There’s Need For More Disruption In Africa’s Tech Scene
The notable African achievements, although rarely spoken of, have positioned the Continent on a global map, earned it positive recognition from First World countries, changed its narrative to something better and more appealing, and made it a sought-after destination for business investment, leisure and entertainment. Ecommerce is one of the business sectors powering the engines of commerce and trade in the continent. It has brought many untold opportunities for both the consumers and the micro, small, medium enterprises. In Nigeria for instance, Jumia paved the way for ecommerce in 2012, provided consumers access to millions of products, and expanded access for discerning entrepreneurs who quickly took advantage of the unique opportunities presented by e-platforms to reach more consumers and sell more products.
An example is the Nigerian fintech startup Fundall which has launched a digital ecosystem called beta with over 300 early adopters in May. Fundall provides savings and investment services, SME credit and short term loans, an open ecommerce platform, debit and credit card solutions, and other premium financial services to users. Presently the company is focused on educating its customers about various financial services, helping them access different products, and providing them with an aggregated view of their assets and liabilities. Fundall has raised small amounts of funding, and is currently only active in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, as proof that even in problem countries the digital economy is starting, South Sudanese technology firms have launched the country’s first mobile money transfer platform, M-Gurush. The new service called M-Gurush — M for mobile and Gurush for money in Arabic — removes the need for a bank account, which most South Sudanese do not have. It allows customers to pay for goods and services across South Sudan, similar to platforms in Kenya and other African countries. While a 2018 peace deal allowed for the service to be rolled out across the country, there are still infrastructure challenges. Mobile money is expected to speed up trade and add thousands of new jobs to South Sudan’s struggling economy. It also puts South Sudan in the ranks of other East African nations using mobile money.
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