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Abidjan has Become the 16th African City to Host Uber

Uber Abidjan

After 12 months of talks with regulators,the ride-hailing service has officially launched in the Ivorian capital. This marks the company’s first foray into Francophone Africa where it is hosting a series of training sessions to bring local drivers on board. Uber’s launch in Abidjan follows a pledge by Lits in October to venture deeper into the continent. Since launching in Johannesburg in August 2013, the $75 billion platform says it has expanded to 16 sub-Saharan African cities, with some 2.7m active monthly riders and just over 59,000 drivers across the continent. Uber is now available in major African hubs including Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos and has moved into secondary cities including Benin City, Nigeria, and Kumasi, Ghana.

SOURCE: AFRICAN BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Strengthening Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Africa

African Economic Conference

The annual African Economic Conference (AEC), is jointly organized by the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Programme, to discuss pertinent issues affecting the continent. The 2019 AEC was held in Egypt and hosted by the Bank on the theme; “Jobs, entrepreneurship and capacity development for African youth” and runs from 2-4 December. Turning the youth bulge into opportunities has been the focus of the African Development Bank’s game-changing approach to job creation, entrepreneurship, and capacity development. In recognition of the crucial role that entrepreneurship plays in the creation of high-quality jobs, the Bank developed its Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) Strategy (2016-2025). The Strategy aims to create 25 million jobs for African youth over the next decade as well as equipping 50 million youth with a mix of hard and soft skills to increase their employability and their entrepreneurial success rate.

SOURCE: FORBES AFRICA

Twitter CEO Returned from an African Startup Tour Ready to Go Back

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey says he’ll spend three to six months somewhere on the continent next year. Dorsey had spent much of November meeting with startups and people in the tech industry in South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana. But investors have appeared less convinced of the executive’s intentions over the following days. Twitter’s shares have declined since Dorsey announced his plans — down about 2.4% since Nov. 27 — and his other company, payments firm Square, has fallen almost 4% compared to a 1.3% drop in the S&P 500 Index. Dorsey’s Square fits in well with Africa’s embrace of mobile payments, though the company doesn’t currently have an office there.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

The High Spam Rates across Many of Africa’s Fast-growing Mobile User Markets

High Spam Rates

Being a mobile phone user in Ethiopia comes at the risk of receiving nearly 120 spam texts per month—the highest rate globally. And it’s not just Ethiopia as South Africa and Kenya also rank in the top three for countries where users receive the most spam texts across the world, data from Truecaller, the Stockholm-based caller identification app, shows. In total, African countries make up nine of the top 20 ranked countries for spam texts received. The rankings are based on data on spam texts received by users between Jan. 1, 2019 and Oct. 30, 2019. Users in Nigeria, Africa’s largest mobile market, receive around 65 spam texts monthly despite a regulatory clampdown in 2016 allowing users to activate “do not disturb” features to block spam texts. But, as Quartz Africa reported, a key flaw in the regulation allowed telecoms operators, who are major spammers themselves, argue that they were exempted.

SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA

Business Leaders Dominate New African Magazine’s List of 100 Most Influential Africans

100 Most Influential Africans

Making the list is the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, as well as Alaa Salah, the 22 year-old Sudanese protester now referred to as Lady Liberty, a student of architectural engineering who became the face of the people’s revolution in Sudan that brought down Omar Al-Bashir. Two sporting heroes also make this year’s feature, Siya Kolisi, the first black captain of South Africa’s national rugby team, who were crowned world champions in November, and, unsurprisingly, Kenyan world record breaker Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon runner. The December edition has four covers: Amina J Mohammed, deputy secretary general of the United Nations; Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines; Thando Hopa, model and activist; and Siya Kolisi.

SOURCE: NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE

South Africans Charged an Arm and a Leg for Data

South Africa’s Vodacom Group and MTN Group

South Africa’s Vodacom Group and MTN Group could face prosecution if they do not agree with the Competition Commission in the next two months to lower data prices, the watchdog said in findings from an inquiry published on Monday. The data services inquiry was launched in August 2017 in response to a request from the minister of economic Development and after complaints from consumers about high data costs. In its final report, the Commission recommended that the two mobile operators must independently reach agreement with the competition watchdog on substantial reductions on tariff levels, especially prepaid monthly bundles, within two months of the release of the report. It said the preliminary evidence suggests that there is scope for price reductions in the region of 30% to 50%.

SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

South African Airways Applies for Business Rescue

South African Airways

The board of the ailing airline says this is the optimal mechanism to restore confidence in SAA, safeguard the good assets of SAA and help to restructure and reposition the entity into one that is stronger, more sustainable and able to grow and attract an equity partner. “Our desire is that the restructured airline will mark the beginning of a new era in South African aviation and must be able to bring in millions more tourists into SA, help create more jobs in tourism and related sectors of the economy and work with other African airlines to underpin and service the integration of African markets and improve dramatically intra-African trade and travel.”

SOURCE: DAILY MAVERICK

Nigerian Credit Startup Heads to Brazilian Market

Nigerian Credit Startup

Migo, formerly known as Mines, has raised a US$20 million Series B funding round to finance its expansion to Brazil and continued growth in its home market. Founded in 2014, Migo provides a Credit-as-a-Service digital platform that enables institutions such as banks, telecoms and retailers in emerging markets to offer credit products to their customers, with no smartphones required. These companies integrate Migo in their apps and Migo underwrites customers to provide them with a digital account and credit line. The customers can use this credit line to make purchases from a merchant or withdraw cash without the need for point-of-sale hardware or plastic cards. Migo has already underwritten more than seven million customers to date, while an estimated 90 million adults in Nigeria and 100 million adults in Brazil without access to credit means there is a massive area of untapped growth. Migo enables some of the largest retail enterprises in Africa – from mobile operators like 9mobile and MTN to payment companies Interswitch and Flutterwave to banks like Bank of Industry and Fidelity Bank.

SOURCE: DISRUPT AFRICA

Africa’s Energy Sector is a Catalyst for Growth and Development Across the Continent

Africa’s Energy Sector

The African Energy Chamber launched its first annual African Energy Outlook for 2020. The report, compiled to provide key insight on what sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas industry can expect to see next year, also doubles as an overview of the role the energy sector stands to play in developing competing economies. Though the continent’s oil and gas sector was significantly impacted by the oil price crash, 2019 has proven to be a year of recovery for many African economies. With many continuing works on projects that were previously halted or cancelled, some developing new large-scale projects and others working to increase their exploration and production activities; the continent is undoubtedly poised to see accelerated growth in the years to come.

SOURCE: VENTURES AFRICA

How the EPL Helps to Market African Brands

 African Brands

It’s hard to miss the SportPesa logo at an Everton FC home soccer match in the English Premier League. The Kenyan sport betting firm’s logo is slapped on the team’s shirts and across the stadium as part of a five-year $62 million deal as Everton’s main sponsor. The league’s popularity has held firm even though the cost of broadcasting league games has rapidly spiked. SuperSport, the main broadcasters of the Premier League in most sub-Saharan African countries is estimated to have paid $381.3 million to air games for the 2016-2019 broadcast cycle—44% more than it did for the 2013-2016 cycle. In fact, airing Premier League games alone has become a cornerstone marketing asset in the pay TV business across Africa.

SOURCE: QUARTZ AFRICA