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DP WORLD MAPUTO LAUNCHES FIRST DEDICATED LOGISTICS RAIL SERVICE BETWEEN MAPUTO AND HARARE.
June 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

  • First dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare launched from DP World Maputo
  • The rail service’s operations will be expanded in coming months, and is key to DP World’s vision in connecting Maputo with Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland by rail
  • The landmark service will reduce transit times for customers in Zimbabwe
LEFT TO RIGHT: Vinay Maharaj, Mark Pretorius, Mark Neel (DP World), Christian Roeder (DP World)

MAPUTO (MOZAMBIQUE) JUNE 14, 2021 – DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, last Friday handled the first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, Zimbabwe. The new service is part of the company’s continued focus to expand its logistics and supply chain offering in the region, and key to its vision to connect several countries in Southern Africa – namely Maputo with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland – by rail.

This new offering presents a multitude of new business opportunities for customers in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Not only will this help enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe, the service offers significantly better transit times for customers in Zimbabwe. In the past, transit goods on their way to Harare would often have to be transported far greater distances by sea and road, but this route will give customers a new, direct and faster option for delivery.

Following the launch of the bi-weekly rail service, DP World Maputo will continue to work with all the stakeholders involved to make this a weekly train service between the two cities, to allow even greater cost saving and planning opportunities for businesses and individuals who need reliable, efficient transportation of goods.

Christian Roeder, CEO of DP World Maputo said: “This rail service between Maputo and Harare is key to reopening the route between these markets to drive more efficient logistics in the region. Through this service, which we will facilitate and handle all port and border documentation, we can cut down transit times, give our customers better service and improve the connections between cities.” 

The rail service also follows the recent announcement of DP World Komatipoort in South Africa, handling its first transit import via Maputo, demonstrating that the Maputo Port can be seamlessly used as a gateway to South Africa’s hinterland using DP World Komatipoort. International container imports landed in Maputo port and destined for the South African hinterland, can now be moved under bond to Komatipoort, where full customs clearance can be provided and made ready for delivery across South Africa.

DP World will continue to develop the Maputo Corridor, a vital trade route in Southern Africa, through investing in new infrastructure to meet local demand, while DP World Maputo’s container terminal capacity will also be enhanced, having already doubled in size between 2016 and 2018.

About DP World  

We are the leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe. Our comprehensive range of products and services covers every link of the integrated supply chain – from maritime and inland terminals to marine services and industrial parks as well as technology-driven customer solutions.   

We deliver these services through an interconnected global network of 148 business units in 60 countries across six continents, with a significant presence both in high-growth and mature markets. Wherever we operate, we integrate sustainability and responsible corporate citizenship into our activities, striving for a positive contribution to the economies and communities where we live and work.  

Our dedicated, diverse and professional team of more than 54,620 employees from 137 nationalities are committed to delivering unrivalled value to our customers and partners. We do this by focusing on mutually beneficial relationships – with governments, shippers, traders, and other stakeholders along the global supply chain – relationships built on a foundation of mutual trust and enduring partnership.  

We think ahead, anticipate change and deploy industry-leading digital technology to further broaden our vision to disrupt world trade and create the smartest, most efficient and innovative solutions, while ensuring a positive and sustainable impact on economies, societies and our planet.  

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CELEBRATING THE PAST, DEFINING THE FUTURE: LOOKING BACK TO LOOK AHEAD
June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

Canon reflects back on its key milestones and achievements setting a tone of meaningful contribution, collaboration and progress for the future.  

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 4th 2021: Each year, Africa day is celebrated on May 25th to pay a tribute to the undying spirit of the great African continent as well as to recognize its diverse cultures, remarkable heritage along with the prolific progress made by the continent as a whole. To celebrate this significant day, Canon takes a walk down the memory lane, reflecting and rejoicing some of its major moments of contribution and change in the African landscape.  

WALK DOWN THE MEMORY LANE 

“Corporate philanthropy is not just about being part of the conversation, it is about starting a conversation and as a company, we truly stand by these words. Our philosophy has always been to make real and meaningful impact in people’s lives, to ensure that we provide opportunities that bring about a wave of change and progress in the society. A leader is someone who can channel creative energy, impulse and hope through the people. We have aspired to do exactly so in the past through our various initiatives and collaborations in Africa, and really gone an extra mile to create copious local employment opportunities across the continent, thereby ensuring we are hitting directly at the grass-root level with our efforts reducing gender bias and creating employment opportunities for men and women alike. A glimpse at our management & in-country sales team across Africa proves what we stand for, a balanced team of visionary minds, regardless of any prejudice. We are a company for the people and by the people, our strength lies in empowering individuals, our employment drives across the continent have been vital in ensuring success, stability and equilibrium for Africa. As we celebrate Africa Day, I am extremely proud to look back at all our accomplishments that have set a visionary tone of collaborative contribution for the future,” remarks Somesh Adukia, Managing Director – Canon Central and North Africa.  

TORCHBEARERS OF CHANGE AND INNOVATION 

Being the torchbearers of change and innovation, this past year saw Canon set up myriad initiatives to promote and inspire the young talent in Africa. Through its Miraisha programme, Canon recognized and awarded ten young students from Kenya with scholarships to aid in the development of their visual storytelling skills. The elected scholars are poised to work towards a certificate in film technology, studying twelve subjects including video camera operations, screenwriting, editing, photography and film production techniques. Through this exclusive partnership with the KCA University, Canon aims to empower the African youth with creative opportunities that contribute not just on an individual level but also on the community level.  

In keeping up with its endeavor to promote young talent, Canon also unveiled its ‘Student Development Programme’ for 2021 for the fifth consecutive year. An initiative designed to supplement young photographers with a real-time experience of working with an industry expert, this life-changing opportunity is presented to 250 students from across Europe, Middle East and Africa. As a result, each candidate is able to participate in a unique and bespoke educational programme designed to enhance students’ visual storytelling skills thereby advancing their careers. 

ARTS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE: LEVERS FOR BUILDING THE AFRICA WE WANT 

Canon has paid particular attention to the 2021 theme of ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want’ in all of its initiatives, carving out a road-map that builds on a strong foundation of these pillars. To maintain its commitment in a changing world, not only did the brand strategize encouraging initiatives for the younger African population but it also implemented peer-to-peer business partnerships in order to provide support and inculcate a collaborative spirit. Aiming to create a win-win situation for both the company and its partners, Canon employed its ‘closer to customer’ strategy in the African continent to strengthen its distribution network as well as to provide opportunities to the local players.  

As a result, this collaborative bandwagon will see Docutech and Al Mactab focus on advancing Canon’s Wide Format print solutions in Ghana and Libya respectively, while Express Automation will amplify Canon’s Professional Print services in Kenya and Digimate will boost Document Solutions and Large Format Print offerings in Morocco. Partnering with local business players has been the go-to strategy for Canon in order to streamline the supply process and facilitate growth and opportunities in the remotest of areas.  

On a similar note, Canon’s annual Service Conference held earlier this year in March, witnessed its partners and distributors come together from more than 30 African countries to virtually participate in a thought-provoking session of cutting-edge business ideas and innovation. The conference presented Canon’s Service partners an opportunity to get up-to-date on the Business and Service direction of CCNA.  

With the undeniable global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canon has made sustainable efforts to improve its remote service capabilities by designing virtual conferences that encourage its partners to receive optimum training to operate and implement services such as e-Service and e-Maintenance thereby ensuring seamless and unobstructed support to its customers.  

WORKING TOGETHER FOR COMMON GOOD 

Canon’s corporate philosophy of Kyosei – living and working together for the common good, ensures that all elements of its universe from its business partners to employees to customers are looked after and taken care of. The flywheel of Canon’s various activities in Africa focus on delivering real value thereby creating sustainable impact through its consistent contribution towards the pursuit of keeping creativity and innovation alive.  

