Gebeya receives $500,000 from IFC to train female developers
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Welcome to TC Daily! In today’s digest, mobile money operators continue their push into remittances, Endeavor selects three entrepreneurs from Africa into its network and IFC pumps $500,000 into Gebeya.
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MOBILE PAYMENTS & REMITTANCES
MTN Liberia, a telecom company, has partnered with cross-border payments company, Sendwave to support international remittances for its mobile money customers. MTN Liberia’s MoMo users will now be able to receive funds from abroad directly into their wallets.
Over the last few months, mobile money operators across the continent have doubled down international remittances, signing partnerships and opening up other markets to international transfers.
In August, Airtel Africa partnered with MoneyGram, the US company, to support cross-border payments in multiple markets. And in May, French telco, Orange, expanded its remittances services to include Morocco and Burkina Faso in addition to four existing countries.
And in Nigeria, mobile money company, OPay has partnered with WorldRemit to support international remittances to millions of Nigerians using mobile services and a network of offline agents.
What’s driving these partnerships?
Since April, the World Bank has warned that the pandemic and government lockdowns have negatively affected remittances activities. Physical transaction points like banks and agent locations were closed during the lockdowns. In 2019, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa stood at $48 billion according to the World Bank.
But with all that’s happened since the start of 2020, international transfers to the continent are expected to drop by 23.1% to $37 billion by the end of the year. Meanwhile, for many developing countries, remittance accounts for more than 5% of their GDPs.
The World Bank and a few governments have urged payments companies to address the transaction challenges by digitising remittances transfers, making it more accessible to more people. Mobile money operators are heeding to this call.
This drive could also have a knock-on effect on remittance costs. Average remittance cost to the African region was 8.9% for $200, the highest among global regions. By relying on mobile
payments providers and their competitive pricing, it is expected that fees could drop soon.
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Nigerian financial service technology company, OPay has announced a partnership with leading global digital payments platform WorldRemit, to offer international money transfers 24/7 from over 50 countries directly into OPay mobile wallets in Nigeria. Learn more here: https://operapay.com/remittance/
US-based investment firm, Openner.vc is expanding its accelerator program to Egypt, TechMoran has reported. The firm will support and invest in 50 Egyptian companies providing them with seed funding, technical support, business development and partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS). “Openner is entering the Egyptian market because it believes in its geographic and cultural centrality, and its promising tech talent,” said Ash Rofail, General Partner at Openner.
Ethiopian developer training and placement company, Gebeya has received $500,000 from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to train 250 female developers. The funds came through the IFC’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (the We-Fi programme). Beyond the training, Gebeya will also provide business advisory support from the IFC to female developers in the programme.
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Three African entrepreneurs have been selected to join the Endeavor global network. Dr Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO of 54Gene, Benjamin Njenga and Eli Pollak of
Apollo Agriculture were among the nine individuals selected from six markets. Endeavor is a non-profit organisation for high-impact entrepreneurs and their companies. It supports over 2,000 entrepreneurs across 37 markets to scale their companies and drive economic growth.
Ene-Obong, Njenga and Pollak were selected at Endeavor’s Seventh Virtual International
Selection Panel (ISP). Their companies are solving different problems for the health care industry and the agricultural sector.
Ene-Obong’s 54Gene is providing global health industry with much needed genomic data from Africa. While Africa’s population is over 1 billion, less than 3% of the continent’s genomic data is available for research purposes. This limits the kind of medical innovation that can be discovered. 54Gene is solving this problem through local clinical research programs and advanced molecular diagnostics.
Njenga’s and Pollak’s Apollo Agriculture is using digital solutions to provide agricultural extension services, financial services and market access to smallholder farmers in Kenya.
The three newly selected entrepreneurs join a growing number of African founders who are Endeavor entrepreneurs. CEOs of Flutterwave, Carbon, Paga, Daystar Energy, Kobo360 and Migo have all joined the organisation during the last three