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Africa TMT investment increases as Ethiopia telecom privatisation leads new wave of deals for 2019

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Ethio Telecom, which has around 66 million customers, took a major step forward in its much-anticipated privatisation last month by pre-selecting six consultancies in partnership with the World Bank

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, February 11, 2019/ — Telecom, media and tech investment and consolidation activity in Africa is predicted to reach a record high for 2019 as a number of significant deals including the opening up of Ethiopia’s telecom sector are scheduled, reports specialist news provider TMT Finance (www.TMTFinance.com).

Pan-African telecom operators MTN, Orange and Vodacom are among those vying to enter Ethiopia for the opportunity to serve its 105 million population following progress in the telecom privatisation process, reports TMT Finance. Ethio Telecom, which has around 66 million customers, took a major step forward in its much-anticipated privatisation last month by pre-selecting six consultancies in partnership with the World Bank. Ethio, will be split into two businesses, offering tremendous growth potential to new entrants.

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Privatisations of telecom assets are also planned for Togocom and Benin Telecom in West Africa, with consolidation investments expected in Kenya and Tunisia. Meanwhile, Airtel has hired banks for an IPO of its entire Africa portfolio while several telcos are bidding for Millicom’s assets. The acceleration of investment into mobile and broadband infrastructure across the region continues as operators and investors try to meet the need for data services.

Leaders from the largest African telecom, media and technology companies, investment banks and investors are meeting to assess the latest investment opportunities at the annual TMT Finance Africa in Cape Town 2019 (www.TMTFinance.com/capetown) conference on March 28.

Over 60 key speakers have been announced for the event, which features CxOs and senior executives from Vodacom, MTN, Helios Towers Africa, CSquared, Dark Fibre Africa, Convergence Partners, Seacom, Angola Cables, Standard Bank, IFC World Bank, DLA Piper, Rand Merchant Bank, WIOCC, Paix Data Centres, BCX, European Investment Bank, Investec Asset Management, GreenWish Partners and others.

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Key sessions at the senior executive only event include: Telecom Leadership Africa; Broadband Infrastructure; Digital Infrastructure Africa; Media; Powering Mobile Tower; Data Centre and Cloud, Mergers and Acquisitions; Investors; Broadband; Financing TMT; Fintech and Mobile Money; and Smart City.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of TMT Finance.

Press Release

AI Expo Africa 2021: Demand surges for 4IR tech as 4,600 register for Africa’s largest AI trade event

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AI Expo Africa – the continent’s largest annual gathering of buyers and suppliers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) smart technologies – is set to have its biggest edition this year as 4 600 delegates and several international and local sponsors have already registered to attend the trade show and conference which takes place between 7 to 9 September.

AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE will mark the fourth edition of the annual trade event. Dr Nick Bradshaw, AI Media Group CEO and AI Expo Africa founder, pointed out that this year’s event will – like last year’s edition – also be held online to circumvent COVID-19 event restrictions. “Based on the early interest in AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE, we know our community likes the event’s online format and mix of content, vendors and innovators. AI Expo Africa 2020 ONLINE attracted more than 2 400 registered delegates and hosted 80 speakers and 80 exhibitors. This year we are on track to set a new benchmark as the audience grows.”

Head of Show Production Daniel Mpala stated that AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE is on track to host the largest mix of global vendors and cutting-edge startups for its curated audience of business practitioners. “Our event has now grown in the last three editions, starting this year, we will be dedicating Day 1 of the event to showcasing our vendors. AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE will again feature our specialist eZones, labs, poster wall and several country ePavilions from vendors outside the Africa region making for a truly global 4IR technology festival we think our community will really enjoy.”

Early sponsors that have signed up include US-based Future Tech, Czech-based IBA Group, UK-based Elzware, as well as South African firms AizatronCOGO People AnalyticsCompariSureecosystem.AiWizzPass, and Amathuba AI.

Premier diamond sponsor Future Tech, an Accubis company which specialises in Blockchain, AI, RPA and Digital Transformation, said it is excited to be part of this year’s edition of the expo.  “We already have a range of projects underway in the Africa region and are actively looking for startups to invest in with funding partners wanting to co-invest.  Africa is seeing a surge in uptake of these 4IR technologies and we see community engagement via this event a key part of our strategy for the the region in 2021,” explained Future Tech co-founder and Blockchain / AI Practice Manager Daniel Sloan.

