In his about one decade of entrepreneurship experience, Tesh Mbaabu has implemented several projects in Kenya. With his numerous national and international recognitions, he has won the trust of investors ready to support the East and West African expansion of his B2B platform. 

Tesh Mbaabu (photo) is a Kenyan entrepreneur and co-founder of MarketForce, a B2B platform that facilitates the retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services in Africa.  In 2020, the platform he co-founded with Mesongo Sebuti was improved with the integration of RejaReja, which allows users to make orders, pay, accept payments, and access online loans. 

About two years later, in February 2022, MarketForce raised US$40 million to enter new East and West African markets in addition to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Kenya. 

Its co-founder and CEO is a serial entrepreneur. He quicked off his professional career in 2011, four years before his BSc in computer science from the University of Nairobi (2015). That year, he became the creative director of Tesh Technologies Ltd, a graphic design and printing firm, while attending university. Two years later, he co-founded Mesozi Group, an integrated business and technology solutions provider. In 2016, Tesh Mbaabu co-founded, an online recreation marketplace, and booking platform. About one year after the creation of MarketForce, he joined traveltech startup HotelOnlline as a board advisor. 

His digital entrepreneurship experience also earned him prestigious recognitions. In 2018, he was a mentor at iHub Nairobi's Traction Camp, a “regional acceleration program aimed at nurturing startups in East Africa.” Three years later, he became an entrepreneurial growth mentor for accelerator JASIRI. Since April 2022, he has been teaching Entrepreneurship Without Borders (MS&E 272) at the University of Stanford, California. On April 21, he received the Fintech Investment Excellence Award during the Africa Fintech Summit in Washington DC. 

Melchior Koba

Published in TECH STARS

In Africa, thanks to technology, citizens now have easy access to alternative financial solutions. Lucky is one of those solutions. 

Lucky is a digital app that gives users in the MENA region the chance to win discounts, as well as access interesting offers, cashback, and credit products from 20,000 local and international brands. The platform was developed by the eponymous startup, Lucky, co-founded in 2018 by two Egyptians, Momtaz Moussa and Ayman Essawy (photo). 

In March 2022, some four years after its creation, the startup completed a US$25 million series A funding round to support its growth in the MENA region. Lucky gives users transparent offers and increased buying power in a region where consumers usually have poor or no access to credit. For Momtaz Moussa, “the MENA region’s huge unbanked, young population and cash-dominated economy is a significant market opportunity” for Lucky.    

All users have to do is to download Lucky from AppStore or PlayStore, register, and shop as they usually do to start accumulating points to be redeemed for discounts and cashback from the numerous e-commerce platforms Lucky is partnered with. Most of the time, the offers and cashback come from brands seeking more visibility. In their quest, they pay commissions to Lucky, which redirects part of those commissions to its users through the offers and cashback. 

Currently, the startup claims more than eight million users and a network of 30,000 stores.  

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

After some 20 years of professional experience in the toy industry, Amir Shenouda returned to Egypt to implement a decade-long project, 

Amir Shenouda (photo, left) is the CEO of, an online shopping platform selling items specifically dedicated to mothers, babies, and children under 12 in Egypt. It offers a wide range of products in several categories, including food, clothing, toys, accessories for mothers, etc.

The platform was launched in 2021, by Amir Shenouda and Nadia Gamal Al-Din (photo, right) after a decade-long maturation that started in 2011. That year, Amir Shenouda joined, as a business development manager for, which is also an e-commerce platform dedicated to mothers and babies in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, and Lebanon. 

While working for, he got the idea to leverage the experience he acquired while working for U.S. toy manufacturer Toys“R”Us to create a platform that would be focused on the Egyptian market.  

He later left to join Cartoon Networks as Retail Business Manager (from 2013 to 2014). From 2014 to 2018, he was a senior regional manager for Amazon’s Toys and Babies department, and from 2018 to 2021, he was the e-commerce director of Toy Triangle LLC, a Dubai-based toy store. In July 2021, after years of evaluating the market, he decided to launch  

Months later, on March 1, 2022, the entrepreneur successfully raised US$1.2 million in a pre-seed round, led by DisrupTech Ventures, to develop its market offerings.

Melchior Koba

Published in TECH STARS

For many development agencies, e-commerce is now one of the key factors that will boost Africa’s post-Covid-19 recovery. The momentum generated by the pandemic attracted investors from all horizons to the sector, which is growing day in and day out.

