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Kenya:Billionaire appears to court, charged with tax evasions
August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Humphrey Kariuki

Humphrey Kariuki

A Nairobi court on Monday charged a businessman with US$410 million tax evasion. Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki appeared to court two weeks after the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji ordered him to be arrested and persecuted for failing to pay taxes.

The investigations revealed Africa Spirits and Wines of the World Beverages, companies in which he holds major shares have dodged paying taxes to the Kenya Revenue Authority between 2014 and 2019. The arrest warrant was also issued against three co-directors at WoW Beverages and four from Africa Spirits Ltd.

Other than tax evasion, they are also accused of fraud and being in possession of fake revenue stamps. The investigative officials early this year invaded the premises and confiscated over a million alcohol bottles and 24,000 counterfeit excise stamps.

“Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) audit has revealed that Africa Spirits/WoW Beverage had evaded payment of tax in the amount of over US$410 million between the period of 2014 and 2019. In addition, the audit revealed that there was evidence of tampering with the production system at the Africa Spirits factory that led to the submission of false declaring to KRA,” Haji said.

Haji was forced to take action after the period he gave the companies and KRA to settle out the issue out of court elapsed and the two parties did not come to an agreement. Appearing before the court’s Judge, Kariuki denied the charges and was freed on US$11,000 cash bail. He also refuted claims that he is a director at Africa Spirits noting that he is an investor through a corporate body.

He was required to surrender his two passports as evidence that he will not leave the country until the case is heard and verdict issued. He was told to appear before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for formal processing.

His lawyer denied allegations that his client has been hiding since the arrest warrant was issued instead he disclosed that he was away and jetted back into the country on Sunday night.

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World Humanitarian Day: UN SG Calls on the Protection of Humanitarian Workers in conflicts
August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets refugees and migrants in a detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. 4 April 2019. © UN Photo/Florencia Soto Niño

UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets refugees and migrants in a detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. 4 April 2019.
© UN Photo/Florencia Soto Niño

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says world leaders, and all parties to conflict must ensure that humanitarians are protected from harm as required under international law. The UN scribe was speaking as the world celebrates the International Humanitarian Day, with tributes being paid to women humanitarians around the world.

In his address, the UN SG said “World Humanitarian Day honors humanitarians around the world who risk their lives to help save and improve the lives of others. This year, we pay special tribute to women humanitarians and the huge difference they make for millions of women, men, and children in urgent need.”

“From supporting civilians caught up in crisis, addressing disease outbreak, women humanitarians are on the front lines” while adding that “their presence makes aid operations effectively by increasing their reach. It also improves the humanitarians respond to gender-based violence which increases during crisis.”

He added that serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law continue around the world, and they must be investigated and prosecuted.

In a tweet, David Gressly, UN Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator saluted all the women humanitarian workers who have been at the battlefield against the dreaded Ebola virus. He said, “Each #Ebola crisis has its own challenges. I am Grateful for the amazing #WomenHumanitarians and partners addressing the current outbreak in #DRC.”

He added “I stand with all the #WomenHumanitarians who relentlessly put their lives on the line in the fight against #Ebola. Let’s honor their efforts by working together to ensure no more lives are taken by this terrible disease.”

Allegra Baiocchi, UN Development and Humanitarian Coordinator in Cameroon on her part tweeted “It is #WorldHumanitarianDay! Stand up for humanitarian workers around the world. Honor their courage, their commitment, and their sacrifice.

As a part of this year’s celebration, the UN and partners are launching the #WomenHumanitarians globe campaign to pay special tribute, and raise support for the work women do to save lives and alleviate human suffering.

The day celebrated every 19 August dates back to 2003 when the UN Headquarter in Bagdad was targeted by a large terrorist truck bomb, killing 22 people including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN’s top representative in Iraq.

