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Other News from around Africa

  1. Why Motorbike Apps Are Scrambling For Africa: Traffic jams are the great waster of time across Africa. Young men with no jobs got the motorbike taxi industry going – and now provide a service to millions of people. In some African countries it is still forbidden, but Rwanda, for example, is now encouraging start-ups to take up the challenge of helping the government regulate an industry in which most riders are self-employed. Some estimates suggest sub-Saharan Africa’s motorbike taxi market could be worth around $80bn, and investors are keenly backing start-ups committed to advancing “Uber-isation” within the sector. Firms are trying to build up a massive pan-African user network as quickly as markets will allow. Then, once critical scale is achieved, they plan to monetise their networks of users by selling them useful services like identity verification, as well as financial services such as mobile payments, credit facilities and micro-insurance.
  2. MTN Nigeria has grown its revenues for the first 9 months of 2019 to N854.9 billion ($2.4 billion) as it looks like to beat revenue figures from 2018. During the same period last year, revenues were N764.5 billion ($2.1 billion); while its full-year revenue later stood at over N1 trillion ($2.8 billion), becoming the first non-state owned company in Nigeria to reach the trillion naira range. Its 2019 revenue looks set to exceed last year’s. So far, MTN’s revenue growth this year has been driven by strong voice and data sales. It has also witnessed interesting growth in its handset and accessories business. Revenue for this activity grew to N848.8 million ($2.34 million), up from N177.3 million ($489,103) in 2018. MTN now has 61.6 million subscribers in the country and wants to expand its 4G network to reach more subscribers.
  3. Meanwhile, MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa says MTN is placing job creation and small and medium enterprise (SME) development at the centre of its future plans in all countries in which it operates. The company has committed to creating jobs across its South African business and the rest of the world that will cover both operational and functional roles.

  1. Jumia Kenya has renewed its partnership with the Postal Corporation of Kenya. Under the partnership, Jumia’s customers will be able to pick their deliveries from different postal outlets across the country. The ecommerce company renewed the deal ahead of its annual Black Friday promo where it typically sees a surge in order transactions. The Postal Corporation of Kenya currently operates 625 postal outlets and serves about 70,000 people per outlet according to Postmaster General, Dan Kagwe.
  2. The African Development Bank’s board approved a 125% capital increase to $208 billion on Thursday, the largest in the lender’s history. The decision completes 2 years of negotiations to give the Abidjan-based bank greater scope to meet the continent’s funding needs. The last increase was agreed in 2010.  The extra capital would help the bank finance energy, climate, and agricultural projects, as well as support infrastructure needed for the success of a continental free-trade zone. The AfDB’s shareholders are 54 African nations and 26 non-African donor countries. Part of its lending to poorer countries is at concessionary rates, largely financed by Western donors. Each member country appoints a governor to the board whose voting power is proportionate to the amount of capital contributed by the country.
  3. The East African Community (EAC) has introduced policies for the establishment of special fashion days and weeks in the region. Officials say the declarations would enhance local consumption of East Africa-made products and enhance our productive capacity in the textile sector. However, the initiative has been greeted with mixed reactions. While some residents welcome the idea of wearing of new locally made attires, others claim that their prices are much higher (compared to imported used clothes) which discourage buyers. The latest declarations will be implemented in all EAC member states – Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and South Sudan. And the annual fashion week will be hosted in all member states on a rotational basis each year.
  4. Uganda’s ministry of finance and the central bank have urged consumers not to use cryptocurrencies, saying the government does not recognise them as legal tender. Uganda has joined dozens of countries trying to deter people from buying things online with digital currencies. Central banks around the world have expressed concerns about the increasing use of currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are created by a complex mathematical digital formula. Bitcoin, in particular, has fluctuated wildly in value. The Ugandan government has warned people that most cryptocurrencies are not backed by assets or government guarantees, which can make them worthless. The finance ministry has also warned cryptocurrency users in Uganda that they are not entitled to any consumer protection
  5. Meanwhile, the City of Johannesburg’s server has been hit by a Ransome hacker. The demand was 4 Bitcoin (about 450,000R) and was refused by the City Council.
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Alastair Tempest

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