This week, increasing attention was placed on COVID-19’s impact on education, with millions locked out of school. Entrepreneurs, investors and corporates are trying to step in to fill the gap. For example in its 175th year in existence, Old Mutual launched what it labels “Africa’s biggest digital classroom”, Andela (recently plagued with bad news) partnered with Microsoft to launch ALCwithMicrosoft to enable engineers in Kenya and Nigeria to develop deep cloud skills, and Google and Ecobank announced a partnership to help SMEs embrace digital transformation.
Surprisingly, there was not much to report on inclusive financial access despite its critical importance in the wake of COVID-19 community lock-downs. In Kenya, growth in mobile payments fell to a 13 year low, with inconclusive evidence of its cause. Be it due to reduced consumer spending related to COVID-19, or related to concerns that financial services are actually becoming harder to obtain for those who cannot afford access to digital tools, the direction of growth for digital finance in Africa remains to be seen. Nonetheless, tackling Africa’s ~350 million unbanked adult population is just as much about process and regulatory innovation. In South Africa Capitech decided to forgo proof of address to make their financial services more accessible.
Baseline infrastructure, personal living-space & utilities
Africa’s local construction sector is under strain, with another casualty - South African construction firm, Esor - announcing its delisting from the JSE. At the macro level, China’s Belt and Roads Initiative is also at risk with work stalled, and African countries in the firing line for billions in structured debt. With historic projects at risk and the era of big mega-city infrastructure being called into question, could the Continent reframe and channel its resources into leading with high tech, smart cities?
Thank you for reading Movemeback Pulse, your weekly check of actionable insight. Movemeback Pulse is made up of insights that relate to 'The Continent 500 Transformation Goals' - developed to drive focus on a continent-wide business plan to create the next 500 million jobs by 2035. Want to understand more about the 'The Continent 500 Transformation Goals'? Do you have suggestions on themes / goals that are missing? Get in touch!
Please do share any feedback and suggestion with us on how we can make this better for you. If you have a something you would like to share with the Movemeback community please get in touch so we can include in this or another one of our regular Member publications: