On the Money News - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted United Bank for Africa (UBA) the final licence to operate a mobile payment service known as U-MO. In a parallel news, mobile banking service provider, Monitise says that it has been granted a Mobile Payment System Provider license to provide mobile money services by Nigeria's Central Bank.

- In Uganda, the ICT sector's contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) has tremendously increased from 2.5% to 5% in a space of six years. "It (ICT sector) continues to lead in terms of government tax contribution derived from exercise tax, VAT, corporate tax, PAYE and import tax. Also, it has become one of the leading sources of employment in the country. By December 2010, it employed 14,000 persons," Ruhakana Rugunda, the ICT minister, said at the annual sector review workshop in Kampala.

- Fitch Ratings has affirmed Telecom Namibia's Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BBB-' and National Long-term rating at 'A(zaf)'. Both ratings have Positive Outlooks. Telecom Namibia's ratings are supported by the strong strategic and operational ties with its sole shareholder the Namibian government. Fitch expects a continuation of government support and notes that the entity's standalone ratings would be below the current support driven rating level.

- The Durban University of Technology (DUT) has launched of the Invo Tech Innovation Incubator. The incubator, an initiative of the Enterprise Development Unit (EDU) within DUT, was formed in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and will focus on nurturing and developing entrepreneurial skills and business ideas in the province.

- US companies are expected to make more than $16 million from the supply of ATMs, point of sale machines, network hardware and software to Ghana. The supply of these items is to support financial transactions and to make banking more accessible in the country. This will create more business opportunities for the companies, says the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) after it awarded a $496,000 grant to the Ghana Interbank Payments and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPPS) to help it determine the technical, operational, and business requirements to expand participation in Ghana’s financial sector.

- Ghana and South Africa boosted their bilateral relations with the signing of six Memorandum of Understanding between them. They are in the areas of Information and Communication Technologies, Tourism, Economic and Oil and Gas. The rest are Energy and Interior.