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5 - 11 - 2018

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According to a press release from Econet Media, the company is streamlining its direct-to-home satellite television service, Kwese. This means there will be a reduction of channels available on the current bouquet and it will now offer only free-to-air channels, religious and free news channels at a small fee. The company will now focus on three core services; Kwese Free Sports (free-to-air sports channel), Kwesé iflix (video-on-demand service) and Kwesé Play (Roku-powered, internet-enabled decoder). Econet says it is doing so to align with changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector, and growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband in Africa. The move is, however, not surprising. In September, Multichoice announced that it was discontinuing its mobile TV service stating that it didn't make sense to maintain a dedicated network for the service alone when it could offer better service via DStv Now, its online streaming product. This ties into a wider conversation about the future of cable TV as consumers are switching to broadband TV because it offers more choices and is cost-effective. Although given the relatively low internet penetration across Africa, cable TV operators have not really felt the effect of the changing dynamics. Perhaps operators on the continent are now staring the future of the industry in the face due to growing internet penetration?

Jokkolabs, a francophone network of 12 hubs across 9 countries has partnered with AfriLabs. This implies that hubs in the Jokkolabs network have become members of Afrilabs and both organizations will work together to develop programs for their networks. This partnership brings the total number of hubs in the Afrilabs network to 135 across 36 African countries.

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Nigerian edtech startup, Edves, has received a seed investment of $120,000 from CcHub's Growth Capital fund and Chinook Capital Limited. It is so far one of the four beneficiaries of the Growth Capital fund. Edves provides a school management system to primary and secondary schools. It won the 2018 Seedstars Global Edtech prize in April and was awarded a $50,000 grant.

The Nigerian government is asking Google to extend its public Wifi program to markets across the country. According to a statement attributed to the Vice President - Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Google Station will launch in the following markets in the coming months; Onitsha Main Market; Gbagi Market (Ibadan), Kuto Market (Abeokuta), Kaduna Central Market, Sura Market (Lagos) as well as the international airports in Lagos and Abuja by the end of the year. The government believes internet access will enhance businesses and improve access to information. Google Station launched in July in Nigeria, its first time in Africa and it is currently available in six locations in Lagos.

The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology has announced the 14 fintech startups that will participate in the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa program. 9 of the 14 startups are based in Africa and they will all receive mentoring and training sessions on topics like business mapping, risk and capital etc.

Following its $1.25 billion pre-IPO funding, Airtel Africa has constituted its Board of Directors. The new board will include members of the company and its investors. Airtel believes the new board members will help close any capacity gap that exists owing to their expertise in software development, financial markets as well as telecoms and ICT.

Cisco South Africa has launched an incubation hub in Pretoria. The hub aims to prepare SMMEs for the digital economy by providing them with technology infrastructure and training. At least 30 SMMEs will be trained annually and more hubs are expected in 3 locations in South Africa.

According to Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO at blood delivery startup, LifeBank, average delivery time across central Lagos has improved by about 76% today compared to 2015. Temie tweeted that average delivery time was about 3 hours three years ago but it has now improved to 44 minutes. She added that the company can get blood and other essential products to hospitals (across central Lagos) between 19 minutes and 53 minutes.

Online university, Nexford has been approved by the Higher Education Licensure Commission in Washington DC. Nexford closed its $4m seed round in April and will launch its pilot program in Nigeria and Egypt in January 2019.

Rwanda has signed an agreement with the Alibaba Group to establish an Electronic World Trade Platform hub in the country. Alibaba will work with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to help Rwandan SMEs sell their products to Chinese consumers through Alibaba’s online marketplaces. Additionally, Alibaba’s travel services platform, Fliggy, and the RDB will work together to promote Rwanda as a tourist destination.

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin has been selected as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes for 2018. Through her organization Pearls Africa Foundation, she teaches disadvantaged young girls in Nigeria how to code. You can vote for Abisoye to win the 2018 CNN Hero of the Year award here.

You are invited to TC Townhall, Fintech 2.0, holding in partnership with Softcom on November 30. The forum will take a look at the next generation of financial technologies in Nigeria. Speakers include Adia Sowho (MD, Mines.io), Gbenga Agboola (CEO, Flutterwave), Titi Odunfa (MD, Sankore Investments), Dr. Yinka David West (Academic Director, LBS), Yvonne Johnson (fintech angel investor) and Yomi Adedeji (CEO, Softcom). Limited seats are available, signup here to be notified when registrations go live.

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