Consumer Spending

Visa Reveals UAE Consumers Seek Banks’ Help In Understanding Environmental Impact of Spending

Consumer Spending
  • Sixty-five percent (65%) of consumers believe higher cost of sustainable products is top barrier to purchase, followed by lack of awareness (54%).
  • Interviews with SMBs and experts reveal desire to adopt sustainable practices but often hindered by lack of technical know-how.

Visa and Emirates Nature-WWF released the UAE results of their ‘2023 Sustainable Commerce’ study on the day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in UAE.  The study scrutinizes consumer and business behaviors, and the readiness of infrastructure to support sustainable commerce.  The joint Visa-Emirates Nature-WWF study reinforces the urgency for all industry stakeholders to take decisive collective action to promote sustainability through responsible innovation for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the economy.


Key Findings for UAE:

  • Consumers are aware of and doing something about sustainability:
    • Over two-thirds believe that decarbonization is not limited to corporate entities, and individuals can make a difference. More importantly, in the UAE, survey respondents view climate change as a leading societal challenge (63%), followed by the rising cost of living (56%), and plastic pollution (46%).
    • In terms of environmental practices, UAE consumers are leading in water conservation (86%) and rank second in ethical sourcing by supporting local farmer’s market (70%) across the GCC. Additionally, the UAE takes the lead in reducing single-use plastics with a rate of 75%, surpassing the GCC average of 72%. UAE shows robust awareness and support for NGOs promoting sustainability (57%), exceeding the GCC average of 53%, and excels in repurposing and sharing products within the community at 72%, compared to the GCC average of 68%.
  • Future bank customers: making sustainable choices
    • A significant 69% of individuals have expressed their willingness to recommend banks that provide sustainable payment options (cashless/contactless payment). 64% of consumers stated that they chose a bank with strong green credentials. Moreover, more than half of the surveyed consumers (51%) expect their banks to guide them in making sustainable financial choices.
    • Interestingly, 52% of consumers also look to their banks to help them understand the environmental impact of their purchases.
  • Sustainability among the next generation:
    • In the UAE, parents of young consumers (8-18 years old) noted that their children demonstrate a heightened receptiveness to sustainable practices and greater environmental consciousness. Their adopted habits include switching off electrical appliances not in use (54%), washing dishes or laundry with cold water (40%), walking or cycling to places (39%), opting for organic products (36%), and recycling or sharing products (35%).
    • The primary influencers driving sustainability habits among the youth include school mandates (71%), family members encouraging sustainable behaviors (68%), and social media (54%).
  • Sustainable benefit becomes a feature attraction: the key to becoming a primary card
    • Rewards for sustainable behaviors are a significant attraction, with 43% of consumers willing to make such a card their primary one.
    • Sustainability evaluations of bank providers are still mainly focused on known initiatives like reducing paper and byproduct usage.
    • Factors considered while evaluating a bank provider on sustainability include going paperless (52%) and promoting cashless payments (51%).
  • Barriers to sustainability
    • A significant barrier for the majority of UAE consumers (65%) lies in the perceived higher cost of sustainable products, closely followed by a lack of awareness (54%) regarding sustainability. As societal consciousness regarding social and environmental issues expands, the study indicates a rising preference among consumers for businesses that actively demonstrate sustainable practices.


Businesses and Sustainability

Qualitative interviews revealed that MSMEs and KOLs have a fair understanding of sustainability but lack a holistic and contextual comprehension of the concept. This gap is influenced by several barriers, including cost implications for both businesses and consumers, fear and resistance to change, pressures from competition and profitability, and resource constraints. However, there are also enablers that can foster sustainability. These encompass regulatory policies and frameworks that create the right ecosystem, sustainable financing that provides a ‘push’ effect, and the necessity for collaboration among stakeholders to drive sustainability. Visionaries, typically medium-sized businesses, grapple with significant pressure from global partners to adopt sustainability standards. However, they are often hindered by a lack of technical knowledge.

Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Visa’s SVP and Group Country Manager in GCC, said: “More than half of consumers in the UAE are looking to their banks for guidance in making more sustainable financial choices. This underlines the growing demand for financial institutions to play a more active role in promoting sustainability. To address this need, Visa, in collaboration with ecolytiq and Mashreq, has launched the Eco Benefits Bundle. Our commitment to local sustainability is underscored by our partnership with Emirates Nature-WWF, through which we aim to co-create and implement science-based projects supporting local nature and wildlife preservation, climate action, and the green economy. We firmly believe these initiatives are steps in the right direction towards promoting sustainability through responsible innovation.”

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General at Emirates Nature-WWF, commented: “For over two decades, Emirates Nature-WWF has been a prominent and active partner in environmental conservation in the region. Cross-sectoral collaboration is at the heart of conservation success. Government policies and financial institutions have a vital role to play in driving lasting behaviour change and adoption of sustainable practices amongst consumers. We are delighted to partner with Visa on this study, as we aspire to build a sustainable future for generations to come.”

Visa’s Sustainable Commerce study analyzed consumer behavior and merchant readiness for sustainable commerce in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.  Visa recently launched the Eco Benefits Bundle, a groundbreaking climate banking platform in collaboration with ecolytiq and Mashreq. This innovative solution integrates eco-friendly features into card payments, enabling users to track their environmental impact and contribute to carbon offset initiatives.

Visa is committed to making a positive impact through local sustainable initiatives, demonstrated by a $250,000 grant to Emirates Nature-WWF. This collaboration aims to co-create and implement science-based projects supporting local nature and wildlife preservation, climate action, market transformation, the green economy, and food and water security in the UAE.

