National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) President, Ken Ukuoha (L) and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.(NAN)
Nigeria has expressed concern over the continued closure of Nigerians shops in Ghana two weeks after President Koffi Nana-Akudo gave the order to reopen them.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in Abuja when the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) led by its President, Ken Ukuoha, paid her a visit.
Ukuoha had led the Nigerian and Ghanaian Chapters of the union to present a petition on the continuous closure of their shops to President Mohammadu Buhari through Dabiri Erewa’s office.
Nigerian traders were shut-out of their business premises in pursuance of the eviction order dated 27th July 2018.
The Ghanaian authority was demanding that traders must have one million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated its Ministry of Trade and Industry (GIPC) Act, 2013.
She expressed worry that in spite the assurance of President of Ghana to Buhari that the shops will be re-opened, and despite an instruction to reopen the shops on Sept 27, the shops still remain closed.
I am just going to start by appealing to you I know it is painful it is emotional, it is deep but I just urged to remain calm.
“I am surprised that after the announcement of President of Ghana on the reopening of the locked shops, they still remained under lock up till now.
“The president of Ghana paid a courtesy call on our president during the UN General Assembly in New York and he assured him that Nigerian traders were not being targeted
“When they said foreigners, he assured that Nigerians were not the target; and since that time which was on Sept. 27, I am very surprised that as at today over 400 shops were still under lock in Ghana,” she said.
Dabiri-Erewa expressed dismay that Ghanaian president yet to honour his promise to reopen the closed shops 13 days after.
The presidential aide promised to convey the union’s message to the president who he said was the Chairman of the ECOWAS about what their petition.
She said that President Buhari as the ECOWAS chairman would ensure that the matter is resolved once and for all.
She urged the traders not to take laws into their hands no matter how provocative the situation may but to remain calm
“I am sure that the matter will be resolved between the two presidents and will be treated as ECOWAS matter.
“I know it is not only Nigerians that are affected but other ECOWAS nationals as well but I know that Nigerians are the largest.
“On behalf of the government I advised and urge to remain calm because this is an ECOWAS matter and we cannot be doing this to ourselves,” she said.
While noting that millions of Ghanaian traders in Nigeria were treated as brothers she appealed to the union not to even think about retaliation but rather be calm and obey their laws.
“It is only a matter of time when this would resolved, it is a matter of days these long faces would soon smile because President Buhari would surely intervene,” she assured them.
Ukuoha said that in 2018, the Ministry of Trade and Industry(GIPC) and Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in a joint operation established a taskforce with specific mandate to clamp down on Nigerian traders.
He said that this had eventually resulted in the ongoing closure of over 400 Nigerian Traders’ shops in Kumasi and the Ashanti region of Ghana.
“We are deeply worried with the high level of government complicity and state sponsored incitement and xenophobic attacks on Nigerians on the street of Ghana.
“We can provide evidence based on information in video clips and recorded attacks leaving countless Nigerian traders at various hospitals.
He noted with concern that Ghanaian security continually expressed helplessness by turning their eyes the other way, when Ghanaian hired thugs and criminals unleash mayhem on Nigerians, molesting and looting their goods and properties.
He said among NANTs demand, is the immediate reopening of the over 400 Nigerian owned locked shops in Ghana, as well as the immediate return of all seized goods.
He said the government should undertake to protect and provide security for all Nigerian traders and families and be held accountable for any ill treatment on Nigerian traders, or Nigerian citizens residing in Ghana.
Nigerians should not be subject to arbitrary and punitive taxation. GIPC Act should not be applied on Nigerian traders as we are not foreigners in Ghana but bonafide community citizens under ECOWAS Law, he stated. (NAN)
World Food Day: Jumia Launches the Africa Food Index 2020
Ahead of World Food Day on 16th October, Jumia has published its 1st Africa Food Index showing the impact of COVID-19 on food trends in Africa. Online food delivery is changing habits in unexpected ways for businesses and consumers due to the pandemic. The growing popularity of fast food, coupled with the growing trends for convenience and value for money, have opened up opportunities for the food market in Africa.
According to the Africa Development Bank, the continent’s US$ 313 billion food and beverage market is projected to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2030. This projection offers the prospect of increased jobs, greater prosperity, reduced hunger and improved opportunities for African farmers and entrepreneurs to participate in the global economy.
Over the last three years, Africa’s growing online audience has seen an increase in international brands setting up shop to tap into the growing middle-income segment. Direct investment from players such as KFC, McDonalds, Burger King have been achieved. Online food delivery players such as Jumia have also played a key role in shaping supply chains and opening up the markets to new entrants. Local producers and restaurants have embraced this evolution and reached new consumers as well as grown their businesses in spite of these challenging times.
“This pandemic crisis has shown the world that online food delivery is not just a commodity, but a necessity. The food business adapted quickly to the new normal, by availing contactless and cashless deliveries » said Shreenal Ruparelia Chief Commercial Officer, Jumia Food. « We also started to provide support to local food vendors to keep their businesses running during this difficult time.” With our food partners, we will continue to deploy capabilities across the food value chain to ensure consumers buy food online safely and at the right price, in line with the theme of this year’s World Food Day celebration of Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” added Shreenal.
The report highlighted two major drivers of the growth observed in 2020: demography and the Covid19 lockdowns. With a growing population averaging 18 years old, a new generation of African middle class consumers are spending more money online on food and grocery services, while the lockdowns induced by the Covid19 pandemic also contributed to this evolution in habits.
Overall, grocery retailing continues to expand, as consumers seek comfort and convenience when shopping for food. The report shows that while Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are popular, Lagos and Nairobi lead as the largest cities with the volume of online food orders.
