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SA Motor Lease joins the FlexClub Network

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SA Motor Lease, a division of PACE Auto Group, will become the latest leasing company in South Africa to offer long-term car subscriptions on the FlexClub network. This follows Avis Fleet launching its own long-term subscription offers earlier this year. FlexClub has created a vehicle subscription account that enables customers to easily subscribe for vehicles online, from a network of rental and leasing merchants. Customers with an account avoid prohibitively expensive security deposits, complex applications and can earn cashback on their monthly vehicle subscription spend.

This comes almost a year after PACE Car Rental, the car rental division within the group, joined the FlexClub network to offer their month-to-month car subscriptions. FlexClub members can use their accounts to shop online for a car that can be delivered to their door within 7 days, from an expansive network of merchants across the country. 

According to FlexClub, merchants on the network have made more than 40,000 vehicles available to members for subscriptions, on contracts ranging from 1 month to 36 months. Since its launch, more than 20,000 people have created a FlexClub account to easily subscribe for vehicles online from the network of merchants. 

SA Motor Lease becomes the latest merchant in South Africa to join the network in a bid to expand the reach of their long-term car subscriptions, joining major brands on the network such as Avis, Europcar, Green Motion and Bajaj. SA Motor Lease has vast experience in the consumer leasing industry, having spent the last decade serving customers looking to lease a vehicle instead of finance. “By partnering with FlexClub, we’re now able to serve a wider range of customers that want an online shopping experience or are looking for more accessible payment options”, says Grenville Salmon, the founder and CEO of PACE Auto Group. 

Car subscriptions continue to rapidly grow in popularity across South Africa, as an increasing number of consumers seek out alternatives to the traditional 6-year vehicle finance offerings that currently dominate the local auto industry. The long-term subscriptions being offered by SA Motor Lease will range from 6-months to 24-months, at a price that will be cheaper than the month-to-month subscriptions already offered by the group via Pace Car Rental. The launch will feature select vehicle models which have already proven to be in high demand from members with a FlexClub account. 

These long-term subscriptions are expected to directly challenge the total cost of ownership provided by traditional vehicle financing and will fill a void left by the limited number of private leasing products available in South Africa. Globally, more consumers are demanding greater flexibility from mobility products and South Africa is not expected to be an exception given the sophistication of the local automotive industry. Market statistics already highlight the fact that the average new car buyer in South Africa trades in their car after 3 years, despite the majority of them committing to 6 year vehicle finance contracts. 

“This mismatch between available products and consumer needs has never been more glaring and we’re starting to see leaders of the largest financial institutions recognize the market readiness for car subscriptions in South Africa”, says Papi Melamu, Business Development Executive at FlexClub. 

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“The other elephant in the room is how much less accessible cars will become if the auto industry will rely solely on traditional vehicle finance, making the increased accessibility of subscriptions even more appealing to industry stakeholders”, adds Melamu. According to FlexClub, almost 50% of the members using their accounts to pay for vehicle subscriptions from the network of merchants are considered “thin file” customers. This means that there is little or no information on their historical financial activity being held by credit bureaus. As a result, these are customers who would have ordinarily been forced to consider more predatory alternatives to traditional vehicle financing. 

Much like the existing month-to-month car subscriptions offered by Pace Car Rental, these long-term car subscriptions from SA Motor Lease will be all-inclusive, negating the need for additional maintenance, insurance, or tracking costs. The FlexClub accounts enable members to seamlessly shop for the vehicle of their choice, select their preferred subscription terms, arrange delivery to their door and continue to manage their subscription all online. While there are no penalties for cancelling or pausing the month-to-month subscriptions at any time, early termination of long-term subscriptions may incur an additional fee. 

“Initially, these long-term car subscriptions from SA Motor Lease will only be available to consumers in Johannesburg and Pretoria. We will be working with SA Motor Lease to support them with a wider rollout, making their subscriptions available to members across the country”, concludes Melamu.

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Press Release

Amila Africa Launches Amila Insights

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Amila Africa Founder, Lethabo Sithole 

Amila Africa is thrilled to announce the launch of Amila Insights, a revolutionary division that is committed to providing advanced analytics, research and comprehensive solutions for businesses, governments, and international organisations looking to achieve success in African markets. The company offers a range of services, including syndicated market intelligence reports, customized research solutions, high-level market access events, content development, and value communication. 

As a budding pan-African and women-led advisory firm specialising in policy, enterprise and infrastructure development within the trade, investment and energy sectors, Amila Africa brings unparalleled expertise to the forefront with the launch of Amila Insights. 

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“With a focus on demystifying development trends and delivering data-driven analyses of opportunities across Africa, Amila Insights serves as the strategic partner organisations need to thrive in the region” said Lethabo Sithole, Managing Director of Amila Africa. “Our suite of services is meticulously designed to empower clients with the tools and knowledge necessary to drive growth and achieve sustainable success.” 

