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No Region Left Behind In Two Years of the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) Prize Competition
May 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

All pentagons of Africa, North, South, East, and Central, have been well represented in Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition, the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program that spotlight and support entrepreneurs.

In the last two editions, the competition attracted applications across all 54 African countries from all sectors of the economy. For instance, in 2020, more than 22,000 applications from all regions were submitted.

Over the first two editions in 2019 and 2020, the competition’s top ten finalists have reflected the face of the continent because at least all regions have been represented.

In 2019, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO of LifeBank from Nigeria, bagged the top prize worth $250,000. Her company, LifeBank, uses data and technology to supply health workers and hospitals with critical medical products.

“I learned so much from ABH that I often find myself watching the ABH Grand Finale show, and my pitch, to remind myself of the key lessons, and the importance of not growing too quickly.” she said.

The second and third prize winners were Dr. Omar Shoukry Sakr and Christelle Kwizera, respectively. Shoukry is an Egyptian, whereas Kwizera is from Rwanda. The former walked away with $150,000 and the latter $100,000.

Other finalists were Kevine Kagirimpundu (Rwanda), Waleed Abdi El Rahman (Egypt), Dr. Tosan Joseph M. (Nigeria), Chibuzo Opara (Nigeria), Ayodeji Arikawe (Nigeria), Mahmud Johnson (Liberia), and Moulaye Taboure (Ivory Coast). All were awarded $65,000 each. The finalists were from the West, North, and Central part of the continent.

On the other hand, the top ten finalists in 2020 represented eight African countries, including Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Chebet Lesan, a Nairobi-based industrial designer, emerged as 1st prize winner last year as she took home $300,000. She is the founder of BrightGreen Renewable Energy that produces life-saving fuel bricks that reduce cooking costs for underserved communities across Africa and save forests.

“The competition was an incredible journey. The 2020 was a challenging year that made us refocus from profitability to survival. I hope my win inspires Africans to believe that we have what it takes to make an impact, no matter where we are. The prize is helping us scale our energy solution across East Africa, and we remain focused to change how Africa cooks, one kitchen at a time,” said Lesan.

Oluwasoga Oni, the CEO&Co-Founder of Mdaas Global in Nigeria, came second, and Ethel Mupambwa, the Co-Founder and CEO of Moneymart from Zimbabwe, emerged third.

Other finalists included Abdulai A Dasana (Ghana), Mame Diarra Bousso Gueye (Senegal), Cyrille Nkontchou (Cameroon), Aboubakar Karim (Ivory Coast), Axel Emmanuel Gbaou (Ivory Coast), Dr. Emma Naluyima Mugerwa (Uganda), and Joan Rukundo Nalubega (Uganda).

The third edition applications are ongoing ahead of June 7, 2021 deadline. Africans whose businesses are registered and operated in the continent for at least three years are encouraged to apply. Applications can be submitted in French and English.

For details or to apply visit https://africabusinessheroes.org/en/the-prize/overview

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Cameroon: Entrepreneurs Assess Impact of COVID-19 at SBEC Webinar
May 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

The ongoing health pandemic has affected entrepreneurs in Cameroon both positively and negatively, according to some entrepreneurs in the country.

In a webinar on May 21 organized by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation under the theme “The Economic impact of COVID-19 on Entrepreneurship in Cameroon and the way forward”, the entrepreneurs noted that businesses have had to reinvent so as not die.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching economic consequences and efforts to quarantine have not been effective which has provoked an unprecedented downturn in the global economy,” a release from the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) read in part.

According to GICAM, “the proportion of companies negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic increased from 92% to 96.6% between May and June 2020.” This estimate is obtained based on a sample of more than 250 companies consulted between May and June 2020 with 25% of which were big companies and 75% of SMEs.

According to the IMF report, the informal sector in Cameroon contributes 20 to 30% to the country’s GDP. The COVDI-19 pandemic has had far-reaching economic consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself, and efforts to quarantine it have not been effective, therefore, provoking an unprecedented downturn in the global economy.

This webinar was geared towards creating a platform for stakeholders to discuss how the pandemic has affected the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cameroon and to suggest better adaptability strategies that entrepreneurs can use to meet up with their business needs and profitability.

Speaking during the webinar Christel Youbi, CEO AM Group said: “While COVID-19 was an obstacle for others, it became quite an opportunity especially for those in the digital sector as the pandemic increased market demand since everything became virtual.”

“Entrepreneurs in Cameroon need to digitalise their business and also get insurance toto help the fight against future pandemics,” Dr Jean-Cedric Kouam, Deputy Director of Economic Affairs Division of the Nkafu policy Institute said on the impact of the pandemic.

“The pandemic has led to a massive growth of the digital space in Cameroon. The pandemic has led to a decrease in the demand for raw materials and given this is Cameroon’s main export the state budget was affected. This, in turn, dealt with the growth of small businesses.”