Egypt Cairo

Egypt Non-Cash Transaction Volumes Set to Reach $16.34bln in 2023

Egypt Cairo

Non-cash transaction volumes will reach 1.3 trillion by 2023 globally

The Capgemini Research Institute’s 2023 World Payments Report, published earlier, reveals that non-cash transaction volumes will reach 1.3 trillion by 2023 globally, whilst according to Statista, the Egyptian market is expected to reach US$16.34bn in 2023. As consumers and businesses adopt new digital payment schemes, the report suggests this growth will accelerate to 2.3 trillion by 2027 globally, growing at a rate of 15% annually. In Egypt, digital payments’ total transaction value is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 14.03% resulting in a projected total amount of US$27.63bn by 2027.

The expanding digital payment infrastructure, regulations, and open banking are swiftly changing how customers and businesses pay for goods and services. According to the report, by 2027, new payment methods (instant payments, e-money, digital wallets, account-to-account, and QR code payments) will gain more popularity comparing to traditional non-cash payments (checks, direct debits, cards, and credit transfers). In Egypt, the volume of non-cash transactions increased by 46% in 2023, reaching a value of EGP10 trillion, according to a report by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Since 2019, New payment methods in non-cash transactions have also have experienced significant growth, marked by the increasing, the increasing number of credit cards, POS, and digital wallets.

The most popular non-cash payment method in Egypt in 2023 was card payments, accounting for 46% of all transactions. However, the report also noted that new payment methods such as instant payments, e-money, digital wallets, account-to-account, and QR code payments are gaining popularity among consumers and merchants. According to a survey by PwC Egypt, 62% of consumers and 58% of businesses used digital wallets in 2023, compared to 42% and 36% respectively in 2020. The survey also found that 54% of consumers and 48% of businesses used QR code payments in 2023, compared to 32% and 28% respectively in 2020.

“In an era marked by remarkable digital transformation, Egypt’s payments landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace,” Eng. Hossam Seifeldin, CEO of Capgemini Egypt, says. “The surge in non-cash transactions and the increasing adoption of new digital payment methods reflect the market’s dynamic evolution. This reflects a substantial shift in how businesses and consumers engage within Egypt’s economy. At Capgemini Egypt, we are committed to driving innovation, fostering financial inclusion, and partnering with our clients to navigate this transformative journey effectively. We believe that by harnessing the power of technology and collaboration, we can contribute to shaping a more connected and digitally empowered future for Egypt.”

Capgemini’s report reveals over half of corporate treasurers believe the rising globalization of trade and ongoing supply chain disruptions have driven demand for effective and efficient cash management services (CMS). Another third said evolving risks (geopolitics, and cybersecurity) made CMS critical, while nearly 30% call out rising inflation causing their growing need for better cash management.

As corporations navigate economic headwinds, current CMS offerings largely underwhelm multinational corporates, despite having more than 27 banking relationships on average to meet treasury needs. Over 70% of enterprise executives said they face issues in dispute negligence, poor credit risk assessment, and delayed or duplicate payment processing. However, the solution is clear with around two in three (63%) payment executives citing legacy infrastructure barriers as the biggest hinderance to providing efficient CMS.

“The current model of tackling cash management services needs an overhaul. Corporate executives are feeling the pressure from mounting inefficiencies across lengthy cash conversion cycles,” said Jeroen Hölscher, Global Head of Payments Services at Capgemini. “What’s clear from our report is that a robust digital foundation is the path forward to optimize the value chain. By simplifying the inherent complexity of their own operating and IT models, banks and payment firms can boost productivity and performance to manage client treasury needs.”

New payment solutions and key industry initiatives are fueling the growth of digital payments among enterprises. Expectations are also changing, with 63% of corporate clients are demanding a retail-like payment experience from their banks in 2023.

The payments sector has been at the forefront of digitization, however, it’s coming at a cost with compliance to local, regional and international regulations (including ISO20022 and SWIFT global payments initiatives) leaving limited room for investments in future innovation. Payment executives cite nearly 80% of traditional payment revenue sources are stressed and service providers must rebalance their focus between retail and commercial payments. Globally, more than 50% of payment executives believe commercial payments offer a better profit potential than retail payments.

End-to-end digital transformation in transaction banking requires top-down commitment, cohesive planning, and a unified purpose for structural reforms. Sixty-seven percent of bank executives acknowledged that strategically partnering with corporate clients reduces the threat of disintermediation by FinTechs and PayTechs; and 57% of payments executives said strategic banking partners enjoy increased cross- and up-selling opportunities because of these relationships. To nurture strategic cash management relationships with corporate clients, the report offers banks and payment firms a three-layered strategy: Simplify the back office to enable innovation and agility, perform with platforms to boost cash management efficiency, and engage with corporate clients as strategic partners, not service providers.

dviser meeting to analyze and discuss the situation on the financial report

Afreximbank Provides EUR10 Million to Banque Postale du Congo for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Financing

dviser meeting to analyze and discuss the situation on the financial report

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a landmark agreement with Banque Postale du Congo (BPC) to provide the Congolese bank with an EUR 10-million factoring facility to support SMEs in the Republic of Congo and the CEMAC region.

Signed on behalf of the two institutions by Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, and Calixte Tabangoli, Chief Executive Officer, BPC, during a ceremony in Cairo on 30 March, the facility will enable BPC to expand its factoring activities by engaging in domestic and cross-border factoring.

The facility builds on a strong partnership that has existed between Afreximbank and BPC for more than five years which has seen them collaborating in a series of initiatives aimed at supporting factoring. These have included facilitating the adoption of a factoring law in the Republic of Congo with the objective of creating an enabling legal and regulatory environment for the growth of factoring as an alternative method of financing for SMEs.

Afreximbank recognises factoring as an important tool for expanding and facilitating African trade, particularly for SMEs. As a member of the Africa Chapter of the FCI, the largest representative body for the factoring industry, Afreximbank has been working with local banks in its member states to seize the opportunities found within the factoring industry while educating and providing support to ensure that world class standards are established and replicated in Africa’s factoring industry, especially as trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement is taking shape.


Mr. Calixte Tabangoli, Chief Executive Officer, Banque Postale du Congo commented: “A few years ago, no one could have imagined that we could accomplish what we did today – becoming the leading factoring business in the Republic of Congo. We do not take this position for granted. As I always say, becoming the number one is difficult, but maintaining the number one position is more difficult. That is the reason why our strategic development plan 2023-2025 has concrete steps for BPC towards becoming the first Congolese Banking Group, with a factoring subsidiary. We are ready to take factoring to a fundamentally new direction. That said, we will need more support from the Bank, and do not be surprised to see us again”.


Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, commented:

“The significance of this transaction is not lost on us at Afreximbank, given the strong partnership we have developed with Banque Postale over the years in support of factoring. This partnership has yielded positive results, including the adoption of the Afreximbank Factoring Model Law by the Republic of Congo in 2021 and the sensitisation and awareness campaigns conducted by our two institutions which have helped bring factoring to the fore as a major alternative to trade finance in the Republic of Congo. We are confident that this support will enable Banque Postale to capitalise and strengthen its factoring business and allow it to provide adequate support to those SMEs in Congo that have limited access to bank financing. In line with our strategic plan, Afreximbank remains fully committed to supporting Banque Postale as it advances its mission to promote factoring in Congo and the Central Africa Region.”

Maputo downtown cityscape, capital city of Mozambique,

Mozambique Expands Locally-Led Climate Resilience, with Support from the European Union

Maputo downtown cityscape, capital city of Mozambique,

The Government of Mozambique and the European Union signed a 4,5 year agreement worth EUR 10 million to expand climate finance in the country through the Improving Local Climate Resilience in Mozambique (MERCIM) Program, technically supported by the United Nations Fund for Capital Development (UNCDF).

The announcement was made during the MERCIM Program Steering Committee on Friday, March 17, after a capitalization workshop on good practices to share learnings about the capacity of subnational governments to reduce climate vulnerability through locally led action.

The MERCIM Program was created in 2019 by the Ministry of Land and Environment, aimed at four districts (Memba, Mopeia, Morrumbala and Mossuril), in the Provinces of Zambezia and Nampula, selected in consultation with the Government of Mozambique and its development partners. With its expansion, MERCIM+ now covers 10 districts in four provinces, including Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Sofala and Zambezia.

“Nature continues to test our response and preparedness capabilities against extreme weather events,” said Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Land and Environment (MTA), Ms. Emilia Fumo. “We feel firsthand what the impacts of climate change are and a clear example of this is cyclone Freddy that is currently hitting the country and cyclone Gombe last year, both exactly in the provinces where we have implemented MERCIM,” she continued.

According to MTA’s Permanent Secretary, what was done during the last years of the program’s implementation prevented the loss of lives and essential infrastructure, as well as the continued provision of essential basic services.

“We need to strengthen the capacity of local governments to adapt to the changing climate so that the impact of extreme weather events is less and less; And that means expanding the MERCIM project to the entire country,” said Ms. Emilia Fumo.

Mozambique is among the top three countries in Africa most vulnerable to climate change. In the last decade, Mozambique has been hit by six cyclones and two tropical storms, impacting around four million people. Cyclone Freddy is the latest of these, affecting around 800,000 people.

During her speech, the Head of Cooperation of the European Union in Mozambique, Ms. Paula Vazquez Horyaans, stated that “supporting adaptation to the impact of climate change is a key priority for the European Union.”

“We have supported the government in implementing its environmental and climate policies and programs since 2010 through various initiatives; It is our intention to maintain this role in the future,” Ms. Paula Vazquez Horyaans, Head of European Union Cooperation in Mozambique.

For Mrs. Horyaans, support for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution of Mozambique assumes a central place in the multi-annual cooperation program of the European Union with the country, in which “MERCIM holistically supports the three levels of government to implement climate adaptation strategies and actions for the benefit of all Mozambican men and women.”


Strengthening the capacity of local governments

MERCIM uses UNCDF methodologies that strengthen the capacity of local governments to improve the delivery of climate-resilient basic services to communities and to enhance decision-making processes based on local knowledge.

This means providing capacity building and technical assistance to governments so that communities can actively participate in planning, budgeting, and other local governance processes in a gender-sensitive manner.

To do this, it uses a participatory, bottom-up approach to challenges, which through the use of local consultative councils ensures essential buy-in at the local level. First, local communities are engaged in what they consider to be their greatest needs, proposals are forwarded to local and then provincial administrations.

“The inclusive and participatory approach has been central in the implementation of MERCIM in all districts, both in deciding on climate resilient investments, but also in integrating climate change adaptation into local budgeting and financing instruments and planning,” said Ramon Cervera, UNCDF representative in Mozambique.
“We as UNCDF are here to technically support capacities that already exist at a decentralized level and use the knowledge of local communities to fight climate change,” continued Ramon Cervera.

MERCIM uses channels climate finance to local government authorities for locally led adaptation, using Performance Based Climate Resilience Grants. Such grants provide additional funds to cover the extra expenses of making local investments climate resilient and include minimum conditions and performance measures that inform subsequent PBCRG allocations.

Since the inception of MERCIM, 26 activities and resilient infrastructure have been fully funded, with 18 completed and accounted for in target districts. All these infrastructures and investment projects were identified, prioritized, selected, and approved by the population of the districts together with local governments, taking into account the existing Local Adaptation Plans – a key tool of the National Strategy on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.

Altogether, through MERCIM, 18 Local Adaptation Plans were created in Nampula and Zambezia, covering all districts of both provinces. Throughout Mozambique, there are 33 Local Adaptation Plans, including 30 funded by the European Union and all technically supported and carried out through the partnership of the Government of Mozambique with UNCDF.

Business People Communication Office Meeting Room Concept

UAE: Etihad Credit Insurance Records 26% Increase in Insured Non-Oil Commercial Exports

Business People Communication Office Meeting Room Concept

The meeting discussed broader alignment to the initiatives outlined under the “We in the UAE 2031” strategy

Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company, recently held its first Board of Directors meeting in 2023, chaired by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board at the company’s headquarters in Dubai.

The meeting discussed broader alignment to the initiatives outlined under the “We in the UAE 2031” strategy, which focuses on further developing the UAE’s non-oil exports and offering solutions to address challenges related to trade credit, project financing, and SME development.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri said, “ECI has played an integral role in supporting the UAE’s economic development, thereby demonstrating the UAE’s capabilities as a global hub for businesses and trade. We take pride in our ability to offer innovative credit solutions and forging strategic partnerships that bolster UAE companies’ competitiveness on a global scale, thereby diversifying the country’s economic development and driving UAE non-oil exports.”

“ECI supports key sectors that enable non-oil domestic projects and will continue to focus on strengthening sectors that are aligned with national priorities. We also will support projects that offer sustainable growth to realize the nation’s ambitious strategy and contribute to achieving the UAE’s vision as it ventures into the next phase of its transformative strategy,” he added.

Al Marri praised ECI for its efforts in securing AA- international rating by Fitch for the fourth consecutive year, reflecting on the company’s ability to mitigate potential risks; and reiterating its strong presence in global markets.

Raja Al Mazrouei, Managing Director, and Acting CEO of ECI, stated, “ECI has undergone a rigorous review of its strategy and 2023 business plans in line with the vision and aspirations of the UAE’s leadership. Our efforts align with the four pillars that make up the ambitious ‘We in the UAE 2031’ vision. We will focus on the adoption of the latest technologies and the development of a global interconnected ecosystem and a diverse portfolio of transformative projects, all of which will drive national exports geared towards diversifying the country’s economic streams.”

The Board discussed the company’s milestone achievements in 2022 and reviewed its annual report; which recorded an increase of 26 percent from 2021 in the value of non-oil insured turnover secured for exporters and SMEs, reaching AED 14.4 billion in 2022. The credit export agency also disclosed issuing 8,140 revolving credit limits in 2022; a 23 percent hike from the 6,620 revolving credit limits issued in 2021. Additionally, the value of the company’s underwritten exposure reached AED 8.1 billion; a 45 percent surge from AED 5.6 billion during the same period.

ECI has also protected and facilitated UAE’s non-oil exports to 106 countries, compared to 92 in 2021, while entering new markets, including Egypt, Iraq, Senegal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), India, Ghana, Angola, United Kingdom (UK) and Oman for companies operating across 16 sectors.

The meeting was attended by members of the Board including Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of ECI; Omar Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director-General, Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi; Saed Mohammed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Industries and Exports; Marwan Ahmed Al Ali, Director-General, Ajman Department of Finance; H.H Sheikh Omar bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Executive Director, Investment and Development Office in Ras Al Khaimah; Ahmed Salem Al Yamahi, Deputy Director Department of Finance in Fujairah; Amer Abdul Rahim Kazem, Head of Internal Audit, Emirates NBD; Raja Al Mazrouei, Managing Director, and Acting CEO of ECI; and Omar Mohammd Al Humaidi, Board Secretary and Director, Trade Remedies, Ministry of Economy.

Simion Kronenfeld: Predictions About the Stock Market in 2023

In just four short years, the global stock market has undergone dramatic and unpredictable changes, and has experienced both highs and lows, making it difficult to predict what might be around the corner in 2023.

Many economists are looking at past trends as well as current events in order to make informed predictions about the future of this sector. Experts such as Simion Kronenfeld are considering questions such as how global politics may affect investment decisions, which companies will drive growth, and whether any new technology could disrupt existing markets.

With so many unknowns surrounding the stock market’s future, it can be hard to decipher what will actually transpire by 2023. However, understanding potential scenarios ahead of time can help investors plan accordingly and navigate whatever surprises await them in the coming years.

Overview of the Global Stock Market in 2022

The global stock market has seen a great deal of volatility over the past few years, with unpredictable movements that have left investors and analysts alike on edge. As we look ahead to 2023, all eyes remain trained on what could be in store for the markets: will they continue on their current trajectory, or will some unexpected event disrupt the status quo?

In order to better understand what may lie ahead, it is worthwhile to take an overview of the current state of the global stock market.

As of 2022, most major indices are near record highs thanks largely to strong corporate earnings and improving economic conditions worldwide. The S&P 500 Index is up nearly 30% from its pre-pandemic levels, while technology stocks like Apple and Microsoft have driven much of this growth. Other key markets such as Japan’s Nikkei 225 and India’s Sensex have also had impressive gains during this time frame.

This upward trend was also reflected through the stock markets of the Middle East and Africa this past year: with the region’s ever-growing population and rapidly expanding economies, there remain limitless opportunities for potential growth. Recent investment initiatives, such as the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the Dubai International Financial Centre, have further increased the potential for growth in the region, while the rise of FinTech and digital banking has made investing in the Middle East and Africa easier than ever before.

This trend could very well continue into 2023 if investor sentiment remains positive and macroeconomic indicators support further increases in asset prices. It is important to note, however, that geopolitical risks still exist that could potentially derail the progress made so far.

Understanding these potential pitfalls can help inform predictions about the stock market in 2023 and beyond.

Economic Trends and Forecasts

It is expected that the global stock market will continue to show an upward trend in 2023. To understand its future performance, however, it is important to consider economic trends and forecasts for this period of time.

According to a recent survey by the McKinsey Global Institute, 15% of total global wealth was held in publicly traded stocks at the end of 2022, up from 10% at the start of 2020. This statistic demonstrates how stock markets have grown significantly as major economies around the world recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021.

Economic indicators also point towards a positive outlook for the stock market in 2023, with expectations of solid growth across sectors such as technology, healthcare, energy, and financial services. Factors like low-interest rates and high levels of liquidity are likely to drive investments into these sectors, leading to higher returns for investors over the course of 2023.

Furthermore, international trade agreements could help boost cross-border investments, which would further support capital flows into various asset classes including equities. As a result, investors should look forward to attractive investment opportunities in 2023, despite some risks associated with external events or macroeconomic shocks.

Investment Strategies for The Future

Investment strategies for the future are an important consideration for prominent figures such as Simion Kronenfeld when predicting the stock market performance in 2023. Knowing which options to pursue and when can help investors make decisions that will maximize returns while minimizing risk.

In order to do this, it is important to have a thorough understanding of economic trends and forecasts, as well as current investment strategies and emerging technologies.

When looking at potential investments for the future, there are several factors to consider:

  • Analyzing historical data: By examining past market movements, investors can gain insight into how different markets may perform in the near term. This allows them to better anticipate upcoming changes and prepare accordingly.
  • Investing based on fundamentals: Fundamental analysis involves researching companies’ financials and evaluating their prospects for success over the long-term. It also entails monitoring macroeconomic indicators such as inflation rates or unemployment levels to gauge overall economic health.
  • Exploring new technology: Technological developments could drastically reshape existing industries and create entirely new ones. As such, they should be monitored closely by those interested in staying ahead of the curve with regard to investing opportunities.

By considering these points together with other relevant information, investors can build portfolios tailored to their individual needs and objectives while remaining up-to-date on both present conditions and possible outcomes in the years ahead.

The global stock market in 2023 appears to be unpredictable and volatile. Economic trends suggest that investments should not be made without careful consideration of potential returns, and investment strategies for the future will likely involve a high degree of risk management and diversification across multiple asset classes.

Despite this uncertain outlook, there is still reason for hope; by carefully planning our financial decisions and being mindful of economic factors, it may be possible to realize gains that exceed expectations. While investors must accept a certain level of uncertainty when investing in the stock market, they can also use this unpredictability as an opportunity to make profits – something which no one would have predicted at the start of 2022.

High voltage electricity tower sky sunset landscape,industrial background.

AXIAN-Owned WeLight Secures EIB Funding to Connect 250,000 in Africa to Clean Power

High voltage electricity tower sky sunset landscape,industrial background.

WeLight, a company co-owned by AXIAN Group, has secured 19 million euros ($21 million) in funding from a group of lenders including the European Investment Bank (EIB), to help 250,000 people in rural Madagascar gain first-time access to clean electricity.

The group, comprised of the EIB, Triodos Investment Management and EDFI ElectriFI, a European Union-funded Electrification Financing Initiative, will fund the construction and development of small solar-powered mini-grids in over 120 villages in rural Madagascar.

“Africa has a unique opportunity to spearhead a low-carbon revolution while eliminating energy poverty on the continent,” said AXIAN Group CEO Hassanein Hiridjee. “We are delighted that the European Investment Bank, Triodos Investment Management and EDFI ElectriFI are supporting Africa in reaching its clean energy potential.”

The financing will help to connect as many as 45,000 households and businesses in Madagascar to the nation’s power grid, enabling them to gain access to clean and affordable energy.

Click here for more information from the European Investment Bank

WeLight is owned by pan-African conglomerate AXIAN Group, as well as Norway’s sovereign development bank Norfund and Sagemcom, a firm that installs mini grids and smart metering solutions across sub-Saharan Africa.

Decarbonization and climate risk have been at the top of the Davos 2023 agenda this week. According to World Economic Forum research, climate-related risk disruptions, such as heatwaves, have surged by 96% in the past year alone while the top four most severe risks over the next 10 years are all environmental

AXIAN launched New Energy Africa (NEA) in October, a division that will drive investment in both present and future renewable-energy projects across the continent. Acting on behalf of energy distributers, NEA offers clean power solutions to commercial and industrial operators.

On January 17, AXIAN’s NEA closed a 10-million-euro credit facility to help finance a 20 MW solar plant, the largest in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. It’s the second phase of an existing power plant project that Societe Generale, GuarantCo and AGF helped to refinance in 2020.

With more than 40% of Africans still not having access to reliable power, the NEA will play an essential role in overseeing and coordinating innovative energy projects that bolster both energy inclusion and local socio-economic growth.

