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Paving the way for Electric Vehincles: How greener cars will change road trips, infrastructure



Payment24 CEOs, Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel note that the logistics of running EVs will mean that people will plan their trips around where they can charge their vehicles

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is set to pick up in South Africa in years to come, driving changes to filling stations, road trips and how people pay to power their vehicles.

This is according to Payment24, specialists in fuel and fleet management systems, who say EVs have been slow to take off in South Africa, but that uptake is set to grow as the upfront cost of these vehicles drops and as more infrastructure becomes available to support them.

Payment24 CEOs Shadab Rahil and Nolan Daniel note that the logistics of running EVs will mean that people will plan their trips around where they can charge their vehicles, and there will be changes in the way filling stations will entertain customers while they wait to charge their cars, and how people will pay for their power.

Slow start

According to Green Cape’s Electric Vehicles Market Intelligence Report released this year, of the passenger car sales in 2019, petrol vehicle sales accounted for 299,048; diesel vehicle sales for 55,563; and there were only 72 plug-in hybrid EV sales, 154 battery EV and 181 hybrid EV sales.

Rahil and Daniel say that EV uptake in South Africa has been slow partly because the lowest-cost EVs available in South Africa are priced at around R600,000, and due to limited numbers of public charging points – particularly outside of the major metros. Daniel says: “Range anxiety has also been a factor, with concern about what should happen if a battery runs out of power during a trip. But battery technology has improved dramatically, so EVs can now be charged overnight at home, or at a high-capacity public charging station in around 20 minutes, which would power a vehicle for 100km or more. For most people, a 100km range is ample for the day.”

He says installing a public charging point can cost in the order of R1 million, making many fuel stations and other public facilities loath to make the investment when there are limited numbers of EVs on the road. With between 250 and 300 public charging stations across South Africa at the moment, there is currently around one charging station for every four EVs in the country, reports Green Cape which is one of the highest ratio of Chargers vs EV’s in the world.

EV uptake set to boom

However, EV prices are dropping and more vehicle manufacturers are entering the EV market, bringing more choice to South Africans. This charge could be lead by Chinese manufacturers who can provide affordable EVs to the African markets in near future. More EVs on the road will drive the installation of more charging stations outside of the major metros, making longer trips in EVs more feasible, and changing the face of the traditional South African road trip. “Charging EVs will definitely change the fuel station experience,” he says. “Where people could fill up with liquid fuel and be in and out in 5 minutes, with an EV they would be there for far longer – waiting their turn to charge, and actually charging their vehicles. This will drive a change in what fuel stations offer their customers in terms of refreshments and entertainment.”

EV uptake is already causing oil companies to move to broader energy provision, and is also likely to increase demand for high capacity power, creating new opportunities for small scale energy producers.

Strong business case for EVs

Rahil notes that once the initial costs of an EV have been overcome, there is a compelling case for EVs: “Not only is the technology eco-friendly, but the running costs are significantly lower for EVs than ICE vehicles. It’s almost a 1:5 ratio of EVs to ICE vehicles, with power costs as low as 25c per km for an average EV. From a maintenance perspective, EVs have significantly fewer moving parts, so maintenance is a lot cheaper. We expect to see strong adoption among consumers, fleet owners, public transport and logistics companies.” He notes that EV trucks will have significantly larger battery capacity than consumer vehicles, making electric power a compelling proposition for courier and logistics firms, who will likely embrace electric and hybrid power for everything from delivery scooters to large trucks.

Paving the way for seamless integrated payments

Says Rahil: “Payment24 is already working towards integrating EV charge point payments with fuel payments so that fleet owners and fuel stations will be able to manage all EV and ICE (internal combustion engine) payments on a single platform. This has become a must-have in North America and Europe, and will become increasingly important in South Africa in years to come.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Payment24.

About Payment24:
Payment24 is an international technology development firm specialising in payment solutions for the transport and fleet industries. The company’s solutions – including the Payment24 fuel management platform, fleet fuel management solutions, loyalty and rewards, mobile fuelling solutions, and vehicle tracking, telematics and geofencing solutions – are developed out of South Africa to support smart fleet and fuel management and payments in Africa. Based in Cape Town, Payment24 has partnerships and a presence in countries across Africa, and in North America and Latin America, and is currently expanding its reach into 18 additional African countries. Visit:

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Business & Economy

Energy efficiency key to sustain data centres in Africa



…As Africa is experiencing some of the fastest growth in internet access seen around the world, largely due to its young population

LAGOS, Nigeria, November 4, 2021/ — Access to affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable sources of electricity is a pressing issue for the growing number of Data Centre operators across Africa.

These facilities need to ensure a high availability of power to mitigate downtime, but many African countries face frequent power outages.

Existing Data Centres have relied on diesel-fuelled generators to sustain operations during power outages, a practice that could exacerbate carbon emissions in the future.

