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Lion Bank has unveiled its microloan app, Ethio Telecom and Safaricom Ethiopia are selling locked phones, and one startup is making Tej in a lab.

Shega Weekly brings you the latest developments in Ethiopia’s innovative ecosystem.

Lion Bank Joins Digital Lending Scene

Lion Bank has unveiled its microloan app, dubbed Alegnta. According to Fortune Newspaper, the app has already started providing services to Lion Bank employees, starting four months ago.

The collateral-free loan app Alegnata currently provides loans up to 2,000 birr, and the bank expects the app will be a relief to its employees when pockets are empty during the last days of the month.

Ethiopia’s first uncollateralized digital lending product, Michu, was announced by the Cooperative Bank of Oromia (Coop) and Kifiya Financial Technology in January 2022. Last week, Coop stated that over 50,000 MSMEs had taken small loans totaling more than 500 million Birr.

Michu was followed by Ethio Telecom’s telebirr which launched its digital microcredit services in August 2022.

Other financial institutions and fintech firms are also racing to develop their own platforms, with Dashen Bank and EagleLion System Technology working on DubePay a buy now, pay later mobile application. Meanwhile, Bank of Abyssinia is reportedly pilot-testing Apollo, a digital banking platform that has microloan features.

Locked Out: Ethio Telecom, Safaricom Sell Locked Phones with Inconsistent Disclosure

Ethiopia’s two telecom operators, Ethio Telecom and Safaricom Ethiopia, are selling locked smartphones that prevent users from using the other company’s SIM cards. Read more.

Huawei Endeavors to Develop Ethiopia’s ICT Talent, Innovation Ecosystem

Chinese tech giant Huawei’s Ethiopia branch disclosed that more than 60 Ethiopian students have participated in its information and communications technology (ICT) competition exam for 2022/2023, which aims to develop Ethiopia’s ICT talent and innovation ecosystem. Read more.

Discover the Chemical Engineers Making Tej in a Lab

Discover the future of Tej and the engineers who are revolutionizing its production. Mare Breweries is using modern fermentation techniques and equipment to create consistent, high-quality honey wine. Read more.

New Radio Station Backed by Samrawit Fikru Launches in Addis Ababa

Tirita FM, a private radio station that has Samrawit Fikru, founder and CEO of RIDE, among its shareholders has officially commenced regular broadcast. Read more.

Jijiga: Ethiopia’s Leading Mobile Money City Gets Safaricom Coverage

Safaricom Ethiopia has activated its network in Jijiga, a city known for its thriving mobile-money market. Read more.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.

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