“Thanks to the pandemic many entrepreneurs have adopted digital marketing. Today many small businesses in Cameroon are making huge sales online and also through home delivery. This is innovative,” Fien Rosette, Founder and Managing Director of Keyvey Foods Sarl said.

“From raw materials through production to distribution, the pandemic has affected Cameroonian entrepreneurs in just every way.”

According to the International Labour Organization, almost 1.6 billion workers in the informal sector are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a 60 per cent decline in their earnings. For these workers, discontinuing work or working remotely is not an option because they could lose their jobs and livelihoods.

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Seeking Africa’s superwomen – Africa’s Business Heroes 2021
May 21, 2021 | 0 Comments

Chebet Lesan Winner ABH 2020

The face of female entrepreneurship may be changing across Africa, but access to funding continues to be unequal, with an estimated USD 42 billion finance gap. This doesn’t seem to deter women from seeking income-generation opportunities – Africa has some of the highest percentages of female-led businesses in the world, including the top three countries – Uganda (39.6%), Botswana (38.5%) and Ghana (36.5%).

Limited access to finance has an impact on growth and business success; data gathered by the World Bank indicates male-owned enterprises in 10 African countries on average have six times the capital of those owned by women and enjoy 38% higher monthly profits.

With the multiple challenges currently facing women entrepreneurs across the continent, the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) competition, is good news. Now in its third year, the annual competition, a philanthropic initiative of the Jack Ma Foundation, pursues an inclusive and grassroots agenda, and it is open to entrepreneurs of any gender, age or background. Ten finalists will win a share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding, and all participants will be able to access training, mentorship, global visibility and to be part of a network of business leaders. Aspiring candidates have until June 7 to apply for the 2021 edition, in English or French.

Zahra Baitie-Boateng, is Head of Partnerships and Programmes with the Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition

The 2021 theme is ‘It’s African Time’. “We want to highlight the people who are driving innovation, challenging stereotypes and solving problems,” says Zahra Baitie-Boateng, ABH Head of Partnerships and Programmes. “We’re particularly interested in businesses that are addressing societal challenges and helping achieve the UN sustainable development goals.”

According to Baitie-Boateng, women’s participation is a top priority: “We are committed to inclusion and thrilled to see growing numbers of women applying and succeeding. Last year, half of our top 50 finalists were women – a 24% increase from 2019. Their stories show how women in Africa are successfully pursuing their business dreams.”

Since the competition started in 2019, both first-place winners have been women: Nigeria’s Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO of LifeBank an innovative medical distribution supply company and Chebet Lesan, founder of Bright Green Renewable Energy, a Kenyan company that is saving lives and protecting the planet with energy-efficient biofuel blocks.

Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and CEO of LifeBank

Between 2019 and 2020, a total of eight winning women have made it to the Africa’s Business Heroes top 10 so far. All are unanimous that participating has benefited them personally and professionally.

Lesan’s winning grant of USD 300,000 in 2020 enabled her to expand Bright Green’s operations beyond Kenyan borders. She believes the true value of the competition is much more than monetary, it’s a vehicle to reach a far wider audience. “Africa is not short of talent and ideas, there is a big opportunity for growth. ABH highlights the brilliance, determination, and capabilities of the African people. There are many exceptional businesses in this continent. If you have built a business, and it’s working, the world needs to know. I encourage young entrepreneurs to use ABH as a platform to tell your story. ”

Temie Giwa-Tubosun, of LifeBank, Nigeria, shares a similar experience, after winning USD 250, 000 in 2019. “Since the competition, LifeBank has experienced tremendous growth and our revenue has doubled. We are now expanding to more African countries and plan to reach across the continent. I am forever grateful to the ABH team as they not only supported us with the prize fund but also continue to follow up on the community of entrepreneurs afterwards. When I watch my pitch on the recording of the ABH grand finale show, I am reminded of the key lessons and the importance of not growing too quickly.”

Mupambwa, co-founder and executive director of Moneymart in Zimbabwe was second runner up in 2020

For second runner up in 2020 Ethel Mupambwa, co-founder and executive director of Moneymart in Zimbabwe, limited access to finance was the inspiration to start her business. “Fortune favours the brave! Be a solution provider Challenging times provide vast opportunities; those challenges need a generation to solve them. The first step is to believe and start.

Mupambwa treasures the advice, feedback and support given by the ABH judges: “The ABH mentorship did not just prepare me for the grand finale, it prepared me for life. I would not get such world-class mentorship if l had not entered the competition.”

“To those wishing to participate in 2021, please show up. Do not underestimate the vision you have, your passion, and the impact you are making in your society. You have all that it takes, and we are cheering you on from the terraces.”

Mame Diarra Bousso Gueye from Senegal, founder of DIARRABLU

Mame Diarra Bousso Gueye from Senegal, founder of consciouslifestyle brand DIARRABLU, sees the ABH competition as an enormous opportunity. “To anyone thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship or applying to ABH 2021, my advice is to go for it. You never lose, you either win or learn and what you learn can help you win even bigger later.”

