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The partnership with Network International equips Airtel Africa to adeptly handle the evolving digital finance sector, fostering innovation and providing exceptional value to customers and stakeholders alike. (Image source: Airtel Africa)

Airtel Africa, a prominent telecommunications and mobile money service provider operating in 14 African nations, has recently designated Network International (Network) as its official payment processor

Network, a key player in digital commerce within the Middle East and Africa (MEA), is poised to enhance Airtel’s delivery of state-of-the-art mobile services throughout the continent.

Enhancing digital finance in Africa

The partnership with Network International equips Airtel Africa to adeptly handle the evolving digital finance sector, fostering innovation and providing exceptional value to customers and stakeholders alike.

Boasting operations in 50 countries, including 40 in Africa, and supporting over 200 financial institutions with more than 1.6 billion transactions, Network International’s profound understanding of the African market positions it as an optimal ally for Airtel Africa. Network International is set to deploy its services across pivotal Airtel Africa markets, encompassing card issuance and technical assistance. The suite of services extends to transaction processing, card management, fraud prevention online, reconciliation, settlement, and granting Airtel users online access. This initiative promises Airtel Africa’s customers a seamless and enhanced experience, granting easy access to a broad spectrum of traditional mobile and innovative digital payment services.

Speaking on the partnership, Ian Ferrao, group CEO, Airtel Money, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Network International to enhance our payment processing capabilities. This collaboration will enable us to deliver a superior customer experience and drive digital financial inclusion across Africa. Network International's proven track record and deep understanding of the African market will allow us to innovate and scale our services more effectively. Together, we will empower our users with seamless and secure payment solutions, fostering economic growth and inclusion in the communities we serve.”

Dr Reda Helal, group managing director – processing, Africa and co-head group Processing at Network International, commented, “Our collaboration with Airtel marks a major milestone for our outsourced payments services in Africa. It demonstrates our ability to successfully serve Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) via our fully-fledged processing solutions and our continued dedication and commitment to the African region. We are excited to support Airtel’s growth strategy and its business development plans for the entire continent.”

(L-R) Dr Bienvenu Agbokponto Soglo, Intel director of government affairs and IGA chief technology officer Liaison, with Ousmane Fall, acting AfDB director of industrial and trade development. (Image source: African Development Bank Group)

The collaboration between the African Development Bank and the tech titan Intel has been officially established to revolutionize the digital landscape of Africa. This alliance is set to provide AI training to three million Africans and 30,000 government officials

The agreement, which was finalised at the African Development Bank’s annual meetings held in Nairobi, Kenya, is expected to build a substantial base of African individuals skilled in the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). This initiative aims to transform Africans into active participants in 4IR, not merely passive users. The educational programs will tackle socio-economic issues and enhance productivity in vital sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and education, thus altering the conventional patterns of economic growth.

Intel’s director of government affairs Africa and IGA CTO Liaison, Bienvenu Agbokponto Soglo, commented, “Intel looks forward to furthering its collaboration with African governments to make advanced technologies such as AI accessible to all, breaking down barriers related to geography, gender, and ethnicity, and enabling widespread participation in the digital economy.”

Furthermore, the partnership is set to aid African nations, regional economic groups, and continental entities in crafting unified policies and regulatory structures for AI, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, data, and cloud technologies.

Highlighting the significance of digital competencies for the African youth, Ousmane Fall, the African Development Bank’s acting director of industrial and trade development, remarked, “With advancements in digital technology, our world is rapidly evolving, and so is our youthful population, projected to reach 830 million by 2050. To develop skills on a large scale and at the necessary speed, we need everyone’s cooperation,” adding, “The Bank is thrilled to collaborate with Intel to work towards this shared commitment. Together, we are shaping the digital future of Africa and empowering our youth.”

Vertiv launches Vertiv 360AI in EMEA, offering high-density power and cooling solutions to meet the demands of AI, from edge to data centers. (Image source: Vertiv)

Vertiv, a worldwide provider of essential digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, is reshaping the data center landscape with the introduction of its new high-density infrastructure solutions portfolio, Vertiv 360AI

This suite is engineered to meet the escalating power and cooling demands of AI and is now accessible throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). The Vertiv 360AI range is crafted to expedite AI implementations of varying magnitudes, from rack solutions suitable for test pilots and Edge AI to comprehensive data centers dedicated to AI model training.

