E-commerce platform Afrikrea launches an on-demand software solution for micro-retailers

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – E-commerce platform Afrikrea has announced the launch of Anka, an on-demand software solution that will provide e-commerce, payments and global shipping services for thousands of micro-retailers. Launched in partnership with DHL and VISA will empower micro retailers and businesses on the continent and around the world, as it continues to power e-commerce for Africa. The launch of Anka (which means “ours” in Bambara and Djoula) coincides with the fifth anniversary of Côte D’Ivoire-based Afrikrea. The platform, a marketplace with more than 7,000 vendors selling African-inspired fashion, accessories,…

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Meta Electric launches Kenya’s first electric service delivery vans

KENYA – In a bid to promote greener transportation and pave the way for investment in the electric vehicle industry, Meta Electric, a business unit of Meta Group Africa has officially launched Kenya’s first Electric service delivery vans. The BYD T3 Electric Vans (EVs) are manufactured by Build Your Dreams (BYD), the largest Chinese supplier of rechargeable batteries in the world.  Meta Electric says these Electric vans come with an AC charger (8 hours charging time) and an optional DC charger (1.5 hours) and has a range of 300km, or…

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What it takes to go global- AURA

SOUTH AFRICA – AURA, South Africa’s leading security and medical response platform, recently announced its expansion into Kenya, followed closely by a move into the UK where it aims to have over 10,000 users receiving the company’s service within seven months. Later this year 2021, the start-up will look at possible expansions in Mexico and Nigeria. Warren Myers, AURA’s CEO believes that South African startups can compete with the best in the world thanks to a focus on smart innovations that answer real-world issues. “The biggest problems in the world…

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Misr Capital, Elevate Private Equity launch US$380m healthcare investment platform

EGYPT – Misr Capital, the investment arm of Banque Misr, and Elevate Private Equity have launched a US$380 million healthcare investment platform, Nile Misr Scan & Labs. The platform managers are looking to raise US$150 million before the first closing in Q1 2022, after seeding initial investments Banque Misr’s cash commitment and Elevate Private Equity’s in-kind contribution to the platform. Elevate Private Equity has built a strong track record of achieving 38% CAGR over the past four years as the strategic manager of Nile Scan & Labs Co, effectively making…

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Payment platform AZA Finance acquires South Africa’s Exchange4Free

SOUTH AFRICA – Digital foreign exchange and payment platform AZA Finance, has agreed to acquire cross-border payments specialist Exchange4Free, making it the largest non-bank provider of FX treasury services across Africa. “This acquisition moves us further towards our goal of opening up intra-African and frontier market foreign exchange flows,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO and Founder of AZA Finance. “Exchange4Free’s ethos and innovative solution is a great fit for AZA Finance in helping to build the digital infrastructure of the future that brings innovation and efficiency to meet corporate treasury and…

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Britam Holdings Plc records a net loss of US$84m, cites poor performance by subsidiaries

KENYA – Diversified financial services group Britam Holdings Plc, reported a net loss of US$84 million for the financial year ended 31st December 2020. The financial services provider firm attributes this depressed financial performance to poor returns from investments in its associate Housing Finance Group (HFC) and investment losses in Wealth Management Fund LLP, a fund managed by its subsidiary Britam Asset Managers. Investment losses in Wealth Management Fund LLP amounted to US447 million. The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Britam Holding Plc has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan,…

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First Bank of Nigeria appoints Mr Gbenga Shobo as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer

NIGERIA – First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of Mr Gbenga Shobo, who is currently the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of the bank, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer designate. The bank’s Chairman, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, said this in a statement that the appointment was subject to all regulatory approvals, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which granted the lender its operational licence. She added that Mr Shobo succeeds Dr Sola Adeduntan, who would be leaving the bank in accordance with its term limit for chief…

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Absa Bank introduces QR payments for its customers

SOUTH AFRICA – Financial services group Absa,  is expanding its digital payment options with the introduction of QR Payments, a “drastic shifts in banking behaviour towards digital banking and e-commerce”. In a statement, the bank said it has taken its latest step towards expanding its ever-growing digital payments universe with the launch of QR payments “With our QR Payments functionality, which is free of charge, Absa customers registered on the Absa Mobile Banking App can now scan any QR code in the market and Absa will process payments, without the need to…

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EIB backs Zim’s CABS with US$18m facility to support businesses affected by COVID-19

ZIMBABWE – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has unveiled a €15 million (US$18 million) seven-year facility to Zimbabwe’s biggest mortgage lender, CABS, a member of Old Mutual Group, to bail out thousands of firms that have been affected by COVID-19. The intervention is part of EIB’s strategy to scale up interventions across African markets to build resilience in the region’s companies during the pandemic. It is part of an approved response strategy unveiled by European Union (EU) finance ministers after the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Speaking at a signing ceremony…

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Zambia and Angola oil pipeline deal nears conclusion

ZAMBIA – The governments of Zambia and Angola are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate the commencement of a feasibility study on the establishment of the Angola-Zambia Oil Pipeline. Speaking in an interview with the Zambian Business Times, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said the signing of the MoU will take place in May 2021. “Well, we are currently to finalizing the MoU so that we can sign with our Angolan counterpart, suffice to say that the MoU signing might be done virtually, or we will…

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