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Nigeria Suffers $82.7 Million Economic Loss from Internet Shutdowns in 2022

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy ranked 8th in the world for the most impacted economy for internet shutdowns in 2022

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Broadband Penetration - Investors King

According to a latest report, Nigeria has been ranked 8th among the top ten countries that felt the most economic impact of internet shutdowns in 2022.

Africa’s largest economy lost $82.7 million, which lasted for 287 hours, and affected 104,400,000 internet users. The new figure indicates a 94 percent decline in the 2021 value of $81.45 billion.

A major cause of Nigeria’s internet shutdown in 2022, was attributed to the seven-month ban on Twitter by the Nigerian government, which lasted from June 2021 to January.

It was reported that Nigeria lost N104.02 million ($250,600) every hour to the Twitter ban, bringing the daily losses to N2.45 billion. The Nigerian government reportedly lifted the ban after 222 days, which cost the Nigerian economy N546.5 billion.

As a result of the ban, local businesses lost both online revenues and potential sales to mass audiences. The decision for the ban came just a day after the platform removed a tweet by Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari after he threatened punishment for regional secessionists blamed for attacks on government buildings.

On the other hand, Sub-Saharan Africa due to the internet shutdown lost an estimated $244.2 million between January and August 2022, with Ethiopia accounting for over half with $130.2 million. This is a result of the Tigray war that occurred in the country.

Tigray, which is home to more than 5 million people, has been mostly without internet, telecommunications, and banking since war broke out between federal government troops and forces led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which lasted from the 3rd of November 2020 to November 3, 2022.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed defended the shutdown of the internet in Tigray, stating that it supported the spread of disinformation as Ethiopia dealt with an armed rebellion in the northern part of the country.

Investors King understands that Internet shutdowns cause profound damage to a nation. Also, given their indiscriminate and disproportionate impact, governments, most especially African governments should refrain from imposing shutdowns.

Internet shutdowns impact on a country’s economy is massive. It disrupts commerce, industry, and even basic financial transactions. This, in turn, increases the country’s economic and social inequalities and broadens the digital divide.

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Fintech

Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations

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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.

About Leatherback

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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Fintech

Carbon Acquires Vella Finance to Enhance SME Offerings

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Carbon - Investors King

Digital financial services provider Carbon has completed the acquisition of Vella Finance, a Nigerian fintech company specializing in serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The acquisition, announced through an official statement on Wednesday, signifies Carbon’s strategic move to bolster its SME offerings.

Although the financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Carbon’s acquisition of Vella Finance, founded two years ago under its parent company, One Credit Limited, underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint in the fintech space.

Vella Finance’s expertise in AI-powered SME banking solutions particularly caught the attention of Carbon.

Through this acquisition, Carbon aims to leverage Vella Finance’s innovative technology to provide actionable insights from financial transactions to its SME customers.

Tolu Adedayo, co-founder and COO of Vella Finance, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, noting that several team members from Vella Finance have joined Carbon following the acquisition.

Adedayo further revealed that Vella Finance’s 8,000 SME customers would be transitioned to Carbon Business in the near future.

Chijioke Dozie, co-founder of Carbon, emphasized the alignment of values and vision between Carbon and Vella Finance, highlighting the potential for synergies and growth in the SME banking segment.

The acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies as they aim to revolutionize financial services for SMEs in Nigeria.

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E-commerce

Alibaba Eyes Gulf Expansion, Seeks Partnerships in Saudi and UAE Markets

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Alibaba CEO Jack Ma gestures as he is introduced to participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, is actively pursuing expansion into the Gulf region, notably in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, revealed the company’s strategy during a panel discussion at Dubai’s World Government Summit, highlighting a commitment to local partnerships as a key aspect of their approach.

Evans underscored Alibaba’s recent endeavors in Saudi Arabia, indicating a concerted effort to deepen its presence in the region’s burgeoning e-commerce landscape.

The move signifies Alibaba’s strategic pivot towards collaborative ventures following a period of strategic realignment prompted by government scrutiny and leadership changes.

The Gulf’s growing ties with China, driven by mutual economic interests and investment diversification initiatives, present an opportune moment for Alibaba’s expansion efforts.

However, geopolitical complexities, including heightened US scrutiny of China-linked entities, add a layer of challenge to Alibaba’s Gulf aspirations.

As Alibaba seeks to reclaim its leadership position in the global tech industry, the pursuit of partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the UAE underscores the company’s adaptive approach to international expansion.

The success of these ventures could potentially reshape the Gulf’s e-commerce landscape and deepen economic ties between the region and China.

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