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30 - 04 - 2019

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Cable company, MainOne has announced that it is on schedule to launch its services in Ivory Coast by October. The company says work is ongoing at the cable landing station and data centre in the Grand-Bassam technology free trade zone in Abidjan. MainOne received a major investment from the Orange Group in 2018 to boost internet connectivity in francophone Africa, the partnership covers the construction of stations in Abidjan and Dakar. When completed, these stations will be a boost to the digital economy in francophone Africa which has seen an increase in interest from investors. However, there's a need for a functioning and competitive marketplace for citizens to enjoy the full benefits of new internet infrastructure.

According to a report, Tanzania wants to limit the number of SIM cards an individual can own to one per network. The regulator says it is doing this to boost security and to curtail cybercrime. Subscribers now have to apply in writing to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority if they want multiple numbers from a single network. Earlier this year, the Rwandan Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a similar directive limiting SIM card ownership to three per national ID for a single network.
Kenyan fintech company, 4G Capital which provides credit to micro and small businesses has opened its Uganda office. The firm was granted a money-lenders’ license from the Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority (UMRA) and also received funding from FSD Uganda for a joint research on the credit gap across the nation. 4G Capital launched in Kenya in 2013 and has established 70 customer branches to date with $21 million disbursed over the course of a year.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has started registration for the issuance of the 10-year E-passport which was announced in January. To get the new passport, applicants must now have the National Identity Number. The old passports will continue to be issued at the state offices while HQ will issue only the new ones. The new passports according to the NIS are damage-proof and weather-friendly, have enhanced security features and allow for self-tracking.

South Africa's telco regulator, ICASA is taking the Department of Communications to court to force the latter to release funds allocated to it. The funds is being delayed due to a dispute between the communications minister and the regulator over 5G spectrum. ICASA collects about R1.3 billion ($90.6M) in license fees yearly and gets an annual allocation of about R400 million ($27.9M).
According to TechWeez, the Kenyan goverment is seeking a replacement for Safaricom's CEO, Bob Collymore, in anticipation of his retirement. Collymore is expected to step down as CEO position by August most likely due to his health issues, the report says. The government wants a Kenyan to replace Collymore who is British and was born in Guyana. Collymore has been CEO at Safaricom since 2010.
The health tech sector in Nigeria is 15 years old. In this time, US$7.88 million has been sunk into the sector in funding to date, with the earliest funding received in 2014. There's more in The State of Health Tech in Nigeria. Get the full report here. We understand that there may have been unsuccessful attempts by interested parties to buy the report and will like to know what the challenges are. Send a reply to this email and we will attend to it. Kindly note that we are also accepting bank transfers for purchase of the reports. If you'd like to purchase the report through a bank transfer, also send a reply to this mail and we will attend to your request..

A Startup Blink report has ranked South Africa as Africa's top startup ecosystem. Also, the report ranked Lagos as the African city with the best startup ecosystem. Download the report here to read the rest.

Despite concerns regarding Kenya's National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), the project appears to be gaining traction. About 20 million Kenyans (38% of the population) have now signed up for the program. The government recently approved a data protection bill to allay fears about the project which will collect biometrics and DNA information to create a single population register.

USAID and Kingston Capital have reached an agreement for the former to provide a  guarantee of R114 million ($7.9M) towards the company's R400 million ($27.9M) Fund Two. The funds will be invested in early stage startups including fintech, Internet of Things and Insuretech startups etc.

Clean Technology Hub is holding a meetup on May 14 to connect stakeholders in the renewable and technology sectors in Nigeria. Find out more and register here.
Applications are now open for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Check it out and get in here.

From TechCabalCurbing Losses in the Food Value Chain in AfricaTo Drive Inclusion, Fintech Solutions Should Focus on Last Mile Users

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