In 2020, Canon expanded its world-renowned Ambassador Programme to over 100 leading international photographers and filmmakers, once again staying true to its commitment of nurturing creative talent without any boundaries. A first of its kind, the Canon EMEA Ambassador Programme was created to represent and support current and future generations of photographers and filmmakers by sharing their passion and technical know-how with fellow professionals, as well as enthusiastic amateurs who want to develop their skills.  

The consistent drumbeat of Canon’s efforts in the African continent have proven particularly important in creating a positive impact despite various challenges faced in the past year. Coming together as a company and promoting the ‘Kyosei’ culture has manifested in a thriving environment that is symbiotic for all the stakeholders, be it a consumer or a company employee.  

Adding on to this, company MD Mr. Somesh Adukia says, “At the heart of our business, lies our commitment to be change-makers, to be a company that recognizes its power and position to bring about a social change thus positively impacting the very people it serves. This is what sets us apart, our dedicated efforts in relentlessly pursuing the greater good, for one and all. As we celebrate Africa today, it is extraordinary that we also celebrate a key milestone – five years of Canon Central and North Africa. From the time we set foot on the African continent, we have walked on the path of creativity, collaboration and curiosity and we will continue to do so. Each and every day, we endeavor to work towards the development and progress of Africa and its people. We are optimistic to be spectators of tremendous growth and opportunities for Africa, we believe the future is full of possibilities.” 

About Canon Central and North Africa 

Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) (Canon-CNA.com) is a division within Canon Middle East FZ LLC (CME), a subsidiary of Canon Europe. The formation of CCNA in 2015 was a strategic step that aimed to enhance Canon’s business within the Africa region – by strengthening Canon’s in-country presence and focus. CCNA also demonstrates Canon’s commitment to operating closer to its customers and meeting their demands in the rapidly evolving African market. 

Canon has been represented in the African continent for more than 15 years through distributors and partners that have successfully built a solid customer base in the region. CCNA ensures the provision of high quality, technologically advanced products that meet the requirements of Africa’s rapidly evolving marketplace. With over 100 employees, CCNA manages sales and marketing activities across 44 countries in Africa.  

Canon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei – ‘living and working together for the common good’. CCNA pursues sustainable business growth, focusing on reducing its own environmental impact and supporting customers to reduce theirs using Canon’s products, solutions and services. At Canon, we are pioneers, constantly redefining the world of imaging for the greater good. Through our technology and our spirit of innovation, we push the bounds of what is possible – helping us to see our world in ways we never have before. We help bring creativity to life, one image at a time. Because when we can see our world, we can transform it for the better. 

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Liquid Intelligent Technologies achieves 100,000 km of fibre
June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a digital solution provider, has achieved 100,000 km of fibre, increasing from 89,989 km at the beginning of 2021, announced the Pan-African technology group.

During a virtual press conference held on Wednesday, June 2, the organization disclosed that the new network milestone has now positioned it as the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally.

Now more than 100 million people across 643 towns and cities in Africa can now access the internet, enabling them to explore opportunities in Africa and across the US, Asian and European markets.

The organization said it recently expanded its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ringing its world-class fibre network and digital services to a country that previously relied only on expensive mobile broadband.

As a result, now 2.7 million people of Mbuji-Mayi in the DRC will have access to fibre connectivity, and it is believed, creating an environment for economic growth.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies CEO Nic Rudnick attributed the progress to extensive effort and drive that followed their initial vision and growth plan.

“Over the years we have been successfully connecting countries through our high-speed connectivity and digital services. Our successful partnerships with customers ensured that today we are recognized as a technology company that has brought local businesses access to Cloud capabilities, world-class Cyber Security solutions in addition to our existing telecoms and connectivity capability,” said CEO Rudnick.

The extensive network will enhance Africa’s economic growth and enable small businesses, enterprises, and government entities to increase their competitiveness through the many digital solutions catering to their individual needs.

“The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. By providing access to information, connecting people to businesses everywhere, and opening up new markets, the internet can act as an enabler of economic activity and an engine for information sharing. Economic development is not about choosing between access to the internet and basic necessities, they need to work together to allow societies to flourish,” he added.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies was established in 2005, and with its fibre network, it is connecting 14 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Under its new brand identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has eight business units, namely: Liquid Networks, Liquid Business, Liquid Sea, Liquid Cloud, Liquid Cyber Security, Liquid Home, Liquid Innovation and Liquid Satellite.

 It now operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Harare and Kigali, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 74 MW of power.

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Liquid Intelligent Technologies achieves 100,000 km of fibre, making them the largest independent network provider in Africa and other emerging markets
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

The organisation’s fibre infrastructure impacts more than 100 million people across 643 towns and cities on the continent.

GCEO, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Image: Liquid Intelligent Technologies achieves 100,000 km of fibre, making them the largest independent network provider in Africa and other emerging markets

Digital solutions provider Liquid Intelligent Technologies (Liquid.tech) achieves the 100,000 km fibre network milestone, positioning the organisation as the largest independent fibre network provider in emerging markets globally.

Liquid has been manoeuvring steadily through Africa, investing in increasing its reach, which it has successfully done, moving the dial from 89,989 km at the beginning of 2021 to reach this new milestone now.  With its additional fibre network connecting 14 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, customers can now explore opportunities in Africa and across the US, Asian and European markets.

The organisation’s fibre infrastructure impacts more than 100 million people across 643 towns and cities on the continent. This extensive network will create new opportunities by making digital inclusion a reality for businesses and individuals across the continent and ultimately accelerating the ongoing digital transformation in Africa.

This well-earned achievement has not come without the extensive effort and drive that followed Liquid’s initial vision and growth plan, as noted by Nic Rudnick, Group Chief Executive Officer, Liquid Intelligent Technologies. “Over the years we have been successfully connecting countries through our high-speed connectivity and digital services. Our successful partnerships with customers ensured that today we are recognised as a technology company that has brought local businesses access to Cloud capabilities, world-class Cyber Security solutions in addition to our existing telecoms and connectivity capability”.

Accomplishing one achievement after the next, Liquid recently expanded its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing its world-class fibre network and digital services to a country that previously relied only on expensive mobile broadband. For the first time, 2.7 million people of Mbuji-Mayi in the DRC will have access to fibre connectivity, creating an environment that stimulates exciting new sector growth opportunities.

Knowing that connectivity is vital for Africa’s economic growth, the extended penetration will also enable small businesses, enterprises, and government entities to increase their competitiveness through the many digital solutions catering to their individual needs.

Rudnick said, “The internet offers unprecedented opportunities for economic growth in developing countries. By providing access to information, connecting people to businesses everywhere, and opening up new markets, the internet can act as an enabler of economic activity and an engine for information sharing. Economic development is not about choosing between access to the internet and basic necessities, they need to work together to allow societies to flourish”.

According to Deloitte, it is estimated that by extending internet penetration, another 640 million children may access the internet and the wealth of information it makes available while they study. With only a 20% internet penetration in Africa, the internet plays a pivotal role in extending access to educational resources and accelerating knowledge sharing among students and teachers. It improves the quality of offline education, resulting in better school performance with online learning resources. As a result of education improvement, young people are more employable, and improved literacy promotes social inclusion and benefits the economy.

