In response to the partial collapse of a 3-storey building at Alagomegi-Yaba on Monday, the Lagos State Government has ordered owners of buildings in the state to immediately carry out structural stability tests on their properties. This is expedient, given the onset of the rainy seasons, and the presence of statistics to show that many buildings collapse during the season.
In a series of tweets that were posted last night on the Lagos State Government’s official Twitter handle, the state’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA), disclosed that the affected building at 6, Olonode Street, Alagomeji-Yaba, Lagos, collapsed in the early hours of Monday due to the heavy rainfall in the area over the night.
Kosegbe emphasised that with the raining season upon us, owners of old buildings in the State should ascertain the level of structural stability of their property to avert collapse, stressing that statistics have shown high incidence of building collapse during this period#LASG
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) May 25, 2020
The General Manager of the agency, Engr. Biola Kosegbe, noted that the collapsed building had earlier been marked for demolition. In other words, all occupants of the building were evacuated by the Agency before the incident, thereby averting a disaster.
Kosegbe went on to explain that statistics from previous years show that there is a higher incidence of building collapse during the rainy season, hence the need for building owners to ascertain the level of structural stability of their properties to avert collapse. She added that the Lagos State Government would not hesitate to remove illegal or distressed buildings, or any other structure that is not in conformity with the State’s building laws and standards.
There will also be stricter enforcement of regulations and safety precautions to ensure that building owners and developers across Lagos metropolis comply with it, she reiterated.
She maintained that the present administration will leave no stone unturned in sanitising the building construction industry removing all illegal or distressed buildings, that are not in conformity with the State building laws, regulations and standards#LASG #ForAGreaterLagos
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) May 25, 2020
Why it matters
This type of pro-active government regulation will help prevent future catastrophes that could occur in the events of building collapse. Incidents of building collapses are not alien to Lagos, a city-state with more than 20 million estimated population, a significant number of whom live in squalid conditions due to extreme poverty and housing deficits.
African tech startups raise over $700 million in 2020 despite pandemic
African tech startups raised more funding from more investors than ever before in 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, African tech startups raised a record high of $701.5 million from investors in 2020. This is according to the African Tech Startups Funding 2020 report released by Disrupt Africa.
According to the report, 2020 was a record year for investment into the African tech startup ecosystem, with more startups raising more money, from more investors than ever before.
Specifically, 397 startups raised $701.5 million in total funding in 2020, indicating a 27.7% and 42.7% increase compared to 311 startups that raised $491.6 million in the previous year.
Highlights of the report
- The number of startups that received investments in 2020 grew by 217.6% compared to 125 tech startups in 2015, when the first edition of the report was published.
- Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt remain emphatically Africa’s “big four” from a funding perspective, accounting for 77% of funded startups and 89.2% of total investment.
- Nigeria (85), Egypt (82) and South Africa (81) lead the way from the perspective of the number of ventures.
- However, when it comes to total combined raised capital, it is Kenya that is Africa’s leader, with startups from the East African country raising over US$190 million in funding in 2020.
- The financial technology sector was the most attractive to investors in 2020, with more startups securing funding than any other sector and a combined total that dwarfed all others
Though these markets remain clear leaders, there are signs of growing activity elsewhere on the continent, with startups backed in 24 African countries, up from 19 in 2019, 20 in 2018, and 18 in 2017 respectively.
Meanwhile, a recent report by Nairametrics revealed that African startups raised over $1 billion in funding in 2020, with Nigerian startups raising 17% of the total amount. The report showed a list of notable startups that raised funds in the year, some of which include; Flutterwave, 54gene, Aella Credit, Helium Health, Kuda Bank amongst others.
Why this matters
- Nigeria recorded significant growth in the number of startups securing funding in 2020, as the country saw a 77% increase compared to 2019. This is a welcomed development, as it indicates that the Nigerian tech space is on an upward trajectory.
- More businesses will look to explore the tech industry considering the growing attention received by investors in recent times.
African Union secures 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for member states
The African Union has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for African union members.
The chairperson of the African Union, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The African Union has commenced the COVID-19 vaccines pre-order programme for all African Union Member States and it is expected that Afreximbank will facilitate payments by providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to the manufacturers on behalf of the member states.
What they are saying
According to African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa:
- “These are historical times. For the first time in history, Africa has secured access to millions of vaccine doses in the middle of a pandemic as most of Western countries.
