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Business News

AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa 

The AfDB disclosed that it had partnered with DFID to unveil its $80 million infrastructure financing initiative for Africa. 

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AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa, ADB launches $3 billion “Fight COVID-19” Social Bond, US calls for an independent probe of AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB board denies asking Adesina to step down as Obasanjo says the bank risks being hijacked

The African Development Bank (AfDB) disclosed that it had partnered with the United Kingdom’s development agency, DFID to unveil its $80 million infrastructure financing initiative for Africa.

The partnership was signed during the opening ceremony for the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit.

AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa 

According to the President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Africa has a $68-$108 billion infrastructure investment gap annually, which he described as a massive gap, however, he said that it could also be seen as an opportunity.

“It’s either the cup is half-full or half empty. To us, that is a $68-$108 billion opportunity. The issue of risk in Africa is exaggerated. The risk of loss is lower than in Latin America. Yet, funds are not being channeled into Africa. There are $8 trillion of assets under management in London, but only 1% is invested in Africa,” Adesina said.

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Speaking further, Adesina called on investors to invest in Africa as he recalled that the Africa Investment Forum and its achievements in accelerating investments in the continent.

[READ MORE: Nigeria, others secure AfDB’s $20m to improve renewable energy)

Also present during the event, which was attended by dignitaries and delegates from 16 African countries including President Muhammadu Buhari, was the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani. He shared opportunities offered by the blue ocean economy and substantial reforms currently underway to attract foreign investors to his country.

 “We have reinforced security along our coasts. Other measures include the establishment of a Council on Investment. These huge efforts are showing tremendous results and it is giving comfort to investors,” Ghazouani said.

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What you should know: The African continent is home to eight of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world. By 2030, 42% of the world’s youth will be African and will constitute an incredible workforce and potential consumers.

Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Nigeria’s Cowrywise raises $3m pre-series A funding

Nigerian fintech startup, Cowrywise has raised $3m in pre-series A funding.

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Cowrywise to re-launch as Cowrywise Circles, , CowryWise raises $3m pre-series A funding

Nigerian fintech startup Cowrywise has raised $3m pre-series A funding.

This funding round was led by Washington DC-based Quona Capital, with participation from Sahil Lavingia, Tsadik Foundation, and a syndicate of local and diaspora based Nigerian angels.

Founded by Razaq Ahmed and Edward Popoola in 2017, Cowrywise gives Nigerian’s access to a range of goal-oriented savings and investment products.

The Quona led investment brings Cowrywise’s total funding amount to $3.3 million since its 2017 launch.

The company first introduced savings on its platform, followed by mutual funds and they currently have 19 different mutual funds and at least 20% of the total mutual funds in the country are listed on its platform.

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According to Ahmed, while Nigerian’s millennials may have high digital connection levels, they lack access to high-quality savings and investment products. Which is what Cowrywise is offering.

The startup has more than 220,000 users currently. According to the Techcrunch, there are only half a million Nigerians actively investing in mutual funds. When compared to the total number of active bank accounts in the country of more than 40 million, it is obvious Cowrywise still has room to grow in the $3 billion markets.

This new funding will be used to increase its customer base and also expand its product offerings, support more fund managers in Nigeria, and build its investment management structure.

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What you should know

  • Cowrywise, an app that helps you easily plan, save, and invest online with the strongest interest rates and investment returns is the first Nigerian startup to be backed by Quona Capital.
  • In June 2018, Cowrywise closed an Angel round of $50,000 led by Microtraction. In August 2018, it raised a $120,000 seed round from Y Combinator and another seed round from Kairos by December of the same year.
  • It received undisclosed funding from K-50 Ventures in April 2019, before receiving an $80,000 grant from UK-DFID backed accelerator, Catalyst Fund. A first for a Nigerian startup.
  • In February 2020, Quona Capital led the $14 million series A round for Kenyan eCommerce Startup, Sokowatch.
  • The company has also significantly invested in South African startups like Lulalend, Yoco, ZOONA, and ALLLIFE.

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Tech News

Whatsapp to require biometric authentication for PC and web access

WhatsApp is adding a new biometric feature to confirm users’ identity when linking accounts to PC or the web.

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WhatsApp is adding a new biometric feature to confirm your identity when you want to link your WhatsApp account to a PC or the web.

The social media app is rolling out this new feature for its web and desktop apps, which will let people create an additional authentication layer using biometrics when they want to use WhatsApp on desktop or web.

Users will now have the option (not a requirement) to add in a biometric login, which uses either a fingerprint, face ID, or iris ID — depending on the device — on Android or iPhone, to add in the second layer of authentication.

When implemented, it will appear for users before a desktop or web version can be linked up with a mobile app account.

WhatsApp told TechCrunch that it is going to be adding in more features this year to bring the functionality of the two closer together. There are still big gaps: for example, you can’t make calls on the WhatsApp web version.

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To be clear, the biometric service, which is being turned on globally, will be opt-in: users will need to go to their settings to turn on the feature, in the same way, that today they need to go into their settings to turn on biometric authentication for their mobile apps.

WhatsApp has added that it will not be able to access the biometric information that you will store in your device and that it is using the same standard biometric authentication APIs that other secure apps, like banking apps, use.

This new feature will work alongside another, which sends your phone notifications whenever somebody logs into your account on the web or a computer.

What you should know

  • The company has been getting a lot of backlashes since it announced it will now share its users’ personal information, including phone numbers, IP addresses, contacts, and more with Facebook from February 8, 2021.
  • WhatsApp’s new privacy policy forced many users to quit the app and to seek alternatives in Signal and Telegram

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria, now 2nd most corrupt country in West Africa – Transparency International

Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in W/Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the region.

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Military located bandits in kankara, Q1 2020 National Debt report, Buhari finally speaks on NDDC probe, urges NA to act with a sense of urgency,National Human Rights Commission,Presidency bows to pressure, agrees to demand made by EndSARS protesters, Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown-Buhari, Zarbarmari: Massacre by Boko Haram is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly- Buhari

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 report published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points.

With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region.

It can be recalled that in the 2019 report, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of 100 points.

What you should know 

  • The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is an annual survey report published by Berlin-based Transparency International since 1995 which ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
  • The CPI scales zero (0) to 100, zero means “Highly Corrupt,” while 100 stands for “Very Clean”.
  • Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
  • With the current ranking, Nigeria is two steps worse off than she was in 2018 when she scored 27 points to place 144th out of 180 countries.
  • Only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria in the whole of Africa. The countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, and South Sudan.
  • Somalia and South Sudan remain the most corrupt nations on earth, according to the CPI 2020 ranking.
  • Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Germany, Sweden Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands and Luxembourg are the least corrupt countries in the world.

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