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Issue 68
Aug 10 - Aug 16, 2020

Hi there,

Lockdown rules have been relaxed in Lagos with restaurants opening up and international flights resuming soon. I went to the beach last Sunday and it was filled with a lot of people. It looked like everyone had been itching to go out after being stuck at home for months! Now that international flights are resuming on the 29th of August, where's the first place you'll be travelling to?

Remember to wear a mask and stay safe as the pandemic is still ongoing

Simileoluwa Afolabi-Jombo
Product Specialist, Paystack
AfricaAirtel Africa partners with Standard Chartered to expand mobile money service. Airtel mobile money customers will be able to make deposits and withdrawals from StanChart bank accounts into their wallets. Standard Chartered customers will also be able to make payments into Airtel mobile money wallets. The partnership is already live in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia with plans to roll out to more countries soon. Ventures Africa
NigeriaAgents turnover and illegal taxes in the Nigerian agent banking sector. Some stakeholders in the mobile money and banking agency network ecosystem have come out to complain about the high rate of agents turnover and poor strategies of the service providers. The high agent turnover could also have been caused by the harassment the agents face at the hands of local government officials. An example is a new policy by the Alimosho Local Government Area of the state that mandated POS mobile agents to pay a fee of N10,000 yearly. The Guardian

There also seems to be a lack of general skill-set in the ecosystem. Providers only train their agents specifically for their platforms and the training seems to only focus on dispute resolution and transactions. Olowu Babs Azeez, CEO of OBAT Global Investment, an agent network management company, attributed the challenge of the high rate of turnover to the unstable regulatory policies. The Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents of Nigeria (AMMBAN) also claimed that agents are being harassed and extorted by local government councils on the basis of the collection of levies and daily tolls.
ZambiaZazu launches Union54, a pan-African correspondent fintech network. The Zambian fintech announced the launch of Union54, a member-owned association of fintechs across Africa. Zazu built and contributed a debit card product to the platform which members will be able to issue in their market. Perseus Mlambo, CEO of Zazu, described the initiative as a union of fintechs across Africa all operating the same product, and each owning equity in the union Disrupt Africa
TwitterFacebook restructures and forms new payments group: Facebook Financial. David Marcus(@davidmarcus) made the announcement in this tweet. The new group will be in charge of Novi, WhatsApp Pay, and Facebook Pay.
Banking & Finance
KenyaCo-operative Bank of Kenya to acquire Jamii Bora Bank by the end of August 2020. The Central Bank of Kenya has disclosed that the Co-operative Bank of Kenya will buy 90 percent of Jamii Bora Bank before the end of August. The co-op bank will acquire 224.2 million ordinary shares in Jamii Bora Bank, in exchange for a Sh1 billion(~$9.2 million) capital injection. The bank will profit from Jamii Bora’s customer base of over 444,000 customers and 17 branches across the country. Ventures Africa
CongoEquity Bank acquires BCDC for $95 million. Equity Group Holdings Plc, a financial services company headquartered in Nairobi, has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the Congolese lender, Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) for $95 million. Ventures Africa
EgyptEgyptian fintech startup Paymob raises $3.5m to accelerate regional expansion. The fundraising round was led by Global Ventures and the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO with a follow-on investment by A15. The startup will use the proceeds to further expand their merchants’ network and extend their products to more markets in Africa. Disrupt Africa
GhanaGhanaians to use Ghana Card numbers as TIN for business transactions. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has started the process of converting National Identification numbers into Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) to help the government track how citizens pay taxes. This process will also allow Ghanaians to use their Ghana Card numbers to register their businesses. Mobile Money Africa
KenyaForeign tech companies to give up 30 percent ownership to Kenyans. Kenya’s ministry of information and communication technology has released a policy that mandates foreign tech companies to have at least 30% Kenyan ownership before they are licenced to operate in the country. The companies have been given 3 years to meet the local equity ownership and might be given a one-year extension if valid reasons are brought before the Cabinet Secretary. Techpoint Africa

It is very interesting to see how this will be implemented seeing that a large number of tech startups in the country are owned by foreigners. The policy might present a problem for companies looking to expand into Kenya as they will have to find Kenyan co-founders. At the same time, it will encourage more local participation in the Kenyan tech industry. Here's the link to the policy.
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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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