2 nov 21

A round-up of news from Africa Middle East

Bringing electric mobility to central Africa

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the hardest places for young people to start a business, let alone a “green” business, but Yacine Fylla, founder of Mopepe Solutions, is the exception. Mopepe is a Congolese start-up dedicated to green mobility via electric vehicles. It has a funding partnership with Rawbank, a leading bank in the DRC and at the end of October 2021, the bank received the first electric vehicles delivered by Mopepe’s young Congolese founder Yacine Fylla.

The two EVs will be used by Rawbank's sales department and General Manager, Mustafa Rawjiare, and are rechargeable via Mopepe Refill terminals. Rawbank has a desire to encourage youth entrepreneurship and support sustainable development in the DRC.

A finalist in the international start-up competition "Get in the ring" in 2016, Mopepe was established in 2020, the first electric and solar-powered mobility service in Central Africa.

An app to improve driver safety and reduce road deaths launches in Ghana

From January to October 2020, there were over 12,000 road traffic accidents in Ghana, which resulted in over 2,000 fatalities and 12,380 injuries. The number of fatalities has risen 21% in 2021.

An app has been rolled out, reports News Ghana, by the Ghana Driver and Road Safety Foundation in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority, Ghana Police Service and other road safety stakeholders.

Using English and Ghanaian languages, the app works by enabling road users to send live hazard reports. It also provides continuous driver education in a COVID-safe manner. Road safety authorities will be alerted to take preventive action by the app, while community members will be alerted to stay safe. The app is empowering citizens to get involved in road safety action.

MAX Nigeria making mobility safe, affordable and sustainable

MAX (Metro Africa Xpress), a technology company lead by entrepreneur Adetayo Bamiduro, is helping commercial drivers in Nigeria and wider Sub-Saharan Africa to access finance for vehicles and generate income.

Around 80% of drivers on MAX’s platform are without bank accounts and so have no opportunity to build the credit score necessary to access loans from mainstream banks. Using MAX, the drivers can leverage alternative data to achieve a credit score, which can then be updated in realtime as they work on the platform.

Speaking to Nigeria Report, Bamiduro explained: “We have countless testimonials from drivers who, before they came on the MAX platform, were generating less than $1 a day. But once they came upon the MAX platform, some of them were able to instantly grow their income to $6 a day, $10 a day, $20 a day, depending on the city and the vehicle type. So being able to increase the earning power for our drivers by 3 or 4, and sometimes even more, is something that we are extremely proud of.”

FedEx Express, Greening its South African Fleet

Having completed an electric delivery vehicle trial in Johannesburg, the logistics giant now plans to introduce EVs into its South African fleet.

Speaking about the trial, MD Natasha Parmanand, told Tech Central: “We’re encouraged by the results we’ve seen from the initial vehicle test. Not only did the vehicle perform well when travelling to and from customer sites, but it handled our local streets and conditions.”

The EV was able to operate all day during testing without having to be recharged, according to the company. By 2040, the entire FedEx global parcel pickup and delivery fleet will be zero-emissions electric vehicles, the company has stated publicly. 

Google invests $1bn in Africa

Last month, Google announced plans to invest $1 bn over five years to support Africa in its digital transformation. The announcement was made at the tech giant’s first-ever Google for Africa event, reports AllAfrica.

Google is also building a subsea cable - Equiano - to help bring faster internet and lower connectivity costs to more people. The cable will run along the coasts of South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, and St Helena and connect the continent with Europe.  

Google said it would disburse $10 million in low-interest loans to small businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, to alleviate hardships brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest charging station-to-vehicle ratios

That’s what the headline in Transport and Logistics Middle East claimed in a recent article.

The article centred on a white paper published by the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) MENA saying that the UAE has 240 grid-linked slow charging public stations, 80% of which are in Dubai.

The paper shows that while the UAE has made great advances in EV infrastructure development, the models available, alongside consumer and corporate appetites to shift from conventional vehicles, means that implementation of the transition is slow.

Main image: Yacine Fylla, founder Mopepe Solutions and Mustafa Rawjiare, general manager, Rawbank, DRC, coutesy of Mopepe. In article image, courtesy of MAX Nigeria.

Authored by: Alison Pittaway