Year 9 | Edition 37 | 30 September 2022
Microsoft partners with the African Development Bank to drive youth entrepreneurship in Africa

Microsoft is expanding its partnership with the African Development Bank to support Africa’s youth entrepreneurs under the bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks (YEIB) Initiative.  

Through its African Transformation Office (ATO), Microsoft will work with the bank to develop youth entrepreneurship ecosystems, creating jobs and dramatically scaling impact in Africa through digital inclusion. Africa’s young population is expected to double in size by 2050, reaching 830 million...

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MTN Nigeria, Ericsson launch 5G services

Ericsson and MTN Nigeria have reached a milestone with the successful launch of 5G services. This deal is the result of a fruitful collaboration spanning 21 years reaffirming a rich culture of partnerships between the two parties.

The first phase of the launch covers certain parts of Lagos and Nigeria where Ericsson’s 5G technology which includes 5G Radio Access Network & NSA Packet Core, will accelerate the development and digitalization of key sectors such as education, healthcare and manufacturing. It will also...

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Prophius partners with Mastercard to launch Tap on Phone payments to Small Businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial technology company Prophius has announced the launch of its PayContactless solution certified by Mastercard – a contactless acceptance solution that turns any NFC-enabled Android device into a physical point of sale.

This move is expected to boost digital payment acceptance at small and micro enterprises in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and other key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa while supporting consumers’ preference for safe and seamless digital payment. PayContactless leverages Mastercard Tap on Phone, a simple...

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Non-banking financial services provider Sanlam launches in Nigeria

Sanlam, Africa’s non-banking financial services provider, announced the launch of its brand in the Nigerian market, rebranding FBN Insurance to Sanlam Life Insurance Nigeria Limited.

The move supports Sanlam’s strategy to deliver excellent products and services to clients through direct contact with the Sanlam brand. The rebrand further supports Sanlam’s efforts to enhance its presence across Africa as well as its ongoing investment in the continent. The rebranding will apply to the...

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Ecobank Kenya launches Ellevate Programme to empower women-led businesses

Ecobank Kenya Limited, part of the pan-African Ecobank Group, is launching its flagship Women’s Programme ‘Ellevate’ to empower and support women-led and/or women focused with the financial and value-added solutions that will help their businesses reach their full potential and succeed.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for about 90% of all businesses in Africa and women own about a third of all registered African SMEs. Indeed, one-in-four (25.9%) of adult women in Africa start or manage a business. However...

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[Nigeria] Unity Bank taps Huawei technology to boost operations

To set itself apart in the digital era, any bank needs cutting-edge technologies that allow it to quickly and securely respond to customer demands.

But with mobile Internet and Financial Technology (FinTech) giants beginning to throw their weight around — offering new and ever higher levels of data processing, analysis, and customer service — many banks' data storage systems are being pushed well beyond their limits. Established in 2006, Nigeria's Unity Bank is one of the top commercial banks in...

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Absa Bank Kenya partners with Huawei to build a new digital foundation for branch networks

Absa Bank Kenya is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and is one of Kenya’s leading financial institutions. Established in 1916, the bank has been a major player in Kenya’s financial landscape, engaged in personal and corporate banking, enterprise, credit cards and bancassurance.

In line with the bank’s purpose of bringing possibilities to life, the bank offers end-to-end financial solutions to retail, enterprise and corporate customers, and its regional and global footprint enables it to offer cutting-edge financial...

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West african fintech startup Julaya raises $5m extension round to expand its operations

Julaya, a fintech stratup based in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and France, announced it has raised $5 million extension round led by European venture capital fund Speedinvest to expand its operations in West Africa.

Julaya is a B2B digital account that enables companies to send and collect payments seamlessly through a digital account. With the Julaya platform, African businesses can make bulk payments through all mobile money channels, process their travel or online expenses with a corporate prepaid card...