Across the globe, 250,000 aid workers are women-a figure that amounts to more than 40 per cent of the humanitarian workforce as aid work becomes increasingly difficult. Since August 2003, more than 4,500 aid workers of all genders have been killed, injured, detained, assaulted or kidnapped while carrying out their work, according to the UN. That averages five attacks per week. Women’s aid workers are also high risk to being robbed, sexually assaulted and other violent attacks.

Last year was the second-worst on record, and the worst for the past five years concerning aid workers security, according to ReliefWeb. In 2018, there were 405 victims, with 131 aid workers killed, 144 wounded and 130 kidnapped across the world. ReliefWeb added that “So far in 2019, some 156 aid workers have been attacked on the job with 57 killed, 59 wounded and 40 kidnapped.”

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Angola proposes MoU to solve Rwanda –Uganda impasse
August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President Kagame (left) chatting with President Museveni

President Kagame (left) chatting with President Museveni

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are expected in Luanda, Angola on Wednesday, 21th August to sign a memorandum of Understanding  that will end years of hostility between both countries.

The agreement was proposed by Angolan government according to Rwanda state Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe.

Rwanda and Uganda’s relations has been tense for about three years, with one accusing another to be a threat to its national security.

On Wednesday,  four Heads of state including  João  Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola, Felix Tshisekedi of Democratic Republic of Congo, Yoweri Museveni and a Paul Kagame are expected to meet in Luanda.

This summit follows another one that happened in July, where issues between Rwanda and Uganda were discussed with Angola standing as a mediator.

“ We have a quadripartite meeting in Angola on Thursday. Angola has proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Rwanda and Uganda”, Nduhungirehe told local media

Statement from Angolan government says that the summit will kick off  11 AM, aiming at  signing of the instruments that enshrine the understanding reached between Rwanda and Uganda after steps undertaken by Angola assisted by DRC.

Nduhungirehe has declined to confirm if Rwanda will sign that Mou, he however insisted that Rwanda’s side will be revealed after the summit.

Stand off between Rwanda and Uganda has taken long, and It hurt the economy of both countries so badly as the busy border of Gatuna was closed.

Rwanda said the border was not closed due to the tensions, however analysts said the matter may have contributed.

Rwanda accuses Uganda of harboring dissidents who want to destabilize its security, with its nationals being held incommunicado in Uganda. Uganda  retaliates the accusations, alleging that Rwanda send  spies on its territory.

Both countries deny the allegations.

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The 50th Anniversary of My First Speech at the United Nations And the Bitter Lesson I Learned
August 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Dr. Gary K. Busch*

Dr. Gary K. Busch

Dr. Gary K. Busch

During the 1960’s, after Sharpeville, the nations who comprised the United Nations embarked on a plan to restrict capital flows to the apartheid government of South Africa. They passed a number of rules and recommendations attempting to restrict the interaction between the South African Government and the major international banks. The UN’s Special Committee on Apartheid, under the chairmanship of  Abdulrahim Abby Farah, the UN representative from Somalia, called a meeting of the Special Committee at the UN New York Headquarters, from 17-18 March, 1969, to discuss the role of the international banks in supporting South Africa and to make a plan to expand the campaign to get these banks to boycott capital interactions with the South Africans.

Invitees to the meeting were drawn from several U.S. groups active in the anti-apartheid movement. I was invited as the specialist on Africa from the United Auto Workers (UAW) and as a Board Member of the American Committee on Africa, led by George Hauser. I had been one of the main contacts for the African liberation struggle leaders who visited the U.S. and had taken many to the House and Senate Committees for meetings. I had also arranged their meetings with groups like SNCC, CORE, NAACP, and others. I was very pleased to be invited to the meeting and hoped to contribute my thoughts on the issue.

We convened in a large conference room in the UN where, in addition to the invitees, there was a substantial group of UN delegates from countries which supported the anti-Apartheid movement. The program opened with an introduction by Ambassador Farah and followed by speeches by the Algerian and Nigerian ambassadors. Oliver Tambo was there on behalf of the ANC and he made a speech. After several more speeches we were allowed to speak.

