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QoreID is live in Ghana.
ICYMI: QoreID connects businesses to trusted identities and critical customer data. Basically, they help companies do KYC or Know Your Customer. Businesses need to do some fact-checking of their own and companies like VerifyMe’s QoreID help them confirm that people are indeed who they say they are.
This means real-time identification, verifying identification documents like drivers’ licences or ID cards, and even face matching.
KYC helps companies stay safe, and starting today, QoreID is taking that mission seriously in Ghana.
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* Data as of 06:00 AM WAT, September 29, 2022.
LAGOS STATE BILLS TECH HUBS FOR SAFETY AUDIT
The Lagos State Safety Commission (LASG Safety) has announced it will suspend its planned safety audits of co-working spaces and tech hubs in Lagos, Nigeria.
Yesterday, TechCabal wrote that LASG Safety—in conjunction with Acquicorn Projects Limited—would conduct safety audits of co-working spaces and technology hubs between September and November 2022.
According to letters of introduction sent to tech hubs, these audits would ensure that tech hubs comply with standards of practice by conducting risk assessments of their facilities and providing necessary recommendations.
The initial announcement included news that all coworking spaces and tech hubs would be required to pay an annual sum of ₦150,000 ($347) for the audits. The fee comprises a ₦50,000 ($115.92), documentation fee, and ₦100,000($231.84) certification fee payable to LASG Safety’s account.
LASG Safety to train facility holders
The announcement of the annual fees was received with frustration and anger on social media where many accused the Lagos State government of overtaxing its booming tech ecosystem.
Hours after the story broke, LASG Safety announced the suspension of the audits and clarified its operations in a press release that was shared with TechCabal.
In a statement signed by DG Lanre Mojola, LASG Safety explains the purpose of the audit fees:
“The fee is statutorily associated with facilities that engage and welcome members of the public beyond a certain footfall in many businesses and civic sectors. This includes restaurants, cinemas, event spaces, schools, clubs, etc,” the statement reads. LASG further explains that the fee is set to cover the costs of “safety inspections and audits with experts and specialised equipment”.
The Safety Commission also announced that it would be suspending the planned audits in order to ensure adequate stakeholder engagements.
Editor’s Note: In its coverage yesterday, TechCabal erroneously stated the payable amount as ₦200,000 ($463). This has since been corrected to reflect the correct amount: ₦150,000 ($347).
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SHELL ACQUIRES NIGERIA’S DAYSTAR POWER
Shell has made its first green deal in Nigeria.
The oil-producing giant bought Daystar Power, a Nigeria-based company that provides businesses with solar energy solutions. Neither company has disclosed the deal’s value, but the acquisition has been in the works since 2019. Daystar Power needed more money to keep up with rising demand for its services, so it sold to Shell which has a really strong balance sheet.
Shell’s history in Nigeria
Shell was the first company to begin oil exploration in Nigeria. The country became the largest oil producer in the world as a result of its work there. Unfortunately, it also contributed to a number of oil spillages, which resulted in the loss of life and property as well as a rise in civil unrest in the Niger Delta region. For the harm it caused, it has been making settlement payments totalling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Life on the greener side
Through its impact investing vehicle, All On, which has provided funding to nearly 24 renewable energy companies, Shell has established itself as an eco-friendly company in Nigeria while repairing its image. Shell is buying Daystar to help consumers who currently rely on diesel generators in nations where the rising cost of diesel is having a significant negative impact on businesses. With 32 megawatts of installed solar capacity, Daystar Power serves consumers in operations in Ghana, Togo, and Senegal, in addition to Nigeria.
INTEREST RATES TO SOAR IN NIGERIA
Nigeria’s interest rates are about to soar to record heights. Maybe it was a bad idea to have a bird on its CBN logo.
Nigeria’s central bank has raised interest rates from 14% to 15.5%. This is the largest increase since the point basis metric was adopted in 2006. The country’s local currency is currently like a plane taking a rapid nosedive. The increased interest rate is the CBN’s superhero move to stop its free fall.
Why is the naira in free fall?
This is all happening because of the inflation of the cost of imported goods, which is being caused by depreciation against the dollar and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The apex bank also announced that it would increase the cash reserve ratio—the percentage of a lender’s deposit that is held by the regulator—to 32.5% from 27.5%. This means that banks will have less money to lend to their customers and that the cost of borrowing will increase as banks pass on the increased costs to retail and corporate borrowers. This is all to curb inflation.
Business and startup owners in the country will experience more difficulty doing business in Africa’s largest economy. Hopefully, the CBN’s plan works and things take a different turn, albeit slowly.
Nigeria is not walking alone
Other countries are taking this road too. Ghana raised its interest rate to 22% last month. In July, South Africa raised its rate to 5.5%, its biggest rate in 20 years. Other emerging markets, such as Brazil and Mexico, have been increasing their interest rates since last year.
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UGANDA’S NUMIDA RAISES $12.3 MILLION
Y Combinator is not the holy grail for African startups, but a lot of people think it is, mostly because of the consistency in follow-on funding for YC-backed startups.
Today, we’re talking about Numida, a Ugandan startup that has just tasted the lauded YC’s touch. It was the only Ugandan startup accepted into YC’s W22 cohort, and now, five other investors have joined YC to raise a total of $12.3 million in Numida’s pre-Series A round led by Serena Ventures.
What does Numida do, though?
Numida gives credit ranging from $100 to $5,000 to small and medium-scale businesses in Uganda, allowing these businesses to grow and optimise their output. These businesses are mostly semi-formal, lacking what it takes to access swift loans from traditional sources, but profitable enough to repay loans.
Thus, Numida is the connector between the small businesses it helps and the quick loans they need to thrive. The startup issues “ethical loans” at interest rates ranging between 10% and 16%.
What will Numida do with the money?
They’re going to broaden their customer base by adding 10,000 small businesses to their network over the next 18 months. To do that, they’ll expand beyond their market in Uganda into two other African markets.
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IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL
Biometrics tech firm iDENTIFii raises $15 million growth capital.
Women-owned SMEs in South Africa get an exclusive accelerator from Grindstone and Naspers.
Entering Tech #005: How this medical doctor became a product designer.
- Applications are open for the UK Research and Innovation African Research Leaders’ Programme. Talented researchers in sub-Saharan Africa who are leading quality health research in the region can apply to get up to £750,000 in funding. Apply by December 1.
- The USADF Accelerate Africa Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 is now open to applications from MSMEs in Africa who are prioritising job creation and job and youth productivity on the continent. Winning applications will receive grants of up to $250,000. Apply by September 30.
- AWS She Builds—a community program with over 25,000 women around the world—is accepting applications for its cohort-based program which prepares women for Amazon’s AWS Solutions Architect Certification and provides sponsored exam vouchers valued at $150. Apply here.
- If you want to be a web3 developer, apply for Polygon Bootcamp Africa, an 8-week intensive educational course and hackathon combo. Apply by October 7.
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Written by – Timi Odueso, Caleb Nnamani & Ngozi Chukwu
Edited by – Kelechi Njoku
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