COGO People Analytics managing partner Elmen Lamprecht commented that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it cannot be “business as usual”. “The world of work has changed irrevocably and People Analytics will play a huge role in the workplace going forward. We are excited to be part of the Africa’s leading AI event and to showcase how we can help organisations adapt to the new world of work by harnessing the capabilities of AI in their HR departments,” added Lamprecht.

ecosystem.AI commented that it had found new ways for businesses to understand and interact with their customers. “Through the use of of machine learning and behavioural predictions, we give businesses the tools to better engage with their customers in real-time. Exploring and understanding the behaviour behind the choices that their customers make,” the company added.

Ulrich Stark, the co-founder and executive director of WizzPass — which supplies highly configurable visitor & contractor management, employee desk booking, office capacity management, employee parcel management and Covid-19 screening services — commented, “As a returning supporter of AI Expo Africa 2021, this event is a great way to reach new business customers and we look forward to meeting the delegates and partners in September for a truly amazing experience.”

Aizatron said it looks forward to demonstrating its latest smart IoT and edge solutions. “We will be showcasing our latest computer vision technology, smart agri-tech, and intelligent safety and security systems. We will also demonstrate how we have coupled AI with RPA technology to create smart self-healing operations, that react quickly to alerts and deal with them quickly and effectively improving SLAs and reducing business outage due to system failures. Large companies attending the expo will also be shown how they can easily access our technology through our secure APIs”.

Amathuba AI Chief Commercial Official Nomsa Nteleko said the firm’s vision is to advance African culture and humanity through the assimilation of Artificial Intelligence technology. ” We hope to achieve this by changing the African narrative through our progressive technology.  We believe AI can be a collaborative partner to humans. Our solutions include; Medical, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Auditing, Data Enhancement & Cyber Risk. There has never been a better time to embrace the 4IR technology opportunity and as a returning supporter of AI Expo Africa we look forward to meeting new clients and partners at the show,” she added.

Matt Kloos, CFO at South Africa based CompariSure, stated, “At CompariSure, we aim to connect consumers with premium product providers, while using our proprietary chatbot technology to build the “automated insurance agent” of tomorrow.  We see AI Expo Africa as a great way to reach new business customers and showcase our conversational technology to new users who are perhaps considering this kind of technology for the first time.   We are really happy to be joining over 4 000+ delegates who are keen to see what Africa has to offer in this rapidly growing segment of the market”.

IBA South Africa managing director Dimitri Denissiouk said the company is excited to be involved in the high-profile event, and about what it can bring to African businesses in terms of automation and digital transformation. ” Intelligent automation has been the company’s focus since 2013. The IBA Group’s Center of Excellence has implemented 500+ RPA solutions and our developers have been working for years with a variety of RPA platforms, including WorkFusion, UIPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. Based on this expertise, we built our EasyRPA platform. We look forward to seeing you at AI Expo Africa and invite you to attend our presentation on EasyRPA,” said Denissiouk.

Elzware founder and managing director Phil D Hall said he was excited to have engaged with AI Expo 2021 ONLINE. “We are looking forward to the event where we will be bringing our long experience in conversational AI into the sight of the leading hearts and minds in the African AI ecosystem,” he added.

AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE delegates can expect to hear from 80 thought leaders in AI, Data Science and Robotic Process Automation on the 8th and 9th of September. In addition, delegates will this year be treated to unique online experiences that will form part of the social programme on Day 2 and Day 3 of the expo. Like last year, the 2021 edition will also include a 30-day OnDemand Show archive which will be accessible from the 10th of September.

Bradshaw concluded, “We are going to market with a tried and tested format that will negate all the problems the world is experiencing because of the pandemic, while at the same time broadens the buyer audience and makes the event more accessible and diverse as our reach is essentially global and the tickets are free. We again hope to deliver on our promise of curating the best business trade event go its kind on the continent and look forward to showcasing the best of Africa 4IR innovation.”

Those interested in attending AI Expo Africa 2021 can register to claim free tickets here.

 

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Swvl ex-founder launches Telda, Egypt’s First of its kind Money App

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Telda ATM Card (Source: Ahmed Sabbah)

Swvl co-founder and former CTO; Ahmed Sabbah and Youssef Sholqamy; former Uber engineer alongside a Silicon Valley team from Facebook, Uber, Amazon and Noon are building this next generation payment app “Telda” known as “The Money App”.

Telda is the easiest and fastest way to send, spend and save money. It’s the first digital banking experience app in Egypt moving it one giant step closer to achieving the vision of digital transformation in the economy offering various features to ease the daily payment pains.

The Fintech company is officially launching in Egypt providing locals with a digital banking experience platform enabling customers to create a free account by only using their phone numbers and national IDs. By signing-up; they receive a free Mastercard to their door steps with zero hassle. They can use it everywhere for online payments, in-store purchases and cash withdrawals from any ATM worldwide.

