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Autochek Acquires CoinAfrique to Accelerate Expansion Across Francophone Africa

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Autochek, the automotive technology company making car ownership more accessible and affordable across Africa, has announced the acquisition of CoinAfrique, the leading platform for classified ads in French-speaking Africa, to accelerate  penetration of its auto financing services in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and other French-speaking African countries.

Founded in 2016 by Matthias Papet and Eric Genetre, with a presence in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and 10 other French-speaking African countries, CoinAfrique has grown to become the number one classified marketplace for Francophone Africa, enabling businesses and individuals to seamlessly buy and sell vehicles, electronics, real estate and other goods.

The CoinAfrique app has been downloaded more than 2 million times, with 800,000 monthly active users and 60,000 new ads per month. The website receives more than 1.5 million visits per month.

With 50 percent of the business transacted on the CoinAfrique platform happening in the automotive category, this acquisition will simplify the process for more French-speaking Africans to access financing and other value-added services for their vehicles.

CoinAfrique’s wider classifieds business will continue to operate across the various product categories, with a deep integration of Autochek’s auto financing product to drive access to credit for automotive purchases.

Francophone Africa is home to many of the fastest growing economies on the continent, as well as and the fastest growing brand new car market – Côte d’Ivoire. It is also home to Senegal which is projected to be the fastest growing economy in Africa by 2023.

With this acquisition, Autochek will be positioned to leverage CoinAfrique’s extensive database across Francophone Africa to facilitate auto financing for consumers and SMEs across this region to purchase their desired vehicles. It will also support further integration of the Pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.

Autochek is building the financial infrastructure to drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers.

It has existing operations across North, West and East Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Uganda), a partner-led retail footprint in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, BNP Paribas, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.

According to Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek, “Matthias and Eric are pioneers of the classifieds model in Africa and they have built an outstanding platform with many significant partnerships with car dealers, fintech platforms and other stakeholders in the Francophone automotive sector.

They are joining the Autochek family with many years of business and infrastructure development experience across Europe and Africa and we are looking forward to leveraging their expertise to improve the automotive finance value proposition across the continent.”

Matthias Papet, CEO and co-founder of CoinAfrique, said, “we are excited about the opportunity to drive the penetration of auto financing across Francophone Africa and to support the wider mission across Africa.

“We see many opportunities to unlock value for users across all the categories on our platform and to expand into new countries, and we are looking forward to leveraging Autochek’s market leading loans product and expertise to deliver more transformative experiences for our users.”

The CoinAfrique team will join Autochek and will support the mission to make car ownership more accessible and affordable across the continent. With this acquisition, as well as the recent acquisition of Morocco’s KIFAL Auto, Autochek is doubling down on its Francophone focus to replicate the successes achieved so far in the English-speaking West Africa and East Africa region, as local teams are empowered to build for the nuances of their specific markets.

 


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AfDB Appoints Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho as Director of Statistics Department

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African Development Bank has appointed Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho, an economist and statistician, as Director of the Statistics Department, effective June 16, 2024.

Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho

Dr Omotosho, a Nigerian national, has more than 21 years experience in developing data strategies to align with the strategic objectives of organisations. He also brings expertise in data compilation, data analytics, macroeconomic research, and policy analysis.

Omotosho previously served as Director of Research and Statistics at the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) in Sierra Leone, where he was seconded from the Central Bank of Nigeria. At WAMA, he provided advice on monetary and economic integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Prior to that he held various positions within the Statistics and Research Departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

As an Assistant Director in the Statistics Department, he led the data analytics team and managed the Central Bank’s strategic initiatives on big data and data analytics. He oversaw projects aimed at enhancing data analytics capabilities for policymaking, automating surveys and statistical systems, improving data sharing infrastructure and developing social media listening tools. His leadership fostered a culture of data analytics within the Central Bank, driving innovation and efficiency in operational and policy processes.

Dr Omotosho holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom (2021); a master’s degree in Applied Statistics and Datamining from the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (2011); a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Benin, Nigeria (2008); and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria (2000).

He has contributed extensively to academic literature, with publications in reputable journals, including the Journal of Economic Dynamics & Control, Journal of International Money & Finance, Macroeconomic & Finance in Emerging Market Economies, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Journal of Applied Statistics. His research covers big data, econometrics, monetary and fiscal policy interactions, business cycle drivers, and the macroeconomic implications of resource shocks for small open, emerging economies.

