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The first quarter of 2024 is just over and there was a lot of activity within Africa’s Tech Ecosystem in that period.

Due to varying reasons, some startups had to trim their workforce while there were others who even expanded into new territories. A couple of interesting M&A deals have also occurred.

Today by 11 AM (WAT) on TechCabal Live, we’re launching the State of Tech In Africa (Q1 2024) report. The report spotlights important trends in Q1 2024 while also delving deeper into the nitty gritty of various happenings in Africa’s Tech Space.

Register here now to join Uwem Uwemakpan, Dayvee Ngugi and Chilufya Mutale-Mwila as they dig into these insights!


Airtel implements share buy-back programme to improve financial health

Airtel Africa had a tough 2023. The telecom reported a significant loss after tax of $151 million in Q1 of 2023, and ultimately a 99% decline in profits, dropping from $523 million to $2 million by year-end. Currency devaluations in key markets like Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya, were the main cause for the loss.

To improve its financial health, the telecom announced plans for a share buy-back programme in February 2024.

Sidebar: A share buyback simply means that Airtel is repurchasing its own shares from the market.

In its ongoing share buyback programme, Airtel Africa has acquired a total of 8.6 million shares from Citigroup Global Markets Limited. The most recent purchase involved 487,985 shares at an average price of $131.70 per share. 

The buyback programme, which began on March 1, 2024, involves the repurchase of $100 million worth of Airtel Africa’s shares in 12 months, and is divided into two tranches, with the first tranche of $50 million running from March to August 2024. The buy-back programme will help reduce share capital and lower debt and operating costs.

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Local traders push back against Zimbabwea’s new currency

Last week, Zimbabwe replaced its inflation-hit official currency, the Zimbabwe dollar with a new gold-backed currency, “Zimbabwe Gold” or ZiG.

The currency change was the country’s sixth attempt at restoring parity to the world’s worst-performing currency which had shed 75% of its value since the year began. 

Zimbabwe’s apex bank will begin circulation of the new currency by the end of April and has given Zimbabweans 21 days to exchange the old currency with the newly minted ZiG. However, local traders are steps ahead of the curve and have begun dumping the old currency. 

The news: According to local media, informal traders no longer accept the Zimbabwe dollar for trade and have opted to transact in the US dollar for fear that the old currency will become worthless. The development has seen a surge in the demand for the greenback on the black market, with black market forex traders upping their fees to take advantage of the demand. 

Larger supermarkets are also catching the wave, with some starting to display prices in ZiG. However, some retail stores— Zimbabwe’s OK and South Africa’s Pick n Pay—still accept the Zim dollar.

A way out of trouble: Before the ZiG was introduced, the Zim dollar traded at 28,720 to the US dollar. The ZiG which has an initial value of 13.56 to the dollar is the country’s latest attempt to tackle decades of monetary chaos. Zimbabwe’s central bank governor, John Mushayavanhu, is hopeful the new currency change will reduce the inflation rate between 2% and 5% by year-end. 

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Ezra Chiloba cleared of corruption charges, nominated as Kenyan Consul General

In September 2023, Ezra Chiloba, the former Director General of the Communications Authority (CA) in Kenya faced suspension amidst accusations of corrupt practices involving a staff mortgage scheme. The CA alleged he attempted to defraud the agency and approved his mortgage improperly.

In October 2023, Chiloba resigned from his position as CA Director General. But despite the fraud allegations against him, President William Ruto nominated him for the Consul General of the Kenyan mission in Los Angeles, USA.

EACC clears Chiloba of wrongdoing: In September, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) launched an investigation into allegations against Ezra Chiloba. To gather evidence, they requested Treasury audit reports, the authority’s mortgage loan policy and loan book, and the authorised panel of valuers from the CA. 

However, an EACC letter released yesterday found “insufficient evidence” to support the claims against Chiloba, effectively clearing him of any wrongdoing.

With the EACC clearing his name, Chiloba’s nomination for Consul General seems to be moving forward.

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TC Insights

Funding tracker

Hewatele, a healthtech company based in Kenya, secured a $20m funding package from Finnfund, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), and UBS Optimus Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada.

Here are other deals for the week:

  • SunCulture, a Kenyan climate tech startup, raised $12 million in a Series B round that was a mix of equity, debt and carbon financing. Funding was led by InfraCo Africa and Savant Ltd, with support from Acumen Funds, Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, and Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Chairman of Google.
  • Affinity Ghana, a full-scale digital bank, secured undisclosed funding from the investment firm Renew Capital. 
  • Kenya based WeCare raised $350k from Red Capital towards the production of lab diamonds.
  • Inputi LTD, an agritech firm based in Uganda, announced an undisclosed investment from the DFC.

Before you go, our State Of Tech In Africa Report for Q4 2023 is out. Click this link to download it.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more funding announcements. You can also visit DealFlow, our real-time funding tracker.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


Coinmarketcap logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin $70,532

+ 0.69%

– 2.04%

Ether $3,517

– 0.08%

– 11.61%



+ 0.01%

– 0.04%

BNB $605.12

– 0.10%

+ 16.62%

* Data as of 09:01 PM WAT, April 11, 2024.


  • The second edition of TechCabal’s Moonshot Conference is set for October 9–11, 2024, at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. Moonshot will assemble Africa’s biggest thinkers, players and problem solvers on a global launchpad for change. If you want to join the stakeholders in Africa’s tech ecosystem for three days of insightful conversations, then get an early-bird ticket at 20% off
  • Nigeria’s biggest women-only festival, Hertitude, is back for a third time. For those new to the scene, Zikoko brings all the girls to the yard every year to let their hair down, form bonds and celebrate what it means to be a hot babe. It’s happening on April 20, 2024, in Lagos and will feature everything from talent shows and karaoke sessions to spa services, live music performances and an afterparty. Click here to get tickets.
  • Attention all music lovers! On Saturday, May 11, 2024, Zikoko wants you outside for a day of link-ups, games, drinks and live performances at Muri Okunola Park, Lagos. Strings Attached is an opportunity for friends to reconnect, lovers to bond and individuals to make friends and build community. To get a free ticket, download the Onebank by Sterling App and sign up using ZIKOKO as the referral code. You’ll get your ticket in your email once tickets are available. Click here to get the app.

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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