By Abdullahi Mohammed
The Fellowship will run for a period of six months during which Ecobank Fintech Fellows will benefit from an opportunity to further explore partnerships with the Ecobank Group
Ecobank the leading independent pan-African banking group, has announced the finalists for the 2nd edition of the annual Ecobank Fintech Challenge, a competition for Africa-focused technology start-ups. The list includes eleven (11) fintech start-ups from across the continent and beyond.
An Innovation Fair & Awards ceremony will honour the start-ups on August 30, 2018 at the global headquarters of Ecobank in Lomé, Togo.
At the ceremony, the start-ups will exhibit and pitch their products to a jury for the Ecobank Africa Fintech Prize, which will be awarded the top innovator and two runners-up. The top three innovators will win cash prizes worth US$10,000, US$7,000, and US$5,000 respectively.
After the Awards ceremony, Ecobank will enroll all eleven finalists into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship. The Fellowship will run for a period of six months during which Ecobank Fintech Fellows will benefit from an opportunity to further explore partnerships with the Ecobank Group that includes:
Multinational product roll-out support: for the start-ups deemed commercially viable to grow their businesses across any of Ecobank’s 33 markets in Africa;
Service provider & ecosystem partner deals: for start-ups with deep capabilities to become product partners within Ecobank’s ecosystem;
Technical & mentoring support: during the six months fellowship period, fellows will benefit from technical support from Ecobank’s global network of technology leaders, fintech experts, investors and management coaches.
The eleven start-ups are:
Lypa (Kenya), Wallet.ng (Nigeria) (https://Wallet.ng/), Nala (Tanzania), Litee (Benin), SESO Global (South Africa), InvestED (Sierra Leone), Eversend (France), Secapay (Nigeria), Virtual Identity (South Africa), MojiPay (Togo), Awamo (Germany)
Group CEO of Ecobank, Ade Ayeyemi, said: “At Ecobank our digital strategy is spectacularly successful and has changed the landscape of African banking, so it goes without saying that we see fintech as a vital component for the economic transformation of the continent and the prosperity of its citizens. We want to do all we can to encourage the next generations of fintech entrepreneurs as they will be a driving force in propelling Africa into a globally competitive power in commercial services, enjoying significantly increased market share.”
Eddy Ogbogu, Ecobank Group Executive for Operations and Technology commented: “Africa has a proud history of innovation, and today’s fintech start-ups are the potential giants of tomorrow. We’re delighted by the quality of our Fintech Challenge finalists and have high hopes that they will capitalise on the mentoring and support opportunities of the Ecobank competition on their journeys to future success.”
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge is designed in partnership with the advisory firm Konfidants and is supported by partners across Africa and the world.
Oradian and ANMFIN launch new cloud-based microfinance solution in Nigeria
By Abdullahi Mohammed
The partnership will enable ANMFIN to promote access to financial services for Nigerian clients on a larger scale by using ANMFIN Cloud Express
As part of their shared mission to boost financial inclusion throughout Nigeria, Oradian and the Association of Non Bank Microfinance Institution of Nigeria (ANMFIN) have launched a strategic partnership.
Princess Adesola Ogunleye, the President of ANMFIN, commented on the partnership saying, “We are extremely pleased to partner with Oradian. Together we align our shared vision and leverage the success delivered to date. The partnership will enable all of our MFIs to move to Oradian’s cloud-based solution, helping our members to save time and money through more efficient, digitised processes – no more manual input of data. We and our members are very excited to improve administrative process, reduce high operational costs and offer digital financial services across the country.”
Launching ANMFIN Cloud Express expands the range of solutions that Oradian offers in Nigeria. As stated by Antonio Separovic, CEO of Oradian, “Nigeria was Oradian’s first market when we started Oradian six years ago and we remain committed to solving the financial inclusion challenge here. This partnership is a long-term partnership that is an important step towards this goal”.
The partnership will enable ANMFIN to promote access to financial services for Nigerian clients on a larger scale by using ANMFIN Cloud Express, a core banking system specially built for ANMFIN and its microfinance institution (MFI) members. ANMFIN Cloud Express, powered by Instafin, is a cloud-based toolset tailored to enable smaller Nigerian microfinance institutions (MFIs) to benefit from a cloud-based solution.
According to Oradian’s Programme Director for Africa Onyeka Adibeli, “ANMFIN Cloud Express enhances MFIs’ ability to manage all operations including client relationships, transactions, portfolio management and reporting in the same way that large banks do – but at a fraction of the cost. We are removing the barriers that prevent MFIs from using the right technology to serve their clients and to strengthen their operations.”
With a cost and a system tailored for the needs of smaller MFIs, Oradian’s partnership with ANMFIN enables more financial institutions to take advantage of technology to become more efficient, grow and reach more unbanked individuals in rural communities.