About Liquid Intelligent Technologies:

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is a pan-African technology group with capabilities across 14 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. Established in 2005, Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading pan-African digital infrastructure provider. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is redefining Network, Cloud and Cyber Security offerings through strategic partnerships with leading global players, innovative business applications, intelligent cloud services and world-class security to the African continent. Under its new brand identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has eight business units, namely: Liquid Networks, Liquid Business, Liquid Sea, Liquid Cloud, Liquid Cyber Security, Liquid Home, Liquid Innovation and Liquid Satellite. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is now a full one-stop-shop technology group that provides tailor-made digital solutions to businesses in the public and private sectors across the continent. The Group also operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Harare and Kigali, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 74 MW of power.


*Stats and figures as per the Deloitte paper prepared around Value of Connectivity: Economic and social benefits of expanding internet access.

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APO Group appoints Lynne Krawchuk as Vice President of Digital, Public Relations (PR), and Media Relations.
June 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Lynne Krawchuk, Vice President of Digital, PR, and Media Relations, APO Group

Lynne’s vast experience in global digital and Public Relations roles will help APO Group in its continuing mission to build strong connections between multinational companies and African media.

APO Group , the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, today announced the appointment of Lynne Krawchuk as Vice President of Digital, PR, and Media Relations.

Lynne will lead APO Group’s consultancy division, helping multinational companies thrive in Africa. In particular, Lynne will focus on building digital strategies and leading creative campaigns that connect APO Group’s customers with media all over Africa and beyond.

Public Relations in Africa is traditionally challenging. There are 54 individual countries with vastly different cultures and media landscapes. APO Group is in the unique position of being able to build a bridge between international business and this diverse African media community.   

Not even the largest global PR Agencies can match APO Group’s reach or depth of contacts in every African country. APO Group has a database of over 450.000 journalists and distributes more than eight million press release emails in Africa every month. In 2020, content distributed by APO Group appeared on more than a million online African news pages. 

Lynne brings huge experience in all areas of Public Relations and digital marketing, and she is excited by the prospect of working with the many multinational organizations who look to APO Group to establish and develop their presence in African markets. 

“Journalists in Africa know APO Group better than any PR or digital agency,” Lynne says. “But the opportunities for our clients go far beyond traditional PR and press release distribution. Our role is to make integrated communications in Africa easier for multinational companies and help them utilize the special relationship APO Group has with African media.” 

Born in Cape Town and residing in Johannesburg, Lynne has more than 20 years’ experience in PR and digital marketing. She has worked across the African continent, and throughout Europe, spending much of her early career in the event management space in the UK. Over the last decade, she has worked in key leadership roles within the Digital, Public Relations and Traditional Agency sectors.

Lynne has developed strategic brand solutions for a number of award-winning agencies, notably TBWA Group and, most recently, Clockwork Media, where she worked as Executive Head of Client Service and was responsible for major accounts including BMW, Emirates, La Liga, Standard Bank, Exxaro, E! Entertainment, Oracle, Seacom, and many others.

Lynne’s experience with these major international companies will play an important role in promoting APO Group’s ongoing mission to change the narrative about Africa. 

“Brands prosper when they engage in continuous conversations with people in a relevant and meaningful way,” Lynne says. “At APO Group we can make those conversations happen, building lasting relationships that open new doors for multinational organizations, and generate positive stories about Africa that can be told all around the world. If the biggest companies are thriving in Africa, the whole continent benefits.” 

As well as working towards challenging international perceptions of Africa, Lynne is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, with a particular interest in promoting equality and developing women leaders on the continent.  

“Lynne is a perfect fit for this unique role within African PR and media relations,” says Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard Founder and Chairman of APO Group. “APO Group is the only consultancy with the reputation and knowhow to help multinational companies build integrated, digital media strategies across the whole of Africa. Lynne’s experience working with some of the biggest international brands will help our clients make even deeper connections with the African media. We are thrilled to welcome her to APO Group.”

About APO Group:
Founded in 2007, APO Group is the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. We assist private and public organisations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries across Africa. Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organisations to produce a real, measurable impact in Africa and beyond. The trust and recognition granted to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments, and NGOs inspires us to continuously enhance our value proposition within Africa to better cater to our clients’ needs. Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestle, GE, NBA, Canon, Coca-Cola, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Orange, Jack Ma Foundation, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, Islamic Development Bank, Liquid Telecom, Rotary International, Kaspersky, Greenpeace…
 
Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong

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Africa’s Best Brands unaffected by pandemic
June 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

 Nike, Dangote, MTN, DSTV and GTBank ranked the most admired brands in Africa.
– WHO and MTN top list of brands recognized as most helpful during the Covid-19 Pandemic
– African brands retain 13% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa
– Top 10 largely same as previous years despite pandemic and much wider sample sizes  


African Business today released its June cover story featuring its exclusive ranking of Africa’s Best Brands. This year’s ranking was released during a virtual event from Uganda organised by Brand Africa, founders of the Brand Africa 100:  Africa’s Best Brands. A full schedule of events is taking place during Africa Day to release not only the continental ranking but country and regional rankings.
 
During a year defined by the pandemic which brought the world to a halt, as markets having to adapt to a new reality, African brands retained their 13% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa.
 
Despite an increase in sample size and countries, the Top 10 Most Admired Brands show little change from previous years.  MTN, consistently the only African brand among the Top 10 brands overall, dropped to #11 for the first time in a decade.  American sports and fitness giant, Nike retains the top spot for the fourth year in a row.  MTN and Dangote retain their status as the most admired African brands recalled spontaneously and when prompted, respectively. Nigeria’s GTBank retains its position as the most admired financial services brand in Africa.
 
With Covid limiting entertainment options beyond the house, while many businesses struggled, many digital businesses such as streaming services thrivedThis undoubtedly explains South Africa’s DSTV becoming the most admired media brand In Africa, knocking off BBC from its long held position.  
 
Top 100 brands in Africa continue to be dominated by European brands which have held their share at 41% (-1), North America (+1), Asia (no change), and Africa retaining its 13% share of the most admired brands in the world.  Similarly, the leading African countries that dominate the rankings largely retained their positions with Nigeria (-1) and South Africa (-) with 5 brands each, Ethiopia (+1) and Kenya (-) accounting for the13 brands among the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa.
 
Computer/electronics (17%)(+3), consumer (non-cyclical) (14%)(+6), luxury (8%)(-2), auto manufacturers (13%)(+3), and apparel (8%)(-) make up the top 5 categories.
 
Most helpful brands during Covid-19
The shifts in the rankings this year’s rankings are bound by a common theme – the Covid-19 pandemic.  Given its impact on lives and livelihoods, this year Brand Africa survey sought to understand which brands were perceived to have been helpful during the pandemic.  Predictably, given its global omini-presence during the pandemic, the WHO emerged as the #1 most admired global brand perceived to have been most helpful during the pandemic.  MTN, which donated over 7 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to 9 African countries, is the leading African and private sector brand at #2, in private sector list where all multinational mobile operators in Africa –  Vodafone Group (#3), Orange (#4), Airtel (#6) – and media brands, Facebook (#10) and DSTV (#24) made the list of the Top 25.  They were instrumental in communicating about the pandemic and in keeping people connected. Underlying the role the private sector is playing during the pandemic, the list is 80% dominated by diverse private sector brands and 20% governmental and non-governmental agencies such as the Red Cross (#5), multi-lateral agencies such as WHO and Unicef (#7), government agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (#16) and USAID (#19). Unsurprisingly, the leading pharmaceutical groups, Johnson & Johnson (#12) and Astrazeneca (#25) rounded off the list.  Nigeria’s Dangote (#8) is the only industrial brand in the list.
 
Ethiopian Airways, the only African airline to have seemingly thrived during the pandemic, the first of the continent’s airlines to resume service and converting passenger planes into cargo planes to transport critical PPE’s around the world and the continent during the pandemic’s depths, spectacularly broke into the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa, the only airline, at #51.
 
