Ed-tech startup ScholarX partners Airtel to launch new mobile learning platform

NIGERIA – ScholarX, an ed-tech startup, has partnered mobile operator Airtel to launch LearnAM, a new mobile learning platform that provides skills training content to improve learning outcomes. Launched in Nigeria in July 2016, the ScholarX app allows users to select parameters and scroll through lists of available scholarships that match their requirements. The initial version of the LearnAM app has been developed on KaiOS and will be available on affordable “smart-feature phones” with content in local dialects such as Pidgin English, Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa. LearnAM provides audio and…

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Ericsson and Angola’s Unitel ink three-year framework agreement for network expansion and evolution

ANGOLA – Mobile phone company Unitel S.A. and Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company Ericsson have signed a three-year frame agreement for the supply of Ericsson Radio System solutions and core solutions related services. According to a statement released to the media, Ericsson will help Unitel transform its existing 2G/3G/4G Radio Access Network (RAN) and core infrastructure and prepare the service provider for future 5G services in Angola. Ericsson believes the Radio & 5G ready core expansions will enable Unitel to meet increasing data demands of customers in Angolan market.…

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Safaricom names Sitoyo Lopokoiyit as M-Pesa Africa managing director

KENYA – Telecommunications company Safaricom has appointed Sitoyo Lopokoiyit as the M-Pesa Africa managing director effective April 1, 2021. Lopokoiyit has been the Chief Financial Services Officer of Safaricom for the last three years. In an announcement, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa said Safaricom will initiate the relevant talent sourcing processes to identify and appoint the next Financial Services leaders in due course but meanwhile, he will continue discharging the functions of the chief financial services office. Lopokoiyit joined Safaricom PLC from 1st April 2018, having previously served as…

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MTN opt for FinTechs in Nigeria for its customers to buy airtime following feud with Banks

NIGERIA – MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of telecommunications company MTN Group, has announced ten alternative channels for its customers to buy airtime for their mobile devices after commercial banks disallowed MTN subscribers to use their channels. All the commercial banks, except Zenith Bank which was connected directly to MTN, thereafter barred MTN from their banking channels, leaving many MTN subscribers stranded and frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime through USSD and bank apps amid the Easter celebrations.  “It will interest you to note that for the benefit of…

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Ethiopia issues new telecoms license application deadline

ETHIOPIA – The government of Ethiopia has once again extended the deadline for telecom companies to bid for new operating licences. In a communication through social media, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) said it had taken the eleventh-hour decision in response to requests from bidders, pushing the deadline from 5 April to 26 April, 2021 10am local time. ECA said on Twitter: “Due to requests by bidders to have more time to finalize their offer in light of Covid-19 market environment, ECA determined their question to be appropriate and the…

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Dimension Data acquires Acacia Cloud Solutions

SOUTH AFRICA – Information technology company Dimension Data (DiData) has acquired Acacia Cloud Solutions, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner and cloud implementation firm. In a statement, DiData says the acquisition cements its investment in cloud services and solutions that meet the digital transformation and hybrid cloud requirements of organisations in the Middle East and Africa. In addition, the company says the acquisition will expand its AWS capabilities and provide its clients with cloud managed services solutions that deliver relevant optimisation tools and speed to market. Commenting on the acquisition,…

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Mastercard Inc to invest US$100m in Airtel Africa’s mobile money unit

AFRICA – American financial service corporation Mastercard Inc will invest US$100 million in Airtel Africa’s mobile money operations valuing the business at US$2.64 billion, the London-listed company said in a press release to Reuters. Mastercard will hold a minority stake in Airtel Mobile Commerce, in line with Airtel Africa’s plan to monetise the mobile money business by selling up to a 25 per cent stake in the unit, the company said. In March 2021, TPG-owned The Rise Fund announced that they will invest US$200 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce (AMC)…

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Digital services provider Inq appoints Christian Wirtz as group CEO

SOUTH AFRICA – Pan-African digital services provider Inq, has appointed Dr Christian Wirtz as its new group CEO, effective from 1 April 2021. Dr Wirtz, currently an executive in group enterprise at MTN, will take over from founding group CEO Geoff Hardwick, who has stepped down from the role. According to a statement, Dr Wirtz is an industry veteran with a wealth of telco and enterprise business experience, having worked for more than two decades in the ICT sector across Africa and Europe. Founded in 2013, Inq is a cloud-based digital services…

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Fintech company Xerde launches new innovative funding solution for business

NIGERIA – Xerde, a fintech company, has announced the launch of its new application, Tudo, an innovative funding solution for businesses. The new service provides social funding solutions that will drive innovation and encourage digital transformation by offering a range of accessible solutions to organisations in Africa. The app was developed following demands for funding of social welfare initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic that hindered many small and large businesses and charities from operating and resulted in millions losing their livelihoods. Xerde technology is a startup that launched…

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Delivery startup Kwik Delivery launches plugins for merchants and eCommerce businesses

NIGERIA – Kwik Delivery, an on-demand delivery startup, has launched Magento Version 1.0 of the Kwik Delivery plugin to allow large and small merchants to offer its just-in-time delivery service to all their customers. This comes days after it released the version 2.0 of its WooCommerce plugin (version 2.0) for merchants and eCommerce businesses. “With only a few clicks, merchants and eCommerce businesses can provide quick, efficient, and affordable delivery services to their customers after purchases,” said Romain POIROT-LELLIG, Founder & CEO of Kwik Delivery. “That ease of business and…

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