I was more than ready to speak. In fact, I was quite upset. I had just been looking at the day’s New Yok Times newspaper where I saw a quarter-page ad by the Chemical Bank of New York Trust headlined by the line “The American Capitalist”. It descried the role of the Chemical Bank in arranging a large loan and ancillary financing of a Japanese company to buy iron ore from South Africa. This was the very thing we were meeting to discuss and, with good effort, prevent. I rose and asked permission to read the text of the advertisement into the record of the Committee. I did so and then said “Here you have a major American bank financing apartheid. You should realise that this is no rogue bank; this is the official bank of the United Nations. Your salaries and expenses are paid through this bank. It has branches inside UN installations worldwide. If you want the world to support the Banks Campaign of the UN perhaps you can start with your own bank.”

After a moment of silence heated discussions broke out. Mr Reddy, the administrator of the Committee, confirmed that Chemical Bank was the official bank of the UN. Chairman Farah called upon the Algerian delegate and the Indian delegate to speech who pronounced their outrage at what I had discovered. They. believe it or not, agreed to send a telegram to the UN Secretary-General from the floor of the meeting requesting an urgent response and review. I suggested that the UN Secretary-General’s office was only six floors above us and I would volunteer to hand deliver it immediately. I was told this telegram was the normal procedure for UN business. We broke for lunch.

I was having lunch with Oliver Tambo who was quite pleased with the proceedings so far. He did say to me “You may feel that this was an important blow for the Banks Campaign, but don’t be fooled. Nothing will happen but chit-chat and pointing fingers. The banks will go on lending as usual”. He was wise. There were stories in the press; there were earnest discussions with the anti-apartheid groups; there were fiery speeches from the African delegates. What finally happened as the result of my speech was that the copywriter of the article at the newspaper lost his job. Everything else went, as Tambo promised, out of the minds of the Committee.

I was immensely proud that I had used my opportunity to speak at the UN with some effect but, in retrospect, I had learned an important lesson. One cannot move international institutions by speeches or embarrassment. The United Nations is a permanent compromise looking for problems to work on. It was a bitter lesson for me in my youthful naivete but helped to shape my future expectations. I attach the official Committee report on my intervention and a picture of me before my speech, with Ambassador Farah.

“Although sympathetic U.N. delegations were aware of and concerned about the bank campaign, it was again in 1969 that action look concrete form. In 1966, the General Assembly resolution on the policies of apartheid had appealed to all Slates to “discourage loans by banks in their countries to the Government of South Africa or South African companies,” but in March, 1969, during a Special Committee on Apartheid seminar held at U.N. headquarters, the question of Chemical Bank, a consortium member, being the bank located at the U.N., came to a head. By chance. Chemical Bank New York Trust Company had placed an advertisement in the New York Times the same day as the seminar meeting in which it lauded the bank’s role in securing a deal between South Africa and Japan for the sale of iron. This remarkable situation, where U.N. resolutions were in essence being ignored by the United Nations itself, resulted in proposals by the Special Committee to the Secretary General asking an investigation of Chemical Bank’s role at the U.N. This culminated in a General Assembly Resolution passed in November, 1969, which called upon the United Nations and its affiliates “to refrain from extending facilities to banks and other financial institutions which provide assistance to South Africa and firms registered there.”

Dr. Gary K. Busch is the editor and publisher of the web-based news journal of international relations www.ocnus.net and the distance-learning educational website www.worldtrade.ac. He speaks and reads 12 languages and has written six books and published 58 specialist studies. His articles have appeared in the Economist Intelligence Unit, Wall Street Journal, WPROST (a leading Polish weekly news magazine), Pravda and several other major international news journals

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Kenyans condemn unfair recruitment of census officers
August 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Bureau director Zachary Mwangi says that over 800,000 Kenyans had applied for 165,000 positions

Bureau director Zachary Mwangi says that over 800,000 Kenyans had applied for 165,000 positions

Kenya’s 2019 census is expected to begin on August 24 and Ends August 25 but there is fear that the process could be disrupted following complaints from the public that the hiring process was skewed by those who were in charge. Kenyans have read malice in the process which was overseen by the local chiefs.

