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.
Dana Motors Ignites a Green Revolution in Nigeria’s Auto Industry with CNG-Powered Vehicles
Dana Motors Limited, the exclusive distributor of Kia in Nigeria, is leading a groundbreaking charge to revolutionize the transportation landscape in the country.
In response to the escalating fuel prices and mounting vehicle-related expenses, Dana Motors Limited has unveiled ambitious plans to introduce Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles into the Nigerian market.
This strategic move underscores Dana Motors Limited’s unwavering dedication to innovation and sustainability within Nigeria’s automotive sector, effectively tackling the pressing need for more economical transportation options.
Having previously set a precedent by launching Nigeria’s inaugural electric vehicle, the Kia Soul, Dana Motors Limited is now poised to introduce an array of high-efficiency CNG-powered vehicles.
Francis Ogboro, Vice Chairman of the Group, passionately stated, “At Dana Motors Limited, our ultimate objective is to provide Nigerians with innovative, environmentally-friendly, and budget-conscious automotive solutions. The introduction of CNG-powered vehicles seamlessly aligns with our overarching vision to elevate the quality of life for all Nigerians, while simultaneously mitigating the surging costs associated with vehicle ownership.”
Further amplifying this commitment, Olu Tikolo, Vice President of Dana Motors Limited, emphasized, “Recognizing the transformative potential of CNG vehicles for public transportation, we are steadfast in our dedication to making transit more accessible and affordable. Through this visionary initiative, we aspire to elevate the overall quality of life for all Nigerians.”
The forthcoming launch of CNG-powered vehicles by Dana Motors Limited is poised to make substantial contributions to Nigeria’s emission reduction efforts, foster sustainability, and establish a more economical transportation system. Dana Motors Limited is not just leading but reshaping the trajectory of the Nigerian automotive industry, forging a greener, more cost-effective future for all.
Nigerian Autotech Startup, Fixit45, Secures $1.9 Million for East Africa Expansion
Nigerian autotech startup Fixit45 has successfully secured $1.9 million in equity and working capital to fuel its ambitious expansion plans into East Africa.
The funding round, spearheaded by Launch Africa Ventures, witnessed significant participation from notable investors, including Soumobroto Ganguly and Dave Delucia, alongside a diverse group of angel investors.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, Fixit45 underscored the significance of this capital infusion as a substantial stride towards broadening its footprint and influence within Africa’s thriving automotive aftermarket industry.
The company revealed that these funds have been earmarked to fuel its strategic expansion initiatives, with a particular emphasis on fortifying its automotive repair business.
Fixit45 also shared its unwavering commitment to enhancing its spare parts distribution capabilities through its online-to-offline platform, xparts.africa. With a keen eye on the East African market, Fixit45 has set its sights on Kenya and Uganda.
Co-founded by visionaries Chioma Ahueze-Okochukwu, Goodluck Ikporo, and Pankaj Bohhra, Fixit45 offers a unique platform that empowers car owners to seamlessly connect and engage with a vast network of aftermarket stakeholders.
This extensive network encompasses automobile service providers, specialized technical teams, spare parts suppliers, and end-consumers.
Pankaj Bohhra, one of the co-founders of Fixit45, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “This funding represents a pivotal moment for Fixit45. We are profoundly grateful to our investors for their faith in our vision and our unwavering commitment to revolutionizing the African automotive aftermarket sector. With this capital infusion, we are well-positioned to advance towards our expansion objectives.”
Fixit45’s strategic move into East Africa holds the promise of ushering in transformative developments in the automotive industry across the region.
As the company intensifies its efforts, the future of automotive repair and spare parts distribution in East Africa appears poised for a remarkable evolution. Stay tuned for more exciting updates as Fixit45 continues to make waves in the autotech sector.
Payday’s $3 Million Seed Round: From Hope to Headaches
Six months after securing $3 million in a seed round led by Moniepoint, Nigerian fintech startup Payday finds itself embroiled in controversy and uncertain about its future.
Founder and CEO, Favour Ori, confirmed that the company is actively engaged in discussions with potential buyers.
In March, reports surfaced that Moniepoint was in talks to acquire Payday, with an expected deal closure within three months. However, the deal fell through, reportedly due to Moniepoint’s board’s lack of enthusiasm. Despite this setback, negotiations to sell the company continue.
Payday faced a wave of negative publicity in August after suspending access to customer accounts following fraudulent activities that resulted in customer losses. The company was accused of misappropriating customer funds before acknowledging the account restrictions.
Internal issues further marred the company’s reputation, especially after Payday implemented contentious salary reductions for some Nigerian staff in July and failed to issue promised stock options to affected employees.
This led to dissatisfaction and several employee departures.
Payday’s COO, Ogechi Obike, also departed, citing goal misalignment and clashes with Favour Ori.
Accusations arose that Favour marginalized Obike in crucial meetings and decision-making processes.
Favour Ori’s management style came under scrutiny, with allegations of impulsiveness and a lack of transparency.
Employees claimed that he hired top talent but stifled their input, resulting in customer disruptions, including difficulties creating virtual cards and accessing accounts.
Amid these controversies, Favour Ori has reduced his involvement in the company, focusing on external work with GitHub while the co-founder, Elijah Kingson, is employed at Revolut.
Payday’s future remains uncertain, with the potential sale of the company and the need to regain customer trust and employee satisfaction hanging in the balance.
The company faces the challenge of restoring its reputation and stability while navigating a tumultuous period in its young history.
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