Kevine Kagirimpundu, the co-founder of eco-friendly shoe brand UZURI K&Y was a finalist in 2019

2019 finalist Kevine Kagirimpundu, the co-founder of eco-friendly shoe brand UZURI K&Y in Rwanda, also experienced easier access to funding after taking part, over and above her winning grant: “Strive Masiyiwa, one of the judges, introduced us to a very important contact who has been helping us raise more investment. We are now close to building our factory for completion in 2022.” She encourages everyone to enter: “There’s great potential and opportunities for all participants.”

Christelle Kwizera, third place winner in 2019, is the founder of the social enterprise Water Access Rwanda

Mechanical engineer and social entrepreneur Christelle Kwizera, third place winner in 2019, is the founder of the social enterprise Water Access Rwanda, which transforms broken boreholes into state-of-the-art solar-powered water kiosks and pipelines. For her, the best thing to come out of the competition has been the relationships formed with fellow entrepreneurs. “The prize has not only enabled us to survive through many challenges brought about by Covid-19 but also created for us a lot of connections beyond Africa which has resulted in further funding and opportunities from global players. Using the funding we received, we are now servicing more people, targeting 30 million families with clean water and creating over 13,000 jobs in the coming years. It’s a rare opportunity.”

Joan Rukundo Nalubega started her organic soap social enterprise Uganics, to fight malaria and save lives

Joan Rukundo Nalubega started her organic soap social enterprise Uganics, to fight malaria and save lives. “Entrepreneurship is more than starting a business. It is doing something beyond yourself with a willingness and openness to take risks. Young people on the continent, and especially in Uganda, are tackling the problems that were once their nightmares. They are learning, adapting, collaborating, and innovating to find solutions and ultimately become drivers of the change we want to see.”

Nalubega’s advice to people considering entering in 2021: “Apply and be honest, be you. Believe in yourself and put your best foot forward. It is a big competition, and you must stay true to your business and what makes it stand out. You should understand your business at an expert level. Knowing your numbers – financials and your impact – will get you far.”

Dr Emma Naluyima Mugerwa, an ABH finalist in 2020 is founder of MST Junior School in Uganda

Dr Emma Naluyima Mugerwa, an ABH finalist in 2020 and founder of  MST Junior School in Uganda, saw the educational institution as a practical solution to the country’s problem of youth unemployment. “Entrepreneurship is the ability to look at a challenge in your community and think of ways to tackle it while making money. 70% of Africa are youth and many – about three-quarters – do not find jobs after school. This is a massive opportunity, to skill the youth and create a future workforce.”

Mugerwa encourages businesswomen to subscribe to a digital future: “Use social media platforms often, to promote your enterprise and to scout online for opportunities. This is how I landed on the ABH launch announcement during the pandemic.” To prepare her learners for today’s world, Mugerwa invested her prize grant into extending the school’s technology capabilities.

“Entrepreneurial success is key to Africa’s development,” said Baitie-Boateng. “We encourage the women who are succeeding, despite the challenges, to enter this year’s Africa’s Business Heroes before June 7, for unparalleled support that can take their business to a new level.”

How to enter Africa’s Business Heroes 2021

To be eligible to enter the Africa’s Business Heroes 2021, you must be the founder or co-founder of a business based in Africa that has been running for at least three years. African entrepreneurs from all sectors, age groups and genders are welcome, particularly people who are making a positive difference in their communities. Successful applicants go through several evaluation rounds before a grand finale at the end of the year. The top 10 finalists win a share of the USD 1.5 million grant funding, as well as access to training, mentorship, and a dynamic community of international leaders, experts, investors, and accelerators.

For details or to apply visit https://africabusinessheroes.org/en/the-prize/overview

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References

  • 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs – according to the 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs, Africa has the world’s top three countries when it comes to women entrepreneurs (as a percentage): Uganda (39.6%), Botswana (38.5%) and Ghana (36.5%).
  • According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2019/20 sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of female entrepreneurs globally with approximately 26% of female adults engaged in entrepreneurial activity.

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Cameroon’s K-Empire Warms Up For Premium Entertainment Services
May 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

With its electric look and an unusual atmosphere, K-Empire presents the whole world with a friendly atmosphere of entertainment. Located in the Essos district in a place called “Ben le Boucher” in Cameroon’s political capital Yaounde, K-Empire offers you five-star services coupled with a cosy atmosphere.

With its slogan “An Atmosphere of Taste” K-Empire offers the world a unique blend of good music from top-notch DJs and it also serves as an avenue for individuals who wish to have the best entertainment there is.

Speaking to Pan African Visions in Buea on the establishment of K-Empire, Khumbah Edith-Rosa epse Nkemzi, owner of K-Empire said it is a “fantastic place a place where you will get real entertainment.”

