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4G services will be available in 78% African countries by year end 2018

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A study conducted by data and analytics company, GlobalData reveals that by the end of 2018, a total of 43 out of 55 African countries (or 78%) will offer 4G services.

In spite of this, there are a few laggards, one of them being Mozambique – a country of nearly 30 million people. However, in late July 2018, Mozambique’s telecoms regulator finally announced that a 4G auction will take place in the next 2-3 months, meaning services would most likely come online in 2019. This would make Mozambique the last major economy in Southern Africa to launch 4G services.

Over the last few years, African countries have been rolling out 4G mobile networks across the continent at break-neck speed. In the last 24 months, even minnows such as Djibouti, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau have launched new fast 4G services.

Read Also: Huawei overtakes Apple as second biggest smartphone seller

The provision of 4G data speeds, in conjunction with recent smartphone usage trends – fuelled by falling device prices – is sure to further spur data revenues for mobile network operators across both the urban and rural parts of Africa.

Countries yet to launch 4G services by the end of 2018 include Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Principe.

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Mastercard Foundation launches $200 million fund to support female-centric African SMEs

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The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF), has announced the launching of a $200 million funding initiative for female-centric Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The MFAGF, in a statement on Thursday, said the funding scheme will work through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, and beside providing capital for investment vehicles, “The Fund of Funds” will offer a business development facility for its portfolio companies.

The initiative, it said, will use gender lens investing principles to help advance the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“The program has so far identified two investment vehicles, one in East Africa and another in West Africa to help in supporting entrepreneurial growth,” the MFAGF said.

“The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund’s goal is to provide dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women.

“The Fund of Funds is catalytic, helping to bring in additional capital for African entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. It strengthens and de-risks African investment funds committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.

“Mastercard has a vision of enabling 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. Eligible enterprises are those owned and led by African entrepreneurs and located on the African continent are often considered high-risk,” it added.

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South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital, announces new $25 million seed funding

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South African early-stage venture capital fund firm, 4Di Capital, has announced a new $25 million seed funding few months after the company raised $8 million funds from the South African SME Fund.

Founded in 2009, 4Di Capital principal partner, Justin Stanford, said the outfit has since then played a key role in uplifting startups across different parts of the continent with the startups reaping from its hands-on experience and approach in growing and scaling new businesses in Africa.

“Having spent the past 13 years refining our investment strategy and expanding our footprint past South Africa into the East African market and beyond, we look forward to collaborating hand-in-hand with our new partners,” Stanford said in a statement on Wednesday while announcing the funding.

The new fund which was created in partnership with DotEXe Ventures in Mauritius, Stanford said, will help 4Di Capital invest in more viable startups in Africa.

“Unlike other markets globally which have become saturated, the African market still represents an opportunity for investors.

“The investment landscape is less competitive, resulting in more favourable valuations and terms, and thus the opportunity to potentially achieve higher returns,” Stanford added.

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