The International Energy Agency says that Africa is already facing more severe impacts from climate change than most other regions, ‘’despite bearing the least responsibility for the problem’’.

The continent is home to almost a fifth of the world’s population yet accounts for less than 3% of global energy-related carbon emissions, the IEA says.

“Clean technology and access to low-carbon energy will be the foundation of the future global economy,” Hiridjee said. The world is at a critical juncture, with the need for bold and collective action to decarbonize clearer than ever”.

Digital money-transfer

Almost 60% of Saudi Arabia Consumers Choose Only Digital Money-transfer Platforms, But Choice Still Matters

Digital money-transfer
  • Consumers expect to send or receive more money in the next 12 months, as senders struggle with cost-of-living dichotomy 
  • Women prioritize why they send cross-border money transfers differently to men

Consumers in Saudi Arabia predominantly view digital money transfers as the preferred way to send money now and in the future, according to research commissioned by Western Union. Yet many still want the power to choose between online and retail (in-person) experiences – depending on their convenience and needs. Exclusive insights show that today almost 60% of consumers who send money abroad prefer digital money-transfer services, compared to 22% who want choice, and 17% who send cash through retail channels only.

The study, which surveyed over 1,500 money-sending and receiving citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, asked how, when and why they move money internationally. The results bolster Western Union’s recently announced ‘Evolve 2025’ (E25) strategy combining high-value, accessible digital and retail financial services. The research also aligns to Western Union data, which has demonstrated strong customer preferences to move money digitally. In the first three quarters of 2022, the Company experienced double-digit year-on-year growth in the volume of digital transactions from Saudi Arabia.

When asked about how international money transfers should be offered in the future, consumer opinion among senders is mixed. More (47%) still believe that the transfer experience should be digital from end-to-end, while 44% prefer choice and 9% would still opt for cash only. In reverse, 57% of consumers who receive transfers prefer a choice, while 24% favour going completely digital. Nineteen percent would still want to collect their funds in cash only.

 “Since launching their ambitious National Transformation Program – Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in achieving digital transformation,” said Jean Claude Farah, President of Middle East and Asia Pacific at Western Union. “The country’s visionary leaders have been steadfast in developing the necessary infrastructure to support this evolution. As a result, today it ranks seventh for its digital competitiveness among the G20, while internet penetration across the country sits at an impressive 98%. The study outcomes demonstrate that citizens and residents have been very much part of this journey – largely opting for online options over in-person experiences, as they benefit from the country’s increasingly advanced digital framework.”


Receivers hold strong influence over frequency and flow of money

The research also shows that receivers of funds strongly influence how much and how often their senders transfer money. Overall, 34% of senders say their families or loved ones’ financial situation drives decisions on the frequency and flow of money. Sixty eight percent also say their receiver influences the company they choose to send money through, and 74% state their transfer method of choice (digital, retail or a mix) is dependent on how their receiver can collect the money.

Looking at the broader macro-economic climate, a significant number of consumers expect to send (74%) or receive (66%) more money in the next 12 months. However, senders also struggle with a cost-of-living dichotomy: 73% of senders say that because cost-of-living has increased in their receiving country, they now need to send more money; yet 67% state that higher cost-of-living in their current country of residence, means they are not able to transfer as much as they did previously.

“Providing a crucial link between senders and receivers helps consumers build a bridge to financial stability and opportunity,” Farah said. “As we adapt to higher costs-of-living, supporting consumers as they move up the economic ladder becomes even more important. The public and private sectors have a collective role to play here. If we collaborate effectively, we will be able to offer even stronger financial opportunities and experiences that will ultimately help them better manage their financial lives.”


Women prioritize why they send cross-border money transfers differently to men

The study also shows that a greater number of women in Saudi Arabia send money transfers more often than once a month, compared to men. Nearly a quarter of the women surveyed (vs. 21% of men) say they move money multiple times within a month.

Paying for family support is the primary reason why men move money (55%). While this is of utmost importance to many women as well (42%), women also place stronger emphasis on reasons such as paying for financial commitments, future savings and education payments.  

“Globally, women comprise slightly less than half of today’s expatriate workers,” Farah concluded. “They are more empowered than ever before, as they move internationally and shape global economies. In line with Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is focused on attracting the finest local and international minds to bolster economic development. Their ambition to increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30% by 2030 means that ensuring greater access to financial services is imperative, particularly with the rise of new technologies.”

Contactless payments

Visa Reveals More Transit Users Are On Board with Contactless Payments in Egypt

Contactless payments
  • Survey finds 95% of consumers in Egypt either strongly or somewhat expect transit to offer contactless payment options

Visa today announced the results of its second annual Future of Urban Mobility Survey, which uncovered a desire for change among transit users in Egypt.

The survey was conducted in May 2022 among 1000 adults in Egypt and aims to better understand what matters to transit users today – and what they want the future of transit to look like. The survey included questions about how often they use public transit, why they use it, and what they expect in terms of new payment methods.

“In cities across the globe, people are venturing out again after a more than two-year hiatus,” Essam El Daly, Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring Sector for North Africa, Levant and Pakistan at Visa, says .  “Public transit has always been a vital part of how people get to work or school, run errands, and travel to leisure activities. Now the pandemic has pushed many riders to challenge the status quo when it comes to how they pay their fares.”


Shifting preferences

The speed, security, and ease of digital payments have helped shift global transit user’s payment preferences. In Egypt, the Future of Urban Mobility Survey found that 95% of those surveyed either strongly or somewhat expect contactless payment options to be available on public transit.

