[Africa Tech Week] Duncan Mochama: Digital adoption in Africa supersedes other regions globally
Africa has been described as the fastest-growing continents in the world. This growth, according to an article published on Forbes has been fueled by a young rapidly urbanizing population.
‘’Africa is not only the fastest-growing continent on the planet, it’s the only region on the globe where more women than men choose to become entrepreneurs.’’ the article notes.
This week, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in partnership with Casablanca Finance City releasing a new report highlighting how the continent’s Digital adoption is superseding other regions globally, ‘’Although Africa currently trails other regions in terms of digital adoption and maturity, the pace of adoption and infrastructure buildout is happening faster on the continent than any other region in the world’’ the report said.
This high-paced growth has also seen so many tech startups come up to support African economies. From Nigeria, Kenya to South Africa, these startups are developing solutions to solve the different challenges African face. This week, for example, Nigeria’s fintech startup Flutterwave announced a new collaboration with PayPal to enable merchants to receive and send payments. This was not the first time PayPal was entering into a partnership with African companies. In 2018, the company also partnered with Safaricom to enable PayPal users to move funds between M-PESA and PayPal accounts, this was a huge boost to international eCommerce.
Still on matters fintech, Flourish Ventures, a global fintech venture capital firm announced a new office based in Nairobi to support fintech startups across Africa. Nigerian fintech startup Team Apt also launched an internship program to support women in Technology. The program is targeting female graduates especially those in the technology space with an aim to fill the gender disparity gap within The Nigerian Tech ecosystem especially the Fintech space. In South Africa, fintech startup Ukheshe together with Infobip developed South Africa's very first WhatsApp payment gateway for use by Telkom, one of the country's largest mobile operators.
In a bid to boost e-commerce among the micro and small enterprises in Africa, Mastercard Foundation in partnership with Catalyst Fund, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and BFA Global. Through this partnership, the 4 partners created a Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce program to support digital commerce companies in developing solutions that can better reach, serve, and benefit MSEs.
There was also some news on startup funding this week. African edtech startup Kabakoo raised from Zoom. The startup also launched the first no-code training in West Africa for a batch of twenty learners at its Bamako campus.
After a successful tenure as 1st vice-chairman of West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA), Nigeria this week finally emerged as Chairman of WATRA for 2021. Still in Nigeria, Telecom operators were asked to suspend their planned withdrawal of banks' USSD services. The operators had decided to suspend USSD services over a N42 billion debt owed by banks. Epos Now, a global software and payments technology company, also launched its cloud point of sale (POS) solution in Nigeria, making its first entry into the African market.
In Malawi, mobile network provider Malawi (TNM) Plc announced the appointment of Arnold Kweyani Mbwana as the new Chief Executive Officer of Telekom Networks Malawi.
Pan-African technology group Liquid Telecom also rebranded to Liquid Intelligent Technologies. The rebrand, according to a statement from the company is a culmination of its extensive business transformation from being a telecommunications and digital services provider to a full one-stop-shop technology group through a group-wide rebrand.