“Why Investors Should Heed the African Tech Startups Devouring Consumer Finance” – Forbes – February 16, 2021

On February 16, 2021 Forbes published a guest article by Damien Pieretti, Vice President at HSBC.

Mr. Pieretti explains:  “From Cairo to Lagos,  financial exclusion persists as a socio-economic hardship and a symptom of structural inefficiencies in African economies. Now more than ever, it also reflects opportunities for technology and telecommunications firms to catalyze innovations that expand market access to previously unserviceable customer segments while generating attractive returns for investors.

In African countries like Egypt and Nigeria – two of the continent’s largest and most mature economies where financial exclusion rates remain orders of magnitude greater than in the US – hundreds of funded startups have already begun unlocking the long-term value in almost every sector, especially financial services.

Even markets as geographically and culturally disparate as those of North and sub-Saharan Africa exhibit important converging success factors, including:

  1. Local ecosystems boosted by a) long-term improvements in telecommunications infrastructure, and b) an expanded pool of professional computer engineering talent.
  2. A massive consumer base highly penetrated by mobile phones and largely excluded from formal markets.
  3. Maturing local regulatory frameworks coinciding with intra-continental harmonization expanding regional markets for scaling digital product offerings.
  4. Diversification of local entry vehicles and exit ramps including local and international IPOs as well as corporate buyouts.”

The article profiles several e-commerce and fintech start-ups in Egypt and Nigeria.

You may read the guest article on the Forbes internet site.

“IFC and AMMC join forces to increase availability of sustainable finance in Morocco” – Africa Global Funds – February 16, 2021

On February 16, 2021 Africa Global Funds reported that “IFC has signed an agreement with the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) that will help companies enhance their reporting on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, paving the way for more green investments—a key component in Morocco’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

As part of the partnership, IFC will support AMMC’s efforts to improve capital market ESG standards by building its capacity and aligning its ESG disclosure regulatory framework with international best practices.

‘A green recovery can help deliver economic growth and jobs quickly,’ said Sérgio Pimenta, IFC Vice President for Africa and the Middle East. ‘Our partnership with AMMC will enable Moroccan businesses to enhance their environmental, social and governance practices and attract more green investment, in line with Morocco’s green recovery plan, creating more jobs and opportunities.’

‘Aligning the Moroccan financial sector to sustainable development was identified as a priority at COP22. This is more important than ever in the current context of economic recovery and requires the adoption of best practices on transparency of environmental, social and governance factors,’ said Nezha Hayat, President of AMMC.

‘Our partnership with IFC will allow us to better support companies making public offerings in their transition to more sustainable practices, helping them improve their competitiveness and more broadly the attractiveness of our market.’

The project is part of IFC’s Governance for Sustainability program in Morocco and is delivered as part of the MENA Private Sector Development initiative, in partnership with the government of the Netherlands.”

You may read the article on the Africa Global Funds internet site.