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Internet Speed: Google’s second subsea cable in Africa arrives in Lagos, Nigeria

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Nigeria has something to cheer about after news broke that American tech company, Google snubbed Africa’s largest economy to establish its first Africa product development centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

The tech giant announced on Thursday, the arrival of its subsea cable, Equiano, in Lagos, Nigeria.

The announcement was made by Google’s West Africa Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, who revealed that the cable landed in Lagos, Nigeria today, making it its second successful landing in Africa after it reached Togo last month.

The Director further explained that the arrival of the cable became necessary as internet penetration in Nigeria remains despite the country being Africa’s largest economy. She noted that “landing this cable comes as part of critical stages leading up to its deployment later this year”

“Nigeria is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy. Still, the share of people using the internet stood at approximately 35% as of 2020 – double what it was in 2012. Across much of the country, people lack affordable, reliable & quality access, which limits their ability to benefit from, and contribute to, the digital economy.” Ehimuan remarked.

“Since 2017, the Nigerian government has been actively working on its digital transformation programs as part of plans to grow its domestic sectors.

“These initiatives have proven pivotal to the success of many industries in the country, especially the start-up space. In the last five years, start-ups in Nigeria have produced five unicorns (start-ups valued at over a billion dollars). Businesses are also benefiting significantly from the usage of internet platforms, with total e-commerce annual expenditure predicted to climb to $75 billion by 2025, up from its current projection of US $12 billion.

“With Equiano (the subsea cable), we look forward to being an even more integral part of the digital transformation journey in Nigeria.” She concludes.

News about the Nigerian government’s willingness to collaborate with Google broke last week as a government agency, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) expressed determination to work together with Google Global Services Nigeria towards advancing the actualization of national targets for ubiquitous broadband access, in furtherance of Nigeria’s digital transformation policy.

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Ex-Jumia executives set to launch new e-commerce platform, Kapu

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A couple of former executives of e-commerce giant, Jumia, have teamed up to float a new company to be known as Kapu which will be launched next week in Kenya.

In a statement on Friday, leader of the team, Sam Chappatte, who was Jumia’s CEO before leaving the firm in November last year, the new e-commerce platform which will be launched in the east African country before expanding to other countries on the continent.

Other top former Jumia executives who have teamed up with Chappatte who is the founder and CEO of Kapu include Cyrus Onyiego who served as Jumia Travel MD and Jumia Food COO, who is now Kapu’s COO, as well as Stanislas Barth, ex-Jumia Head of Offline Sales who will serve as Head of Supply and Marketing at Kapu.

The new platform, according to Chappatte, is coming at a time Kenya continues to record steady growth in e-commerce.

“According to statistics, e-commerce user penetration is above the regional average, with revenues expected to have a positive annual average growth of 16.4% by 2025.

“With revenue of US$1.1 billion and a share of 76.1%, e-commerce generated the highest digital revenues in 2020. Kenya is also ranked among the top drivers of e-commerce volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa,” he said.

“Just last year, a report by digital payments firm, Visa, revealed that the country’s e-commerce transactions are mainly driven by cross-border merchants.

“This means two things, firstly there is potential for the local e-commerce market to develop, and a need to examine if sufficient acquiring infrastructure exists domestically to enable these players.

‘The growth is driven by both digital payments and cash-on-delivery showing the potential to convert more customers to digital payments through CNP, such as card-on-file and CP SoftPOS or mPOS activities,” he added.

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Kenyan smartphone reseller startup, Badili Africa, secures $2.1m funding to scale up operations

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Kenyan smartphone reseller startup, Badili Africa, has secured $2 1 million in pre-seed funding to enable it scale up its operations beyond its country of origin.

Founded in March 2022 by the duo of Rishabh Lawania and Keshu Dubey, Badili enables customers to trade in their old phones for new ones at friendly prices, according to Lawania who is the CEO of the company.

The seed finding was led by Venture Catalysts, V&R Africa, Grenfell holdings and SOSV with participation from family offices and angel investors from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and India, Lawania said in a statement on Friday.

“We are launching in Uganda and Tanzania and have established strong partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“Within the next six months, we will be expanding to a few West African markets to get our foot in the door of some of the major markets in Africa,” he said.

“We are a young startup but since our launch in March this year, we have expanded to over 37 towns in Kenya with about $2M in annual revenue.

“The seed funds are meant for the expansion of our operations across the continent which is one of the fastest growing in the world,” he added.

According to its website, Badili Africa has a platform where sellers express interest to sell their phones and then get an evaluation and a quote before determining the final price.

The company then refurbishes and repackages the phones before selling them with a one-year warranty.

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