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Innovation is Vital to Drive Internet Connectivity in Africa

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Greater innovation from telecoms and technology companies is vital to drive the expansion of internet connectivity in Africa,  new research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows.

Its study with African business leaders found nearly two out of three (65%) worry that a lack of infrastructure is stopping traditional telecom companies from delivering the internet connectivity the continent needs.

But they are optimistic that innovation from new entrants will achieve dramatic improvements. Nearly three-quarters (71%) say new approaches are expanding internet connectivity to hard-to-reach areas more affordably.

The study with African business leaders from companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion found that executives believe the expansion of the African middle class coupled with Government support is driving demand for innovation.

Two-thirds (66%) believe connectivity will improve over the next five years with a quarter (24%) expecting dramatic improvements, the research among senior executives at companies based in Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa shows.

African business leaders believe the biggest benefits of expanding connectivity will be growing internal trade on the continent which was highlighted by 78%. Around 75% pointed to growth in international trade, while 55% however say better education and healthcare.

Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said: “There is growing confidence that Africa is on the verge of a revolution in internet connectivity with innovators such as World Mobile responding to the huge growth opportunities across the continent and Government support.

“However, the research with business leaders detects some scepticism with more than a quarter of senior executives saying they expect no change in connectivity over the next five years and pointing to potential roadblocks such as bureaucracy and a lack of innovation.”

“Improving internet connectivity is vital to delivering the potential of Africa, which is not just good for global economic growth but also for improving living standards across the continent and we are focused on playing our part in supporting innovation.”

World Mobile is helping to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons.

The blockchain-based network vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts prices compared to traditional telecom operators and World Mobile is in  discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.

Its balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, offering a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs.

The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates a positive societal impact through the application of its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Fintech

Instant Payment Transactions to Surpass 376 Billion Globally by 2027

The number of instant payment transactions to grow by 289% globally exceed 376 billion globally by 2027; increasing from 97 billion in 2022

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A new study has found that the number of instant payment transactions will exceed 376 billion globally by 2027; increasing from 97 billion in 2022, a 289% growth.

The study predicts that an increased roll-out of instant cross-border payment schemes in multiple countries will drive this growth by enabling businesses and consumers to benefit from greater speed and efficiency.

This efficiency is gained by processing payments over instant payment rails, which provide time and cost savings, while also offering greater transparency over transactions to stakeholders than traditional payment rails.

An instant payment is any payment outside of a card network that is capable of receiving funds in 10 seconds or under.

Regulators to Play Key Role in Cross-border Instant Payments

The report forecasts that cross-border transactions will grow at a faster rate than domestic transactions globally. It anticipates that cross-border transactions will rise from 631 million payments globally in 2022 to over 6 billion in 2027. The creation of instant payment schemes by international bodies, such as the EU, and an increase of bilateral agreements between these bodies will be key drivers of growth over the next five years.

These bodies will be essential in creating cross-border instant payment networks, as they have the capital and influence to connect disparate payment schemes across different geographical regions in order to maximise the value proposition of instant payments. In turn, the report recommends that regulators increase partnerships with international bodies to broaden payment schemes and expand access to instant payment services.

Greater Efficiency to Drive Business Adoption

Additionally, the report predicts that the increased time and cost efficiencies, and the improved cashflow management of using instant payments will be primary factors in influencing businesses to adopt. This will contribute to the total value of instant payment transactions rising from $6 trillion this year, to $33 trillion in 2027.

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Startups

5000 Startups From Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa Completed Google Training Programme

No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme.

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No less than 5000 startups from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have completed the Google Hustle Academy training programme. The programme was designed to help business owners learn soft skills that complement their hard talents.

Investors King learnt that Google received more than 10,000 applications for this year’s edition. 

It could be recalled that earlier this year, Google announced a plan to train 5,000 African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with participants coming from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. 

Google noted that participants will go through a training academy where they will undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3,000 hours of training on fundamental aspects of business to help them navigate the challenges faced by SMEs in Africa.

According to the press statement released by Google Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub Sahara Africa, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde after the completion of the training, participants attended a five-day virtual boot camp where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding. 

While dividing them into 23 cohorts, they were also trained in digital marketing and effective financial planning.

This is in addition to the one-on-one mentoring sessions received by each participant. The mentoring session was handled by a network of trained mentors and coaches. 

Meanwhile, Aderemi-Makinde further revealed that Google has launched a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice. 

He added that Google will continue to do more to help African entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.

“(The) speaker series will allow Small and Medium Businesses to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis,” he said. 

He stated that Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the global economy while noting that in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 per cent of jobs. 

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Fund Raising

Nigerian Based Food Tech Startup, Orda Raises $3.4 Million in Seed Funding

Orda Africa has now raised a combined $4.5 million raised by the African-centric food tech company. 

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Nigerian-based food tech startup, Orda announced it has raised a sum of $3.4 million in seed funding after it raised $1.1 million in pre-seed funding at the beginning of this year. This makes it a total of $4.5 million raised by the African-centric food tech company. 

Investors King understands that Orda is an African restaurant cloud operating system that helps restaurants to move from pen and paper to a fully automated digital platform. 

According to the startup, it aims to help more African restaurants maximize their business operations and expand distribution. 

The tech company added that it plans to improve on some new features which include loan, credit, and payment options which will eventually enable its clients to maximize the potential of their business. 

Investors King learnt that this new round of funding was co-led by Quona Capital and FinTech Collective. Other institutional investors which participated in the seed funding include Far Out Ventures, Lofty Inc Capital, Enza Capital, and Outside VC.

In the last one year, Orda has been able to increase its customer base to more than 600 restaurants across Nigeria and Kenya while its weekly processing orders has increased by more than 500 percent. 

Speaking about the growth and focus of the company, Orda’s CEO and co-founder, Guy Futi said “From day one, Orda has been focused on building solutions for small and medium-sized restaurants”.

“These businesses operate with slim profit margins and the power of Orda’s software and financial solutions can catapult their business. Our goal is to provide end-to-end solutions that help them optimize their operations so they become more prosperous”. 

Founded in 2020 by Guy Futi, Fikayo Akinwale, Mark Edomwande, Kunle Ogungbamila, and Namir El-Khouri, Orda has the vision to help small-sized African restaurants optimize their business and achieve sustainable growth.

Meanwhile, the company has attributed its growth over the last 12 months to the excellent team it has put together, a trend it hopes to continue in the coming months. 

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