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Nigeria’s Zone Tech Park is armed with $6.5 Million to turn ideas into ventures

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Zone Tech Park, a new venture builder for start-ups in Nigeria, has officially opened for business and is already turning great ideas into products and services.

According to Bolaji Olagunju, its founder, “African startups are faced with significant challenges that hinder their growth. Zone Tech will change the status quote and help individuals and their businesses to realise their full potential through education, venture building and strategic enterprise support.”

To date, US$6.5 million has been invested in Zone Tech Park to build the infrastructure and environment needed to help African startups scale and compete globally.

Zone Tech Park is open for start-ups at all stages in their life cycle, from those that are a great idea on paper to those with customers already on-board. Its co-working space is FREE for start-ups, which are not charged for access to the tech hub’s multitude of services and advisers.

Read Also: Rensource Energy raises €500,000 to solve Nigeria’s electricity problem

Zone Tech Park also promises to plug its start-ups into a network of more than 400 corporations, giving them direct access to market, helping them to avoid bottlenecks, strike deals faster, and scale quicker. Zone Tech Park will support its start-ups in preparing for funding rounds by giving access to a network of potential investors, accelerator programs, and ecosystem architects.

The hub is also promising an experienced in-house engineering team of 20+ software developers and designers, and entire finance, legal, marketing, sales and fundraising teams.

Prior to its official launch, Zone Tech ran a small pilot program and has built Peerless, a learning management system that already has 10,000+ users and revenues of 100,000 USD and Outwork, a staff on-demand solution with 7,000+ users.

VenturesNow

Somalia gives foreign banks licence to operate in decades

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The Somali government has announced the licensing of foreign banks for the first time in over two decades six weeks after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was sworn into office following an elections that took years to conduct following a lingering political crisis.

The announcement which was made on Monday by the governor of the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, said the war-ravaged country has granted banking licenses to two foreign institutions to operate in the country after President Mohamoud had promised to open the country to international investment during his campaigns for the elections.

The first foreign banking institutions to benefit from the decision are Egyptian bank, Banque Misr, and Turkish bank, Ziraat Katilim, who have been allowed to operate in Somalia.

“The review of the applications of these two banks has been the subject of a lengthy process of several months.

“These are two strong banks that will add value to the development of Somalia’s financial sector and contribute to the growth of our economy,” the CBS governor said

Ranked one of the poorest countries in the world by the World Bank, the average Somalian lives on less than $1.90 a day as the country struggles to recover from decades civil war and and opening its doors to foreign investments is seen as President Mohamoud fulfilment of his pledge to improve the economic situation and provide basic banking services to the population.

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Egypt Suez Canal announces record $7bn profit in 2021-2022

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The management of the Egyptian Suez Canal has announced a record profit of $7 billion for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which it said was as a result of repeatedly raising transit fees for ships through the crucial passage for world trade.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA), said on Monday that between July 2021 and June 2022, about 1.32 billion tonnes of cargo transited through the canal, providing a $7 billion rent in transit fees, which is the highest in the history of the SCA, its Executive Chairman, Admiral Osama Rabie, said.

Rabie added that the Canal was able to increase its profit by 20.7% compared to the previous financial year where it made €5.5 billion.

The Suez Canal handles about 10% of the world’s maritime trade and is one of Cairo’s main sources of foreign currency and despite the war in Ukraine and the rise in the oil price which has affected shipping, the canal also recorded its highest monthly turnover in April, valued at €605 million according to Rabie.

“The international crises have demonstrated the importance of the Suez Canal for the stability of global supply chains,” Rabie said.

He added that the Canal has contributed significantly to the growth of the North African country’s economy which has been caught between inflation of over 15% and a recent devaluation of the pound by nearly 20%, which had increased transit fees for oil and gas shipments by 6% in February and then by 5 to 10% in March.

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