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Africa-focused payment platform, Zazuu shuts down operations

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Africa-focused payment platform, Zazuu has announced shutting down its operations due to its inability to secure a growth funding round.

The fintech founded in 2018 by four Nigerian entrepreneurs, Kay Akinwunmi, Korede Fanilola, Tosin Ekolie, and Tola Alade, posted on LinkedIn that it was closing down its operations.

“To our friends and supporters, we have some difficult news to share. Zazuu will be closing its doors,” the company said in the statement.

“When we started Zazuu, our mission was to make international money transfers fair for Africans. With the support of our investors and team, we made huge strides securing regulatory approvals, building our products, and laying the groundwork for future growth.”

The fintech added that due to a tough funding climate, it failed to secure a growth funding round despite exploring every option.

“Massive thanks to our brilliant team, our customers who stuck with us, our investors, and partners who bought into our vision. Your belief in us kept us going.

“Sure, it stings. We explored every option before making this decision,” the company said in the LinkedIn post announcing the closure.

“But we’re walking away with our heads high, proud of what we built and the lessons learned. We’re still all about making financial services fair and accessible for all. We are so grateful to have shared this experience with you,” the statement said.

Zazuu had made history in June when it became the first fintech marketplace for cross-border payment networks in Africa to raise over $2 million from investors like Launch Africa, Founders Factory Africa, ODBA, HoaQ, Tinie Tempah, Jason Njoku, Babs Ogundeyi, and other angel investors.

Zazuu started out as a simple Facebook and Telegram chatbot informing users of daily FX rates, before evolving into a full-blown aggregator that listed more than 17 Africa-focused remittance providers on its platform before its closure.

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Afreximbank seals $100m trade finance deal with DRC’s Rawbank

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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced signing an agreement that will see it commit $100 million in trade finance facility in favour of Democratic Republic of Congo’d Rawbank aimed at assisting the bank increase its trade flows into and out of the country.

The facility which is by far the largest trade finance facility ever provided by Afreximbank to a commercial bank in the DRC is expected to help reduce pressure on the country’s balance of payments using the trade finance instrument offered by the Afreximbank Trade Finance Facility (AFTRAF) programme.

Haytham Elmaayergi, Executive Vice President, Global Trade Bank, Afreximbank, who made the announcement during the signing ceremony held as part of Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024), said the facility would make a serious impact in supporting economic development in the DRC.

“We are very pleased to deploy this important facility in the DRC to support such a strategic partner as Rawbank,” said Elmaayergi.

He added that some of the benefits of the facility includes creating business opportunities for Rawbank and its clients while supporting the economic development of the DRC.

“Our partnership with Rawbank will be further strengthened to support economic development in the DRC.

“Our synergies can only help to build the Africa we want by unleashing the full potential of intra-African and global trade for the benefit of our people,” he stated.

Elmaayergi further noted that “AFTRAF was structured to provide trade confirmation services, trade confirmation guarantees and irrevocable reimbursement undertakings to clients,” adding that it was designed to counter the recurring trend of reduction or withdrawal of trade lines to African banks by the international banks following the de-risking process.

Didier Tilman, Vice-President, Business Development, for Rawbank, who welcomed the deal, said:

“Today marks a significant milestone for Rawbank and for the Democratic Republic of Congo. This agreement with Afreximbank represents not only a substantial injection of capital into our trade finance capabilities but also a testament to the confidence placed in Rawbank as a key player in driving economic growth and facilitating trade in the region.”

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Airtel Africa activates subsea cable connecting Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa

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Airtel Africa has announced the successful activation of the 2Africa submarine cable system that will connect Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.

In a statement by the telecom giant on Monday, the 2Africa cable system, which is one of the largest subsea projects globally, is designed to interconnect Africa, Europe, and Asia.

The statement added that the
activation 2Africa cable system is “part of a broader initiative to deliver faster and more resilient internet services, supporting the digital transformation across Africa.”

While speaking on the activation, CEO of Airtel Telesonic, PD Sarma, said the company, through its wholesale arm of Airtel Telesonic, achieved the milestone with their partnership with Alcatel Submarine Networks, which is an industry leader in optical submarine networks deployed worldwide, with the ability to offer turn-key solutions utilizing the latest technology, both in subsea infrastructure and transmission capacity.

“The activation of the 2Africa submarine cable is a monumental step in our mission to bridge the digital divide in Africa,” he said.

“Airtel is proud to launch the first phase of 2Africa cable system powered by the latest SLTE equipment from our partner.

“This project not only underscores our commitment to investing in advanced infrastructure, but also our dedication to empowering communities with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age.

“This is a significant milestone underscoring the power of collaboration and innovation to bring the world’s longest Submarine cable system to Africa,” he added.

He added that the 2Africa submarine cable is set to transform the digital landscape in Africa, providing unprecedented opportunities for connectivity and growth.

“As Airtel Africa continues to expand its network, we remain committed to delivering innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of its customers,” Sarma added.

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