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Kenya’s NIC Bank appointed to assess assets of closed Imperial Bank

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s NIC Bank has been appointed as a consultant to assess the assets and liabilities of Imperial Bank, which was put into receivership in October after fraud was uncovered, the central bank said on Tuesday.

The appointment of NIC Bank, a mid-tier bank, would ensure customers receive more of their deposits after the closed bank’s shareholders failed to support a proposal for swiftly reopening Imperial, the central bank said in a statement.

Three small or medium-sized banks in Kenya have been closed in less than a year, unnerving investors. The central bank has said financial issues were specific to the banks concerned and did not pose a systemic risk to the economy of the East African nation, which is a regional financial centre.

Earlier this year, the central bank said clients with deposits of up to 1 million shillings ($9,886.31) would receive funds in full, while those with larger deposits would have to wait for investigations to end to determine the fate of their funds.

NIC, appointed by state receiver Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC), would oversee disbursement of a maximum of 1.5 million shillings to remaining depositors once a court rules, likely on July 4, to lift the suspension of payments.

More deposit payments could be made after that following the completion of due diligence by NIC, which would assume a portion of the remaining deposits and other assets and liabilities, including a majority of Imperial’s staff and branches.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge told a news conference that NIC was not acquiring Imperial Bank, and also said a moratorium on new bank licences remained in place.


($1 = 101.1500 Kenyan shillings)


(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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World Bank to loan Kenya $1.1 bln for northern region, bank VP says

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya will get a World Bank loan of $1.1 billion for infrastructure projects in the country’s arid northern region, the bank’s vice president for Africa said.

The loan is the latest in series to Kenya, which amount to $5.5 billion, excluding the new package.

“It is an unprecedented financial commitment to this part of Kenya,” Makhtar Diop told Reuters in Nairobi over the weekend.

The funds will be used to build roads, improve water and energy supplies and support livestock keeping. They will have a maturity of 50 years and an interest rate of less than 1 percent. The package was prepared at the request of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Diop said.

He did not say when the full disbursement of the funds would take place, but technical work on some projects has already started. Projects to be funded with the facility included a modern road linking Isiolo, a town in the lower eastern region, with Mandera, a town close to the border with Somalia.

Diop said the World Bank expected Kenya’s economy to expand by 5.9 percent this year, close to the government’s forecast of 6 percent. It grew 5.6 percent last year.

“Kenya is doing pretty well in the Africa context and in the global context, but the ambition of the government is to sustain that growth rate and accelerate it,” he said.

To attain faster growth, the country needed to increase efficiency in state-owned firms and improve competitiveness, through investments in infrastructure.

Last week, the government forecast a higher budget deficit of 9.3 percent of gross domestic product for the fiscal year starting next month as it increases public investments.

“Overall the fiscal deficit is financeable,” Diop said, adding total debt was increasing but remained sustainable at about 50 percent of GDP.

The World Bank cut its average growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa to 2.5 percent this year because of lower commodity prices.

Diop said the continent could attract investment because of higher returns than other regions of the world, but he said some African nations needed to avoid building up their dollar-denominated debt.



(By Duncan Miriri. Editing by Larry King)


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Kenya’s Safaricom to launch local rival to Uber

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s biggest telecoms company Safaricom is joining up with a local software firm to launch a ride-hailing company to take on Uber [UBER.UL] as it seeks new sources of revenue, its chief executive said.

Safaricom, which is 40 percent owned by Britain’s Vodafone, and Nairobi-based software developer Craft Silicon will launch the app called Littlecabs in the next three weeks, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told Reuters in an interview.

“It is effectively a rival for Uber,” he said. “It is a local competitor which will be cheaper and better for the local community.”

Uber operates in several African countries, including Kenya where it launched in early 2015, drawing customers by offering lower prices and cutting out haggling over fares. But regular taxi drivers have complained about its impact on business.

In March, the Kenyan authorities charged six men with attempted murder and malicious damage to property over an attack on an Uber taxi driver in February. [nL5N1713UX]

Safaricom will help develop the application, offer the network connectivity, put Wi-Fi in vehicles that will be signed up on Littlecabs, and use its mobile-phone based financial service M-Pesa to process payments, Collymore said.

