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New Nigerian blockchain payments fintech BitMama seal $2M pre-seed as it expands to new markets

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As Africa continues to pull over 1,200% growth in crypto adoption over the past two years. Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are majorly responsible for skyrocketing adoption rates as citizens try to hedge against currency devaluation and build wealth.

Despite the inconsistent stance of African governments on cryptocurrencies, these countries house most of the continent’s crypto and blockchain startups. In the latest development, one such company, BitMama, has raised a pre-seed extension of $1.65 million, adding to the $350,000 it received last October, thus closing the round at $2 million.

Africa-focused venture capital firms Unicorn Growth Capital and Launch Africa led the investment in BitMama. Others include existing and new investors such as Adverse, Flurry Ventures, Takeda Capital, Greenhouse Capital, ODBA, Five35 Ventures, Chrysalis Capital, Enrique Africa, Thrive, Africa, AngelList Ventures, and angel investors, including Rene Rainsberg, Marek Olszewski and Hani Ogundei Huh.

The US- and Nigeria-based company, which has built a distributed remote team in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, says it is working to democratize Africa’s highly fragmented payments system by leveraging blockchain-based solutions.

Chief Executive Officer Ruth Isalema founded the Africa-focused blockchain payments startup in 2019. Adam Omar is the company’s CTO, while Akin bola Aslu is the COO. According to officials, BitMama started out as a WhatsApp group where members learned about and transacted crypto, specifically bitcoin. Subsequently, they created a crypto exchange platform and allowed these users to formally access virtual assets and explore other use cases including buying, selling, and swapping crypto and peer-to-peer transactions. Recently, the company introduced  Changera, a social payment solution that allows customers to use stablecoins to facilitate remittances and international payments on Netflix and Amazon via virtual cards.

“We started Bitmama to make it easier for anyone in the African continent to buy and sell cryptocurrency. But as time went on, we saw a few use cases that we could use this technology to solve. “Many people wanted to transact in addition to buying and selling cryptocurrency, so we built things that would allow them to buy local and international airtime and data. Then, due to local bank card limits of $20 monthly spend, we provided virtual dollar cards for Nigerians to make international purchases.”

African blockchain startups raised $91 million in the first quarter of 2022 alone, compared to $127 million they received from investors in 2021. While new upstarts in the Web3 space such as MARA, Nestcoin, and Jambo collectively made headlines with new but unproven business models. , Exchange and Remittance are the most supported in the platform space, for example, Afriex, Yellow Card, and VALR. Other notable names include YC-backed Bitcoin, Quidax, and Busha.

Although BitMama isn’t among the continent’s most funded blockchain platforms, Islema boldly claims it is one of the most innovative blockchain companies around – and the new investment will allow it to become more determined on that front.

“One of the things that are the backbone of Bitmma is that we are very innovative. Ever since we got into the ecosystem, we have been doing a lot of things where we have been before,” she said. “For example, we were the first to launch QR codes for offline onboarding. Even when we launched crypto cards, we were the first to do so. And we have some innovative products that We’re bringing that will be the first to market, and we want to maintain that momentum.

Currently, Bitmama is working on B2B play, where through APIs, it can assist businesses in various industries that want to provide crypto-based services to their users without any build-up. Officials say Bitmama is testing the feature with some customers in beta.

The blockchain company will use the pre-seed to expand its operational presence, strengthen its team, bolster its product offerings, and build market penetration across Africa, it said in a statement.

The management of the General Partner at Pan-African Fund Launch Africa said that he sees his firm’s partnership with BitMama as a way to allow Africans to trade and manage cryptocurrencies and digital assets conveniently and universally. “This is something that we particularly value in our funds and what Bitmama, in particular, has to offer.”

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The Reason Nigeria’s Central Bank is debiting Banks

“For failing to satisfy the required minimum cash reserve ratio, 15 banks have been debited 838.32 billion by Nigeria’s central bank.”

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The Reason Nigeria’s Central Bank is debiting Banks

For failing to satisfy the required minimum cash reserve ratio, 15 banks have been debited 838.32 billion by Nigeria’s central bank.

First Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Union Bank, United Bank for Africa, Polaris Bank, and Keystone Bank are a few of the banks that are impacted.

In an effort to stop inflation and currency devaluation in the nation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared in September that the CRR will be raised to 32.5%.

As a result of 15 banks failing to satisfy the required minimum cash reserve ratio (CRR) standard, the Central Bank of Nigeria has debited them 838.32 billion.

Zenith Bank (270 billion dollars), Access Bank (205 billion), United Bank for Africa (134 billion dollars), FCMB (90 billion dollars), First Bank (33 billion dollars), Union Bank (29 billion dollars), Keystone Bank (14 billion dollars), Titan Bank (11.6 billion dollars), Polaris Bank (10 billion dollars), Nova (5.5 billion dollars), Unity Bank (one billion dollars), Heritage Bank (470 million dollars), FBN Microfinance Bank (460 million dollars), and Suntrust Bank (92 million dollars) are among the affected banks.

The Reason Nigeria’s Central Bank is debiting Banks

The amount of customer deposits that must be held with the Central Bank is known as the CRR. Commercial banks are required to deposit 325 for every 1,000 that their customers deposit at the present rate of 32.5%.

Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said at a meeting of the monetary policy committee in September 2022 that the bank was increasing its CRR from 27.5% to 32.5% as part of its efforts to control rising inflation in the nation.

The benchmark interest rate was also hiked by the CBN to 15.5% in addition to the CRR.

He said that failing banks would be prohibited from using the foreign currency market until they comply with the new rule. The CBN Governor added that one of the causes of the rising inflation rate and currency depreciation was the economy’s increased liquidity.

