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Hello,

Welcome to this week’s edition of Shega Weekly Newsletter ( Issue # 26 ) – Here is a recap of major stories from the Ethiopian Innovative ecosystem.

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Somali MFI Becomes an EthSwitch Member as the First Indirect Participant

Somali Microfinance has become the first microfinance institution to join EthSwitch as an Indirect participant after the board of directors approved its membership following fulfillment of all requirements.

The participation enables Somali Microfinance to make its Mobile Wallet system( Hellocash ) interoperable with existing & upcoming payment systems. This will allow its customers to transfer funds to other financial institutions using their mobile wallets/accounts.

Somali Microfinance institution operates in the Somali region. It provides financial services to low-income households, entrepreneurs, & SMEs to help improve their economic situations.

EthSwitch is the national switch of Ethiopia that provides complete channel Interoperability, shared Infrastructure/platforms, and institutes domestic card schemes. It has enabled the interoperability of ATMs and POS Terminals operated by all banks. It is also expected to enable Bank to Bank, Bank to Wallet, and Wallet to Bank interoperability. Read More.

The Global Partnership Consortium Led by Safaricom has been Announced Winner for the Ethiopian Telecom License

The Global Partnership for Ethiopia Consortium led by Safaricom has been announced as the winner for the Ethiopia Teleco license. The group will pay $850M for the license and commit to an $8.5 B investment. The consortium is made up of Safaricom, Sumitomo corporation, CDC group, Vodacom & Vodafone.

In April 2021, the Ethiopian Communications Authority had announced the consortium was competing for the first license with South Africa’s MTN. MTN lost its bid for the license with a $600M offer.

The consortium is made up of Safaricom, Sumitomo corporation, CDC group, Vodacom & Vodafone. As the lead partner, Safaricom owns 56% of the license, while Sumitomo will have the second-largest share with 25%. The remaining three members CDC group, Vodacom, and Vodafone own 10%, 6.2% & 2.8% of the license respectively.

Balcha Reba, director-general of the Ethiopian Communications Authority mentioned that a bid for the remaining license will be announced soon. Read More.

A summary of the Ethiopia telecom license bid.

Amole Partners with Flutterwave for Easier Money Remittances to Ethiopia

Flutterwave a Nigerian-US-based payments company announced its partnership with Amole to facilitate money transfer into Ethiopia.

This partnership will enable money remittance to Ethiopia through Amole, to Amole Wallet, bank accounts, and cash pickup locations at over 2,500 locations across the country. Besides direct remittance, Ethiopian diasporas can also pay for other services that are available in Amole including utilities.

International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) and businesses on Flutterwave as well as Barter by Flutterwave users can send money into Ethiopia via this partnership. Read More.

Ethio Telecom Launches Tier III Ready Modular Data Center with Huawei

Huawei, the leading global provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices, provides the biggest Tier III ready modular data center in Ethiopia for Ethio Telecom.

The new Modular Data Center located at Gola Sefer has 5 points of deployment and the capacity to support 10 servers per cabinet. Initially, the data center will serve existing service provisions such as mobile money and business support systems. The remaining capacity will then be used for colocation and cloud service in the future.

Huawei has delivered this Modular data Center in 2.5 months, which is half the time it takes traditionally. Read More.

Ethio Telecom has recently launched a mobile money platform that was also powered by Huawei.

Y-Tech Launches Ethio Locate Android App

Y-Tech (Youth Technology), an Ethiopian tech startup that provides digital solutions for local and international businesses launch its Ethio Locate Application.

Ethio Locate is a travel guide platform that helps users find places and information in Ethiopia for free through a simple process. The platform helps Ethiopian businesses and organizations to get a digital profile which paves an easy way to advertise products and services online.

For the past year, Ethio Locate has been operating as a travel guide website.

The new Ethio Locate application has features that enable users to create a digital profile, rate and review places, and locate nearby destinations. It also supports multiple languages and has a search engine. Read More.

The Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) Introduces A New Cloud-Based ERP System.

The Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) revealed it has introduced a new digital technology to administer all of its resources within the industrial parks.

The new technology to be used is a Cloud Fusion Enterprise Resource Planning system. This system has been developed with financial support from the World Bank (WB) and was launched in the presence of senior government officials on Friday, May 21, 2021.

The total cost of the system development was 30M Ethiopian birr. The project was executed by SOFTPRO, a company that also executed a similar project at Ethio-Telecom. Read More.

Opportunities

UNFPA Climate HackLab – Proposal submission form

Call for application – Innovation Ecosystem Development

Africa Innovate online conference and hackathon

Application – GSMA Innovation Fund to back African startups delivering digital urban services

What We Have Been Reading

Three ways to sustain innovation in African startups – Forbes

Reviewing the trends driving Africa’s allure: Leapfrogging through technology

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