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Tuesday 15th June, 2021

Business

SECDEX, KOINON Announce Collaboration To Interlink Mobile Money, Digital Assets In Africa

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Seychelles-based Securities, Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (SECDEX), and KOINON, the global Digital Coin and Token-based payment platform have announced a collaboration to interlink mobile money and digital assets.

The two will foster the intersection of African B2C and B2B payments and dynamic asset conversion between fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies and a broader range of digital assets.

This initiative comes at a key time in the mobile payments industry growth as evidenced by Mastercard’s recent $100million investment in Africa’s Airtel which focuses on mobile payments and financial inclusion.

This latest partnership combines KOINON’s cryptocurrency digital payment coins (KOIN) and Stablecoins, plus their retail and payments expertise, products and technology with SECDEX’s digital exchange, digital custody and broader digital capital markets services.

Integrating the KOINON and SECDEX API’s enables the KOINON mobile app and the KOIN Pay wallets to interface with SECDEX Digital Custodian, which can then be accessed by SECDEX Marketplace and SECDEX Exchange.

The partnership is fostering cross border distribution of new African opportunities to a broad range of clients encompassing payments facilitation, payments processing, remittances and dynamic asset conversion (the automatic swap of one digital asset received in payment, to another asset or to fiat currency, via live quotes) on SECDEX Marketplace or SECDEX Exchange.

KOIN is listed on the SECDEX Marketplace, where participants can swap between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies – initially USD – and KOIN as well as action wallet to wallet KOIN transfers. SECDEX has already transacted block trades on its platform at US$0.40 per KOIN for market participants.

The two companies are working together to bring liquidity providers into the ecosystem supplemented by retail and institutional users, in addition to the development of pan-African stable coins.

Hirander Misra, Chairman of SECDEX Group said, “Interfacing digital payments with digital exchanges will ensure efficient dynamic asset conversion and will open up wider financial access to the participants that adopt this initiative.”

He added, “Delivering multiple opportunities for users, retailers, merchants, payments operators, exchanges and institutions will be a key factor in driving emerging markets growth and financial inclusion.”

KOINON is also bridging the gap between the current environment, where POS merchant processing systems accept cash and credit/debit cards, and the future environment where offline and online merchants will be seamlessly equipped to accept all relevant payment methods.

Matthew Mecke, Founder of KOINON said, “We are excited to foster African opportunities to harness mass-market users, and aggregate and match these with institutional activity underpinned by a well-designed compliance construct to ensure robust KYC/ AML.”

He added, “We have seen that providing innovative payments, using stablecoins and reducing friction in fiat transfers is a significant development that attracts large scale users.”

SECDEX and KOINON are also in discussions with several African Governments regarding opportunities for account-based Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) development and how CBDC is linked into the wider ecosystem to ensure the circulation of money and cash flows.

The firms are also looking at collective synergies and opportunities with Decentralized Finance (DeFI) by way of their combined technological capabilities.

The SECDEX market infrastructure ecosystem comprises a regulated exchange (offering traditional and digital assets), central counterparty clearing house (CCP), central securities depository with the registry, digital custodian and crypto marketplace.

KOINON delivers digital payment platform solutions for both consumer payees as well as merchants and was set up to enable fast, low-cost, and scalable digital payments and remittances.

 

 

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BANKING

Access Bank Officially Launches Operations In South Africa

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Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank Plc

Access Bank Plc officially launched in South Africa on Monday and took another step in furthering its footprint across the African continent.

Access Bank chief executive Herbert Wigwe said in a statement that the Southern African Development Community represented the strongest economy in Africa, according to a report in IOL.

The Nigeria-listed Access Bank is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning three continents, 12 countries and 31 million customers.

It employs 28,000 people in its operations in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, with a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and representative offices in China, Lebanon and India.

Following a merger with Diamond Bank in March 2019, Access Bank, with more than 900,000 shareholders, became one of Africa’s largest retail banks by retail customer base.

Wigwe said the opening in South Africa meant Access Bank SA was now firmly seated in one of the principal geographical areas apart from Nigeria, in terms of the size of the economy.

Highlighting Access Bank’s presence in Zambia, he said the opening of the South African subsidiary cemented the bank’s commitment to sub-Saharan Africa as a portal for banking opportunities across the continent.

Access Bank SA chief executive, Bennie van Rooy said Monday was “an exciting event for the South African banking industry”, and the provision of sustainable support to existing customers while appealing to new clients with a business presence across Africa.

“As part of the robust Access Bank family, the South African operations look forward to contributing meaningfully to the achievements and ambitions of the group. In offering a full suite of financial service products to a market we understand in-depth, Access Bank SA is delighted to grow the family footprint.”

Wigwe said the group’s focus was on building relationships, as a partner in businesses and in the communities it served. “It’s vital that our banking solutions give clients the advantage they need to grow sustainably, with access to smart solutions that help them reach greater goals.”

