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Vodacom launches a $150K digital accelerator to fuel Tanzania startups

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Vodacom has launched Vodacom Digital Accelerator, a $150,000 initiative to invest in early-stage and growth-stage startups in Tanzania.

The new accelerator will identify and support startup Tanzanian entrepreneurs in mobile, telecom, fintech, media, health, education, and e-commerce.

According to Vodacom Tanzania Plc’s Managing Director Hisham Hendi, “We always aim to create impactful sustainable change in the society where we operate in line with our strategic business focus and, the Vodacom Accelerator aims to do just that.”

Digital technology is not only changing the way firms do business in Africa but also revolutionizing the way they perceive and solve issues of development.

Startups and innovators selected stand a chance to partners with the telco, get mentorship, technical assistance, marketing and exposure to Vodacom and Smart Lab’s large network of partners and finally customers to test and experience their solutions.

The telco’s director of Corporate Affairs Rosalynn Mworia said the firm is investing more than $150,000 into the accelerator program which will go towards educating and empowering Tanzania‘s youth.

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During the program which also aims at leveraging corporate resources, networks, mentors, and partners, participants will present their progress to a panel of investors and associates at the end of a 3-month acceleration period from which winners will get further support for an added period of 6 months.

Smart Codes Chief Executive Officer Edwin Bruno shared his excitement for the new program saying that, “we are excited to be part of the “Vodacom Accelerator” and together we hope to create a brand building platform for the tech savvy youth.”

Tanzania has more than 45 tech hubs in 2019, up from just a handful of hubs in 2011 but there little or no involvement from the corporate side The two firms aim to bridge the gap.


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Vilcap, AMI launch NextGen Ecosystem Builders for startup talent in Africa

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Village Capital (Vilcap) and African Management Institute, with support from the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), have launched NextGen Ecosystem Builders Africa 2020 to support the growth of talent in accelerators and incubators in Africa.

Vilcap and African Management Institute, say the management development program, open for applications here includes training on both technical skills and soft skills for participating mid-level team members within entrepreneur support organisations in Africa.

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Africa’s startup ecosystems have experienced incredible growth in recent years, driven in part by the rise of entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) which encompass coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators, business advisory firms, markerspaces/fablabs and tech hubs. The number of active Tech Hubs has tripled from 200 in 2015 to more than 600 in 2019.

These organisations are critical to the success of Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurship sector, providing entrepreneurs with business training, access to markets, networks and mentors, financial and social capital, and in-kind support. They are key to unlocking the pipeline of early-stage innovation in Africa, and driving investment and job creation across the continent.

However, these ESOs face their own barriers to sustainability and growth. As highlighted in Village Capital’s 2019 report Unlocking Pipeline, these barriers include talent attraction and retention, the ability to absorb increasing amounts of capital from donors, impact measurement, efficiency and productivity of internal operations, and time/budget to develop, test and enhance products and services. 

All of these challenges can be overcome through the vision and execution of a strong team, especially the mid-level managers who lead programs or departments and are responsible for the successful implementation of services/programs for entrepreneurs. These mid-level team members with the strategic guidance of strong leadership are the key to delivering exceptional outcomes at the organisational level. 

Currently, overstretched budgets and intense program schedules leave very little time to provide these critical team members with skill enhancement and professional development to overcome these barriers and deliver better outcomes to the entrepreneurs and enterprises they serve. 

Village Capital and African Management Institute, with support from the Dutch Good Growth Fund, have launched a management training program for the next generation of talent within entrepreneur support organisations in Africa. 

Apply here.


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Jumia Kenya appoints new CCO to drive commercial success

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Jumia Kenya has appointed Kenneth Oyolla as its Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) to drive commercial success as the firm eyes new revenue streams.

Oyolla joins Jumia from IPS Group Limited where he previously held the same position. He brings a wealth of experience from the industry, having held senior Commercial and Management positions across Unilever, Nokia, Microsoft and Multichoice.

He has vast knowledge in Brand and Marketing Management, Brand and Sales Management, Product Marketing, Customer Marketing, Global Business Development, and E-commerce Sales Management

He will be tasked to grow the company’s position as the leading e-commerce marketplace in Kenya, drive commercial success of the company and shape its strategic plan for growth.

Kenneth holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Nairobi and is an alumni of London Business School.  He is an accomplished leader with deep operational and leadership experience gained across multiple geographies globally.

Prior to joining Jumia, Kenneth has held various roles as a startup entrepreneur and in general management roles in the software and broadcast media as well as manufacturing industries with Multichoice and Industrial Promotion Services.

Kenneth takes over from Diana Owusu-Kyereko, who, after nearly 3 years as part of the Jumia Kenya family, will be taking on the role of CEO for Jumia Ghana.

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Jumia recently sold its Africa travel business to TravelStart, a Cape Town-based online travel agency. The firm also shut down its operations in Rwanda, its third African market.

TravelStart will power Jumia Travel’s pan-African online travel booking portal and will take control of the sales, fulfilment and customer service aspects of Jumia Travel online booking websites in all its operating territories.


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Huawei sold 6.9 million 5G devices in 2019 taking 53.9% of 5G market

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Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) yesterday announced that. It has shipped 6.9 million units of 5G smartphones as of December 2019. This is in addition to offering end-to-end 5G solutions.

The strong sales reflect Huawei’s relentless commitment to 5G R&D and reinforce Huawei’s leadership in 5G technology. Despite the China-US trade wars that saw Huawei engulfed at the centre of the rift, Huawei managed to surpass the milestone.

The figure reflects 53.9 per cent sales which over half of the global 5G marketplace.

ReadHuawei Mate 30 Pro 5G Now Available in the United Arab Emirates

Samsung and Huawei have for long had a battle of market superiority in 5G space. Huawei sells 6 devices with 5G under its own brand. The devices include the  Mate 20 X 5G, Mate 30 5G, Mate 30 Pro 5G, Mate 30 RS Porsche Design, nova 6 5G, the foldable Mate X. There are two more under the subsidiary brand Honor – the V30 and the V30 Pro.

Weibo post claims that the latter two devices managed to win the title for the “Best Selling Phone on JD.com and Tmall” in its price category.

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Speculations around the win suggest that Samsung achieved its sales across the world, including the United States. while Huawei accomplished in 2019 were from its domestic market where its Korean competitor is practically absent.

There are some countries with 5G networks that sell phones by the Chinese company, like the United Arab Emirates, but their contribution to the milestone is minuscule, given the size of the market.

According to Egypt Today’s post. Huawei is an industry leader that offers the full spectrum of 5G technologies, including 5G infrastructure technology. It also offers 5G network equipment which includes base stations, core networks, optical networks and mmWave-enabled technology.  Other include 5G chipsets and 5G end-user devices which makes it top of the 5G market.

Huawei 2020 speculations

Heading into 2020. Huawei’s 5G devices and infrastructure are giving consumers than ever the ability to connect with the world through 5G. They expect to ship more devices in the new year.


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