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Proparco, Coronation Merchant Bank partner to increase access to trade finance in Nigeria

Proparco announced a $20 million Trade Finance Guarantee Facility for Coronation Merchant Bank (CMB), to establish and deepen partnerships with correspondent banks, thereby increasing access to trade finance in Nigeria.

Established in 1993 as Associated Discount House, CMB obtained a merchant banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2015 and became Coronation Merchant Bank. It is mainly active in corporate, investment and Trade Finance operations. Emmanuel Haye, Head, Proparco FI debt group...

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Vendease secures $30m to transform procurement and business operations for restaurants across Africa

Vendease, a Y Combinator-backed digital platform that allows restaurants in Africa to buy supplies, access financial services and power their business operations, has raised $30 million in an equity and debt funding round to consolidate its growth and operations in Nigeria and Ghana, and to support its expansion across the continent.

The series A equity round of $20 million was co-led by TLcom and Partech, in a rare joint investment by two of the biggest Africa-focused funds. The equity round also included VentureSouq, Hustle fund, Hack VC, GFR Fund, Kube VC...

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Ghanaian agritech startup Farmerline raises $1.5m from Dutch investor Oikocredit

Ghanaian agritech startup Farmerline announced the second close of a Pre-Series A investment raise with an additional $1.5 million investment from Dutch social impact investor Oikocredit.

The investment is part of a total funding round worth $14.4 million raised by Farmerline from investors including FMO and ARAF. Farmerline supports smallholder farmers and agribusinesses with digital tools, logistics, field agents and farm resources. The organisation has recently started plans...

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Microsoft to support continuous transformation of Africa’s Financial Services Industry

Transforming the Financial Services landscape in Africa will be a critical driver of economic prosperity across the continent, a banking summit has been told.

While speaking at the Connected Banking Summit in Nairobi, Microsoft Country Manager for Kenya Phyllis Migwi said the rise in adoption of digital banking products during the pandemic has driven banks to expedite their digital transformation agendas as more customers leverage digital engagement channels. As a result, digital-forward banks are...

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Sendy partners with Meta to train SMEs in Kenya and Nigeria

Sendy, a technology company that builds easy tech solutions that enable businesses to sell, move goods and get financing has partnered with Meta through the Innovation Growth Hub (IGHub) to offer free training for SMEs on how to grow their business.

Through the Meta Boost training program, SMEs, business owners and entrepreneurs will be empowered on how to position their businesses for growth through advancing their digital skills using Meta’s platforms; Facebook, Instagram...

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Nigerian fintech Flutterwave adds Google Pay as a payment option for African businesses

Nigerian fintech Flutterwave has announced Google Pay, a mobile payment service, developed by Google, as a payment method on Flutterwave.

As part of this collaboration, Google Pay will serve as an additional payment option for merchants on Flutterwave for business. This collaboration will offer safe and seamless payments, as well as convenient checkout experiences for customers. Google Pay is a safe, simple, and helpful way to make contactless payments in store, and also payments in...

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[South Africa] Alitheia IDF leads $11 million investment round in home services platform SweepSouth

SweepSouth, an online home services platform with a presence across Africa has completed a US$11m investment round led byAlitheia IDF (AIF), Africa’s first and largest gender-lens private equity fund.

The size of the round, which is SweepSouth’s largest to date, is a result of strong growth in the company’s valuation and social impact since the previous funding round. Current investors Naspers Foundry, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Futuregrowth Asset Management all...

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African Business Roundtable Forum: What can African governments do to elevate the continent’s private sector?

The African Business Rountable (ABR), set up by the African Development Bank Group in 1990, is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders, and is the representative of the African Business Society to the United Nations.

An independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, its membership is made up of industry leaders, CEOs and Founders spanning various industries from all over the world. Africa Business Communities spoke to some of...

