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AFRICA'S TOP 10 STORIES:

AUGUST 2020

5G GAINS FOOTHOLD IN SOUTHERN AFRICA, STARTS POSITIONING FOR FUTURE AFRICA ROLLOUT
5G proved to be a popular topic during July with state institutions, as well as telecoms service providers announcing key 5G developments and offers in South Africa. From offering mobile providers an invitation to apply for high spectrum licenses to announcing partnerships that will provide the first stand-alone 5G network in South Africa, 5G technology is positioned for broader rollout across the continent.
SIGNIFICANT FINANCING SECURED FOR
MOZAMBIQUE OIL AND GAS FIELDS
The temporary lull in investor interest around Mozambique’s northern oil and gas fields following the Covid-19 crisis has come to an end. US$15.8 billion of approximately US$20 billion has been  secured through large-scale financing deals between a consortium of foreign oil companies and various financiers, including several South African banks.
DRONE USE IN SOUTH AFRICA ON THE RISE,
LEADING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF PROFESSIONAL BODY
With drones gaining wider industry acceptance, South Africa has taken the first step towards formalizing the drone industry through the formation of the Drone Council aimed at collaborating with the government on regulations for the use of drones.

Source: Drone Industry Insights, 2019

AIRTEL AFRICA EXPANDS MOBILE MONEY REACH
INTO CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

The fintech and mobile money apps industry is expanding into southern Africa, while also rolling out market interconnection across greater distances. Through its partnership with southern Africa money service provider Makuru, Airtel Africa will enable customers to transfer money intra-Africa.


Mobile money agent, Gulu, Northern Uganda. Airtel and MTN have been active in the Central and East African markets for some time and have played a role toward increasing mobile connectivity in Africa.

Image courtesy: Flickr/WorldRemitComms

KENYA AND SOUTH AFRICA MODERNISE DIGITAL COMMERCE REGULATIONS
IN BID TO CASH IN ON GROWING DIGITAL ECONOMY
Facing serious budget deficits in recent months, many countries across the continent have been forced to take a more active approach to regulation and tax alternative income sources. Kenya and South Africa, two of Africa’s largest economies have undertaken reform aimed specifically at better regulating and taxing their growing digital industries.

Source: Connecting Africa, Statista; 2019

NASPERS INCUBATOR, NASPERS FOUNDRY,
SUPPORTS SOUTH AFRICAN AGRITECH STARTUP

Aerobotics, a South African agritech company, has secured US$5.6 million through Naspers’ startup incubator, Naspers Foundry, to help pioneer the use of artificial intelligence in agriculture. The subscription-based model will assist farmers in cutting out lengthy and costly data collection through its AI tools, allowing digitally enabled tree-counting, e-inspections of tree health and e-reports on missing trees.

The Agritech Africa International Exhibition & Conference 2019 at Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi. East Africa has been a fervent early adopter of agritech technologies, including the use of drones for surveying.

Image courtesy: Flickr/The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

DIGITAL TAXI SERVICES REFINE THEIR
AFRICAN SERVICE OFFERINGS
In order to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, digital taxi companies are refining their market offerings across Africa, including price reductions and broadening the amount of vehicles on the roads in an effort to increase user accessibility.
ETHIOPIA SHOWCASES FIRST LOCALLY ASSEMBLED
ELECTRIC CAR IN ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR THE REGION
The Ethiopian government has announced a partnership with Korean car manufacturer Hyundai  and its local subsidiary, Marathon Motors, to assemble the country’s first electric car. Marathon has invested  US$13.9 million into a local assembly plant with an annual production capacity of 10 000 cars.

Source: African Business Magazine, 2019

NIGERIA SIGNS CONTRACTS FOR EXPANSION
OF LOCAL TELECOMS INFRASTRUCTURE
The Nigerian government has announced the signing of two contracts with major implications for its long-term telecoms outlook.  With a $325 million loan from the China ExIm bank, the government can  expand its Galaxy Fibre infrastructure in the north of the country allowing the implementation of phase two of the National Information Communications Technology Infrastructure Backbone (NICTIB). ATC Nigeria, the country’s leading telecoms infrastructure construction company, has also signed a contract with Indian firm Salasar Engineering to expand its portfolio with an additional 189 telecoms towers.
KENYA IDENTIFIED AS NEXT BIG GROWTH MARKET
FOR SMART TVS AND STREAMING SERVICES
Kenya has played host to a number of new developments in its entertainment sector, highlighting its new position as a middle-income country. Not only has MultiChoice announced that it would be launching its new Showmax Pro streaming service in Kenya, the Chinese home appliance manufacturing giant Syinix also announced that it will  launch its first HDR, Android TV in the country.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

Long awaited South African data protection laws come into effect giving locally-based firms a 12-month grace period to comply with the act or face severe penalties


Italian prosecutors seek jail sentences for Shell and Eni executives for their role in an alleged bribery case, which saw foreign companies pay millions in bribes to Nigerian officials


Ethiopia begins filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without an agreement of set water flow targets, which could wreak havoc on the agricultural industries of Egypt and Sudan


 

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