Safaricom remains focused on its core businesses of offering calls, texts, Internet access and M-pesa but Collymore said it was seeking new sources of revenue.

“The direction of the company is to become a platform,” he said, citing partnerships with local banks that use M-pesa to lend money on mobile phones.

Safaricom has had a three-year partnership with M-Kopa, a company that connects customers to solar electricity, and is about to invest in a firm involved in education and another that helps jobseekers, Collymore said.

“When M-Pesa was launched it wasn’t launched as a big thing. It was just launched as a thing that was right in the edge. Now it is 20 percent of (Safaricom’s) revenue,” he said.

Littlecabs is unlikely to grow to that level but would offer a new revenue source and develop skills in the local community, he said.

Safaricom expects its earnings to rise in the financial year to next March on the back of increased data usage driven by the youth segment and higher sales of smart phones. [nL5N188101]

Revenue from calls rose 4 percent in the financial year ending March 2016, bucking the trend in other markets where voice revenues are falling.

Collymore said political protests, which have led to clashes between demonstrators and police, could dampen the outlook.

“It is not a question of who is right and who is wrong; these pictures are not helpful for investments,” he said.


(By Duncan Miriri. Editing by Edmund Blair and Susan Fenton)

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Kenyan finance minister raises budget deficit forecast

Comments (0) Africa, Latest Updates from Reuters, Politics

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya is aiming for a budget deficit of 9.3 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2016/17 and plans to borrow 150 billion shillings ($1.48 billion) from external sources, probably by selling international bonds, officials said on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Henry Rotich said in a budget speech the deficit would be 691.5 billion shillings ($6.9 billion).

Kamau Thuge, the principal secretary at the ministry of finance, later told Reuters that figure would be equivalent to 9.3 percent of GDP.

Rotich gave the 150 billion shilling borrowing figure at a post-budget news conference. “We are still looking at accessing capital markets by way of sovereign bonds, we are looking at export credit arrangements and also bilateral and syndicated loans,” he said.

In April the finance ministry said the actual deficit in fiscal year 2016/17, which starts on July 1, would probably be around 6.9 percent of GDP, because ministries often struggle to spend their allocations.

“The failure to consolidate the fiscal balance any faster will be of some concern to markets,” Standard Chartered economist Razia Khan said. “Kenya’s accumulation of external debt has outpaced its ability to generate faster export growth to repay this debt.”

But Rotich said Kenya’s public debt “remains sustainable”, with the net present value of public debt to GDP below 50 percent and posing a “low risk of debt distress” based on assessments by the government, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“We remain committed to bringing the fiscal deficit down gradually to below 4 percent of GDP in the medium term,” he added. In the 2015/16 fiscal year ending this month, the forecast deficit was 8.7 percent of GDP, but has since been revised down.

“Our target to generate 1 million new jobs remains,” Rotich said, adding that he expected the economy to grow 6 percent in calendar year 2016 and by 7 percent in the medium term, compared with 5.6 percent growth last year.

The minister also outlined measures to boost revenue collection, including the potential introduction of a presumptive tax for those in the informal sector, who usually fall under the radar of the revenue authority.

“If everybody paid their fair share of taxes we would be in a better position to lower tax rates,” Rotich told lawmakers.

Thuge told Reuters local borrowing would remain nearly constant at 3 percent of GDP, ensuring local interest rates would not be under pressure.


($1 = 101.0000 Kenyan shillings)


(Reporting by Duncan Miriri. Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Catherine Evans)


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Kenya’s tourism earnings fall 3 pct in 2015

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s revenue from its tourism sector dropped 2.87 percent last year to 84.6 billion shillings ($837.21 million), its tourism minister said.

Visitor numbers and earnings have plunged in the past four years as al Shabaab militants from neighbouring Somalia launched attacks on Kenyan soil in retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention.

Showing the depth of the fall, tourist arrivals fell from 1.8 million in 2011 to 1.18 million last year. The country earned 98.9 billion shillings in 2011 compared with the 84.6 billion shillings last year.

Najib Balala said the sector was on course for a recovery in 2018, in line with government plans, but cautioned that violent protests against the country’s electoral body could curb arrivals.

