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Kenyan lawmakers are probing TikTok. 

A private citizen “Bob Ndolo” reportedly petitioned the lawmakers to look into the social media platform because it’s “a threat to the cultural and religious values of Kenya”. Ndolo told lawmakers that if TikTok is not banned in Kenya, it could lead to a decline in academic performance, and mental health issues amongst youth. 

Kenya’s Public Petitions Committee will now review the issue and report back in 60 days.🤞🏾 


Telecom Egypt records $217 million profit in H1 2023

Telecom Egypt Building
Image Source: Capacity Media.

Telecom Egypt has released its financial report for H1 2023.

The company recorded a net profit of E£6.7 billion ($217 million) in H1 of 2023, a growth driven by its 75% year-on-year growth in wholesale revenue and strong retail performance.

The financial results: Per the report, Telecom Egypt’s total revenue grew to E£28.1 billion ($909 million), a 38% growth compared to H1 2022. 

There was also an increase in its customer base across the board. It reached 12.6 million mobile customers during this period—a 7% year-on-year growth. The number of fixed voice subscribers and fixed-broadband internet customers increased by 5% and 8% respectively. The company’s EBITDA for the first half of the year reached E£11.96 billion (~$387 million), marking a significant 48% increase from the previous year’s E£8.06 billion ($278 million). The company also achieved a high margin of 42.5%, compared to the previous margin of 39.5%, which was attributed to an improved revenue mix.

ICYMI: In May,Egypt sold a 9.5% stake in Telecom Egypt for $121.6 million as part of a move to raise revenue from privatising state-owned firms to meet a series of foreign debt obligations. Until the recent sale, the government held 80% of the Egyptian Stock Exchange-listed company, with the rest in free float. 

Zoom out: Telecom Egypt owns 45% of Vodafone Egypt, the largest mobile network operator in Egypt by active subscribers, with a 42% market share in the mobile carrier space.

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Jumia records lowest losses in 4 years

I will survive GIF
GIF source: HelloGiggles

Jumia is still on a long road to profitability. 

The company’s Q2 financial report shows a reduction in losses—the lowest reported in four years. Its operating losses slowed to $23.3 million thanks to a massive reduction in sales and advertising expenses. While Jumia spent $22.2 million on advertising in Q2 2022, it spent only $5.8 million in Q2 2023. Its general and administrative expenses and technology expenses were also lower compared to Q2 2022.

The company said, “Usage performance continued to be affected by the difficult operating environment with record levels of inflation impacting consumers’ spend as well as sellers’ ability to source goods.”

Hit with a blow: Jumia was affected by worsening macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria, one of its biggest markets. 

Nigeria’s inflation rate has remained above 20% throughout the year, driven by high food prices. Critical but complex reforms such as the removal of fuel subsidies continue to put a strain on the purchasing power of consumers. Yet, the struggles go beyond Nigeria.Ghana’s inflation rate also hit 43%, while Egypt’s rose to around 35%. Across all of Jumia’s markets, the average inflation rate is 14%, and currency depreciation in nine of its ten markets shows the difficulty of its goal of moving towards profitability.

Zoom Out: Overall, the task of figuring out profitability during one of the worst economic periods hangs heavily on the company’s neck. Late last year, it overhauled its board, and co-CEOs Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec stepped down as the company renewed its focus on profitability. 

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CBK increases Airtel Money transaction limit

Not for children GIF
GIF Source: 4GIFs

Yesterday, the CBK granted Airtel Money approval to increase its transaction limits.

This follows Monday’s announcement where M-PESA was allowed to increase its transaction limits from KES150,000 ($1,043) to KES500,000 ($3,477) per day.

Now, Airtel Money has joined the approval list. Its customers can now hold up to KES500,000 ($3,477) in their wallets, and conduct transactions of the same amount daily. Similar to M-PESA, the limit per transaction for Airtel Money will be KES150,000 ($1,043) which will allow customers to conduct multiple transactions up to the daily limit of KES500,000 ($3,477).

Airtel Money states that the increase will “provide them with the flexibility to conduct larger transactions and manage their finances more effectively”.

Zoom out: Both Airtel Money and M-PESA are popular in Kenya. However, M-PESA remains a dominant force with a market share of 96.5% in the mobile money space. Airtel Money comes second with a modest 3.4%.


MTN wants to sell 30% of its fintech arm

MTN is up for sale. 

If you read yesterday’s newsletter you’d know that Mastercard agreed to buy a minority stake in MTN’s fintech arm. Now, the telecom has announced that it is looking for more investors to buy as much as 30% of its fintech segment. They are particularly on the lookout for strategic investors.

Image source: YungNollywood

Strategic investors? Yes. This means that investors have to bring more than just money to the table. 

For example, Mastercard has an international payment infrastructure that MTN needs to facilitate cross-border payment. In 2021, the payment processor partnered with MTN’s MoMo to enable MTN users send money to international merchants without needing a bank account. On Monday, MTN signed a memorandum of understanding with Mastercard for a strategic investment that will see the telecom using Mastercard’s technology to offer even more services.

 Zoom out: MTN isn’t the lone ranger in this telecom adventure. Before hopping on the MTN investment train, Mastercard had already hitched a $100 million ride with Airtel’s fintech business in 2021. More recently, Airtel announced a partnership with Mastercard that will improve its mobile money transfers. 

Nonetheless, MTN seems focused on the prize. The fintech arm has unyoked its wing from the telecom mothership so that it can travel lighter as it works to convert the telecom’s 60 million users to mobile money customers. They’ve bagged themselves a mobile banking licence in Nigeria, their biggest market by far. So far, up is the way to go for MTN’s MoMo.

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Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


Coin Market Cap logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $29,184

– 0.57%

– 3.33%

Ether $1,824

– 0.87%

– 5.24%



+ 172.42%

+ 172.42%

Worldcoin $1.59

– 10.59%

– 4.32%

* Data as of 06:00 AM WAT, August 16, 2023.


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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.
  • 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.
  • Applications are open for the Cambridge Africa ALBORADA Research Fund 2023 for sub-Saharan African Researchers ($20,000 in Grants). The Cambridge Africa ALBORADA Research Fund competitively awards grants between £1,000 and £20,000 for research costs, research-related travel between Cambridge and Africa, and conducting research training activities in Africa. Apply by September 4.
  • The SaaS Accelerator Programme: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.

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