Pan African Visions: How did K-Empire come about?

Khumbah Edith: I was in business and they were mostly based in Buea. With the coming of the Anglophone crisis businesses went down to lower than low, it went down to a level that we could not break even. I started thinking out of the box that nothing is happening in Buea and so what can we do. I went to Yaounde, looked around and I saw that in Yaounde entertainment is what is the business there. I told myself that if I could create something that people can drink and dance then it would be good. I spoke to most of my children in Yaounde and one-off them that I consider more intelligent, Larry said aunty open a snack bar. He said put money in a snack bar and you will not regret it. I like to do things that I like and that is how the k-empire came about.

Pan African Visions: What is the meaning of K-Empire?

Khumbah Edith: K-Empire stands for Khumbah Empire. I did not want to write the whole name and that is why it was shortened to just K-Empire.

Pan African Visions: What are the services one can get at k-Empire?

Khumbah Edith: K-Empire is a snack bar, and we serve mostly drinks at the moment. We are still thinking of bringing in snacks and food but we have not gotten there yet. For now, the basic things are drinks and good music. It also gives the people who are coming there good entertainment. 

Pan African Visions: What are some of the innovations at K-Empire?

Khumbah Edith: Initially, when we started K-Empire we had days for some artists. When we were doing the grand opening we had “Nyangono” and our target was that every month we are going to be bringing musicians. But with the COVID-19 the crowd that comes there is too big, so we have suspended that for now. When they come (artists) you have the money but the crowd coupled with the challenge is enormous. Wednesdays used to be “Hip Hop Night” while Sundays were “Old Timers”. We hope that after the COVID things go back to the way they were before

Pan African Visions: With the coming of the COVID-19, how has it affected activities at K-Empire?

Khumbah Edith: The COVID-19 has hit us hard. I have a business partner who is my elder brother, Emmanuel Khumbah who is in Maryland, USA. When we did everything and got to the final stage; we were looking at doing a small opening, see the challenges and everything before we do a grand opening, the day I bought drinks (March 2020) is the day the Prime Ministerial Order came out. Because of COVID, everything had to be shut down. I had no choice but to shut down until when places will be fine. The business is not productive as we had been projected but we are not coming back empty-handed.

COVID-19 is not the only challenge I have been facing, the issue of management and honesty is another problem. One thing with Cameroonians is that they do not have a sense of management. You get a young man to come work for you and the first thing you get is what is my pay and not even questions like what am I to do? The interest is the money and not the work. You bring people and all they look is for ways to cheat you. My son Sam is there trying to manage the place but the workers are an issue.

The other issue is customer service. When I am there they serve people well but when you are not there as the owner it is a problem. People do not know what it takes to maintain something. Cameroonians do not have a sense of duty and customer service.

K- Empire is structured to provide premium comfort and services to its customers

Pan African Visions: We are still in the COVID-19 situation, how is the K-Empire doing and trying to stay relevant?

Khumbah Edith: We are trying our best to make sure that people are safe, by following the barrier measures that are in place. We have a hand-washing point at the entrance. We have a limit on the number of people who can be in the place; we have a huge space both down and up but when it gets to a certain number we make sure that some people can sit outside and drink to limit the number to avoid the crowd. We have to make money, but we also have to be value health and human life in this trying times.

.K Empire has plans to keep hosting to notch guest artists when it becomes safe and COVID 19 restrictions are eased,

Pan African Visions: Are you looking for any help from the government?

Khumbah Edith: What I will like to tell the government is their tax policy. I have all my papers for the snack; I have papers from tourism (I am supposed to open 24/7) yet we still have people (uniform officers) who still come and disturb us and even shut us down. The government should look at putting a good business policy in place and that is the one that is killing us in Cameroon.

Pan African Visions: Thank you for granting this interview, any final word from you?

Khumbah Edith: Just to say the challenges are there but we are pushing on and we are hoping that someday the COVID-19 will be gone. We have big plans and a strong vision for K-Empire. Be on the watch because when COVID gives way and restrictions are eased, we will K-Empire will simply be irresistible. For now we will keep things basic and function in strict respect of safety measures.

*Courtesy of May Issue of PAV Magazine

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ZAMBIAN BREWERIES ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP CHANGE
May 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

Zambian Breweries Plc has announced that its Country Director Jose Moran will be leaving the business to take up a new appointment as Country Director of its parent company AB InBev’s Tanzania operations.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries Plc has announced that its Country Director Jose Moran will be leaving the business to take up a new appointment as Country Director of its parent company AB InBev’s Tanzania operations.

The Zambian Breweries Board of Directors commended Mr Moran on his role in the last four years, during which time he has overseen continued investment and expansion of production, a strong focus on sales and marketing, and a genuine implementation of the AB InBev Group’s Better World strategy through sourcing of ingredients from local farmers, water stewardship, and a high profile responsible drinking campaign.

