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YouthADAPT Challenge 2023: empowering Africa’s female tech innovators to tackle climate change

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Call for applications YouthADAPT Challenge 2023 empowering Africa’s female tech innovators to tackle climate change

Call for applications – YouthADAPT Challenge 2023: empowering Africa’s female tech innovators to tackle climate change

The winners will be awarded $100,000 each, alongside mentorship and coaching to further their climate change adaptation solutions and business ideas.

The Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (https://apo-opa.info/3s7IvoI), a joint initiative of the African Development Bank (http://www.AfDB.org) and the Global Center on Adaptation, has launched a call for applications for the third edition of the YouthADAPT Challenge, which seeks to support young entrepreneurs driving solutions to tackle climate change.

The annual YouthADAPT competition invites young entrepreneurs leading micro, small, and medium enterprises in Africa to submit innovative solutions and business ideas that can drive climate change adaptation and resilience across the continent.

Call for applications YouthADAPT Challenge 2023 empowering Africa’s female tech innovators to tackle climate change

This year’s call focuses on female-owned enterprises pioneering Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence; big data analytics; virtual reality; robotics; internet of things; quantum computing; additive manufacturing; blockchain, and fifth-generation wireless for climate adaptation.

With support from the Africa Climate Change Fund (https://ACCF.AfDB.org/), hosted by the Bank, the winners will be awarded $100,000 each, alongside mentorship and coaching to further their climate change adaptation solutions and business ideas. They will also join the YouthADAPT Alumni Network to learn from a dynamic community of youth entrepreneurs throughout Africa.

To be eligible, applicants must be between the ages of 18 to 35. Their ventures should be youth-led and offer tangible solutions to real-life climate challenges. They must be registered and operational in Africa, with at least two years’ worth of accounts.

Apply by visiting the YouthADAPT competition portal (https://apo-opa.info/3Q8WLVZ).  The closing date for applications is 5 November 2023 at 17:00 GMT. An information session is scheduled for 23 October 2023 at 11:00 GMT to share details about the YouthADAPT Challenge 2023. This session will cover eligibility criteria, the application process, important deadlines, and the advantages of participation, such as grants, mentorship, and business development services.

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BANKING

The Impact of Supply Chain Disruption on Business Operations and Financial Performance 

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The Impact of Supply Chain Disruption on Business Operations and Financial Performance

Supply chain disruptions are very commonplace in today’s interconnected global economy, affecting organizations in a variety of industries. These interruptions may have far-reaching effects on a company’s financial performance in addition to its commercial operations. In addition to offering techniques to reduce the risks involved, this article seeks to give readers a thorough grasp of how supply chain interruptions affect corporate operations and financial performance.

MEANING OF SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS 

Any incident or event that prevents information, services, or items from smoothly flowing through the supply chain network is referred to as a supply chain disruption.

It describes any situation or incident that stops the movement of products, services, or data inside a network of supply chains. These interruptions may happen at any time during the supply chain, from suppliers of raw materials to final consumers, and can lead to disruptions, shortages, higher expenses, and eventually affect the chain’s overall effectiveness and performance.

Disruptions to the supply chain can be divided into two categories: internal disruptions that occur within the company and external interruptions that occur outside the company.

TYPES OF SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION

Disruptions to the supply chain can come from a variety of sources and take many different shapes. Typical forms of supply chain disruptions include the following:

  1. Natural Disasters: Incidents like hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and wildfires can cause damage to transportation networks, destroy infrastructure, and force the closure of manufacturing and distribution facilities.
  2. Geopolitical Events: The movement may be impacted by trade disputes, tariffs, sanctions, war, terrorism, political instability, and changes in governmental policy. moving commodities across international borders, sour commercial ties, and cause bottlenecks in the supply chain.
  3. Supplier Issues: Delays in the delivery of components or raw materials might result from issues with suppliers, such as bankruptcy or sudden changes in production capacity.
  4. Transportation Disruptions: The supply chain as a whole may be impacted by delays in the delivery of goods caused by strikes, fuel shortages, accidents, port congestion, and other transportation-related problems.
  5. Demand Surges or Drops: Unexpected fluctuations in customer demand, such as sudden increases in orders or decreases in sales, can result in mismatches between supply and demand, which can cause delays in manufacturing and delivery.
  6. Cybersecurity Breach: Information technology system malfunctions, cyberattacks, or data breaches can impair critical data, interrupt the flow of products and services, and offerings.
  7. Quality Control Issues: Recalls, manufacturing halts, and supply chain interruptions may result from issues with product quality, safety, or compliance.
  8. Pandemics and Health Crises: Situations like the COVID-19 pandemic can result in worker shortages, manufacturing closures, travel restrictions, and interruptions to international supply chains.

