[Africa Tech Week] Growing continental remittances and footprint
This has perhaps been one of the busiest weeks for Africa tech companies seeking to increase connectivity as rolling of infrastructure and boosting existing network services took center stage buoyed by growing demand for ICT services especially in underserved areas and increased cloud uptake.
In its largest infrastructure build project to date, African neutral data centre provider has announced that it will be expanding the Teraco Isando Campus. Increased demand for additional data centre capacity is being driven by cloud uptake and enterprise organisations wanting to access the Teraco platform. Experts have positioned cloud as the future of Africa businesses with institutions like World Bank, Huawei and Microsoft investing heavily in its uptake.
On the other hand, Tunisia's telecommunication company, Tunisie Telecom has announced the upgrade of Tunisie Telecom’s international IP transit connectivity through the activation of a 100G port at Sparkle Sicily Hub in Palermo. The new 100G port represents Tunisie Telecom’s main trunk to Europe and responds to the fast growing demand of advanced IP services and digital content in Tunisia. The telco has previously partnered with Alcatel-Lucent to transform the carrier’s voice and data through ultra-broadband access services for residential and enterprise customers throughout Tunisia.
Still on matters connectivity, Honeywell International Inc. this week confirmed the first installations of its JetWave™ satellite communications hardware in Africa, bringing a high-speed, global and consistent in-flight Wi-Fi solution to business jets on the African continent for the first time. The global technology company has in the recent past attracted numerous clients in Africa ranging from aviation to oil and gas.
Yahsat, the UAE-based global satellite operator, has announced plans to launch YahClick this year in five new markets in West Africa. The service will be available in Senegal and Gambia through service partner Arc Telecom, in Ivory Coast through CEE-NET, Isocel in The Benin, and through both Teledata and Comsys in Ghana.
In the partnership and expansion frontier, GIMAC, the regional electronic money transfer platform of Central Africa and TerraPay, the world’s first mobile payments switch have signed a strategic partnership agreement that will strengthen the remittances ecosystem in Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa region. For Terrapay, this is its latest forays in Africa in the cross border remmitance sphere, having preciously succesfully rolled the service in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and partnered with Xpress Money and Instant Cash. It has been feted for driving remmitances in Sub Saharan Africa.
Dutch based Tom Tom company specializing in traffic, navigation and mapping products, has strengthened its position in Africa by buying out the minority shareholders of TomTom Africa (Pty) Ltd. Consequently, TomTom increases its ownership from 76 to 100 per cent.
On the other hand, WatchBox, the global ecommerce platform for the buying, selling, and trading of pre-owned luxury timepieces has announced its expansion into South Africa through a strategic partnership with Topwatch, the region's premiere purveyor of pre-owned luxury watches.
Still in South Africa, walletdoc, a fintech startup, has launched a new way for businesses to collect more money from customers using easy and secure online credit and debit card payments on invoices and statements.
And in the capital markets space, MTN Nigeria’s bid to be listed on the Nigerian stock exchange has been approved to go ahead after weeks of delay by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The telco has been planning a public offer to restructure debts and fund local investments in Nigeria with its local currency.
The Anchor Group, a South African financial services holding company, this week became the ninth firm to have a secondary listing on A2X. Other companies that have listed in the platform include Growthpoint, Ascendis Health, Huge Group and Afrimat.
In the telcos, Telecom Egypt and Orange Egypt have announced the signing of a renewal of their international telecom services agreement. It is expected to contribute EGP 4 billion to Telecom Egypt’s top line over the tenure of the agreement. It will also enable Orange Egypt to continue providing international services to its customers. Earlier this week ,the two companies signed an agreement to provide infrastructure and transmission services for three years.
In the agriculture sector, Ghana smallholder cocoa farmers are set to benefit from an information service that embraces digital technology and satellite imagery to create individual Farm Development Plans that will guide farmers on improving productivity over a seven-year period.