Indeed, the deployment of hyperscale Data Centre capacity is expected to increase emissions through further diesel-generator utilisation.

In a recently published focus report by Oxford Business Group titled “Data Centres in Africa”, the CEO of MainOne, Funke Opeke opined that power distribution networks are facing frequent shortages, but there is an adequate supply of electricity in the region’s national grids.

“By strategically locating our Data Centres close to sources of power and partnering with local power distribution companies to build direct connections to the national grid, we ensure high power availability and reduce the utilisation of diesel-fuelled power generation at our facilities” she states.

MainOne has increased the capacity of its Data Centres, which reached 5 MW in the key markets of Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, with services delivered to a total of 10 countries across West Africa.

Its data centre subsidiary, MDXi, runs energy-efficient facilities by optimising airflow, using sensors and artificial intelligence to manage operations, and installing energy-efficient hardware.

Taken together, these actions go a long way towards reducing the carbon footprint and improving energy efficiency for the sustainability of its Data Centres.

Following the launch of its Tier III Data Centre in Appolonia City in Accra, Ghana earlier in the year, MDXi has commenced the expansion of its Lekki data center in Lagos, Nigeria, with the goal of increasing its 600-rack facility to over 1200 racks by 2023. Further investments have also been directed towards the expansion for its Data Centre in Côte d’Ivoire.

Africa is experiencing some of the fastest growth in internet access seen around the world, largely due to its young population. As such, data consumption will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. This will fuel further investment in submarine cables and Data Centres to bring data closer to consumers. However, without sustainable power strategies, the industry will continue to contribute to global warming in a region that can least afford the consequences.

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Business & Economy

Euro bank partners Rwanda businesses with EUR 95 million



Euro bank partners Rwanda businesses with EUR 95 million

KIGALI, Rwanda, — Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda to provide new credit lines for Rwandan companies as part of EIB’s ( financing; First regional financing under EIB East Africa COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility; Minimum of 30% of financing to target female economic empowerment; Government of Rwanda and EIB conclude the last milestone for the financing of EUR 23 Million for National Health Referral Laboratory Project

New investments by companies across Rwanda most impacted by COVID-19 will be supported with EUR 95 million of new financing backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The funds will be managed by Bank of Kigali (BK) and KCB Bank Rwanda.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana welcomed EIB’s latest private sector engagement in Rwanda and the launch of its EUR 175 million East Africa COVID-19 Response Facility in the country. Rwanda is the first country in East Africa to benefit from the new streamlined financing programme that will provide long term financing in both Rwandan Francs and US Dollars.

“COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Rwandan businesses which has led to a negative economic impact on our country. The European Investment Bank partnership with Bank of Kigali and KCB-Rwanda will ensure that businesses can continue to invest and more specifically, targeted support will also improve access to financing by companies that contribute to the economic empowerment of women and girls. I congratulate all those who have enabled Rwanda to be the first country to benefit from the EIB’s East Africa COVID-19 Response Facility. I also commend EIB’s support in the context of COVID-19 response through the support to National Health Referral Laboratory Project which will complement other investments that Government and European Investment Bank are jointly making in the sectors of Energy, Water and Sanitation” Minister Ndagijimana said.

“We are delighted to partner with the European Investment Bank in financing Rwandan businesses that were affected by the pandemic especially women-led businesses. The funds provided will enable our clients to stay afloat and continue progressing steadily even after the COVID-19 crisis. This facility clearly compliments the Government of Rwanda and Bank of Kigali’s efforts to stimulate the country’s economic recovery” said Dr. Diane Karusisi, Bank of Kigali Chief Executive Officer.

“It is our pleasure to be involved in this partnership with the European Investment Bank, said George Odhiambo, Managing Director, KCB Bank Rwanda.  “We believe in enabling local businesses with multiple financing options, targeted to various sector growth initiatives. Over the past 2 years we have seen several companies and households overly affected by COVID-19. Therefore, this is a timely convergence of funds that will ultimately seek to benefit women entrepreneurs, many of whom are the backbone of our society”, he added.

In addition, as part of COVID-19 response, EIB signed a project agreement with Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) to complete the last milestone of the financing contract worth EUR 22 million signed between EIB and Government of Rwanda, through Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for National Health Referral Laboratory Project. The Project will further be co-funded by European Union which will contribute EUR 5.1 million, with World Health Organization as one of implementing partners.

