2019 has been an amazing year for us and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing farmers, farm followers, and sponsors. As we come to the end of the year, here is a look back at what we achieved this year:
– Earlier this year, we launched our first portfolio company, Farmgate Africa. Farmgate Africa provided major processors and international buyers with the opportunity to purchase commodities directly from local farming clusters. In July 2019, we unified Farmgate Africa and Agricsquare (a community of Agriculture enthusiasts) with Farmcrowdy to provide an all-inclusive platform and create a seamless experience for our sponsors.
– This year marked our expansion to various states to continue empowering rural farmers. We expanded operations to Sokoto, Adamawa, and Nasarawa. As of December 2019, Farmcrowdy currently operates in 16 out of the 36 states in Nigeria, empowers 25,800+ rural farmers, operates on 19,000+ acres of land, and has reared about 3 million chickens.
– We launched Farmcrowdy 2.0, our upgraded website with lots of new features to enhance the user experience. Some of the new features on the site were; an all-new dashboard, more payment options for local and international sponsors, and easier sign-in/login options.
– In March 2019, Farmcrowdy raised an additional seed funding of $1 million from Cox Enterprises, Techstars, and Ajayi Solutions to continue building our award-winning model while expanding across Nigeria to empower rural farmers. We also announced the Farmcrowdy Technical Field Specialist (TFS) App for our on-site Technical Field Specialists.
– In May 2019, we announced our partnership with Livestock247.com. Livestock 247 is an online Livestock Market established to bring together Buyers, Sellers, Ranchers/Feedlot Operators, Veterinary Professionals, Haulage Companies, Butcheries/Abattoirs, and Financial Service Providers. The partnership provided potential customers the ability to buy quality, traceable and fit for slaughter livestock, empower livestock farmers through the feedlot program.
– Farmcrowdy also announced its partnership with Best Foods Fresh Farm. Best Foods is one of Nigeria’s most respected agribusiness companies which has been in operation for over 16 years. The partnership will improve the livestock value chain across Nigeria. It will also improve the quality of meat production and processing in alignment with international standards. This will make lead it to becoming the best source of processed meat in Nigeria.
– As we grew, we decided to apply our winning business model to other sectors. This led to the launch of Crowdyest, with the goal of contributing to the achievement of the SDGs. Farmcrowdy became the first featured portfolio company in Crowdyvest.
– The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde unveiled a partnership with Farmcrowdy in August 2019. The purpose of the partnership is to empower 50,000 Oyo State rural farmers. We are the first digital agriculture platform in Nigeria to achieve a partnership of this magnitude.
– November 16th – November 18th, 2019 was a memorable period for Farmcrowdy. Our Managing Director, Kenneth Obaijulu attended the Global Business Forum in Dubai. At the forum, Kenneth spoke to Doing Business in Africa Club Members at the Hult International Business School, Dubai. He spoke to them about the African market, it’s challenges, and how to make an impact in the society. Kenneth also discussed AgriTech with the Vice President, Prime Minister (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
– In December 2019, we introduced a new farm – Cumin farm. Cumin is the dried seed of the herb, Cuminum cymium, a member of the Parsley family. It is available both as whole seeds as well as in ground form. It is a typical ingredient in chili powder and is also often found in other spice blends.
– We won our first global recognition and the United Nations “Global Disruptive Innovation in Agriculture” award in Italy.
– Farmcrowdy won The Next Bulls Award by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and BusinessDay.
– Farmcrowdy was presented with the award for Africa’s Innovative Business of the Year 2019 by the British Awards for African Development.
– Our founder, Onyeka Akumah was presented with the Leadership Award in Agriculture for 2019 by Global Leadership Institute.
– Farmcrowdy was included as one of Africa’s most inspiring businesses in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report.’
– The Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (FT/IFC) Transformational Business Awards 2019 shortlisted Farmcrowdy as one of the finalists under the category: Transformational Solutions in Food, Water and Land.
– Pagan Research listed Farmcrowdy as one of the 23 Amazing Startups in Nigeria that are revamping the Tech Ecosystem.
– On World Food Day 2019, we visited Victoria Island Nursery and Primary School, Eti Osa LGA. There, we educated the children on agriculture, World Food Day, and the role children can play towards achieving Zero Hunger. We also showed them some fun exercises they can engage in to stay fit and healthy.