People from various parts of the country have dismissed the criteria followed in selecting the officers. They have alleged that the selection process was marred with corruption, nepotism and impunity. The citizens argued that those who were in the position to raise the amount of money asked by the recruiters as a bribe and those related to them carried out the day.

There were also allegations that a number of people had started submitting their applications to local chiefs and their assistants before the jobs were advertised. Other claims are that in some areas outsiders were employed in courtesy of the locals and a number of state officials were recruited instead of the unemployed youths in many areas.

In the past few weeks Kenyans took it to the streets across the country protesting against the purported unfairness. They stormed the training centres demanding the exercise to be stopped until their grievances are addressed. Police have a difficult moment in containing the charged atmosphere. Yesterday police was forced to lob teargas at a group of youth who invaded a Nairobi training facility demonstrating against the ‘discriminatory’ hiring. In some areas locals had gone to court to seek an order barring the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics from conducting census in their regions until the fresh recruitment is done.

Nevertheless, the government has dismissed the claims that the process was not fair. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has maintained that its agents carried out the process in accordance to the law and the qualified individuals met the set requirements. The Bureau director Zachary Mwangi said that over 800,000 Kenyans had applied for 165,000 positions and met the minimum requirements thus a number were left out. Mr. Mwangi’s statement seems to be far from the truth as the application process was concerned. The applicants hand delivered their applications at the Chiefs’ offices hence the source of his statistics is questionable since there was no recordings of data in those offices.

“We would like to reassure Kenyans that the recruitment was fair, transparent and above the board. The census committee who include local administrators ensured that those recruited were local residents,” said Mwangi.

 

 

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DRC resorts to visa requirements from Rwandans to curb Ebola outbreak
August 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Over 30 000 people cross Gisenyi border everyday

Over 30 000 people cross Gisenyi border everyday

Since this Thursday no Rwandan national is allowed to cross into Republic Democratic of Congo without getting a visa.

The decision was made by General Directorate of Immigration in DRC after Ebola outbreak  killed more than 1800 since August last year.

Rwandans  who live in  Rubavu district bordering with Goma City of DRC,   used to cross to DRC upon presenting their identity cards.

Now any Rwandan who want to cross to Goma, have to  pay a visa worthy 20 USD with one year warranty.

Rwanda has also started asking visas DRC nationals interring its territory to curb the spread of Ebola outbreak.

Since last month, three people have died of Ebola in Goma city, raising the fear on Rwandan side.

More than thirty thousands people cross Rwanda-DRC border every day, including business people and students on both side.

Congolese officials told Radio Okapi on Friday that they aware of their people   in Rwanda who  are being required visas.

Rwanda has put much efforts into avoiding Ebola on its territory by screening anyone entering in the country and preparing a center were patients of Ebola could be treated if found.

 

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Rwanda denies inhumane treatment of a Kenyan nationals
August 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Thousands of people were gathered outside Kigali Convention Centre attending Kinuthia's meeting

Thousands of people were gathered outside Kigali Convention Centre attending Kinuthia’s meeting

There has been a stir in some of Kenyan media that three Kenyan nationals are detained illegally in Rwanda without a fair trail.

The trio is made of  Charles Kinuthia aka Coach Ck, Vivian Khisa Mukwan, and Rachel Matipei who were arrested in July after allegedly  organized a conference in which participants would be rewarded more than 190 dollars a day.

In the morning of 25th Day of June, thousands of youth were gathered  at  government owned Kigali Convention Centre waiting the conference to kick off.

Things started to change  when  some were asked to pay extra money to enter, besides the money they had paid upon receiving invitation.

