- Wakanow Set to Launch Commercial Operation in UK
One of Nigeria’s online travel companies, Wakanow has announced plans to formally launch commercial operations in the UK as part of its efforts for global expansion and in a bid to consolidate its foray into Europe.
The announcement is coming barely months after it launched DestinationsAfrica, a global booking platform that aggregates the best of African packaged holidays from over 23 African countries.
Wakanow, which already operates commercial offices in Nigeria and Ghana as well as service outlets in Dubai and the UK said it will launch its office in the UK, showcasing a cutting-edge booking portal that will offer flights and hotel bookings and Transfers/Protocol services, for intra-Europe travel as well as for outbound travel into Africa.
The company said the UK booking portal will ride on the crest of its well-tested innovative technologies and service excellence to extend the traditional African warm welcome to millions of travelers looking for efficient and well-priced travel packages into and around Africa and Europe.
Founder and Group Managing Director of Wakanow, Mr. Obinna Ekezie, said the new addition to the fast-growing travel brand would allow the company to serve the European markets and demonstrate its capacity to compete favorably on the global stage.
He explained that currently, a good number of bookings on the Wakanow Nigeria booking portal, were coming from the UK and other countries outside of Nigeria and it was therefore a natural progression for Wakanow to cater for this market.
In his words, “We are very delighted about the forthcoming launch of Wakanow UK, and this excitement stems from our conviction that this addition has the capacity to offer something different to the European market when it comes to travelling into Africa. Our protocol services into Africa is built on very strong relationships and will ensure our prospective customers get the most hitch-free and hassle-free movement in and out of the continent. Wakanow has horned her skills in African travel over the last 8 years and will bring that to bear in not only offering best priced deals but making sure that her interactions with these travelers will deliver a more positive narrative for African businesses.”
He further stated that, “Not only are we going to replicate the same excellent customer service for which the Wakanow brand is known for, but we are also going to take the lead in expanding the frontiers of travel and driving significant traffic to Africa through our broad mix of custom-fit and themed vacation offerings available on our DestinationsAfrica platform. We will leverage our vast knowledge of the African space and her wealth of untapped destinations to create exclusive travel products that offer fresh and incredible experiences for our customers.”
He added, “The Wakanow UK launch will herald the opening of several other Wakanow offices across Africa, with Wakanow Kenya and Wakanow SouthAfrica already under way. Riding on the back of advanced technology, Wakanow will “switch on” her online booking portals in 6 other African countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Tanzania. Other countries include Dubai and the US. Wakanow is a rising star on the African Tourism scene and Nigeria’s number one travel booking company.
“Wakanow has won many awards including the TonyElumelu’s fastest rising company awards, a host of Industry led Awards and more recently, the CNBC Business Leader of the Year award which went to the Founder and Managing Director, Mr. Obinna Ekezie. Wakanow has strong affiliations with hundreds of Hotels and Airlines globally and has facilitated over 800,000 travel bookings since inception in 2008. Leveraging heavily on technology and accelerated customer service models, Wakanow is rapidly changing the face of travel in Africa.”
Jumia Nigeria Appoints Sunil Natraj as CEO, Outlines Ambitious Expansion Plans
Former Jumia Ghana CEO to Lead E-Commerce Giant as Massimiliano Spalazzi Steps Down
Jumia Nigeria, a prominent player in the e-commerce sector, has announced the appointment of Sunil Natraj as its new CEO.
Natraj, the former CEO of Jumia Ghana, will take the helm of the e-commerce business in January 2024, succeeding Massimiliano Spalazzi, who has been with Jumia Group for 11 years and will be stepping down in December 2023.
The announcement came during a media parley held in Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, with Francis Dufay, the CEO of Jumia Group, unveiling Natraj as the new leader.
Natraj expressed Jumia’s commitment to becoming a truly Nigerian company and continuing the initiatives started by Spalazzi.
“We want to continue what Spalazzi started,” Natraj stated, emphasizing Jumia’s vision to expand its presence beyond Lagos.
He disclosed plans to extend operations to additional Nigerian cities, with Akure and Ilorin on the radar and a focus on cities en route to Ibadan, Warri, and Benin in the first quarter of 2024.
The overarching strategy is to create a comprehensive network covering the entire country.
Dufay outlined the ambitious goal of targeting cities with populations exceeding 20,000 people, citing successful precedents in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
He acknowledged the challenges faced by Jumia, including a workforce reduction in Q4 2022 and a 73% cut in advertising budgets in Q3 2023.
Despite the hurdles, Dufay highlighted Nigeria as Jumia’s largest market and affirmed the company’s determination to navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.
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Flutterwave Expands Financial Frontier: Acquires Money Transfer Licenses for 13 U.S. States
Africa’s Leading Payments Tech Firm Facilitates Faster, Affordable, and Secure Transfers between the U.S. and Africa
In a significant move towards advancing financial connectivity between Africa and the United States, Flutterwave, Africa’s premier payments technology company, has proudly announced its acquisition of money transfer licenses for 13 key U.S. states.
This strategic expansion aims to expedite, streamline, and secure the transfer of money from the U.S. to Africa and back.
The states covered by the newly acquired licenses include Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland, Michigan, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
These additions, combined with Flutterwave’s existing partnerships and licenses, now empower the company to serve customers seamlessly across 29 states in the U.S.
Money transfer licenses, issued by state regulators, play a pivotal role in enabling financial technology companies like Flutterwave to engage in the transmission of money.
The acquisition of these licenses fortifies Flutterwave’s commitment to regulatory compliance, safety, and the soundness of its services.
Stephen Cheng, Executive Vice President, Global Expansion and Partnerships at Flutterwave, emphasized the significance of this milestone.
“Getting these licenses expands our regulatory footprint, demonstrates our ability to deliver services with safety and soundness, and fosters trust among regulators, partners, and customers,” stated Cheng.
“We’re growing and are committed to servicing customer needs in as many geographies as possible, particularly with a significant African diaspora.”
Flutterwave’s popular solutions, such as the Send App, are set to benefit greatly from this expansion.
The Send App facilitates easy and secure money transfers between the U.S. and Africa, catering to both individual users and enterprises that rely on Flutterwave for global last-mile payouts.
“Sending money between the U.S. and Africa has been challenging for the African diaspora. These licenses pave the way for Flutterwave to make the Send App available to the African diaspora in the U.S., offering a super user-friendly money remittance experience,” explained Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO at Flutterwave.
“Our mission is to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa by simplifying payments for endless possibilities. These licenses move us one step closer to our vision, and we will continue to expand this feat to ensure coverage for all states in the U.S. and beyond.”
Flutterwave remains steadfast in its commitment to providing accessible remittance services across the U.S. and has outlined plans for further expansion of licensing coverage in the near future.
This ambitious endeavor reflects the company’s dedication to fostering financial inclusion and creating a seamless financial bridge between continents.
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