Browsing: Nigeria

African startups
  • 121 African startups secured $466M, marking a 27 per cent drop from the previous quarter; women-led startups got 6.5 per cent of the capital.
  • About 87 per cent of startup funding in the three months to March went to entities in Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa.
  • Gender imbalance persists as only 6.5 per cent of the financing went to female-led startups in Africa.

The big four economies of Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt continue to attract the highest share of funding going to startups in Africa, even as the ecosystem suffered a 27 per cent drop in financing to $466 million in the three months to March 2024.

The latest analysis from Africa: The Big Deal shows that 87 per cent of startup funding in the three months to March went to upcoming entities in Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.

Attracting $160 million, Nigeria’s economy accounted for …

FTSE Russell
  • Kenya’s equity market has received an upgrade on its classification by the FTSE Russel Index from “Restricted’ to “Pass” on the repatriation of capital and income.
  • This development partly indicates that Kenya is now a maturing market, characterised by increased transparency, liquidity, and a growing investor confidence.
  • Across Africa, data shows that an estimated $700 million was reported held in 11 African countries, with Nigeria accounting for the lion’s share.

FTSE Russell, a global provider of analytics, benchmarks and data services, has endorsed the Nairobi Securities Exchange Plc (NSE), ushering a new era in Kenya’s financial services industry. The NSE has announced that as of March 2024, the Nairobi bourse has been reclassified by the FTSE Russell Governance Board, moving from a “restricted” to a “pass” status.

This pivotal change is not just a mark of progress, but a move to underscore the resilience and strategic navigation of the Kenyan …

Binance in Nigeria
  • The situation involving Binance in Nigeria has turned sour due to several events.
  • For a few years, the Binance marketplace seemed to work well enough, but in 2023, the Nigerian government ended the naira’s peg to the US dollar as part of sweeping economic reforms.
  • In what is now a testament to the sprained relationship between Binance and Nigeria, the authorities filed tax evasion charges against the cryptocurrency exchange.

Binance Under Regulatory Spotlight

Binance’s journey from a small start-up to one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges globally has been impressive but not a smooth run. The platform’s rapid growth and global expansion brought it under the regulatory spotlight globally.

Binance executives, Anjarwalla and Gambaryan
  • In a significant escalation of tensions between Nigeria and the global cryptocurrency market, the African nation has detained two senior Binance executives.
  • Anjarwalla and Gambaryan were detained in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, under circumstances highlighting the country’s aggressive stance towards cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • In recent years, Nigeria has faced significant economic challenges, with the devaluation of the naira emerging as a central issue.

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan detained

In a significant escalation of tensions between Nigeria and the global cryptocurrency market, the African nation has detained two senior Binance executives, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, a UK citizen living in Kenya and serving as Binance’s Regional Manager for Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, the Global Head of Intelligence and Investigations at Binance and a former US Internal Revenue Service special agent, find themselves at the heart of a diplomatic and financial controversy.

Now extending into its third week, the detention stems from …

Shell Nigeria
  • Shell Nigeria is selling off major stakes in the west African country.
  • Critics blame the government of Nigeria for allowing the sell at a time the oil giant is facing suits on oil spills.
  • Activists want Shell Nigeria to be held responsible for alleged decades of oil spills.

Shell Nigeria has sold off major stakes in the Western African country, sparking chatter that the move could be just a ploy to escape oil spill charges in the country. On the other hand, there is an argument that the Shell move is just a numbers game, a move to cut losses in troubled onshore Nigeria stakes in favor of its offshore investments.

Which of the two is true? Is Shell shedding off investments in on-land fossil fuels to redirect its resources to less-hassle offshore exploration, or is the British oil giant simply running away from oil spill charges?

Media has reported …

Expensive loans
  • Expensive loans remain a significant issue across populations engaged in agriculture in Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.
  • A report by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) says capital injection is a significant strategy agribusinesses use to survive.
  • Moreover, agribusinesses face high operational costs from fuel prices and low-profit margins driven by currency devaluations.

