Tanzania launches Tanzanite Portal to improve regulatory processes

January 31, 2024
4 min read
Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority

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Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Tanzania launches portal for communication services
  • Centenary Bank launches WhatsApp banking in Uganda
  • Apollo’s $10 million funding

 Tanzania launches portal for communication services 

Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has launched the Tanzanite Portal system to improve operational efficiency and provide a more transparent and open user experience.

Jabiri Bakari, TCRA Director General, stated that the Tanzanite Portal significantly improves registration processes for communication products and services.

He also said the portal expedites fee payment processes, customer-regulator feedback management, and administrative Know Your Customer processes.

The portal will facilitate the issuance of communication licences in many subsector categories, including telecommunications, postal service, the Internet, and broadcasting.

Therefore, without physically visiting TCRA offices, individuals and businesses can submit licence applications.

Notably, individuals with communication licences and citizens alike can now use their phones to confirm the legitimacy of services by entering the USSD code *150*52#, giving them control over unapproved communication service providers.

Bakari emphasised that the Tanzanite Portal is critical to facilitating efficient planning, allocation, and tracking of postal codes for residential addresses. The platform streamlines interactions and guarantees timely responses by managing customer feedback and giving licenced service providers access to crucial regulatory information.

Centenary Bank launches WhatsApp banking in Uganda 

Centenary Bank

What's the news? Centenary Bank, a Ugandan commercial bank, has launched CenteWhatsApp banking.

What does this mean? Customers can use WhatsApp to check their account balances, transfer money, pay bills, receive real-time notifications and apply for a mobile loan of up to UGX 5 million ($1,307.76).

How does it work? Customers who want to use CenteWhatsApp banking must save the bank's verified WhatsApp number, 0744 200 555, to their phone contacts before initiating the process by sending a message.

A menu will appear, allowing customers to select their preferred option and follow the prompts to finish the transaction. All transactions are secured by a one-time PIN (OTP) sent to the customer's registered bank number to access the CenteMobile banking service.

Why does it matter? This initiative aims to tap into the popularity of WhatsApp, enabling a broader audience to conduct banking transactions conveniently using the messaging app on their mobile devices.

According to Managing Director Fabian Kasi, the widespread use of WhatsApp offers a familiar and user-friendly interface, allowing users to manage their finances through instant messaging.

Some numbers: In Uganda, it is projected that 7.48 million people will be online by 2024, constituting 14.99% of the total population. While 4.5 million Ugandans use WhatsApp, only 34% of the population had a bank account as of 2023.

 Apollo’s $10 million funding 

Apollo co-founders
L-R: Eli Pollak (Co-founder & CEO), Benjamin Njenga (Co-founder & CCO), and Earl St Sauver (Co-founder). Source: Supplied

Apollo Agriculture, a Kenyan agritech startup, has secured $10 million for expansion across Africa.

This move comes two years after raising $40 million in a Series B round to bolster food security and penetrate international markets.

The latest funding injection from Swedfund and ImpactConnect will empower the startup to extend crucial resources to more smallholder farmers, driving profitability, advocating sustainable farming practices, and fortifying food security.

Launched in 2016 by Eli Pollak (CEO), Benjamin Njenga (CCO), and Earl St Sauver (CTO), Apollo aids small-scale African farmers in boosting their incomes by facilitating access to financing, premium farm inputs, insurance, and personalised guidance.

With offices in three countries, including Zambia and the Netherlands, and team members spanning eleven countries, Apollo had amassed total funding of $64.7 million across ten rounds by December 2023.

Over 350,000 farmers in Kenya and Zambia have benefitted from farm input products and financial services provided by agritech firms. The funding unlocks the potential to cater to an additional 400,000 farmers, accelerating Apollo's expansion.

What’s more, the additional funding will allow Apollo to broaden its presence throughout Kenya, granting more farmers access to financial assistance and essential digital tools. 

In case you missed it

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Have a happy Tuesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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