Knowledge

Nigeria launches e-ID Card Programme to Boost Financial Inclusion

Category:

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

Read more

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s hidden gem

Category:

  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

Read more

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

Category:

  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

Read more

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

Category: , ,

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

Read more

EIB Awards for Innovation and Social Impact

Category:

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...

Read more

Female Participation in the Botswanan Economy

Category:

  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

Read more

Improving South Africa’s Payments Infrastructure

Category:

  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

Read more

Scaling Up African MFIs

Category:

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

Read more

The Future of Financial Services

Category: ,

This article is a synopsis of some of the key take-away points from “The Future of Financial Services” panel discussion at SuperReturn Africa in Cape Town on 5 December 2017 with the following panelists: Chijioke Dozie (CEO, OneFi) and Edmund Higenbottam (MD, Verdant Capital). OneFi is an innovative consumer lender in Nigeria, using technology to underwrite, disburse and collect loans. Edmund and Chijioke expect technology to be the driving force that will shape the future of the financial services industry in Africa. Technology is expected to play a significant role on a strategic level, as well as on an operational... View Article

Read more

Soc Gen Launches YUP

Category:

  Societe Generale (“Soc Gen”), a multinational French bank (in partnership with Tagpay, a French fintech firm), has launched a new mobile banking app called YUP. YUP has thus far been introduced in Ivory Coast and Senegal, and provides an alternative to traditional banking. The app offers transactional and other financial services, even to those who do not have a bank account. The functionalities of “banking” with YUP include basic transactional services like deposits, withdrawals and money transfer among others. The introduction of more advanced services through the app, like credit advances, is in the pipeline. YUP is already being used... View Article

Read more

The Impact of Basel III and IFRS 9 on Bank Lending

Category:

  Much has been written about Basel III and IFRS 9 and their impact on bank lending. It is important to remember that, especially outside South Africa, banks are large lenders to non-bank financial institutions and other financial intermediaries. We estimate that around one-quarter of borrowings by non-bank lenders in Africa, outside South Africa, is sourced from banks. Basel III, and especially higher minimum common equity tier 1 ratios mean the banks have to increase their lending rates (or cut staff costs) to stand still in terms of their return on equity. Equally, banks must either raise equity or reduce... View Article

Read more

Verdant Capital’s Sale of afb Ghana on behalf of JUMO World Recognised as the Best Financial Services Transaction in Africa 2017

Category: ,

  Verdant Capital’s successful sale of afb Ghana on behalf of JUMO World has been awarded the accolade, best financial services transaction in Africa 2017. Full financial details were not disclosed but at the time of sale, afb Ghana had total assets of GHS 97 million (approx. USD 23 million). JUMO World is a leading Africa fintech business, which elected to sell the afb Ghana when it ceased to be core to its operations. The transaction was awarded the accolade in recognition of the breadth of interested generated in the transaction, including from local financial institutions, regional pan-African institutions and... View Article

Read more

Discovery and TymeDigital set to Launch Digital Banks in South Africa

Category:

  In September 2015, Discovery announced its intention to launch a bank. Fast-forward two years, and Discovery has obtained a banking licence. Discovery has a track record of achieving success by taking an unconventional approach and differentiating themselves from competition. One can be reasonably certain that this will be the case for Discovery Bank as well. What we know for certain is that the bank will be branchless and target the higher end of the market, i.e. LSM 8 and above. In a similar way to how Discovery Health incentivises people to live a healthy life, it is expected that... View Article

Read more