Tariff increases unsettle Zimbabwe telecommunications firms

Zim telcos
feel rattled

Tariff increases will
have an impact.

Thursday, Nov 14th

Alibaba's Ma launches US$10m start-up contest in Jhb

Alibaba's Ma launches USm start-up contest in Jhb

The co-founder and executive chairman of global e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has launched the Jack Ma Africa Netpreneur Prize to support African entrepreneurs with US$10 million in prize money.

The contest will run over 10 years and will focus on boosting Africa's digital economy through local entrepreneurship.

Ma met with South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa hours before launching the prize.

In a tweet posted after the meeting, Ramaphosa described Ma as one of the world's foremost entrepreneurs and investors. "We exchanged views & had a good discussion on the global economy & prospects for investment in South Africa. I wish him all the best with his visit."

Brian Wong, Vice President for Global Initiatives for the Alibaba Group says this most recent Netpreneurs event in Africa, the third since 2017, is an important moment for the continent.

"It is an inflection point and all of us here are creating a digital movement. With internet penetration, smartphone ownership and e-commerce all on the rise, entire industries will be completely remade as new venture emerge to solve uniquely African challenges within the inclusive digital economy. At Alibaba we saw the same thing happen over the last twenty years in China. We saw how the internet and technology has completely transformed the economy. We really do believe that Africa is on the brink of the transformation. The digital economy is not just a buzzword. It is an opportunity to remake the economic reality of the continent through entrepreneurs who are the catalysts for change."

Bogolo Kenewendo, Botswana's Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, said African governments need to prioritise the rollout of internet connectivity.

"In my country there is a Universal Services Fund and when it started it was just for telecommunications industry to encourage the mobile operators to reach out to those in the rural spaces but that is currently being extended to include more internet services. I think it needs to go beyond the provision of hotspot and universal coverage to include an education system that allows people to thrive in the digital economy."

Ma first visited Africa in July 2017 in his capacity as special adviser for UNCTAD to promote entrepreneurship on the continent.

He met the Presidents of Kenya and Rwanda and committed to train 200 young African entrepreneurs and founders of digital startups, as well as to create training programs centered on e-commerce and the digital economy in partnership with academic institutions and governments.

To date, Alibaba says it has already hosted 52 of these African entrepreneurs in its Hangzhou China headquarters as part of the eFounders Fellowship.


Advantech is Taiwan's 5th Best Global Brand for two years in a row Published on 05 November 2019

Advantech has again been ranked in the top five of Taiwan international brands for 2019.

In a world of false economies, Bitcoin offers an alternative Published on 31 October 2019

We are seeing money being printed at rates not seen since post the 2008 financial crisis, but the difference between now and then, is that we have Bitcoin: a monetary alternative says Richard de Sousa, cofounder and chief executive officer of AltCoinTrader.

Workz, Econet partner to bring eSIM to Zimbabwe Published on 06 November 2019

IOT provider and network operator announce successful trials of virtual SIM for Zimbabwean subscribers.

Tigo, Zantel move ahead with merge in Tanzania Published on 08 November 2019

Deal awaits regulatory approval, but process to transfer ownership of shares in Zantel to Tigo is complete.