Finance

Finance (87)

Despite their crucial role in the entrepreneurial landscape and their potential to drive economic development, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sub-Saharan Africa face limited access to financing.

Singapore-based fintech company Proxtera announced a partnership with Ghana's Development Bank of Ghana (DBG) on Wednesday, May 15, during the 3iAfrica Summit in Accra. The collaboration aims to establish a digital platform offering $100 million in loans to Ghanaian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Kwamina Duker, CEO of DBG, highlighted the platform's potential to streamline the loan application process and reduce borrowing costs for SMEs over time. “If today, it takes about three to six months to get a loan, with a huge amount of documentation, and we can cut that down to turnaround of literally a real time of 24 hours… then we can appreciate the benefits of digitalization,” he stated.

Through the partnership, DBG will leverage Proxtera's digital platform to provide loans for SME growth and expansion. Eligible businesses must be Ghanaian-owned and operating within the country, with a sound financial plan. Priority will be given to SMEs in key sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT), and other high-value-added industries.

This collaboration marks a significant step towards digital financial inclusion in Ghana. By facilitating access to financing for SMEs, the partnership is expected to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and strengthen the country's economic fabric. It aligns with Ghana's national financial inclusion and development strategy, developed in collaboration with the World Bank, which aims to increase financial inclusion from 58% in 2020 to 85% by 2023.

Samira Njoya

 

Posted On vendredi, 17 mai 2024 15:43 Written by

Digital technologies are significantly revolutionizing agriculture, impacting every stage of the value chain from production to marketing. Therefore, it's crucial to focus on improving funding to facilitate this transformation.

Orange, in partnership with the European Union and the German Cooperation (GIZ), recently announced the launch of "DigiGreen & Agri," an ambitious project aimed at enhancing the use of digital technology in the cocoa sector in Côte d'Ivoire.

This ambitious partnership benefits from joint funding of 7.6 million euros and will be implemented over three years, with the main objective of creating jobs for youth in digital agriculture or e-agriculture. The focus is particularly on young people from rural areas, women, girls, and individuals with disabilities, through the Orange Digital Center in Côte d'Ivoire.

Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Africa and Middle East, explains:  “The Orange Digital Centers serve as crucial catalysts for this transformation, providing a free and open innovation ecosystem accessible to all, with a special focus on youth, women, and vulnerable individuals. Collectively, we are rising to the challenge of constructing an inclusive digital future that respects the environment, paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous economy.”

The DigiGreen & Agri project is part of the efforts and the desire of the European Union to strengthen smart, clean, and secure links in the digital sector, one of the pillars of the Global Gateway Strategy. This strategy aims to mobilize up to 300 billion euros to develop international cooperation in the fields of digital technology, energy, and transportation.

In Côte d'Ivoire, the implementation of the new project should contribute to the improvement of professional skills, the promotion of entrepreneurship, and the modernization and innovation of sustainable agriculture sectors, low-carbon transition, and corporate social responsibility. The project will also contribute to the evolution of the cocoa sector, which accounts for 22% of the GDP and employs 50% of the active workforce, but receives only 5% of bank financing.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 16 avril 2024 14:57 Written by

In January 2023, Ghanaian fintech Zeepay raised $10 million, bringing the total funds raised since its launch in 2014 to $24.6 million. The company aims to continue its expansion in its markets and to attract new capital.

Ghana-based fintech firm Zeepay has successfully concluded a funding round, securing an undisclosed amount from pan-African investors including Africa50, Oikocredit, Injaro, Verdant Capital Hybrid Fund, and I&P. The announcement was made in a press release on Thursday, April 4. The funds are set to bolster Zeepay’s operations in cross-border remittances and mobile money in Africa and the Caribbean.

Andrew Takyi-Appiah, the startup’s founder, stated, “The raise will greatly assist us in completing our ongoing expansion drive into the rest of Africa. Our short to medium plan is to expand our mobile money reach into a minimum of 10 countries within the next two years, leveraging remittances in partnership with MoneyGram, and we are delighted to see this vision come through.”

Established in 2014, Zeepay specializes in facilitating instant remittance settlements to mobile money wallets in Africa and the Caribbean on behalf of leading international money transfer organizations (IMTOs). The fintech firm, which operates in around 20 countries globally, has already raised over $24 million to accelerate its growth, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean. Through its technology and various partnerships, Zeepay enables real-time money transfers abroad via a mobile wallet to more than 150 countries.

The fintech sector is the most appealing segment of the African technology industry for investors. In 2023, young entrepreneurs in this segment raised $852 million, and $1.9 billion in 2022, as per data from Partech Africa, a tech investment firm with offices in Dakar (Senegal) and Nairobi (Kenya).

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On vendredi, 05 avril 2024 09:43 Written by

Mobile financial services are pivotal to fostering digital inclusion in Africa, a region where a substantial segment of the population lacks access to conventional banking services. Digital technology presents considerable transformational prospects in this area.

