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IFC, Mastercard Foundation Study Examines Attitudes to Mobile Money in Africa

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Mastercard Foundation have published an ethnographic study on the perceptions and attitudes to digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study will increase financial inclusion by helping financial services providers better understand the user of African digital financial services (DFS).

The report, A Sense of Inclusion: An Ethnographic Study of the Perceptions and Attitudes to Digital Financial Services in Sub-Saharan Africa, is based on research conducted at the Africa Studies Center Leiden, University of Leiden. The study focuses on four countries of varying degrees of DFS market maturity: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Zambia. It is a knowledge product of the Partnership for Financial inclusion, a $37.4 million joint initiative of IFC and the Mastercard Foundation, to advance financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lesley Denyes, IFC’s Program Manager for the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, said, “This research really gives a voice to the users of mobile money and agent banking in Africa. It’s based on observation and personal stories rather than aggregated statistics, and gives us a vivid idea of what lies behind the success of digital financial services on the continent and what the current challenges are to further expand financial inclusion.”

Ruth Dueck-Mbeba, Senior Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation, said, “We are particularly pleased to see this latest publication from the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, and its focus on clients.

The report seeks to understand the underlying barriers to the use of digital financial services, and the drivers that build client trust in those services. With this deeper understanding, we can give clients voice.”

Since digital financial services were first introduced in Sub-Saharan Africa about ten years ago, the continent has taken a lead in the global evolution of a mass market for affordable, accessible and sustainable financial services for low-income people, rural populations and small-scale entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

There are now over 277 million registered users on the continent, with about 100 million active accounts, almost 60 percent of the global total (GSMA). In countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, the use of digital financial services has led to a near doubling of the financial inclusion rate.

The report provides an in-depth description of what digital financial inclusion means in relation to social and cultural factors. One of the interesting findings relates to how digital payments interact with extended family structures and financial obligations within social networks.

Some DFS users have found, for example, that the immediate accessibility of mobile transactions makes it difficult for them to escape unwanted solicitations for financial aid from distant family members.

“Now, with the development of money transfers, whenever a family member asks for money, you need to make it clear – either you have money or you don’t. You can no longer claim you can’t get it to them because if you say that, the person will answer that you should send it by Wari, Joni-Joni, etc.,” a policeman and DFS service user in Louga, Senegal, told the researchers.

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E-Business

TD Africa Inks Distribution Agreement with Vertiv

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Technology Distributions Ltd, Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest Information and Communications Technology (ICT) distributors and Vertiv, an American multinational corporation on yesterday announced their partnership to distribute Vertiv solutions in Nigeria.

 

Speaking at the official launch of the partnership, Wojtek Piorko, Director,Sales Middle East and Africa, Vertiv, Said that, the reason they choose Technology Distributions (TD) is because they are very experienced in IT channel distribution.

 

He explained that they in Vertiv intend to work with TD not only in Nigeria but in other countries in Africa.

 

He said, “Today’s event is to work with our local partners to grow their business, especially in channel business.

 

“We need very experienced partners that have wide audience and many resellers to sale to, and that’s why we have chosen Technology Distributions, they are our IT channel distributor and we work with them not only in Nigeria but in other countries of the region.

 

“Technology Distributions have wide reach of the market, we have great product but we also understand each other very well, we communicate where necessary, he said.

 

He noted that, Vertiv Products have been in Nigeria for the past 20 years delivering top quality products to its customers.

 

“We’ve been in Nigerian market for the past 20 years, is not like we are completely new, although Vertiv brand name is new to the market but all critical product lines that we offer you are products that were already in the market delivered by Emerson Electric, but now Vertiv brand is with completely new opening, new team, new structure that is dedicated to this specific market.

 

 

Stanley Okpalaeke, Group Executive Director, Technology Distributions (TD) said that TD’s major strategy in this partnership is to build deeper relationship with its partners, to seek how they at TD will help grow their businesses, adding that, if they are able to grow their partner businesses, their business will grow also.

 

“Our major strategy is our partners; we want to build deeper relationship with our partners.