Through Telda, sending money to family and friends is as easy as sending a whatsapp message. By syncing their contact list; users will be able to send & request money instantly. They will also be able to control their spending with the most iconic money management features helping them to stay on top of their finances with simplicity and ease.

The new social money app gives its users all the insights about their spending habits to better manage their expenses. The app displays all users’ transactions and divides them into smart sub-categories making saving easier than ever. Telda tackles all the daily payment pains; from splitting cheques, trips, birthday gift shares to paying bills, topping up phone credits and using the telda card for all online and in-store payments.

As Egypt is approaching a digital transformation in the economy focusing on the adoption of technology and the need for tech-savvy solutions, Telda is aiming to make life easier and quicker for consumers to open an account, make instant payments and real-time transfers from the comfort of their homes.

Download App from App Store and Google Play or click to visit their website Telda app

 

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Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to be launched on Vertex P2P Market

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Binance Smart Chain (BSC) will be launched on Vertex, the first and only p2p platform to implement the fastest growing blockchain.

“The most important thing for users to note is that BTCB and USDT issued on Binance Smart Chain will be available for exchange on the Vertex peer-to-peer market. An added advantage for traders on our platform is that they can boost profits due to the lower fees.” – Alessandro Pecorelli, CTO of Vertex.

BTCB, a BEP2 token pegged to Bitcoin. Pegged tokens such as BTCB, are 100% backed by the native coin in reserve, which is Bitcoin (BTC) in BTCB’s case. Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin intended to make digital currencies a viable form of payment as it is pegged in values equivalent to traditional currencies like the US dollar.

What is Binance Smart Chain?

Binance Smart Chain, also called BSC is a blockchain issued by Binance. It is not to be confused with Binance Chain, which is a different blockchain! Even though it is issued by Binance, BSC runs independently from Binance. BSC has been launched late 2020 and has since then at times conducted more transactions than Ethereum and was the reason for the price jump of the BNB coin as BNB is required to pay for gas and demand soared. BSC is 100% compatible with Ethereum, meaning the same smart contracts work on both blockchains and most wallets start to support both blockchains.

What are the benefits for users?

Some of the benefits of Binance Smart Chain include:

  • Participating in a growing digital asset ecosystem powered by Binance DEX, the leading decentralized exchange
  • Cheap transaction fees that reach as low as 1 cent
  • High performance with a network capable of producing a block every 3 seconds
  • Cross-chain DeFi mechanisms that increase DeFi interoperability
  • A supportive Binance ecosystem that funds and bootstraps many DeFi projects
  • A growing ecosystem of millions of users across Binance.com and Binance DEX
  • A network of major crypto projects already collaborating with BSC

Why is Vertex launching Binance Smart Chain on Vertex?

To put it simply, BSC is fast and cheap. Much faster and cheaper than Ethereum at time of writing. This is not limited to BNB (Binance Coin) transactions only as almost every major coin is issued by Binance on the BSC as a wrapped coin as well. This means, you can easily transfer Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT or any other major crypto from and to Vertex almost instantly for less than $1.

What is a Wrapped coin (token)?

Wrapped coins are tokens issued on a certain Blockchain, that represent a token on another Blockchain. Binance for example has issued over 21,000 Bitcoins (BTC) on the Binance Smart Chain called BTCB. To not create money out of thin air, those 21,000 Bitcoins are owned on the “real” bitcoin blockchain by Binance and held in custody. Meaning, every BTCB is backed 100% by a real BTC. It is the same concept as for stable coins such as USDT and USDC but in case of Binance they transparently show the Bitcoins they hold in custody on their website for everyone to see. Wrapped coins also exist on Ethereum (wrapped Bitcoin) but those are rather useless by now, as Ethereum is more expensive than Bitcoin to send around (Thank you, Uniswap).

Difference BTC and BTCB Explained

There is none, at least not for Vertex and Binance. If you buy or sell Bitcoin on Vertex, it is Bitcoin! You can deposit 1 BTC and withdraw 1 BTCB without any conversion. You will not see BTCB as a new coin on Vertex but when withdrawing, you can chose between a Bitcoin blockchain transaction or a Binance smart chain transaction, giving you the option to decide.

How can you profit as a crypto trader?

With the high network fees out of the way, Vertex Market has solved a big problem and removes a huge burden from you, the traders, by offering a cheap alternative that improves the profitability of your business operations and trading activities. If you want to know more about how BSC will make things a lot easier and cheaper for you, join the official Vertex Telegram group.

 

You can trade a range of cryptos on Vertex including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USDT, Bitcoin Cash, and USDC.

 

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