Author: Pierre Afadhali

US-Russia tensions

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could impact relations between the United States (USA) and Africa as global economic and military powers compete for influence on the continent. Pulling Africa into the West’s war with Russia But, many African countries are staying neutral on the conflict which is not sitting well with the West. Indeed, on March 18, 2022, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that African countries cannot remain neutral in the Ukraine conflict. She said that when the UN General Assembly voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early March, 17 African countries abstained while another…

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The Government of Rwanda has announced an agreement with KOKO Networks (“KOKO”) to develop the nation-wide renewable cooking fuel utility that is said to be the first in the world, an initiative that will increase the use of clean energy for cooking in the East African country. KOKO, Kenya’s clean energy firm has partnered with Dalberg, a global group of businesses that builds an inclusive and sustainable world, to establish KOKO Rwanda, in order to develop a nation-wide network that is expected to enable convenient clean fuel access for all Rwandans. Network of Bioethanol Cooking Fuel ATMs will enable convenient…

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The Africa-Europe D4D Hub Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Digital Transformation for Sustainable Development in Africa was held one month after the 6th European Union–African Union Summit, where leaders from both continents announced a EUR 150 billion Africa-Europe Investment Package, which amongst other priorities aims to accelerate Africa’s sustainable digital transformation.

“This ambition aligns with the EU Global Gateway, a strategy set out to boost smart, clean, and secure investments in connectivity, and the AU Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa 2020 – 2030, which aims to transform Africa’s economies and societies by harnessing digital technologies, the potential of data and innovation for the benefit of people. It also supports the outcomes of the 35th AU Summit, held from 5 to 6 February 2022, which called for the acceleration of Africa’s quality infrastructure development.” read a news release issued by EU-Africa Digital Hub today.

It is reported that only 33 per cent of African people use the Internet, compared to a world average of 63 per cent, closing the digital divide and connecting the unconnected meaningfully has become a top priority in AU-EU relations, said AU-EU digital summit participants adding that joint efforts are particularly needed to ensure that women, rural populations, and youth reap the benefits of the digital transformation.

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In October 2021 Nigeria became the first country in Africa and of among few in the world to issue a digital currency that was dubbed ‘eNaira’.

Financial experts say the digital currency issued by central banks cut transaction costs and increase financial inclusion.

Maurice Muhiza Rwamigabo, Head of Exploration & Coordinator at the Accelerator Lab (an innovation and technology lab) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda, said in an opinion article titled ‘Should Rwanda adopt a national digital currency?’ that if Rwanda wants to restructure its financial system and position itself as an important player in the future global economy, it should systematically assess and take the steps needed to develop its own Central Bank Digital CBDC. 

“A CBDC would offer Rwandans a safe, free, and easy alternative to cash. It would expand financial inclusion by enabling more of the unbanked population to participate in the formal economy,” explained Rwamigabo.

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According to a report published by Partech, an investment platform for tech and digital companies in 2021, 640 African tech start-ups raised a total of US$5.2B across 681 equity rounds. This is 3.6 times YoY growth that makes Africa tech VC-; the world’s fastest-growing ecosystem.

In 2021, Partech tracked a total of 681 equity rounds raised by 640 start-ups. This is a 92 per cent increase in growth YoY compared to the 359 rounds raised by 347 start-ups in 2020.

However, 73 per cent of total funding went to the top 4 countries, with half of it going to Nigeria alone. According to the latest report, in equity funding the West African country took 1.8 billion which is 34 per cent of the total. Nigeria recorded 185 equity deals representing 27 per cent of all deals.

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