“A lot of people I meet are saying Kenya is maturing but when they see the incidents of the last weeks, they say we are going backwards,” he told Reuters on Monday.

“My concern is that, the efforts and the road map is working very well, I don’t want the political noise to interrupt that programme.”

Tourism is one of the main hard currency earners for Kenya.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government wants to bring in 3 million visitors a year according to its manifesto when it was elected in early 2013.

Efforts to revive the sector include boosting security, opening new source markets such as Nigeria and Poland and increased budgetary allocations to the sector.

Visitors are expected to rise by a third this year to 1.6 million and to recover to 1.8 million in 2018, matching a record high set in 2011.

($1 = 101.0500 Kenyan shillings)


(Reporting by John Ndiso; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Will Kenya’s ambitious Konza City project prove doubters wrong?

Comments (1) Africa, Business, Featured

konza city

The construction of Kenya’s Konza City has begun, but will the city of the future fulfill its designers’ grand dreams?

When Kenya announced the hugely ambitious Konza City project in 2008, it was seen by most as a statement of intent by the President Mwai Kibaki. While the president is no longer in power, his dream of creating a tech-based city of the future, which would create a wealth of jobs, has remained at the forefront of Kenya’s Vision 2030 project.

The project aims to develop a strong, adaptive economy that turns Kenya into the leading tech nation within Africa. Konza City is to be the jewel in the crown of the project, and a city quite unlike anything seen on the continent before.

A grand vision

The main goal of the Konza City project is to revolutionize Kenya’s economy in terms of how it is structured, and how it develops throughout the 21st century. Kenya is one of Africa’s largest economies, with a GDP of $65.89 billion in 2015, yet up until 2013 75% of national assets were still in agriculture. As economies evolve, it is common for a shift into less production based means, and for a nation with Kenya’s climate it makes sense to redirect assets into areas that do not rely on uncontrollable forces of nature.

With Nairobi already a blossoming tech hub, the Kenyan government wants to create a designer city that both entices foreign investment and fosters local talent. Konza is to house 1,500 students and have an additional 35,000 homes for people working across its offices and research centers. The “Silicon Savannah,” as it has been dubbed, aims to be a hotspot of tech startups, and a regional base for global giants such as Google, Samsung and IBM.

What made the Konza City idea so bold was that this was not to be a glorified office space, but a genuine city with homes, schools and families being raised there. A bustling metropolis, built from scratch, is unprecedented as a feat of engineering and marketing, so unsurprisingly there have been obstacles.

The site of the future city

The site of the future city

Concerns over infrastructure and timing

The biggest worry for potential investors has been whether this new city can guarantee the everyday essentials that allow a place to run. The utilities that most of us take for granted – water, electricity and transport – are vital for a city to function.

Hamish Govani, Chairman of Kenya Association of Property Developers, voiced his concerns over power reliability earlier this year, saying, “By the time we come in to begin developments, we want to have guarantee of world-class infrastructure. We have big multinationals looking to set foot at Konza, we need proof that we will not be let down.”

The very same concerns were expressed by a project assistant for the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya, Mr Thilo Gabriel Vogeler, who is interested in investing but said, “Since frequent power blackouts are a common occurrence in Nairobi, I would like to know how they will ensure reliability and constant supply 60km away.”

Other doubters have felt that construction would not begin in the time delineated under the plan, and it would therefore become an economic burden. However, the government has moved to silence such concerns by beginning the ground breaking for the first plots of land last month.

Moving forward

It appears that the Konza City project is truly beginning to move.

Konza Technology City Development Authority (KoTDA) CEO Eng John Tanui told reporters earlier this year that the first parcels of land are ready for investment now and that “we are completing the design for the provision of utilities including waste water management, street lighting, water, power and Internet systems to ensure that these are laid out in the right way.”

The project has interest from Blackberry, IBM, Google and many other multinational companies, but it is also ensuring that locals have an opportunity to invest and become part of something unique. ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i spoke at a news conference in October last year saying, “Together with the National Treasury, I am working on a Public Private Partnership framework that will see government source for funds to support local investors.”

