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Here are the main stories from the innovation, technology, and startup ecosystem in Ethiopia. Welcome to this week’s edition of Shega Weekly Newsletter ( Issue # 21 ). If you would like to receive Shega Weekly Newsletter in your email and haven’t subscribed yet, you can do it here.

is Jumia Going to Revive Its Operation in Ethiopia?

Jumia, an eCommerce company that operates across various markets in Africa, recently expressed its plan to launch it operations in Ethiopia. This was mentioned during the release of the latest financial report of the New York Stock Exchange-listed company.

This however is not the first time Jumia launches an operation in Ethiopia. Jumia first expanded to Ethiopia back in 2015. At the time it started operating three distinct web brands. The platform were Jovago (travel), Kaymu (retail), and Lamudi (property). It later brought together the three services to one brand calling them Jumia Travel, Jumia Market, and Jumia House. Jumia also launched other two new sites called Jumia Jobs and Jumia Deals in Ethiopia.

Jumia later shut down its operation in Ethiopia.

A look at Jumia’s annual report shows that Jumia still owns its Ethiopian subsidiary called Atol Technology PLC. Jumia’s Ethiopia site which was launched in 2016 is still live. 

The eCommerce and digital ecosystem in Ethiopia have changed significantly since Jumia launched and closed in Ethiopia. Maybe this is a better time for the Jumia in Ethiopia?  Time will tell.

This AdTech Company is Betting on Minibus Taxies in Addis Abeba

“An up-and-coming local tech company, Black Clouds Creatives, is installing tablets on minibus taxies found in Addis Ababa with the purpose of airing paid content on them. The Company that launched its operations nine months ago has so far installed one hundred 10.1 inch tablets in one hundred minibus taxies across the city.”  Read more. 

Ghanian mPharma Expands to Ethiopia 

mPharma, a Ghanaian health tech startup that manages prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and their suppliers announced its expansion to Ethiopia through a franchise agreement with Belayab Pharmaceuticals. The partnership is happening between mPharma subsidiary, Haltons Limited, and Belayab Pharmaceuticals which is a part of the Belayab Group.  Read more.

African Development Bank approves $2.33 million grant to support the modernization of electronic payments infrastructure

“The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a grant of $2.33 million to EthSwitch Share Company, an initiative led by National Bank of Ethiopia, for the modernization of its payments infrastructure.”. Read more.

ArifPay Closes A $3.5 M Private Placement Round From 31 Investors 

ArifPay ( ArifPay Financial Technologies Share Company ), an upcoming fintech company in Ethiopia, raised $3.5M / 140M ETB from 31 investors in a private placement round. Read more

RedFox Solutions Partners with Rittal to Bring Ethiopia It’s First Private Datacenter

“RedFox Solutions Group is breaking ground to build Ethiopia’s first private data center. The move aims to bring state-of-the-art infrastructure, availability, efficiency, and sustainability to this sought-after ICT hub. Known as RFDC1, the data center will be constructed in the county’s capital Addis Ababa at the ICT Park”.  Read more.

Feres to Expand to the Ecommerce Space

Feres, a taxi-hailing company that has become a major player in the ride-hailing sector after joining the market a year ago is now moving to the e-commerce space and is launching an online marketplace and delivery service. Read more.

Tourism Ethiopia, Facebook Collaborate To Offer Digital Marketing Programme

Tourism Ethiopia in collaboration with Facebook has announced a  launch of Boost with Facebook for Tourism Ethiopia -a digital marketing programme for Ethiopian SMB’s in the tourism and hospitality sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more. 

Visa Roll out Digital Payment Partnership in Ethiopia 

Visa announced a series of partnerships during its Ethiopian Visa Payments Forum :

  • An agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to launch a co-branded card to ShebaMiles members across the Continent.
  • An agreement and introduction with Bank of Abyssinia and Dashen Bank/Moneta (Amole) Technologies focused on supporting eCommerce growth and enabling wider acceptance of digital payments.
  • A partnership with leading fintech Kifiya Financial Technology, providing local digital payments across mobile and online payments.
  • Partnership with BelCash Technologies that will support the development of cross-border payment solutions for the East-African financial institutions and helping grow eCommerce to unlock the country’s digital potential.
  • Licensing partnership with Cooperative bank & Oromia International Bank.

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Anteneh Tesfaye is an Ethiopian from Addis Abeba who is interested in Innovation and startup ecosystems across emerging markets with a more specialized focus on Africa, China, and India

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