Security organs were alerted and the meeting was cancelled. Kigali convention Centre management said they were surprised to see thousands of people storming the premises, while conference arrangers promised to bring about five hundreds attendees.

The following days, Kinuthia, the leader of Wealth Fitness International together with two other Kenyans and one Rwandan were arrested being accused conning people.

This week, Kenyan media wrote that Kunuthia with his co accused are being mistreated in detention and being abused by prison warders.

KenyaInsights.com went on saying that Kinuthia will not get a fair Justice because he is appearance  before judge keep being postponed.

Rwanda Government through National Prosecution Office denies those allegations insisting Kinuthia detention is in line with law of the land.

“Following allegations of inhumane treatment and illegal detention in the case of Charles Kinuthia,  the Rwandan Prosecution Authority hereby inform that these allegations are baseless and unfounded” reads one of Rwanda Prosecution tweet

They added that Kinuthia and his friends are legally detained by a competent and independent court of law in Rwanda, on serious grounds to believe that they have committed a crime punishable by Rwandan law

Rwanda denies inhumane treatment of accused, ensuring their rights as human being are guaranteed.

“It is important to note that Prosecution of Rwanda   we ensure that human rights in criminal proceedings are guaranteed all times, to ALL those subjected to criminal investigations before courts of law.”

On Wednesday, President Paul  Kagame while meeting with youth, he said that there is something wrong, if someone can trick thousands of youth promising them to give free money.

Every youth supposed to attend Kinuthia’a meeting, was required to first Pay 45000 Rwanda Francs (about 5 USD) or 15000 Rwandan Francs (about 16 USD).

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Celebrating Africa’s digital potential on UN Youth Day
August 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ime Archibong*

Africa’s young population could be its greatest asset in an age where many other regions in the world are aging as a result of declining birth rates
Ime Archibong

Ime Archibong

ACCRA, Ghana, August 12, 2019,Many things have been said about the future Africa and its potential, it has been called the Opportunity Continent, the Next Frontier and Africa rising, with all of these true. For me the excitement comes in how Africa can, and will one day lead in the digital economy, not only creating a better future for its young people, but for people across the entire continents, whether here in Africa or elsewhere like in Europe or the US.

Africa’s young population could be its greatest asset in an age where many other regions in the world are aging as a result of declining birth rates. As the world’s human population grows from 7.4 billion people to 8.2 billion people between now and 2025, 40% of that growth will come from Africa, and with more than 628 million people aged below 24, this young, dynamic and innovative population will become one of the most powerful engines of growth the world has ever seen.

Personally, I’ve always been so inspired by the creativity and talent across my home continent – whether it’s creating mobile phone apps which makes motorcycle taxis safer and more convenient, like in the case of Safe Motos in Rwanda and now DRC, or building technological solutions to solve agricultural challenges, like Plantheus, a recent graduate of Facebook’s (www.Facebook.com) NG_Hub Accelerator Program, we see people, especially youth, building solutions daily to local problems and needs. As eager and early adopters of technology, we’ll likely see the next wave of global digital innovations and apps coming from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

Adoption of social media, mobile phones and mobile money are enabling Africa and its youth to leapfrog to the next wave of digital technology. This infrastructure is the foundation upon which so much innovation in Africa is built and will be built over the next five years. At Facebook, we’re committed to empowering young people to build their digital skills and harness them for the future – whether they are digital builders, developers or product innovators.

In the month of UN Youth Day, I’m delighted that we will be recognizing just some of these talents from across the region. Bringing together over 40 Facebook Community Leaders, SMBs, Entrepreneurs, Developers and Content Creators from across Sub-Saharan Africa, under the banner of ‘Celebrating Icons of Change and the Future of the Continent’ – celebrating the positive impact they are having in their community, something which is important to us here at Facebook.