An effective way to control the flow of money through an economy is to raise the CRR. It has an impact on banks’ access to capital as well as their capacity to extend loans. Additionally, banks’ interest rates can rise as a result of this.

It also guarantees that banks will have a sizeable reserve to fall back on if clients demand their money.

 

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Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change

“The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) stated during a panel discussion at the Reuters Impact climate conference on October 3rd in London that the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is at danger by up to 35% due to climate concerns.”

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Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change

The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) stated during a panel discussion at the Reuters Impact climate conference on October 3rd in London that the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) is at danger by up to 35% due to climate concerns.

He asserts that the number will continue to rise as long as Africa lacks climate change-resistant infrastructure.

The AFC, according to Zubairu, thinks that Africa has a chance to seize the moment and develop ecosystems of adaptation because of the difficulties associated with the energy transition, the energy crisis, and the food crisis that Africa and the rest of the world are experiencing.

Africa must create ecosystems that enable reforestation so that trees may absorb carbon and provide women with access to cleaner cooking options because the use of firewood as a cooking fuel depletes the forests, which serve as carbon sinks. Only 1% of the world’s finest solar resources are used, even though 60% of them are in Africa. The underdeveloped hydropower and natural gas resources of Africa could be a major factor in the current global difficulties, according to Zubairu’s statement.

To achieve a just energy transition, Zubairu stressed to the guests of the Reuters Impact conference the importance of dependable access that is affordable for the great majority of people.

In addition, he pointed out that up to 900 million Africans lack access to clean cooking, making up 80% of the world’s population without access to power.

Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change      Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change

“Just transition for us is access to energy that is affordable, energy access that does not compromise economic development in Africa, and energy access that allows for the key challenges around financing, and adaptation to be resolved at the same time as economic development.

“When we look at projects and opportunities, we are trying to see how we can build an ecosystem along value chains that allow for carbon neutrality as we go along but the focus is on economic development,” Zubairu says.

Numerous parties have urged to cast doubt on the philosophy underlying the Global North’s advice to Africa not to exploit its natural gas resources. Zubairu contends that asking individuals to stop using gas while imports of fuel oil or the use of coal are options is inappropriate. He claims that the AFC built Cape Verde’s first wind farm, which provides 20% of the island’s energy needs.

The company is also constructing the first independent power project (IPP) in Djibouti to replace fuel imported from Ethiopia, a gas-fired plant in Ghana to replace fuel imported in the form of fuel oil and diesel, as well as a gas plant in Senegal to use Senegalese natural gas. He claims that each of these initiatives lowers carbon emissions.

Zubairu urges Africans to be practical in his appeal for a consensus between the continent’s political and commercial elites to address the continent’s current energy poverty concerns.

He claimed that focusing on emissions reductions, to which Africans contribute the least, is not the most sensible course of action. Instead, emphasis should be placed on increasing capacity for solar energy, using electric vehicles, and altering how resources are extracted from the continent.

He claims that after mining, the minerals are sold to Asia, where they are processed before being exported to other regions of the world. He claimed that this could not go on and that Africa needed to process its mineral resources as well so that value could be captured before exports and that it could increase its mining capability.

Africa has to increase its mining capability, more minerals should be found, mined, and processed on the continent, according to Zubairu. Infrastructure capacity will rise with increased investments in adaptation.

Sudanese philanthropist Mo Ibrahim spoke forcefully for energy justice during the same panel discussion. He explained to the audience that a country’s carbon emissions increase with its level of development.

Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change Africa’s GDP at 35% risk to Climate Change

“You cannot discuss environmental justice without addressing energy justice,” he asserts.

Despite being the lowest contributors to CO2 emissions, Africans are the ones most impacted by climate change. Desertification causes disputes between farmers and herders throughout Africa; these conflicts are distinguished by violence in Sudan and Nigeria due to environmental implications.

Africans are suffering as a result of external causes which Zubairu says he finds absurd that some people traveled to Glasgow last year and made the decision to stop funding worldwide fossil fuel projects. 600 million people in Africa lack access to electricity.

On the continent, there would be no jobs, no healthcare, and no education. Without regard for what the global South needs, the global North constantly discusses and makes decisions.

We are not allowed to use our gas, even though Europe receives half of the natural gas produced in Africa. This type of injustice must end; without Africans’ participation at the table, no one should discuss justice, he alleges.

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Heineken Invites Graduates for Finance Mgt Program in Cairo

“Graduates are invited to apply for Heineken’s Finance Management Trainee Program in Cairo.”

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Heineken Invites Graduates for Finance Mgt Program in Cairo

Graduates are invited to apply for Heineken’s Finance Management Trainee Program in Cairo.

The Heineken Finance Management Trainee Program is now taking applications, and young graduates who are eager and ambitious are encouraged to apply. Graduates will have a variety of professional opportunities as a result.

The program is designed to provide you early responsibility and enable you to get started right away. Additionally, a portion of your time will be dedicated to job-specific training to ensure that you have the skills you need as an employee for our organization.

Graduates of the trainee program will have the opportunity to receive regular feedback as well as training from knowledgeable coaches.

Heineken Invites Graduates for Finance Mgt Program in Cairo

The program going by its details takes place in Cairo, Egypt; the North section of Africa and its basically centered on those in the Finance field with a Bachelor’s degree qualification. The program is intended to run for 2 years with the application date closing 30th November 2022.

The Heineken scheme covers people of different nationalities.

Rotations among the Finance department’s duties are part of the Management Trainee Program. To guarantee that the joiners have access to a variety of learning and development opportunities, you will be given a specific assignment for each role.

To apply, click here

 

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