Middle East and North Africa Fintech Startups Raised $100M in Last Decade

According to a report released last month by middle eastern media platform Wamda, Fintech startups located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) raised over $100 million over the last decade. Promising GrowthThe number of Fintech startups in the Middle East and North Africa has steadily grown over the last few years. In 2013 there were only 46; that number more than doubled by 2015 when there were a reported 105 fintech startups. Compared to other regions of the world, Fintech in the Middle East and North Africa is still in a very early stage, according to the report. Furthermore, the region is relative top-heavy with only 10% of the Fintech startups in the region accounting for the majority of investments and employees.

April 23, 2017 12:00 UTC

Why Our Probe Panel Will Operate in Secret

The Presidential committee to investigate corruption allegations against the two suspended officials of the Buhari administration says it will conduct its work in camera. "In the discharge of its work, the panel is expected to invite all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases. "All its proceedings will, however, be in closed sessions to avoid speculations, allow for full disclosure and enhance the pace of proceedings," the statement said. According to the statement, the panel will conduct its work with utmost diligence and without fear or favour. In the three-member committee with Mr. Osinbajo are the Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Munguno (retd).

April 23, 2017 07:07 UTC

Sudan: 'Sudan Govt. Wanted Darfur Land Only'

Radio Dabanga — According to a former Darfur janjaweed leader, who was arrested in Sweden in early April, the Sudanese authorities wanted to rid Darfur of the indigenous population. The arrestee allegedly served as a militia leader in North Darfur for the Sudanese government during the first years of the war that started in 2003. The SLM-AW posted the video of an interview conducted by Phil Cox of MORE4 news East Africa with the former militia leader on its Facebook page on Friday. He said that the government official had explicitly informed him that they wanted the land to be freed of the indigenous population. In 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted President Omar Al Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

April 23, 2017 06:45 UTC

South Africa: Guns Drawn During Sandton Shopping Row

Two groups of men who got into a row in Sandton drew firearms, with one group chasing the other all the way to to Rosebank on Saturday, police said. Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said members of the two groups started arguing with each other in Sandton at a popular upmarket shopping and eating spot, north of Johannesburg at around 10:00. "They chased each other with BMWs until they got near Rosebank then the police were called," said Masondo. Some of the men were carrying firearms, but they did not fire any shots, and nobody was injured. The police tried to stop them, but they got back into their vehicles and sped off, and managed to shake the police.

April 22, 2017 17:15 UTC

Nigeria: Army Chief Buratai Reveals War Tactics Used Against Boko Haram

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said the lessons he learnt from the Bangladesh National Defence while on course had been very useful in the counter insurgency operations in the North-East. Mr. Buratai, a lieutenant general, made this known in Lagos, on Saturday when he received the Bangladesh Army Chief of Staff, Abu Shafiul Huq. "The Bangladesh experience in counter insurgency is something that I brought to bear in the efforts to rid Nigeria of Boko Haram since my appointment as the Chief of army staff," he said. Earlier, Mr. Huq, a general, commended the Nigerian army for the success recorded in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists. The Bangladesh army chief is to visit the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, a general, in Abuja and some military formation while on a five-day visit to Nigeria.

April 22, 2017 15:11 UTC

Rwanda: Why Rwandans Have Interest in French Polls

The first round of the French presidential election takes place on April 23, followed by a likely second round on May 7. Going by opinion polls, the likely winner will be either the young Emmanuel Macron or Francois Fillon. The expectation in Rwanda is that the winner will apologise for France's alleged role in the genocide against the Tutsi. When he was prime minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Fillon always refused to express any guilt regarding French colonisation. According to analysts, French recognition of its alleged dirty past in Africa and in Rwanda in particular, will need a new generation of politicians and top military officials.

April 22, 2017 14:26 UTC

Sisi’s Regime Under Fire for Summary Executions in Sinai

Several rights groups called on the US government to suspend military aid to the Sisi’s regime in Egypt after a video circulated online showed Egyptian soldiers executing as many as eight detainees in the northern Sinai Peninsula. The perpetrators of the executions were said to be members of Egyptian military intelligence. They were shown in the video commanding executions before placing rifles next to bodies to depict the dead as militants killed in a raid, Human Rights Watch said. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, called the killings “outrageous” and said the incident shows Egypt’s counterterrorism campaign in Sinai “is out of control.”“Egypt’s allies cannot claim ignorance about these deadly abuses,” Stork said. Human rights group Amnesty International said it had analyzed the footage that showed “cold blooded killings”.

April 22, 2017 14:03 UTC

Morocco says Algeria expelled 55 refugees across border

16:41, 22 April 2017 SaturdayMorocco says Algeria expelled 55 refugees across borderWorld Bulletin / News DeskMorocco has accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrian refugees across the countries' shared border, criticising it for "inhumane behaviour" in the latest row between the North African rivals. "This is not the first time that the Algerian authorities have expelled imrefugees to Moroccan territory," it said. In mid-March, a Moroccan refugee rights group, GADEM, reported that around 30 sub-Saharan refugees had been arrested in Morocco then left stranded in no man's land between Morocco and Algeria, having been deported from both countries. In January 2014, Morocco summoned Algeria's ambassador to protest its alleged expulsion of Syrians across their common border. Algeria responded in kind, saying its border guards had merely refused to allow Syrians deported by Morocco to enter its territory.

