Orange Partner Google to Deepen Mobile Internet Access in Africa
Orange S.A., a French multinational telecommunications corporation, has said it is launching a new affordable smartphone called Sanza touch to improve internet access in Africa.
According to the telecommunication giant, cost has always been a barrier to smartphone adoption in Africa. It said the average cost of an entry-level smartphone is more than 60 percent of average monthly income, making smartphones largely inaccessible for the majority of African people.
Therefore, as part of the GSMA Thrive Africa 2020, Orange will be introducing Sanza touch, an exclusive Orange smartphone and the most affordable 4G Android (Go edition) device globally.
The device will retail at US$30 or around N11,500 in Nigeria.
The company said the affordable price “is intended to make it the most accessible on the market with the goal of driving digital inclusion and providing more people access to mobile internet.”
Sanza touch is a 4G smartphone with a 4″ screen, 8GB memory and a 1750mAh battery, offering over 4 hours battery life while streaming videos. Users can use the Orange app collection (My Orange, Orange Money and Livescreen to stay informed on the latest news trends) and access the most popular apps including YouTube Go, Google Go, Facebook and WhatsApp.
The CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, Alioune Ndiaye, said: “Orange wants to strongly accelerate access to connectivity on the African continent. One of the barriers to Internet use is the price and ease of use of most smartphones.
“The partnership with Google to offer the Sanza touch smartphone for sale will enable us to solve this problem thanks to its affordable price and advanced functionalities. While 90% of the world’s population is now covered by mobile broadband, 3.3 billion people who live in areas covered by mobile broadband remain unconnected for reasons such as affordability, low levels of literacy and digital skills.”
Mariam Abdullahi, the Director, Platform Partnerships, Android and Play Africa for Google added that “Our mission at Google has always been to Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible to everyone.”
“We deliver this mission through the building and providing our products and services via key partnerships like this one with Orange. We are excited about the endless possibilities this Sanza touch smartphone will present in learning, economic opportunities and digital accessibility.
“The Goal of our Android devices, including this first-of-its kind highly affordable Android (Go edition) device is to bring the power of computing equitably to all. We can only achieve this mission if everyone is able to access devices at affordable price points to use in their daily lives and have access to the benefits presented by the digital world.”
Pantami Moves to Tackle $2.16bn Capital Flight from Telecoms Sector
$2.16bn Leaves Telecommunications Sector Yearly
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has put the total capital flight from the telecommunications sector at $2.16 billion per year.
A large part of the total amount comes from those renewing and purchasing software licenses, domain subscriptions and renewals, and cybersecurity.
The minister said to stem the trend, the ministry has developed a policy to promote local content in the sector.
In his speech at the digital day celebration, Pantami said the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption, under Pillar #8 of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030), would tackle the issue.
Pantami said, “As part of our efforts to promote indigenous content, we have developed a policy for promoting indigenous content in the telecom sector to complement similar efforts that focus on the information technology sector.
“This is important to stem the tide of capital flight, among other things. A report of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria suggests that such capital flight in the telecom sector is as high as $2.16bn annually.
“A healthy digital economy requires a robust indigenous content policy to significantly reduce this.”
Pantami stated that there was an urgent need to promote and support the development of indigenous content in all sectors.
He explained that the Indigenous Content Development and Adoption pillar was addressing this for the digital economy.
“This pillar aligns with Executive Orders 003 of May 2017 and 005 of February 2018, on ‘Support for Local Content Procurements by Ministries, Department and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on broadband, the minister said the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) was created to speed up the growth of broadband connectivity in Nigeria.
Pantami said, “The plan is designed to deliver data download speeds across Nigeria of a minimum 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with effective coverage available to at least 90 per cent of the population by 2025.
“This will be at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data (two per cent of median income or one per cent of minimum wage).”
Nigeria’s Fintech Startups Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology Startups in Nigeria Raised $122 Million in 2019
Financial Technology (fintech) startups in Nigeria raised a combined $122 million in 2019, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Mr. Olumide Bolumole, the Divisional Head of Listings Business, NSE, disclosed this while speaking on the fintech industry and its growth in recent years.
“The Fintech industry in Nigeria continues to gain increasing popularity after taking the lead in Africa and attracting $122 million in funds in 2019.
“At the exchange, we recognise the opportunity to provide a platform where players in the Fintech landscape can have easier access to right-sized capital to fulfil their organisational objectives.
“The NSE is, therefore, committed to developing multiple solutions to address the needs of the Fintech community in Nigeria such as the provision of the NSE Growth Board.
“The exchange will also prioritise collaborations with organisations such as FinTechNGR to ensure solutions from this webinar are implemented for the benefit of the sector,” he said.
However, with just about 200 fintech companies in Nigeria, the sector is still young and just emerging with room for growth, considering the fact that most Nigerians are still unbanked.
Fintech Companies Raised $554 Million in Investment Last Week
Financial Technology Firms Raised $554 Million Investment Capital Last Week
Financial Technology (Fintech) companies raised a combined $554.17 million from investment rounds last week.
A data compiled by Finbold showed the top 25 fintech firms were led by Razorpay and Wealthsimple.
Razorpay, a payment platform, raised $100 million to account for 18.04 percent of the total amount raised during the week. This was followed by Wealthsimple’s $87 million.
Deepwatch came third with $53 million while NYDIG and M1 Finance came fourth and fifth with $50 million and $45 million, respectively.
Other noteable fintechs include Extend $40 million; FOSSA $30.55 million; +Simple $23.75 million; Finexio $23 million; and Sonrai Security $20 million.
On the other hand, Evolve Credit was the last among the 25 companies. It raised $0.025 million while Upside Saving raised the second least fund at $0.42 million. Also, they were the two firms that raised below $1 million in the week under review.
Oliver Scott, a Finbold editor, who spoke on funding in the fintech sector, said “Notably, venture capital is still the primary source of funding for fintech startups. However, new trends indicate a high level of private equity and debt financing. Additionally, more funding activity is concentrated around later funding rounds. The sector is also witnessing a rise in IPOs and acquisitions. Such trends are pointing to a maturing market.”
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