Top African Tech Deals Of 2013

Top African Tech Deals Of 2013

Nokia. Microsoft. MTN. MainOne. Telcom Kenya. Orange Group. Nakumatt. WeWi.

What they all have in common is being tagged as part of the top tech deals in Africa that went down or were kicked off in 2013, according to a report by HumanIPO staff.

Nokia, Microsoft

In a deal that paves the way for Windows phone/Nokia devices to take over the African market, Nokia shareholders voted to sell the company’s devices and services section to Microsoft for $7.36 billion.

Microsoft also has a 10-year non-exclusive licence to Nokia’s patents. The sale is likely to conclude in early 2014 pending regulatory approvals with about 32,000 Nokia employees expected to transfer to Microsoft.

The deal sees the Windows Phone platform united with its biggest hardware supplier in the African market, in which Nokia handsets have been popular. With the Windows Phone platform already being touted as a favorable solution for African markets – under Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative – and Nokia producing a range of low-cost smartphones suited to lower-income environments, the deal sees the beginning of a potential African market titan, HumanIPO reports.


As news broke that MTN had invested $75 million in Amadeus Capital Partners, a technology fund targeting emerging markets, it first appeared Africa’s best-known telecommunications brand was giving something back to the industry it profits so immensely from.

However, after interviewing the managers of the fund, HumanIPO questioned MTN’s motives, concluding the company is more interested in taking advantage of the growing mobile sector by boosting foreign ventures than any of the continent’s talented developers and entrepreneurs.

“As a single indicator of the stupidity surrounding moneymen of African telecommunications, this was surely the ‘African’ tech deal of the year,” HumanIPO reports.


The year 2013 was remarkable for several of Africa’s tech companies. MainOne’s multimillion-dollar deal to expand broadband in West Africa is outstanding, HumanIPO reports, because of the impact it will have on the tech sector.

France Telcom

France Telecom paid less than the $57-million asking price for Dubai private equity company Alcazar Capital’s 11 percent stake in Telkom Kenya, while the government had its shareholding diluted to 30 percent from 49 percent, HumanIPO reports. The Orange Group is seeing large growth in customers in Africa, and may have got itself a bargain in Kenya.


Kenyan supermarket chain Nakumatt partnered with MasterCard, Kenya Commercial Bank and Diamond Trust Bank to launch the EMV, Nakumatt’s cybercash loyalty smartcard successor — a deal big enough to change money-exchange methods within the chain as well as break boundaries in card use.


Canadian tech company WeWi’s decided to reach out to African governments with the launch of the world’s first solar-powered laptop. The acknowledgement of the continent’s need for tech equipment as playing a vital role in education while taking into consideration its infrastructural challenges makes it a remarkable move, HumanIPO reports.

StarTimes Media, Equity Bank

StarTimes Media and Equity Bank’s deal for a six-month installment plan allows Kenyans to get loans of up to $58 to help them buy approved digital-TV set-top boxes. The deal enables the bank’s customers to buy either a StarTimes Free to Air set-top box or the pay-TV option.

With the digital migration in Kenya taking effect soon, the deal will allow cash-strapped citizens to buy the decoders. Equity Bank is among the few banks in the country offering services to low-income Kenyans, HumanIPO reports.