Welcome to this week’s edition of Shega Weekly Newsletter ( Issue # 29 ) – Here is a recap of major stories from Ethiopia’s Innovative ecosystem.

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LocalBitcoins Sees a 500% Growth in Ethiopia 

LocalBitcoins says its users in Ethiopia grew by 500% in 2020 compared to 2019. 10,000 new users from Ethiopia have signed up to use LocalBitcoin last year.

Local bitcoin is a person-to-person bitcoin marketplace where people can buy and sell each other bitcoin in their local currency. Users advertise their offer and set their own exchange rate while LocalBitcoins provides a wallet and a protection mechanism when buyers and sellers start engaging.

There are no cryptocurrency exchanges in Ethiopia that work with Birr. To buy Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in Ethiopia, traders opt for peer-to-peer trading through informal channels or use peer-to-peer platforms like Local Bitcoin. Anyone who has access to International payment channels can also use cryptocurrency exchange platforms like Binance.

Other countries from East Africa are also growing on LocalBitcoin. Kenya grew by 100%, Uganda and Tanzania grew by 30%. A $35 million worth of transaction happened on LocalBitcoins across the continent while Kenya appears to be the second-largest market for LocalBitcoins in Africa after Nigeria.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain seem to be getting momentum in Ethiopia. In April, IOHK, a company behind the Cardano Blockchain announces a partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education to create a blockchain-based student and teacher ID and attainment system that will be rolled out to 5M students. Recently, Twitter CEO and Bitcoin enthusiast Jack Dorsey was seen highlighting the efforts of a bitcoin community. The community is requesting the Ethiopian government to allow Bitcoin Mining and to consider holding Bitcoin in its reserve.

The Story of a Lifestyle Brand that is Unleashing the Market Potential of Ethiopia’s Bamboo.

Aklill is an Ethiopian lifestyle brand that uses bamboo as its fundamental raw material. It creates handcrafted lifestyle items and accessories that are inspired by Ethiopian culture and heritage. Read more about Aklil.

iceaddis’s 10 Year Journey and What the Future Holds

iceaddis celebrated its 10 year anniversary last month. Here is a brief look into iceaddis’s 10 year Journey as the pioneer innovation & startup hub in Ethiopia. Read more.

Gebeya Launches A Revamped Pan-African Freelance Talent Marketplace.

Gebeya, a Pan-African Freelance talent marketplace, announced the launch of its revamped marketplace Gebeya.com. Gebeya operated a manual marketplace model before acquiring a seed investment in February 2020. The $2M seed investment co-led by Partech and Orange Ventures and followed by Consonance Investment Managers has enabled Gebeya to automate & fully digitize its services. Read more.

DFC Didn’t Release the USD 500 million Financing to Global Partnership for Ethiopia Consortium

It’s remembered that U.S. International Development Finance Corporation has announced to finance the Global Partnership for Ethiopia consortium which includes Vodafone, Vodacom, Safaricom, and others.

GPA was awarded the license and paid USD 850 M license fee. However, according to the reporter who spoke to the CEO of Vodacom, the deal is not finalized yet and the license fee deposit came from consortium members. Read more about this.

Also Read License, Operation, and Structure Details of the Safaricom Led Consortium

From the Archives

Guide: How to Get Started As A Payment System Operator in Ethiopia


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