Mr Moran, who has held the position since September 2017, will be replaced by Michelle Kilpin, who is currently Innovation Director – Africa Zone for AB InBev.

Ms Kilpin has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Johannesburg and joined South Africa Breweries in 2004 as a Sales Representative, progressing to Formal On Premise Channel Manager before working under AB InBev as Regional Director, Trade Marketing Director – South Africa and then her current role.

About AB InBev in Zambia

Zambian Breweries Plc is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewer in the world, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.

Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label, Eagle beer, Stella Artois and Budweiser.

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Mauritanian Bank for International Trade launches digital bank, Masrvi, powered by TagPay
May 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

Masrvi was launched at the end of April and responds to Mauritanians’ banking needs by providing secure and accessible banking services
Mr. Moulay Abbas CEO The Mauritanian Bank for International Trade

The Mauritanian Bank for International Trade (BMCI) has partnered with TagPay to roll out its digital bank Masrvi, aimed at providing digital, value-added financial services to its customers.

Powered by TagPay, Masrvi was launched at the end of April and responds to Mauritanians’ banking needs by providing secure and accessible banking services, across the country through mobile networks, whilst offering convenience. Masrvi enables BMCI to provide its customers with secure, simple, fast, and easy-to-access banking products and services that can be tailored to their needs, all with a convenience that traditional banks cannot match.

Moulay Abbas, President of BMCI says: “By leveraging TagPay’s next-generation Core Banking System and their teams’ project expertise, we were able to launch our digital bank, Masrvi, in record time. Within a month of launching, we have a network of 52 branches and more than 200 partner-businesses that accept Masrvi and the numbers continue to grow. Thanks to the proven robustness, agility, and short time-to-market of this solution, we will be able to rapidly grow our customers. This will help strengthen Masrvi’s product line and enable us to offer a full range of banking and financial products in the very short term.”

Commenting on the successful launch of Masrvi, Yves Eonnet, CEO of TagPay said: “By using TagPay’s next-generation Core Banking System, the Masrvi solution is leveraging an innovative and intuitive technology platform that offers a full range of banking functions. Thanks to its open architecture, flexibility, and scalability, the solution will allow the rollout or update of features the digital bank wishes to market. Certainly, Masrvi will promote financial inclusion and integration in Mauritania.”


Anyone with a cell phone, regardless of their wireless carrier, can download the Masrvi application. This enables them to open a digital bank account and conduct several types of transactions such as withdrawing, depositing, and transferring money, paying bills and retailers, and recharging phone credit.

M. Yves Eonnet CEO of TagPay

About TagPay:
TagPay is an international fintech company that provides an open, flexible, and scalable next-generation Core Banking System (CBS). This solution allows financial institutions (retail banks, digital banks, and payment and electronic money institutions, etc.) to better meet their customers’ expectations with new digital financial products.


About BMCI:
The Mauritanian Bank for International Trade was created in 1974 under the name BAAM before becoming BMCI in 1986. BMCI is now a leader in the Mauritanian banking market. It is the largest bank in terms of total assets, number of customers and total deposits, and has the largest network of branches in the country.

*SOURCE The Mauritanian Bank for International Trade (BMCI)

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MOZAMBIQUE: Sasol to sell 30% stake in gas pipeline for $364m
May 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The South Africa’s petrochemical Sasol agreed to sell 30% of its stake in the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Investments Company (ROMPCO) for up to 5.145 billion Rand to Reatile Consortium, comprising Reatile Group and the IDEAS Fund managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers Proprietary Limited.

According to a statement seen by Pan African Visions Sasol will retain a 20% shareholding in ROMPCO and will continue to operate and maintain the pipeline in terms of the commercial agreement between Sasol and ROMPCO, which is independent of the proposed transaction.

Sasol’s agreements with ROMPCO to transport gas from Mozambique to Secunda in South Africa are unaffected by the transaction, the company said, adding that the tariffs remain as per the said agreements, which were approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

The stake will be sold for a consideration comprising an initial amount of 4.145 billion rand and a deferred payment of up to 1 billion rand payable if certain agreed milestones are achieved by 30 June 2024, the company said.

It is expected that the proposed transaction, which it is part of Sasol’s strategy-led divestment programme, will become effective during the second half of calendar year 2021, Sasol said, adding that it remains fully committed to its operations in Mozambique, which continue to be integral to Sasol’s gas strategy.

