07 DECEMBER, 2022


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Story tyme!

In August, South African digital bank, TymeBank, announced its proposal to acquire Retail Capital, a fintech company that provides funding to small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa. 

Now, after only three months, TymeBank has announced that it has tied the knot with Retail Capital in an R1.5 billion ($86 million) acquisition deal. 

Share this newsletter with your partner if they haven’t married you after years of being engaged so they can see what their mates are up to.


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a new policy that caps all cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate organisations at ₦100,000 ($225) and ₦500,000 ($1,124), respectively, every week.  

Daily withdrawals from point-of-sale (POS) and automated teller machines (ATMs) are capped at N20,000 per person. Processing costs of 5% and 10%, respectively, will be applied to any cash withdrawals that are made above the specified limits.

 These cash withdrawal restrictions will go into force everywhere on January 9, 2023.

Some exceptions

Individuals and corporations can be allowed to withdraw ₦5 million ($11,244) and ₦10 million ($22,489) respectively, once each month. The people and organisations involved must provide the following details in order to be eligible for this exception:

  • Valid forms of identification
  • A bank verification number (BVN), a notarised statement outlining the purpose for the excess cash withdrawal
  • Written authorisation from the bank’s CEOs, 
  • Written consent from the Managing Directors for drawees withdrawing on behalf of businesses

Why is the government doing this? 

The goal is to persuade (or coerce) more Nigerians to adopt its cashless policy and conduct their financial transactions through alternate channels such as mobile banking, USSD, debit cards, POS, eNaira, etc.

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has reinstated charges on mobile money and bank account transactions.

The CBK eliminated fees for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts on March 16, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage the usage of mobile money.

Did it work?

It appears so. Over 6.2 million more Kenyans used mobile money actively between March 2020 and October 2022. P2P transactions climbed in volume and value each month, from 162 million transactions worth Ksh234 billion ($1.9 billion) to 440 million transactions worth Ksh399 billion ($3.25 billion), an increase of 171% and 71%, respectively.

The monthly volume and value of transactions between PSPs and banks surged by 527% and 410% respectively, from 18 million transactions costing roughly Ksh157 billion ($1.27 billion) to over 113 million transactions for Ksh800 billion ($6.51 billion).

The CBK announced the restoration of transaction fees between mobile money wallets and bank accounts yesterday, December 6, 2022. However, the charges will be much lower than they were before the waiver.

How much lower?

Transfer charges from mobile money wallets to bank accounts will be slashed by up to 61%, while bank charges on bank-to-mobile money transactions will be decreased by an average of 45%. Tariffs for paybills, which are used by businesses and institutions such as schools and utilities to collect and distribute cash, will be slashed by an average of 50%.

The CBK stated that it is restoring transaction fees to ensure the accessibility of payment services as well as to continue and expand the growth the mobile money ecosystem experienced as a result of the waiver during the epidemic.

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Cross-border payments company Chipper Cash has laid off over 50 employees across multiple departments with around 60% of those laid off coming from the engineering team. This news comes a few weeks after it announced its acquisition of Zambian fintech company, Zoona.

FTX connection

The startup raised $150 million for a Series C extension round led by the now-defunct crypto exchange, FTX through its Alameda Research subsidiary last year. The crypto exchange, which is currently embroiled in financial troubles, valued Chipper Cash at $2 billion, making it the most valuable startup on the continent at the time. The investment was FTX’s first in Africa.

Weeks ago, one of FTX’s African portfolio companies, Nestcoin, laid off some of its employees weeks ago due to its lack of access to operational funds stored in the now-bankrupt FTX. Despite rumours that FTX might have required some of its portfolio companies to hold their funds via their exchange, TechCrunch has reported that Chipper Cash was not one of those companies and was not exposed to the collapse of FTX. 

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Image Source: THINKMD

THINKMD, a Vermont-based health technology company, has received a $1.5 million grant from Development Innovative Ventures (DIV), an initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

THINKMD has a clinical assessment software and data analytics tool that delivers physician-based clinical care on demand. With the help of the tool, less experienced nurses and health professionals can deliver care that is on par with that provided by doctors. THINKMD has tested and implemented the mobile tool in 10 countries. It will use this DIV grant to fund a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Nigeria to evaluate the tool’s effectiveness.

Why is this necessary?

There is a global shortage of 4.3 million frontline health workers, which is expected to reach 15 million by 2030—half of it in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria, for example, requires 363,000 doctors but only has 24,000. More than 50 doctors leave the country weekly in search of greener pastures.

Millions of people in Africa are losing access to quality healthcare as a result of this exodus. If effective, THINKMD’s technology can help Africa make the most of its underqualified health workforce by bridging the knowledge gap.

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Beyond payments, what are other interesting use cases of cryptocurrency in Africa?

“One of the biggest untold use cases of crypto is an exposure to a dollarized economy,” said Chris Ani, CEO of DABA on a recent episode of TC Live.

On the 25th of November, TechCabal, in partnership with Pillow Fund, brought together experts and key players in the cryptocurrency industry, including Arindam Roy, CEO and co-founder of Pillow Fund, Chris Ani, CEO of DABA and Deborah Ojengbede, CEO of AFEN Blockchain Group to discuss how Africans can tackle inflation through crypto investments.

The speakers discussed extensively how the borderless nature of cryptocurrency offers various interesting options and opportunities for retail users. They also talked about the role of education in solving the problem of technological know-how and lack of trust from users and regulators, as a way of increasing cryptocurrency adoption in Africa.

Have you been curious about this topic? You can watch the full conversation here.

This event is brought to you by Pillow Fund in partnership with TechCabal

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Listen, sharing is caring, and we’ve made a way for you to not just care about your friends, but get rewarded while at it.

How? It’s easy as ABC let’s show you;

  • Scroll to the Refer A Friend section of this newsletter
  • Tap the big red button {Click to share}
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Ps. If you have any problems with it, just reply to this email and we’ll sort you out.

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Digital platforms are helping African women become financially independent.

Why Future Africa and TLG Capital just created a $25 million venture debt fund.


  • The Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme and the Institut Français de Recherche en Afrique of Nairobi are offering a three-month-long fellowship in France for postdoc researchers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and Eastern Congo (Kivu) who have presented their thesis from 2017. Laureates will receive a monthly stipend of €1,600 at the start of each month. Apply by December 9.
  • If your startup or innovation is focused on climate-smart agriculture practices, apply to the THRIVE|Shell Climate-Smart Agriculture Challenge for a chance to win $100,000, a spot in a prestigious accelerator, publicity and more. Apply by December 11.
  • Applications are open for the TechBridge accelerator programme to innovative African startups. It provides $200,000 in funding, learning opportunities, and access to the TechBridge hub, community, and support tools and resources. Apply by December 15. 

What else is happening in tech?


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Written by – Ngozi Chukwu & Ephraim Modise

Edited by – Pamela Tetteh

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