With loconomies a central pivot during the pandemic, upstart South African brand, Bathu, muscled its way into a Top 25 at #10 among the most admired African brands list dominated by the stalwart brands, Dangote (#1), MTN (#2) and DSTV (#3), which retained their top respective rankings.
 
Out of all the 28 countries surveyed, only 5 (18%) have an African as the #1 most admired brand in the country.
 
Now in its 11th year, every year on or around Africa Day, 25 May, Brand Africa releases the results of the survey on the most admired brands in Africa. 
 
The announcement of the pan-African list, kicks of marathon series of announcements for the day, which started with morning with a virtual event at 05h45 GMT in Uganda with the most Africa-wide, East African and Uganda’s most admired brands; which will be followed by the announcement of the most admired brands in Southern Africa, featuring Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia, then West African and Nigeria; then North African Morocco, and will close with a live announcement of the Francophone Africa and Ivory Coast list hosted by Opinion & Public at 18h00 GMT at Royal Work Club, Le Plateau in Abjidjan, Ivory Coast.
The Brand Africa 100 results are published in the June issue of African Business magazine which will be on newsstands globally from 31 May 2020 and is available online to subscribers on https://shop.exacteditions.com/african-business.
 
The Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands events are organised by IC Events, Brand Leadership and africapractice, and supported by Africa Media Agency and BCW in communication and the Africa Brand Leadership Academy as the academic partner.
 
Established in 2011, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands rankings are the most authoritative survey and analysis on brands and underlying businesses in Africa, based on a study by Geopoll across 28 countries spanning all the five economic regions and analysis and ranking by Kantar and Brand Leadership. Collectively they account for over 80% of the population and over 80% of the GDP of Africa.  An analysis of the data over the past 10 years, has established that on average, only 20% of the brands admired by Africans are made in Africa. 
The 2021 survey was conducted between March and April 2021 and yielded over 80,000 brand mentions and over 3,500 unique brands.
“There is no doubt the pandemic, that continues to cost lives and livelihoods, and coincided with the launch of the implementation phase of the AfCFTA which aims to accelerate intra-Africa trade from 18% to 50% in 2030, is becoming a catalyst for loconomies with nations having to look internally for sustainability.  The internal shifts in the rankings in particular the African brands,   Africa can and will need to grow its own brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership. “African brands will continue to play a dual role of being globally competitive but most importantly of transforming the continent’s promise into a real change.”
“While mobile has always been an expedient and effective tool to provide us reach and accessibility across the continent, it became more important during the pandemic as virtually the only way to reach respondents across the continent, providing us vital and timeous results at a critical time,” said Caitlin van Niekerk, Global Client Development Manager, GeoPoll.
Karin Du Chenne, Chief Growth Officer Africa Middle East for Kantar, which has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010 says, “Despite the increase in the sample size and countries surveyed – and more than 80,000 in brand mentions, the survey continues to yield a very consistent picture of a steadily transforming continental brand landscape and the brands that will drive the African transformation.”
 

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BRAND NEW WORKING SPACE FOR KAMPALA CODING COMMUNITY FRESH, NEW AND OPEN: THE TUNGA HUB
June 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
Ambassador says cheers and good luck

Kampala, May 31, 2021 – African-Dutch ICT company Tunga opened on May 27, 2021 her brand-new office in Kampala, Uganda. Tunga, founded in 2015, helps European and US companies meet their IT-needs through outsourcing and remote development by cooperating with Africa’s talent network. The company is growing and so is the talent pool. The opening act of the Tunga Hub was performed by the Dutch Ambassador in Uganda H.E. Karin Boven: “Did you know ‘tunga’ means ‘creation’ in Swahili? It is very promising to see that the cooperation between the Dutch and African colleagues appears to be so fruitful that office expansion is required”. She continued: “Apart from that, creation in the sense of economic development and jobs, is what Uganda needs so very much”.
 

Next stop

The Tunga Hub has sufficient capacity for up to 50 colleagues and is conveniently located next to Bugolobi Market for shopping and close to Bandali Rise, offering plenty of bars and restaurants. In other words: the ideal combination of work and play and therefore offering the perfect working environment. The new center has capacity for presentations, meetings and workspaces with guaranteed internet access. Several lectures have been planned for the Tunga Academy, providing free courses for software developers. These courses will take place either online or in the brand-new meeting rooms. Tunga is now looking into opening a similar hub in Lagos, Nigeria, as the company is outgrowing its office there as well.

Tunga community

Ernesto Spruyt, Tunga CEO: “We had outgrown our old office and started looking for a larger and more multifunctional Tunga hub center. We wanted a space that has educational, recreational and of course developing facilities to offer, including meeting rooms which are really crucial to facilitate knowledge transfer. The new hub is in line with the vision I had for Tunga since day one: lots of space, high ceilings and a large garden boasting a swimming pool and a BBQ pit. This is a place where we can house, inspire and help flourish our growing Tunga community. All Tunga developers are welcome here, where a sense of freedom will fuel dedicated and inspired development work. We are open now, ladies and gentlemen developers, so be welcome and bring your table tennis bat, your swim shorts and of course your good mood!”


About Tunga

With offices in Uganda (Luthuli Rise 236, Bugolobi, Kampala), Nigeria and The Netherlands and a network of over 500 software developers spread all over Africa, Tunga successfully helped more than 175 companies – both start-ups and bigger corporates – with their IT staffing and software outsourcing. Tunga drives a change by matching experienced African software developers with its – mainly European and US – clients in demand of coding support. Thus enabling their experts to grow, be successful and take their spot in the international tech sector. Tunga was founded in 2015 as an initiative of social entrepreneur Ernesto Spruyt and the not-for-profit organization ​Butterfly Works. ​See ​www.tunga.io. ​ 

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A Fair Chance For African Entrepreneurs From All Sectors To Win Big With The ABH Prize Competition
May 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The search for Africa’s Business Heroes 2021 is ongoing, and the application is open to all entrepreneurs from all African countries, all sectors and all ages.

The Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic program gives all entrepreneurs a chance to showcase their talent and sell their businesses across all sectors.

“As we open our third annual pitch competition, we want to acknowledge the huge inspiration coming from Africa’s extraordinary entrepreneurs, whose business ventures not only are successful and profitable but can generate a positive impact on their local communities,” said Jason Pau, Executive Director of International, Jack Ma Foundation.

Jason Pau, Executive Director of International, Jack Ma Foundation

For instance, the 2020 ABH Heroes represented six key industries: agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and financial services.

Apart from taking home grant funds ranging from $100000-$300000, the top ten finalists and also all participants have access to mentorship and through Africa’s Business Heroes Network of Partners and Judges. They will also gain global recognition and exposure through Africa’s Business Heroes Show, and a number of engagements with media across Africa.

“My biggest take-away has been the mentorship l got from the ABH journey. I do not think I would get such world-class mentorship anywhere in my lifetime had l not entered the competition. The mentorship did not prepare me for the ABH grant finale – it prepared me for a lifetime entrepreneurship journey,” said Ethel Mupambwa, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Moneymart (Zimbabwe) – ABH 2nd Runner Up in the ABH 2020.

Ethel Mupambwa, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Moneymart (Zimbabwe) – ABH 2nd Runner Up in the ABH 2020.

Heroes also have the opportunity to pitch business legends and network with like-minded entrepreneurs.

“The best thing that came out of the ABH competition for me was the relationships I formed with fellow entrepreneurs, and the wider network connections we all made. It’s fantastic that ABH provides a platform to bring the entire ecosystem together,” stated Christelle Kwizera, founder of Water Access Rwanda and the 2019 ABH 2nd Runner Up.

All eligible applicants also receive tailored feedback from judges, which will help them grow their business.

