the service in the country. In response to the court order, Multichoice considers the situation unfavourable for its operations, and the consequence of non-compliance, which includes imprisonment for the company’s staff, led to the decision to exit the market.
ICYMI: In July, the company implemented its third price increase for DStv and GOtv services in Kenya, which became effective on August 1. The rationale behind this latest price adjustment, according to the company, is attributed to inflation and rising costs.
2023 hasn’t exactly been the best year for the broadcasting company. In June this year, Multichoice reportedly lost over 100,000 subscribers, in South Africa. A loss it attributes to competition from streaming platforms like Netflix.
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Airtel Kenya to spend $150 million on network expansion
Image source: DMForCredit, Seriously
Yesterday, Kenyan business publication Business Daily reported that Airtel Kenya plans to invest more than $150 million (KSh21.5 billion) over the next three years to expand its network coverage.
The telecom will achieve this by adding 649 new network sites across the country.
What’s happening? Airtel had, in June, spelt out the plan to advance its network infrastructure in renewed aggression to tap into a larger part of the market share, saying at the time that it would put up a total of 349 network sites before the close of the year.
Since its launch in Kenya, the telecom has invested more than KSh143.3 billion ($1 billion) in the country, with the majority of these investments occurring in the last three years. Additionally, in June 2023, Airtel Kenya announced plans to add 349 new sites to expand its network’s coverage by the end of the year and meet the nation’s increasing demand for data services.
Zoom out: Airtel currently has 26.7% of the market share in Kenya, and its network infrastructure currently spans over 3,200 sites covering 89%of the country across all 47 counties. The telecom also became the second operator in Kenya to roll out the super-fast 5G technology after Safaricom unveiled the service last year.
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eTranzact records $1.3 million profit in H1 2023
eTranzact executives during its 18th Annual General Meeting
Nigerian payments service provider, eTranzact, has released its financial report for H1 2023.
The company recorded a profit of ₦1.01 billion ($1.3 million) in H1 of 2023, representing a 149% increase compared to the previous year.
A strong financial performance: The company’s profit for H1 of 2023 exceeded the earnings forecast it had made for the third quarter of 2023, which was projected to be ₦582 million ($8.22 million). Additionally, the company generated ₦17.37 billion ($22.6 million) in revenue for H1 2023. Notably, this revenue figure surpasses the net revenue projection of ₦9.13 billion ($11.9 million) that eTranzact had anticipated for September 30, 2023.
ICYMI: In July 2023, eTranzact announced that it made a profit of ₦1.17 billion ($1.5 million) after taxes in 2022, and processed over ₦50 trillion ($63 billion) worth of total transactions, primarily through SwitchIT, its switching services.
Its current profit of ₦1.01 billion ($1.3 million) demonstrates the wide adoption of its fintech services in Nigeria.
Zoom out: In H1 2023, Access Bank held the largest share in the company, with a stake of 37.54%, which marks an increase from its 23.80% stake in H1 2022. This positions it ahead of eTranzact, which now possesses a 22.98% stake in H1 2023, down from the 31.86% it held in H1 2022.
SA’s regulator frowns at Vodacom-Vumatel deal
Image source: YungNollywood
South Africa’s anti-monopoly watchdog, the SA Competition Commission, has kicked against the proposed fibre merger between Vodacom and Community Investment Venture Holdings.
This comes after the companies submitted their R13.2-billion($695 million) deal to the regulator at the end of 2021. The watchdog stated that the deal could mean lessened competition and that the conditions offered by both companies “do not fully address the resultant harm to competition.”
In November last year, Vodacom said it would pay R6 billion($337.5 million) in cash and certain fibre assets valued at R4.2 billion($236 million) for a 30% stake in a newly formed company called MAZIV. MAZIV holds Community Investment Ventures Holdings’ (CIVH) Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) fibre assets. If approved Vodacom would then transfer its fibre assets to MAZIV.
Under the terms of the deal, Vodacom and Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH) would merge their networks into a new entity, initially referred to as “Newco” or “Fibreco”. The merger deals, which usually take between 12 and 18 months to conclude, have been on the Competition Commission’s desk for 20 months. Industry regulator ICASA gave its conditional approval in November 2022, around a year after the deal was announced.
Zoom out: Per the regulatory authority, the proposed merger would likely prevent or lessen the competitive rivalry between 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and fibre network and deprive low-income consumers of the benefits that such competition provides. If there’s less competition, telecoms can increase their prices because they know the market will have no other choice.
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The World Wide Web3
* Data as of 05:30 AM WAT, August 10, 2023.
The Kenyan government has announced that Worldcoin illegally collected user data in the country.
Earlier this week, the Kenyan government confiscated equipment belonging to the Worldcoin project, a Crypto/AI project that has had over 400,000 Kenyans lining up to scan their irises for Ksh7,000 ($50).
In May, the Kenyan had reportedly ordered the Sam Altman-founded project to suspend all its activities but the project did not comply. Last week, the government finally effected a suspension of all Worldcoin activities after its activities gained prominence online.
It’s not licensed: While the government via the office of the data protection commissioner (ODPC) admitted that Worldcoin is in fact registered as a data collector in Kenya, yesterday, it admitted that Worldcoin’s licence has its limitations. Per the ODPC, the licence given to Worldcoin merely signifies that the ODPC is aware of Worldcoin’s existence. It, however, does not certify Worldcoin for processing user data in the country.
Worldcoin must preserve all data: The government is also pushing to ensure that Worldcoin doesn’t use the data from the 400,000 Kenyans it has already collected. Several Kenyan agencies are reportedly conducting an investigation and will present a report next week.
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Visa is open to applications for its Africa Fintech Accelerator Program. Startups up to the Series A stage are encouraged to apply for a chance to gain unparalleled expertise, valuable industry connections, cutting-edge technology, and potential investment funding. Apply by August 25.
- The Thomson Foundation Young Journalists Award 2023 is open for applications from brilliant young journalists to demonstrate a wealth of investigative journalism skills. The three finalists will be flown to London to attend the gala award, along with other potential award winners and leading figures from the world of journalism. Apply by August 11.
- Google is offering 2000 African Scholarships for a Career Certificate in Cybersecurity. In this certificate program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that can have you job-ready in less than 6 months, and gain hands-on experience with Python, Linux and SQL. Enroll here.
- If you are an aspiring economist entering your first year of undergraduate studies in the 2024 academic year, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Economic Research Department in collaboration with the SARB Academy, invites you to apply for competitive SARB bursaries in the field of economics, economics and econometrics, economics and mathematical statistics and economic science. Apply by September 30.
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