 

“We are seeking how TD will help you grow your businesses because if you grow, we will grow too,” he said.

 

He explained that their partner ecosystem cut across all Africa, adding that they also have major hubs in Dubai and UK.

 

He added that, they have at every point in time N12 billion worth of stocks to cater for their customers’ needs.

 

“At every point in time we have N12 billion worth of stocks, the reason is because we do not want to disappoint our partners,” he stated.

 

Speaking earlier, Mrs. Chioma Chimere; Managing Director, Operations, Technology Distributions, said that Vertiv have come to help Nigerians solve the challenges we face with power with their range of high end UPS solutions.

 

She noted that, even the power we have now is not clean and that is why Vertiv is here to give us maximum protection.

 

TD is the first manufacturer-accredited local distributor for the sub-region, TD, with the support of the OEMs, successfully confronted the myriad challenges posed by the hitherto unstructured market.

 

Among the first measures they embarked on was the formulation of a clear policy on the channel of distribution that led to the adoption of the prevailing four-tier market structure comprising Manufacturer (OEM), Distributor, Reseller and End-User.

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Publiseer, Nigerian Digital Publishing Startup Reports Profitability

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Publiseer, Nigerian digital publisher has reported a profit for its first quarter in 2018, adding over 200 new releases in the past 30 days.

 

The company posts a first-quarter profit of $10,877.58, comfortably ahead of its expectations. Following the profits, Publiseer has launched its ‘Premium Distribution Service’ that will distribute books and songs for an upfront fee, allowing its authors and musical artists to keep 100% of their earnings.

 

Nevertheless, old and new clients can still use its ‘Freemium Distribution Service’ that gives Publiseer a 25% commission on sales.

 

It’s taken just 8 months for Publiseer to become a money-maker. The digital publishing company reported its first profitable quarter today, driven by a 20% rise in submissions and a faster reputation growth overseas.

 

Publiseer has thrived since its launch in August 2017, and traction has grown drastically. Since its international popularity is growing exponentially, the company is making moves to expand its services outside of Nigeria.

 

In response to this, Publiseer has distributed the works of Canadian Youtuber Heidi Shai, American Jazz musician Ragtime Joe, and Missouri producer ANB Beats.

 

In Africa, Publiseer has distributed the books of  Cameroonian writer Juan Gutied and Zimbabwean author Godfrey Masanga.

 

As of writing, Publiseer has distributed 92 books and 374 tracks by 73 authors and 154 artists, having received over 1,000 submissions since August 2017.

 

Chidi Nwaogu, Publiseer’s CEO said: “Starting Publiseer, we weren’t focused on profitability as an early-stage company, rather, we were focused on customer satisfaction and retention. But at the beginning of the first quarter of this year, submissions doubled and thus our releases too. It’s good building something that meets a growing need, and which eventually makes lots of money.”

 

Publiseer is a digital publishing platform for unsigned and independent writers and musicians with low-income or from low-income families.

 

However, the platform is open to well-established authors and musicians looking for new avenues to distribute and monetize their creative works on the World Wide Web.

 

Publiseer has distributed the works of A-list Nigerian artists like CDQ, Klever Jay, Erigga, and DJ Jozenga of RayPower FM.

 

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FG to Partner Cuba on Science & Technology

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The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said on Thursday the Federal Government would be partnering with the Republic of Cuba on science and technology.

Onu said he would visit Cuba with his team to ensure Nigeria benefits from its relationship with the Caribbean nation.

The minister stated these when the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Sosa visited him in Abuja.

He said Nigeria can no longer depend on foreign commodities but would begin to use its resources for the production of what it needs.

His words: “Nigeria appreciates the Republic of Cuba for its contributions particularly in the health care system. We believe that the relationship between Nigeria and Cuba will continue to grow.

“Cuba has used its vast technology in developing vaccines that helps in the prevention of diseases and Nigeria looks forward to partnering with Cuba on the development of our science and technology sector.

“I and my team will soon visit Cuba to make sure we strengthen our relationship with Cuba. Nigeria can no longer depend on just imported commodities but will use its resources for local production.”

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