News update Telecoms and ICT in Africa - Issue no 1013 on 21 February 2020

Top Story

Legislating Africa’s digital economy – Rwanda commits to protect personal data and Uganda to license digital platform drivers

21 February 2020

African countries have some tough choices to make about legislating the new digital economy. Africa’s “big men” have often seemed to want to choke off social media with taxes, leaving the suspicion that they don’t like too many people getting to express themselves. Russell Southwood looks at two recent pieces of proposed legislation (in Rwanda and Uganda) and sees how they measure up. Paula Ingabire, the Rwandan Minister for ICT and Innovation, plans to present a personal data protection bill to Rwandan legislators next March:"We will submit the bill to parliament next March and ask legislators to approve it as…

Telecoms

South Africa: Unions To Take Legal Action Against Telkom’s Retrenchment Plans

21 February 2020

The South African Workers Union (SACU) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have reportedly threatened to either take legal action or down tools against Telkom in a bid to prevent…


Telecoms

Liberia signs up to free roaming under West Africa project

21 February 2020

Liberia has signed the Accession Act to Free Roaming in the West African Sub-Region in line with the Abidjan Protocol, reports Frontpageafrica. The Abidjan Protocol will make free roaming a…


Telecoms

Safaricom to consider Huawei as supplier for 5G network

21 February 2020

Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator Safaricom will consider awarding a contract to China’s Huawei as it rolls out its fifth generation (5G) network this year, its acting chief executive said Wednesday.…


Telecoms

Zambia could offer fifth cellular operator licence

21 February 2020

Patrick Mutimunshi, director general at the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), has reportedly suggested that a fifth mobile network operator (MNO) concession could be offered in the country.…


Telecoms

In brief

21 February 2020

TEOCO, the leading provider of analytics, assurance and optimization solutions to more than 300 communication service providers (CSPs) and OEMs worldwide, has been selected by MTN Group, the largest mobile…


Internet

ITU Sets Africa’s Satellite List Submission Deadline

21 February 2020

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set a May 22 deadline for African countries on the submission of the proposed number of satellites which are to be launched in space.…


Internet

Now let’s build broadband, says Namibia

21 February 2020

According to recent reports in the southern African press, Namibia's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) last week launched its National Broadband Policy together with what it calls an…


Internet

Google is ending the free WiFi programme it launched in SA last November

21 February 2020

After announcing free WiFi hotspots in the form of Google Station in South Africa just three months ago, Google on Monday revealed that it will end the programme this year.…


Internet

US tech companies should push to remove sanctions on Sudan

21 February 2020

Last year, Sudanese citizens deposed a totalitarian regime that had ruled for more than 30 years. For the participants in the peaceful protests, social media platforms were key tools for…


Computing

Somalia: First ICT Licensing Regime Introduced

21 February 2020

National Communications Authority (NCA) of Somalia has today announced the introduction of a unified licensing framework (ULF) in Somalia after consultation with the stakeholders. The new licensing framework, guided by…


Computing

African crowdsolving startup Zindi scales 10,000 data scientists

21 February 2020

Cape Town based startup Zindi has registered 10,000 data-scientists on its platform that uses AI and machine learning to crowdsolve complex problems in Africa. Founded in 2018, the early-stage venture…


Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

What the new BEE changes mean for South Africa’s ICT industry

21 February 2020

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has published new draft regulations for the ICT sector, promising a big shake-up for the industry. The draft regulations propose to set…


Money Transfer

Standard Bank launches DigiMe to give customers more security on the app

21 February 2020

Standard Bank has launched DigiMe as an innovative solution designed to empower customers with control over their app banking activities. The innovative solution makes use of the latest biometric and…


Money Transfer

Vodacom see African growth in nano-loans

21 February 2020

Vodacom Group sees its African financial-services business as a cornerstone of growth as the wireless carrier expands into products such as funeral insurance and loans of as little as $2.…


Money Transfer

MEA banking, finance industry forks out US$12.68-bn on ICT

21 February 2020

The Middle East and Africa's banking and finance industry spent US$12.68-billion on ICT in 2019, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research, consulting,…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Safaricom seeks partners for billion-dollar Ethiopia entry

21 February 2020

Safaricom has opened talks with undisclosed investors to form a consortium that will this year bid for one of two Ethiopian telecoms licences due to the high entry costs that…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Lesotho: Regulator clarifies reports on ‘strained relations’ with Vodacom

21 February 2020

The Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) has released a statement clarifying recent local media reports ‘alluding to strained relations’ with telecoms operator Vodacom Lesotho. Firstly, in August 2019 the regulator says…


Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Airtel Africa Reveals Results Of Malawi IPO

21 February 2020

Airtel Africa has revealed that the initial public offering (IPO) of its Malawi business was a success, as the offering was reportedly fully subscribed. It had previously been reported that…


Digital Content

#DeKlerkMustFall: South Africans debate SONA, the EFF and apartheid

21 February 2020

SONA 2020 might be over already, but South Africans are still weighing in on the events that interrupted Parliament last week when the EFF called for the removal of former…


Digital Content

Nigeria: How Nigeria's Police Used Telecom Surveillance to Lure & Arrest Journalists

21 February 2020

New York — As reporters for Nigeria's Premium Times newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ, they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular…


Digital Content

Airtel launched Airtel TV in Uganda

21 February 2020

Airtel TV is the new platform offering live TV and Video on Demand services, aiming at both premium local and global content. The new service will be available to all…


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Opportunities

21 February 2020

Artificial Intelligence: the urgency for Africa With more than 2000 spoken languages, Africa’s linguistic diversity is second only to Asia. A third of the world’s languages is spoken by the…


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People

21 February 2020

The 5 business leaders shortlisted for the 2020 Africa CEO Forum Awards Five African business executives have been shortlisted for the 2020 Africa CEO Forum Awards for contributing to Africa’s…