The New Ethiopian Government to address the grievances raised over the issue of diaspora shares confiscated by NBE

Ethiopian birr NBE diaspora shares

Ethiopia’s parliament recently passed a bill to open up the country’s financial sector to an estimated five million citizens living abroad or with dual nationality, including allowing them to buy shares in local banks and start lending businesses. Reports Reuters The changes are part of a raft of economic reforms initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed when he came to power last year, partly aimed at boosting the country’s foreign exchange reserves, which had dropped precariously low. “The law will enable the Ethiopian born diaspora to take part in the…

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Tala Microloan Startup gains $110 Million In latest Funding

Mobile-based lenders pose money laundering risk, says CBK

Tala, a Los Angeles startup that makes microloans to consumers and small business owners in emerging markets, is announcing today that it has raised $110 million in funding. The new Silicon Valley venture capital firm RPS Ventures, cofounded by Kabir Misra, former managing partner at Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, is leading the round. Tala’s backers include PayPal, billionaire Steve Case’s VC firm Revolution, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital and Data Collective, among others. The new funding values Tala at nearly $800 million, according to an investor. Tala has raised more…

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Instagram yanks marketing firm Hyp3r off its systems for grabbing users’ data

Hyp3r was scraping profiles, copying photos and siphoning off data supposed to be deleted after 24 hours, according to a Business Insider investigation. Instagram said Hyp3r had “violated” its policies and had been sent legal papers telling it to stop collecting data. Hyp3r said it complied with privacy regulations and the terms of service for the social networks it targeted. Business Insider said Instagram’s owner, Facebook, should have been more diligent about preventing data grabbing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The investigation claimed Hyp3r had been “stitching”…

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Nigeria proposes law to tax local online purchases

Nigeria proposes law to tax local online purchases

Online purchases in Nigeria could soon come with a tax bill in part of plans to raise more revenue to fund a record budget, Nigeria’s government is considering a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) specifically for online purchases. Babatunde Fowler, head of Nigeria’s federal tax agency, says the government may appoint banks as agents to deduct 5% VAT on all local online purchases with a bank card. The policy could be in place by early next year, Fowler said in an interview with Premium Times, a local online newspaper. This…

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Kenya based Direct Pay Online (DPO) acquires SA’s PayFast, a payment firm

Nairobi-based online payment service provider Direct Pay Online (DPO) has acquired PayFast, a payment processor based in South Africa. A statement said the transaction by the DPO Group was executed through a mix of shares and cash, with the PayFast management team remaining key shareholders in the Group. Following the transaction, DPO Group said it will be providing services to over 100,000 merchants across 18 African markets. “The integration of PayFast into DPO’s services will increase the range of payment options available to DPO’s business customers, whilst providing a Pan-African…

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Not coming to Ethiopia to Invest unless central bank rectifies the wrongful appropriation of diaspora shares – Sophia Bekele Eshete

Not coming to Ethiopia to Invest unless central bank rectifies the wrongful appropriation of diaspora shares – Sophia Bekele

The monies and profits confiscated from the sale of the diaspora shares should be returned in full Op-Ed By Sophia Bekele Eshete, Addis Fortune | July 20, 2019 The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) passed a guideline about relinquishing shares in banks owned by foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin in 2016. The majority of the public, particularly the intellectuals and legal experts who understood what happened with the sale of the shares by the central bank and the financial institutions, know that it was a huge mistake. Various voices have…

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Negotiated fares taxi hailing app inDriver, targets more African cities

Negotiated fares taxi hailing app inDriver, targets more African cities

Online ride hailing service, inDriver, which allows passengers to negotiate the fare with drivers, has begun recruiting drivers in Harare for the service, which it intends to launch in the capital towards the end of this month. inDriver, which is headquartered in New York, has 26 million users in more than 200 cities throughout the world. The service is already operating in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The inDriver app is used by passengers and drivers to be linked up and negotiate fares. The app can also be used…

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By 2025, there will be commercial 5G services in at least seven African markets

By 2025, there will be commercial 5G services in at least seven markets, including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, with 28 million 5G connections

Digital technologies are having a profound impact on the way people live, work, play and communicate. This is especially true in Sub-Saharan Africa where such technologies increasingly provide access to life-enhancing services for individuals and communities that would otherwise be excluded, due to infrastructure, skills and funding shortages. Key trends in the region’s digital landscape, including a youthful demographic and the increasing digital disruption of industries, point to growing demand for next-generation connectivity. It is universally accepted that high-speed, reliable and robust network infrastructure is critical to the growth of…

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French TV Canal+ acquires ROK film studio from IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount

French television company Canal+ has acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv for an undisclosed amount. The company founded by Jason Njoku in 2010—and backed by $45 million  in VC—IROKOtv boasts the largest online catalog of Nollywood film content in the world reports TechCrunch Based in Lagos, ROK film studios was incubated to create original content for IROKOtv, which can be accessed online anywhere in the world. Actress and producer Mary Njoku—IROKOtv CEO Jason Njoku’s wife—founded ROK studios and will stay on as Director General under the Canal+…

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Regulate? Mobile-based online lending firms may be money laundering channels says Central Bank of Kenya governor

Mobile-based lenders pose money laundering risk, says CBK

Mobile-based online lending firms should be regulated to avoid their usage as channels for introducing illegally-obtained cash into the financial system, Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge has said. In a presentation to parliamentarians Wednesday, Dr Njoroge singled out Tala, Branch and Okash — three highly-popular digital money lenders — as credit-only mobile lending institutions that could be easily used to launder illicit cash. Money laundering, which involves transferring and disguising illegally obtained cash to make it look legitimate, is mostly used by criminals and the corrupt to clean…

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