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PRESENTED BY AFRICAN ALLIANCE
06 - 05 - 2019

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The Nigerian government has contracted a French data firm, Kpler to help curtail oil theft. Kpler will use satellite data and its proprietary software to monitor Nigerian waters round-the-clock, thereafter it will log information about illicit ship movements. The information will be provided to the Department of Petroleum Resources. One report estimates that Nigeria loses 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day -- $3 billion to $8 billion a year to oil thieves causing investors and multinationals to lose confidence in the oil sector.

MTN Ghana has begun paying 10.6 million mobile money subscribers the sum of USD3.3 million as interest earned for Q1 2019. This will bring the total amount in interest paid since 2016 to USD30.4 million. The interest payments are an incentive to get users to keep money in their wallets discouraging them from the allure of cash transactions. Ghana which is the network's fourth largest market has been a major growth driver accounting for 9% of its total revenues and is its largest mobile money market by subscribers. Last year MTN Ghana completed its IPO with 80% of applicants subscribing via mobile money.

In more MTN news, the company has made some leadership changes. It has announced a new Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, South Africa's former Deputy Minister of Finance who has been observing an interim period as chairman-designate. He will be replacing Phuthuma Nhleko, the Chairman/CEO for about two decades, by the end of the year. MTN also appointed Nigeria's Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to its board as a non-executive Director. Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki will now head the company's newly constituted board of international advisors. Other members of the group include former Ghanaian president, John Kufuor and former African Union commissioner for political affairs Aisha Abdullahi.

Africa is creating one of the world's largest single markets. What does this mean for entrepreneurs? by Gerald Chirinda

Interswitch has signed a £56 million deal with Bekoz UK Ltd for transportation ticketing in Nigeria. Both companies will provide a tap-and-go payment system for commuters across the country which includes cards and RFID devices/readers similar to the Oyster cards used in the UK. To address the issues of low connectivity and power, the RFID devices will be solar-powered and can work with limited connectivity. Nigeria's transportation industry is largely cash-driven especially road transportation.

The imperative for developing the digital economy at the sub-national level by Kola Aina.

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 NigeriaGet 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.
Here’s what you should know about Seedstars’ $100-million fund for African startups by Ventureburn

Investment platform Trove has raised an undisclosed amount from Ventures Platform. Trove allows users to invest in financial securities in Nigeria and in international markets (US Exchange traded funds & stocks of US companies). Trove is one of the beneficiaries of Labs by ARM, a corporate accelerator for fintechs by asset management firm ARM and managed by Ventures Platform. Ventures Platform is also an investor in PiggyVest, the savings platform which recently rebranded to provide users with more savings and investment products.

Africa-focused solar systems company, Mobisol has filed for insolvency in a German court. According to reports, the aim of the self-imposed insolvency is to allow the company restructure itself and to conclude negotiations with investors which started earlier this year. However, this article by the Financial Times paints a clearer picture submitting that the struggle the company had was with its economic metrics; competition and pricing. The insolvency only affects the German entity hence the subsidiaries will continue to serve customers led by the current MD (appointed in January 2019), Andrew Goodwin under a provisional trustee. However, a restructuring expert will be appointed as the MD for the duration of the court proceedings. Mobisol has reached more than 600,000 people in East Africa with its solar systems since 2013 and raised no less than $27.5 million though the FT estimates at least $80 million.

Freelance hiring platform, Findworka, is now receiving applications for the 2019 edition of the Saucecode hackathon. The event seeks to discover the finest technical talents in Nigeria (and eventually across Africa). Interested applicants can register here to participate by forming a team. The event holds on June 29 in Lagos, Nigeria and application closes on May 26. Learn more here.

Meet the Ghanaian lead engineer at NASA in charge of InSight’s robotic arm

Multichoice's decision not to carry any content with actor and singer Steve Hofmeyr appears to have backfired. The company made the decision following racist comments by the actor. Now fans are reportedly joining Hofmeyr to cancel their subscriptions and are getting rid of their DStv decoders. Hofmeyr made a video of himself destroying his decoder and offered R10,000 ($698) cash prize to encourage people to do the same. Movie producers who have featured Hofmeyr have strongly disagreed with Multichoice's decision and a few are considering legal action. Multichoice said last year that it lost about 100,000 subscribers to Netflix and continues to face stiff competition from the streaming giant so the impact of the Hofmeyr backlash if it continues, will be bad for the company.

From TechCabalTC Townhall: The State of Health Tech in Nigeria Theme PresentationA Legal Perspective on Health Tech in Nigeria

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