BD Insider, Letter 108: DiDi drives out of South Africa 🚖

BD Insider, Letter 108 covers eNaira's rank on the global index of retail CBDCs globally, DiDi's departure from South Africa and the UK's Global Talent Visa.

BD Insider, Letter 108: DiDi drives out of South Africa 🚖

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Inside Letter 108:

  • eNaira ranks first on the global index of retail CBDCs
  • Chinese ride-hailing company, DiDi halts operations in South Africa
  • What you need to know about the UK's Global Talent Visa

Let's dive in!

eNaira ranks first on the global index of retail CBDCs

The Central Bank of Nigeria's digital currency, eNaira has topped the global index of retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDCs), according to a report by PwC.

"Retail projects in the Index are led by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) eNaira, the first CBDC in Africa, and the Sand Dollar, issued by the Central Bank of the Bahamas as legal tender in October 2020, making the Bahamas the first country to launch a CBDC." PwC stated.

The 2022 PwC CBDC Global Index analyzes and ranks the leading retail and wholesale CBDC projects. The Index evaluates the current stage of CBDC project development also taking into account central bank opinion and public interest  

Launched in October 2021, the eNaira app has recorded over 700,000 downloads, while more than 35,000 transactions have been conducted on the platform. PwC said around 666,000 eNaira speed wallets have been created across 160 countries as of December 2021. According to the report, 90 per cent of the transactions were a person to business and vice versa.

“We expect CBDC research, testing and implementation will intensify in 2022. The success of Nigeria’s eNaira is likely to spur CBDC development in countries where financial inclusion is one of the key desired outcomes,” Haydn Jones, Blockchain & Crypto Specialist, PwC UK said.

Currently in Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Eswatini, Rwanda, Ghana, Morocco, and Tunisia – are in the research stage of adopting a digital currency.

The PwC research further stated that “retail CBDC projects (digital currencies designed for public use) have reached greater maturity levels than wholesale projects (digital currencies used by financial institutions that have accounts with central banks), but the past year has seen progress on a number of successful wholesale pilots.”

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DiDi closes operations in South Africa

DiDi, a Chinese ride-hailing company has closed its operations in South Africa.
The closure is coming exactly a year after its launch in the country. Didi said that the closure is due to “strategy adjustment from managerial levels.”

According to Melithemba Mnguni, secretary-general of the South African e-hailing Operators, “DiDi succumbed to the monopoly by Uber and Bolt and, as a result, they failed to penetrate the market. DiDi was charging driver-partners 13% commissions, which is only half of what Bolt and Uber are charging their driver-partners. However, DiDi's customer prices were slightly higher, as they were based on vehicle running costs.”

DiDi's exit comes at a time when taxi drivers in South Africa are calling for the regulation of the sector, citing exploitation and poor work conditions. “Uber, Bolt, DiDi are ripping us off. The car is mine; the 21 rands [around $1.40] per litre of fuel is mine; the airport tolls are on me; the app's internet data is on me,” one of the taxi drivers told Rest of World.

Some drivers that went on strike also cited reduced earnings given the increasing fuel prices and the high commissions charged by the ride-hailing companies.

However, reports have hinted that Didi’s departure is expected to leave resources for more promising markets like Egypt, where it launched in the last quarter of 2021 as well as a possible expansion to Nigeria. Currently, the taxi-hailing company has operations in 16 countries, including Russia and Mexico.

Founded in 2012, Didi has over 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers across several continents. The company has raised over $20 billion and crossed the $60 billion valuation in 2018. In Africa’s mobility sector, DidDi was an early investor in Bolt, when it was still called Taxify and also invested in Careem, MENA’s biggest mobility platform.

However, in January 2020, the $2 billion tax demand against MTN Nigeria was withdrawn. Since its incorporation in 2001, MTN has invested more than N2 trillion in the Nigerian economy and has paid more than N1.7 trillion in taxes, levies and other regulatory fees.

#BDSpaces: Exploring the UK's Global Talent Visa (GTV)

On Tuesday, April 12, we are hosting a Twitter space to discuss the processes involved in securing the UK's Global Talent Visa (also known as the Tech Nation Visa).

“The Tech Nation Visa enables the brightest and best tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector, contributing their cutting-edge expertise, creativity and innovation to maintaining the UK’s position at the forefront of the global digital economy,” according to Tech Nation.

During the Twitter space, we will be asking three Nigerian tech professionals— Peace Itimi (Head of Growth, Hover), Seunla Osinowo (Senior Product Manager, Craneware) and Imole Oluyemi (Product Designer, Babylon) who are currently in the UK via the Tech Nation Visa about the requirements and the dynamics of the application.

The conversation will start at 7:30 PM (Nigerian time), set a reminder here so that you don't miss out.

🧐 Interesting?

Here are some of the interesting stories that we've come across in the past week:

  • Valuable lessons about building an engineering team from two African CTOs. Learn!
  • What's the "Truth" about African consumer markets? Find out!
  • If money exists, why is cryptocurrency a thing?
  • Why are African governments blocking the phone lines of citizens?
  • Savaging the woes of the Ghana Cedi: Why the Ghana of Bank banned foreign currencies for local transactions in Ghana.
  • Nigeria-Born Tope Awotona poured his life savings into Calendly. Now he’s one of America’s wealthiest immigrants. Really!?

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Thanks for reading and sharing
Have a great week!
🖊 Johnstone Kpilaakaa

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