The US-based logistics company has been operational in Rwanda and Ghana
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE, RENSOURCE ENERGY & DAN HOLDINGS 03.06.2020
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Zipline has launched operations in the US in partnership with North Carolina’s Novant Health. Although headquartered in the US, Zipline's operations before now have been Africa-focused, first launching in Rwanda and then in Ghana. Under this partnership, the drone logistics company will deliver personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to Novant Health frontline medical teams across two approved routes covering a 32-mile distance. Regulatory testings and approvals have delayed its launch in its home base until now. The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) permission the partnership has received to operate is being considered a waiver as against a full-fledged, approval. This approval allows the logistics company operate till the end of October or till movement restrictions and mass gatherings are lifted in the state.

Huawei, Samsung and Oppo have recorded the worst performances in smartphone sales in Q1 2020, which has declined by 20.2% globally. According to a recent report by Gartner, this is the worst decline in smartphone sales in recent times. Reduced consumer spending and glitches in supply chain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have contributed to this decline. Nonetheless, Huawei and Samsung have retained their top three spots in global market share. Xiaomi is the only phone manufacturer in the list of leading mobile phone manufacturers that did not record a decline in phone sales. An aggressive online sales push particularly for its Redmi Series is to thank for that. Last month, Xiaomi launched a new e-commerce service dubbed Mi Commerce in India, its largest market. It's also launched a WhatsApp Business account through which users can express interest in a product, have a staff confirm their intent to purchase, and pay on delivery of the item. For companies like Oppo with strengths more in offline distribution, lockdowns and store closures have had the most impact on sales in the quarter. Here's more about what is happening with the production side of things.


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Lockdowns in Nigeria have gradually been lifted but outdoor activities are yet to fully return to normal. While edtech companies catering to primary and secondary school students in the country are enjoying increased uptake, a large percentage of university students in the country have had to completely pause learning activities due to the inability of tertiary institutions to move academics online. A part of the problem is regulatory. The National Universities Commission does not allow universities to fully provide learning remotely. An Online Distance Learning (ODL) license, the closest license that allows remote learning, only allows for select courses and not entire degree programs. Obtaining it is another kettle of fish. For private universities who have the tech and the know-how, learning has continued in spite of the pandemic whereas some universities are resorting to platforms like Zoom and WhatsApp to hold lectures. But for many others, even in some of Nigeria's top tier public schools, academics are on hold for the foreseeable future.
Unified Mid-year Vehicle (UMV) Permit. This is a new regulatory requirement reports say logistics providers in Nigeria may now be required to have to operate in the country. The permit costs ₦5,000 ($12.96) and requires a bi-annual renewal. However, only regular courier companies with a Courier Regulatory Department (CRD) license can obtain the UMV permits. For digital logistics companies with a mix of owning and operating their own services as well as connecting vendors with independent service providers, new and unclear regulatory moves like this continue to pose a problem.
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Join us this Friday, June 5, for an engaging conversation with Bosun Tijani, co-founder and CEO of Co-creation Hub as we discuss the role of ecosystem building in achieving a resilient African tech economy. Tijani has over a decade's experience mediating and propelling innovative growth within Africa by helping launch and scale startups. Whether its hosting innovation hackathons in Lagos and Nairobi or powering design in Kigali, 'CcHub' has led in defining the face of African tech, with a huge role in policy development as well. We'll learn more about what they have in store especially for a world redefined by a pandemic. Register for Friday's session here.
That's all for today,

We'll be back tomorrow.
- Kay

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