“With its transactional account and online banking, commercial and asset finance, offshore investments and foreign exchange requirements or deposit solutions, Access Bank put the power of choice in clients’ hands,” he said.

“We look forward to the opportunities that present themselves with opening doors for individuals and businesses, and growing possibilities as we go,” said Wigwe.

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Business

Helium Health, Nigerian Health Tech Startup Launches In Kenya

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Lagos-based e-health startup, Helium Health has launched its operations in Kenya, partnering with three local providers, including Philips Healthcare Technologies to integrate new services, including an EMR to serve the entire East African market.

Launched in 2016, Helium Health is the largest Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems provider in West Africa.

The startup was founded by three entrepreneurs, Adegoke Olobusi, Tito Ovia and Dimeji Sofowora, with a shared passion for solving the practical problems that they identified within the Nigerian health sector using technology.

“We have been planning to expand into Kenya’s thriving health tech sector since last year, so we’re very excited to be hitting the ground running in 2021, already working with three new local partners to help improve efficiencies and provide a better service to patients.

“We believe there is a great opportunity to harness cutting-edge technology to help improve the way healthcare data is gathered and managed across Africa, so partnering with like-minded healthcare providers and facilities in Kenya are an excellent fit for us.” Tito Ovia, the co-founder, said.

Jean Kyula, Country Manager for Helium Health Kenya and formerly a National Health Service (NHS) doctor in the UK added, “We are confident that we can play a major role in supporting both Kenya’s public and private healthcare sectors.

“We are delighted to announce that we are open for business, already working with three new partners in Nairobi, and rolling out in Uganda and Liberia. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of technology in healthcare, and the need to keep building better systems, develop more remote access solutions, and improve efficiencies in our healthcare sector, so we’re looking forward to working with more partners, doctors, hospitals and clinics as we move forward.” Jean said.

In May 2020, Helium Health successfully closed a US$10 million Series A funding round (the largest fundraising of any software as a service (SaaS) healthcare provider in Africa) to scale. It later announced that it will be expanding in both existing and new markets, launching operations in East, North and Francophone West Africa.

Helium Health has already partnered with facilities in Uganda and Liberia onboarding their 90-plus users early in 2021 and is now extending its services to facilities in Nairobi.

Helium Health offers a full suite of products covering the complete healthcare value chain, from Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems, to credit and telemedicine products.

Over 300 healthcare providers and 5,000 health professionals in Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana currently use Helium Health’s technology, allowing healthcare facilities to accept payments and issue invoices with ease, access quick funding, and hold televisits with their patients, making it easier for patients to get diagnosed from their homes.

In 2020, Helium Health won the IFC Tech Emerge award, an award that matches innovative health tech startups with leading healthcare providers across Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to implement pilot projects and build long-term partnerships.

Helium Health will pilot its technology in the East African market.

 

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Business

BoICT Lecture 2021 Focuses On 5G as New Frontier For Superior Service Delivery

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This year’s Beacon of Information and Communications Technology (BoICT) awards/lecture series scheduled for July 24, will be exploring 5G as a new frontier for superior service delivery in the telecommunications space.

The BoICT Distinguished Lecture Series, now in its 12th year, is widely regarded as the most prestigious annual event available in the ICT industry in Nigeria.

This year’s theme: “5G: Exploring New Frontiers for Superior Service Delivery” leans heavily on the buzz around 5G- which if harnessed to its fullest potential, will feed the accelerated rise of the Internet of Things, enabling a smarter and more connected world.

Mr. Ken Nwogbo, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief, Communication Week Media Limited, the organisers of the lecture, said that the choice of the theme is based on the need to address the conspiracy theory against the technology as well as explore enormous benefits of the 5G in delivering quality telecommunications services.

“The lecture is followed by the awards ceremony which rewards best practices and recognizes outstanding contributions to the growth of the ICT sector.

“The awards are free and awardees are chosen by readers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek through a transparent voting process,” Nwogbo said.

He noted that the voting platform has already opened and business leaders and readers are implored to cast their votes via this link. http://webthinkers.net/poll/polls.html

The Beacon of Information and Communication Technology (BoICT) awards series, is widely regarded as the most prestigious annual event available in the ICT industry in Nigeria.

It is designed to explore efforts to put Nigeria on the global Information and Communications Technologies map.

The lecture series, however, is reserved for distinguished achievers in the ICT sector.

Past Keynote lecturers include Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, then EVC, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC); Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa, former Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC); Dr. Jean Luc Fort, CEO at OR System France and a specialist in Counterparty Risk; and Professor Chris Nwagboso, Chairman, Knowledge Factory International, United Kingdom.

Others are Uche Orji, managing director/chief executive officer, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA); Biodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications; Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director, Rack Centre Limited; and Peter Adedayo Arogundade, managing director and chief executive officer, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited.

They also include John Obaro, CEO and founder of Systemspecs, Dr. Isa Pantami, former DG, NITDA; and Dr. Obadare Peter Adewale, co-founder and COO, of Digital Encode Limited among others.

 

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