Vantage GreenX Note II provides R2bn of funding to six renewable energy projects in South Africa
By Abdullahi Mohammed
GreenX Note II is Vantage GreenX’s second generation renewable energy debt fund
Vantage GreenX Fund Managers announced today that through its second renewable energy fund, Vantage GreenX Note II, it has provided R2.05bn of funding to a combination of six solar and wind energy projects with a combined capacity of 433MW. All the projects form part of Round 4 of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer (“REIPP”) procurement programme.
The GreenX funding was provided to four projects developed by BioTherm Energy and two projects developed by OMLACSA and ACED. All six projects reached financial close in the last two weeks of July 2018. The four BioTherm projects are the 86MW Konkoonsies II solar PV project (Northern Cape), the 45MW Aggenys solar PV project (Northern Cape), the 120MW Golden Valley wind project (Eastern Cape) and the 32MW Excelsior wind project (Western Cape). The two OMLACSA projects are the 75MW Droogfontein II solar PV project (Northern Cape) and the 75MW Zeerust solar PV project (North West).
GreenX Note II is Vantage GreenX’s second generation renewable energy debt fund. The R3bn fund has a mandate to provide Consumer Price Indexed (“CPI”) linked senior debt to sustainable projects that form part of the REIPP, Small Projects Independent Power Producers (“SPIPP”), Co-Gen and Gas procurement programmes run by the South African Department of Energy. CPI-linked debt, although not new to the local market, has for the first time provided a significant portion of the total senior funding to projects in this round. Due to the way it is structured, CPI-linked debt provides a hedge against inflation and it allows projects to bid lower tariffs for similar equity returns. In doing so it has ensured that affordable electricity tariffs are passed on to consumers.
Alastair Campbell, Managing Director of Vantage GreenX, said “It is with great pleasure that we announce that we have supported these six projects. Each of these projects has strong, experienced sponsors and solid project fundamentals. Together they represent a geographically diverse portfolio of assets. Despite the difficulties experienced by stakeholders in the industry over the last two years, we hope that the conclusion of this round of projects represents a watershed moment for the South African renewable energy industry and provides forward momentum to the sustainability of the domestic energy sector as a whole.”
The R2.1bn GreenX Note I is fully invested across eight solar and wind projects located in the South African provinces of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Limpopo. The completion of the six GreenX Note II transactions takes the total number of investments made by GreenX to fourteen across the two funds. Vantage anticipates lending the remaining R1bn in GreenX Note II before the end of this year.
African Daily Voice (ADV), a new panafrican news agency is born
By Abdullahi Mohammed
African Daily Voice (ADV) will provide comprehensive coverage in text, photo, video and computer graphics of African news
The African Daily Voice Group announced on Monday the launch of a new continental news agency: ADV
Based in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the multinational company specialized in content, and the media, has a newsroom in Casablanca (Morocco) and offers multilingual services (French, English, Arabic).
“Information networks remain dominated in our countries by Western media. Their stories of African events do not always reflect the true identity of our people, our cultures, and our languages,” says Toussaint Alain, African Daily Voice CEO’s. “They impose their own vision of the world, anxious above all to preserve their interests.”
Alain believes that “this situation is not without risks. We can no longer leave these agencies alone to inform the African public of what is happening in Africa or elsewhere. Events, their genesis and evolution are rarely presented to the outside world objectively and accurately. Images of a miserable Africa continues to persist in the Western press.
That said, “the independence of information, and the plurality of sources are of the same importance today as the struggle against imperialism and neo-colonialism. They play a vital role in the process of political, social, economic and cultural liberation of our continent,” Toussaint Alain says
Driven by a long-term vision for Africa, the founders and investors of the new media group rely exclusively on African skills to develop two-way content, based on pure information, but also on interaction between people and institutions.
To take up the challenge in a very competitive market, ADV has structured around ten regional desks: Algiers (Algeria), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Douala (Cameroon), Kinshasa (DRC), Bangui (RCA), Johannesburg (South Africa), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Lagos (Nigeria), Dakar (Senegal) and Antananarivo (Madagascar). These pools are responsible for collecting, processing and disseminating information in the regions concerned.
ADV teams will be covering African events around the clock with professionalism. “Our reporters will strive to ensure that reliability, objectivity and neutrality are respected. Our vocation is to become a strong brand, which will highlight its pan-African and civic role, “says Toussaint Alain.
Through its network of correspondents, ADV will provide comprehensive coverage in text, photo, video and computer graphics of African news. All themes will be covered: politics, economy, environment, culture, media, high-tech and technology, social events, major continental or world sports events, etc.
Available in French, English and Arabic, ADV products and services will be available via a website, a newsletter and an application on tablets and smartphones. ADV will also be present on social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Google+. The agency will also use instant messaging applications to communicate with users via these platforms.
Last but not least, ADV aims to consolidate its continental and international presence. “Thanks to cooperation agreements, we are considering the full deployment of our agency worldwide, particularly in Asia, Europe and America. We will therefore rely on a network of media partners in Africa and outside the continent,” concludes Toussaint Alain.
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