“Unlocking new investment by the Rwanda Biomedical Centre will transform diagnosis, surveillance and research at the National Health Laboratory. The EUR 27 million Team Europe support provided by the European Investment Bank’s streamlined African COVID-19 health resilience engagement and the European Union will better protect Rwandans from disease and future epidemics.” said Dr Daniel Ngamije Minister for Health.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak the European Investment Bank has worked with leading banks and financial institutions across Africa to ensure that companies can continue to invest, protect jobs and harness new business opportunities. The EUR 95 million leveraged by EIB’s financing for the Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda agreed today will help strengthen economic resilience in Rwanda and includes targeted financing for female entrepreneurs and firms that accelerate the economic empowerment of women.” said Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“Team Europe is committed to supporting private sector investment in Rwanda and across Africa. The new credit lines managed by Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda will ensure that the dynamism of Rwandan entrepreneurs can withstand COVID-19 challenges and contribute to delivering gender equality.” said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the European Union Delegation to Rwanda.

Rwanda benefits from first financing under EIB regional economic resilience scheme

The financing agreements reached with Bank of Kigali and KCB Bank Rwanda will enable entrepreneurs and businesses across Rwanda to access a total of EUR 95 million of new financing available under the EIB East Africa COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility.

Under this arrangement, Bank of Kigali will receive EUR 40 Million, and contribute a matching EUR 40 Million to the program.  KCB will receive EUR 15 Million bringing the total EIB-backed financing to EUR 95 Million. The streamlined financing programme will contribute to job creation and support firms in sectors most impacted by COVID-19 challenges.

30% of new financing to support female economic empowerment

Female led companies and firms that contribute to gender quality will benefit from improved access to finance up to 30% of the total financing under the two new credit lines. Allocation to companies that support female economic empowerment will be made under the EIB’s SheInvest criteria and global 2X Challenge Criteria.

The EIB has operated in Rwanda since 1977 and provided more than EUR 206 million for private and public investment across the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of European Investment Bank (EIB).

Background information
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.


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Four Exciting Activities To Look Out For As Coca-Cola Celebrates 70 Years In Nigeria



Four Exciting Activities To Look Out For As Coca-Cola Celebrates 70 Years In Nigeria

Traditionally, a 70th anniversary is referred to as a platinum anniversary as the gemstone symbolises true love, rarity and strength. This can very well describe Coca-Cola’s relationship with Nigeria since its introduction in 1951.

To celebrate Coca-Cola’s 70 magical years of operations in Nigeria, a slew of activities have been mapped out as the company seeks to tell its story, emphasise its Nigerian roots, and engage fans and consumers with exciting activities at all touchpoints. If Coca-Cola’s previous events are anything to go by, you’d know they create the grandest and most memorable experiences.

Interested in following and participating in this journey? Here are four magical activities to look out for!

Nigerians of Coca-Cola

The real magic of Coca-Cola is evident in its ability to be recognisable in virtually every country in the world. Additionally, the company has an extensive track record of sustainability initiatives that have served to improve the lives of hundreds of millions across the world, especially in Nigeria. It is with this insight that the company seeks to tell the stories of Nigerians that have been impacted by the company’s initiatives and its value chain, in a series aptly titled ‘Nigerians of Coca-Cola’. The testimonial series will lead up to the d-day of Coca-Cola’s 70th anniversary and will focus on select people of diverse tribes narrating their unique stories and how Coca-Cola has made a difference in their lives.

My Coke Moments

If you look long and hard enough, there are huge chances you are likely to come across an old picture of you or a loved one with a bottle of Coca-Cola, at a past celebration or a meetup with friends. Such is the magic of Coca-Cola; its pedigree of being present even in the micro-moments and memories of its consumers transcends generations. As part of Coca-Cola Nigeria’s 70th-anniversary celebrations, the company encourages consumers to share memories and photos of younger versions of themselves with a Coca-Cola in hand. Participants of #MyCokeMoments are also set to be rewarded with amazing items for sharing these wonderful memories with the world.

CCNL Executives addressing press men at the Coke at 70 press conference 2

Share A Trip With Coke

Between the parties, shopping, cooking, and travelling, this time of the year can be pretty chaotic. To help ease some of this discomfort and share some of that magic, Coca-Cola hopes to create memorable experiences with its consumers, right before we swing fully into the holiday season. Nigerians plying popular bus routes in major cities such as Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano, and Ibadan will be provided free rides alongside gift items as part of the company’s anniversary celebrations.

Magical Anniversary Event

The campaign activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Coca-Cola in Nigeria will culminate in a grand event set for a later date this year. The event will feature the best of Nigerian entertainment and other attractions celebrating the rich, unique and diverse culture of Nigeria.

The celebration of Coca-Cola at 70 coincides with the launch of Coca-Cola’s new global philosophy, Real Magic – a new platform built from lessons of the last 18 months: that we can find the magic all around us when we come together in unexpected moments that elevate every day into the extraordinary. The past seven decades have been a celebration of love and a passion to refresh Nigerians one bottle at a time. With decades of stories, Coca-Cola is an indispensable part of Nigeria’s history and this celebration emphasizes its enchanting love story with the country in the most magical way.

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