If the project is a success, then 200,000 jobs could be created by 2030, and by 2018 the city aims to account for 2% of Kenyan GDP. With groundbreaking for construction already underway, investors from far and wide will be watching with interest, to see if the Konza City dream becomes a prosperous reality.

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Eric Kinoti: Young Kenyan serial entrepreneur

Comments (0) Africa, Featured, Leaders

Eric Kinoti

At age 32, Kinoti operates four businesses, including a tent manufacturing company with $1 million in annual sales.

Kenyan businessman Eric Kinoti says entrepreneurship is a journey. At age 32, he has already come a long way.

From a humble start selling eggs by day and working the night shift at a hotel, Kinoti has gone on to launch four companies, including the successful flagship Shades System East Africa, which manufactures canopies, military and party tents, gazebos, and car park shades.

The company, which Kinoti started when he was just 24 years old, has customers in several African countries including non-governmental and humanitarian organizations and reports annuals sales of $1 million.

Kinoti also founded and runs Alma Tents, a tent rental company; Bag Base Kenya Ltd., which manufactures bags from canvas remnants from the tent business; and Safi Sana Home Services, a cleaning company.

Forbes 30 Under 30

One of a growing number of Kenyan entrepreneurs, Kinoti has been recognized twice by Forbes as a top African entrepreneur and in 2014 was named to Forbes list of 30 Under 30 Most Promising African Entrepreneurs.

Born in Mombasa and raised in Mombasa and Meru, Kinoti went on to earn a degree in business management at Tsavo Park Institute. He became interested in business as a child. At 10, he worked as cashier in his father’s shop and sold snacks to his classmates at school.

After he finished college, he got a job as night cashier at a hotel in Malindi and spent his days buying and reselling eggs.

After a move to Nairobi, he tried to start business selling milk to hotels. But a breakthrough came when a customer asked him to supply a tent. Kinoti found that non-Kenyan companies dominated the tent business in his country, and the idea for Shades System was born.

Company expands in region

A shades system tent

Shades System, based in Nairobi, has expanded rapidly and now exports products to Somalia, Congo, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Uganda. Customers include USAID, Toyota Kenya, Bata Company, and East African Breweries.

He said raising capital has been his biggest challenge.

At one point, he borrowed from a money-lender to start his first and saw his belongings sold off when he couldn’t pay. He ended up paying back the full amount, $20,000, plus $10,000 in interest.

But he persisted. Kinoti stressed that entrepreneurship is a journey, not an overnight get-rich success.

He said young entrepreneurs often jump from one idea to another in hopes of making fast money but that rarely pays off. “You cannot be rich in a day. You have to accept that entrepreneurship is a process,” he said.

Difficult lessons in entrepreneurship

He said he has also learned to be careful whom he trusts and not to rush decisions.

Early on, he trusted people with money and some ran off with it.

He also discussed his business ideas freely, only to find others used his ideas. The lesson? “As an entrepreneur, listen more than you speak,” he said.

Kinoti said he also made mistakes jumping in too quickly when a deal sounded good.

For example, he said opening Safi Sana Home Services was premature and the returns so far have not been very good so he is restructuring that business as a web portal offering home improvement solutions.

He said he might better have focused more attention on the tent business and waited to start a new company.

“It’s important to create a strong foundation,” he said. “Then you can proceed to another business.”

Entrepreneurship booms in Kenya

According to USAID, Kenya has become a center for entrepreneurship and innovation. The agency’s Development Credit Authority has sought to increase access to capital for small businesses and promising entrepreneurs.

In 2014, USAID mobilized $340 million in credit and enabled nearly 600,000 loans to small and medium-sized businesses.

The agency’s Yes Youth Can program has helped expand economic opportunities for young people through training and access to loans.

The hope is that young Kenyan entrepreneurs will be able to avoid the expensive moneylender trap that Eric Kinoti had to climb out of on his journey to creating a thriving business.

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Kenya Airways says fixing weaknesses found after forensic audit

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya Airways said on Tuesday preliminary results of a forensic audit had helped it identify weaknesses in its systems and internal controls, and it was taking remedial action that included disciplining some staff.

The statement, following the audit by Deloitte Consulting, did not give details about the actions taken by those staff.

