Knowledge

Naspers’ brings its Financial Services to Africa Targeting the Financially Excluded Population

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  Naspers, one of the largest technology investors in the world and the largest company in Africa according to market value, has plans to bring its financial services to all of its PayU markets including Africa. South Africa will be the first country to benefit from Naspers’ lending services followed by other African markets. “Naspers has intention to support its lending activities using its own funds”, said the CEO, Bob van Dijk. This will be mainly initiated in countries where Naspers in confident about their customers’ capacity to repay their loans. Naspers will establish partnerships with several technology companies including... View Article

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Letshego Continuously Improving Lives by Tapping into the Financially Excluded Population

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  In 2018, Letshego has embarked on major additional loan portfolio improvements in Uganda and Botswana as part of its “financial inclusion or improving lives” agenda. In Uganda, Letshego has launched a ground-breaking partnership with D.Light Solar to provide home solar power financing to low income earners, the first of its kind in Uganda. D.Light Solar is a leading manufacturer and distributor of solar powered solutions mainly for homes and families with no access to reliable electricity. Access to electricity remains a challenge in Africa with half a billion people currently living without electricity and with many homes left in... View Article

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FINCA Driving Financial Inclusion through its Digital Transformation

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  Finca Impact Finance’s (“FIF”) mission is to bring the financially “excluded” around the world into the financial system. As such, digital solutions have become increasingly important in order to achieve this objective. This is particularly important in FIF’s African markets (Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and the DRC) where income levels and transaction sizes are lower, and physical distances and poor infrastructure can make transactions more expensive. FIF’s other markets – such as those in markets Latin America, the Caribbean, Eurasia, the Middle East, and South Asia- are generally more developing. In 2017, FIF successfully launched its HaloYako mobile... View Article

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Verdant Capital joins IMAP

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Verdant Capital has joined IMAP, the leading global M&A partnership, becoming the second partner firm in Africa. The IMAP partnership was established in the early 1970s and has over 500 M&A professionals spanning five continents. IMAP was ranked 8th in the global mid-market M&A league table in 2017 (source: Thomson Reuters). The partnership offers clients buy and sell-side M&A advisory on a global basis as well as related debt advisory and corporate finance services. www.imap.com. Becoming a partner of IMAP provides Verdant Capital’s M&A business with a global reach which is perhaps unparalleled in the middle-market in Africa. Going forward, all... View Article

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Nigeria launches e-ID Card Programme to Boost Financial Inclusion

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In August 2014, the Nigerian Government launched a pilot programme to issue Nigerian National Electronic Identity (“e-ID”) cards to 70 million Nigerians who are 16 years old and above by the end of 2019. The e-ID card combines payment capability and breaks down most significant barriers to financial inclusion including proof of identity, while simultaneously enabling Nigerian to access state-of-the-art financial services. It will also allow users (including the unbanked population) to make payments for goods and services in any part of the world, deposit funds and withdraw cash at ATMs. The National Identity Management Commission (“NIMC”) is working in... View Article

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The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s hidden gem

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  The Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) is a country with significant resources and the country has the true potential to be one of the richest countries on the African continent and a significant driver of Africa’s growth. Despite its vast expanse, the country remains virtually unconnected due to the lack of basic infrastructure, agricultural production and notable industrial base. The lack of depth in the domestic financial sector is perhaps the most important headwind to sustainable growth. The DRC is one of the larger economies in Africa that lacks a domestic stock exchange. More strikingly, aggregate domestic bank assets... View Article

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Verdant Capital Completes Debt Financing of approx. ZAR 95 million (USD 7.5 Million) in Local Currency for Retail Capital

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  Verdant Capital has raised approx. ZAR 95 million (USD 7.5 million) equivalent in local currency debt financing for Retail Capital from the leading international specialist investors for the expansion of its loan book. This is the first of Retail Capital’s fund-raising programme with international investors. The company has been receiving funding support from specialist local investors, however the transaction arranged by Verdant Capital diversifies Retail Capital’s funding base and represents a foothold in the international specialist funding market. Retail Capital was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Cape Town with other offices in Johannesburg and Durban. It is... View Article

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Special Report: “Aadhaar: Lessons for the African Continent?”

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In 2009, India launched the world’s largest IT project, i.e. the Aadhaar biometric identification program. The program is intended to drive social and financial inclusion, reform public-sector service delivery, improve fiscal management, increase convenience, etc. An Aadhaar number can be viewed as a permanent financial address. Considering that almost the entire Indian population is now enrolled in Aadhaar – the underprivileged as well as the rich – it also can be viewed as a tool for justice and equality. The program consists of the following: A demographic database with a 12-digit number for each person, secured by fingerprint and retina... View Article

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EIB Awards for Innovation and Social Impact

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At the third EIB Southern Africa SME & Microfinance Academy, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, honoured three leading inclusive financial institutions in Southern Africa for innovative solutions and social impact in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise finance...

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Female Participation in the Botswanan Economy

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  Botswana has taken significant steps towards diversifying its economy. These include diversification away from the historically diamond-heavy economy, reducing unemployment and the empowerment of women. Female entrepreneurs are on the rise in Botswana. The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (which tracks the percentage of female business ownership in 54 countries), ranked Botswana second in the world in 2017, with female business ownership at 34.6% (a close second to Uganda at 34.8% – Saudi Arabia scored the lowest at 1.5%). Not only are Botswanan women stepping out of the shadow of their male counterparts in terms of business ownership, but... View Article

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Improving South Africa’s Payments Infrastructure

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  BankservAfrica has recognised the need for significant improvement of South Africa’s payments infrastructure. The focus of BankservAfrica for 2018 will be keeping South Africa’s payments infrastructure in-line with the advancing of a digital economy and to promote financial inclusion. According to Emile Burger, the COO of BankservAfrica, “Design-phase talks were being held with bank executives and the Payments Association of South Africa on what the future payments architecture should look like.” The consensus is that it should be affordable and easily accessible if it is to promote financial inclusion. An open-source software released by the Bill & Melinda Gates... View Article

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Scaling Up African MFIs

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This article is a synopsis of some of the key take-away points from the “Scaling Up African MFIs” panel discussion at European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg on 1 December 2017. The panelists were Soulemane Djobo (Senior Projects, ADA), Gregoire Danel-Fedou (Group COO, Advans Group), Alexandre Nayme (Head of Social Business and Microfinance Africa, BNP Paribas), Eric Campos (CEO, Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation) and Edmund Higenbottam (MD, Verdant Capital). Edmund Higenbottam discussed the importance of the availability of funding for microfinance institutions (“MFIs”) in Africa is largely dependent on the size of the institution. Most investors prefer larger investment sizes and... View Article

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