[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Sub-Saharan Africa to reach 70 million 5G subscriptions by 2026
The arrival of 5G in Africa has been headlining for a while, promising improved connectivity and communication, driverless cars and so much more. Data from the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, released this week now shows Sub-Saharan Africa to reach 70 million 5G subscriptions by 2026.
Globally, Ericsson projects that 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, driven by an estimated one million new 5G mobile subscriptions every day. During MWC Barcelona 2021, Huawei Executive Director and President of Carrier BG Ryan Ding said, operators have seen faster revenue growth in countries where 5G is developing faster.
This week, Ghana’s fintech startup Zeepay, announced that it has secured $7.9 million in funding from Verdant Capital, a specialist investment bank and investment manager operating on a pan-African basis. In Nigeria, fintech startup TeamApt has closed its Series B fundraising round, as it looks to expand its financial services beyond Nigeria. The KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator Africa competition came to a close this week and saw South African fintech startup Ukheshe, take second place. Irish FinTech Pipit Global also partnered with Cellulant to power low-cost remittances in Africa.
Still, on startups, The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) announced that HiiL top seven in Southern Africa startups that will pitch their ideas for a chance to win a EUR 10,000 grant. The startups were selected from more than 200 applications with high-impact justice innovations. IFC’s TechEmerge also entered into a new partnership with logistics startup Kobo360 to pilot sustainable cooling innovations in Nigeria.
A month after Ethiopia’s telecommunications regulator awarded an operating license to a consortium led by Kenya’s Safaricom and Japan’s Sumitomo. The Global Partnership for Ethiopia (GPE) this week appointed Mr. Anwar Soussa as the Managing Director (MD) of the Operating Company in Ethiopia, effective 1st July 2021.
Microsoft also unveiled a new cloud-based business management solution, Dynamics 365 Business Central, to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa and the Middle East streamline their operations.
In Kenya, Asteroid International announced that it is partnering with Data Centre firm iColo to expand its Kenyan internet exchange services from Mombasa to Nairobi. This came at a time when a new report published by the Internet Society outlined the state of Internet interconnection in Africa and the critical role Internet Exchange Points (IXP) play in improving access and lowering costs.
Other top highlights of the week include Vodacom Business Africa taking a step into Brazil, thereby increasing its fixed-connectivity coverage to five continents across the globe, Swiss Investment Company CV VC opening its first African office in South Africa, and Liquid Technologies and Facebook announcing a partnership to build an extensive long haul and metro fibre network in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).