Our commitment across the region remains strong, and Africa continues to be important for us, with this building on many partnerships, programs and initiatives already in place to help develop digital and entrepreneurial skills among young people. Whether it’s training SMBs through digital boot camps, helping interested youth to acquire digital marketing skills and placing them in employment, training women in leveraging digital solutions to grow their business, or bringing together 52,000 Developers from across 17 countries through our Developer Circles (http://bit.ly/2MbZe3t) program, we are excited to play a part in supporting the next generation of start-up founders, investors, developers and change makers.

As one of my favourite African proverbs says “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”, and we look forward to that tomorrow in the years to come.
*Vice President, Product Partnerships at Facebook

 

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African Development Bank welcomes $20 million investment from the Clean Technology Fund for the Facility for Energy Inclusion
August 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank

Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 14 August 2019 – The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) one of two multi-donor trust funds within the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)  on August 8, 2019 approved $20 million for the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a facility sponsored by the African Development Bank to  provide sustainable financing for small-scale renewables in Africa.

FEI is a $500 million financing platform whose objective is to catalyze financial support for innovative energy access solutions.  FEI On-grid, a targeted USD 400 million fund, supports improved energy access through the development of small-scale renewable energy generation and mini-grids across Africa, while the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF), a targeted USD 100 million fund, supports off -grid energy distribution companies and boosts their long-term capacity to access capital markets at scale.

The CTF investment, composed of a $4 million junior equity tranche and a $16 million senior concessional loan,  will be drawn from the Dedicated Private Sector Program III, designed to provide risk-appropriate capital to finance high-impact, large-scale private sector projects in clean technologies.

Stressing the difficulty rural areas have in attracting investment for affordable and productive electricity, Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank said the funds would contribute to economic and social growth and enhance its recipients’ resilience to the effects of negative climate change.

“Access to affordable and reliable energy has huge benefits at various levels of any society. Most of the 600 million people estimated to lack access to modern energy services in Sub-Saharan Africa are also among the most vulnerable to the disastrous consequences of climate change,” he said.

FEI is expected to contribute to the installation of around 600MW of renewable energy projects across different African countries and avoid over 30 million tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions over a period of 20 years while yielding positive gender and social outcomes.

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African e-Logistics Start-up Kobo360 Secures $30M Funding
August 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
Obi Ozor & Ife Oyedele II - Kobo360 Co-Founders

Obi Ozor & Ife Oyedele II – Kobo360 Co-Founders

August 14 2019. Kobo360, the digital technology platform disrupting African third-party logistics, today announced the completion of a $20M Series A equity round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from Asia Africa Investment and Consulting Pte. and existing investors including TLcom Capital, Y Combinator, the International Finance Corporation. An additional $10M in local currency working capital financing has been secured from Nigerian commercial banks.

Launched in 2017 by Nigerian entrepreneurs Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele II, Kobo360’s tech-enabled full truckload offering enables the development of an efficient supply chain for end-to-end long-haul freight operations, connecting and supporting cargo owners, truck owners & drivers, and cargo recipients. The company has moved over 500Mkg of goods, aggregated a fleet of over 10,000 drivers and trucks, and services SMEs and over 80 large enterprises such as Dangote Group, DHL, Unilever, Olam, African Industries, Flour Mills of Nigeria, and Lafarge. Located in key strategic trade hubs in Western and Eastern Africa, the e-logistics company will continue its expansion with the ambition to build a Global Logistics Operating System [G-LOS] powering trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets.

With the funding, the team will continue to scale the organization, develop the technology offering and accelerate supply growth – planning to add 25,000 drivers to the platform in the coming months to power the recent Africa Free Trade Continental Agreement, expected to catalyze intra-African trade. Kobo360 is also planning to significantly broaden its reach in Africa, entering 10 new countries by the end of 2020 beyond its footprint in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya.