Four Cameroonians launched, a wholesale e-commerce platform last week. They are namely Pierre-Lionel Ebe, Ivan Kharl Manga, Armel Fotso, and Simon Mbelek. All four are former employees of Jumia Cameroon, which ended its operations in Cameroon in November 2019. Through, they aim to help retailers quickly source their products from reference brands and get them delivered anywhere they like in Cameroon. 

We launched Kuruba to help retailers, who are crucial parts of our daily lives, to access millions of products at better prices than what they are currently offered. We connect independent merchants with a wide range of suppliers, allowing them to easily buy their products,” explains Pierre-Lionel Ebe, CEO of the eponymous start-up that launched the e-commerce platform. 

In Cameroon, there are currently thousands of supermarkets, stores, and small shops that usually turn to wholesalers, resellers, distributors, and producers to acquire their merchandise. wants to facilitate this costly and time-consuming task by allowing them to quickly contact producers and distributors.  

With its online platform, the startup is positioned in a market segment with high economic potential in Africa. In Morocco, has been doing the same thing since January 2020, with much success. For instance, it claims nearly US$2.5 million orders processed monthly. In January 2022, it was valued at US$100 million. 

In Cameroon, has a warehouse and large storage facilities, and pickup points to reduce delivery time and costs. To quickly attract clients, it unveiled an aggressive commercial policy.  For instance, the startup promises free delivery for orders exceeding XAF100,000 (US$164.66). It also announced discussions with financial partners to allow clients to obtain supply credits they can pay after 30 days.

Currently, the startup claims over 200 reference brands in categories like household appliances, agri-food, cosmetics, and home maintenance. Its ambition is to expand out of Cameroon once it consolidates its presence in the country. 

We are only at the beginning of the adventure because the African e-commerce market is growing exponentially and Kuruba wants a large share of that market. We want to offer an innovative, convenient and affordable online service for African retailers and help them meet their customers’ daily needs,” said Pierre-Lionel Ebe.  

Muriel Edjo

Published in Tech

In Kenya, transactions at the Mombasa tea auction house are now exclusively performed online through the electronic portal iTTS (Integrated Tea Trading System). With the US$2.12 million portal, the Mombasa Tea Auction House officially ends its physical interactions with tea traders. 

For Arthur Sawe, chairperson of the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), the portal funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), will boost tea traders' and farmers’ benefits by reducing operating costs. 

The digitization seeks to fill gaps in the current procedures, which are done manually including membership and cataloging,” he added

According to Morgens Strunge Lursen, Councilor at the Danish embassy in Kenya, "the launch of the iTTS is particularly exciting because it helps position such a critical sector for future growth and success by driving efficiency and supporting both increased traceability and information exchange."

The Mombasa Tea Auction House serves Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi, Ethiopia, DRC, Rwanda, Madagascar, and Uganda. Its digitization, which led to the creation of the iTTS portal, began in May 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It helped the industry respect social distancing requirements by allowing buyers to place their tea bids online.  After a two-year pilot phase, the iTTS portal was launched on March 31, 2022. 

According to a release announcing the launch, “in time, iTTS is expected to shorten the pre-auction, auction and post-auction stages; create the potential for increased frequency in trading volumes; reduce the tea trading cycle by about 65 percent from the current 45 to 60 days to less than a month; and, fast track payments to farmers and reduce the need to take loans to finance farming operation.” 

Users will only need connected devices (phones for instance) to track the tea they bought through auctions from factories to shipping companies. The portal also includes features allowing resellers to analyze global market trends.  According to Kenya's Permanent Secretary for the East African Community, Kevit Desai, “the manual procedure involves middlemen, producers, warehouses, brokers, buyers. (...) The trickle-down effect was that farmers had little say in the prices of their tea but the new system is inclusive, and farmers will benefit immensely.” 

The iTTS “will ensure that stakeholders of the tea auction, including farmers, buyers, and sellers receive real-time information on what is happening on the auction bourse, which will boost confidence in the Process,” concludes EATTA Managing Director, Edward Mudibo. 

Ruben Tchounyabe 

Published in Public Management

During the coronavirus pandemic, Aida Kandil preserved the income of hundreds of Moroccan artisans. Her alternative solution, MyTindy, allowed them to continue selling their services online. She plans to scale the solution to a larger audience. 

