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18 MAY, 2023

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Happy pre-Friday ☀️


If you have an inactive Gmail account you want to keep, now might be the time to log back in and make use of the account.

Google has updated its policies, and by December 2023, it will delete all Gmail accounts that have been inactive for more than two years. This includes all apps connected to Gmail—Google Docs, Sheets, Forms—as well as inactive Google Photos and YouTube accounts. 

GHANA SECURES $3 BILLION FROM THE IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has granted Ghana a $3 billion bailout to aid its economic recovery from the debt crisis. This approval has boosted investor confidence, resulting in Ghana’s currency, the cedi, becoming the world’s top performer against the dollar.

How well is the Cedi performing? As of yesterday, the currency reportedly traded 1.7% stronger at GH₵‎10.8625 per dollar in Accra, Ghana’s capital. Additionally, Ghana’s Eurobond maturing in 2032 experienced a boost, rising 0.5 cents to 40.2 cents on the dollar. Investors had been wagering on the approval of the bailout.

What will this funding do? The approved funding will serve to replenish Ghana’s foreign-exchange reserves, which have seen a significant decline of nearly 50% since their peak in August 2021.

Sounds exciting. The government is gearing up to receive a massive injection of cash, and we’re talking big numbers here. There will be an initial disbursement of a whopping $600 million. Another hefty $600 million is on its way in November, followed by equal instalments of $350 million every six months, pending those critical reviews by the IMF. That’s a whole lot of zeros, but there’s more! Ghana is also set on securing an additional $900 million in budget support from the World Bank over the course of a three-year period.

There is still more: Ghana is rolling up its sleeves for some serious negotiations. It is currently in talks to restructure $13 billion of its debt. Notably, a bilateral creditors group co-chaired by China and France played a vital role in restructuring Ghana’s debt under the Common Framework, which ensures fair burden sharing.

Ghana is leaving no stone unturned. With cash injections, budget support, and debt restructuring on the horizon, it looks like the country is Ghana make it out of Sapa land.

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MONIEPOINT RANKED 2ND FASTEST-GROWING AFRICAN COMPANY

Moniepoint is Africa’s second-fastest growing company, as shown in FTs latest report. We also processed 1 billion transactions worth $43 billion in Q1 alone. Read all about it here.

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EGYPT SELLS 9.5% STAKE IN TELECOM EGYPT

Egypt’s finance ministry on Sunday announced the sale of its 9.5% stake in Telecom Egypt, raising 3.75 billion Egyptian pounds ($121.6 million). 

Per reports from Bloomberg, filings submitted to the Egyptian Stock Exchange indicate that 162.2 million shares were sold at 23.11 Egyptian pounds ($0.75) each.

Prior to this recent transaction, the government’s ownership in the Egyptian Stock Exchange-listed company stood at 80%, while the remaining 20% was publicly traded on the Egyptian Exchange.

The government is also offering 0.5% of Telecom Egypt to employees to buy by May 25, which will bring the total asset sale to 10%. Overall, it will reduce the government’s stake to 70%.

This move is part of the government’s privatisation programme, aimed at advancing its economic agenda.

Egypt is desperate to raise revenue from privatising state-owned firms in order to meet a series of foreign debt obligations that will be due in a few months. The government announced the sale of its stakes in Telecom Egypt almost two months after it first said it planned to reduce the government’s ownership in the company.

Egypt purging assets: The sale of 9.5% of Telecom Egypt marks the second transaction following prime minister Mostafa Madbouly’s commitment on April 29 to proceed with the planned divestment of government stakes in 32 companies. The objective is to raise $2 billion by the end of June.

As part of a $3 billion, 46-month financial support package signed in December 2022, Egypt has committed to reducing its intervention in the economy and facilitating a more prominent role for private companies. This move aligns with the agreement made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to promote economic liberalisation and greater participation of private entities.

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ZIMBABWEAN GOLD MAFIA CLEARED OF ACCUSATIONS

Remember those alleged Zimbabwean gold mafia members who were accused of looting the country’s precious gold reserves? 

Well, hold onto your seats because they have just been cleared of all wrongdoings. Apparently, the investigations into their finances revealed no evidence of gold smuggling on their part, so their accounts have been unfrozen and they have been let go. 

Everyone is asking how no evidence was found despite the damning documentary by Al Jazeera. But the bigger question is, is now really the best time to unfreeze the accounts of individuals accused of exploiting their access to the gold reserves?