IMPACT ON BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Disruptions to the supply chain can have a big effect on how businesses operate, impacting many different parts of what they do. Among these effects are the following:

  1. Production Delays: Supply chain disruptions may cause delays in the delivery of components, finished goods, or raw materials, which may cause production to halt or slow down. This may affect a business’s capacity to reach production goals and promptly complete orders from customers.
  2. Increased Costs: Expenses associated with carrying excess inventory, accelerating shipments, finding alternate suppliers, and putting emergency plans in place can all rise as a result of supply chain interruptions. These extra costs have the potential to weaken profit margins and lower overall financial performance.
  1. Customer Dissatisfaction: Customers may become dissatisfied and lose faith in the business as a result of delays in the delivery of goods or services. Customer loyalty and the company’s reputation may suffer as a result.
  2. Inventory Management Problems: Disruptions in the supply chain may result in inventory levels that are out of balance, with an abundance of certain commodities and a deficiency of others. This may result in ineffective inventory management, a lockup in working capital, and higher carrying costs.
  3. Operational Disruptions: When important vendors or partners in logistics are unable to deliver merchandise services as anticipated, it may cause daily operations of a business to be disrupted, affecting departmental productivity and efficiency.
  4. Risk of Loss of Market Share: Prolonged supply chain interruptions increase the likelihood that a company may miss out on sales opportunities, lose market share, and experience other negative effects. Those with more dependable supply chains could have an advantage over rivals.
  5. Legal and Regulatory Issues: When a supply chain is disrupted, there may be legal repercussions, including breaking contracts, missing deadlines, and breaking rules. Legal issues, fines, and reputational harm to a business may arise from this.
  6. Long-term Business Impact: A company’s financial performance, competitive position, and general viability may all be negatively impacted by protracted or severe supply chain disruptions. It might impair the business’s capacity to sustain connections with clients, vendors, and other business associates.
  7. Communication and Collaboration Challenges: Interruptions can make it difficult for supply chain participants to coordinate, make decisions, and solve problems. Both efficient crisis management and general operational efficacy may be hampered by this.

IMPACT ON FINANCE PERFORMANCE

A company’s financial performance can be significantly impacted by supply chain disruption in a number of ways, including:

  1. Increased Expenses: Supply chain interruptions frequently result in greater expenses for items like faster shipment, purchasing from more expensive alternative suppliers, keeping extra inventory on hand, or putting emergency preparations in place. The company’s profitability may be directly impacted by these added expenses.
  2. Revenue Loss: Supply chain disruptions may cause delays in completing client orders, which may result in a potential loss of revenue because lost chances to close deals. If there are delays or product shortages, customers can also look for other suppliers, which would mean fewer sales for the business.
  3. Inventory Write-offs: When there are disruptions in the supply chain, inventory levels might become unbalanced, with certain items having excess stock and others lacking. As unsold or outdated inventory builds up and negatively affects the company’s financial condition, this may lead to inventory write-offs.
  4. Contractual Penalties and Legal Expenses: If supply chain disruptions cause a party to miss contractual obligations, there may be penalties and legal expenses. Conflicts involving partners, suppliers, or customers may lead to legal action and more expenses.
  5. Long-Term Financial Impact: Extended or severe disruptions to the supply chain may have a long-term effect on the financial performance of the business, limiting its capacity to produce revenue and sustain long-term profitability. Stock performance and investor confidence may potentially be impacted by this.
  6. Working Capital Restraints: In order to minimize disruptions caused by supply chain disruptions, the business may need to store excess inventory or pay in advance for faster transportation. Money that may have been spent for other company endeavors is diverted by this.
  7. Business Continuity Costs: In order to avoid or lessen supply chain interruptions, businesses may need to make investments in business continuity and risk management techniques. These costs can have an adverse effect on their bottom line.
  8. Stock Market Reaction: When businesses see significant interruptions in their supply chains, investors may react negatively, which could lead to a drop in stock prices. The market capitalization of the company could be impacted if investors lose faith in its capacity to handle risks.
  9. Legal and Regulatory Repercussions: Disruptions to the supply chain may result in legal and regulatory repercussions, such as breaking contracts or neglecting to fulfill duties to customers. A company’s reputation and financial performance can be severely impacted by lawsuits, fines, penalties, and compliance expenses.