- “There is still a huge shortage of vaccine doses and that is why this continental collaboration has designed a fair allocation coupled with timely and equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines across the continent.”
According to Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank):
- “Afreximbank is proud to expand its support to African economies in their bid to contain the pandemic.
- “ Our vaccine financing facility builds on the success of our Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to open access to COVID 19 vaccines to African states based on a whole-of-Africa approach favoured by the African Union.
- “By providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to candidate vaccine manufacturers, Afreximbank will ensure that African States are able to rapidly access COVID-19 vaccines, at competitive prices and in a timely manner thereby contributing to saving lives and livelihoods.”
According to Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC):
- “The biggest challenges to COVID-19 vaccine access in Africa have been financing of the vaccines and the logistics of vaccinating at scale, but we are glad that this gap is being filled by the Afreximbank financing facility.
- “The critical decision now is how to get started so that once we start there will be no disruptions and this is where AMSP will play a very big role”
According to Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital:
- “From today onwards African Union Member States will be able to start placing online pre-orders for their vaccines allocation through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform.
- “We are proud to participate in giving direct access to cutting edge COVID-19 vaccines through Africa; This is essential to protect our people and reopen our economies”
What you should know
- AVATT has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccines doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca,
- AMSP – the single-source platform enabling faster, more transparent and cost-effective access to COVID-19 supplies – has opened today pre-orders, offering equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines doses for 55 African Union member states.
- The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is supporting the vaccination operations by launching a new category on vaccine accessories that will help the member states to procure products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.
- The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is a non-profit initiative launched by the African Union as an immediate, integrated and practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) was established by the African Union chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa as a component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy and was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August, 2020.
Meristem presents Outlook for 2021 titled ‘Bracing for a different future’
Meristem for the past 16 years has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space.
Meristem Securities Limited, a leading capital market conglomerate has recently launched its economic outlook report for the year 2021. The outlook report titled ‘Bracing for a Different Future’ highlighted in depth a wide range of issues relevant to an evolving future. With a global economy that has been scarred by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic economy was not left out, as the Nigeria economy slipped back into a recession, amplifying the structural weakness of the domestic economy in the form of weakening exchange rates, rising inflation, among others.
In Meristem’s H2:2020 Outlook: “Unmasking Value in a Scourge”, Meristem had warned that the threat of a second wave of new infections was very much a possibility. As a result, the recovery of economic activities would remain fragile until a vaccine is developed. Hence, much would depend on strict compliance with social distancing and healthcare measures as economies gradually re-opened. The Deputy Managing Director of Meristem, Sulaiman Adedokun, stated that while the rising number of daily infections pose a threat to economic activities, we expect a rebound of the domestic economy”.
Launching the outlook “Bracing the future” during a webinar attended by institutional investors, corporate clients, retail investors amongst other industry professionals, Sulaiman also commented on the equities market highlighting that “The equities market recovered from deep selloffs to finish as the best performing equities market last year, citing unattractive yields in the fixed income market, excess liquidity and a resilient corporate performance in the middle of a pandemic as major factors which drove the market.” “We expect these factors to persist thereby sustaining the positive momentum of the market through the better part of the year; in the first half of the year, we expect the financial market to be dominated by attractive dividend yields and the low yield in the fixed income market,” Sulaiman added.
The face of work has changed and many corporate organizations and their employees are rapidly adopting cutting-edge technology to meet the future of work in a COVID-19 era. While fielding questions from journalists about how the organization has deployed its business continuity plan, Sulaiman expressed that “The pandemic has influenced changes amongst people globally and we have enabled this change in our organization by utilizing the power of technology, we have also adopted a work from home culture that enables team collaboration through technology, we intend to maintain this even beyond the pandemic.”
Meristem offers a wide a range of services that cater to all classes of investors regardless of the stage in their financial journey, services like stockbroking, wealth management and financial advisory help clients to access various opportunities within the capital market. Via Meritrade, an online stockbroking platform, investors can trade stocks from anywhere around the world as well as better manage their shares and enjoy access to the most exclusive market research.
Meristem for the past 16 years has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space. In 2018, the Nigerian Stock Exchange awarded Meristem as the Best Digital Broker of the Year. In the same year, Meristem also became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute. Still, in 2018, Meristem received two nominations from Business Day, for the best Money market Fund and Equity Fund.
The firm has remained a leading player in Nigeria’s competitive investment market with a solid reputation as a highly professional and client-centric firm, helping to take their clients farther.