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MasterCard, IFC to Expand Digital Financial Inclusion

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  • MasterCard, IFC to Expand Digital Financial Inclusion

Mastercard Foundation and the International Finance Corporation have struck a partnership to expand digital financial inclusion in Africa.

A digital study released by the IFC and MasterCard, titled ‘Aligning expectations: The business case for digital financial services’, highlighted a set of best practice financial modelling benchmarks for agent banking and mobile money solutions.

The IFC said the benchmarks would aid financial institutions as they launched or expanded digital financial services for greater financial inclusion in emerging markets, describing it as a critical step in achieving inclusive economic growth.

It said the benchmarks would help financial institutions design sustainable business models for affordable and accessible financial services, targeting previously unbanked populations such as small-scale entrepreneurs, low-income individuals, and rural communities.

The corporation added that the benchmarks were based on a four-year study of nine financial institutions pioneering agent banking and mobile money solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Manager, IFC, Financial Institutions Group Advisory, Sub-Saharan Africa, Riadh Naouar, said the benchmarks showed a viable business case for digital financial services to expand financial inclusion.

According to him, the benchmarks will make it less costly and risky for new entrants to the market.

Naouar stated that the development of digital financial services led to an unprecedented increase in financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, adding that sub-Saharan Africa was the only region where the share of adults with a mobile money account exceeded 20 per cent.

He said, “Agent banking and mobile money have begun to transform the financial landscape in many African markets, and there is an increasing body of evidence to show that this has real, positive impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.

“The benchmarks study is a knowledge product of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, a $37.4m joint initiative of the IFC and the Mastercard Foundation, to expand microfinance and advance digital financial services in sub-Saharan Africa.”

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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Technology

Softcom Announces Day X, The Launch of Intuitive Solutions For Businesses

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SoftCom Day X - Investors King

Softcom has announced the launch of new intuitive solutions and initiatives the company has built to accelerate inclusion and growth for Africans which will be happening on Day X: July 29, 2021.

The company states that it has thoroughly examined the state of society and what sustainable growth looks like for people and businesses and has designed products and platforms focusing on unlocking the inherent potential that exists in every individual.

Day X will expose us to an ecosystem of tools that will empower business owners to sell better, sell more, identify people, control their money and make better decisions. Initiatives and platforms have also been designed with the entrepreneur to enable ambitious and early-stage businesses to position themselves for rapid growth.

Softcom also states that its crucial strategy is to make these human-centered solutions accessible to all entrepreneurs who are dreamers and those who have begun to take action. This ability to deliver value and innovation of active or passive entrepreneurs within any society will ultimately contribute to its people and businesses’ collective growth and advancement.

In his newly released letter to the public, Yomi Adedeji, CEO of Softcom X, wrote; ”Our ultimate goal is to create an open world with equitable access to intuitive solutions that address the most basic human needs and by doing so enable societal development, business growth and human prosperity.”

Day X will provide answers to questions entrepreneurs ask, no matter the size of their ambition and help them commence their journey of leveraging these human-centered tools to drive transformational growth for themselves and society at large.

Day X will take place virtually. To find out more about Softcom and register for Day X, visit here

About Softcom
Softcom is a 14-year-old company with experience in innovation, technology solutions for businesses and enabling access at scale.

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Social Media

FG To Lift Suspension On Twitter Once It Registers With NBC and CAC

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Twitter Tip Jar- Investorsking

The Nigerian government will lift the suspension of Twitter, the microblogging platform once the digital social media app registers with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

According to an affidavit deposed to by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation in response to a suit filed by a human rights lawyer, the government said Twitter would not have been suspended if it complied with Nigeria’s laws.

The affidavit deposed by Ilop Lawrence on behalf of the Federal Government and the AGF, it was stated that the suspension of Twitter was not an abuse of human rights because Nigerians were still using Twitter despite the suspension.

