Pulse #15 - Coup in Mali, Egypt’s fintech unicorn, South Africa’s hydrogen potential, Morocco’s tomato success irks competition,
The Data Room
The share of large family-owned businesses in Africa significantly lags that of other emerging market regions - only 20-30% of large companies are family owned. It’s argued that family businesses, many of which are listed on the stock exchange, have played a key role in shaping economic and political integration in Southeast Asia, as family trust enables speedy decisions, increased flexibility and lower overheads, especially in settings where governance is weak. Southeast Asia family-business-driven success may present a useful case study for The Continent.
Numbers in the Spotlight
($1bn) is the valuation surpassed by fintech, Fawry - the first Egyptian tech startup (and Africa’s 3rd) to attain unicorn status
($1bn) is close to what France spends on military operations in Mali, per year
(50mn) in Africa will be targeted for access to business information and resources, through the 50MAWSP initiative
Morocco’s tomato exports to Russia face jeopardy as competing Eurasian exporters decry unfair competition from Morocco's better and cheaper produce. Morocco is the world’s 4th largest exporter of tomatoes with 588,000 tonnes in 2019. The country’s competitiveness in agricultural exports is partly attributed to its national policy, the Green Morocco plan. Morocco may serve as a case study for Nigeria, which despite being the 2nd largest producer of tomatoes in Africa, is The Continent's 3rd largest importer of tomato paste. Nigeria has previously resolved to ban tomato imports by 2021, as the 2017 partial ban has proved insufficient in boosting local processing of tomato products.
Home-grown digital infrastructure & platforms
Cassava Fintech International (CFI), a company driving financial inclusion through digital transaction platforms, and the Liquid Telecom Group (LTG), an independent fibre network and connectivity company, have launched the Sasai Wi-Fi Finder app to spur internet adoption across Africa and promote social, digital and financial inclusion. With internet penetration averaging 39.6% percent in Africa in 2019, compared to 62.7% in the rest of the world, addressing infrastructure gaps and internet access can set the path for not only more inclusive financial development, but also the development of new markets across e-health, e-education, e-agri services and more.