Aida Kandil (photo) is a Business and Commerce graduate, with a major in Strategic marketing management, from McGill University, Canada.  To show her dedication to her native country, she co-founded MyTindy, in 2019, to promote local crafts to international buyers. Through the platform, visitors from all over the world can buy jewelry, furniture, decorative objects, etc., directly from Moroccan craftsmen and get them delivered to their doorsteps.  

Since the launch of MyTindy, Aida Kandil has been supporting Moroccan artisans in their digital transition and their upgrading projects. She trains them in ways to leverage the power of the internet to boost sales. She also handles the logistics to deliver the artisans’ sales. 

In 2018, the young entrepreneur then based in Montreal, Canada decided to relocate home. At the time, she was managing online referencing for a global brand. Despite the promising career, her passion for Morrocan crafts took over and Aida Kandil who was born in Paris and studied in France, Canada, and Morocco decided to contribute her skills and experience to the development of that sector. 

The idea to create MyTindy came because there was no other platform offering such a service, she explains. “When going back to Canada after each of my trips to Morrocco, I used to buy decorative items. When people see those items, they ask me where I bought them and how they can order the same. (...) At one point, I traveled to Morrocco and toured New Medina asking artisans if they had online platforms through which they could sell to international buyers. I also asked them if they would be interested in offering their items for sale if there was one,” said Aida Kandil to explain the origin of her platform. 

Aida Kandil currently claims a catalog of 8,000 reference products offered by 250 artisans on MyTindy. The platform also offers personalization features for the clientele -70% foreign- that is very sensitive to the environmental-friendly label. 

The platform she co-founded and jointly funded with Chakib Yasmine is gaining popularity and since February 2022, MyTindy has been on the hunt for investors for its MENA expansion.  

With MyTindy, Aida Kandil won the top prize of the Startup for Good Mediterranean Region organized by Emerging Valley in 2020, the award for the best digital solution at the 2020 World Summit Awards, the award for the best national Business and Commerce solution at the 2021 World Summit Awards 2021.

Ruben Tchounyabe

Published in TECH STARS

With Covid-19, the retail e-commerce market is booming in Africa. Noticing the developing trend, many international players are positioning themselves to meet the needs of clients who are increasingly attracted by the prospect of remotely buying what they need. 

Buying online and getting your package delivered to your doorstep, at a drop-off or pick-up point is now possible in Morocco, Kenya, and Nigeria with United Parcel Service (UPS). On Monday, April 4, the US parcel delivery firm announced a partnership agreement with Jumia in that regard. 

In the framework of the agreement, UPS will capitalize on Jumia’s e-commerce logistics assets to develop its delivery service and strengthen its presence in Africa. It will also offer clients several payment options including mobile money.  

At the beginning of our journey (launch of the e-commerce platform), 10 years ago, logistics infrastructure was one of the most challenging aspects of our operating environment. This challenge was a catalyst for us to build an unparalleled logistics platform in Africa, offering our sellers and consumers reliable, convenient and cost-effective delivery services. (...) Today, we are helping other businesses overcome these infrastructure challenges by giving them access to our logistics platform,” said Apoorva Kumar, Jumia's senior vice president for logistics.

According to Jumia, after Morocco, Kenya, and Nigeria, the partnership with UPS will extend to Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and all the remaining African countries where it is present. For Apoorva Kumar, it is the opportunity to build “a world-class logistics business in Africa.” 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020, urban populations’ consumption habits are changing in Africa. As a result, the parcel delivery sector is growing as much. In its  Postal Economic Outlook 2021, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) reports that domestic parcel volume grew by 6.1% in 2020. International parcel volume on the other hand declined by 24.8% due to temporary air transport restrictions. 

Muriel Edjo

Published in Tech TV

The startup, which took advantage of the slowdown of cultural and sports activities during the Covid-19 crisis, has improved its services. Now, it seeks more users.

The first fully-Moroccan smart ticketing platform, with more than 1,000 events and shows organized in collaboration with various partners, also plans to conquer other high-potential markets on the continent.