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The Africa Trade Expo (TATE) | Virtual Conference and Trade Show

The Africa Trade Expo (TATE) presents direct access to African buyers whose main aim is to source the latest products, establish partnerships, and conclude import/export deals. TATE is an ongoing virtual trade show for African businesses to network, collaborate, and enter into partnerships with international manufacturers and exporters. Present your new opportunities, network, build relationships and grow your business in African markets...

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Future Foods | African Food & Beverage Industries Virtual Conference & Trade Show

Future Foods is a virtual meeting place for importers, F&B managers, retail category buyers, owner-operators, agents, and distributors from across Africa’s diverse and booming market to come to conferences, to network, meet exhibitors, source products, new ingredients, retail shelf-ready products, and the latest processing, packaging, and logistics solutions. Future Foods connects attendees exhibitors across the...

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[UNICAF] Scholarship Opportunities

Unicaf is an online and blended learning higher education platform that is dedicated to making higher education of international standard accessible, by offering scholarship opportunities to professionals and young school leavers.

What are scholarship opportunities?

A scholarship could be defined as financial aid that relieves the burden of tuition fees and living costs that students and families have to pay to secure a place in secondary and tertiary education. Considering the rising costs of student expenses and debts, we could nowadays describe education...

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[Column] Khethiwe Nkuna: Why investing in women is a smart economic policy

There is a growing body of evidence around the world that shows that gender diversity is linked to innovation in business. An innovation mindset is six times more likely in more gender-equal cultures than in the least equal ones.

If the innovation mindset in all countries were raised by 10%, we could expect an $8 trillion increase in global GDP by 2028. But the truth is that we still have a long way to go before we get there. The gap between men and women is more expansive than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic shook the...

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[Column] Batya Blankers: How an income share agreement can improve access to quality education for Sub-Saharan Africa

Tertiary education has long been positively associated with economic development. While definitions and contexts can vary, tertiary education generally refers to any formal skills development beyond high school or secondary school. 

This can range from bachelor’s degrees and diploma programs to bootcamps and short term certificate courses. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it’s no surprise that the demand for tertiary education continues to grow, as countries in this region realize they must prepare their young workforce to exhibit skills...

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[Column] Anthony Mwangi: Why Kenya’s inflation adjustment should not be implemented

Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) identifies with the current government’s manifesto: The Plan – The Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda 2022 – 2027.

The Plan recognizes and appreciates the challenges Kenyans face daily, particularly the high cost of living. The Plan demonstrates the government’s deep understanding and commitment to developing sustainable solutions for all. KAM remains committed to working closely with Government to transform the economy.  The Plan has singled out regressive...

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[Column] Ana Hajduka: The role of utility, challenges of creditworthiness, infrastructure and capacity

The lack of creditworthy offtakers is a key factor deterring investment in Renewable Energy (RE) in SADC region, resulting in a vicious circle of falling investment, higher cost of capital, and poor power system performance.

This both slows and limits the pipeline of RE Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the region and limits the involvement of commercial financing for RE IPPs, which is needed alongside development financing to achieve the scale required to address the significant supply deficit in the SADC...

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[Column] Mary Ngechu: Placing women at the center of development discourse works

Any conversations around increasing our competitiveness as a country without looking at women’s involvement are echoes in a hollow chamber. This is no longer a ‘good conversation to have’; it is an urgent measure that needs to be taken. 

As such, it was a significant and historical moment when His Excellency the President, Dr William Samoei Ruto, committed to the two-thirds gender rule as enshrined in the Constitution, in his inauguration speech. He appreciated that women’s participation in the country’s governance makes...

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[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Investing in women-led businesses

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for an estimated 90% of all businesses in Africa and women own about a third of all registered African SMEs.

One-in-four (25.9%) of adult women in Africa start or manage a business. However, women have not enjoyed equal access to high quality, demand driven financial services and it is estimated that women-owned SMEs face a US$42 billion financing gap, making lack of access to financing a common constraint to their business growth. Alive to this fact...

