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Cellulant gets payment licences to operate in Egypt

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Pan-African payment platform, Cellulant has announced receiving licences from Egypt to operate as a Payment Service Provider and Payment Facilitator in the North African country.

Cellulant’s General Manager for Egypt and North Africa, Ahmed Marwan, who made the announcement in a statement on Thursday, said the licences had further strengthened the fintech’s operations in Africa where it had the most “comprehensive payment infrastructure, integrating over 370 payment methods, operating in 35 markets with licences and physical offices in 19 countries.”

“With the prevalence of prepaid cards and mobile wallets already exceeding 40% of the adult population in Egypt, the timing of Cellulant’s acquisition of these licences could not be more opportune,” Marwan said.

“More importantly, we’re committed to intensifying our efforts to provide reliable payment options for businesses in the region. By simplifying their business payment process, they can focus on their growth”, he added.

Marwan noted that Egypt’s payments sector had snowballed in recent years, with “current regulations enabling instant payments and fintechs revolutionising how financial services are delivered, challenging traditional banking models and altering consumer payment preferences.”

In a 2022 Mastercard New Payment Index, 88% of Egyptians have used at least one emerging payment method, with usage expected to increase further.

“Customers are expanding their purchase methods, necessitating businesses to expand their payment methods to alternative and locally relevant ones,” he said.

Also speaking on the approval, Akshay Grover, Cellulant’s Group CEO, said Egypt was a strategic market for business growth in the MENA region.

”We’re excited to successfully secure these licences and solidify our operations in Egypt, making our payment solutions accessible to the regional and global businesses operating in and getting into Egypt,” he said.

“Over the last three years, Cellulant has been sustainably investing in the growth of real-time payment solutions for businesses, namely checkout, in-store, payouts, payment links, and the robust business dashboard, all anchored on its single API payment platform – Tingg.

“Additionally, Cellulant has built strong infrastructural and security capabilities, obtaining global security, privacy, business continuity, and service management certifications,” Grover added.

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New documentary showcasing stories of African women leaders released

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A new documentary aimed at showcasing the stories of women entrepreneurs, industry leaders and investors working to solve real problems in African markets has been released by Women Who Build Africa (WWBA).

The documentary video which is in conjunction with skincare brand Uncover, and also has Madica as partners, showcases stories and perspectives of women entrepreneurs and investors building in African markets.

Thea Sokolowski, co-founder of and head of marketing at Stitch, who announced the release of the documentary, said it one of the first to offer a wide-ranging view of women business leaders on the continent.

The video has been released ahead of the upcoming Women Who Build Africa Assembly which will take place in September in Nairobi.

“There’s nothing more powerful than hearing the stories of women that are walking the talk and actively working to build – and support – businesses solving real problems in African markets,” she said.

“I’m excited to share just a few of these stories, and showcase the women behind them, both for the rest of the world to hear and for any women considering taking the leap to walk in their footsteps. We hope to tell even more stories like these in the future.”

Also speaking on the release, Sneha Mehta, co-founder and CEO at Uncover, said:

“We are so excited to partner with WWBA on this powerful film showcasing such incredible women builders on the continent

“At Uncover, our aim is to empower women to ‘uncover’ whoever they want to be, confidently. That is so much more than products. It is a movement to inspire women to show up unapologetically.

“By showcasing more authentic stories, our hope is to show courage, confidence, vulnerability, journeys and the power that really is revolutionary.”

The video features perspectives from women leaders across organisations, from Melanin Kapital, to Partech Africa, BuuPass, Delta40, Mosmos, Kola Market, Uncover, Greenspoon, Gobeba, EarthEnable, Earthbond, Founders Factory Africa, Madica, VunaPay, Bloom Money and many more.

The full video which was produced by Strange Creature in South Africa, is available on YouTube and will be screened ahead of the WWBA Assembly.

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World Food Programme seals deal with Equity Group for easy financing to Kenyan farmers

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The World Food Programme (WFP) has signed an agreement with the Equity Group that will allow farmers in Kenya have easy access to financing.

According to the terms of the agreement, WFP country offices in the country will also link value chain actors in food and agriculture to financial literacy training and concessional financing access through Equity Bank subsidiaries.

The agreement which was signed by Dr. James Mwangi, the MD and CEO of Equity Group Holdings and WFP Executive Director, Cindy McCain, on the sidelines of the WFP Executive Board Session in Rome, is a first example of linking WFP’s deep field presence and engagement with value chain actors and financial service providers, and represents a new model of private sector engagement for development impact.

“The approach aims to support marginalized communities where traditional financing is scarce,” Mwangi said while announcing the agreement.

“Together, WFP and Equity, through the Equity Group Foundation, will provide training of value chain actors to help them to access financing, as well as providing technical assistance to ready agri-processors and agri-preneurs for impact investments offered through Equity Bank.

“The agreement is a scaling of a development collaboration between WFP and Equity BCDC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for the project Promotion of Sustainable Food Security.

“This ambitious project, which has been operational in the DRC since 2022, aims to stimulate the development of a sustainable agro-industrial sector that contributes to economic diversification, food and nutritional security, employment, and livelihood improvements,” he stated.

Also speaking, McCain said the Equity Group developed the “Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan which is committed to growing our support of access to finance for farmers, who are also dealing with the scourge of climate change, to 30% of our loan book regionally by 2030.”

“Smallholder farmers are crucial to food production in most developing countries, providing over 70% of food calories in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Developing local food value chains – and supporting the ecosystem of agriculture from production to purchase – is essential for enhancing farmers’ income and livelihoods and ultimately contributing to food security not just in Africa, but globally.

“This is a powerful example of how innovative partnerships can address the root causes of hunger. By empowering farmers with the tools and resources they need to thrive, we can create a ripple effect of prosperity that strengthens long-term food security for the whole community.”

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