Obi Ozor, Co-founder and CEO of Kobo360 said, “Our Series A allows us to invest in growing our talented team that is working hard on the ground to systematically address the inefficiencies within the African logistics sector, and strengthen our already extensive network of clients and truck owners across the continent. We are also focusing on developing the partnership with drivers, ensuring that they are trained to use mobile-enabled technology, so they can convey goods seamlessly and earn more money. We are already seeing drivers running trips on the Kobo360 platform increase their monthly earnings by 40%, as we work together to mobilize logistics across Africa.”

Jules Frebault of Goldman Sachs said, “Kobo360’s on-demand logistics offering has generated impressive traction and we are excited to support Obi, Ife and the team as they harness technology to tackle one of Africa’s most pressing development challenges – increasing market transparency, improving reliability and unlocking efficiencies for all participants in the logistics ecosystem”.

Kobo360 Product

Kobo360 Product

Senior Partner of TLcom Capital, Omobola Johnson said, “We see this Series A round as a means to support an ambitious, laser-focused company who are using technology to actively solve problems for enterprises across the continent, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to scale and transform the African logistics sector.”

Kobo360 is also developing a suite of driver-focused products to support the over 10,000 drivers on the Kobo360 platform. It has launched KoPAY, offering access to up to $5,000 monthly working capital; KoboSAFE, access to an insurance product; and KoboCARE, access to discounted petrol, comprehensive HMO packages and an incentive-based education program for drivers’ families.

Wale Ayeni, who heads venture investing in Africa for the International Finance Corporation, added, “IFC’s continuous investment into Kobo360 stems from the company’s successful track record. Kobo360 is empowering and enhancing the capacity of the vast underserved network of “micro” fleets in Africa to serve the huge unmet long-haul freight needs of large enterprises and SMEs, delivering value to both sides.”

About Kobo360

Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners and drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. Developing an all-in-one logistics ecosystem, Kobo360 leverages data and technology to reduce logistics frictions, empowering rural farmers to earn more by reducing farm wastages and helping manufacturers of all sizes to find new markets. Kobo360 enables unprecedented efficiency and cost reduction in the supply chain, providing 360-visibility while delivering products of all sizes safely, on time and in full. The Kobo360 mission is to build the Global Logistics Operating System that will power trade and commerce across Africa and emerging markets. With operations in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Kenya, Kobo360 is one of the fastest growing tech start-ups out of Africa.

About IFC

IFC – a sister organization of the World Bank and a member of the World Bank Group – is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About TLcom

TLcom Capital is a Sub-Saharan Africa focused tech VC, with offices in Lagos, Nairobi and London. The company invests in a number of areas including financial services, eCommerce, B2C applications (including but not limited to: health, education, energy, media and entertainment), software solutions to corporates and SMEs; and access to data service. TLcom manages total commitments of approximately $300 million.

About Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.

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African scientists’ top chart at 2019 World Champions colleting 22 of 46 awards
August 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Talk education in the 21st century, talk Africa.

By Amos Fofung

Ghanaian-born Issac Mbir Bryant is the 2019 World Champion in Bioprocess Engineering (Photo:Brandenburg university of Technology)

Ghanaian-born Issac Mbir Bryant is the 2019 World Champion in Bioprocess Engineering (Photo:Brandenburg university of Technology)

Once more the continent has scored high at the world stage, this time in the scientific domain. During the just-released 2019 World Championship recognition, African scientists grab twenty-two of the forty-six awards listed this year.

This includes the award for Mass Communication (Media Convergence) received by Oluchi Emma Okoroafor from the United Kingdom  ,and a decedent of Nigeria.

Nigerian scientists scooped over ten of the continent’s awards in fields such as; statistic, medical laboratory science (antiretroviral therapy), physics (Einstein Plenary Equation), and computer mathematics (numerical integration) among others.

With submission said to have been received from over 97 countries worldwide in most categories, the honorees from Africa most at times had to beat thousands of competitors before securing their awards. Such is the case with Dr. Yakubu Nura of the University of Maiduguri Nigeria. The native of Yobe state won World Physics Competition by defeating some 5720 contenders from 97 countries.