Aboubakar Karim, CEO & Founder, INVESTIV (Côte d’Ivoire), one of the finalists in 2020, said, “The judges gave us valuable advice which I am already applying, for example, on how to anticipate future challenges.”

2019 top prize winner Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO and Founder of LifeBank

The diversity of ABH’s winners is proof that heroes can be found in all sectors and industries. The 2019 top prize went to Temie Giwa-Tubosun, CEO and Founder of LifeBank, a company that uses data and technology to help health workers discover critical medical products. The 2020 overall winner Chebet Lesan is the CEO and Founder of BrightGreen Energy, a Kenyan company that is saving lives and protecting the planet with energy-efficient biofuel blocks.

Get a chance to win a share of the $1.5 million grant by submitting your application via africabusinessheroes.org latest by June 21, 2021. Entrepreneurs from all African countries, regardless their sector, age and gender are welcome to apply.

Other criteria to be considered eligible include: being of African origin, being the founder or co-founder of a business based and operated in Africa. Your business must also be at least three years old and have revenues.

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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated holds its 33rd AGM and Shareholders approve resolutions
May 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

LoméTogo, May 27, 2021 – Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“ETI”), the parent of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank with operations across 34 countries, held its 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) & Extraordinary General Meeting virtually today.  

Ecobank Group Chairman Mr Alain Nkontchou said: “I became Chairman of the Ecobank Group in June 2020, when our world was dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. We offered our support in numerous ways to customers, employees, communities, health authorities and governments. Through our multiple distribution channels and the substantial investments in technology, we were able to offer a seamless continuity of service. We are intent on growing our business and will remain at the forefront of trade, payments, remittances and financial inclusion by continually leveraging on technology and appropriate partnerships.”  

Ade Ayeyemi, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, remarked: “We have invested and focused significantly in ‘Building Back Better’ to position us for long-term growth and sustainability. We will be driving our execution momentum agenda towards utilising these investments to deliver revenue expansion and the generation of long-term growth and return of capital for the company and its shareholders.” 

Shareholders applauded the Group’s progress in 2020 and how it rose to the challenging environment.  Profit for the year at ETI, the holding company, was $201 million compared with $184 million in 2019. For the consolidated Group, net revenues increased 4 per cent to $1,680 million. The gradual shift from physical to digital channels among consumers accelerated with the pandemic, which has changed the way of working in so many ways. With our technology investments over the years, we were prepared and ensured that we steadfastly provided our customers with 24/7 access to their financial services’ needs. For example, our call centres were open, and Rafiki, our artificial intelligence (AI) self-help bot, supported routine banking services. Our full suite of banking services remained available on all our digital platforms: mobile, online, Omni Plus and Omni Lite. 

All the resolutions presented at the AGM, were approved including the renewal of the mandates of Messrs Alain Nkontchou, Brian Kennedy and David O’Sullivan as directors for another 3 years.  

Shareholders also ratified the co-option of Mr. Herve Assah, as Director for a term of three years ending on the third anniversary of his co-option as Director.  

The mandates of the Joint Auditors, Deloitte Nigeria, and Grant Thornton, Côte d’Ivoire for a term of six years were renewed, subject to the amendment of the Articles of Association of the Company. 

The AGM was followed by an Extraordinary General Meeting at which Shareholders voted to amend the relevant section in the Company’s Articles of Association to only reflect the appointment of auditors by the Company in General Meeting. 

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Most common Bitcoin myths busted
May 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

Thursday 27th May 2021: Bitcoin has smashed through all-time price highs in 2021 – and many other cryptocurrencies have too. Many people hold strong views – that Bitcoin is a scam, a crashing bubble and that it has no intrinsic value at all. What is all the fuss about? Is it just a passing fad or the future of money?

Marius Reitz, Luno’s GM for Africa, unpacks the most common misconceptions and questions about Bitcoin. 

Myth: Bitcoin is a massive bubble waiting to burst

A longer term view of Bitcoin performance

Only time will tell whether Bitcoin will continue to surge or not. For now, however, it may be useful to take a longer term view of Bitcoin’s performance. What is evident is that reports of the demise of Bitcoin seem to have been greatly exaggerated. 

Many former naysayers are now dipping into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and adoption rates continue to rise. JP Morgan, one of the largest investment banks in the US, indicated that while more than $3 billion had flowed into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in the last quarter of 2020, gold ETFs had bled $7 billion over the same period.

Bitcoin is a monetary network. When the concept of electricity being used to power appliances in the home was introduced, it wasn’t considered a bubble but an engineering breakthrough. There will always be people who are afraid of progress.

Myth: With wild volatility, you can’t take Bitcoin seriously

Many have declared Bitcoin dead (or dying), simply based on the latest changes in the price. The technology that drives cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is one of the most important financial innovations of our time and the current price of Bitcoin has nothing to do with the long-term value that cryptocurrencies will bring.

If you’re a trader, the volatility can be stressful and potentially profitable, but if you believe in Bitcoin as the future of money, your investment objectives are long-term and therefore short-term volatility matters less to you.

Volatility has decreased over time and the market is stabilising. Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, who led the charge when his listed company elected to keep a significant portion of its treasury reserve in Bitcoin, has an interesting view of volatility: “Things that are dead are not volatile. Stability is stagnation. Living things are volatile.” 

Myth: Bitcoin has no intrinsic value 

This thinking could be applied to any currency. If people stopped believing in the dollar, it would also have no value. The price of Bitcoin is determined by supply and demand: the buyers who want Bitcoin and the sellers who have Bitcoin. 

The reason Bitcoin has value is that it is a handy form of value or money commonly accepted by people. It is used to transfer value and buy or sell things. Unlike fiat currency – like the US dollar or the rand – where its value and legal status are enforced by the government, Bitcoin’s value comes from its code, infrastructure, scarcity (there will only ever be 21 million) and adoption. By upgrading the financial system, Bitcoin empowers people. 

Bitcoin has grown exponentially and has surpassed a market cap of $1 trillion, yet this is still relatively small as an asset class.

In the context of the constant devaluation of fiat currencies, people are looking for ways to protect their wealth, including governments. Bitcoin is set to disrupt the world of money in the same way the internet disrupted everything a few years ago. Many believe that it is the future of money.

Myth: Bitcoin cannot be a currency, investment, and a store of value

To be termed a currency, Bitcoin would need to be divisible, scarce, durable, transferable and fungible (can be exchanged for the same value or type). It meets all of these requirements – one Bitcoin divides into units as small as one hundred millionth; it is scarce as the total supply is limited to 21 million Bitcoin; it is durable in that it it doesn’t exist in physical form so it cannot wear out; Bitcoin is digital so you can transfer it to anyone, anywhere in moments and finally, any particular Bitcoin is equal in value to any other Bitcoin.

Bitcoin crosses many lines: it can be used for payment, like a currency; it can be used as a store of value since it has controlled supply, like gold or other commodities; and it derives more value and utility from developers who improve the code and ways it can be used.

This multifaceted aspect of Bitcoin makes it tricky to decide whether it should be treated as an asset, as a currency, as a payment mechanism or as an open, global technology. Regulators grapple with this as they decide how it should be treated. 

Myth: Bitcoin is a Ponzi or pyramid scheme

A pyramid scheme recruits members by promising them payment or rewards for enrolling others. A Ponzi scheme is very similar to a pyramid scheme, with the difference that you are not rewarded for enrolling other people. Instead, you earn a part of whatever recruits pay. 

Bitcoin operates on a decentralised model with no hierarchy. There is no reward for buying coins nor are there guaranteed returns. In addition, the blockchain on which Bitcoin is built is entirely transparent; anyone, at any time, can inspect the public ledger. If you are considering investing in Bitcoin, increase your knowledge on Luno’s free learning portal

Big companies like PayPal and Tesla entering the crypto space, as well as listings like the Coinbase exchange on the Nasdaq, should help to end this myth.

