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Latin America’s biggest payment processor PayRetailers expands into Africa

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Latin America’s biggest payment processor, PayRetailers, has announced its expansion into Africa with coverage across four countries, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, and Tanzania.

A statement by its Chief Operating & Digital Officer, Lorenzo Pellegrino, said by expanding into Africa will offer customers a unified payment solution that will be a game changer for cross-border online merchants looking at Africa as their next move for strategic growth.

He said to strengthen its presence in the continent, PayRetailers is activating its payment processing functions that will “offer a simple, user-friendly, and scalable experience to businesses looking to grow their regional operations and give them access to major local methods like SPENN, Airtel, and MTN.”

“This market is increasingly connected and mobile and destined for strong growth, which is why PayRetailers, in its mission to increase financial inclusion and continue supporting business growth in emerging markets, has decided to activate its networks in the region and drive this exciting era of prosperity,” Pellegrino said.

“As a part of our strategic expansion, we are extending our coverage to four markets in Africa, at least to start with. Over the coming months, we plan to steadily expand our operation in the continent, which is experiencing incredible growth in the payments industry and has massive potential for merchants looking to diversify and broaden their consumer base.

“Using the stellar and continuous growth we have experienced in LATAM as our guide, we are well-poised to help businesses thrive faster and more sustainably.

“We recognize the immense potential and significance of venturing into these dynamic markets.

“Each new addition to our market coverage is a gateway into untapped opportunities and strengthened partnerships, ensuring our sustained growth and global relevance.

“Our imminent expansion into additional countries across West, North, and Southern Africa underscores our commitment to empowering our clients and connecting them with diverse consumer bases across the continent.

“From May onward, businesses will be able to operate in the region using PayRetailers for their online users, representing a major milestone for its client portfolio and its innovation strategy for 2024,” the statement said.

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Kenya’s Fidelity Shield Insurance launches digital health coverage product ‘My Afya Shield’

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Kenya’s Fidelity Shield Insurance has launched a new digital health coverage scheme known as
‘My Afya Shield’ which is designed to transform healthcare access in the country.

The new product, according to Richard Marisin, Managing Director of Fidelity Shield Insurance, is an initiative that “reinforces Fidelity’s commitment to prioritizing preventive healthcare and enhancing wellness among its members.”

Marisin noted that “My Afya Shield” offers an extensive range of benefits, including access to treatments, vaccines, counseling services, mental wellness support, rehabilitation services, and personalized wellness programs.

“Notably, it includes coverage for alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation as a standard feature, along with regular health check-ups.

“Underwritten by Fidelity Shield Insurance, My Afya Shield is accessible through a digital platform that seamlessly connects Fidelity members with a nationwide network of healthcare providers.

“Users of My Afya Shield can initiate treatments from the user-friendly digital interface, monitor benefits and limits in real-time, and easily locate and access care at healthcare providers.

“They also have the flexibility to add family members as dependents. The platform further facilitates efficient claims processing and timely payments to healthcare providers, improving the overall healthcare experience.

“We are happy to introduce My Afya Shield as a health coverage product designed to address the evolving needs of our members. This launch solidifies our commitment to delivering comprehensive and technology-driven solutions for healthcare access,” Marisin said.

He added that “My Afya Shield” leverages digital technology, allowing customers to conveniently apply for services online and minus the requirement for paper forms.

“My Afya Shield will gain rapid uptake allowing millions of Kenyans to gain comprehensive health coverage, including traditionally uninsured benefits like vaccinations, mental health, counseling, and rehabilitation services,” he added.

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IFC partners SA health-tech group Lenmed Hospital to expand quality healthcare services in Africa

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has entered into a partnership with South African health-tech startup, Lenmed Hospital Group, aimed at increasing access to quality healthcare, especially in underserved communities in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, and Mozambique.

Under the terms of the partnership, IFC will provide Lenmed with an initial investment sum of R200 million senior loan to help help the company expand its healthcare services over the next four years through the acquisition of new facilities, the purchase of medical equipment, and by hiring and training additional medical staff.

Lenmed on its part, will also expand the number of beds in its hospital portfolio from 2,318 to almost 3,000.

Amil Devchand, Lenmed’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said the IFC’s loan is part of a larger, syndicated loan package with three other South African lenders, Rand Merchant Bank, Ashburton Asset Managers, and ABSA Bank, which runs into a total of R2.5 billion.

“The combined financing will also support Lenmed’s plans to expand into other African countries and help meet the company’s refinancing and working capital requirements,” said Devchand.

“In addition to financing, IFC will also help Lenmed improve its environmental and social standards and ensure sustainability across its operations.

“We are extremely excited to have concluded this significant debt package with IFC and our other funding partners, which underscores the confidence in both our Group and the work that we do.

“This additional capital will allow us to continue driving towards achieving our ambitious growth strategy while, at the same time, fulfilling our core purpose of creating healthier and more prosperous communities.”

Cláudia Conceição, IFC’s Regional Director for Southern Africa who also spoke on the partnership, said:

“Our investment in Lenmed will increase access to quality healthcare in South Africa and in other African countries, enabling more people to access the services they need.

“IFC complements public healthcare efforts by leveraging private sector funding and expertise to increase access and meet growing demand for services.”

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