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News Headlines

22-05-2024 | 13:51:00
Coca-Cola system announces plans to grow its investment in Kenya to $175 million over the next five years 
The Coca-Cola system has a rich legacy of refreshing Africa and making a difference in the East Africa region, where it is a major employer, directly employing 10,000 people.

22-05-2024 | 13:44:29
Kenya’s Vivo Fashion Group launches its first American-based store in Atlanta
Vivo’s goal is to support, inspire and drive positive change within the African fashion ecosystem, and to share African talent, creativity, and products across the continent, as well with the rest of the world. 

21-05-2024 | 20:32:00
[Free Webinar] E-commerce Evolution: The Future of Finance with Digital Payments in Africa
Master the skill of leveraging digital payment solutions to enhance transaction efficiency, cater to diverse payment preferences, and manage risks associated with foreign exchange and transaction security.

21-05-2024 | 14:46:00
Africa Business Communities launches operations in the Middle East
The company supports doing business in Africa through marketing and communication services, custom media productions and market research and has the largest LinkedIn community in Africa with over 1.2 million followers.

20-05-2024 | 12:12:00
Kotler Impact presents the Essentials of Modern Marketing, Nigeria Edition 2024
This is the world's first marketing book around market-specific stories from Nigeria, to be published in November 2024 on Amazon and launched in Lagos.

17-05-2024 | 16:16:20
[Tanzania] TradeMark Africa and Foundation for Civil Society launch a TZS 2.3 billion project to promote inclusive trade in Tanzania
Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Ireland, and Norway, the TZS 2.3billion ($ 900,000), the project seeks to integrate the strengths of private sectors and civil society organisations to promote green economic growth.

16-05-2024 | 17:17:00
Online travel marketplace Wego introduces WegoBeds to connect Middle East hotels with global partner network
Wego, the online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), has announced the launch of WegoBeds, a specialized B2B accommodation platform designed to meet the growing demand for accommodation solutions in the region.

15-05-2024 | 11:14:35
Aircraft management company AXIS Aviation launches in South Africa
AXIS Aviation will now manage two South African entities in Johannesburg and Cape Town, each with its own FBO facility.

14-05-2024 | 14:27:29
Ethiopian Airlines Group assumes management role for Ethiopia's New Legacy Lodges
The partnership aims to elevate the tourism experience in Ethiopia through utilizing Ethiopian Airlines Group’s extensive expertise in the hospitality industry, ensuring the provision of unparalleled services to visitors.

09-05-2024 | 15:19:00
L'Oréal is the world’s most valuable cosmetics brand, report
The iconic French brand continues to outshine its competitors, boasting a brand value approximately 80% higher than its closest rival.

09-05-2024 | 15:13:00
Corporate communications agency LCH Consultancy appoints Evelyne Wangui as Director of media relations
As Director of Content and Media Relations, she will be pivotal in strengthening strategic services across the African region. 

09-05-2024 | 15:09:51
Pan-African legal firm Centurion Law Group rebrands as CLG 
The rebrand aligns closely with the firm’s mission to consolidate its position as the leading legal practice and business advisor in an ever-evolving energy environment.

08-05-2024 | 15:57:07
MENA region leads global growth in luxury travel, report
The appetite for new experiences in unexplored destinations, micro-trips and ‘bleisure’ will likely drive the growth of the global luxury travel market

08-05-2024 | 15:48:07
[Nigeria] Wärtsilä signs service agreement to maintain power plant at Mangal Industries cement facility
Technology group Wärtsilä has signed a ten-year Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Agreement for a captive power plant providing the energy for a Nigerian cement producing facility.

08-05-2024 | 15:44:53
EAC Monetary Affairs Committee addresses regional economic challenges and progress towards the Monetary Union
Reflecting on the economic performance of the EAC region in 2023, the Committee acknowledged a range of growth rates ranging from 2.8 percent to 8.1 percent.


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Editors: Bob Koigi, Nixon Kanali, Andrea Ayemoba

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