MTN partners to bring e-commerce services to African markets
MTN Group today announced a partnership agreement that will enable Africa’s leading telecoms operator to extend online retail and other essential digital services on the African continent.
MTN has partnered with Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular to develop internet businesses in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH), an exclusive vehicle to develop e-commerce businesses across the continent.
MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet will each become 33.3 percent shareholders in AIH.
Commenting on the transaction, Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said: “We are excited to engage in a strategic partnership with Rocket Internet and Millicom to develop online ventures across the fast growing internet markets of Africa.
“Rocket Internet’s proven successful track record, coupled with Millicom and MTN’s leading mobile telecommunications position, will allow the partnership to capture the growth potential of the digital media space across our footprint in the region”.
Founded in 2012 as a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, AIH is a leading internet group in Africa, with presence in 13 countries on the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
“The company has developed several successful e-commerce ventures in the past 18 months, including Jumia, Zando, Kaymu, Jovago, Lamudi, Carmudi, Easytaxi and Hellofood.
Millicom President and CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht said:“We are pleased to welcome MTN as a strategic partner to accelerate the growth of our online alliance in Africa.
“It is a significant vote of confidence in its future. Between us we have more than 220 million mobile customers in the continent with very limited overlap.
“MTN is the leader in Nigeria and South Africa, the largest markets for AIH currently, while Millicom contributes through its leading positions in our markets, combined with one of the most innovative product offerings.”
The investment in AIH is in line with MTN’s strategy of bringing the digital world to customers, adapting to their rapidly changing needs and delivering a consistent end-to-end user experience.
The partnership brings together Rocket Internet’s expertise in developing successful global internet business models, and Millicom and MTN’s leadership position and unique knowledge of the local telecom markets.
Co-Founder of Rocket Internet, Oliver Samwer, said: “The strategic partnership between Rocket Internet, Millicom and MTN is unique and will enable AIH to reach more consumers with better services. We feel very strong about AIH’s existing and future ventures in Africa and look forward to working with our new partner.”
The partnership is expected to create additional synergies for MTN in its core business. The investment is subject to regulatory approval, and the transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014.
“MTN will continue to pursue digital business adjacencies as one of its key strategic priorities to drive growth and value to our customers across Africa”, said Dabengwa.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”