The lack of agriculture-friendly financial systems saw agribusinesses turn down expensive loan options in the market, with only 15 per cent taking on commercial capital in 2023 and the rest sourcing capital from friends, family and their business savings.

The incentives by the government channelled towards agriculture failed to adequately cushion Agribusinesses from economic shocks, a new report by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has revealed.

The African Agribusiness Outlook survey is conducted annually to gain insights into the sector’s top priorities, how they address challenges, and what SMEs see as opportunities.

A reflection …

digital agricultural innovation
  • Africa continues to grapple with food insecurity exacerbated by climate change and inadequate access to financing for both startups and food producers alike.
  • In response, innovators and bold entrepreneurs are going digital, devising modern solutions to enhance food production.
  • At the Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi, agri-innovation startups Homemade by Dropp, Koolboks, Samalife, BWS, Hello Tractor, Seabex and ReNile shared their entrepreneurial journey and reasons why they need financing to create value for farmers and consumers.

A number of startups with a focus on digital agricultural innovation in Africa are seeking fresh financing to scale and accelerate their growth across the continent, which is currently under pressure to feed a rising population.

These startups are eyeing opportunities in climate smart agriculture in Africa, the new frontier for business expansion globally.

Currently, agriculture remains the continent’s largest industry and employer. The industry is, however, facing significant challenges across the value chain, …

Opera MiniPay
  • Opera MiniPay Momentum continues following the successful launch of MiniPay in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
  • MiniPay empowers users to save, send, and receive funds instantly on their mobile phones with very low transaction fees.
  • With a mission to onboard millions of users to Web3 across Africa, Celo and Mento Labs aim to provide accessible financial tools through MiniPay embedded in Opera Mini.

In collaboration with Celo and Mento Labs, Opera has announced a significant achievement: surpassing 1 million users of the MiniPay wallet across Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana markets.

This milestone for the global web innovator was marked today at the Africa Money and DeFi Summit, taking place on February 14-15 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Launched in 2006, Opera Mini has unique features such as data compression, offline file sharing, and a built-in ad-blocker. MiniPay is a self-custodial dollar stablecoin wallet seamlessly integrated into the Opera Mini browser for Android …

Nigeria's economy
  • Like many other countries, the IMF has noted that Nigeria’s economy faces a complex external environment and wide-ranging domestic challenges.
  • External financing (market and official) is scarce, and global food prices have surged, reflecting the repercussions of conflict and geo-economic fragmentation.
  • Per-capita growth in Nigeria has stalled, and poverty and food insecurity are high, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis, according to the global lender.

Nigeria’s economy is not yet out of the woods, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated, with a potential economic crisis despite government interventions to improve the economy.

This is even as the country’s real GDP is projected to grow by three per cent this year compared to last year’s projection of 2.9 per cent.

Like many other countries, the IMF has noted that Nigeria faces a complex external environment and wide-ranging domestic challenges.

External financing (market and official) is scarce, and global food prices have surged, …

fintech fintech investors
  • Market insights firm Stears says Kenya might not be attracting sufficient fintech investments due to the near-monopoly of tech giant Safaricom PLC.
  • On average, Kenya accounted for 8 percent of fintech investments made on the continent between 2019 and 2023. At the same time, Nigeria got 39 percent, Egypt’s 16 percent, and South Africa’s 20 percent.
  • Historically, Nigeria has led fintech funding on the continent, enjoying special attention from investors.

Kenya has not been prioritized by fintech investors as much in the last five years compared to other key African markets such as Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa.

These revelations are highlighted in a report by Stears, a market research company headquartered in Nigeria that specializes in African investments.

According to the report, Kenya, on average, represented only eight percent of fintech investments in the continent between 2019 and 2023. In contrast, Nigeria accounted for 39 per cent, Egypt …