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As Ethiopian New Year starts, we brought you the major stories from end of last week that are worth reading. Let’s go.

Ethiopia Set Deadline For Teleco Liberalization

A discussion was hosted in Prime Minister Office last week with stakeholders about the privatization of Ethio Telecom and liberalization of the sector. In the discussion, Minister Of Finance, Eyob Tekalgn announced that a bid will be floated for the two Teleco licenses in September. The two winners are expected to sign an agreement and get there license In January or February.

The government also confirmed that New Teleco players won’t be allowed to engage the in Mobile Money bussiness.

In related Topic, Addis Fortune also reported that the government is expected to choose an auction model than beauty contest and Hybrid model to pick the two Telecommunication companies that will join the market in the beginning of 2021.

Thunes Raised $ 60 M and Looks To Expand Operation in Ethiopia Among Others

Thunes, a Singapore-based startup developing a cross-border payments network to make financial services more accessible in emerging markets, announced it has raised a $60 million Series.

Thunes’ global network connects mobile wallet providers, banks, technology companies and money transfer operators, enabling seamless cross-border payments to and from emerging economies in a fast and secure manner.

According to TechCrunch part of its Series B round will be used to hire teams in countries in which it wants to enter or expand its operations, including Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

Tunes recently partnered with Lion Bank in Ethiopia lunch a cash pickup service in Ethiopia. Thunes facilitates the transfer of remittances to Ethiopia via Hello Cash wallets and bank accounts.

MasterCard Partners With Ministry of Innovation and Technology

MasterCard and the Ministry of Innovation & Technology signed an MOU to create a partnership that is aimed at ” developing a strategic solutions and policies” to support Ethiopia’s Digital Economy. The partnership is in line with and expected to contribute to Digital Strategy 2025 that is approved by the government few months before.

The partnership will allow to create and implement digital solutions to drive financial inclusion, support small businesses and enhance digital transformation readiness in the country. Read more here.

In another MasterCard News, Ethiopian American Mimi Alemayehu joins Mastercard as Senior Vice President, Public Private Partnerships in the Humanitarian & Development Group. Read more here.


EthSwitch Announces POS Interoperability

The national switch announced it has achieved POS Interoperability. Accordingly, any one with debit Card from any of the Banks in Ethiopia can use the all available POS devices to transact.

EthSwtich previously made ATM’s interoperable and is also currently piloting Interoperability between Banks Accounts and Wallets. This includes Account to Account, Account to Wallet, Wallet to Account and Wallet to Wallet interoperability.

Ethiopian Startups and Entrepreneurs Finished Various Programs

Google For Startups Africa ZayRide, a ride hailing platform from Ethiopia has graduated from the first all-online Google’s accelerator program for African startups. The accelerator had 20 startups from 7 countries who went through a 12-week program.

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator program – Acumen and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship have co-created an accelerator programme that strengthens the work of 20 social entrepreneurs across East Africa. Ethiopian Social Enterprises that were the part of the 2020 cohort included TruLuv Granola, BeMistre, Tibeb Leather Works, ENZI, Felek Notebooks and Industree Ethiopia.

Alibaba Neterpreneur Training program About 43 entrepreneurs from Ethiopia finished also there online training by Alibaba Business School. The group is expected to go to China after COVID.

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Anteneh Tesfaye, Founder and CEO of Shega, is interested in innovation and startup ecosystems across emerging markets.

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