[Africa Tech Review] Duncan Mochama: Telkom Kenya, Ericsson and NEC XON sign MoU to add additional 2000 4G sites to Telkom’s network
Kenya’s 4G subscriptions market share will more than double from 24.2% in 2021 to 53.6% by 2025. Local telcos have been playing a key role in ensuring these numbers are achieved with Safaricom and Telkom Kenya taking the lead.
After announcing plans to scale 80% of its network to 4G back in July, Telkom Kenya together with its partners, Ericsson, and NEC XON, this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding to add an additional 2,000 4G sites onto Telkom’s network, by 2023. The nationwide rollout of the new Telkom Kenya 4G sites, is part of the company’s long-term network expansion strategy, announced in August last year.
Still on matters telcos, MTN Uganda this week received consent from CMA Kenya to market its IPO to Kenyan Investors
We also covered so much news on African startups. South African fintech startup SOLMate announced the launch of its newly branded SOLMate prepaid debit cards. Kenya-based electric mobility startup Opibus raised US$7.5 million in equity and grant funding, the largest ever in electric mobility company in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moove, an African mobility fintech, signed an exclusive truck financing partnership with Lori Systems, an e-logistics company in Africa. Kenyan fintech startup Kwara partnered with insurtech company, Lami Technologies, to provide Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCO) members in Kenya with insurance products. Payhippo, a lending startup that is widening credit access for small businesses in Nigeria also raised $3 million in seed funding. Electric mobility startup Ampersand secured a $9 million loan facility from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to expand its operations in Rwanda and Kenya and Workpay, a Nairobi-based YC graduate expanding its operations to Nigeria. Four startups from Ghana also joined The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, a programme that supports innovators building digital commerce solutions. Standard Bank partnered with African fintech company Flutterwave to build digital payments solutions for the different markets the bank operates in.
Airtel Africa and UNICEF this week announced a five-year pan-African partnership to help accelerate the roll-out of digital learning through connecting schools to the internet. Kaspersky researchers disclosed the results of the global analysis of stalkerware programs - commercially available spyware often used for domestic abuse. Microsoft also expanded its global payments relationship with Worldpay from FIS®. At the ongoing Microsoft Ignite 2021, the company also announced some new updates to Teams.
The Mastercard Foundation, United States International University-Africa, and Arizona State University announced the launch of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also released its 19th annual analysis of the global payments industry reporting that the sector responded quickly to challenges posed by the pandemic, from e-commerce adoption to accelerating cash-to-noncash conversion.
In Nigeria, The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced grant funding for a feasibility study to help Nigerian company Ekovolt Telco expand internet access for underserved communities in the Niger Delta region. ExpandCart announced a collaboration with PayPal to unveil global cross-border sales opportunities in the Middle East and Africa (MENA). Helios Towers plc, the independent telecommunications infrastructure company, announced it has closed the acquisition of Airtel Africa’s passive infrastructure company in Madagascar, adding 490 sites to its portfolio.ZTE partnered with Airtel to boost digital transformation of voice network in Africa.
Other top stories of the week include Mastercard partnering with MoneyFellows, the digitized ROSCA (Rotating Saving and Credit Association) system, to offer MoneyFellows customers a range of new digital solutions and services and The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, The Communications Authority of Kenya, The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and the Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya at UK Government calling for unity of e-commerce enablers in Kenya.