Africa Business Communities

[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Sub marine cable investment connects region to the world

An increase in submarine cable activities and fiber connectivity is attracting more investments in East Africa while opening up the region to the world.  This has also birthed a data center revolution that continues to make internet access affordable, reaching a critical mass and creating more jobs.

As a result governments are incentivizing prospective investors by developing special economic zones, and industrial parks, which provide tax exemptions for data center development.

According to Africa Data Center Market - Industry Outlook & Forecast 2022-2027 report released by Research and Markets, technologies such as the cloud, big data, and IoT generate more data through high-end applications and need more efficient systems for data processing. These technologies are growing the demand for advanced IT infrastructure in the African data center market. 

This comes at a time when technology company SEACOM has reaffirmed its commitment to the provision and expansion of telecommunication services among them high-quality Internet bandwidth and ICT-centered services, with an emphasis on the state of cloud computing and its future.

Still on the tech scene, Yo-Uganda Limited has been granted a Payment System Operator License by the Bank of Uganda. The license issuance comes after Yo!’s successful fulfillment of the requirements under the Large Funds Transfer System Class of the National Payment Systems Regulations, 2021.

Yo! was the first company to launch and profitably operate a multipurpose mobile payments aggregation service in Uganda, Yo! Payments, in 2010, and has continued to be at the forefront of developing financial technology solutions for business.

Blockchain network operator World Mobile, in partnership with The eGovernment Agency of Zanzibar (eGAZ), have announced the launch of free - metered WiFi internet access at all state agencies, Ministries, local Government offices, bus stops, the airport, ports, fish markets, municipal offices/markets, municipal/state housing estates, hospitals/clinics, and any other public facing government institutions. 

World Mobile is the first blockchain mobile network powered and run by the people and fueled by World Mobile Token. 

And MTN Mobile Money Uganda, a 100% duly owned subsidiary of MTN Uganda, announced the appointment of Richard Yego as its Managing Director.

Prior to his appointment at MTN, Richard served as the CEO of the Agent Banking Company of Uganda where he was responsible for the overall operations of the Joint Venture Entity of Uganda Bankers’ Association and Eclectics International.

In the financials this week, International Finance Corporation, IFC, has extended a loan to Guaranty Trust Bank (Kenya) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Guaranty Trust Group, for on-lending to local businesses in the country. This is to help Kenyan businesses access more financing, including those with cash flows disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GTBank Kenya will provide access to finance mainly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the trade, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing sectors, among others, helping them retain and create jobs, and strengthen their operations.

The HF Markets Group has announced that the HotForex brand is now licensed and regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of Kenya through HFM Investments Limited, under license number 155.

Elsewhere Equity has introduced an enhanced centralized digital payment solution for merchants through One Equity Till Number. The solution, a first in the Kenyan market, has an interoperability feature that enables merchants to receive payments from multiple payment channels or mobile wallets through a single till number. Merchants can receive payments from customers using Mpesa, Airtel Money, PesaLink, Equitel and Equity Mobile using One Equity Till Number without having to subscribe for multiple Paybill/ Till numbers for their businesses.

In other news, GCC Services, the integrated remote site services provider, has been selected by engineering and construction company McDermott, to provide camp services for the Tilenga project upstream facilities in the Lake Albert Basin of Uganda.

GCC’s work, to take place over 6 years, begins in February and is to include camp management, catering and camp support services for an international and local workforce that is expected to peak at 3,500 workers.

Bob Koigi is the East African Region Editor at Africa Business Communities




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