Impact Amplifier, with the financial support of Google.org, today launched its African Online Safety Platform (AOSP).
The Africa Online Safety Platform is an Africa-wide project and part of Impact Amplifier’s broader intention to address African Online Safety at a systemic level.
The African internet safety ecosystem is hindered by several issues, key among them is the lack of a central repository of all the online safety research that has been conducted on a broad spectrum of issues in Africa; lack of a central repository for education material for the plethora of online safety challenges relevant for African users; the absence of legal and social media platform support systems that are less complex and time consuming; and underfunding of the needed interventions.
The AOSP has been built to address all these challenges. The platform provides a rich repository of research, education content, funding opportunities and ways to seek help if an online crime has occurred.
The site is intended to address the complexity of understanding what online safety issues are affecting different parts of Africa, how to keep everyone and particularly young people safe online, how to teach online safety formally in schools and at home, funding opportunities for safety innovators, and how to get help if a crime or other violation has occurred.
The event also included a panel discussion with several of Impact Amplifier’s grantees which are part of its ecosystem solution. These panellists reflected online safety innovators from South Africa and Kenya who discussed some of the complexities and solutions to staying safe online in Africa.
The panellists from South Africa were Craig Rosewarne, Managing Director Wolfpack Information Risk and Camaren Peter, Director/Executive Lead, Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC). Those from Kenya were Dennis Ratemo, Programme Manager, Terre des Hommes and Martha Sunda, Executive Director, Childline Kenya. Their discussions underscored the importance of solutions that were suited to local contexts in Africa.
Google SA Country Director, Dr Alistair Mokoena said: “We first partnered with Impact Amplifier in 2020, when we announced the initial fund. We have now launched version 2.0 to show that we remain committed to providing sustained and dedicated support to the online safety ecosystem in Africa, in order to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected from online harms and reap the benefits of the internet. We encourage the relevant parties to use this amazing new education and research resource and to apply to the fund.”
Speaking at the event, Impact Amplifier Director, Tanner Methvin said: “With over 570 million people having access to the internet in Africa, reflecting just under 47 per cent of the continent’s population, online safety concerns deserve utmost attention.”
The new platform, Methvin added, “offers innovative approaches to addressing the complex safety issues the internet presents. These range from unique ways of combating mis and disinformation, tracking of cyber criminals, supporting journalists targeted with hate speech and bullying, integrating online safety training into school curriculums, and much more,” he concluded.
Nigeria Sees 707% Surge in 5G Subscriptions Since May 2023
5G subscriptions in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria jumped in the last seven months as more Nigerians continue to embrace 5G connection.
According to recent data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), 5G subscriptions grew by 707% since May 2023 to 2.14 million in November of the same year.
This surge in 5G subscriptions reflects a growing appetite for advanced connectivity solutions among Nigerian consumers and businesses alike.
The advent of 5G technology promises unprecedented speed, reliability, and network capacity, laying the groundwork for revolutionary innovations across various sectors of the economy.
While 5G subscriptions have experienced exponential growth, the dominance of second-generation networks (2G) still persists in Nigeria’s mobile network landscape.
Despite the surge in 5G, 2G remains the primary mode of connectivity, controlling a significant portion of the market with 59.32% of total mobile subscriptions.
The rise of 5G subscriptions underscores the country’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology and fostering digital inclusion nationwide.
The deployment of 5G networks across Nigeria signifies a pivotal step towards unlocking new opportunities for economic growth, innovation, and social development.
In response to the burgeoning demand for 5G connectivity, major telecommunications providers in Nigeria, including MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, and Mafab Communications, have rolled out their own 5G networks.
These initiatives reflect a concerted effort to expand network coverage and enhance connectivity infrastructure across the country.
As Nigeria continues on its path towards digital transformation, the surge in 5G subscriptions signals a promising future characterized by enhanced connectivity, innovation, and socioeconomic progress.
The rapid adoption of 5G technology is poised to drive Nigeria’s digital agenda forward, positioning the country at the forefront of the global telecommunications landscape.
Airtel Africa Director John Danilovich to Retire After AGM
Airtel Africa plc, a prominent telecommunications and mobile money services provider across 14 countries in Africa, is undergoing a significant change in its board composition.
The company has disclosed that John Danilovich, an independent non-executive director, intends to retire from his position following the conclusion of this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July 2024.
John Danilovich’s decision to retire marks the end of an era characterized by his valuable contributions to Airtel Africa plc.
As an independent non-executive director, Danilovich has played a pivotal role in guiding the company’s strategic direction and governance practices.
During his tenure, Airtel Africa has witnessed notable growth and expansion, solidifying its position as a leading telecommunications and mobile money services provider on the African continent.
Danilovich’s leadership and expertise have undoubtedly been instrumental in steering the company through various challenges and opportunities in the dynamic telecommunications landscape.