Marius Reitz, Luno’s GM for Africa

Myth: Bitcoin is only used by criminals

People found a way to carry out illegal activities, long before Bitcoin existed – they always will. But criminal use of crypto has shrunk dramatically over the past few years. In fact, cryptocurrency-related crime fell significantly during 2020, according to the latest Chainalysis report. In 2019, criminal activity represented 2.1% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume whereas in 2020, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell to just 0.34%. 

Although Bitcoin is pseudo-anonymous in that it cannot be immediately linked to one’s identity, Bitcoin is actually a terrible choice for carrying out anything illegal. Once your identity is linked to Bitcoin, your entire history is available and movements are far easier to trace than cash as blockchain technology is a public ledger.

As Bitcoin continues to gain legitimacy and use cases, data and law enforcement is getting better at tracing transactions to search for criminal uses and figuring out to whom an address belongs. 

About Luno

Luno is a leading global cryptocurrency company on a mission to upgrade the world to a better financial system. Headquartered in London with regional hubs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Luno now has a team of over 400. 

With over 7 million customers (wallets) spanning more than 40 countries, Luno’s products and services make it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Luno was recently acquired by DCG, the world’s largest blockchain investor.

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Liquid Telecom unveils its new identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies in Kenya as it establishes itself as the digital service partner of choice for African businesses
May 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

Nairobi, Kenya 21 May 2021 Liquid Intelligent Technologies Kenya, part of the Liquid Intelligent Technologies group, a pan-African technology company, unveils its new brand identity.  This rebrand reflects the organisation’s extensive business transformation from being a telecommunications and digital services provider to a full one-stop-shop technology group for local businesses.

Over the last two decades, Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading pan-African digital infrastructure provider. This rebrand to Liquid Intelligent Technologies highlights the organisation’s expansion of its Cloud business, Cyber Security services, and other technologies added to its existing telecoms and connectivity capability.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies will expand its Managed Services offerings to drive and ensure successful adoption of tools to re-imagine their customers’ businesses and how they work and connect. Whether they are focused on enabling collaboration or utilising the most advanced cloud applications.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Liquid Intelligent Technologies is redefining Network, Cloud and Cyber Security offerings through strategic partnerships with leading global players, bringing innovative business applications, intelligent cloud services and world-class security to the African continent. Liquid Kenya was recently recognised as the winner in the Most Innovative Product or Service category at the 2021 East Africa Com for our partnership with Twiga Foods precision farming techniques enabled by our IoT network in Kenya

Commenting on the rebrand, Adil El Youssefi, CEO for Liquid Intelligent Technologies East Africa, said, “Through a five-year development plan under the Big Four Agenda, the government has been working towards transforming the country to ensure that all citizens have access to a high quality of life. Our recent award at East Africa Com recognises our contribution towards ensuring food security through the use of our IoT network, reiterating our capabilities as a digital service provider for businesses in the public and private sector. This rebrand is our reaffirmation to all our customers that we are a one-stop-shop technology company bringing African Intelligence to Kenya. Our unique digital solutions such as Cloud services, Managed Services, Cyber Security have enabled us to be a leading contributor to make Vision 2030 a reality as well”.

With the future of network security-driven from the Cloud, Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ recently launched its Cyber Security business unit, which uniquely delivers security at its core, protecting your business’s data throughout its lifecycle.

“Liquid Intelligent Technologies in Kenya has been providing digital services to customers in addition to Digital Infrastructure to access to our extensive and reliable fibre connectivity and Data Centres. This rebrand will allow us to further create recognition with local businesses that we provide digital solutions in addition to the usual connectivity services, enabling them to accelerate their digital transformation, which is key in today’s hybrid workspace. We are very proud as Liquid Kenya to share this bold statement that we are a technology company accelerating the Digital Economy by providing African solutions to African challenges” concludes Ben Roberts, Group Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

About Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is a pan-African technology group with capabilities across 14 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. Established in 2005, Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading pan-African digital infrastructure provider. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is redefining Network, Cloud and Cyber Security offerings through strategic partnerships with leading global players, innovative business applications, intelligent cloud services and world-class security to the African continent. Under its new brand identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has eight business units, namely: Liquid Networks, Liquid Business, Liquid Sea, Liquid Cloud, Liquid Cyber Security, Liquid Home, Liquid Innovation and Liquid Satellite. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is now a full one-stop-shop technology group that provides tailor-made digital solutions to businesses in the public and private sectors across the continent. The Group also operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Harare and Kigali, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 78 MW of power.

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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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Emirates to showcase its Premium Economy Seats for the first time at ATM
May 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

Visitors will also personally view enhanced signature onboard products

Dubai, UAE: 10 May 2021 – Emirates will be showcasing its Premium Economy seats for the first time at Arabian Travel Market 2021 (ATM). The region’s leading travel and tourism exhibition will run from 16-19 May, and will be the first in-person travel industry event to take place since the onset of the pandemic.

The Emirates stand will offer travel industry visitors from over 60 countries a chance to experience the airline’s signature products and recently introduced service enhancements across every cabin class onboard its iconic A380 aircraft, and is a reminder of the elevated onboard experiences in store for travellers once they get back to the skies.

The highly-anticipated Emirates premium economy seat will be on display for visitors to experience. The seat boasts an abundant pitch of up to 40-inches, and visitors trying out Emirates’ premium economy seat will also notice its generous width of 19.5 inches and ability to recline into a comfortable cradle position with ample room to stretch out.

The seats are covered in cream-coloured anti-stain leather with automobile inspired stitching details and a wood panel finishing similar to Business Class, all designed to provide optimal comfort and support with 6-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests. Customers will also find other meticulous details including easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table, as well as a storage area.

Emirates will also showcase its Boeing 777-300ER game-changer First Class fully enclosed private suites exhibit, Boeing 777 Business Class seat, the newly refreshed A380 OnBoard lounge, along with other iconic products such the First Class Shower Spa and the latest version of the game-changer Economy Class seats. Across both the Emirates A380 and 777 Gamechanger products, visitors will notice new interior finishes and design details featuring the Ghaf tree motif, as well as an updated champagne colour palette.

Visitors to the Emirates product exhibits will be able to try out all of the products on the stand, and all seats and surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised after each use. In keeping with ATM’s stringent health and safety protocols, the Emirates stand will operate at limited capacity at all times to ensure proper social distancing of visitors as they explore the products.

Visitors can also try out their Emirates knowledge through an interactive 60 second challenge played on a touch screen at the stand.

The Emirates stand is located in Hall 3 stand number ME3310 at ATM.

About Emirates

The Emirates story started in 1985 when we launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, we fly the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering our customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies.

We inspire travelers around the world with our growing network of worldwide destinations, industry leading inflight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisine, and world-class service.

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Ghana:Over 250 benefit from PC and Tullow training on business ethics
May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah.

Over 250 individual local suppliers in the oil and gas industry have undergone a one-day virtual training in business   ethics and compliance hosted by the National Upstream Petroleum business Academy of the Petroleum Commission.

The training was organized by the Petroleum Commission in collaboration with Tullow Ghana limited, to give indigenous suppliers, an in-depth understanding of the ethical requirements for conducting business in the industry.

Topics including the importance of ethics and compliance, principles of compliance, key anti-corruption controls, sanctions, trade restrictions, human rights and labour conditions were delivered by industry experts from Tullow Ghana with practical examples and country-specific context to give participants a better appreciation of the subjects and their correlation with business practices and the expectation of the industry.