STRATEGIES FOR MITIGATION

Businesses can handle supply chain disruption and reduce its impact on operations and financial performance by implementing a number of mitigation techniques, such as:

  1. Diversify Your Supplier Base: Dependence on only one source might make disruptions more likely. Increasing the variety of suppliers helps lessen the effect of interruptions from a particular source.
  2. Supply Chain Insight: Put in place systems and technology that offer real-time insight into every aspect of the supply chain, including transportation, production status, and inventory levels. This visibility aids in identifying anticipate possible problems and make proactive mitigation strategies possible.
  3. Risk Assessment and Management: Perform thorough risk analyses of the supply chain to find possible weak points and put risk management plans in place to lessen their effects.
  4. Contingency Planning: To handle and minimize supply chain interruptions, create and update backup suppliers, logistics routes, and alternate sourcing choices.
  5. Cooperation and Communication: Create effective channels for cooperation and communication with consumers, logistical partners, and suppliers. Having solid connections and open channels of communication will make it easier to deal with interruptions in a cooperative and efficient manner.
  6. Inventory Management: Use agile inventory management techniques to balance supply and demand, keep ideal inventory levels, and lessen the effects of shortages and surpluses brought on by disruptions.
  7. Adoption of Technology: Invest in Supply chain resilience and agility can be improved by utilizing technology like blockchain, supply chain management systems, and predictive analytics.
  8. Financial Risk Management: To lessen any financial effects, assess your exposure to financial risk as it relates to supply chain interruptions and take into account risk transfer strategies such supply chain insurance.
  9. Technology Adoption: Supply chain visibility, traceability, and control can be improved by utilizing cutting-edge technologies like blockchain, data analytics, automation, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT). By facilitating real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and prompt decision-making, these technologies improve resilience and lessen the effects of disruptions.
  10. Scenario Planning: Create and maintain scenario plans that take into account a range of possible interruptions and how they can affect financial performance and business operations.

CONCLUSION

Disruptions in the supply chain significantly affect financial results and commercial operations. Companies need to proactively identify risks, improve teamwork, use technology, and create strong contingency plans in order to successfully traverse these issues. Businesses may reduce the effects of disruptions, enhance financial performance, and preserve a competitive edge in the complex and unpredictable business world of today by putting these mitigation techniques into practice.

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BANKING

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker’s Awards 2023

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Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker's Awards 2023

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker’s Awards 2023

Ecobank Benin, Ecobank Guinea, Ecobank Liberia, Ecobank Mali and Ecobank Togo were all named ‘Bank of the Year 2023’ in their respective countries.

Ecobank (www.Ecobank.com), the leading pan-African Banking Group, is proud to announce that Ecobank Zimbabwe has won the ‘Global Award for Financial Inclusion’ in The Banker’s Awards 2023. In addition, Ecobank Benin, Ecobank Guinea, Ecobank Liberia, Ecobank Mali and Ecobank Togo were all named ‘Bank of the Year 2023’ in their respective countries.

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker's Awards 2023

Ecobank SADC Cluster Head, Mr. Moses Kurenjekwa (2nd right) and Zimbabwe’s Head of Customer Experience, Mr. Tichaona Gandanhamo (2nd left) with The Banker’s Bank of The Year Award trophies for Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Togo. The five affiliates defied stiff competition to emerge the best in their respective markets. They were flanked by officials from The Banker Awards team.

Jeremy Awori, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Group, said: “These awards reflect the hard work of all Ecobankers across our Group and could not have been won without the support of our customers and partners. Ecobank Zimbabwe’s Global Award for Financial Inclusion 2023 also reflects the runaway success of its partnership with CARE Zimbabwe and UN Women. It is delivering financial inclusion to over 50,000 rural Zimbabwean women by enabling them to create commercially viable formal enterprises that are boosting local economies. I am also immensely proud of our affiliates in Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Togo for winning Bank of the Year 2023 awards. I am confident that they, along with all our other affiliates, will continue to deliver excellent banking experiences to all our customers.”

Five Ecobank affiliates win Bank of the Year 2023 awards and Ecobank Zimbabwe wins Global Award for Financial Inclusion in The Banker's Awards 2023 .

