Author: Kanyali Muthui

Kanyali Cynthia is a Kenyan-based financial journalist with key specialisation in data and tech reporting and over eight years of experience.

Nigeria Interswitch secured US$110 million

In Nigeria, where an estimated 38 million people, or 36% of adults, remain financially excluded, the government has set a target of 95% financial inclusion by 2024. 

While this may seem like an ambitious goal, that will require institutions to re-strategize initiatives and policies to accelerate the delivery of financial inclusion services, a lot of tech-backed firms are being developed in the West African country to help achieve this goal. 

Among them is Lagos-based FinTech unicorn Interswitch which seems to have heeded that call, leveraging its position as a market leader in digital payment services to bridge the massive financial inclusion gap and help bring as many people into the financial and economic fold as possible.

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This and other challenges including unpredictable prices of farm produce and a lack of working capital often plague small restaurants and food vendors across the continent. 

This is what largely drove the creation of TopUp Mama- Former Kibanda TopUp- in Kenya. 

The firm launched in February 2021 in Nairobi and has reported significant growth over the past year since its inception. 

Founded by Njavwa Mutambo, Emilie Blauwhoff and Andrew Kibe, the startup has grown 10-fold in just over a year with more than 3,000 merchants (1,000 active) using its platform to make orders every month.

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Due to the pandemic, the topic of innovation in education has never been more crucial. 

While most developed countries moved their classes online with ease, many developing countries have had a hard time adapting to the home-school model due to a lack of infrastructure and the high cost of data.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 91.3% of the world’s learning population was impacted by global shutdowns brought about by the pandemic.  

This means that about 1.5 billion students were not in school, a situation that largely impacted developing nations, a lot of which are in Africa. 

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In the East African powerhouse, agriculture insurance startup Pula Advisors was featured on the list for its innovation and impact in using technology to provide agriculture insurance to millions of smallholder farmers in emerging markets.

The firm which was founded in 2014 has used technology products through agriculture insurance and digital agronomy to advise and ensure many farmers adapt to an increasingly unpredictable climate.

“Farmers in emerging markets are the most hardworking citizens of the world yet the most likely to already feel the impact of climate change. The future is in farmers’ hands; they only need the appropriate technology and tools and then they can feed the world,” The firm’s CEO Thomas Njeru said.

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The additional Gbps will be part of the highly anticipated global submarine cable. It is aimed at increasing the availability of high-performance and reliable internet connectivity access across the continent leveraging Liquid’s 100,000km of terrestrial fibre across 12 countries. 

While acting as a new global internet route between Asia, Europe and the USA, the additional capacity will help increase the proliferation of faster and more affordable internet, Cloud and cyber security services to the African people and businesses.

“We are delighted to provide new subsea capacity between Mombasa, Karachi and Marseille, with extensions planned towards Singapore and Asia. This creates a cost-effective, low-latency and diverse route that our customers can leverage to serve their business-critical connectivity needs. The submarine cable will be ready in 2022,” Liquid Dataport (a division of Liquid Intelligent Technologies) CEO David Eurin said. 

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The continent’s digital revolution can largely be driven by building the necessary skills for the short- and long-term future, and this starts in the classroom. 

The recent technological influx across Africa, largely boosted by the adoption of mobile phone use, needs to be capitalized upon by the education sector. 

This can be achieved through reimagining the education landscape by addressing the challenge of exclusion through increased investment, to achieve quality education in science and technology for all.

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With over 548 million registered mobile money users in sub-Saharan Africa, increased internet access and readily available mobile money solutions, the FX market has become accessible to the majority of Africans. 

The availability of mobile money payment solutions has seen an increase in the creation of fintech startups created solely to cater to Africans interested in trying their hand at trading in both local and international FX markets. 

Firms including Exness, XM.com, Avatrade, CM Trading, Tickmill and Chipper Cash among others all reported a significant growth in trading in 2020. A testament to the growing trading culture driven by fintech across the continent.

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The African firm which provides shared transportation services for both intracity and intercity movement acquired the Turkish firm at around US$40 million Swvl currently repurposes underutilized, privately owned buses or minivans for different purposes throughout the day Swvl said the acquisition of Volt Lines would add an incremental US$4.3 million of annualized revenue to its balance sheet Egyptian startup Swvl has expanded into Turkey after it recently acquired B2B transportation-as-a service operator Volt Lines.  The African firm which provides shared transportation services for both intracity and intercity movement acquired the Turkish firm at around US$40 million. The acquisition now…

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This comes after a few weeks ago, a law firm threatened to sue Meta (formerly Facebook) and Sama over the alleged unsafe and unfair work conditions dolled on its content moderators. 

Nzili and Sumbi Advocates alleged that Sama had breached a number of rights including the health and privacy of its Kenyan and international staff. 

The law firm demanded that both Meta and Sama adhere to Kenya’s labour, privacy and health laws, including that it provides its content moderators with adequate mental health insurance and better compensation.

Additionally, the law firm demanded that the two firms recruit qualified and experienced health professionals for the content moderators. 

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Through its app, Zenda allows parents to pay fees directly to schools, all while streamlining collections by enabling schools to accept and manage online payments Parents do not necessarily need to provide bank deposit slips as proof of payment because all transactions on Zenda happen in real-time Zenda’s users have increased 20 fold, with the app reaching over US$100 million in annual contracted payment volumes by the close of last year UAE- based startup Zenda is now eyeing Africa as its next frontier market for growth.  The company which is looking to change how parents pay school fees and the…

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