The airline has been working on a turnaround plan after more than three years of financial losses.



(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Mark Potter)

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African banks want share of growing e-money market

Comments (1) Africa, Business, Featured


A top East African bank competes with a major telecom in Kenya as mobile banking booms.

A top East African bank hopes to challenge a telecommunication company’s dominance in electronic mobile-payments service and gain a larger share of Kenya’s electronic banking trade.

Banks in Nigeria, Cameroon and Mali are making similar moves to tap into the continent’s mushrooming market in electronic payments.

In 2014, mobile money transactions generated $656 million in revenue in sub-Saharan Africa and that amount expected to double to $1.3 billion by 2019, according to the research firm Frost and Sullivan ICT.

In much of the world, banks are the leading providers of electronic payment services. But in Africa, where more people have mobile phones than have bank accounts, telecommunications companies have been able to dominate the market.

According to the World Bank, fewer than 25 percent of Africa’s 1.4 billion people have a bank account while 40 percent have a mobile phone.

Equity offers SIM card overlay

Now, Equity Bank, Kenya’s largest in the number of customers, and other banks want to tap into a growing market.

Equity, which also operates in Tanzania and Uganda, seeks to compete with M-Pesa, Safaricom’s popular mobile payments service.

Equity has begun providing its clients with a super thin SIM card overlay that enables them to access their accounts on their mobile phones.

The service, called Equitel, is powered by Safaricom’s rival telecom, Airtel Kenya.

Equity Bank contends that market should belong to the banking sector, not the telecoms.

“We have a major problem with the mobile provider also providing financial services,” John Staley, the bank’s chief of finance, innovation and technology said. “You cannot have the freight company controlling the tracks.”

M-Pesa enjoys popularity Kenya

Safaricom is the Kenya subsidiary of the global telecom colossus Vodafone Group, based in the United Kingdom.

Launched in 2007, M-Pesa has more than 12 million active users and processes more than $18 billion in transactions yearly.

The launch of Equitel follows a yearlong legal battle in which Safaricom raised questions about the security and privacy of Equity Bank’s SIM card plan. A Kenyan court ruled in favor of Equity, enabling the project to move forward.

Bank, telecom partner in Nigeria

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, GT Bank is partnering with Etisalat Nigeria, the nation’s third largest mobile operator to create GTEasySavers, a savings account that can be opened on a mobile phone.

Mobile banking is not as large a market in Nigeria as it is in Kenya. But with mobile penetration of 80 percent and only 57 percent of adults lacking bank accounts, it may be poised to take off.

The mobile market in West Africa is growing. It was valued at $17 billion in 2014 by the market research company Ovum. Mobile data revenue totaled $3 billion, up 30 percent from the year before.

Pan-African Ecobank is partnering with the telecom Orange Cameroon to enable Orange customers with Ecobank accounts to transfer money between the two services. The companies have launched the service in Cameroon and Mali and plan to extend it to Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry and Niger.

Orange Money is currently available in more than a dozen countries in the Middle East and Africa. With over 16 million customers, the service transferred about $9 billion in 2015.

M-Pesa fails in South Africa

South Africa, where 75 percent of the adult population has banking services, provides a contrasting example of poor demand for a telecomm payment platform.

In May, Vodacom, a Vodafone subsidiary and the country’s largest mobile network, announced it was terminating its effort to attract South Africans to M-Pesa after the service failed to catch on in the continent’s most economically advanced nation.

The company had hoped to sign up 10 million South African users when it launched M-Pesa in 2010. However, by 2015, only one million people had signed up and only 76,000 were active on the platform.

“The success factors for M-Pesa in Kenya were not present in South Africa,” said Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of the technology research firm World Wide Worx.

Usage grows in other countries

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the company saw “little prospect” of M-Pesa being successful in the near term. The service will end June 30.

Vodacom said it would continue to offer M-Pesa in markets where banking access is more limited and M-Pesa usage is growing, including Mozambique, Tanzania, Lesotho, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In Kenya and other countries where mobile transactions are popular, consumers likely will benefit from new competition in the e-money marketplace, according to a consultant with the World Bank.

