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Rwanda sets pace for plastic cycle management. Here’s how

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Rwanda has teamed up with 13 other countries and the European Union to come up with a proposal that is calling for a full spectrum approach to plastic pollution.

The proposal, which calls for the creation of an internationally legally binding agreement covering all stages of the plastic life cycle and by adopting a circular economy approach to plastics, was presented at the United Nations (UN) Environmental Assembly meeting in Nairobi discussing the problem of plastic waste.

The proposal covers plastic use and disposal, the extraction of raw materials and plastic production.

Delegates from member countries have put forth proposals for a binding global treaty to curb plastic pollution.

Waste management has been one of core environmental challenges in the world, particularly in Africa. In Nigeria, one of Africa’s most populous countries, about some 32 million tonnes of waste are generated per year of which 2.5 million tonnes are plastic waste. Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria generates 9,000 tonnes of waste daily with 86 percent of it plastic.

Kenya environmentalist and activist, Wanjira Mathai, while reacting to the development, said

“We must celebrate what Rwanda is trying to do because we know that on the continent Rwanda continues to lead with respect, they were the first country to ban single use plastic. Most of us followed later, keeping our environment clean. It is a country that has got credibility with respect to this agenda. I really hope they get the support that is needed. With the information we have today, with what we know today about the impacts of plastics on our oceans, on our environment we cannot be those people. We have got to find alternatives so I hope they get the support they need,”

In February 2021, Wildlife group WWF published a report written in collaboration with Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute.

The study compiled data from 2,590 scientific studies on the topic and found that plastic has infiltrated all parts of the ocean, and called for urgent efforts to create an international treaty on plastics.

According to the WWF report published, 88% of marine species it studied are affected by severe contamination of plastic in the ocean. The report said that many animals have ingested these plastics, including animals commonly consumed by humans.

In the Rwandan capital, Kigali, plastic waste is being recycled by a local company.

Tech

Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate

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A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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Nigerian auto tech startup, Autochek, partners with Kenya’s Pezesha to provide asset financing to African SMEs

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Nigerian auto-tech digital solution startup, Autochek, has entered into a partnership with Kenyan fintech, Pezesha, to provide asset financing to Africa Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

According to Autochek Kenyan Country Manager, Bilhah Muriithi, the company aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, with the hub starting with Nigeria and Ghana.

“Autochek has been focused on financing retail customers, we are excited to partner with Pezesha whose key focus is on enabling SME lending.

“Autochek will continue to invest in the market while exploring new partnership opportunities to deliver solutions for driving positive change in the automotive industry in Kenya and beyond,” said Muriithi.

Autochek, Muriithi said, plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after sales support and warranties.

Having expanded to Kenya late last year, the partnership between Autochek and Pezesha will enable SMEs to acquire auto assets for ease of business operations and growth.

Pezesha was founded in 2016 and has created a holistic digital financial infrastructure that connects small and medium-sized businesses to working capital offered by banks, MFIs, and other financial institutions or networks.

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