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Japan Donates $9.7m Solar Power to Nigeria

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The Japanese Government, through its agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency, has donated solar power worth $9.7 million to the Federal Government to boost electricity in the country.

The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during the inauguration of the project.

Kusaoke stated that Japan considered the power sector as one of the most important areas to enhance Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

He said, “Since from 1970s, Japan has helped to finance power sector to increase the capacity of power in Kainji dam hydro power station.

“This is the 10th project of power sector by the Japan’s government since then and this will not be our last.”

He said the project which entailed the introduction of clean energy by solar electricity was donated by the government of Japan to boost power and water supply at Usman Dam Water Treatment Plant.

He said, “The project is being executed with grant assistance worth Nine Hundred and Eighty Million Japanese YEN (980,000,000 JPY) (equivalent to approximately 9.7 million USD) through JICA.”

According to Kusaoke, stable power supply is crucial to support industry and to improve economy and the lives of people.

The ambassador emphasised the importance of stable power supply to Nigeria’s quest to diversify her economy.

He commended the designer of the project, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, for its design, management and the completion of the project on schedule.

Kusaoke, who explained that the project was capable of generating 1,496MWH, added that this would result in reduction of N31.5 million per year for payment of the electricity bill.

Earlier, Mr Hirotaka Nakamura, Chief Representative of JICA, Nigeria office, said improving core infrastructure including power sector in Nigeria was one of the priority areas of the agency in Nigeria.

According to Nakamura, developing alternative energy resources such as solar, wind and hydropower will boost electricity in the country.

He explained that the project was designed to introduce a demonstration unit of solar electricity generation system with a view to increasing its economic strength on a sustainable basis.

According to the JICA official, with the Japanese assistance, about 1.2 mw of grid connected solar generation will be gained at Usman Dam Water Treatment Plant to supplement electricity supply from the national grid.

He said, “Following successful tests on the installed solar system, the first phase of the project with generation capacity of 975kwp is being commissioned today.

“The second phase will bring additional 207kwp generation to this system hopefully in January 2017.”

Nakamura further stated that the project would contribute to the improvement of quality water supply in the Federal Capital Territory.

He, therefore, appealed to the FCT administration through its water board to handle the project with care and also provide sufficient funds to maintain the generation system.

In his remark, Alhaji Hudu Bello, the Director, FCT Water Board, who expressed gratitude to the government of Japan and its agency JICA, said the project would improve revenue accruable from the water sector in the FCT.

He said, “This is elaborate project that will improve water supply to the residents of Abuja; it will also reduce the rate at which we consume diesel to pump water.”

Bello said the project would reduce the cost of generating electricity and also contribute power to the national grid to improve supply within the nation’s capital.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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FinTech Investments in Q3 2020 Drop by 16% Quarter-over-Quarter to $12.15 Billion

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The total value of fintech investments worldwide fell by 16% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) to $12.15 billion in Q3 2020. However, deal volume grew by 26% to 716 deals.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, the United States accounted for 64.7% of the total deal value, with 340 deals worth $7.85 billion.

Also, there were 25 mega-rounds during the period, accounting for 60% of the total funding value. Compared to Q2 2020, the total mega-rounds value increased by 64% to $6.4 billion, as non-mega rounds fell by 16%.

Payment Industry Deals Soar by 41% to $6.22B as InsurTech Grows by 63% to $2.5B

Payment industry deals took center stage, totaling $6.22 billion according to Global Data, marking a 41.9% QoQ increase.

The top five deals in the segment accounted for 58.4% of the total. Klarna bank had the highest raise, at $650 million at a post-money valuation of $10.65 billion. It made it the highest valued private fintech in Europe and the fourth highest globally.

Klarna, which is a buy now, pay later app, had 12 million monthly active users and 55,000 daily downloads. In H1 2020, its global transaction volume shot up by 44% YoY to $22 billion as revenue soared by 36% YoY to $466 million.

On the other hand, the insurtech sector raised $2.5 billion globally across 104 deals according to Willis Tower Watson. It marked a 63% increase in funding value and a 41% growth in deal volume. The number of mega-round deals in the segment increased by 50% QoQ.

Six mega-rounds drove 69% of the total insurtech funding. Top on the list was Bright Health with $500 million and another $500 million by Ki. Early stage companies in the sector grew by 57% QoQ during the period, compared to a record low of 42% in Q2 2020.

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World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos Backed African Fintech Startup, Chipper Cash

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The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, has invested in an African fintech start-up, Chipper Cash, according to the latest report from Tech Crunch.

Chipper Cash, a startup that helps facilitate money transfer across Africa and beyond, raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation from Bezos Expeditions, a personal VC fund of Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon Inc.

Chipper Cash currently has 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions per day. The startup operates in the following seven African countries; Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.

According to Ham Serunjogi, the Chief Executive Officer, Chipper Cash, the company attained a monthly payments value of $100 million in June 2020.

As part of efforts to grow beyond its current market, Chipper Cash plans to expand its product and geographical reach. In terms of product, the company plans to add cryptocurrency trading options and investment services.

We’ll always be a P2P financial transfer platform at our core. But we’ve had demand from our users to offer other value services…like purchasing cryptocurrency assets and making investments in stocks,” Serunjogi stated on the phone.The fintech company recently added beta dropdowns to its website and mobile application to enable customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and even invest in United States stocks from Africa. It partners DriveWealth, a U.S financial services company, to allow stock trading.

We’ll launch [the stock product] in Nigeria first so Nigerians have the option to buy fractional stocks — Tesla shares, Apple shares or Amazon shares and others — through our app. We’ll expand into other countries thereafter,” said Serunjogi.

On the financial service side, Chipper Cash plans to offer more API payments solutions. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from people on our P2P platform, who also have business enterprises, to be able to collect payments for sale of goods,” explained Serunjogi.

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Top Four Social Networks Boast 8 Billion Active Users in Q3 2020

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In Q3 2020, Facebook inched closer to becoming the first social network with 3 billion users. Based on the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, it had 2.74 billion monthly active users at the end of September 2020, up by 12% year-over-year (YoY).

Facebook was the most popular social networking platform. YouTube and WhatsApp followed with 2 billion users each, while Messenger was third with 1.3 billion. In total, the four had a cumulative 8 billion users.

Facebook Family User Base Grows to 3.21 Billion in Q3 2020

During the period, Facebook also had a 12% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) increase in the total number of its daily active users (DAUs), to reach 1.82 billion. Asia Pacific led in DAUs, going from 699 million in Q2 to 727 million in Q3 2020. Europe remained flat at 305 million, while the US & Canada dropped from 198 million to 196 million.

In terms of monthly active users (MAUs), Asia Pacific was also the top market with 1.17 billion users. Europe followed with 413 million, while the US & Canada had 255 million.

In the same period, the Facebook family of apps had a total of 3.21 billion users globally. Of its messaging platforms, WhatsApp was the most popular with 2 billion monthly users in October 2020. Facebook Messenger was second with 1.3 billion monthly users.

On the other hand, YouTube reported that its Premium and Music services had 30 million paid subscribers in Q3 2020. The number had doubled in less than 18 months as it only had 15 million paid subscribers in May 2019.

According to Sensor Tower, Youtube was the second highest grossing mobile app in Q3 2020 across both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. During the period, its revenue increased by 59% YoY. On the other hand, Facebook came in second on the list of top mobile apps by downloads, in spite of a 2% YoY drop.

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