[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Governments are helping advance the digital economy and drive economic transformation
African governments are putting so much effort to advance the digital economy and drive economic transformation. In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MINT) and the Internet Society announced a new collaboration that will help drive this transformation. In Kenya, the government in partnership with the private sector also this week unveiled a new initiative aimed at equipping small business owners with digital skills.
In Rwanda, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation in Rwanda, Cenfri, and the Mastercard Foundation signed a tripartite MoU to kick-off an ambitious three-year digital transformation program in Rwanda aiming at harnessing Rwanda’s big data to enhance the Government’s digital capabilities and systems.
This week, a number of initiatives were also unveiled to support African startups. The Moroccan Digital Development Agency (ADD) and GrowIN Portugal launched a programme to support Moroccan and Portuguese startups internationalization by signing a strategic agreement. IFC launched a new advisory program aimed at making it easier for startups in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, expand their operations across North Africa. Still on startups, Pan-African VC fund Wuri Ventures and leading global investment firm, Capria Ventures, announced a $1.5 million investment in South Africa's mobility data start-up WhereIsMyTransport. On-demand delivery startup Glovo also opened its first African Micro-Fulfillment Center in Nairobi. The center is located at AEA Plaza on Valley Road.
Technology startup Amitruck and waste management solutions provider Sanergy announced a partnership to tackle waste management in Nairobi, Kenya.
On matters eCommerce, a recent Visa report has shown that the top market contributors to eCommerce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the last 3 years were South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Rob Anderson, CEO at Brand Hubb in an OPED published on Africa Business Communities also noted that specialized stores are the future of online shopping in Africa.
In South Africa, wireless Internet Service Provider Herotel announced that it has implemented a cutting-edge segment routing (SR) network from NEC XON. The company said it plans to have migrated all fibre customers by the end of 2021. Telkom also launched Africa's first Mastercard virtual card for use on WhatsApp, enabling Telkom Pay customers in the country to make e-commerce payments.
Other top highlights of the week include Nigeria “indefinitely suspending” Twitter‘s operations in the country after the company deleted President Buhari’s tweet, Bolt introducing electric tuk tuks, and e-bicycles on its platform as the company expands its greener transport options in Kenya in the food category and Telecom Egypt and Vodafone Group signing a modified Shareholders’ Agreement.