Issue no 822 - 8th April 2016

Top Story

SavannaSunrise opens up global online hotel booking in East Africa – B2C processes drive digital take-up and data use

Set up by two Norwegians, SavannaSunrise aims to put locally owned, mid-range hotels in Africa on the online map. These types of online B2C processes are probably going to be a spearhead of both digital take-up and data use. Russell Southwood spoke to one of the co-founders Havar Bauck about what it’s been doing, SavannaSunrise started with bricks and mortar:”My co-founder Endre Opdal and I set up a budget apartment hotel in 2013 next to Nairobi International Airport. There were no budget hotels and it was a simple idea. Neither of us were hoteliers”. “We’re marketeers and we both went…

Telecoms

Zuri appoints DESPEC in East Africa

Digital lifestyle devices brand Zuri (www.zuri.hk) has appointed DESPEC as a distribution partner for smartphones in East Africa. Under the terms of the deal, DESPEC will distribute Zuri products across…


Telecoms

Cote d’Ivoire: ARTCI revokes Comium, GreenN licences

Following months of speculation, the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications in Cote d’Ivoire (Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications de CI, ARTCI) has revoked the GSM licences held by local firms Comium…


Telecoms

Zimbabwe: No more room for new mobile operator licences but maybe MVNOs

Zimbabwe says it can no longer licence new mobile telephony companies due to limited spectrum, but some fear this could be a strategy by authorities to maintain a grip on…


Telecoms

Nigeria, telecommunication regulators sign agreement on telecommunications regulation

Abuja – The Federal Government and West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) on Wednesday in Abuja signed a Headquarter agreement on adopting a comprehensive framework for the regulation of telecommunications…


Telecoms

Orange completes the acquisition of the Liberian mobile operator Cellcom

Orange (www.Orange.com) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of 100% of Cellcom, Liberia’s leading mobile operator(1), through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire. Less than three months after signing…


Internet

NEC South Atlantic Cable System to connect Africa and South America

Angola Cables S.A and NEC Corporation have announced that the contract to build the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), the first subsea fiber optic cable system ever to connect Africa…


Internet

Kenya Power International, Safaricom pen power deal for FTTH

Safaricom Limited and Kenya Power, through its subsidiary Kenya Power International, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that the two say will see more Kenyans connected to broadband Internet.…


Internet

Webafrica unveils uncapped fibre-to-the-home prices

Webafrica has launched its new uncapped FTTH products, which it delivers over Vumatel, Fibrehoods, and Openserve’s networks. Webafrica has launched its new uncapped fibre-to-the-home products, offering speeds of between 2Mbps…


Internet

Uber plays down driver strike reports

Internet ride-sharing service Uber says reports about 200 of its partner drivers striking in Cape Town are exaggerated. Reports emerged on Wednesday night saying that about 200 Uber drivers stopped…


Internet

Q&A: Online training revives Somalia’s mental healthcare

In countries affected by conflict and political volatility, mental health problems are often serious and complex but poorly supported by public health services. Take Somalia. Here trauma is common, and…


Computing

Using technology to bridge the learning gap across Africa

Imagine a student in the rural Kenyan county of Garissa. She can be the most diligent and committed student in the classroom, powered by support at home and a willingness…


Computing

China's Huawei launches partnership with Techno Brain in Ethiopia

Huawei and Techno Brain on Thursday signed partnership agreement that officially launched Huawei Authorized Learning Partnership (HALP) in Ethiopia. Cooper Qu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Huawei Ethiopia, and…


Money Transfer

Branch.co raise $9.2 mln to boost digital financial services to mobile phone users in Africa

Branch International — the San Francisco-based firm also known as Branch.co — has snagged $9.2 million in Series A funding that will allow it to expand digital financial services in…


Money Transfer

MTN Zambia, Stanchart Bank launch Straight2Bank wallet

Standard Chartered Bank Zambia has partnered with MTN Mobile Money to launch the mobile money service Straight2Bank Wallet. Zambia is the sixth market in Africa to benefit from Standard Chartered's…


Money Transfer

More Rwandans paying their taxes using MobiCash

Ever since the start of its partnership with Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) to collect both fiscal and non-fiscal revenues of its behalf in May last year, MobiCash has provided significant…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Orange invests in African e-commerce leader Africa Internet Group

Orange has announced the acquisition of a 75 million-euro equity interest in Africa Internet Group, joining AXA, Goldman Sachs and longstanding investors MTN Group, Millicom and Rocket Internet. Through this…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Ugandan motorcycle app SafeBoda raises $227k from GIF

Ugandan startup SafeBoda, which operates an Uber-style app for motorcycle taxis with added safety features, has raised GBP160,000 (US$227,000) in funding from the London-based Global Inovation Fund (GIF) to help…


Digital Content

Uganda: Top Companies Win Big in Social Media Awards

Last Wednesday, several companies and parastatals were recognised for their use of social media during the annual Social Media Awards. The awards, according to organisers, seek to reward those individuals…


Digital Content

Africa overtakes US and UK in using Twitter for political conversations

Twitter is 'coming of age' in Africa with the platform being widely used for political debate. Analysis by Portland Communications found that almost 1 in 10 of the most popular…


Digital Content

Could a smartphone app really help combat crime in SA?

South Africa has a brutal crime problem and it affects everyone. The rapes and murders of teenage girls in Khayelitsha (one of Cape Town’s poorest areas) and Tokai (one of…


Digital Content

In Kenya, Banned Music Video Celebrating Same-Sex Love Stays on YouTube

During February 2016, the month of love, a group of artists from Kenya known as Art Attack released a music video called ‘Same Love (Remix), a remix of Macklemore and…


More

Opportunities

She Leads Africa is now taking applications for their Accelerator programA strong female presence in the entrepreneurial/tech world is something today’s (or any day’s) society lacks. Yes, we have come…


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People

Paris Mashile is back at Icasa The former chairman of communications regulator Icasa, Paris Mashile, has been reappointed to the authority’s decision-making council with immediate effect. News of Mashile’s return…