Speaking on the need for local capacity development and knowledge transfer, Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission, Mr. Egbert Faibille underscored the importance of good corporate governance, ethics and transparency in the upstream sector and the promotion of shared prosperity. Mr. Faibille said factors such as poor corporate governance and lack of capacity  building constitute some of the significant barriers that still hinder indigenous Ghanaian companies from participating in the country’s upstream petroleum industry. He was however grateful to Tullow Ghana for the collaboration with the National Upstream Petroleum business Academy of the Petroleum Commission for the delivery of this workshop which aims at addressing critical knowledge gaps and information asymmetry that limit the competitiveness of indigenous Ghanaian companies. 

Mr. Faibille said “This workshop as I mentioned earlier is being organized in collaboration with Tullow Ghana. Such collaboration will be extended to other companies in future workshops to attain maximum outcome.”

In his opening remarks, the Managing Director for Tullow Ghana, Wissam Al-Monthiry underscored the importance of the training saying, “indeed, these development initiatives have become even more important as Tullow Ghana business focuses on delivering maximum value from the Jubilee and TEN fields under the Ghana Value Maximization Plan”.

Under the plan, Tullow will invest a further $4billion over the next ten (10) years to deliver increased production in the Ghanaian fields. Mr. Al-Monthiry said, Tullow is committed to partnerships with industry stakeholders to share knowledge and help develop the capacity of local businesses to enable their participation in contracts. He reiterated Tullow’s alignment with the national local content development agenda through consistent training programmes for local suppliers and increasing local supplier participation in Tullow operations under the Value Maximization Plan.

Following the training, participants are expected to gain industry knowledge that will improve their preparedness for bids and make them more competitive in the oil and gas industry globally. Beyond satisfying bid requirements, the training was designed to help local suppliers incorporate global best practices in good governance into their operations.

Mr. Faibille and Mr. Al-Monthiry both entreated participants to provide feedback which will be crucial for the enhancement of the training initiatives of the Academy.

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Galamsey is illegal, the fight against it cannot be based on illegality – Occupy Ghana
May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Pressure group, occupy Ghana has called on government to desist from the illegality it is perpetuating through its current mode of tackling illegal mining in the country.

According to the group, there are clear laws enshrined  in the constitution laying down sanctions and punishments for people engaged in the illegal act, thus, government should enforce those laws.

The comment comes in reaction to photos and videos circulating in the media showing military personnel setting mining equipment and excavators ablaze on site.

Occupy Ghana says that act is an illegality and government should desist from it immediately.

It said, “Occupy Ghana is shocked to see pictures and films in which equipment allegedly being used in Galamsey operations and apparently seized by security officials, have been set on fire. While this dramatic optics might have the support of some, we think that it is brazen illegality that will only exacerbate the situation and not help in the fight against galamsey.”

 

It stated that the use of such guerilla tactics in the fight against galamsey only undermines the rule of law and gives way for further breaches.

“When Aisha Huang was first arrested, she was charged with some ludicrous, risible and insignificant administrative breaches of immigration regulations. It took a protest and a petition by Occupy Ghana on 16th May 2017 for her to be charged with the proper offences under the Minerals and Mining Act, which, as we will show, provides for serious punishment for illegal mining.

According to them they believe that her quiet and hurried deportation by government was to avoid subjecting her to the full rigors of the law. We insist that that unfortunate truncation of the judicial process sounded the death knell to the Galamsey fight.  It added that, “the law in the Minerals and Mining Act is clear. There is a fine and imprisonment between 15 and 25 years for each of the following crimes: buying or selling minerals without a license or authority; mining in breach of the law; abetting any breach of the mining law; contracting a non-Ghanaian to provide mining support services; abetting the breach of the mining laws by a foreigner; fabricating or manufacturing floating platforms or other equipment to be used for mining in our water bodies; and providing an excavator for an illegal mining operation.

The Act further provides that a non-Ghanaian who illegally mines or abets illegal mining attracts a large fine and imprisonment between 20 and 25 years, and shall be deported AFTER serving the sentence. This is what should have been applied to Aisha Huang.

It further explained that the law clearly states what should become of equipment confiscated from illegal miners in the event of a swoop.

The legal provision that equipment used in any of these offences is required to be first seized and kept in police custody. Then, when the person using the equipment for the illegal mining activity is convicted, the court will order the forfeiture of the equipment the state.

Then the Minister has 60 days within which to allocate the equipment to a state institution. There is absolutely no legal room for simply torching the equipment. It is illegal and must stop forthwith.

 

Occupy Ghana says should this illegality continue to be perpetrated by state apparatus; all efforts to end illegal mining in the country will not achieve anything. “If the security agencies make arrests and the law is not applied, it weakens their resolve and says to all that we are not serious about ending this menace. And the judiciary should need no encouragement to try cases with dispatch so that Ghanaians can see results in real time. It cannot be business as usual, APPLY THE LAW…” it concluded

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Liquid Telecom unveils its new identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies in Zambia as it establishes itself as the digital service partner of choice for African businesses
May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

This rebrand highlights the organisation’s expansion of its Cloud business, Cyber Security services, and other technologies added to its existing telecoms and connectivity capability

Liquid Intelligent Technologies Zambia, part of the Liquid Intelligent Technologies group (www.Liquid.Tech), a pan-African technology company, unveils its new brand identity.  This rebrand reflects the organisation’s extensive business transformation from being a telecommunications and digital services provider to a full one-stop-shop technology group for local businesses.

Over the last two decades, Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading pan-African digital infrastructure provider. This rebrand to Liquid Intelligent Technologies highlights the organisation’s expansion of its Cloud business, Cyber Security services, and other technologies added to its existing telecoms and connectivity capability.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies will expand its Managed Services offerings to drive and ensure successful adoption of tools to re-imagine their customers’ businesses and how they work and connect. Whether they are focused on enabling collaboration or utilising the most advanced cloud applications.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Liquid Intelligent Technologies is redefining Network, Cloud and Cyber Security offerings through strategic partnerships with leading global players, bringing innovative business applications, intelligent cloud services and world-class security to the African continent.

With the future of network security-driven from the cloud, Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ recently launched its Cyber Security business unit, which uniquely delivers security at its core, protecting your business’s data throughout its lifecycle.

Over the last decade, the Government in Zambia has been working with businesses in the private sector to realise their vision of a Smart Zambia. Core to this vision is digital inclusion where no one in the country is left behind. At Liquid Zambia we have been partnering with the government to help them accelerate their digital transformation agenda and our rebrand serves as a reaffirmation to this continuous partnership. Our extensive and reliable backbone infrastructure in the country has ensured that our customers in the business and retail sectors identify us as a premier connectivity provider, now we will be layering our existing offering with our digital products and services like cybersecurity and cloud services showcasing our commitment to transforming our great nation into a digitally led economy,” concludes Mark Townsend, CEO Liquid Intelligent Technologies Zambia.

About Liquid Intelligent Technologies:

Liquid Intelligent Technologies is a pan-African technology group with capabilities across 14 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. Established in 2005, Liquid has firmly established itself as the leading pan-African digital infrastructure provider. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is redefining Network, Cloud and Cyber Security offerings through strategic partnerships with leading global players, innovative business applications, intelligent cloud services and world-class security to the African continent. Under its new brand identity, Liquid Intelligent Technologies has eight business units, namely: Liquid Networks, Liquid Business, Liquid Sea, Liquid Cloud, Liquid Cyber Security, Liquid Home, Liquid Innovation and Liquid Satellite. Liquid Intelligent Technologies is now a full one-stop-shop technology group that provides tailor-made digital solutions to businesses in the public and private sectors across the continent. The Group also operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Harare and Kigali, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 78 MW of power.