– On October 7, 2019, the Lagos State Government introduced a Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat, being a requirement for major food vendors to ensure that the animals slaughtered and sold for consumption are under hygienic conditions. Farmcrowdy is a proud holder of the Veterinary Health Certificate for Trade of Meat. This means that beef that comes from the meat production arm of Farmcrowdy has been processed under hygienic conditions, tested and marked safe for consumption.
– Farmcrowdy turned three (3) on November 14th. We used that day to appreciate our farmers, farm sponsors, partners, stakeholders, and everyone who has supported us in the past three years. It was also a time to reflect on our growth in the past year and discuss ways to ensure growth by our fourth year.
– We had our annual mid-year conference on July 6th and July 7th. Guest speakers, Yemi Davids and Olakunle Soriyan were invited to speak to the staff. The conference helped reaffirm our commitment to the company goals and vision.
– In December 2019, we had our annual end of year retreat at Park Inn Radisson, Abeokuta where we spoke on our plans for next year. On our way there, we stopped at the famous Olumo rock where our brave climbers made it to the top.
It’s been a great year and we are grateful for all the love and support from everyone. We cannot wait to have an even better 2020. Until then, Happy holidays!
Cellulant and Money Q Collaborate to Make it Easier for Africans Living Abroad
Cellulant Vice President of Global & Regional Merchants Richard Gesimba and Amit Shrimali – Founder and CEO, Money Q
Cellulant, Africa’s Leading Payments Solutions Provider has partnered with Dubai-based fintech solutions company to enable expatriates to seamlessly pay for bills and recharge airtime for their beneficiaries across Africa. These customers will be able to make these payments through KrosPayz, Money Q’s Africa-wide digital payments platform that enables online payment for transactions and value-added services at the point of sale.
Mobile remittances present a unique opportunity for millions of people to access the formal financial system, bringing financial services and prospects for revenue generation closer to their communities. According to estimates, Sub-Saharan African remittances increased by 16.4% in 2021 but only by 5.2% in 2022. The average cost of sending $200 over international borders remained high in the second quarter of 2022, at 6%. Mobile operators offer the best rates (3.5%), but less than 1% of transactions are made through digital channels. Remittance services are now much quicker and less expensive thanks to digital technologies.
The KrosPayz digital wallet, which is set to go live first in Malawi this April, will enable customers to pay for national and international utility bill payments, airtime recharge, execute their domestic fund transfers to individuals and companies, and also pay in the local markets for their purchases via QR code.
“Remittances are the single largest source of foreign exchange for many developing economies, and they are stable and resilient in the face of economic downturns. They have been described as developing countries’ most stable, abundant, and secure sources of foreign aid. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to enabling businesses, banks, and consumers to make fast and efficient payments across Africa. By leveraging Cellulant’s presence and partnerships on the continent, Money Q will be able to provide its services throughout Africa” stated Richard Gesimba, Cellulant’s Vice President of Global & Regional Merchants.
Money Q’s goal is to ensure that no African should be deprived of using the digital channels on the continent. Commenting on the partnership, Mr Amit Shrimali, Money Q’s Founder and CEO stated “I am very excited with this partnership as it helps me to go a step closer to the vision of Money Q which is to make sure that none in the countries, we operate are deprived of using the digital medium to transact. The partnership between MoneyQ and Cellulant will indeed complement one another in growing the market share of both the companies in the African continent.”
Shelter Afrique unveils new five-year strategic plan
Shelter Afrique new Managing Director and CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann
Pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique has unveiled a five-year strategic plan to restore the Institution’s performance, competitiveness, and value creation for the long term.
Shelter Afrique unveiled the plan during a Ministerial and Board retreat in Nairobi, which was also attended by the Shareholders’ Bureau represented by Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Rwanda who currently serve as President, First Vice-president, and Second Vice-President of the Bureau, respectively. Development partners such as the African Development Bank, and investment partners such as Actis, Mi Vida and Shapoorji Pallonji (India) were also in attendance. Side discussions were held with Bilateral partners such as CDC, now known as BII (British International Investment), one of the initial shareholders of the Institution.
The new 2023-2027 strategic plan, dubbed the ‘New Dawn’, is expected to position the Institution for growth through improved governance, operational and financial performance.
The plan focuses on building relationships with various stakeholders to deliver strong and impactful business performance based on a new corporate structure fit for purpose.
Refocusing the business
Speaking at a retreat organised by the Institution in Nairobi to appraise the Board of Directors, shareholder representatives, and business partners, Shelter Afrique Chairman Dr Chii Akporji said the unveiling of the new strategic plan was an important milestone for the Institution.
