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

The post-Covid economic recovery has increased competition in various industries, including air transportation. Only the most thriving businesses have a chance to remain profitable. To be part of this group, companies around the world, and mainly in Africa, have made digital transformation a priority. Air Senegal does not want to remain behind on the sidelines of this transformation. The airline signed a partnership with SmartKargo last February 16 to digitize its cargo service.

The deal will see Air Senegal deploy the SmartKargo solution in all functional areas of its cargo business, across its entire network of 22 destinations, including New York, Washington, and Paris, from its hub at Blaise Diagne International Airport.

The solution includes electronic air waybills (e-AWB), single screen data entries, user-configurable Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting, simple and more competitive pricing, and real-time capacity management. Ibrahima Kane, CEO of air Senegal, said: “the advanced SmartKargo platform will enable us to build and develop a new, modern and robust air cargo business. The fully digital solution is the best technology available and will propel Air Senegal forward by allowing us to grow our cargo business to its full potential.”

According to Air Senegal, the new platform will enable it to “transform its cargo business and successfully face the future with robust capabilities, cargo management solutions, and advanced technologies such as real-time information, business intelligence, and machine learning."

In its "passenger-it-insights-2020" report published in 2020, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) considered Covid-19 to be the most important stress test the airline industry has ever faced. IATA said a digital transformation was necessary for airlines to adapt to rapidly changing regulations, safety scenarios, and logistics.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Tech

Two years after securing its first seed funding, Wasla announced a larger equity investment to finance its expansion in Egypt and beyond. 

Egyptian e-commerce platform Wasla has closed a $9 million equity financing from non-bank financial services provider Contact Financial Holding to expand its payment solutions. The company, co-founded in 2018 by two Rocket Internet alumni and investment banker Mahmoud El Said (pictured, right), plans to include "buy now and pay later" financing options, as well as online payment capabilities, to its current offering. The startup also wants to enter Nigeria, the largest economy and most populous country in Africa.

“It’s a huge market at the end of the day, you have roughly 250 million people. They’re very technologically advanced, and their adoption of e-commerce is quite good. It’s quite the right market. There’s all the infrastructure that you kind of need to set up a proper tech business. In terms of maturity within the tech ecosystem, Nigeria is probably one of the best markets in Africa, competing directly with Egypt, South Africa, and a couple of others,” said Mahmoud El Said.

In addition to financial support, Contact Financial Holding will bring its experience in the technology and consumer credit sectors to Wasla, enabling it to expand financing opportunities for its customers. In December 2021, Sherif Makhlouf, managing director of consulting firm Boost, reported that e-commerce transactions in Egypt reached the equivalent of $5 billion in 2021.

As a reminder, in December 2019, Wasla raised $1 million in seed funding to strengthen its working team and develop new financial products.

Chamberline Moko

Published in News

Launched only one year ago, this startup has already established a large network of more than 10,000 grocers, to whom it offers discounts on major brand products. Its goal is to expand its network over the next few years.

WafR is a Moroccan startup that helps buyers and grocers get discounts on products from department stores and supermarkets. Currently, over 10,000 grocers are part of the startup’s customer network - a number it seeks to increase to 50,000 a few years from now.

To meet its ambitions, WafR recently raised 3.5 million dirhams ($374,000). While disclosing the news on February 16, 2022, the startup said the operation’s proceeds would mostly be used to expand its network of grocers, speeding up its growth as well in the process.

“After the 300,000 dirhams commitment we first secured, many other investors showed interest in WafR and joined the funding round. As a result, we raised 3.5 million dirhams and our valuation reached 30 million dirhams,” commented Ismail Bargach (photo), WafR's co-founder, after the fundraising.

According to WafR’s estimates, in Morocco, grocery stores capture 85% of sales while department stores and supermarkets get the remaining 15%. To balance these statistics is the startup’s main mission: encourage more grocers to turn to the products of department stores and supermarkets. 

Chamberline Moko

Published in Economy

Led by the AfCFTA Secretariat, in collaboration with African regional economic communities and governments, the solution addresses the challenges related to the cumbersome process of implementing a single market.

On January 1, 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) came into effect. Supported by 54 countries, its objective is to create a single continental market that promotes the free flow of goods and services. Given the size of the measures that must be undertaken by every member country, and to ensure the successful implementation of the market, the AfCFTA secretariat has developed the digital tool tradebarriers.africa. The latter is a kind of customer service that will allow African entrepreneurs to report cases of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) within the market. NTBs include excessive border fees, cumbersome documentation requirements, or restrictive product regulations.

NTBs are classified into seven categories: government participation in trade and restrictive practices tolerated by governments, customs, and administrative entry procedures, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, specific limitations, charges on imports, others (transport, clearing, and forwarding, etc.).

To report an NTB, the user must first register on the platform by filling out a form. Next, they activate their registration on tradebarriers.africa via a link sent to the email address provided during registration for confirmation. Once this step is completed, the account is active, the reporting of an NTB is done with the "Report an NTB" button. A reporting form is then proposed to the user with information to be filled in.

According to the AfCFTA secretariat, once a non-tariff barrier is reported, the governments concerned will follow up to resolve the problem. The NTB coordination units of the secretariat, those of the regional economic communities, and the national focal points will support the process. The complainant can find out about his or her complaint - whether it is still being processed or resolved - directly on the platform, which is available in English, French, Arabic, and Portuguese.

For greater efficiency in reporting non-tariff barriers, the AfCFTA Secretariat is currently working on a service that will be accessible on mobile phones.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In a few years only, this Sudanese lawyer built a flourishing startup, Alsoug, in a country that was under an international embargo for many years. Now, insatiable, she yearns to expand across the rest of Africa.

After staying abroad for some years, for studies and work, Tarneem Saeed probably never imagined returning to her country, Sudan, whose economy was shaken for about 30 years by conflicts and placed under an international embargo. Yet, she is now one of the most powerful businesswomen in the country. The entrepreneur founded Alsoug, Sudan’s largest online marketplace, offering e-payment and logistics services.

Saeed left Sudan for Canada at age 14, to further her education. After graduating from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), she worked as a corporate lawyer at Allen and Overy, a law firm with operations in over 60 countries.

In 2014, while in Sudan on personal business, she noticed how disconnected the country was from the digital economy. "People and businesses weren’t harnessing the full power of the internet. Coming from London, Sudan just felt empty. One of the things that irked me the most was how difficult it was to find out the price of anything. You had to ask someone to get the price of a car, house, or even cattle,” Saeed said.

She launched the Alsoug project in 2015 to tackle the situation. Initially, it was a brokerage platform where consumers could check the prices of goods and services, and where sellers and buyers could chat. In 2016, despite the poor internet access in the country, she expanded the platform by introducing classified ads. Over the years, Alsoug’s business model evolved and the platform came to integrate online sales and other tools including an e-payment solution called Cashi.

In six years only, Tarneem Saeed made Alsoug the country’s leading e-commerce startup, notably by raising a lot of money from venture capitalists. Very recently, in October, the company announced the close of a $5 million fund, raised from Egypt's Fawry and other investment structures – the first operation of this kind after the lifting of economic sanctions against the country in 2020.

Despite the persistent challenges female entrepreneurs face in Sudan, Tarneem Saeed is determined to go much further in developing Alsoug. She is getting ready to break into the fintech market with a national payment system that will allow for quick, easy, and secure transactions for all Sudanese.

Aïsha Moyouzame

Published in TECH STARS
Page 4 sur 4

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.