16 DECEMBER, 2021

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Everyone is pivoting to tech. 

Congolese-American basketballer and NBA Hall of Famer, Dikembe Mutombo, is joining 4DX Ventures as a Senior Advisor. This announcement is coming on the heels of news of the firm’s $60 million raise. 

If any unicorn is reading this, please know that I give good advice too. 

In today’s edition

  • Uber partners with Paymob
  • Edukoya raises $3.5m
  • The key drivers of trade in Africa in 2022

UBER PARTNERS WITH PAYMOB

Uber is expanding its payment options in Egypt. 

On Monday, the ride-hailing platform announced a partnership with Paymob—Egypt’s leading digital payment service provider—to expand payments options in the Uber app. According to Uber, it’s all in a bid to financially integrate a broader base of Egyptian drivers and riders. Uber is also using the expansion to further its steps towards enhancing financial inclusion through ride-sharing technology, complementing Egypt Vision 2030.

A tug of war

Egypt has one of the fastest-growing populations of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Between 1996 and 2006, the country’s population grew by 48%, representing an increase of 30 million people in two decades. With such rapid growth comes high demand for affordable transportation, and Uber is not the only ride-hailing app on the market. It’s also not the most affordable, or the one with the most incentives. 

In Egypt’s mobility market, Uber faces competition from Careem, InDriver, DiDi, and UK-based UVA—the last two in trial phases. While the app still holds the majority of the market share with 90,000 active drivers, the other competitors may soon give it a run for its money. InDriver, for instance, kicked off its expansion into Egypt by charging no commission from drivers. This directly affects Uber’s high commission rates of 22.5%.

Egyptian drivers have also worked out different ways to bypass paying Uber’s commission by cancelling trips when riders board and charging the full payment. Since most customers pay in cash, this works. 

Moving towards a cashless society

Uber is shooting out a few solutions to combat this problem. Earlier in October, it partnered with Fawry to introduce payments through the myfawry app. 

Now, its latest partnership with Paymob will allow riders top up their in-app wallets using various payment methods. In-app currencies will also have no expiry dates, “leaving riders to request rides without having to worry about carrying cash”. Finally, Uber also believes the partnership will ease drivers in their payment of its 22.5% commission fees.

Zoom out: It seems Uber still has a long way to go if it wants to win this competition. Seems companies like InDriver and Careem may know the way to people’s hearts. InDriver has mentioned that they’re presently focused on growth and will charge a 5%-9% commission in the future, but that’s still miles away from Uber’s rates.

EDUKOYA RAISES $3.5 MILLION

Edukoya, an African-focused online learning platform that empowers learners and their parents to access high-quality education, has raised $3.5 million in a pre-seed round led by Target Global.

Participating in the round are angel investors like Shola Akinlade, co-founder/CEO of Paystack; Babs Ogundeyi and Musty Mustapha, co-founders of Kuda; Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson, co-founders of Stash; and Raffael Johnen, CEO of Aux Money—among others. 

Backstory: Founded in May but launched into beta in December this year by former Google Nigeria boss, Honey Ogundeyi, Edukoya says it wants to empower learners and their parents to take control of their learning and make it easier for them to access high-quality learning material and expert help. 

Specifically, the platform is built to target Nigerian secondary school learners. At least that’s its current proposition. Edukoya includes 24/7 exam preparation & homework tutor help, a data-driven question bank with step-by-step solutions and personalised performance tracking systems. 

Public education in Nigeria is not great; there are too many factors warring against it, from low funding to incompetent teachers to bad government policy. So, quality education is only available to a small proportion of Nigerians.

The seven-month-old startup says it offers a free, supplementary learning platform, as well as subscription packages with premium features, focused on K-12 learning and exam preparation. This offering combination is expected to reduce the uneven distribution of quality education. The platform operates a 100% online model, which promotes self-paced learning that allows learners to save time and money. 

Damilare Dosunmu has more in Edukoya raises $3.5m to provide quality secondary school education online.

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THE KEY DRIVERS OF TRADE IN AFRICA IN 2022

AfCFTA zone supporters are betting that full tariff liberalisation of the vehicle manufacturing and food processing sectors will unlock billions of dollars in regional trade as the continent stands to reap the benefits of the world’s largest single market.

Vehicle manufacturing and food processing have been touted as the next big drivers of intra-African trade as the single largest world market—AfCFTA—readies to enter its second implementation phase in less than a month.

A new Economic Development in Africa 2021 report shows vehicles have the largest untapped export potential of 1.4 billion dollars, followed by sugar (1.3 billion) and fish and crustaceans (1.1 billion dollars) processing.

Anticipated population and economic growth, as well as tariff liberalisation under the AfCFTA, are seen unlocking these sectors, with a potential multi-billion dollar windfall for African economies.

“The sector expected to realise the largest export potential following the tariff liberalisation is the vehicles industry. Overall, tariff liberalisation promises an additional export potential of 18 per cent by 2025,” according to the report.

Lately, there has been fresh demand for new vehicles on the continent, driven by a rising middle class with a taste for new vehicles—at the expense of second-hand vehicles imported from overseas markets like Dubai and Japan.

The African Association of Automotive Manufacturers sees development of regional value chains driving new vehicle sales from its current 1 million to 5 million units annually in Africa.

Research firm Modor Intelligence shows that by 2023

, West and North African countries will be key drivers of growth in the automotive sector, with Morocco and Ghana being touted as the next-biggest players, adding to sales from South Africa, which is currently responsible for 85% of all vehicle sales in Africa. South Africa, and Morocco both have hugely ambitious vehicle export strategies.

Dig deeper in Vehicles and food expected to be key drivers of trade in Africa by 2022.

ACCESS CRYPTO WITH QUIDAX

Quidax

Quidax is an African-founded cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easy for you to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They also make it possible for Fintech companies to offer cryptocurrency services to their customers. 

Learn more.


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OPPORTUNITIES

  • The Tejumola Olaniyan Creative Writers-in-Residence Fellowship 2022 is open for applications from creative writers with projects. Selected fellows will get up to $12,000 in grants as well as the opportunity to publish their texts. Write away.
  • UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge Cohort 2 is open to innovative ideas from Ugandan citizens and teams who want to improve the lives of Ugandans. Selected teams will get up to $51,000 as well as technical assistance and mentorship. Check it out.
  • Applications are open for the 2022 Herconomy Enterprise Challenge. Female entrepreneurs in Nigeria are invited to participate to get up to $3,600 in funding. See if you are eligible.

What else we’re reading

  • Nigerian HR startup Bento expands to Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda.

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Written by – Timi Odueso

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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