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Issue 58
Jun 01 - Jun 07, 2020

Hi there,

There's news about China's proposed digital currency in today's issue. With the way we make payments in the world right now rapidly evolving, I'm interested in discussions around how China's digital currency or digital currencies in general will impact Africa in the future.

If you are well versed in this topic or have strong opinions, please feel free to engage using the reply button below.

Bolaji Akande
CSM - Key Accounts, Paystack
KenyaKenyan Transport Authority to introduce a cashless payment system in public transport. The digital fare collection system will require passengers to pay for public transport using their phones. While there are many advantages to making payments in public transport cashless, previous attempts to implement this in 2013 ultimately failed due to a lack of support from the transport vehicle operators. However with COVID-19 generally raising concerns around cash, there is currently an increased chance of adoption of other forms of payment. Kenyan Wallstreet
Banking & Finance
GhanaGhana targets 85% financial inclusion by 2023. As part of the country's plan to transition to cashless payments, the Ghanaian government has collaborated with the World Bank to roll out a plan that will raise financial inclusion in the country from the current 58% to 85% by 2023.  Financial Technology Africa

The Ghanaian government has been making moves in the fintech space for some time now. More recently with launching policies to deepen financial inclusion, and the Bank of Ghana establishing an office to regulate fintech operations. This all bodes well for the future of fintech in Ghana, especially with the drive for digitisation around the world brought about by the global pandemic.
GlobalChina’s Central Bank Digital Currency won’t be blockchain-based. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) began exploring the concept of a national virtual currency in 2014. However, contrary to popular belief, the proposed digital currency will not be based on blockchain technology. The digital currency instead will be an improvement on technology developed, and currently in use by Chinese online payment giants Alipay, and WeChat Pay. Shanghai-based fintech veteran, Rich Turrin, says that the digital currency is not intended to compete with the aforementioned payment incumbents. The idea being that given a digital currency, users will continue to make payments via already existing payment platforms. Financial Technology Africa

If you haven't been following this story, China plans to launch a digital currency in line with its top policy initiative to internationalise its currency, the yuan. Although this has been in the works for the last six years, the effort shifted into overdrive last year after Facebook unveiled plans for its own electronic form of money, Libra. Generally digital currencies could make financial transactions cheaper, easier, and more efficient, especially for international transactions. There is no exact launch date as of now, and how well it will be used or even adopted internationally is anyone's guess. Do you have any thoughts on how this might affect the African continent when it is eventually launched? Hit reply to share your thoughts.
KenyaCentral Bank of Kenya postpones Afro-Asia fintech festival. The event initially scheduled for July 13-14, 2020 will now take place in July 2021. The postponement was in consideration of the health and safety of the festival participants with the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. Kenyan Wallstreet
NigeriaNew digital banking startup Sparkle launches operations in Nigeria. The startup which has been granted a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is led by former Diamond Bank chief executive officer (CEO) Uzoma Dozie. Disrupt Africa
KenyaZimbabwe’s Central Bank limits number of internal bank transfers per customer. In its latest move to curb the free fall of the Zimbabwean Dollar, the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), has limited internal bank transfers to two per day, per customer. The move is intended to stifle a reported network of illegal foreign currency dealers using their bank accounts to buy foreign currency. Kenyan Wallstreet
UgandaUgandan fintech startup Eversend raises $706k through a crowdfunding campaign. Eversend is a a digital-only platform that provides financial services such as cross-border money transfers, multi-currency wallets and currency exchange. The startup has acquired a Ugandan money lending license, and intends to use the funds raised for product development, user acquisition, and regulatory compliance. Disrupt Africa
South AfricaSouth African cashless payments platform, Sticitt, lands R3m (~$179k) from Crucis VC. Sticitt is a startup that services schools and other organisations, by helping them collect payments from users through their cashless payments system. While they had previously raised funding from family and friends, this is the company’s first major external investment. Ventureburn
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Do you have an announcement, event, or job posting you'd like to share, or have you come across an interesting bit of African fintech news recently? Hit reply and let me know! I might be able to include it in next week's newsletter.
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