Guichet Maroc SARL, the startup behind, secured last Friday, March 11, a $309,000 (3 million dirhams) financing from CDG Invest, the investment arm of the CDG group. The startup, which was founded in 2009 by Ahmed Tawfik Moulnakhla (pictured), said it will use the money to consolidate’s operations in Morocco, extend to the sports industry, and conquer new high-potential markets in Africa. is an intermediation platform between the public and event promoters (plays, soccer matches, music concerts, festivals, training courses, etc.). It provides them with tickets and digital tickets which can be paid for online. It's quite a useful app, especially for people who are not fond of waiting in line when going to see movies. The platform also provides partners with an autonomous management and steering environment with real-time ticketing monitoring.

The platform has tens of thousands of users, has covered over 1,000 events and shows, in partnership with several exclusive partners like the Mawazine Festival, the Marrakech Laughing Festival, the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, and the Oasis Festival.

In 2021, new features were added to These include an option to purchase packages including accommodation, catering, and ancillary products for an event; there is also a store where partners can sell their products. The app is available on PlayStore and AppleStore.

Ruben Tchounyabe

Published in Tech

E-commerce company Jumia has unveiled plans to upgrade its payment solutions in Egypt and Nigeria, where it is the most active. In the first country, the company said it has reached an agreement with vaIU, a financial technology services company, to develop a solution that will allow its local customers to buy goods and pay for them over time (BNPL, Buy Now and Pay Later).

In its main market, Nigeria, Jumia said it has added new services to its payment app. “On the JumiaPay app, we continued adding more relevant everyday services. In Nigeria, we set up an integration with Quickteller, the largest billing aggregator in Nigeria. This partnership allows us to offer over 70 additional billers on the JumiaPay app, including Government services, internet service providers, airlines, and many more,” the company said.

To comply with the Central Bank's requirements, Jumia agreed to partner with a third-party payment service provider to process card transactions via JumiaPay. “This change, which is expected to take effect in March 2022, may temporarily affect the payment experience in Nigeria and negatively impact payment volumes on the platform,” Jumia warned.

JumiaPay's technology enabled the group, now listed on Nasdaq (the main U.S. tech stock market), to channel $263.3 million worth of payments for more than 12.1 million transactions. This represents 34.7% of overall customer payments, up from 33.1% a year earlier. The value of goods purchased through the Jumia platform approached $1 billion in 2021, up 3.21% compared to that of 2020.

Jumia continues to grow its customer base, which was nearly 4 million in 2021. The improvement of its payment systems and compliance with regulatory requirements are important steps in its development.

Published in News

French telecom group Orange launched in 2019 a plan - Engage 2025- to offer consumers a better experience.  To achieve this goal in Africa, the company has partnered with Atos to rethink its business process on the continent. 

The deal will see Atos - a company specializing in the provision of integrated solutions in the areas of cloud, cybersecurity, and supercomputing- support the digitalization of some of Orange's subsidiaries in Africa; 14 subsidiaries are targeted. Two contracts were signed to this effect last February 22 between the two parties. The objective is to significantly optimize Orange's operating expenses over the next five years, reduce its carbon emissions, and improve the group's operational resilience and business agility in the region.

The first contract requires Atos to support and maintain about 100 apps in key areas - such as billing, customer relationship management, business intelligence, big data, procurement, order entry, and management - across Orange subsidiaries. The contract also includes infrastructure management for four specific subsidiaries: Orange Burkina Faso, Orange Sierra Leone, Orange Cameroon, and Orange Madagascar. The same approach will be gradually applied to other subsidiaries in the region.

The second contract Orange signed with Atos is for the deployment of Orange Private Cloud - a dedicated cloud computing environment - in six subsidiaries (Burkina Faso, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo). In these countries, Atos will also be able to support the integration of multi-vendor applications into Orange Private Cloud.

“We have ambitious digital transformation projects for our affiliates (Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia). Atos’ expertise in cloud services and business-critical application management, its deep knowledge of the telecom market, and its local presence in several countries in the Middle East and Africa make it a very valuable partner for Orange in the region,” says Jocelyn Karakula, CTIO, Orange Middle East & Africa.

The collaboration between Orange and Atos comes as part of the renewal of the CISA contract signed in 2017 by the two parties, but which covered only seven African subsidiaries. This new contract incorporates new innovative areas that fall within the scope of Atos, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud monitoring services and cloud orchestration, predictive maintenance, and intelligent automation.

Orange's new step aligns with one of its four growth ambitions for 2025, which is "to deliver a reinvented customer experience, smarter networks as well as improved operational efficiency."

Muriel Edjo

Published in Telecom
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