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Nigeria Missed Out on Top 10 Most Innovative Countries in Africa

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria missed out on the top 10 most innovative countries in Africa. 

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startup - Investors King

Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria missed out on the top 10 most innovative countries in Africa. 

Investors King learnt that Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria missed out on the top 10 most innovative countries in Africa list as released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). 

Accordingly, Mauritius was ranked the most innovative country in Africa, followed by South Africa which was ranked second. 

However, Mauritius was ranked 45th on the global stage while South Africa was ranked 61st.

It is alarming to realise that Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is missing from the top 100 most innovative countries in the world.

WIPO Global Innovative Index measures countries’ performances across seven areas which include infrastructure, institutions, creative output and market sophistication. 

Other areas include knowledge and technology outputs, business sophistication, and lastly human capital and research. 

Mauritius created one of the most notable upsets in the global list. Unexpectedly, the tiny country with less than 1.3 million population climbed seven places to the 45th position in the 2022 ranking.

The country was ranked high in the human development score. It was ranked above all other African countries.  

Other countries which featured in the African top 10 include Morocco which was ranked 3rd in Africa and 67th in the world. Tunisia was ranked 4th in Africa and 73rd in the world.

Meanwhile, a closer look at the full list shows that Switzerland emerged as the most innovative country in the world. Switzerland will be topping the list for the 12th time in a row. The United States came second, followed by Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in the 3rd, 4th and 5th positions respectively.

Nigeria was ranked 114th behind Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Côte d’Ivoire. 

Below is a list of the top 10 most innovative countries in Africa in 2022.

  1. Mauritius.            (45th in global ranking)
  2. South Africa        (61st in global ranking)
  3. Morocco.              (67th in global ranking) 
  4. Tunisia.                (73rd in global ranking)
  5. Botswana.            (86th in global ranking) 
  6. Kenya.                  (88th in global ranking) 
  7. Egypt.                   (89th in global ranking)
  8. Ghana.                 (95th in global ranking) 
  9. Namibia.              (96th in global ranking) 
  10. Senegal.               (99th in global ranking)

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Telecommunications

Airtel Africa Receives $194 Million Loan Facility From IFC

Airtel Africa partners with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to connect even more Africa

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Airtel Financial Results - Investors King

Africa’s leading telecommunications and mobile money services, Airtel Africa has signed a new $194 million credit facility with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank.

According to the telecommunications giant, the new financing facility is in accordance with the company’s strategy to improve debt within its operating firms and support operations in key African markets.

The eight years tenor credit facility will help Airtel Africa support operations and investments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Also, it would help provide more diversified access to local funding, the company stated in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.

In line with IFC requirements for a loan facility, Airtel Africa is expected to deepen its Social and Environmental Sustainability and has put in place a dedicated Environmental and Social Action plan.

This, Airtel said would deepen its commitment to changing the lives of people in the communities in which it operates and provides clarity on how the Group can help address inequality and support economic growth in these communities.

Commenting on the facility, Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa said: “I am very excited to announce the signing of this new facility with IFC. Not only does it align with our focus on improving our balance sheet through localising debt within our OpCos, but as we make progress on our sustainability journey it also supports our commitments and ability to meet strong ESG criteria. I look forward to working closely with IFC in the coming years as we explore further opportunities to support the economies and communities where we operate.”

On the part of IFC, Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa, has this to say: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made mobile connectivity even more urgent for both social and economic development. Helping more people connect to affordable and fast internet networks is a priority for IFC in Africa, especially in the continent’s lower-income countries. The partnership with Airtel Africa will help achieve this.”

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Fund Raising

Property Tech Company, VENCO Secures $670,000 Pre-Seed Funding

The company stated that the fund will be deployed to scale its all-in-one technology platform

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Start-up - Investors King

Nigeria property technology company, VENCO has secured $670,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round.

The company stated that the fund will be deployed to scale its all-in-one technology platform that manages collections, service charge administration, utilities, and visitor access, among other services associated with multi-unit property developments across Africa.

Founded by Chude Osiegbu (CEO), Reagan Mbitiru (CTO), and Uzochukwu Alor (COO), VENCO already has a growing presence in both Nigeria and Kenya with the plan to expand to other cities and countries in Africa. 

The CEO, Chude Osiegbu stated that VENCO was used by 100 estates on about 4000 property units in 2021. He added that the startup is currently in 186 estates with about 12,000 property units and now has larger estates like Banana Island and 1004 in its roster.

Although Osiegbu noted that the company presently relies on subscription fees that it charges for the deployment of its software solution, he nevertheless stated that VENCO has a long-term plan to introduce a number of monetised operations.

He added that the startup already helped finance the purchase of prepaid energy meters for the Primewater View Gardens estate, and the Tejuosho Market, a shopping mall.

In the last 9 months, VENCO says it has recorded over 200 percent growth, currently in 6 cities in Nigeria and Kenya. 

Dating from the beginning of this year, VENCO noted that it has processed more than $10 million in transaction value via its platform. The company added that it is already in talks with e-commerce platforms to enable easier access to merchants within and around the community. 

Investors King learnt that some of the investors that participated in the pre-seed funding round include Zrosk Investment Management, Voltron Capital, Decimal Point Ventures, Fast Forward Fund, Tayo Oviosu (CEO of Paga), Odun Eweniyi (COO of Piggyvest), Oo Nwoye, Desigan Chinniah, Dakar Network Angels and Viktoria Business Angel Network.

Speaking at the event, Samson Esemuede, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at  Zrosk Investment Management, said, “ We view VENCO as both a SaaS and a financial inclusion play with a potential for strong multiplicative impact across the continent.”

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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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NIBSS

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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