A state of disaster.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a “national state of disaster” due to ongoing power outages that have disrupted the country. Although South Africans have endured power cuts for years, last year saw more than twice as many blackouts as any other year. These power cuts continued into this year, as Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility, continues struggling to maintain outdated coal-fired power plants that can barely keep up with powering the entire nation. These blackouts in South Africa — or load-shedding as they’re known locally, have been lasting for as long as 12 hours a day according to a report from CNN. Last month, people were even advised to bury the dead within four days after the South African Funeral Practitioners Association warned that mortuary bodies were decomposing because of the constant electricity outages. According to the president, the state of disaster will enable the country to provide practical measures to support businesses in the food production, storage, and retail supply chain, including the rollout of generators, solar panels, and uninterrupted power supply.
Africa’s $3 billion ecosystem
Investment in Africa’s tech startup ecosystem passed the $3 billion mark for the first time in 2022. According to the African Tech Startups Funding Report by Disrupt Africa, more startups raised more funding than ever before, despite a global downturn in investments, especially in riskier asset classes such as venture capital. 633 startups raised a combined $3,333,071,000 in 2022, representing incredible growth. The number of funded startups increased by 12.2 percent, while the total secured funding jumped 55.1 percent to $2,148,517,500 in 2021. Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, and Kenya remain Africa’s big four as they continue to attract the most investments, although they secured a smaller share of total funding between them than in 2021.
New oil money in Zimbabwe
Last week, Zimbabwe discovered large oil and gas reserves in the northeastern part of the country. This gives extra Zimbabwe an extra source of income and opens the door to massive economic growth and development through the emergence of downstream industries, new job creation, and growth in export earnings and Government revenue. Yet, it also means competition in the African oil and gas market will heat up even more.
ICYMI: Market roundup
- The NGX All-Share Index increased by 0.21% from last week to close at 54,327.30 points. The top gainers were Tripple Gee and company. plc (30.48%), International energy insurance plc (25.25%), Coinoil plc (20.94%), Mrs Oil plc (9.82%), and Nigeria flour mills plc (9.74%). The top decliners were FTN cocoa processors plc (-15.15%), Prestige assurance plc (-13.04%), Japaul gold and ventures (-11.76%), Mutual benefit assurance (-11.11%), and Royal Exchange plc (-9.76%).
- The naira closed the week at N461.50/$ on Friday at the investor’s and Exporters’ window.
- Brent crude closed the week at $79.72, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed at $86.39.
- The global cryptocurrency market cap stood at $1.03 trillion, as of 3 pm Sunday, the 12th of February. Bitcoin stood at $21,998.11 a 3.93% decrease in 7 days, Ethereum stood at $1,540.16, a 4.90% decrease from last week and Binance coin dropped 1.97%, to sell at $319.87.
- Luxury e-commerce startup Jendaya, raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding to connect African and African diaspora luxury brands with high-end consumers worldwide and African shoppers to global brands. Jendaya hosts a roster of brands that includes Brooklyn-based minimalist accessories brand Marty Moto and Kenyan brand Adele Dejak.
- Egyptian e-health startup Yodawy has raised a $16 million in a series B round co-led by UAE-based and MEA-focused venture capital firm, Global Ventures, and Delivery Hero Ventures. The health tech startup plans to use the investment to expand across markets in the Middle East and Africa.