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As the evolution of mobile banking continues to disrupt the financial services sector, the founder and executive chairman of privately held telecoms conglomerate Econet Wireless Group sounded the death knell for traditional transaction banking.

“The transactional side of banking is gone,” Strive Masiyiwa tells This Is Africa on the side of a Clinton Foundation forum in Marrakech, Morocco. Read more

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Although it is the most talked about, China is not the only Asian economy looking to Africa – and bankers are moving to facilitate the flow of capital.

A case in point: South Africa’s Standard Bank announced a partnership on 23 April with the largest bank in South Korea to provide services for its clients doing business in Africa.

The agreement with Woori Bank, which has been in the process of privatising from state ownership since 2010, aims to support the South Korean lender’s clients even though the bank has no presence in the region.

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China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC) has signed two deals worth a combined $5.5 billion for construction projects in Africa, Xinhua reported late on Monday, as the country’s railway firms increasingly flex their muscle overseas.

CRCC’s China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) unit will work on a $3.5 billion intercity railway line in Nigeria’s southwestern Ogun state, Xinhua said, citing the area’s state governor, Ibikunle Amosun. Read more

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Starting a new business within the continent of Africa can be as terrifying as it is exciting. At any given time, a fledgling company can come up against a number of common challenges.

From hiring the right people to defining your brand… start-ups must overcome these obstacles to ensure success. This is according to Dan Karua, Managing Director, Lamudi, Kenya.

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  • Introducing the Kenya Open Data Initiative: The bigger picture

    This site makes public government data accessible to the people of Kenya. High quality national census data, government expenditure, parliamentary proceedings and public service locations are just a taste of what’s to come. Our information is a national asset, and it’s time it was shared: this data is key to improving transparency; unlocking social and economic value; and building Government 2.0 in Kenya

     

    Open Government Partnership

    Kenya officially joined OGP in April 2012. Kenya’s commitments include: Improving Public integrity. Improving Public integrity. Election Management. Kenya Open Government Partnership. More effectively managing public resources. Public involvement in Budget Preparation. Improving Public Services. Government of Kenya’s End-to-End initiative. Transparency and Accountability. Public participation in the area of essential services
  • Enabling Developers
The Kenya Open Data Initiative seeks to foster an innovation eco-system around Government data and is giving developers a chance to interact with the data, be able to use it and create interesting mash up and innovative applications

Read more at Kenya Open Data

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Uber for Business

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Cab hailing technology platform Uber Nairobi has announced the kickoff of Uber for Business, its exciting corporate offering to allow business travelers to get around with ease and as well help companies save money and manage their travel budgets.

Just like the personal Uber account, firms create an Uber corporate account to allow them to save on travel cost per employee every year, centralise their billing for all employees on one account and get insights into what’s being spent, by whom, and where. Read more

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Gilat Satcom has unveiled the launch of its ‘Village Island’ portfolio, which according to the company enables rural villages and remote communities in Africa where ARPUs are low to take control of their digital futures. According to the company, the Village Island will be launched at the Innovation Access Digital Africa summit, which is set to take place during 14th-16th April at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

The company revealed that Village Island has been developed to provide internet, VoIP and IP video over a private satellite network. According to Gilat Satcom, this will allow connectivity for individual villagers starting from USD 1 a month. Read more

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ZTE Corporation has selected Mitsumi Distribution as its strategic distribution partner for the continent. The agreement is expected to cover Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Namibia, Tunisia, Cameroon, Madagascar, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Botswana.

The companies have agreed to co-invest in technical support staff, sales, and market development activities to enable the adoption of ZTE’s products; including switches/routers, video conferencing, data centre, WLAN, CCTV and CPE.

By Staff Writer

The companies have agreed to co-invest in technical support staff, sales, and market development activities to enable the adoption of ZTE’s products. (Image Source: pctechmag.com)

Hong Chuangye, Marketing Director of MEA Region , ZTE said, “ZTE can leverage Mitsumi’s capabilities and strong presence in Africa to further strengthen our reach within this region. Mitsumi’s service centre, logistics and credit facilities, and market know-how give us the confidence to achieve our business objectives. We are extremely pleased with the partnership and look forward to a fruitful, long-term collaboration.”

Jagat Shah, Chairman and CEO, Mitsumi Distribution said, “Mitsumi is proud to cooperate with ZTE as its strategic distribution partner in Africa. ZTE is ranked as the top vendor for its networking and telecommunication products and will help boost our growing product portfolio. ZTE’s award winning solutions and Mitusmi’s reach of more than 3,000 resellers offers a perfect combination to target customers in this dynamic market.”

Read More at IT News Africa

FTTH Council Africa

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52 African countries are now connected to submarine cables, either directly or by terrestrial cross-border fibre optic networks. 44% of Africans live within a 25-km reach of a fibre node.

The key question now is which cities and suburbs are taking the lead in building access networks? In an attempt to answer this question theFTTH Council Africa, in collaboration with Africa Bandwidth Maps are undertaking research to determine network reach and identify Africa’s most connected cities.

Africa’s inventory of terrestrial transmission networks has more than doubled in the last five years. According to the latest research by Africa Bandwidth Maps, Africa’s total inventory of transmission network edges towards 1 million route kilometres, the continent had a total of 586,707-km of operational fibre optic network by December 2014. This comprises of long-haul, metropolitan and FTTH/B (fibre-to-the-home/building) terrestrial fibre optic networks. Read more

Cloud Lending Solutions

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Cloud Lending Solutions, the only end-to-end lending platform built natively on salesforce.com, today announced a strategic agreement with BDO Solutions to bring the company’s non-bank online lending platform to East Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Nearly three billion individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses worldwide are often shut out from traditional banks when trying to secure microfinance funding. The alliance with BDO Solutions offers a significant opportunity to expand Cloud Lending’s suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to microfinance institutions (MFIs). The platform includes origination, underwriting, servicing, collections and reporting capabilities bringing an efficient solution to manage loan portfolios, increase transaction volume and rapidly bring new products to developing markets. Read more