MTN pushes e-commerce play in Africa

MTN has partnered with Rocket Internet and Millicom International to enable African telecom operators to offer broader e-commerce and digital services on the continent.

The groups have partnered to launch the services through Africa Internet Holding (AIH), which will serve as a vehicle to develop e-commerce businesses in Africa. The three parties will each have a 33.3% holding in the company.

AIH was founded in 2012 as a joint venture between Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, and has a presence in 13 countries on the continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

According to MTN, the company has developed several successful e-commerce ventures in the last 18 months, including Jumia, Zando, Kaymu, Jovago, Lamudi, Carmudi, Easytaxi and Hellofood.

“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,” MTN said in a statement on Monday (16 December).

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 MTN Group CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa.

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MTN pushes e-commerce play in Africa