Further, 52% of respondents in Egypt said they are most likely to pay their transit fare through contactless payments.

Contactless payments continue to help riders navigate the future of transit.

Respondents in Egypt said the top benefits of contactless payments were the time saved due to faster transactions (37%), reduced contact with surfaces and other people (37%), less worry over carrying enough cash (31%), and convenience (30%). 

The survey found that (31%) of public transit riders in Egypt cited contactless payments as the top feature that would entice them to use public transit.

Among employed riders in Egypt, 39% of riders said they take public transit at least three times a week, and 32% ride five times a week or more. Additionally, 55% of those surveyed in Egypt plan to use transit more often over the next 12 months.  As ridership continues to ramp up, it will be important that paying to ride is secure and seamless.


Fare-capping attracts riders

Payment options such as fare-capping represent an important opportunity for transit operators to serve as many riders as possible. Fare-capping limits how much a rider pays for their total rides in a day, week, or month, eliminating the need to tie up funds on a monthly pass or transit-dedicated card. Among survey respondents in Egypt, 37% said that capped fares would encourage them to take public transit more often than a non-fare capped system.

In the same survey, 40% of riders in Egypt ranked faster journey times as a top motivator that would encourage them to use transit more often. Fare capping can help speed up the boarding process by alleviating confusion over how to pay for newer riders. 


Sustainability is driving ridership

Why do riders prefer public transit? Of those surveyed in Egypt, 93% said that sustainability and the environment were a factor in how often they decide to travel by transit, and it was the top reason for 47%.


Contactless rollouts increasing

Open transit systems help city residents sustain their livelihoods, connect to services and pursue activities that create a vibrant city life. Visa supports global transit operators to deliver digital tools to draw in more passengers and improve the overall experience. In Q2 of this year Visa and our transit partners rolled out 50 new projects worldwide, from Thailand to Japan to Mexico and beyond, to enable riders to simply tap their contactless credit, debit, prepaid card, or payment-enabled device, without needing to purchase or load a separate transit card or handle cash while boarding.

For example, a pilot project in Izmir, Turkey, this year enabled passengers to pay with contactless domestic and foreign credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards.


An economic lifeline for millions

The Future of Urban Mobility Survey also shows how public transit is an economic lifeline for millions of people around the world In Egypt, 36% of respondents said public transit is their primary form of transportation. For 48% in Egypt public transit is how they commute to and from work.

Why and How Should You Invest in Mutual Funds in Dubai?

If you’re looking for a way to grow your money, you may wonder how and where to invest. Mutual funds can be an excellent option for investors in Dubai, as they offer opportunities for growth and diversification. In this article, we’ll discuss why you should consider investing in mutual funds and explore some of the factors you need to consider when making your decision. So read on to find out more.

What are mutual funds, and why should you invest in them?

A mutual fund is a type of investment vehicle that pools money from many investors and invests it in a portfolio of securities, such as stocks, bonds, or cash. Investing in a mutual fund achieves a specific financial goal, such as capital growth or income generation.

There are many reasons why you should consider investing in mutual funds. Firstly, they offer the potential for capital growth. When you invest in a mutual fund, your money is used to purchase a basket of assets. These assets may increase in value over time, which can lead to capital gains for the investor. Mutual funds can provide you with diversification. Investing in a range of assets can spread your risk and potentially reduce the volatility of your investment portfolio.

Mutual funds can offer you professional management. When you invest in a mutual fund, your money is managed by a team of professionals with expertise in the securities market. It means that you can benefit from their knowledge and experience, which can help to grow your investment over time. Finally, mutual funds are a flexible investment option. You can invest lump sums of money or make regular contributions to your fund. It makes them an excellent option for investors with different needs and goals.

How do mutual funds work, and what are their benefits for investors in Dubai and beyond?

Mutual funds work by pooling money from many investors and investing it in a portfolio of securities. The value of the fund’s assets will rise and fall in line with the performance of the underlying securities. It means that when you invest in a mutual fund, you are exposed to the same risks as if you had invested directly in the underlying assets. However, because mutual funds are diversified investments, they can offer some protection against market volatility.

The main benefits of mutual funds for investors are capital growth potential, diversification, professional management, and flexibility. Mutual funds offer Dubai-based investors the opportunity to grow their money while spreading their risk across various assets. When selecting a mutual fund, it is crucial to consider your investment goals and risk tolerance, which will help you choose a fund that is right for you.

What to look for when choosing a mutual fund to invest in

When choosing a mutual fund to invest in, there are many factors you need to take into account. Firstly, you need to consider your investment goals. What are you looking to achieve by investing in a mutual fund? Are you looking for capital growth or income generation? It would help if you considered your risk tolerance. How much risk are you willing to take on?

You need to consider the fees charged by the fund manager. Mutual funds typically charge an annual management fee and other fees. These fees can eat into your investment returns, so comparing the fees charged by different fund managers before making your decision is essential.

Finally, you need to research the performance of the fund. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but it can give you an idea of how the fund has performed in the past.

How to get started investing in mutual funds

If you are interested in investing in mutual funds, there are a few things you need to do before you get started. Firstly, you need to open a brokerage account with a licensed broker. Once you have done this, you can start researching the different funds available.

Once you have selected a fund, you need to decide how much money you want to invest. You can invest lump sums of money or make regular contributions to your fund. Finally, you need to monitor your investment over time. It will help you track your progress and ensure that your investment is on track to achieve your financial goals.

