Chinese ride hailing startup DiDi launches in Egypt, a month after South Africa

EGYPT – DiDi, a Chinese transportation technology platform, has officially launched its services in Middle East and will begin providing Waslny, Waslny Plus and Didi Express services in Egypt. The entry of the Chinese intelligent transport giant should increase competition in the Egyptian market, especially after the recent entry of the Russian application, InDriver, which limits control of Uber after the acquisition of Careem. “We are bringing a global experience and the best technology to ensure safety for our passengers and drivers,” Carina Smith-Allin, DiDi head of public relations and…

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Kempinski Hotels appoints three Area General Managers for MEA region

AFRICA – After restructuring its Middle East & Africa region, Kempinski Hotels has appointed three seasoned hoteliers as Area General Managers to oversee a number of the group‘s luxurious hotels at the same time as keeping the responsibility for their own hotels as general managers. Sébastien Mariette, the new Area General Manager Levant started his journey with Kempinski in 2007 and occupied several leadership roles within various parts of the world including Cluster General Manager at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea and Kempinski Hotel Aqaba in Jordan, Managing Director at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore as…

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Fintech company Fawry tops as most powerful financial technology applications – Forbes MEA

MEA – Fawry, a fintech company, has announced that its application ‘myFawry’ topped the list of the 15 most powerful financial technology applications in the Middle East for the year 2021, according to a report published by Forbes Middle East magazine. According to the report, the mobile application had more than 1.6 million downloads during the past year. “In view of the intense competition in the Egyptian market as the fastest growing market in the Middle East in the field of electronic payment and with the vision of the Egyptian…

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IFC private sector financing in MEA hits record US$10.4b

MEA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group provided record financing in the fiscal year 2021 in the Middle East and Africa to help thousands of small businesses access finance, connect people and businesses to reliable digital infrastructure, trade and services, and help to meet critical health needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic with the financing reaching US$10.4 billion. IFC’s financing included short-term finance (US$2.9 billion) and mobilization (US$4.2 billion), with 70 percent of IFC’s own account financing going to low-income and fragile and conflict-affected…

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Outcome-based marketing company Epsilon appoints Saira Mehdi as Sales Director for MEA

MEA – Epsilon, a leader in outcome-based marketing, has announced the appointment of Saira Mehdi as the Sales Director for the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region. Saira will own the mandate for top line revenue growth, drive new business opportunities for Epsilon’s products and solutions and grow the company’s client base in the region. She will also play a significant role in positioning Epsilon as a premier martech and adtech player in MEA. “I am delighted to welcome Saira into the Epsilon family. This is an exciting time for…

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IBM appoints Saad Toma as General Manager for Middle East and Africa regions

MEA – International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), an American multinational technology company, has named Saad Toma as General Manager in the Middle East and Africa regions. Mr. Toma succeeds Takreem El-Tohamy, who has been appointed General Manager, Global Strategic Sales at IBM. Mr. Toma brings deep industry, services and technology expertise and over 30 years of experience at IBM working across multiple geographies. He will be responsible for IBM’s overall business operations across Middle East, Africa and Turkey, driving business growth and client satisfaction. “Saad is a highly respected leader…

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Logistic platform Saloodo! Launches road freight service between Middle East and Africa

AFRICA – Saloodo!, a digital road freight platform, has announced the launch of BeduConnect, a road freight service between Middle East and Africa. BeduConnect was set up to connect countries of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) with North African (Egypt, Libya and Sudan) trading partners due to capacities in both air freight and ocean freight being currently tight. Saloodo! Saloodo! is the first digital marketplace to offer road freight connection between the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, which is faster than…

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Standard Chartered appoints Lina Osman as Regional Head of Sustainable Finance for MEA

MEA – Standard Chartered, a financial institution, has appointed Lina Osman as Regional Head of Sustainable Finance for Africa and the Middle East, as part of the Bank’s ongoing efforts to provide sustainable financing solutions across its regional footprint. Lina will work closely with Standard Chartered’s senior management and broader sustainable finance team, as well as the Bank’s coverage, industry, and product partners, to originate and structure sustainable finance transactions for clients across Africa and the Middle East. “There is an urgent need to unlock the potential of Africa and…

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Mastercard partners Zamtel to transform digital payments in Zambia

ZAMBIA – Global payments and tech company Mastercard and Zamtel have announced a strategic partnership that will enable Zamtel Mobile Money customers, even those without bank accounts to make safe and seamless digital payments on the Mastercard network including international e-commerce transactions. The partnership is expected to drive financial inclusion and improve access to the digital economy. Under the agreement, Zamtel will launch a suite of Mastercard products including a Mastercard virtual solution, a physical debit card, and Mastercard QR, giving its Mobile Money customers new ways to access and…

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Automotive digital marketplace Odiggo expands to Dubai

MEA – Odiggo, the Cairo-based automotive digital marketplace, has opened in Dubai, with the goal of becoming the top Autotech business in the Middle East and Africa. The automotive tech app was founded in 2019 by Ahmed Omar and Ahmed Nasser. It sells car parts and accessories directly from various vendors. In the first seven months of service, the startup had 2000 customers onboard. Odiggo claims to have the largest catalog of auto spare parts in the region. The startup makes money by charging 7 to 22 percent commission on…

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