Premium smartphone brand TECNO today announced the renewal of its partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to support UNHCR’s global program in primary education, Educate A Child (EAC). The partnership aims to support the improvement of refugee children’s education in Africa, ensuring refugee children’s right to education and ultimately contribute to equal access to education for all.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the learning conditions of refugee children, causing school closures in Africa over the school year. By contributing financially to the EAC program, TECNO’s support has benefited children in Kenya’s Dadaab camp by providing them with textbooks and school kits. In addition, TECNO donated tablets to support continued learning of refugee children during school closure, as well as 50,000 medical face masks for UNHCR Kenya to support its COVID-19 response.
In 2021, TECNO and UNHCR will continue the partnership to benefit a total of 10,670 refugee children in Uganda and Kenya. TECNO’s financial contribution to the EAC program will contribute to the holistic intervention in these locations including improvement of school infrastructure, material assistance to students, training for teachers, and support for refugee students with special needs.
Uganda and Kenya are amongst the world’s top host countries for refugees. Uganda is the largest one in Africa. Over half of the refugees in the two countries are below 18 years old (58% in Uganda and 53% in Kenya). While some refugees may have the access to study in public educational institutions, the shortage of learning resources has put many refugee children at risk of dropping out of school. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, continuous commitment from TECNO is important to support a safe school reopening and better access for refugee children to continue their primary education, laying the foundation for them to pursue higher education in the future.
Vivian Tan, UNHCR Representative ad interim in China, expressed appreciation for the continued support from TECNO. “UNHCR welcomes this renewed partnership,” she said. “COVID-19 has interrupted learning in many countries, and refugee children are no exception. Support from our private sector partners like TECNO is critical for UNHCR to continue and strengthen our efforts to support refugee learners and students to continue their education in this difficult time, and in the post-COVID time. The Chinese private sector can play an important role in addressing the gaps in refugee education globally, including providing financial contribution, technology and innovative solutions. We hope more Chinese private sector actors will be inspired by the partnership between TECNO and UNHCR.”
Stephen Ha, General Manager of TECNO said, “With the renewed partnership with UNHCR, we hope to continue our support in improving the learning conditions of refugee children. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, TECNO is committed to giving back to the community where we are present. In the post-COVID time, we will amplify our efforts, especially using digital solutions to increase educational opportunity and enhance education quality for children in Africa so that they could receive better education and be better connected with the world.”
Inclusive and equitable quality education is Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is also a long-term goal for UNHCR. Since 2020, UNHCR has been working with different partners to implement the EAC program that aims to provide 365,000 out-of-school children with primary education in 14 operations by 2022. Out of the 14 countries, Kenya and Uganda are two key operations. Despite the huge impact of COVID-19, UNHCR remains committed to advancing inclusive and equitable quality education for refugee children.
By the end of 2020, an estimated 4.2 million children and youth of concern to UNHCR have been affected by the pandemic globally. Once out of school, many refugee children will never return. UNHCR has been making efforts to create more equitable and inclusive educational access for displaced and refugee children so that they could all return to school. UNHCR and TECNO will deepen their partnership, through which they hope to engage more with corporate employees, partners and the wider public audience to strengthen understanding and support for education in Africa.
OPay Urges Customers to Complete BVN, NIN Verification Following CBN Directive
OPay, a prominent financial services firm, has called upon its customers to finalize the verification of their accounts by linking their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) or National Identity Numbers (NIN) in accordance with the recent directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN, in a circular dated December 1, mandated all deposit money banks to enforce a ‘Post no Debit’ restriction on accounts lacking BVN or NIN.
Accounts without BVN would be placed under a ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ status from March 1, as outlined in the circular jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi and Haruna Mustapha, Directors at the Payments System Management Department and Financial Policy and Regulation Department, respectively.
OPay affirmed the CBN’s directive and emphasized the necessity for account holders to complete the verification process.
Dauda Gotring, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of OPay, emphasized the importance of a secure and seamless experience for customers.
He encouraged users to comply with the verification process, reassuring them of the company’s commitment to a smooth process and 24/7 customer support.
OPay provided multiple channels for customer assistance, including in-app self-service, WhatsApp, phone lines, and social media platforms.
The company’s commitment to inclusivity and technological advancement underscores its mission to enhance financial services accessibility across Nigeria.
MTN Group Ltd. Reports 90% Plunge in Profit Amid Nigeria’s Currency Woes
MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless service provider, has announced a 90% decline in its full-year profit following the plunge in Nigerian Naira.
The company revealed that its earnings per share for the year ending December fell to a range of 1.07 rand to 3.21 rand (approximately 6 to 17 US cents), a significant drop from 10.71 rand recorded in 2022.
The Nigerian naira, which experienced a 49% depreciation in 2023 and an additional 44% decline this year, has emerged as a significant factor impacting MTN’s financial performance.
As one of the world’s worst-performing currencies against the dollar, the naira’s instability has created a volatile economic environment, prompting concerns among international businesses operating in Nigeria.
The currency crisis, stemming from a shortage of dollars and exacerbated by policy missteps and corruption, has led to an exodus of multinational corporations seeking to repatriate earnings from Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria, with its burgeoning young population and growing tech sector, has struggled to address economic dysfunction despite its vast natural resources.
MTN Group Ltd., which boasts approximately 77 million customers in Nigeria, historically derives a substantial portion of its earnings from the country.
However, the company’s shares plummeted by as much as 7.2% in early trading following the profit announcement, reflecting investor concerns over the challenging operating environment.
Despite the bleak financial report, MTN highlighted positive metrics such as a 45% increase in data traffic and a 49% surge in mobile money transaction volumes.
However, the company refrained from providing guidance on its earnings margins, further adding to uncertainties surrounding its future financial performance.
Analysts underscored the importance of regulatory stability and economic reforms in Nigeria to restore investor confidence and mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations on companies like MTN.
As businesses navigate the economic landscape, the resilience of Nigeria’s currency and regulatory framework remains a critical concern for investors and industry stakeholders alike.
Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.
In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.
Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.
According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”
Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.
Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.
For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co
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