The surge in AI and accelerated computing has led to an unparalleled need for power and cooling, with projections indicating rack densities could soar to as much as 500kW per rack. Consequently, the intricacies of power and cooling infrastructure design and implementation have intensified. Vertiv 360AI offers a straightforward solution for powering and cooling AI, encompassing an extensive array of power, cooling, and service solutions that tackle the intricate issues spawned by the AI revolution. The Vertiv 360AI suite encompasses verified designs and pre-fabricated solutions that leverage Vertiv’s extensive knowledge, thereby streamlining design processes.

Karsten Winther, Vertiv’s president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), expressed excitement about the expansion, “After the successful launch in North America, we’re thrilled to bring the new Vertiv 360AI portfolio to EMEA and boost our customers’ AI plans. Our solutions provide a streamlined approach for scalable AI infrastructure, addressing the evolving challenges posed by high-performance computing. Vertiv 360AI is designed to help accelerate retrofits of air-cooled edge and enterprise data centres, as well as the development of hyperscale greenfield projects.”

Moreover, Vertiv 360AI introduces prefabricated modular solutions that facilitate AI deployment without disrupting current operations or occupying additional floorspace. The initial offerings from Vertiv 360AI can manage and moderate over 130kW per rack and feature designs that are fine-tuned for retrofitting purposes.

The Vertiv 360AI portfolio will be showcased throughout the EMEA leg of the Vertiv AI Solutions Innovation Roadshow.

Ethio Telecom expands 4G to 77 more towns, increasing coverage to 417 cities. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Last week, Ethio Telecom, the Ethiopian government’s telecommunication enterprise, declared the expansion of its 4G internet network to an additional 77 towns throughout the country

This expansion increases the total count of cities with 4G connectivity in Ethiopia to 417.

The company stated in a release, “Our company is committed to continuously developing various infrastructures and deploying cutting-edge technologies to simplify the daily lives of citizens and modernise work systems, thereby boosting the digital economy and promoting the multi-dimensional development of the nation.”

The rapid growth of 4G network access is expected to enable Ethio Telecom to connect with a larger audience. Moreover, it positions the company to consolidate its dominance amidst escalating market competition. Since October 2022, Ethio Telecom has been competing with Safaricom Ethiopia, a private telecom operator. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government is considering the introduction of another private telecom service provider.

For context, as of the end of 2023, Ethio Telecom reported having 74.6 million customers, which includes 36.4 million internet users. Meanwhile, Safaricom Ethiopia had accumulated 9.4 million mobile subscribers by the end of March 2023. The coverage of Safaricom’s network extends to approximately 40% of the Ethiopian populace, which the World Bank estimates to be 123.4 million.

As a Google Cloud Interconnect provider, Liquid C2 can now offer its customers direct access to Google Cloud services. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Liquid C2, a division of Liquid Intelligent Technologies and a prominent pan-African technology group, has become the first Google Cloud Interconnect provider in Africa

This strategic collaboration with Google Cloud, a leading global hyperscaler, greatly enhances the cloud solutions that Liquid C2 provides to its customers across the continent through its Cloud Connect portfolio.

Cloud Interconnect allows organisations to extend their external networks directly to the Google Cloud network via a private, high-availability, low-latency connection. As a Google Cloud Interconnect provider, Liquid C2 can now offer its customers direct access to Google Cloud services. This enables African companies to leverage the full benefits of the Cloud.

The direct connection's increased speed and higher bandwidth significantly improve the performance of cloud-based applications. By utilising this service, Liquid C2 customers will reduce their dependence on the public internet, thereby enhancing security and overall business performance.

“Being the first Google Cloud Interconnect provider on the continent is a significant milestone on our journey to becoming the leading provider of cloud solutions in Africa. By partnering with Google Cloud, we can leverage the strengths of both organisations to offer solutions that address the needs of the African market. Direct access to the Google Cloud network will bring about the enhanced security and operating efficiencies that our customers in wholesale, enterprise, and government are seeking,” said Oswald Jumira, CEO of Liquid C2.

Liquid C2’s partnership with Google Cloud aligns perfectly with its vision of a digitally enabled Africa where no African is left behind. It also reflects Liquid C2’s commitment to empowering businesses on the continent with tailored solutions to meet their unique technological needs.

This partnership builds on Liquid C2’s existing collaborations with Google Cloud to provide AI-driven cloud and security solutions to customers across Africa, further enhancing its position as a trusted Managed Service Provider.

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