Ecobank SADC Cluster Head, Mr. Moses Kurenjekwa (2nd right) displays the first ever ‘Global Award for Financial Inclusion 2023’ trophy won by Ecobank Zimbabwe. Mr. Kurenjekwa was accompanied by Zimbabwe’s Head of Customer Experience, Mr. Tichaona Gandanhamo

Ecobank Zimbabwe’s programme provides financial inclusion and revolving loans to Zimbabwean women’s village associations engaged in grower’s schemes, grocery shops, horticulture and more. The sustainability of the initiative is guaranteed as it revolves funds repaid through its programme of flexible lending/credit terms and low interest rates. The runaway success of the scheme enabled it to expand its women entrepreneur beneficiaries from 7,500 to 52,500 during the first six months of 2023. The bank has created a financial ecosystem, with producers, buyers and suppliers using Ecobank’s digital channels for their transactions. In addition, it has created single market trade hubs at local levels, which will eventually be transformed into a regional market trade hub once the businesses grow to export level.

The judges of The Banker’s awards took account of numerous factors in their decision-making.

  • For the Financial Inclusion Award, they assessed banks globally – across both industrialised and developing economies – on how they address the challenge of including the poorest members of society in the financial system. They also took account of how the banks serving this segment perform a social function and their ability to potentially transform these customers into the high-margin customers of the future.
  • The Bank of the Year Awards focused on rewarding and promoting excellence in the banking community and the criteria assessed also included banks’ abilities to deliver returns, gain strategic advantage and serve their markets.

Ecobank’s awards were presented at The Banker’s 2023 Awards Ceremony, which was held on 30 November 2023 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, London, UK.

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BANKING

How Kora Payment Link Helps Online Businesses To Grow

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How Kora Payment Link Helps Online Businesses To Grow

The advent of technology with the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the adoption and popularity of online businesses. This is owed to the ability to operate small and medium-sized businesses from anywhere across the globe – which alludes to the fact that the world is now a global village: How Kora Payment Link Helps Online Businesses To Grow.”

Therefore, there has been a meteoric increase in the number of online shoppers seeking products or services from the available businesses in the digital space.

This is evident in the emergence of e-commerce platforms that operate as an online marketplace for both buyers and sellers. It is also playing out in social commerce through the use of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or X (Twitter) that people continuously use for their shopping experience.

By and large, online business is today a thriving venture that continues to generate a staggering income for businesses and the local economy.

One of the major perks of online businesses is the flexibility of their payments, such that merchants can offer a range of payment methods. The most common options are bank transfers or card payments, in which businesses provide their customers with bank account details to pay.

But as innovation continues to meet the evolution of online businesses, Kora is making payment strategy seamless for both merchants and their customers. This is through the Kora Payment Link.

What Is Kora Payment Link?

A Kora Payment Link is a clickable link that enables business customers to complete a purchase. This is offered as a digital link, which can be used across various social media platforms, websites, or other messaging tools.

How this works is that a customer is directed to a merchant’s online checkout page to complete their transaction anytime they use the Kora Payment Link. This link can be used for both a single transaction, as in a customer invoice and for multiple transactions, as a buy button on social media platforms.

It should be noted that the Kora Payment Link facilitates simple online payments as it does not require a website or code to create and use the link. Therefore, online businesses can easily create a payment link that takes customers directly to the online checkout page of the merchant.

Furthermore, the Kora Payment Link can be used for fundraising, donation, and subscription purposes.

Benefits Of Kora Payment Link To Online Businesses

  • Accept Payments Anywhere

You can receive payments from your customers across the globe through the payment link that you can easily share on social platforms or websites. This is also a “call to action” strategy to compel your customers to complete their purchase with you without delay.

  •  Keep Payments Simple

Customers do not have to log into a mobile app or website before paying. This is because they can easily click the link anytime and from anywhere to take them to the checkout page to complete their purchase.

  • Flexible Payment Options

Kora Payment Link provides online businesses various payment options tailored to their preferences. This can be bank transfers, payment cards, or other digital payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Therefore, it is the volition of online businesses to design their payment links towards their preferred payment options. Hence attracting customers to complete their purchase with the knowledge that they can use certain payment gateway.

How Online Businesses Can Use Kora Payment Link

Here is a quick step for using the Kora Payment Link:

  • Create a Kora account and log in.
  • Navigate to “Payment Link.”
  • Enter your details and customize your link with certain preferences.
  • Preview your link and activate it.
  • Share your Kora Payment Link on social media platforms and other messaging tools.
  • Start receiving payments.

Conclusion

We can not overemphasize the importance of having a sustainable payment strategy for online businesses to attract more customers who would complete purchases with them. That is why Kora introduced a payment link which merchants can easily share with their customers for transactions.

Kora Payment Link is easy and free to use, and you can get started by creating a Kora account now. [site]

 

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