Risks and rewards of investing in mutual funds

Mutual funds are a popular investment option for many investors. However, it is essential to remember that all investments come with risks. When you invest in a mutual fund, you are exposed to the same risks as if you had invested directly in the underlying assets. It means that your investment can go up or down in value, and you could lose money.

However, mutual funds also offer the potential for capital growth over the long term. If you choose a fund with a track record of solid performance, you could see your investment grow over time, making it an excellent option for investors looking to build their wealth over the long term.

Equal Gender Balance And Parity

Janngo Capital Startup Fund, Africa’s Largest Gender Equal Tech VC Fund, Reaches the First Close of its €60 Million New Fund

Equal Gender Balance And Parity

At the eve of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Janngo Capital Startup Fund (JCSF) has announced its first close at EUR34 million (approximately US$36 million) in capital commitments. Launched in Davos in 2020, Janngo Capital’s latest fund will invest 50% of its proceeds in companies founded, co-founded, or benefiting women. Backed by global financial institutions as well as leading private corporations, the fund management company plans to invest EUR60 million (approximately US$63 million) in startups leveraging technology to leapfrog development and achieve SDGs in Africa.


100% tech, 100% Africa, 100% equal


Janngo Capital Startup Fund, second investment vehicle of the management company, will provide up to EUR5 million seed and growth investments to early-stage tech and tech-enabled startups that (1) enable Africans to improve their access to essential goods and services such as healthcare, education or financial services, (2) enable African SMEs to improve their access to market & capital, or (3) create sustainable jobs at scale, with a focus on women & youth.

Women in Africa are the most entrepreneurial in the entire world with a total entrepreneurship activity rate of 26%. Yet, they face a $42 billion funding gap and have very limited access to growth capital. As one of the very few female-founded, female-owned, and female-led fund management companies in Africa, Janngo Capital has made a strong commitment to gender equality as it will invest 50% of its proceeds in companies founded, co-founded, or benefiting women.

“We are proud to lead Africa’s largest gender equal tech VC fund and see major global investors rally around our vision to back entrepreneurs building digital champions across Africa. We have built a strong track record in the region through our first fund with investments in 11 tech & tech-enabled startups, including the soonicorn Sabi, Expensya or Jexport,” said Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & Executive Chair of Janngo Capital.

“Our current portfolio companies are 56% women-led, 54% francophone and provide strong evidence of how these technology champions can positively contribute in solving key market failures and creating jobs in healthcare, logistics, financial services, retail, food & agri, mobility or the creative industry. Janngo Capital Startup Fund will play a critical role in improving access to early-stage capital for tech entrepreneurs in a more equal way, on a continent still attracting less than 2% of the global VC fund’, adds Fatoumata Bâ.


Proparco, Burda Principal Investments, Muller Medien & asset management veterans join anchor investors EIB, AfDB & Boost Africa

Janngo Capital Startup Fund is backed by first-class investors with an equal number of development finance institutions & leading commercial private investors, including:

  • The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest multilateral development bank active in 160 countries and with a total balance sheet of more than EUR565 billion as of 31/12/2021;
  • The African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa’s largest development finance institution with 81 member countries (54 regional and 27 non regional);
  • Boost Africa, a joint initiative supported by the European Union and led by the EIB and the African Development Bank (AfDB) with financial support from the OACPS aiming at unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of African youth through investment by venture capital funds;
  • Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD Group) with a balance sheet of over EUR7 billion as of 31/12/2021;
  • Burda Principal Investments (BPI), the growth capital arm of media and tech company Hubert Burda Media with successful unicorn investments such as Etsy, Vinted and Carsome;
  • Muller Medien, a German family-owned media conglomerate; with its New Business sector, Mueller Medien holds more than 60 startup investments, e.g. Booksy, UrbanSportsClub & bookingkit;
  • An ex-KKR Partner & Private Equity veteran with a strong experience in emerging markets.


“Africa has some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a young, fast-growing population. We believe we can improve its living standards and social progress by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation. That is why we are pleased to partner again with Janngo Capital Startup Fund through our Boost Africa Initiative,” said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President.

Stefan Nalletamby, the African Development Bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development, said “The Janngo Fund can drive the transformation from a more traditional business ecosystem into a dynamic, youth-driven, and technology-focused entrepreneurial community. Africa is experiencing rapid mobile penetration with Android and other platforms. Janngo Start-up Fund provides huge opportunities to develop innovative and high-growth-driven start-ups and SMEs and our investment under the Boost Africa Program will help fill the severe scarcity of risk capital for the new and upcoming first generation of venture capital funds targeting early-stage businesses.” 

“With its investment in Janngo Capital Start-up Fund, PROPARCO, via FISEA +, the AFD Group facility advised by Proparco and part of the Choose Africa initiative, is partnering with a fund manager that can bring both essential financing and strong mentoring to early-stage businesses in Africa with a rare focus on the Francophone West African region. Proparco is strongly committed to supporting the new generation of entrepreneurs in Francophone Africa, where investment for start-ups lags behind their peers in other parts of the continent. Janngo’s innovative approach of operating a start-up studio was also a key convincing factor, presenting a unique way to incubate businesses that can overcome gaps in the current local market. Last but not least, we are proud to partner with a female-led fund manager that seeks to contribute to diminishing the existing gender gap in terms of start-up financing,” said Jérémie Ceyrac, Head of Private Equity at Proparco.

Digital Payment

Mastercard New Payments Index 2022: UAE Consumers Embrace Digital Payments

Digital Payment

88% of consumers in the UAE have used at least one emerging payment method in the last year, with usage expected to increase further