Omotosho is a member of the Nigerian Statistical Association, the International Association for Official Statistics, and the Royal Statistical Society.

Commenting on his appointment, he said, “I am grateful to President Adesina for this appointment, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the continued success and growth of the African Development Bank Group, an institution that plays such a pivotal role in the economic and social development of our beloved continent, Africa. I am fully committed to fulfilling the responsibilities of the position while collaborating effectively with the Bank’s senior leadership team, colleagues, and other strategic partners.”

Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, commented: “I am pleased to appoint Dr Babatunde Samson Omotosho, a respected statistician, as Director of the Statistics Department. Dr Omotosho brings to this role an impressive track record in statistics, economics, and data analytics. He will support the Bank in building a robust data ecosystem to achieve our strategic objectives and sustain our long-term development goals.”


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ATII Awards Scholarship to Students

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A knowledge transfer and technology innovation hub, African Technology and Innovation Institutes (ATII) has awarded scholarships to ten pupils from Bridge International Academy, Lagos.

Through its Junior Scholars Program in partnership with Lumina Educational and Empowerment Foundation (Lumina), the scholarship will meet the educational needs of the benefitting pupils through their primary education, which is extendable to their university education.

The Junior Scholars Program is an offshoot of  ATII’s  Innovation, Leaders, Fellowship and Scholars Program that aims to empower and cater to the welfare of students aged 3-12 years from underprivileged and low-income communities by partnering with other organisations to provide scholarships for these rough diamonds.

In addition to the scholarship, ATII also provides STEM-based back-to-school kits and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) materials to spark their desire for education and to contribute to their communities in STEM-related fields.

In her congratulatory message, the Founder of ATII,  Prof. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua represented by Mr Sunday Awolowo, ATII’s Programs Manager, praised the students for their “outstanding academic excellence” and their “resolve to continue to improve in their academic pursuits, especially in the STEM fields.”

“We hope that the scholarships will continue to encourage you to do great work to pursue STEM. We hope one day in the future you all will be inspired to be an Engineer, a technologist, a mathematician or scientist,” Prof. Ekeng-Itua said.

The ATII Junior Scholars Program is designed to encourage and support students who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

Mrs Ezinne Tochie-Asogwa, Manager of Academics at Bridge International Academy, expressed her appreciation to ATII for the generous gesture.

“On behalf of the management and staff of Bridge International Academy, we appreciate the kind gesture of ATII.

ATII is passionate about the next generation of leaders and individuals who will change the world, pursuing its mission to promote African and Indigenous Technologies, while supporting human capital development in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The ATII scholarships will provide financial assistance to the students as they continue their education in STEM fields. The program will also provide mentorship and support from ATII professionals.

 


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CBN, FintechNGR Chart the Way Forward to Enhance Nigeria’s Fintech Ecosystem

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In light of recent developments aimed at strengthening Nigeria’s fintech sector, Ade Bajomo, President of FintechNGR, led a team from the Association’s Governing Council in an engagement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to chart the way forward.

Receiving the team at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, Philip Ikeazor, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, commended FintechNGR’s active advocacy efforts that have significantly improved the fintech ecosystem.

The Central Bank emphasized the need for the Association to work closely with stakeholders to operate within regulatory provisions, facilitate compliance, and establish robust risk management frameworks and governance structures.

Mr. Ikeazor stated, “The Central Bank understands the critical roles of fintechs in driving financial inclusion to the last mile. Our efforts are geared towards helping fintechs become more attractive to investors and achieve greater success.”

During the meeting, Ade Bajomo noted that while stakeholders strive to comply with regulatory requirements, they sometimes face challenges beyond their control.

“The common understanding within our ecosystem is that compliance makes the environment safer for all to innovate, scale, and collaborate. FintechNGR will ensure the co-creation of a support structure with the CBN to enhance compliance.”

Some of the initiatives the regulators plan to pursue with the ecosystem include making the 2024 Nigeria Fintech Week more impactful, enriching the activities of the Regulators Forum, organizing fintech learning series for various stakeholders, and exploring self-regulation status for FintechNGR to foster closer relationships with regulators.

FintechNGR remains committed to working with all regulators to better position the ecosystem to be more inclusive and impactful.

 


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