“The new strategic plan that we have dubbed the ‘New Dawn‘ has laid the foundations to refocus our business on growth and impact, while creating sustainable returns for our shareholders and all our stakeholders. It has the board’s unanimous support and provides the Institution with a clear compass,” Dr Akporji said.
Dr Akporji welcomed the new Managing Director and CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann and thanked the board for showing a great sense of responsibility and collective support to the new leadership paving the way to “creating conditions necessary to enter this new phase confidently”.
Echoing the Chairman, Shelter Afrique’s new Managing Director and CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann said it was imperative for the Institution to refocus, deliver and scale up, following the successful conclusion of its restructuring program.
“The past 20 years provided us with some vital lessons which have been critical in developing the new strategic plan – a plan centred on sustainable and competitive growth while delivering consistently and enhancing shareholder value.” Mr Hann said.
Mr Hann added that the new strategic plan offers the Institution an impetus to focus more on clients, business performance, and staff; provides a framework for upscaling engagements with various stakeholders; offers a motivation to bolster the institution’s corporate governance credentials; and creates the momentum to introduce new product lines.
“While driving Mobilization and Syndication, we will be focusing on four business lines, namely (1) Funded and unfunded lines of credit to financial institutions to finance housing solutions, (2) Project Finance for large-scale housing initiatives; (3) Affordable Housing PPPs structuring and (4) Thematic Housing Fund Management and Advisory Services. The new strategic plan envisages a streamlined approach, which allows us to reach the end users by establishing new product structures such as Employer Staff Housing Funds, Green/Resilient homes and Rent-To-Own financing”, Mr Hann explained.
New organisational structure
The unveiling of the new strategy has necessitated the re-alignment of the organisation and the introduction of a new organisational structure and operating model designed to support the Institution’s innovation, growth, and productivity ambitions for the next five years.
Effectively, the Institution has created new units which will focus the business on financial institutions, project finance, fund management, and public-private partnerships. Additionally, the Strategy, Policy, research and partnerships functions will also be driven from the CEO’s office.
“We believe the new organisational model is central to the successful implementation of our new strategic plan as it will make us more agile and competitive, enhance client focus, unlock significant potential across the business, and drive value-creation through operational efficiencies,” Mr Hann concluded.
Ghana Fintech Awards 2022: DPO Pay Fintech Discovery of the Year
Leading African digital payments company DPO Pay wins the Fintech Discovery of the year award in the 2022 Ghana Fintech awards. As an initiative of Arkel Limited – a Fintech research and management consulting firm – that is supported by the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association, the awards acknowledge the fintech products and services, technologies, fintech firms and dynamic doers in the fintech ecosystem.
DPO Pay’s Country Manager of Ghana, Frank Anwelle, said: “We are very proud and humbled to receive the Fintech Discovery of the Year Award. Our Team at DPO Pay extends their appreciation to the Ghana Fintech & Payments Association for recognising the hard work and commitment we hold to growing African businesses on a local and global scale. Our innovative approach to simplifying payment processing across Africa continues to drive the core objective of DPO Pay as a merchant-focused solution.”
The award judged international fintech companies operating in the Ghanaian Fintech space on providing best-in-class infrastructure for the deployment of fintech solutions and the ease of integration with third parties to offer financial and non-financial services. The Fintech Discovery of the Year Award recognizes international fintech companies, working within the local Ghanaian ecosystem to provide multiple choices to the industry and clients, ranging from payments infrastructure, credit and debit cards, mobile money, merchant acquisitions, and other payment methods, leading to an integrated financial sector.
Throughout 2022, DPO focused on bringing payment solutions closer to local businesses in Ghana. As part of its efforts, the company has partnered with Mastercard to enable thousands of businesses in Ghana to offer their customers greater choice and convenience by pivoting online and accepting digital payments. It has enabled enable merchants to safely, seamlessly and securely accept a wide range of digital payment methods including mobile money and via e-wallets – both locally and from abroad – in the currency of their choice.
In addition, at the end of 2022 DPO released a new version of their payments app, DPO Pay Mobile. With several new features, DPO listened to merchant feedback to redesign and redevelop DumaPay. The app, previously DumaPay, now offers a variety of new features to allow for easier, more convenient transactions no matter where in Africa their businesses are. The new mobile payments application allows businesses to securely transact in multiple currencies across Africa.
Founded in 2006, DPO has developed integrated payments technology to support businesses of all sizes in over 20 countries and accepts payments securely and swiftly in all currencies and through many payment methods, including virtual cards, mobile money, and e-wallets.