Everyone wants to japa (move abroad), but what does that mean for the economy?
Between 2014 and 2021, 474 Nigerian tech workers moved to the UK via the UK government’s Tech Talent Visa. Between 2019 and 2022, skilled visa applications and approvals also increased with the latter increasing by 161%, from 3,918 to 10,245.
And it’s not only tech talent. About 13,000 healthcare workers leave Nigeria for the UK per year in search of pastures greener than Nigeria’s flag.
All these emigrants aren’t just seeking better salaries; they’re fleeing Nigeria’s social and infrastructural decay, and insecurity.
What does this mean for Nigeria’s tech ecosystem? Does it mean a brain drain that stunts economic growth or does it signal huge remittance in the coming years? Sultan has the gist of Nigeria’s japa wave here.
Kenya might be loosening its grip on non-Kenyan fintechs.
The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) recently dropped lawsuits against three Nigerian companies, Avalon Offshore Logistics Limited, OIT Africa Limited, and RemX Capital Limited, after their bank accounts were frozen over suspicion of money laundering and crime.
Backstory: In February, the ARA began investigating the fintechs—all Nigerian-owned—over money laundering claims. Post investigation, the ARA revealed that the companies’ bank accounts were used to receive funds from dubious sources before these funds were rapidly transferred or withdrawn to other countries in order to mask their nature and purpose.
In April, the agency accused the three companies of smuggling more than KSh 25 billion into the country from offshore between October and November 2021 and obtained an order from a Kenyan high court to freeze the remaining funds of KSh 5.6 billion to prevent the companies from transferring or withdrawing them.
A Kenyan high court lifted a freeze order on KSh 5.6 billion belonging to the three companies after the ARA told the court that the response that the companies gave for holding these funds was satisfactory.
Neither the ARA nor the high court have shared reasons for the release of the funds, but a number of Kenyans have taken to social media to express displeasure with the decision with one stating, “…this is the government for kleptocracy and corruption HQ. Just build yourself folks.”
Big picture: This year, the ARA has levied fraud allegations against several Nigerian fintechs including Kandon, Korapay, and fintech Flutterwave. Between July and August of this year, it has frozen over KSh 6.6 billion belonging to Flutterwave while both Korapay and Kandon have had Ksh 45 million ($381,000) frozen on orders gotten by the ARA.
TWITTER SHAREHOLDERS AGREE TO ELON MUSK’S $44 BILLION BID
Months after Elon Musk made an offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion, the social media platform’s shareholders have finally agreed to the offer.
But like the Jojo song, their response is coming a little too late.
No question to respond to
In April, after declining to join Twitter’s board, Musk offered to buy the platform for $44 billion. He offered all shareholders $54.20 per share, 38% more than the $45.85 per share it was a week before he made the offer.
While the Twitter board initially agreed to the deal in April, shareholders hadn’t made a decision yet.
In the months following the board’s decision, however, Musk and Twitter experienced a sticky situation that ended with Musk pulling out and Twitter suing Musk. Twitter reported that 5% of its 229 million users are spam bots but Musk argued, in May, that the percentage of spam bots on the platform is as high as 20%. This is especially a problem for a social media platform like Twitter where 90% of its revenue comes from advertisement, and an audience with ⅕ of spam bots doesn’t make for very good financial services.
Musk pulled out in July, citing Twitter’s alleged dishonesty as his reason.
Twitter sued and the duo are presently embroiled in a legal case at the Delaware Court of Chancery, with a trial expected to begin in mid-October.
Musk on the other hand is still trying to wash his hands clean of Twitter. Just a few days ago, the billionaire sent another letter to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in his third attempt to terminate the deal.
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Last November, the United Kingdom’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) rebranded. It changed its name from Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) to British International Investment (BII). Since this rebrand, the organisation has been investing heavily in African startups, and now, Egyptian startups are about to eat from the big British pie.
