It's that time of the year when music streaming services give us a recap of what we’ve been listening to all year.
Everyone’s WhatsApp status is filled with screenshots of their Spotify Wrapped. The only thing I’ve learnt from all the screenshots is that my contacts have very poor taste in music. Imagine someone having Davido’s Feel as most listened to.
Anyway, American singer Taylor Swift is the most streamed artist this year with 26.1 billion streams, ending Bad Bunny’s three-year reign.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Burna Boy is the most streamed artist for the second year in a row. I had my money on Rema but it is what it is.
The most interesting thing about Spotify Wrapped, however, is its impact on Spotify’s marketing and branding.
In 2022 there were 425 million tweets about Spotify Wrapped, three days after it was released. The lesson here is that shareable content is the best content.
Here are the stories for today.
- London-based fintech partners with UBA in Kenya
- Ethio Telecom extends 5G coverage
- Safaricom partners with Ethiopian fintech to facilitate payments
A fintech from London is partnering with UBA
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How? Verto is an enterprise-grade cross-border payment and FX solutions company that processes over $2 billion every year. It has partnerships with other financial institutions from Africa such as Paystack, Chipper Cash and Bamboo.
Country Director for Verto in Kenya, Kevin Nganga said that “by aligning with UBA Bank, Verto is strategically positioned in East Africa to tackle the growing complexities of international trade, especially in dealing with different currencies.”
Foreign competition? Verto is not the only UK-based fintech setting its eye on Africa. Another UK fintech called Unlimit, acquired a Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) licence in Nigeria and Kenya this year.
According to the company’s Director for Africa, Trevor Goott, “Kenya serves as an ideal hub for the expansion of our operations in the region." The question is, are these companies taking lunch from local fintechs or helping them?
Ethio Telecom extends 5G coverage
Ethiopian telecommunications company, Ethio Telecom has launched its 5G services in the city of Jijiga.
Following this, customers around Old Taiwan, Ethio Telecom Regional office, Parliament Hall, Sheik Abdusalam School, Regional Administration Office, Regional Revenue Office, and Hodley (Palace and Airport Road) can now access 5G services.
In 2022, the state-owned telco launched 5G services in the capital city of Addis Ababa. At the launch, Chief Executive Officer Frehiwot Tamru revealed that the telco planned to have 150 5G sites across the country.
Zoom out: Ethio Telecom was founded in 2010 and was the sole telco in the country for a long time. In 2021 it revealed plans to sell a 40% stake. In the same year, Safaricom received a licence to operate in the country.
At the time, French telco, Orange indicated interest in acquiring part of the company. However, Reuters reports that the company has withdrawn its interest.
"After analysis, the Group believes that the conditions do not allow for the rapid deployment of our strategy and the completion of a project that would create value for the company," it said in a statement.
Safaricom partners with Ethiopian fintech to facilitate payments
Safaricom will provide M-PESA services to users on the Chapa app after it closed a partnership with the two-year-old fintech.
The partnership will empower Chapa's merchants to receive payments through M-PESA while M-PESA customers can make payments to Chapa's merchants.
Both companies hope to expand their customer bases in Ethiopia through the partnership. Safaricom launched M-PESA in the country this August and has already seen more than a million Ethiopian residents sign up.
"M-PESA has been received warmly here in Ethiopia as demonstrated by its onboarding of over a million customers in its first three months. Partnering with them allows merchants using our payment gateway to easily transact with this rapidly growing customer base. Therefore, the partnership helps both parties grow together while empowering entrepreneurs and businesses," Hailemariam said.
Zoom out: Chapa was founded in 2020 by Nael Hailemariam and Israel Goytom Birhane and provides a range of financial services, including a payment gateway, capital, and virtual card services.
In July 2023, it announced a partnership to enable merchants using Telegram to accept payments without leaving the app while it recently began enabling payments on Little Cab, a ride-hailing startup backed by Safaricom.
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