“As long as pricing is low enough, mobile money services and healthy competition will benefit consumers and increase financial inclusion, tech consultant Martin Warioba said.

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Looking Back on Kenya’s First Startup Acquisition

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Featured


Kenyan financial technology startup Weza Tele was acquired by AFB financial group for $1.7 million, the first and largest acquisition of a tech startup in Kenya.

The startup-acquisition cycle is every Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s dream: a tiny idea that results in a multi-million dollar payout when a corporation recognizes the genius of your small-but-wildly-successful company. WhatsApp, the seemingly simple messaging service used around the world, was bought by Facebook for $19 billion; Skype, the Star Trek-like video calling system millennials had been dreaming of since childhood, was bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion; and Clementine, an app that allows users to make conference calls without being tied to a cell phone, was bought by Dropbox for $100 million after less than one year on the market. In tech-intensive countries, these stories are hardly noteworthy because as soon as a new startup emerges, rumors abound regarding which major company will buy it.

This is not the case for countries like Kenya, where the startup industry is truly only starting up. In fact, the first-ever acquisition of a startup by a major company occurred in mid-2015 when AFB, the consumer finance group based in Ghana, purchased the Kenyan startup Weza Tele for $1.7 million.

A True Start Up

Weza Tele is truly the byproduct of the 21st century competitive yet collective experience: Weza Tele was created at Nailab, a co-working space that provides 3-6 month internships for budding entrepreneurs, and launched at DEMO Africa, a conference that hand picks innovative products and services from around Africa, in 2014. Weza Tele was founded by Hilda Moraa, Sam Kitonyi and Newton Kitonga and is “a leading provider of innovative value added mobility solutions in commerce, supply chain and distribution, and mobile payment options” available not only in Kenya, but also across Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Weza Tela has two major existing business solutions: MyOrder, which makes supply chains for small and medium distributors transparent and gives greater visibility to individual manufacturers, and Odoo, which is a website-building application that provides a suite of add-ons including SMS ordering. In addition, Weza Tela offers services to streamline businesses’ SMS-ordering processes and can be hired for consulting services. Frost & Sullivan, the entrepreneurial company who awarded Weza Tele with its 2014 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year, said that “Weza Tele has excelled in an untapped market by tailoring flexible solutions for small scale supply chain sector. It offers cost-effective solutions to address the challenges faced by SMEs in the supply chain industry and provides valuable tools to drive their sales and marketing.”

Weza Tele myOrder

Selling Out Encourages Others to Buy In

After its 2014 launch at DEMO Africa, Weza Tela was met with major success, and purchased by AFB just one year later. AFB “provides credit access to customers in Africa through a range of financial products, including mobile loans and retail credit cards.” Launched in Ghana in 2010, AFB now operates in Kenya as well as Tanzania and has more than 400 retail partners. By purchasing Weza Tela, AFB will be able to get its foot in the door of markets in Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

This landmark acquisition, says Jessica Colaco (director of partnerships and community at iHub), is “history in the making as it opens doors for growing startups in this ecosystem. The Weza Tela team are a lighthouse for others in the Kenyan startup ecosystem” and will encourage others to continue working towards their goal. AFB’s purchase shows Africans that major, multi-national companies have confidence in homegrown ideas.

A Vote of Confidence for Homegrown Ideas

Weza Tele has promised customers that the transition will be seamless and services will not be interrupted. Should this transition go as planned, big things may be looming on the startup horizons for Kenya and beyond.

By demonstrating their confidence in Weza Tele through a massive purchase, AFB is not only showing young entrepreneurs that their ideas have value and may result in a big payday, but demonstrating to Africans in general that they do not need to rely on outside ideas to move their countries forward. If large financial institutions are willing to take the risk on relatively young startups, then perhaps more ideas will come to fruition through co-working spaces and conferences meant to showcase and launch the best and brightest.

Encouraging young leaders to create their own solutions to local problems is of the utmost importance for any community, particularly one that has had been so directly and heavily influenced by outside forces for centuries. It is ideas like those behind Weza Tele that show a deep understanding of the needs of local businesses. Hopefully, Weza Tele’s success story is just the first chapter for Kenyan technological innovation.

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