Why are people asking that? Last month, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced a gold-backed digital currency backed by the nation’s gold reserve. The digital legal tender is one of the several measures the government is taking to deal with the country’s currency, the Zimbabwean dollar, nosediving against the American dollar. Holders of the gold-backed token can exchange their money for the tokens in order to store value and shield themselves from the volatility of the exchange rate.

The tokens, backed by 139.57 kilograms of gold, were on sale from May 8 to May 12. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cautioned Zimbabwe that backing a digital currency with its gold reserve is very risky. However, the country announced that it has sold Z$14 billion worth of gold-backed digital tokens—worth around $39 million after receiving applications from 135 interested buyers. The country is organising another series of digital token sales and has asked for applications to be submitted this week. The settlement of these applications is expected to take place by May 18.

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ATTEND FINTECH WEEK LONDON

Fintech Week London 2023 is a five-day event that runs from June 19 to June 23, 2023, with a two-day flagship conference on June 19 and 20.

Tickets are now on sale and you can get 15% off when you register your spot here with the code: TechCabal2315.

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TIZETI + MICROSOFT BRIDGE BROADBAND GAP IN COTE D’IVOIRE

Tizeti, a Nigerian internet service provider, has partnered with Microsoft to bring its broadband solution to Cote d’Ivoire and bring internet access to almost five million people.

The partnership aims to bring affordable high-speed Internet to underserved communities, boosting economic development and digital inclusion in Cote d’Ivoire. The country’s internet penetration rate stood at 45.4%, with 12.94 million internet users in Côte d’Ivoire at the start of 2023.

Tizeti, in collaboration with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, will introduce high-speed internet infrastructure using Tizeti’s affordable wireless technologies.

What is an Airband Initiative?: The term “Airband” is a blend of “airwaves” and “broadband,” emphasising the use of wireless spectrum to provide internet access in areas lacking wired infrastructure or with limited connectivity options.

An Airband initiative is a programme or endeavour with the goal of extending broadband internet availability to rural and underserved regions using wireless technologies, particularly utilising unused or underutilised TV white spaces.

These collaborative endeavours contribute to the Microsoft Airband Initiative’s pledge to provide internet access to 100 million people in Africa by the end of 2025. This commitment aligns with Tizeti’s objective of cost-effectively connecting a larger population to the internet.

The partnership would make Cote d’Ivoire the third country that Tizeti is present in after Ghana and Nigeria. The company also has plans to expand to Togo. 

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THE WORLD WIDE WEB3

Bitcoin

$27,416

+ 1.52%

Ether

$1,823

– 0.03%

BNB

$314

+ 0.90%

Cardano

$0.37

+ 2.34%

Name of the coin

Price of the coin

24-hour percentage change

Source: CoinMarketCap

* Data as of 00:40 AM WAT, May 18, 2023.

Members of the Parliament in the UK want crypto to be regulated like gambling. Bloomberg reports that the Treasury Select Committee is recommending that crypto assets like bitcoin should be regulated like gambling because they are highly volatile and have no intrinsic value.

Is a China ban on NFTs possible? Per CoinDesk, China’s national agency responsible for prosecution has released new guidelines that state that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) share the same attributes with crypto and should be taken more seriously.

EXPERIENCE VIVA TECHNOLOGY

Book your pass to Europe’s biggest Startup and Business event here.

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REPORT: THE STATE OF TECH IN AFRICA

Between January and March 2023, African startups raised $857 million in Venture capital funding. While this pales in comparison to Q1 2022’s figures, the continent saw its biggest acquisition ever: Tunisian AI startup, Instadeep’s, $680 million acquisition by BioNTech. There is more to be uncovered in this quarter’s edition of the State of Tech in Africa. 

Download here.


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IN OTHER NEWS FROM TECHCABAL

Entering Tech #30: How ConTech Africa is helping creators in tech.

The story behind M-KOPA’s $250 million debt and equity raise.

OPPORUNITIES

  • The SaaS Accelerator Program: Africa 2023 has opened applications for its accelerator programme to enable early startups in Africa to receive funding. Selected startups will receive up to $70,000 in funding. Apply by September 7.
  • Wise Guys SaaS Accelerator Program is looking to help SaaS startups level up through tailored guidance and support from world-class mentors and experts. Apply before September 7.

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Written by – Ngozi Chukwu & Mariam Muhammad

Edited by – Kelechi Njoku

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