International institutions like the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Quick Service Restaurants such as KFC and local brands like Tunisian Al Jazeera Olive Oils have contributed to the Africa Food Index, based on Jumia data and external data from different institutions.
Please find the report here
Source: Jumia Food
Egyptian FinTech Startup NowPay Scores $2.1 million Seed Investment
NowPay Team (Image Source: NowPay)
Employee Empowerment To Fund Top Priority Financial Goals Augments Increased Productivity, Engagement and Loyalty
MENA: Cairo-based FinTech startup NowPay, a financial-wellness platform for employees in emerging markets, has announced today, 11 October 2020 that the company has raised US$ 2.1 million in seed investment. The new fund will be deployed to deepen the capabilities of the platform, expand its team and establish its footprint in the MENA region and beyond.
The round was led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital along with investors from the U.S., UAE, China, and Egypt. The cluster of investors include: BECO Capital, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, 4dx Ventures, MSA Capital, EFG-EV Fintech and Ebtikar. Prominent Angel investors such as Quirky Ventures, Gehan Fathi, and Rolaco also participated in the round.
“During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, we are proud to have well-known and eminent investors back us, signaling trust in our business concept and our team. Saving, spending, budgeting and borrowing, are our four pillars of financial wellness. Financial stress plays a major role as a top distraction for employees.
NowPay bridges that gap and provides several benefits for employers that choose to proactively address this area of employee wellness. Particularly in the recent months NowPay helped empower both the employees and employers alike. We want to improve every financial aspect for employees and make financial inclusion a reality,” said Mostafa Ashour, Cofounder and CEO of NowPay who previously led the innovation teams at Microsoft Research.
Founded in 2019, NowPay has a very enthusiastic and well-experienced team. Led by Mostafa Ashour, the team includes co-founder Ahmed Sabry, who worked for Amazon Lending, Gehan Fathi, previously worked as managing director at EFG, and Mahmoud ElHosseiny who managed Egypt sales for Fortune 500 Stanley-Black & Decker.
“There is an asymmetry between expenses and income, which puts a lot of stress on employee’s morale, and hampers productivity. We are thrilled to join NowPay’s incredible team on this journey of empowering employees with the happiness and wellness that financial stability provides,” said Ziyad Hamdy, Managing Partner at Foundation Ventures.
“Not every day you have both clear product market fit and founders market fit. This is the case in NowPay. Just attend any business meeting with the team and you will know it immediately!”, said Tarek Fahim, Managing Partner at Endure Capital.
“Within a very short period we are delighted to have managed salaries in excess of US$100 million with a 60% month-over-month growth rate. We have integrated our platorm with leading Egyptian and multinational names such as SODIC, Wadi Degla, Domty and AXA to name a few, a testament of our ability to help the financial wellness of employees for our clients. We have a very strong pipeline with many more big names waiting to onboard our platform and we look forward to forge ahead as pioneers in this space,” added Mr. Ashour.
SAVCA Appoints Natalie Kolbe And Sthembile NKabinde As Board Members
Sthembile Nkabinde and Natalie Kolbe
The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) – the industry body for private equity and venture capital in Southern Africa –welcomes two new directors to its board, following the virtual SAVCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 7 October 2020.
SAVCA CEO, Tanya van Lill says that the new appointees – Natalie Kolbe, Partner at Actis and Sthembile Nkabinde, Founder and CEO of Khulasande Capital – are both leading industry professionals who have been elected by their peers to continue driving the association’s strategic objectives.
“Natalie and Sthembile each bring with them a unique skill set that will complement those of our existing board members, while bringing new perspectives and ideas to the table. Notably, the new board composition of seven women and six men are representative of the advances being made by the broader industry within the area of transformation and diversity.”
As noted by the recent SAVCA 2020 Private Equity Industry Survey, South African private equity exhibited a considerable increase in investment activity in 2019, with the private equity industry having R184.4 billion in funds under management (FUM) at 31 December 2019, up from R171 billion in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% since 1999 when the survey first began.
Similarly, the SAVCA 2020 Venture Capital Industry Survey reported robust industry growth in 2019, with venture capital investment showing the highest activity recorded to date, both by value and by number of deals. A total of 38 exits were also reported for 2019 – more than double the previous record for annual exit activity, and just over triple the nine exits reported in 2018.
“This industry growth bodes well for the future economic growth of the region, especially considering the long-term effect that COVID-19 is having on economic activity,” says van Lill, who notes the important role that the industry plays in Southern Africa’s broader economic environment. “A thriving private equity and venture capital industry is crucial for Southern Africa to accelerate its economic recovery.”
Returning to the outcomes of the recent AGM, van Lill says that the SAVCA board is sadly bidding farewell to three distinguished directors: Lungile Mdluli, who served as Treasurer and Chairperson of the Fiscal Committee from 2017 and was asked to stay on for another year to hand over the role of Treasurer; Vusi Thembekwayo, who joined the SAVCA Board in 2017 and served on the Venture Capital Committee; and Craig Dreyer, who has served SAVCA since its inception in 1998 and notably chaired the association over the past three years.
“Through their varied and distinguished roles, Lungile, Vusi and Craig contributed significantly to the success of our organisation by dedicating an invaluable amount of time and expertise to the board activities. While Craig’s longstanding commitment to the industry and relentless contribution as Chairperson and member of the Regulatory Committee will be missed, we are fortunate for the legacy he leaves behind and want to thank all three members for the roles they’ve played in shaping the future of the industry,” van Lill concludes.