BII’s got biig plans for Africa
Earlier in July, Bloomberg reported that BII plans to invest $6 billion into Africa by 2025. The DFI seems to be on its way to achieving this with its continuous investments into African startups and venture capital firms. From Nigeria’s Moove and Kenya’s iProcure to Egypt’s Algebra Ventures and Endure Capital, BII is making financial commitments that are changing how DFIs are perceived across the continent.
In Africa, BII is optimising for both impact and ROI
DFIs have been known to be impact-focused for decades. They provided the much-needed funds that developed core sectors like telecommunications in Africa. Investing in startups and VCs is what’s pretty new.
Since this tide of investments will be driven by economic potential, we can argue there’s more money to be made for DFIs like BII. Still, the impact bit is not left out. For example, part of BII’s $100 million commitment to Egypt will be directed to climate financing.
SAFEBODA LAUNCHES SAFECAR
In Uganda and Nigeria, SafeBoda has debuted its car-hailing service, SafeCar. Previously, the mobility platform, which had about 27,000 drivers, only provided motorcycle services. With the addition of cars, it is now a competitor to ride-hailing services like Uber, Bolt, Little, and others in Nigerian and Ugandan markets. Unlike those with its rivals, trips with SafeBoda are non-negotiable and cashless; customers have to pay through the in-app SafeBoda Wallet.
SafeBoda has a wallet?
Yes, there is a SafeBoda Wallet in the SafeBoda super app. It facilitates the ride-hailing, package delivery, utility, mobile bill payment, and e-wallet services offered by SafeBoda. Users can fund their wallets through mobile money services or agents. Additionally, they can use the app’s savings feature to earn interest on any balance they have in their SafeBoda wallet.
Moses Musinguzi, a senior operations manager and the company’s first driver in Uganda, noted that SafeBoda will provide drivers with in-person support rather than online support because they think that human interaction is better. Additionally, he reaffirmed SafeBoda’s commitment to look out for the economic interests of its drivers and its over 1 million customers by providing convenient, first-rate cashless experiences at a reasonable cost.
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ORANGE MONEY POWERS CARD TO WALLET TRANSFERS FOR EIGHT BOTSWANA BANKS
Telecoms are making strides towards making mobile money a piece of cake orange across Africa.
To enable card-to-wallet transfers for eight banks in Botswana, Orange Money, the mobile money division of Orange Telecoms, has teamed up with pan-African payments company Cellulant.
Orange Money Card-To-Wallet Service is the name of the programme they introduced. The service is provided via a website and is powered by Cellulant’s Tingg payment platform. Anyone with a registered Orange SIM card can use the website to transfer funds directly from their bank account to an Orange Money wallet. However, in order to receive the money, the recipient of the transfer needs to have an Orange wallet. Additionally, the service enables users of Orange Telecom to buy airtime, data, and voice bundles using their Visa or Mastercard debit or credit cards.
For the second year in a row, TechCabal’s flagship event, Future of Commerce, will bring together key operators and enthusiasts in Africa’s commerce sector to discuss trends like social commerce and BNPL, as well as innovative ways in which startups and large corporations cater to the needs of the informal sector.
If you work in payments, logistics, or are interested in Africa’s commerce scene, you don’t want to miss this conference.
The AYuTe Africa Challenge Nigeria 2022 is now open to early and growth-stage agritech businesses in Nigeria. Young Nigerians using technological innovation to address smallholder farmer challenges can apply to get up to $10,000 in prizes. Apply by September 16.
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2022 is now open to Africa-focused fintechs addressing specific problems including financial inclusion, credit scoring, and customer experience. One winner will be awarded a grand prize of $50,000. Apply by September 16.
Fintechs focusing on financial inclusion in Africa can now apply for the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa Programme 2022. Ten selected fintechs will participate in a one-week all-expenses-paid bootcamp, and participate in the Arch Summit event. Apply by September 15.