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This year has the highest number of African start-ups participating in Y Combinator’s Accelerator programme: fifteen.
Last month, I wrote about the thirteen startups from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Egypt, South Africa and Morocco, who were part of the summer batch of 2021.
Two startups, Kenya’s Fingo and Egypt’s Pylon, joined the list at Demo Day, which took place on August 31 and September 1.
In today’s edition:
- Is Nigeria’s CBN going a Bitt too far in designing the eNaira?
- Facebook is tuning down political posts and content
- Fintech Focus: Can open banking aid financial inclusion?
- Events: NSB Regional Town Hall Meetings
IS NIGERIA’S CBN GOING A BITT TOO FAR IN DESIGNING THE ENAIRA?
On Tuesday, we reported about eNaira and how Nigeria’s apex bank is designing the state-backed digital currency. Well, it appears that Nigeria is looking outside the nation for tech companies that will design the eNaira.
And the search extended outside the country, and even the continent.
On Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that global fintech company, Bitt Inc. will be its technical partner for the launch of eNaira which is scheduled for October 1, 2021.
Why Bitt Inc?
They’ve got more than a little bit of experience.
According to Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, the Barbados-based company was selected from a list of highly competitive bidders because of its “technological competence, efficiency, platform security, interoperability, and implementation experience.”
Bitt Inc. has experience creating digital currencies having worked with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) to develop DCash, a digital currency being used in four countries across the Caribbean islands.
Could Nigerian tech companies develop it too?
Social conversations, which criticize CBN’s decision, are ongoing on how companies like Bantu, or SiBAN could also get the job done.
Not everyone believes this though. Technical expertise is paramount for the design. In this article, Chimezie Chuta who is the Founder, Chairman Blockchain User Group, shares that local technical partners might not be the best option considering that the Blockchain network — Hyperledger Fabric — CBN will run the eNaira on is created by a consortium of “big entities including IBM and a couple of other big organisations that are not local.”
Zoom out: CBN seems to be taking the development of its digital currency seriously but selecting foreign developers over their counterparts in Nigeria does call into question its mandate to foster local talent. What do you think?
FACEBOOK IS TUNING DOWN POLITICAL POSTS AND CONTENT
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FINTECH FOCUS: CAN OPEN BANKING AID FINANCIAL INCLUSION?
Earlier this year, we entered into a partnership with Flutterwave to explore fintech in Africa.
In this inaugural edition, we discuss the potential of open banking for driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, with insights from Ifeoluwa Orioke, Flutterwave’s Chief Commercial Officer.
So what’s open banking?
Open banking is an emerging trend of data sharing between banks and other stakeholders in the ecosystem; including third-party financial services providers (TPPs), fintechs, and other institutions.
What does open banking have to do with financial inclusion?
Nigerian banks boast an inventory of consumer data that fintech startups in the country can only dream of. But most legacy players are reluctant to use these rich data reserves to capture unserved populations – nearly 40 million adults were without bank accounts as of 2020 end.
In the banks’ place, fintech firms have been working to extend access to financial services to rural areas, through agent networks and mobile money wallets. But they need integrations with bank data to get the best locations for their agents.
Open banking is an effective way for banks and fintechs to work together, helping the latter’s efforts to reach the financially excluded or underserved.
Read more in Michael Ajifowoke’s Fintech Focus: The link between open banking and financial inclusion.
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EVENTS: NIGERIA STARTUP BILL REGIONAL TOWN HALL MEETINGS
KB4-CON EMEA is a free, highly engaging, cybersecurity-focused virtual event designed for CISOs, security awareness and cybersecurity professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The event will be on Thursday, September 23rd and features keynotes from two of the most well-known figures in cybersecurity. Mikko Hyppönen will cover how our global networks are being threatened by surveillance and crime, and how we can fix our technical, and human, problems. Kevin Mitnick will reveal social engineering tradecraft and insights and wow you with a live hacking demonstration. You can register here.
What else we’re reading
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ADD TECHCABAL TO YOUR HOME SCREEN
Written by – Timi Odueso
Edited by – Koromone Koroye
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