The Interbank Electronic Banking Group of Central Africa (GIMAC) is set to assist the Republic of Congo in the implementation of the CongoPay digital platform for financial transactions, confirmed Valentin Mbozo’o, Managing Director of Gimac, following a meeting with Léon Juste Ibombo, Minister of Post, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, on Monday, March 25.

As part of this upcoming collaboration, Gimac commits to making the platform operational and accessible to all segments of the population. “By supporting a project like CongoPay, it will be possible for many people, even the least affluent and most vulnerable, to benefit from these digital payments, regardless of their purchasing power, standard of living, or societal position,” explained Mbozo’o.

This initiative aligns with the fifth pillar of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2020-2026, which aims to align Congo with the development of the digital economy, enabling everyday simple money transfers using electronic transaction technologies.

The CongoPay platform, set to be implemented by the Digital Development Agency (ADN), also partners with Mediasoft Lafayette, an IT engineering services company based in Côte d’Ivoire. This national platform will augment existing electronic money transfer services in Congo.

Once implemented, CongoPay is expected to facilitate trade and financial transactions in the country. It will also aid in improving the efficiency of public administration, facilitate financial inclusion by providing access to basic financial services, and promote the dematerialization of money in the country.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 28 mars 2024 15:30 Written by

Africa's tech sector has seen rapid growth in the past decade. This led to a surge in the number of investment vehicles to support its expansion.  

Anava, a Tunisian fund of funds, announced on Monday its €4 million ($4.4 million) investment in Janngo Capital Startup Fund (JCSF), a fund focusing on African technology. Anava, a €60 million ($66 million) fund, is financed by the World Bank, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and KFW.

The investment aims to support approximately 25 seed-stage startups in healthtech, fintech, and edtech sectors across French-speaking Africa. The goal is to enhance market and capital access for African businesses, create sustainable jobs at scale, and prioritize women and youth.

Fatoumata Bâ, founder and executive chairman of Janngo Capital, said the investment would directly contribute to unlocking massive growth and positive economic, social, and environmental impact in Tunisia and beyond.

The investment comes amid a decline in funding for Africa’s technology sector. In 2023, startups on the continent attracted less capital than in 2022. According to the United Nations Development Programme, 89% of the venture capital in Africa’s tech ecosystem is foreign. Several African funds have been launched this year to improve startups’ access to finance.

In 2023, African startups raised $1.8 billion, a 40% decrease from the $3 billion raised in 2022.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On mercredi, 27 mars 2024 11:11 Written by

IFC's equity investment indirectly supports the least financed African startups. This comes amid a 36% plunge in funding raised by African startups in 2023, to $3.2 billion.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) disclosed yesterday, a $10.5 million investment in the 4DX Ventures fund, which supports African tech companies. This investment was facilitated by a new platform launched by the IFC in November 2022, designed to bolster venture capital ecosystems in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan.

By supporting the development of tech ecosystems in emerging markets, IFC's venture capital platform aims to improve access to key services, boost business competitiveness, and promote job creation through digital transformation,” stated Mohamed Gouled, IFC’s Vice President of Industries.

The investment in the 4DX Ventures fund aligns with IFC’s commitment to backing tech entrepreneurs whose innovations are poised to propel Africa forward in key sectors such as climate, healthcare, fintech, e-commerce, and education.

This move comes amid a 36% decrease in fundraising by African startups in 2023, dropping to $3.2 billion, according to research firm TechCabal Insights. IFC data indicates that Africa is among the regions least served by venture capital, receiving a mere 2% of the global venture capital deal volume in the third quarter of 2023.

This investment is expected to provide further support to African startups, aiding promising tech startups in building transformative businesses and making a lasting impact on the continent’s development.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 27 mars 2024 04:50 Written by

African initiatives to support the technology sector are increasing in response to a decline in funding. These initiatives aim to bolster the continent's fast-growing tech industry.

Conducive Capital, a South African venture capital firm, was inaugurated in Johannesburg on Tuesday, March 5. The firm, founded by Clive Butkow (photo, left), former CEO of Kalon Venture Partners, and Mitchan Adams (photo, right), co-founder of Ozow and CEO of Aions Creative Technology, aims to invest in early and growth-stage start-ups across Africa.

The firm plans to raise its first capital of $15 million in July, with a target to close a fund exceeding $50 million within 24 months. "And we go beyond just monetary investments. Alongside funding, Conducive Capital pledges comprehensive support, offering strategic guidance, operational expertise, and mentorship to nurture start-ups, facilitating their growth into industry frontrunners," said Mitchan Adams.

The establishment of Conducive Capital comes amidst a decline in funding for the African technology ecosystem in 2023. However, several initiatives have emerged across the continent, including Sawari Ventures for North African and Middle Eastern start-ups, and Timbuktoo, funded by the United Nations Development Program and African countries. The African Development Bank has also approved a $10.5 million stake in Seedstars Africa Ventures to bolster its investments in sub-Saharan African startups.

