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Ride-hailing company Bolt has announced that it will no longer serve individual users and will only serve corporate customers in Tanzania until the dust settles in the regulatory environment of the country.
In April this year, Bolt said it might stop operating its taxi service in the country. This was because Tanzania’s Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA), which regulates the taxi sector, increased taxi fares and reduced the commissions earned by ride-hailing companies from a maximum of 33% to 15%.
Bolt’s main rival, Uber, which charged its drivers a 25% commission, packed its bags and left the country because it found LATRA’s demands unfavourable. Bolt lingered, however, saying that it would comply with the new rules temporarily. It promised to eventually stop offering ride services if its negotiations with LASTRA didn’t yield a better and mutually beneficial change in the circumstances.
Did the circumstances change?
The wind of change has not blown in the direction that Bolt wants it to. LASTRA’s stance remains unchanged, but Bolt is changing its mode of operations. From Wednesday, August 17, the company will only cater to corporate users.
With this new change in the customer pool, Bolt’s 10,000+ drivers may not be pulling in as many ride requests as they used to. This might lead them to turn their wheels to other small players in the ride-hailing field who are already compliant with the LASTRA demands. Such players include Ping and Kenya-based Little.
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The Ghana Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), which manages the country’s pension matters, says it has saved about GH₵60 million ($6.6 million) after it stopped the printing of dedicated biometric insurance cards for pensioners.
SSNIT stopped printing those cards in June 2021, and instead engineered the Ghana Card to serve as an insurance card for those under the nation’s pension scheme.
Why was this necessary?
The biometric insurance card was sophisticated and fancy—maybe too fancy—but SSNIT was trying to save money wherever it could.
It was spending about GH₵67 ($7) to print one biometric insurance card and was on course to print millions of pensioners. The Ghana Card, issued by the NIA, was found to be a more cost-efficient alternative. SSNIT only spent ₵3,000,000 (about $507,000) to enroll 30 million people on the NIA database. Since merging its database with the NIA’s, SSNIT has onboarded about 1.2 million people and saved about ₵60 million ($6.6 million).
It wasn’t just about the money
The projected savings were delightful, but the decision to use the Ghana Card instead of the biometric insurance card wasn’t just about the money the agency could save.
The SSNIT authorities said the integration will be instrumental in speeding up the handling of pension-related files, easing banking transactions, registering land titles and SIM cards, reducing the event of fraud, and improving access to some social services.
Zoom out: Currently, only the Ghana Card is needed to register SIM cards in Ghana and the document that is required for voter registration. Additionally, Accra, the country’s capital, is striving to make it a recognised international travel document.
SONY MUSIC PUBLISHING LAUNCHES IN NIGERIA
Africa is in the world’s spotlight. From tech to fashion to music, this continent of black people is drawing global attention to its soil. Today, we’re celebrating a new addition to the list of global behemoths setting up shop in Nigeria: Sony Music Publishing!
Godwin for the win
The global music publishers launched operations in Nigeria with Godwin Tom as the managing director. Before this appointment, Tom worked as the CEO and creative entrepreneur of iManage Africa, where he fleshed out his talent management skills, working with world-class artistes like Wizkid, Davido, and MI Abaga.
From the Lagos office, Tom will leverage his music business network to grow Sony’s global reach in Nigeria and Africa. The renowned talent manager promises to help build a home for Africa’s best songwriters.
Zoom Out: Sony is doing this month what its rival, Universal Music Group, did last month. This suggests that Nigeria is gradually becoming the capital of global music investments. Well, with the trend of Nigerian artists dominating global music charts, it is no surprise that the big players are coming to where the magic is brewed.
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The UN’s Youth Climate Innovation Lab is calling all young innovators in MENA that are creating climate technology solutions to join a 3-day launchpad. Winners from the launchpad will participate in the 6–8 week Climate Innovation Academy Programme, and the top 3 teams will receive a cash prize as well as the chance to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) happening in Egypt this November 2022. Apply by September 4.
DigiFemmes is finally accepting applications for its holistic technical assistance programme that enhances the capacity of women in Côte d’Ivoire to run and grow successful businesses. Selected women will undergo a nine-month training through which they will be equipped with data and digital skills for their businesses. Apply here.
The GrowUp Incubator Programme is now open to applications from social business entrepreneurs who are providing sustainable solutions to tourism and mobility issues. Entrepreneurs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi can apply for the chance to get 6-month training, networking opportunities, and support. Apply by August 28.