With a steadfast commitment to collaboration and partnership, Amila Insights collaborates closely with clients to develop tailored solutions aligned with their specific goals and priorities. “By leveraging its extensive network and deep understanding of local dynamics, Amila Insights assists clients in identifying new opportunities, enhancing competitiveness, and optimising business strategies,” said Noluthando Mthonti-Mlambo, Executive Director at Amila Insights. 

Amila Insights strives to be more than just a provider of information and data to clients. It aims to challenge the existing narratives on Africa, African businesses, countries, and multilateral organizations and become a trusted source of inspiration and change. 

For businesses, governments, and international organisations seeking to unlock the vast potential of African markets, Amila Insights represents a compelling opportunity to gain useful insights into the complex, evolving and growing African market. With a focus on excellence and a dedication to delivering tangible results, Amila Insights stands ready to be the trusted partner organisation to rely on to navigate the dynamic landscape of African business.

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African Guarantee Fund partners FSD Africa to boost Green SME Financing

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The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a leader in promoting financing of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa and FSD Africa, a pioneering development agency committed to reshaping Africa’s long-term financial landscape, have today signed a strategic Cooperation Agreement aimed at propelling the growth of Green SMEs by providing critical financial support, technical assistance, and capacity building.

The Cooperation Agreement outlines a detailed framework collaboration between the organizations in boosting sustainable development in Africa. The main aspects of this partnership involve assisting in the development of financial products for institutions, offering partial credit guarantees for bonds and funds raised on behalf of SMEs, and conducting capacity-building events.

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Furthermore, by providing financial support and fostering business growth, Green SMEs are expected to play a pivotal role in reducing CO2 emissions. This active contribution aligns with the overarching goal of preserving the environment and facilitates access to finance for business growth and empowering SMEs to generate and sustain employment opportunities, especially for youth and women.

Speaking during the agreement signing, Mark Napier, Chief Executive Officer of FSD Africa said: “This partnership represents an important milestone in our efforts to foster sustainable economic development in Africa. By leveraging the strengths of FSD Africa and the African Guarantee Fund, we will actively create a robust ecosystem that empowers Green SMEs. This collaborative effort aims at facilitating access to affordable long-term funds, thereby accelerating the transition towards a greener and more resilient economy.”

Jules Ngankam, AGF Group Chief Executive Officer said: “Fostering a green economic transformation in Africa is one of our key priorities. Through this partnership, AGF will provide financial institutions with bank fundraising guarantees to enable them access affordable funds aimed at facilitating loans to SMEs investing in low carbon and climate resilient businesses”.

Additionally, AGF will extend partial credit guarantees to lenders in a bid to enhance credit accessibility for Green SMEs, empowering them to flourish and make meaningful contributions to environmental conservation.

The two organisations will also provide technical assistance on green financing initiatives, which is critical in building the capacity of key stakeholders such as Governments, Financial Institutions, and Green SMEs.

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Africa Finance Corporation Appoints Emeka Emuwa as Chairman of Board

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Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the continent’s leading instrumental infrastructure solutions provider, today announces the appointment of Mr. Emeka Emuwa as Chairman of its Board of Directors. Mr. Emuwa brings a wealth of experience spread over three decades leading and transforming banking institutions across Africa. After completing a sterling 25-year career with Citibank where he left as the Country Officer and Managing Director of Citibank in Nigeria, he went on to serve as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank of Nigeria. 

In this role, he led the bank’s transformation and worked successfully with the new shareholders to transform and restore one of Nigeria’s oldest institutions back to its rightful position as a credible and strong provider of financial services. Mr. Emuwa’s extensive experience and unwavering dedication to the advancement of Africa make him a valuable asset to AFC at a time when the Corporation is rapidly expanding its operations across the continent and building partnerships through international collaborations.

He has been a part of AFC’s Board since 2015, previously serving as the Chairman of the Board Risk and Investment Committee, and as a member of the Board Nominations and Governance Committee. He is also the Chairman of Tangerine Financial (U.K.), the holding company for a financial services group providing insurance and pensions solutions across the continent. Mr Emuwa is thus well positioned to oversee and guide AFC on its future strategy and growth aspirations. The Corporation’s mission to accelerate development impact, foster industrialisation, and enhance value capture and retention across the continent through the provision of critical infrastructure, is crucial for African development and prosperity.

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Speaking on the appointment, Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC, said: “Mr. Emuwa’s considerable experience, insightful perspectives and immense dedication to Africa’s development seamlessly align with our mission. We are confident that under his continued guidance, AFC will continue to make significant strides in transforming the continent. He brings a deep understanding of Africa’s financial landscape within a global context, and has a clear vision for enabling AFC to further amplify its impact.”

Mr. Emuwa commented on his appointment, saying: “I am deeply honoured to be appointed Chairman of Africa Finance Corporation, an institution that has, over the past 16 years, evolved into the leading infrastructure investor in Africa, delivering transformational projects across pivotal sectors of the economy. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the board, management, and all stakeholders to advance AFC’s mission and strengthen its role as a driving force for economic growth and infrastructure development on the African continent.”

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