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Zambia signs agreement with Gambia to block revenue leakages using technology

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Zambia has sealed an agreement with Gambia which will enable the two countries seal revenue leakages in all tax types, including the Value Added Tax which has proved to be a challenge on the African continent.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Lusaka on Thursday between officials of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA).

ZRA Commissioner-General, Dingani Banda who signed on behalf of the eastern African country, said the MoU was necessary as there was a need to leverage on technology in tax administration to mitigate revenue leakages.

“We need to believe that we can provide solutions to our problems and fortunately we are living in a time where technology is available to us, the same technology that is available in developed countries,” Banda said.

“There is now a huge opportunity for us to leverage on the knowledge in terms of skills that the market provides, the technology available to us and develop solutions that will address our problems.”

The ZRA boss further noted that the MoU was the manifestation of the South to South cooperation for enhanced domestic revenue collection as the anchor for development and poverty alleviation on the African continent.

On his part, the GRA Commissioner-General, Yankuba Darboe, said African countries were at a level where they needed to work hard in terms of mobilising the needed revenue for their governments.

Darboe said he was confident that enhanced revenue collection will assist African countries not to rely on external sources to have revenue for development for their countries.

“I believe that we can get there, if only we try to change the way of our operations in terms of using the manual systems of collecting revenue but rather we try to digitalise our systems. This is going to close up all the leakages that are within the systems, we have to level up.

“The reason why we are collecting a certain amount of revenue of our country is that we have not gone full digitalisation. The way we are going is the way forward.

“Once we are able to digitalise, most of our operation, you will realise that the leakages will be minimum and finally more collection of revenue of our countries,” he added.

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MTN, Vodacom remain South Africa’s most valuable brands— Report

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A report released on Tuesday by global brand valuation consultancy, Brand Finance, has rated telecom giants, MTN and Vodacom, as the most valuable brands in South Africa.

According to the report, MTN is still the standout company, maintaining its position as the most valuable South African brand, despite experiencing an 8% decrease in brand value to ZAR68.2 billion.

Part of the report noted that the telecommunications company has significantly “expanded outside of its home market and has a stronghold in Nigeria, which is now MTN’s largest market in terms of both user base and revenue.”

“On the other hand, Vodacom’s brand value increased 10% to ZAR43.9 billion in 2024,” it said.

“This secures its second place in the ranking, while also narrowing the gap with leading competitor MTN.”

The Brand Finance research indicates that the influence of majority shareholder Vodafone has bolstered Vodacom’s brand and market standing.

Although Vodacom operates autonomously and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Brand Finance data reveals that Vodacom’s association with Vodafone enhances brand equity, cultivating recognition and trust.

“Amid the myriad of challenges that South African businesses are facing, our research highlights that now, more than ever, brand consistency is crucial in driving growth,” the report endorsed by Jeremy Sampson, Chairman, Brand Finance Africa, stated.

“For the past fifteen years, MTN and Vodacom have consistently maintained their positions as the top two most valuable brands and six of the top ten brands have stayed in the top ten.

“Leading brands like MTN, Vodacom, Standard Bank, and Absa have also nearly doubled their brand values since 2016.

“Time and time again, our findings underscore the critical need to prioritise brand investment as a strategic imperative, safeguarding companies’ brand as a valuable asset for the future,” it added.

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Nigerian healthtech startup Remedial Health launches app with digital POS, barcode scanner

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Nigerian healthcare startup, Remedial Health, has announced the launching of a new app with digital point of sales (POS) and barcode for neighbourhood pharmacies and Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) across Africa.

Co-founder and CEO of Remedial Health, Samuel Okwuada, who disclosed this in a statement, said the new “app comes with a digital POS terminal to support payment collection, virtual business accounts to receive payments.”

“It also has an in-built barcode scanner feature for recording product sales and store-switch functionality to enable the seamless management of multiple stores, as well as inventory management solutions for restocking and easily identifying short-dated products.”

Okwuada added that the app also offers comprehensive financial reporting to manage profit and loss, and data analytics to inform decision making.

“Neighbourhood pharmacies and PPMVs represent the frontline of healthcare delivery in Africa but they have historically been left to their own devices to figure out how to be efficient and profitable,” he said.

“Our mission is to empower these essential service providers with the tools they need to manage day-to-day operations and seamlessly run their practices effectively.

“We spent a lot of time interacting with our customers in the process of delivering this product and the feedback has been great.

“We are excited by the opportunity to get the app into the hands of pharmacies and PPMVs across the country to support their ongoing success, as well as the health and wellbeing of the nation.

“Our customers can also access same-day delivery and leverage inventory financing to minimise cash-flow friction for routine orders and maximise sales opportunities.”

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