The government told the court that the Twitter suspension would be lifted once the platform registers with the NBC and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The government had on June 4, 2021, suspended Twitter barely two days after the social media platform censored a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Subsequently, the AGF, Abubakar Malami threatened to prosecute Nigerians still using the platform while NBC ordered all radio and television stations to stop using Twitter or picking content from the platform.

Human Rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, subsequently sued the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Malami, and the Federal Government for suspending the social media platform.

In the fundamental human rights suit marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, Effiong is seeking nine reliefs, including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further suspending, deactivating, or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria because the act was in violation of his rights.

Effiong asked the court to declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution by Malami and Lai Mohammed against Nigerians who ‘violate’ the suspension or ban of Twitter, despite the absence of any written law.

But in its response to the originating motion, the government said Nigerians are still using the microblogging platform despite the suspension placed on the app.

“The applicant (Effiong) and the class he seeks to represent can still operate those Twitter accounts from anywhere in the world and even from Nigeria.

“Nigerians are still tweeting, even at this moment as the ban on Twitter is not aimed at intimidating Nigerians or an infringement on the rights of Nigerians to express their opinion.

“The respondents (Federal Government and AGF) have never stopped the applicant (Effiong) and the class of persons he seeks to represent from voicing their opinions to access government information and offer criticism where necessary,” the government said in the affidavit.

The government told the court that Nigerians are still free to use other platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Tiktok and others.

The Federal Government also denied knowledge of Twitter censoring Buhari’s tweet on the Biafra civil which offended many Nigerians.

It said Twitter had made its platform accessible to elements like Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra; and had supported the #EndSARS protests of October 2020 which was later hijacked by hoodlums.

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Startups

Health Tech Startup 54gene Launches Trust to Amplify Africa’s Capacity in Scientific Research

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54gene Lab

54gene, the health technology company centered on advancing the field of African genomics to unlock scientific discoveries as well as improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes within Africa and the global community, is creating a trust which it will use to invest up to 5 percent of future proceeds from the company’s commercial drug discovery program.

The creation of the trust is part of its Commitment to Africa in establishing a more sustainable and thriving cyclical ecosystem across Africa’s scientific development space, as well as ensuring better quality healthcare delivery for the communities in which the company operates.

54gene is focused on creating a pipeline of novel drugs for global populations, based on insights drawn from the healthcare and research ecosystem in Africa and wants to ensure that the 1.5 billion people in Africa benefit from its endeavors.

While ensuring Ethical, Legal, Social Implication (ELSI) guidelines are rigorously followed, 54gene is focused on advancing better health outcomes for global populations through precision medicine and addressing the unmet need for novel therapeutics in healthcare.

The company has created a proprietary platform that powers drug discovery through its substantial bio- and data-repository of deeply phenotyped and diverse datasets. It has the potential to power understanding across multiple disease areas such as cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, sickle cell, autoimmune and rare diseases, and infectious diseases.

The new trust has been designed to enable a consistent provision of better diagnostics and medicines for Africans as well as amplifying capacity building within the scientific research space across Africa.

“The biggest challenge in drug discovery in Africa is adequate infrastructure and the extensive need for capacity building.

“As we work on delivering on our promise of precision medicine for Africans and the global population, we are striving to ensure that our work involves current African scientists and leaders in the field as well as supports the creation of more skilled Africans in science and additional jobs across the continent.

“This initiative is designed to continue fostering partnerships within the African scientific body, to reflect the leadership of Africans in global drug discovery research, and to generate sustainable healthcare delivery systems that will ultimately benefit African communities participating in the scientific work that advances better outcomes for all.

It is the inclusion of African talent that will make our drug discovery work successful in bridging the disparity gap within genomics data. Africa has the ability to contribute far beyond the 1 percent in global drug discovery that is currently taking place within the continent, and we believe 54gene will help accelerate those contributions.“

The 54gene trust will be managed by an advisory committee. As the company’s commercial operations grow, the demonstrated Commitment to Africa and creation of the trust will ensure an African footprint and sustainable growth in global drug discovery across the continent.

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