April 22, 2017 13:41 UTC

Morocco: Three-man Terrorist Cell Dismantled in Tetuan

The Moroccan Interior Ministry Friday announced it dismantled in the Northern city of Tetuan a three-man cell connected to Daech that was preparing attacks against institutions and security authorities. The operation was led by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), the judicial arm of the domestic intelligence service. A week ago, security forces nabbed seven terrorists in the city of Fez and nearby town of Moulay Yacoub. The cell members were trying to recruit volunteers for the terrorist Islamic State group, the interior ministry announced. The BCIJ has dismantled multiple groups with ties to international networks that included ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

April 22, 2017 13:07 UTC

Nigeria: CBN Suspends Nationwide Cashless Policy, Creates Fx Window for Investors, Exporters

Washington,DC — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has once again suspended the nation-wide implementation of the cashless policy which commenced this month. In a related development, two weeks after opening a special foreign exchange (FX) window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable operators import eligible finished and semi-finished items, the CBN yesterday established a fresh widow for investors and exporters tagged: "Investors' & Exporters' FX Window". According to the CBN, international airlines ticket sales' remittances shall only be eligible to access the CBN FX window (SMIS-Retail and Wholesale; spot and forwards. The CBN, it added, shall also be a market participant at the window to promote liquidity and professional market conduct. As part of the operational requirements of the window, the CBN circular said the exchange rates of the transactions in the window shall be as agreed between authorised dealers and their counterparties.

April 22, 2017 12:00 UTC

South Africa: Meet the Woman Who Helped Diagnose Ontlametse With Progeria

Bella told Mothoa she did not know who to approach about Phalatse's condition. "I abandoned my life, I left my husband, I took my children, packed my bags and came back South Africa," Mothoa said. Mothoa called a hospital and spoke to a geneticist who told her there was no child suffering from progeria in South Africa. The organisation helped form the Ontlametse Phalatse Trust. Phalatse's brother Tshimologo thanked God for Phalatse's life.

April 22, 2017 06:11 UTC

Quantom Global Ranks Morocco Most Attractive Business Destination in North Africa

Morocco was ranked the most attractive business destination in North Africa and the second in the continent in the Africa Investment Index 2017 issued by Quantom Global. Morocco took the lead in North Africa thanks to multiple factors including economic growth, strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investment, import cover ratio, and an overall favorable business environment, Quantom Global said. At the North African level, Egypt came second followed by Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. Morocco was followed by Egypt in the third position and South Africa which came in fourth. The Index is a multidimensional barometer based on six clusters of factors namely growth factors, liquidity factors, risk factors, business environment factors, demographics and social capital factors.

April 21, 2017 16:07 UTC

Terrorism: IS Claims Attack on Champs-Élysées in Paris

Global terror group; the Islamic State group (IS) has claimed responsibility for the deadly terror attack on police on France’s popular Champs-Élysées avenue. Far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen who is surfing high in the polls expressed her solidarity with the security forces. One of her tough contenders, François Fillon from the Centre-right also took to twitter to stand with the security forces. The alleged terrorists were radicalised in prison and have links with militants of the terror group, authorities pointed out. Posted by Kamailoudini Tagba Kamailoudini Tagba Independent Journalist, Freelance Interpreter and Toastmasters International Competent Communicator (CC), speech writer, based in Togo, West Africa Attended Central China Normal University (China), MA in Linguistics and Communication.

April 21, 2017 16:07 UTC

Morocco, U.S. Launch African Lion 2017 Military Drills

The African Lion military exercises kicked off with the participation of about 1300 military personnel from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain and Tunisia. African Lion gives us the ability to enhance our operational capabilities in an unfamiliar, yet non-austere, environment,” said Commodore Leonard “Lenny” Lyon, Combined Joint Task Force African Lion, in a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Rabat. The African Lion 2017 is led by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and sponsored by U.S. Africa Command with support from the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the Utah and Kentucky Air National Guards. The exercise also receives support from the United States Embassy, Rabat’s Office of Security Cooperation and the Defense Attaché Office. “This training gives our service members the experience of joint and combined operations in support of regional cooperation with African nations and other multi-national security partners,” the statement quoted the U.S. commander as saying.

April 21, 2017 15:56 UTC

Egypt: Army Killed 3 Key Daech Leaders in Airstrikes in Sinai

The Egyptian army Thursday indicated that strikes conducted by military aircrafts in the Sinai have killed several militants of the Islamic State group (IS) including three prominent members of the terror group which has been inflicting losses to the army. A total of 19 militants of the terror group were killed in the airstrikes. Early this month the army also announced the death of a senior member of the terrorist group reportedly killed in March, in army airstrikes. Posted by Kamailoudini Tagba Kamailoudini Tagba Independent Journalist, Freelance Interpreter and Toastmasters International Competent Communicator (CC), speech writer, based in Togo, West Africa Attended Central China Normal University (China), MA in Linguistics and Communication. Kamailoudini Tagba, trained as journalist at Togo state radio, worked for the African Network of Culture Promoters and Entrepreneurs (rapec) as news writer.

April 21, 2017 15:45 UTC

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