Nigeria unveils digital currency after banning cryptos

NIGERIA – The Central Bank of Nigeria joined a growing list of emerging markets betting on digital money to cut transaction costs and boost participation in the formal financial system. The unveiling of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research by the country in advancing the boundaries of the payment system, making transactions easier and seamless. The digital currency and its underlining technology called blockchain are expected to increase Nigeria’s GDP and remittances, President Muhammadu Buhari said in a televised speech at the launch in Abuja, the capital. The issuance…

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Gabriel Swanepoel named as the new Country Manager for Mastercard South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Mastercard has appointed Gabriel Swanepoel as the new Country Manager for Mastercard in South Africa, serving as a promotion from his current role as the Vice President of Business Integration for Mastercard, Southern Africa. As country manager, Swanepoel is responsible for further driving the company’s strategic vision, innovation and growth agenda and building on its successful purpose-driven culture in South Africa. Swanepoel’s ‘digital-first business acumen and two-decades-long career in the South Africa payments industry will further support Mastercard accelerate the uptake of digital payments and strengthen its…

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Orange inaugurates digital center in Abidjan

CÔTE D’IVOIRE –  French multinational telecommunications corporation Orange and the German Development Cooperation are inaugurating an “Orange Digital Center” in Abidjan, an ecosystem entirely dedicated to the development of digital skills and innovation, attended by the highest political and administrative authorities from Côte d’Ivoire Spread over 1,200m2 for Côte d’Ivoire, the Orange Digital Center brings together the four strategic programs of the Orange group, namely: a coding school Orange Digital Academy, a FabLab Solidaire – part of the Orange Foundation’s digital manufacturing spaces, an Orange Fab start-up accelerator and Orange Ventures Africa, the…

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Kenya to host 25th Africa Energy Forum in June 2023

KENYA – Ahead of the 23rd edition of the Africa Energy Forum (aef), taking place in London from 15-17 November 2021, EnergyNet has confirmed that Nairobi, Kenya, will be host to the 25th edition, which will take place in June 2023. The announcement was agreed at the height of the pandemic lock-down with African Development Bank VP Kevin Kariuki, who chairs the 2021 forum as it arrives in London, the UK in November 2021. Simon Gosling, Managing Director, EnergyNet, said, “Lockdown impacted people across the continent significantly, and it was…

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Government-backed mortgage firm KMRC eyes US$90m bond to fund low-cost housing

KENYA – Financial services company  Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company (KMRC) plans to raise KSh10 billion (US$90 million) from investors at the capital markets through a bond by December 2021 to finance low-cost housing, reports Business Daily. The proceeds from the bond issue will go to banks and SACCOs for onward lending to homeowners at an annual interest of five percent. “We are looking at a medium-term note of about Sh10 billion (US$90 million)” said KMRC Chief Executive Officer Johnstone Oltetia told the Business Daily. “We will issue tranches overtime to…

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Africa REN starts construction for 38MW Burkina Faso solar project

BURKINA FASO – West Africa-focused renewable energy independent power producer, Africa REN, has commenced construction for the 38 MW Kodeni Solar power plant in Burkina Faso after reaching financial close. Once completed, the renewable energy facility will be the largest solar power plant in the West African country. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in August 2022 and Kodeni Solar plant will supply power to Burkina Faso’s state-owned electricity utility, SONABEL, via a  25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).  INEO by EQUANS, a subsidiary of French energy company, Engie Group, has been…

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Eskom join hands with coal giants Exxaro & Seriti to develop renewables

SOUTH AFRICA – State-owned electricity utility Eskom, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two of its largest coal suppliers, Exxaro and Seriti Resources, to jointly develop renewable energy projects to lower carbon footprint at their operations. Exxaro and Seriti supply around 80% of Eskom’s coal requirements annually and by implementing renewable energy solutions at their Eskom-tied operations and at related Eskom sites, Seriti and Exxaro aim to achieve both carbon reduction and cost savings in the generation and use of electricity at these mines. This is symbiotic with…

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BancABC unveils co-branded cards to drive digital payments and e-commerce in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE – BancABC Zimbabwe has launched a  new suite of co-branded Mastercard and Zimswitch payment cards for its customers which will enable customers to make safe and seamless digital, domestic and international payments including e-commerce transactions. BancABC is the first bank to launch Mastercard and Zimswitch co-branded cards, following a partnership between the national payment switch and the global payment technology company announced last year. “We are delighted to be the first to market with this solution. It is thanks to the collaborative partnership between Mastercard, a global financial services…

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Kenya Airways signs codeshare agreement with British Airways

KENYA – National carrier Kenya Airway has announced a new codeshare agreement with British Airways, allowing its customers to connect to 26 destinations across the UK and Europe on routes operated by BA, including Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Customers flying to Nairobi with British Airways will be able to connect to 20 destinations across East and Central Africa, including Douala, Zanzibar, Lusaka, Mombasa, Addis Ababa, and Entebbe. The agreement will also provide travelers with more options to reach holiday destinations such as Mauritius and Seychelles. British Airways currently…

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Car sharing marketplace Zoomcar launches in Egypt

EGYPT – Zoomcar, a car sharing marketplace covering emerging markets, has announced their launch of operations in Egypt through a press conference. Zoomcar, who dominates the car sharing market in India, has expanded to the MENA region and recently appointed Hany Olama as their country head in Egypt to help scale their car sharing marketplace. The company announced their plans to have 5,000 cars by March 2022, with an intention to scale to 20,000 cars on the marketplace by the end of 2022. “At Zoomcar, our mission is to democratize…

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