Today's letter is starting with this information that is not directly related to the tech ecosystem. An Anthrax outbreak has been confirmed in two West African countries—Ghana and Nigeria. It is a severe infectious disease that affects both animals and human beings.
Health experts have urged that people should ensure good hygiene, avoid consumption of undercook or raw meat and also ensure the vaccination of animals to prevent transmission.
Meanwhile, in tech this week, we will explore the fintech sector in Nigeria and Kenya and work culture at CCI Kenya.
In this letter, we will cover:
- why Safaricom launched M-PESA in South Asia
- the impersonation of Nigerian digital lender Sycamore
- Sexual harassments allegations at CCI, Africa’s largest call centre company
And other noteworthy information like:
- the latest African tech startup deals
- opportunities, interesting reads and more
The big three
#1. Safaricom launches M-PESA in South Asia
The news: East African leading telco Safaricom has partnered with Terrapay, a global payments company to launch its mobile money service M-PESA in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The duo says that the partnership will allow over 32 million M-PESA customers to send and receive money to more than 200 million people across the two South Asian countries using the M-PESA Super App or by dialling *334# and selecting M-PESA Global under the “Send Money” option.
In the coming months, Safaricom plans to expand the offering to two other countries in the region, Nepal and India.
Why it matters: “Remittances have become an economic lifeline for thousands of households and businesses in the country, connecting them to opportunities and empowering our customers to transact conveniently and affordably around the world,” says Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom. “This partnership opens up one of the world’s largest remittance markets making Kenyans more globally connected.”
Terrapay is one of the over 35 payment partners under the M-PESA Global service which enables customers in Kenya to send and receive money and make and receive payments across more than 170 countries.
Know more: According to Safaricom's last financial year to March 2023, more than 917,000 customers used the M-PESA Global service, transacting more than $2.94 billion in over 31.8 million transactions. Additionally, M-PESA processed more than 90% of all remittances in Kenya.
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#2. “An app impersonated us,” Sycamore reacts to FCCPC delisting
The news: Last week, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission announced that it has delisted two licensed digital money lenders (DMLs) for unethical practices such as duplicity and the use of Android Package Kits (APKs) file formats.
According to a statement seen by Bendada.com, the two DMLs were Sycamore Integrated Solutions Limited and Orange Loan & Purple Credit Limited. “The illegal DMLs provide links to consumers to visit unregistered websites using Android devices,” says Babatunde Irukera, CEO of FCCPC. Irukera said that both lenders had unregistered apps named Get Loan and Camelloan.
What we found out: However, our investigations revealed that “Get Loan” which claimed on Google Playstore that it is offered by Sycamore was an impersonator. The original owners of the app which are named “Edmond Solutions” are operating with a fake address.
On Friday, Sycamore issued a statement to distance itself from the app which has been accused by several users of predatory lending. Google has since deleted the “Get Loan” app from Playstore but FCCPC is yet to release a clarification to its previous allegations.
#3. CCI Kenya, Africa’s largest call centre company under fire for alleged sexual harassment
The news: More than 20 current and former employees of Call Center International Kenya said they have faced sexual harassment and abuse at the company, according to a report by Rest of World.
Most of these employees said they received unsolicited sexual favours, harassment and intimidation from senior management staff. “I told him [referring to an operations manager] I can’t have such a relationship at work, and that is when we became enemies,” Emma, an agent at CCI Kenya told Rest of World. “From that day, he would shout at me or write me up any slight chance he got and kept changing my shifts to frustrate me.”