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Nigeria among countries MOST interested in Ether
May 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • Nigeria ranks 17th, as there are an average 42,900 online searches a month for Ether
  • With regards to Ether price, there are an average 11,430 searches per month from Nigerians checking the price of Ether online
  • United States is the country in the world most interested in Ether with an average 1,116,000 online searches per month for the cryptocurrency
  • Germany (736,300) and Turkey (408,500) are among the other countries where there are more than 400,000 online searches a month for Ether

• Nigeria ranks 17th, as there are an average 42,900 online searches a month for Ether.Photo credit Alekseylvanov / Shutterstock

Ranked: The Countries in the World Most Interested in Ether
RankCountryAverage Monthly Online Searches for ‘Ether’Average Monthly Online Searches for ‘Ether’ Per 1,000 Internet Users
1.United States1,116,0003.57
2.Germany736,3009.46
3.Turkey408,5006.58
4.Brazil259,6001.62
5.France247,1004.25
6.United Kingdom230,0003.53
7.Canada203,0005.97
8.India192,0000.25
9.Australia124,0005.86
10.Poland105,3003.03
11.Spain93,9002.21
12.Switzerland93,70011.79
13.Italy71,8001.97
14.Netherlands68,9004.33
15.Sweden68,1007.12
16.Vietnam43,2000.63
17.Nigeria42,9000.31
18.Indonesia40,8000.19
19.Argentina39,1001.16
20.Austria37,7004.90

Cryptocurrency has become more prominent than ever before and one of the digital coins making the most noise is Ether. Unlike its closest crypto rival Bitcoin, people can build applications on top of Ethereum (the open source blockchain technology behind Ether), therefore making it a very attractive proposition for existing and potential investors.

With the digital currency hitting a record high of over $4,000 per Ether this month (May 2021), Invezz.com utilised online analytics tool Ahrefs to establish which countries in the world are most interested in Ether.

Invezz.com found that the United States is in the number one spot with a substantial average of 1,116,000 online searches a month for Ether. That is the equivalent of 36,000 online searches per day!

In second place is Germany, as there is an average of 736,300 online searches every month from Germans regarding Ether.

Turkey is in third position with an average 408,500 online searches a month from Turks curious about Ether.

Brazil (259,600), France (247,100), United Kingdom (230,000) and Canada (203,000) are among the other countries where there are more than 200,000 searches a month from their respective citizens monitoring Ether online, respectively ranking fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.

In 17th place is Nigeria where there are an average 42,900 online searches each month from Nigerians checking the latest developments surrounding Ether.

When it comes to the price of Ether, there is an average of 11,430 online searches a month from Nigerians specifically checking the price of Ether.

At the other end in 20th position is Austria, where there are an average of 37,700 online searches per month from Austrians interested in Ether – comparable to 1,216 online searches a day.

Jayson Derrick from Invezz.com provides his expert insight on Ether:

“Ether exploded in value over the past year and likely generated life-changing returns for early investors who truly understood the concept from day one.

These days we are noticing high levels of interest from wealthier investors (i.e. those with at least $1 million in assets) who want exposure to cryptocurrencies. These investors tend to be more cautious in how they manage their life savings: they own physical gold bars and have taken advantage of IBM’s dividend reinvestment program for decades.

These investors tend to be more sophisticated and will pay for professional investment advice to maximize their return. They are not interested in “meme” cryptos like Dogecoin. Rather, they are interested in Ethereum and other large-scale coins because of their real life use.

Investors can see Ethereum DeFi projects playing out in real-time. Those who believed in the 2010s that Ether and Bitcoin were a “fad” are quickly changing their thought process and looking to invest now.

By 2030 the world of finance will likely not at all resemble what it looks like today and this is apparent to anyone paying even minimal attention. The extent that Ethereum will play in terms of financial transactions and smart contracts will be exponentially higher over the coming years.

This implies that the era of cryptocurrencies is still in its very early stages. Buying Ethereum at current levels, even close to the all-time high of $4,000, makes sense for investors with a long-term timeframe. A reasonable amount of exposure to Ethereum as part of a well-diversified portfolio across multiple asset classes is certainly a logical investment strategy and one that would be hard to argue against”.


Methodology for the Research:

  1. Invezz.com identified ‘Ether’ and ‘Eth’ as the primary variations in the way people search for the Ether cryptocurrency online using analytics tool Ahrefs.
  2. Invezz.com then utilised the Ahrefs database to establish on average how many times a month these identified key terms related to Ether are being searched online in 155 different countries across the world.
  3. The values of the two different key terms were added together to get an overall ‘average monthly online searches for Ether’ figure for each analysed country.
  4. The countries were then ranked from highest to lowest based on ‘average monthly online searches for Ether’ – the top 20 countries are identified in the final results table.
  5. When analysing the data, each of the two key search terms related to Ether were assessed in English as well as each country’s respective primary language (where applicable/possible) to increase the reliability of results.
  6. With regards to the online searches for the price of Ether, Invezz.com identified ‘Ether price’ and ‘Ether value’ as the primary variations in the way people search for Ether price online and to get the online search volumes for the price Ether, the same stages from one to three were followed for collating the data for each of the countries in the top 20.
  7. All data correct at the time of analysis.
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ZAMBIAN BREWERIES ASSURES BARS AND NIGHTCLUBS OF INCREASED BEER SUPPLY
May 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

Association president commends the country’s largest brewer for its proactive stakeholder engagement policy.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries has assured bar and nightclub owners across the country of increased beer supply once its US$18 million expansion project is completed next month.