*SOURCE Liquid Intelligent Technologies

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US-based Outsource Monetic™, 1st Independent ATM Deployer (IAD) to operate in West and Central Africa (UEMOA and CEMAC
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

Local remote teams will be established in each of the 14 countries to supervise, operate and service the network of ATMs rolled out by the startup

Outsource Monetic™ , an Atlanta GA based startup, officially started its commercial and technical operations in West and Central Africa region on March 15th 2021.

Outsource Monetic™ is the 1st Independent ATM Deployer (IAD) to operate in the 8 countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) and the 6 countries of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon).

We are thrilled and excited to start our company’s journey in Africa” said Mika DIOL, Founder & CEO of Outsource Monetic™, former Microsoft and Oracle Manager with more than 21 years of experience. “Thanks to the mindset, skills, and capabilities of the team ; we have the foundation of success in our mission to innovate and reshape the ATM channel in the 14 African countries we operate in. We are bringing users new ways of interaction by modernizing and adding up valued-added services to the ATMs.”

With Headquarters in Atlanta GA (USA), Outsource Monetic™ will run its Africa operations from the office in Dakar (Senegal) as the hub for Africa West activities and from Lomé (Togo) office as the hub for Africa Central operations. Local remote teams will be established in each of the 14 countries to supervise, operate and service the network of ATMs rolled out by the startup.

About Outsource Monetic:
Outsource Monetic™ is an Independent ATM Deployer (IAD) providing ATM outsourcing and ATM as a Service in West and Central Africa. Outsource Monetic™ is headquartered in Atlanta, with offices and operations in 14 West & Central African countries of UEMOA and CEMAC region.

*SOURCE Outsource Monetic™

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FQM SPENDS US$1.65 BILLION IN ZAMBIA IN 2020
May 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

More than 2,500 locally registered companies benefit from mine procurement

FQM Government Affairs Specialist Dr Godwin Beene.
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Zambia’s largest mining company, First Quantum Minerals (FQM), is forging ahead in its quest to engage more local people in its supply chain to strengthen Zambian-owned businesses and boost the local economy.

The company procured US$1.65 billion (K36.3 billion) of goods and services from companies registered in Zambia in 2020, representing 85 percent of the total spending by its two mines: Kansanshi in Solwezi and Sentinel in Kalumbila.Last year’s figures – which include local procurement of fuel, electricity and equipment from local agents – bring to US$4.49 billion the total spent locally in the last three years, with the proportion disbursed locally growing steadily from 81 percent in 2018.

More than 2,500 locally registered businesses benefited from mine contracts in 2020 alone.”FQM is committed to supporting local entrepreneurs as they strive to get a foothold in the highly competitive mining value chain,” said FQM Government Affairs Specialist Dr Godwin Beene.“Our vision is sustainable and responsible local procurement that positively contributes to a complex supply chain and by extension the economic and social development of the communities in which we operate.”

“We have always prioritised local suppliers wherever possible. In instances where the skills, goods, and standards we need are not available locally, we work with local entrepreneurs operating in that sector to develop that capacity. This in turn culminates in them being our preferred suppliers over foreign-owned companies once standards are sufficiently raised.”

“Admittedly there are limits to how far we can build the capacity of local suppliers. No Zambian company currently manufactures heavy-duty mining equipment, which makes buying it locally impractical as the local supplier would only act as a middleman and still end up importing the machinery from the manufacturer and sell it to us at a higher price – which is not sustainable.

Our capacity building initiative is therefore focused on services that Zambians can provide without raising our operational costs too much.”The goal of FQM’s pro-Zambian approach is to build capacity and stimulate sustainable growth for local businesses around its Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi and Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila, and the country at large.

First Quantum’s commitment to operationalise its local procurement policy is aimed at maximising the mine’s long-term business sustainability goals along with creating synergy with other sector players.Studies on procurement policies in the extractive sector have shown that effective local procurement practices can contribute to job creation, skills development, and improve efficiency in the supply chain by lowering costs in logistics, while also facilitating secure access to critical goods and services.-Ends-
About First Quantum Minerals Ltd

First Quantum Minerals Ltd is a global metals and mining company producing mainly copper, gold and zinc. The company’s assets are in Zambia, Spain, Mauritania, Australia, Finland, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
In 2020, First Quantum globally produced 779,000 tonnes of copper, 265,000 ounces of gold and 13,000 tonnes of nickel.

In Zambia it operates the Kansanshi mine – the largest copper mine in Africa by production – and smelter and the Sentinel mine in Kalumbila.
The company is listed on the Lusaka and Toronto stock exchanges.
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Nkafu Debate: Experts Underscore Need to Adjust Cameroon’s Regulatory Framework on Businesses
April 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Officials examining the regulatory framework of doing business in Cameroon

Cameroon has taken several reforms to improve its business environment and to attract investors. However, there are many bottlenecks to enhancing the business environment in Cameroon, one of which is the regulatory framework.

To contribute to the improvement of Cameroon’s ranking of the Doing Business Index (DBI), the Nkafu Policy Institute of the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation organized a public debate on April 27 at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, in Yaounde with the main question being “Should the government relax regulatory norms to facilitate the profitability and growth of new business in Cameroon?”

According to the Doing Business Index, Cameroon is ranked 167th out of 190 countries. This means that there are still a lot of worries (taxes, building permits, business creation). This is because the regulatory framework is not suited to our context,” Dr Jean Cedric Kouam, Senior Economic Policy Analyst at the Nkafu Policy Institute stated.

“Be it the government or the civil society or even young entrepreneurs, we are all guilty of the difficult situation small businesses find themselves in. This is because we do not submit our complaints to the right people. For example, there exist a Chamber of Commerce and one of Agriculture that can help influence reforms in the said domains but we do not make use of them,” said Dr Ahanda Sosthene, Director, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, SBEC.

“We have to respect the rules and regulations given by the government to thrive as an SME. SBEC Is a worthy incubator for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

With all the problems associated it seems like that the regulatory framework is a discouraging factor to entrepreneurs in Cameroon, considering it is extremely difficult for some to meet up with these standards or certifications in terms of cost. “This situation could also partially explain why 80% of businesses die before 5 years in the country, the Nkafu Policy Institute stated.”

The Nkafu Debates seek to provide a platform for Cameroonian and African high-level experts to objectively address the conditions required to succeed in investing in Cameroon.

“Many young people get into entrepreneurship without really trying to get the right information on documentation, procedures and costs. The role of incubators is not only to train but also to transmit the right information,” Dr David Tsunayo, Researcher and Deputy Coordinator of the Cameroonian National Committee for Technology Development said.

“Young people need support more than access to funding,” Christelle Youmbi, CEO of AM Group and Vice President of Cameroon’s Youth Economic Forum said.

“Today, we have embarked on a journey on the same boat that leads us to Cameroon’s emergence. So, all the stakeholders need to come together and ameliorate the situation that we find ourselves in.”

Certifications and standardization norms which are among some of the regulatory policies needed in every formal economy for the protection of consumers, seem to affect the profitability and survival of new businesses in Cameroon. Many businesses owners report being handicapped by the standards imposed on them. The survival and profitability of businesses in Cameroon are plagued by the requirement to obtain authorization or homologation before any innovations and marketing which is a form of closure of the market and public space.

Panelists at the Nkafu debate on Should the government relax regulatory norms to facilitate the growth of businesses in Cameroon

According to a release by the Nkafu Policy Institute, a young entrepreneur who invents a simple oximeter to allow patients to measure their blood pressure independently must submit his product to the authorization of the Ministry in charge of public health. To transform seasonal fruit into organic fruit juice, you must undergo a series of costly certifications. Also, the Tanty brand, one of the few growing companies in the food industry, had preferred to close its peanut oil production line rather than invest in standardization.

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