Welcome to this week’s edition of Shega Weekly Newsletter ( Issue # 30) – Here is a recap of major stories from Ethiopia’s Innovative ecosystem.

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HelloCash Processed $2.2 Billion Transaction

HelloCash has reached 100 Million in a number of transactions and processed ETB 100 Billion since it’s launch. This is around USD 2,292,000,000 Billion worth of transactions using the exchange rate as of June 29, 2021.

HelloCash was launched in 2015. It is run by Belcash and partners financial institutions that include Somali Micro Finance, Lion International Bank, Wegagen International Bank, and Cooperative Bank of Oromia.

HelloCash allows customers of financial institutions to send & receive money, make purchases, buy airtime, and international remittance using their mobile phones or HelloCash agents.

Hello cash, which is popular in the Somali region in Ethiopia, has been seeing an increase in transactions. It currently processes around ETB 100 ML daily through Somali Microfinance alone.

EthSwitch Completes Project to Expand its Service

EthSwitch announced it is finalizing preparations to launch its real-time retail payment expansion project. Under the project, EthSwitch plans to introduce a core instant payment switch, payment gateway and a shared wallet & digital channels project. The services are to be implemented in three parts and timeframes.

Abel Tadele, Director of program at EthSwitch told Capital the payment gateway will be the first to be implemented. While the core instant payment switch is second inline, and the shared wallet & digital channels project come in last.

The payment gateway program is expected to expand mobile based payments. The company believes, the core instant payment switch will ease peer to peer payment systems between banks.

Abel said, “The two parts that have interlinks (core instant payment switch & payment gateway) would allow to provide services on ultra low cost and encourage for the growth of digital payment usage,”

He explained to Capital the shared wallet and digital channels platform will provide an omnichannel service that would ease the unnecessary cost of financial firms spending to install this technology. Read More Here.

Ethiopian Government to Replace its Tax Administration System

According to Addis Fortune the government of Ethiopia is preparing to upgrade the current Standard Integrated Government Tax Administration System (SIGTAS). The SIGTAS is to be replaced with an Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) that connects the tax administration system with other government functions.

This upgrade is part of the government’s tax transformation program launched in 2017 and is expected to cost $ 60 Million. Addis Tamire (MD), head of the Ministry of Revenues told Fortune, “We reviewed the systems of over 30 countries before deciding to change.” Addis added the office is looking for technology partners to develop the system and tenders are expected to be issued in the coming six months. Read More.

A Guide to Financing Your Startup in Ethiopia

Acquiring finance is one of the most important tasks in a startup’s journey and there are multiple sources to finance a startup. Shega’s ongoing research on the Ethiopian startup investment landscape indicates that more than 40 startups have raised funding in 2021 so far. This is already higher than last year’s total number of funding and proof of the country’s growing startup ecosystem. However many startups still face challenges finding investors for their business.

Read Shega’s piece exploring the various sources of funding for startups in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa City Administration to Develop a Business and Market Analysis Information System

The Ethiopian Herald reported that Addis Ababa’s city administration is developing a Business and Market Analysis Information System. The City Administration is developing the system to address inflation caused by a lack of market information among consumers.

The new software will keep consumers up to date on the market price of goods and will allow them to keep track of the price of on-screen items. The software is to avail the information on a website or on roadside screens for the public. As reported by The Ethiopian Herald the project will cost ETB 25 Million and is expected to take 8 months to complete. Read More Here.

Ethio Telecom Valued at ETB 79.8 Billion

According to the investment teaser advertised for the 40% share acquisition of Ethio telecom, the valuation of the telecom is close to ETB 80 Billion. The current assets of the telecom account for 38.9 billion birr, while the noncurrent assets account for 40.9 billion birr.

This valuation was conducted by KPMG East Africa, a consulting firm that provides services such as auditing, tax preparation, and advisory. The business valuation provided includes the turnover of the company, services, and their value, and the total revenue generation in the coming years. Read More Here.

Ethiopia Approves A National Digital Payment Strategy

According to a report by MInT digital transactions in Ethiopia have begun to increase in recent years. In order to make the digital shift inclusive and responsive, a digital payment strategy has been developed by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).

The Digital Payment Strategy document was approved by the council of ministers on June 23, 2021. The document will serve as a roadmap for modernizing the payment ecosystem of the NBE. It will help create a cash-strapped and inclusive economy.

National Digital Payment Strategy Document.

DFC to Release Finance for Safaricom Led Global Consortium

Business Daily Africa reported the US financier of the Safaricom consortium was given a special approval to fund entry into Ethiopia. It is remembered that DFC had delayed financing the Global Partnership for Ethiopia due to US economic sanctions. DFC initially agreed to finance the Consortium with a $500M loan.

Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Ndegwa told Business Daily Africa, the DFC had received approval to fund specific investments in Africa and Ethiopia in particular. Read More Here.

Read Details of the GPA License Here

Interview with Mr. Terry HE, President of Huawei Northern Africa.

Mr. Terry HE, President of Huawei Northern Africa, reflects on various topics including the deployment of Huawei innovative RuralStar solution in Ethiopia and how the region significantly reduced the cost of building and deploying Telecommunication networks in rural areas. Full Interview with Mr. Terry HE.

Safaricom to Begin Operation in Ethiopia with its Kenya Staff

Safaricom  announced it will hire its Kenyan staff to run its operations in Ethiopia for products and network development.

Safaricom’s CEO Mr. Ndegwa told Business Daily Africa, “We will need to hire several people to be able to inject the level of expertise, both on the technology side, but also on the commercial side.

Mr. Ndegwa also added “But we will start to embed local talent very soon after launch, to ensure that their flavor of the business will start being Ethiopian. We intend to make sure that in the long term that business is truly Ethiopian.Read More.

Ethio Telecom to Expand 4G Services with A Swedish Telecom Company Ericsson

Ethio telecom partners with Ericsson to expand its 4G services into the South West region of Ethiopia. Ericsson is a multinational networking and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm. The company sells infrastructure, software, and services in information and communications technology for telecommunications service providers and enterprises.

The expansion is to take place in Ethio telecom’s data centers in Addis Ababa and other regions in the country. At the moment the telecom utilizes a system called Operations Support Systems (OSS), but it will begin to use Ericsson Network Manager (ENM) as it is more advanced. Ethio telecom will also introduce Ericsson Cloud Packet Core and Ericsson NFVI (Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure) for the deployment of the 4G services. Read More.


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