Earlier this year, the brewer embarked on an ambitious expansion project to improve product quality and increase output by 30 percent to address intermittent beer shortages in some markets.

Addressing a delegation from the Bars and Nightclubs Owners Association of Zambia during a familiarisation tour of the Lusaka plant this week, Zambian Breweries Country Director Jose Moran said the company was committed to ensuring a stable balance between supply and demand and would thus continue investing in the local market’s future.

He said: “Increasing production capacity in Ndola and Lusaka is not an easy task, especially amid prevailing economic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment is a way of showing our consumers and retailers that we are here to invest for the future, and we are making efforts to balance our supply with the demand out there on the market.”

Mr Moran noted that Zambian Breweries was confident Zambia would overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 and get back on course to achieve its development targets.

He added that the brewer would continue to invest in sectors that stimulated production, to help return the manufacturing sector and the economy to a steady growth trajectory.

Bars and Nightclubs Owners Association of Zambia President Peter Mwale applauded Zambian Breweries for proactively engaging the association to find a lasting solution to growing beer demand across the country.

“The steps you (ZB) have taken to engage us is the best way to finding solutions. We have seen the investment Zambian Breweries is making to address our challenges,” he said.

“The situation might not improve today or tomorrow; but from the investment we have seen, the challenges of beer shortages will be a thing of the past come July-August this year.”

Under the project, six 240,000 litre capacity fermentation tanks along with a multitude of modern brewing equipment are being installed at both the Ndola and Lusaka plants.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed next month.

About AB InBev in Zambia
Zambian Breweries Plc is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the largest brewer in the world, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.
Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label, Eagle beer, Stella Artois and Budweiser.

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A Myriad of opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Jack Ma Foundation Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition
May 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Zahra Baitie-Boateng, is Head of Partnerships and Programs with the Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition

Entrepreneurs in Africa have a few more weeks to apply for the 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes competition, the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program that identifies, supports, and inspires African entrepreneurs.

Speaking to Nigeria’s Channels TV, Zahra Baitie-Boateng, the Head of Partnerships and Programs with the Africa’s Business Heroes Prize Competition, highlighted the many opportunities that the initiative offers, saying that every entrepreneur who successfully submits their application can benefit from the competition even if they do not make it to the finale and win their share of the USD 1.5M prize.

According to her, the application process is designed to encourage candidates to conduct a thorough analysis and review of the fundamentals of their business. When testing the candidates, judges provide insights and guidance on strengthening their businesses and improving their pitches as they advance, said Zahra.

Participants also have the opportunity to access exclusive mentorship and learning, through a number of multi-disciplinary bootcamps and training sessions and connect to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

The Top 10 finalists take home grant funds ranging from USD 100,000 to USD 300,000, increase their public exposure by featuring in the Africa’s Business Heroes show, and have the opportunity to pitch to international business legends at the Grand Finale.

“There are many benefits one can gain depending on where you end in competition,” said Zahra Boateng.

She narrated how the competition has changed lives and businesses in the continent, noting that many heroes have used the grants and the publicity they achieved to make tremendous progress. In particular, she mentioned Nigerian Temie Giwa-Tubuson, the founder and CEO of LifeBank. The ABH Grand Prize winner in 2019, Temie has secured further investments and recently expanded her operations in Kenya and helped tackle Covid-19 by delivering medical oxygen and facilitating testing.

“This is just one example. Several other finalists have gone on to expand their footprint geographically and established collaborations among them,” she added.

She further disclosed that over ten years, the program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and allocate grant funding, training programs, and support for the broader Africa entrepreneur ecosystem.

They will also be launching an Africa’s Business Heroes virtual community in the future.

Applications for the ABH third edition officially launched on March 30, 2021, and it will remain open until June 7, 2021. Candidates from all African countries, all sectors, and all ages can submit their applications in French and English here before 7th June.

The applicants must be of African descent, founders/co-founders of the businesses, and their businesses must be registered and operated in Africa. The business must have revenues and have been in existence for at least three years.

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Cameroon-based fintech, Maviance PLC, closes its Seed round to fund its expansion within the Central African Economic Region (CEMAC)
May 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Nkwenti Azong-Wara, CEO of Maviance

Douala, Cameroon – 11 May 2021 – Maviance PLC , a Cameroon-based fintech, announced today that it has closed its Seed investment round of USD 3 million from the pan-African digital payments hub MFS Africa, which comes on board as a strategic investor. Maviance will be using the new funding to increase its footprint in its Cameroon and to expand into other countries in the central African economic region (CEMAC).   