Despite a slow start to the new year with $77 million raised by African startups in January 2024, funding nearly tripled to $217 million in February, according to Africa: The Big Deal, a database tracking startup financing in Africa. The influx of new venture capital entities and the closing of Partech’s second African fund at over $300 million signal promising prospects for the African technology ecosystem.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On mercredi, 06 mars 2024 15:33 Written by

The digitalization of education in Africa holds significant promise for revolutionizing educational systems and enhancing learning results. Yet, obstacles persist, including inadequate infrastructure and the imperative to equip educators with proficiency in these emerging technologies.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has been awarded a grant of approximately 8.1 million rand ($422,000) by the European Union (EU) to implement the Promotion of Technology Enhanced Learning and Digital Education (Pro-TELDE) project in South African Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. The project, funded by the EU’s Erasmus program, aims to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to transform education and foster a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

"Project Pro-TELDE reflects UJ’s commitment to advancing digital education and empowering educators for success in the digital era, driving positive societal change through transformative educational initiatives," said Professor Tankiso Moloi, 4IR Research Chair at Johannesburg Business School, UJ.

The EU funding aligns with UJ’s dedication to digital education. The university has recently made significant strides in AI, ranking sixth among African universities for its contributions to AI research.

As part of the project, vocational education will be offered, as well as training of educators, to equip them with the necessary tools to navigate and excel in this new era. An online repository of validated digital educational resources, specifically designed for South African educators, will be established to serve as a hub of knowledge and innovation, providing them with access to a wealth of information and tools to refine their teaching methods.

This initiative, by equipping educators with the tools and knowledge to adapt to digital advancements and incorporate them into their teaching practices, aims to pave the way for a brighter and more technologically advanced future for South Africa’s education sector.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 27 février 2024 13:48 Written by

Despite a funding slowdown in 2023, Africa's technology sector continues to attract investors, with a major company closing a new fund dedicated to the continent's burgeoning startups. 

Technology investment firm Partech has closed its second Africa-focused fund, Partech Africa 2, at 280 million euros (over 300 million USD), the company announced on Monday.

The fund, exceeding its initial target, received strong backing from existing investors, with nearly all participants from Fund I reinvesting and some increasing their commitments. Partech also attracted new strategic investors from the US, Middle East, and Africa, marking their first foray into the continent's tech scene.

Partech Africa 2 will target investments ranging from $1 million to $15 million across various stages, from seed rounds to Series C fundraising. The firm aims to support approximately 20 startups across the continent.

"We are grateful for the support and commitment of our investors: almost all Fund I investors reinvested and some, more than doubled their commitment. [...] We are also honored to get the support from a new set of strategic investors from the US, the Middle East, and Africa, and for some of whom, this marks their first commitment in African Tech," said Cyril Collon, General Partner at Partech.

This announcement comes despite a 54% decline in VC funding for African startups in 2023, according to Partech Africa's "2023 Africa Tech Venture Capital" report released in January 2024. However, the firm emphasizes that the sector's attractiveness remains undimmed, citing consistently high investment amounts and the influx of new players like themselves.

Partech has also opened a new office in Lagos, Nigeria, to deepen its African presence, joining its existing locations in Dakar, Senegal, and Nairobi, Kenya. The new fund has already invested in three startups: a real estate platform in Egypt, a payment orchestration firm in South Africa, and an e-commerce platform in Senegal.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On mardi, 20 février 2024 13:23 Written by

Cryptocurrency adoption is growing across Africa, driven by factors such as financial inclusion and diverse uses. However, regulatory ambiguities and security concerns cloud the optimism surrounding the technology.

U.S. financial technology company Visa announced a partnership with Web3 infrastructure provider Transak to offer cryptocurrency withdrawals in fiat currencies to Transak users in 30 African countries, according to a January 30th post on Transak's X account.

The service will utilize Visa Direct, a real-time money transfer solution, allowing users to convert over 40 cryptocurrencies into local fiat for spending at millions of Visa-accepting merchants.

"By enabling real-time card withdrawals through Visa Direct, Transak is delivering a faster, simpler, and more connected experience for its users — making it easier to convert crypto balances into fiat, which can be spent at the more than 130M merchant locations where Visa is accepted," said Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, head of Visa Direct and global ecosystem readiness for North America at Visa, in a statement.

Africa has emerged as a global leader in cryptocurrency adoption, with transactions in sub-Saharan Africa reaching $117.1 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, according to Chainalysis data. Nigeria leads the continent with $56.7 billion in transactions during the same period and ranks second globally in the Chainalysis Cryptocurrency Adoption Index.

"We believe this partnership is an inflection point for Web3 as a whole. Now, millions across the globe have a straightforward way to cash out their digital asset holdings to their local currency in real-time and intuitively," said Sami Start, co-founder of Transak.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On lundi, 05 février 2024 10:53 Written by
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