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Mastercard has purchased a minority stake in mobile operator MTN Group’s fintech business. MTN is Africa’s largest mobile network operator, sharing the benefits of a modern connected life with 272 million customers in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East. Established in 1994 in South Africa, the company provides voice, data, fintech, digital, enterprise, wholesale, and API services. Mastercard’s Minority Stake In MTN Last year, in 2023, Mastercard announced it would purchase a minority stake in the MTN, and now, six months later, they have. In a statement, MTN said it had

In recognition of this year’s Black History Month theme, African Americans and the Arts, we will explore the intersection of Black arts and tech throughout February. The origins of digital art can be traced back to ideologies present in the first half of the 20th century. While artists were keenly interested in innovations, the rich potential of modern technologies as tools in art only began to be explored as access increased in the 1950s and beyond. Digital art is a term used to describe art that is made or presented

Google has announced its cloud region in Johannesburg, South Africa, is operational, the first on the continent. Africa’s internet economy is estimated to reach $180 billion by 2025, accounting for 5.2% of the continent’s gross domestic product. Google alone has committed $1 billion to boost Africa’s digital transformation, recognizing that critical drivers of the continent’s growth will include investing in infrastructure, nurturing the growing tech talent pool, and enabling a vibrant startup ecosystem. Now, a year after the company picked Johannesburg as its first African site, the cloud region is

Last year, African startups raised $2.9 billion in deals worth $100,000 and above (excluding exits). Although this amounts to a 39% drop compared to 2022, the continent is showing signs of resilience. Shifting investor landscape In 2023, Techstars was the top investor with 56 deals, surpassing Launch Africa. Other key players included Founders Factory Africa, Ventures Platform, Norrsken, and Y Combinator. All but Norrsken did fewer deals in 2023 than in 2022. For example, YC added only 12 African startups to its 2023 cohorts, compared to 43 in 2022 and

BlackRock Inc. has agreed to purchase Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi co-founded, for around $12.5 billion. BlackRock Inc. Purchases GIP GIP is a leading global independent infrastructure fund manager. They target infrastructure businesses and assets in the energy, transportation, digital, water, and waste sectors, where they believe their expertise and relationships provide a competitive advantage. It was founded in 2006 and has grown to be one of the world’s largest infrastructure investors, managing $100 billion in assets on behalf of its global investor base. Along the almost 20-year history

Nigerian fintech startup Cleva has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by San Francisco-based 1984 Ventures. Founded by Tolu Alabi and Phillip Abel, alumni of Stripe and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cleva’s product provides a way for Africans to navigate hyperinflation challenges. Africans face persistent challenges in receiving international payments for their skills and products. According to the startup, it is estimated that the market for facilitating payments for remote workers and freelancers in Africa will be an $18 billion opportunity. Nigerian Startup Cleva Cleva is a USD banking platform for emerging

Seedstars Africa Ventures fund has received a $30 million capital commitment from EIB Global, an arm of the European Investment Bank. To launch the fund, the VC firm’s partners Maxime Bouan, Tamim El Zein, and Bruce Nsereko Lule teamed up with the Seedstars Group, tapping its infrastructure and market access in Africa. Seedstars Africa Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in high-growth companies active across Sub-Saharan Africa. Through initial funding of $8 million from the fund’s anchor investor, French private equity firm LBO France, the VC firm has already invested in four

Renowned Haitian rapper and investor Wyclef Jean has partnered with Caribbean International Commerce (CICH) to establish a technology and infrastructure hub in Nigeria. The initiative is set to catalyze economic empowerment, sustainability, and technological innovation in the North of Nigeria. The Partnership This partnership aims to create a symphony of innovation, combining state-of-the-art music and movie studios with a commitment to eco-friendly practices and equitable wealth distribution in commodity markets.  After securing over 4,000 hectares in Plateau State for the development of this hub, Jean and CICH aim to have

Kenyan President William Ruto has announced that Meta has agreed to monetize content in Kenya, benefitting the country’s creators. Following a year-long negotiation with the Kenyan government, Facebook and Instagram content creators will begin earning from these Meta platforms. Paying Kenyan Content Creators The President revealed that Meta had run a pilot program with eligible Kenyan content creators. “I have good news for our creatives and those who imagine and produce content through Facebook and Instagram,” Ruto said during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi. “Just yesterday, Meta committed

BlackRhino VR, a leading Kenyan extended reality tech company, has launched MediAR. The groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) platform aims to revolutionize how creators engage with AR technology, empowering them within Africa’s burgeoning creative economy. Empowering Creatives, Democratizing Tech BlackRhino VR was founded by in 2015 by medical student-turned-filmmaker Michael Ilako and deejay-turned-brand manager Brian Afande. The company’s no-code AR cloud editor and publishing platform, MediAR, is positioned as Africa’s first. As a no-code platform, creatives can produce AR content without any previous coding or programming experience. MediAR features an intuitive

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