Maviance chose MFS Africa as an investor to leverage on its pan-African infrastructure and its vast product offering and partnerships to deliver new digital financial products in the CEMAC region. 

In Cameroon, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) employ over 90% of the workforce and contribute around 36% of GDP. However, many MSMEs lack access to digital financial services to grow their businesses. Maviance, which serves over 500,000 unique customers a month, has connected key service providers, payment providers, financial institutions and mobile money operators to its Smobilpay digital financial services platform. Smobilpay’s digital financial services help businesses improve their sales by encouraging their customers to move away from cash-based transactions to digital.  

Smobilpay empowers underserved MSMEs, agents, banks and financial institutions’ customers within the CEMAC region with more accessible digital financial services solutions. Maviance’s growing network of agents and MSME partners offer their customers a wide array of digital financial services.  

Jerry Cheambe, the founder of Maviance, who led the negotiations for Maviance, said: “We are very excited about Maviance’s product pipeline and expansion. The opportunities within central Africa are huge, and the demand has been massively accelerated in the last 12 months with the advent of Covid-19 as businesses of all sizes adopt digital financial services. Moreover, the shift in the mindset of regulators towards progressive regulations as well as regulatory alignment, enable us to deliver seamless services across multiple geographies and customer segments.” 

MFS Africa’s founder and CEO, Dare Okoudjou, who led the deal said: 

The rapid development of digital financial services that we have seen in Cameroon over the past few years is poised to spread across the CEMAC region. This will further accelerate the demand for domestic and cross-border payment from MSMEs, social enterprises and corporates in the region. Maviance, as a key infrastructure provider with its set of highly relevant products, is well-positioned to benefit from this growing demand. That is why we are thrilled to be partnering with the company, as we continue to broaden and deepen the reach of the MFS Africa Hub across Africa.” 

Nkwenti Azong-Wara, CEO of Maviance, adds: “With MFS Africa, Maviance has gained not just a funding partner, but more importantly a strategic investor who will provide valuable impetus to enable us to extnd our service portfolio and network as well as to expand into the other five countries within the CEMAC region, via the GIMACPAY switch.” 

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Maviance has experienced increasing demand from businesses to digitise their payment processes and transition away from cash. The joint forces of Maviance and MFS Africa will open up opportunities for MSMEs to easily digitise their processes, enabling them to benefit from the ecosystem of mobile money providers and other financial institutions providing seamless payment for services irrespective of channel.  

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Orange leads solar panel deployment across Africa and the Middle East
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

To avoid using generators that run on fuel (fossil energy that emits CO2), Orange is putting in place several initiatives such as solar panels

Orange is accelerating its solar projects in Africa and the Middle East to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2040. Across the entire region, many sites are not connected to the electricity grid and when they are, the quality of the grid often requires alternative backup solutions. To avoid using generators that run on fuel (fossil energy that emits CO2), Orange is putting in place several initiatives such as solar panels.

In several of its subsidiaries, Orange is deploying innovative solar solutions and the latest generation batteries with partners specializing in energy. To reduce its environmental footprint, the Group is positioning itself in these countries as the biggest deployer of solar panels, with a renewable energy use rate already at over 50% for Orange Guinea, 41% for Orange Madagascar and 40% for Orange Sierra Leone. 

These solar panel solutions have also been or will soon be deployed in other African and Middle Eastern countries where Orange is present, like Liberia, for instance, where 75% of Orange’s telecom sites are equipped with solar panels. In total, Orange has installed solar panels at 5,400 of its telecom sites (some 100% solar, others hybrid) saving 55 million liters of fuel each year.

Furthermore, in Jordan, Orange has launched three solar farms to switch to clean and renewable energy helping to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2020, these solar farm projects covered over 65% of Orange Jordan’s energy needs. Since 2018, the company has successfully reduced its CO2 emissions by 45 kilotons thanks to this solar infrastructure.

Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa says: “We are proud to be the first company by number of solar panels in 5 countries in Africa and the Middle East. As a stakeholder in the energy transition, Orange has included in its Engage 2025 strategic plan the objective of meeting 50% of the Group’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025. We are aiming for net zero carbon by 2040.”

Orange is present in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East and has around 130 million customers as at March 31, 2021. With €5.8 billion in turnover in 2020, Orange MEA is the Group’s main growth region. Orange Money, with its mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer is available in 17 countries and has 50 million customers. Orange, a multi-service operator, benchmark partner of the digital transformation, provides its expertise to support the development of new digital services in Africa and the Middle East.

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 42.3 billion euros in 2020 and 140,000 employees worldwide at 31 March 2021, including 80,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 262 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2021, including 217 million mobile customers and 22 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 26 countries.

Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In December 2019, the Group presented its new “Engage 2025” strategic plan, which, guided by social and environmental accountability, aims to reinvent its operator model. While accelerating in growth areas and placing data and AI at the heart of its innovation model, the Group will be an attractive and responsible employer, adapted to emerging professions.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).

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