Airtel Africa’s Customer Base Soars to 151.2 Million, Revenue Growth at 20.2%
Airtel Africa, one of Africa’s leading telecommunications giants, grew its customer base by 9.1% to 151.2 million, see complete details below.
This significant expansion reflects the increasing penetration of mobile data and mobile money services and a commendable 22.4% rise in data customers to 62.7 million and a notable 19.5% increase in mobile money customers to 37.5 million.
Airtel Africa Highlights
Operating key performance indicators (KPIs)
• Total customer base grew by 9.1% to 151.2 million. The penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving a 22.4% increase in data customers to 62.7 million and a 19.5% increase in mobile money customers to 37.5 million.
• Constant currency ARPU growth of 10.0% was primarily driven by increased usage across all segments.
• Mobile money transaction value increased by 41.3% in constant currency, with Q3’24 annualised transaction value of $116bn in reported currency.
• Revenue in constant currency grew by 20.2%, with Q3’24 growth accelerating to 21.0%. Reported currency revenues declined by 1.4% to $3,861m. In Q3’24, reported currency revenues declined by 8.3% as currency devaluation (primarily the Nigerian naira devaluation) continued to impact reported revenue trends.
• All segments continued to deliver double-digit constant currency growth. Across the Group mobile services revenue grew by 18.6% in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.2% and data revenue growth of 28.5%. Mobile money revenue grew by 31.8% in constant currency.
• Constant currency EBITDA increased 21.9%, with Q3’24 EBITDA growing 23.3%. The EBITDA margin of 49.4% increased 72bps over the prior period despite foreign exchange headwinds and inflationary pressure. Reported currency EBITDA declined by 0.4% to $1,908m, with Q3’24 EBITDA 8.3% lower as currency headwinds continued to impact reported trends.
• Profit after tax was $2m in the period, primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds, particularly the $330m exceptional loss after tax following the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 and the Malawian kwacha in November 2023 after the structural changesin their respective FX markets. The Nigerian naira devalued further in Q3’24, resulting in a $140m derivative and foreign exchange losses net of tax, which is not treated as an exceptional item.
• EPS before exceptional items was 7.1 cents, a decline of 34.6%. Basic EPS at negative (1.6 cents) comparesto 12.5 cents in the prior period, impacted by the significant derivative and foreign exchange losses as explained above.
• Capex of $494m was 8.2% higher compared to the prior period. Capex guidance for the full year remains between $800m and $825m as we continue to invest for future growth.
• Leverage of 1.3x in December 2023, improved from 1.4x in the prior period. The remaining debt at HoldCo is $550m, falling due in May 2024. Cash at the HoldCo was $560m at the end of the period and the Group is expecting to fully repay the HoldCo debt when due.
• In light of the Holdco cash accretion and where leverage is today, and in view of the consistent strong operating cash generation of the Company, the Board intends to launch a share buy-back programme of up to $100m, starting early March 2024 over a 12-month period.
• Our landmark five-year $57m partnership with UNICEF has been launched across 10 of our markets providing access to educational resources, free of charge, on our way to transforming the lives of over one million children through our educational programmes by 2027.
• In November 2023 we launched our Scope 3 strategy which focuses on an ongoing engagement programme with our top tier partners and suppliers, ensures a regular flow of information and enables us to monitor their impact on the environment.
Olusegun Ogunsanya, Group chief executive officer, on the trading update: “We remain focussed on the execution of our growth strategy and, combined with our strong operational execution, this has ensured that we continue to see sustained, positive growth momentum across the business, despite the inflationary and currency headwinds. Demand remains resilient, highlighting the vital nature of the voice, data and mobile money services we provide to our customers across the region, and has resulted in a strong 20.2% constant currency revenue growth over the period, with an increase in EBITDA margins.
“This strong operating performance has limited the impact that currency movements have had on the Group. In this regard, whilst further currency devaluation, particularly in Nigeria, has weighed on our reported financial performance, it will not affect the execution of our growth plans.
“I am pleased to note that our sustained focus on capital allocation priorities will enable us to fully repay HoldCo debt when due in May 2024, ensuring the continued success of our balance sheet de-risking strategy. This will allow us to continue investing in our strategic priorities to provide affordable and reliable services to customers across our markets, whilst also enabling us to capitalise on new business opportunities, such as our new data centre business, Nxtra by Airtel, which we launched in December.
“In light of our consistent strong operating performance and given current leverage, the Board intendsto launch a share buy-back programme of up to $100m, starting early March 2024 over a 12-month period. We continue to be well positioned to deliver on the attractive growth opportunities our markets offer and despite the challenge of rising diesel prices, ongoing currency devaluation and inflationary pressures across some of our markets, we remain focussed on margin resilience.”
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