Aside from Nigeria, Scientists from Mauritius, Kenya, Algeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Congo all received awards for their contribution to the scientific world.

Organized by the International Agency for Standards and Ratings, IASR, this year, African scientist excelled over thousands of applications and nominations received from Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, South America. 

About the World Championship

With an advisory board of 33 top-notched scientists from Kenya, USA, Australia, South Africa, India, Japan, and Taiwan among others, the World Championship is a platform for world’s latest and breakthrough research.

According to its organizers, the Legends on World Championship are Iconic Megastars and recognized as brilliant Intellectuals scientists who create history with their unbeatable leadership and stardom.

The annual championship identifies the World’s Most Influential Scientists who are changing the world as the standout as a role model for scholars, Industrialists, policymakers, scientists, and academicians.

International meritorious competitions are organized for Best Thesis and Dissertation Award, Doctoral Research Award and milestone international research articles.

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Verve Card goes global after penning landmark agreement with Discover in New York
August 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

President, Payment Services, Discover Financial Services; Francis Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank; Olubusola Osilaja, Divisional Head, eBusiness, Access Bank; Martins Izuogbe, Divisional Head, Operations, Fidelity Bank; Diane Offereins, Executive Vice President, Payment Services, Discover; Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, Retail & E-Business, First Bank; and Mike Ogbalu, Divisional CEO, Verve, at the Verve Global Card Launch in New York, on Monday.

President, Payment Services, Discover Financial Services; Francis Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank; Olubusola Osilaja, Divisional Head, eBusiness, Access Bank; Martins Izuogbe, Divisional Head, Operations, Fidelity Bank; Diane Offereins, Executive Vice President, Payment Services, Discover; Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, Retail & E-Business, First Bank; and Mike Ogbalu, Divisional CEO, Verve, at the Verve Global Card Launch in New York, on Monday.

Verve, a leading payment technology and card business in Africa, and Discover Global Network, a U.S.-based direct banking and payment services company have sealed an agreement launching the Verve Global Card.

According to the penned agreement that took place in New York, Verge cardholders will now have the ability to use their Verve Global Cards on the Discover Global Network which provide acceptance in more than 190 countries and territories worldwide.

The deal which will greatly expand Verve’s existing suite of tailored payment products and solutions for its customers will facilitate new international and cross border transactions for the card holders who can now make payments outside Africa on the Discover Global Network.

An Interswitch digital payment company that prides itself as a pacesetter in facilitating seamless electronic circulation of money as well as value exchange in Africa, Verve now opens its customers to the world.

With the first transaction operated successfully, the Global Card, according to Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch Group Managing Director, Group Managing Director, commented on the “agreement with Discover Global Network will enable Verve to compete with other global card offerings, providing cardholders with an enhanced customer experience when transacting globally outside Nigeria.”

“Creating a solution which facilitates international payments for our consumers will help to eliminate existing barriers and simplify the process when transacting abroad.”

Holders of the Verve Classic card can still continue to freely transact as was before within Africa and can acquire the global card which according to Verve officials works worldwide and can be used for payment across Point of Sale (PoS), ATMs and online platforms in Nigeria, Africa and beyond, wherever the Discover, Diner Club, Pulse Network and Verve logos are available.

To Ricardo Leite, senior vice president of international markets at Discover, customers should be provided with the choices they want.

“It is important to us that we are working with groups around the world to extend acceptance for their cardholders…at Discover, we recognize the importance of being able to use your card of choice no matter where you are traveling,” he said.

About Verve

Verve is Interswitch Group’s innovative card scheme, offering products and solutions that enable

consumers to transact all over Nigeria and across international markets. As the first African card scheme to be recognized as a valid, globally accepted e-payment gateway, we have built a world-class value chain ecosystem that benefit from the services that we provide.

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