Happy Easter! We hope you’re resting or having fun this weekend.
Thank you for your name suggestions.
After giving it much thought and thinking again, the winner is…
*Drum roll*
Cloout 🍻🎉
As you can tell, we had to make a drastic name change by: knocking off one O from our name, so we’re Cloout now. 

Jumia: African or not?

What’s going on?

It’s been a week since Jumia went public on the New York stock exchange. At first, it seemed like good news —more credibility for African companies; more money to expand operations for Jumia, and an open door for other African companies to do the same. This was all until people found out it wasn’t really an African Company, and that became an issue.

But, is Jumia an African Company?

Well, it depends on how you look at it. Jumia is incorporated in Germany with its headquarters in Dubai and its technology centre in Portugal. However, it operates in Africa.

What does this mean?

It means that Jumia will pay the majority of its corporate taxes in Germany, but its subsidiaries will also pay local taxes in most countries.

Why the debate?

Most people believed it is an African company because it operates from Africa and is run by Africans. More so, do we say the ‘nationality’ of a company is based on the nationality of its founders, where the product is manufactured, the source of capital or where its operations is based?

Look at Uber, it’s major investors are Softbank and Saudi Arabia; but that does not make it a Japanese or Saudi Arabian company. iPhones are made in China but does it make Apple a Chinese company? The same perspective is peddled about Jumia; that having its operations mainly in Africa and serving the African market doesn’t make it African company.

Who are the founders?

Jumia, which was founded in 2012 runs in 14 countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco and Egypt. It was founded by Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, and two French former McKinsey associates who are specialists in retail, packaging and e-commerce. Alongside Tunde Kehinde (Nigerian) and Raphael Kofi (Ghanaian).

We think the identity crisis comes from the fact that its roots are local and its primary market —“African”

Does it really matter if Jumia is African or not? 

Err, you decide. What we know matters, is how Africa is portrayed; which is what most people are after.

Nope, We don’t do Electric Cars here.

What’s going on?
The Nigerian Senate during its meeting on Wednesday rejected a bill to phase out the use of petrol-powered cars in Nigeria and to be replaced by electric vehicles by 2035.

Who introduced the Bill?
Senator Ben Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa) — “The Commonsense man.”

In his words: “I own an electric car that I have been using for the past five years. It is cheaper to maintain and durable…To charge your electric cars, all the filling stations will be replaced with solar charging stations. Thankfully, this country is blessed with sunlight 365 days in a year.”
Making common sense right?

So what did the house say?

Senator Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu) said, that there was no need for this yet as “…in economic sense, we are an oil producing country. So, we should do everything possible to frustrate the sale of electric cars in Nigeria to enable us to sell our oil.”

Hmm, Okay, what else?

Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano) said that while electric vehicles make sense, making its use mandatory doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

He said “We have to look at individual net worth. Not all Nigerians can afford the vehicles at a given time. We all know the importance of vehicles in our daily activities. So, banning the use of fuel cars will cause hardship, particularly for those who may not be able to acquire electric cars.”

Hmmm, 2035 is in 16 years time. Is that time frame too short to adequately prepare for Electric Vehicles?

Why does this matter?

We’d borrow a few words from the book of common sense again.

“Combustion engine cars have continued to cause deaths through uncontrolled pollution. We (Nigeria) have been spending over 1 trillion annually subsidising fuel in the country. By introducing electric cars, fuel subsidy will automatically be gone and those funds will be used for infrastructure.”

Our  ̶M̶o̶n̶e̶y̶ Debt grows like Grass.

What happened?

The Debt Management Office (DMO) said Nigeria’s total public debt rose by N1.96 trillion (8.74%) from September 2018 – December 2018, so Nigeria’s total debt is N24.39 trillion ($79.4 billion). This means that at the end of 2018, Nigeria’s total debt grew 12.25% from the previous year.

Wait, What’s Debt Management Office?
As the name implies, it’s a government agency established to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt.

What are people saying?
People are asking the government to come out with the details of the loans and what they have been used for, as the state of the country does not reflect that there’s any progress.

Is debt good?
Well, It depends on what we are borrowing the money for. It also depends on whether we are borrowing domestically or externally.

What people are saying again?
The government should borrow for long term projects that have to do with the infrastructure – roads, housing power and not just borrow for short term causes such as paying salaries of public officers.

The government should increase revenue by ensuring more companies pay their taxes and also make sure the money collected enters the Treasury single Account.

The Deflation of Inflation— 3 months in a row.

What’s going on?

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the country’s inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in March was 0.06 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in February.

Care to explain further?

Sure. Inflation is calculated by collating the average change in prices of goods and services consumed by people on a daily basis, over a period of time.

What does this mean?

The drop in inflation means that businesses revenue may slightly improve as people have more money to spend. It might also improve exports and economic growth.

Dancing to the Tune of the DisCos.

From November 1, 2013, many Nigerians had to adjust to stop chanting “Up NEPA” whenever electrical power is restored. NEPA stopped existing, different companies took charge of providing electricity to the different parts of Nigeria because the NEPA wasn’t doing its job well.
  So what happened?

The deal was that the different electricity distribution companies would provide meters to the areas they serve so people would pay for the actual electricity they are using. However, it’s taken too long for this to happen. So, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in order to fast track the process, plans to place a limit on the amount that a distribution company (DisCo) can charge an unmetered consumer until she or he is metered. 

What did the DisCos say?
They don’t have financial ability to provide meters for all their users upfront.

And what did NERC do?
They provided an innovative financial crowd-sourcing initiative called Credited Advanced Payment for Meter Implementation (CAPMI); which provides DisCos with the opportunity to finance metering through consumer finance— when a business offers financing to their customers with help from a professional finance company (bank). But in spite of this, no significant progress has been made.


If NERC’s plan works every home might have a meter soon. No more crazy billing.

Uber to the world

Source: Uber’s S-1 Report

Uber is set to go public—open up to public investors on the stock market—sometime in May. It finally revealed its financial statement to the world last week and here are the numbers that matter.

91 million monthly active platform consumers.

5.2 billion rides given in 2018 including Scooters, Uber Eats, Uber Freight.

$11.3 billion revenue in 2018, 42% higher than in 2017.

$9.2 billion in ride hailing revenue; which is 81% of total revenue.

$78.2 billion in revenue is what drivers have earned since 2015.

$10 billion worth of losses in the past 3 years. (It had $1.8 billion loss in 2018 and $2.6 billion loss in 2017).

Current Major Shareholders.

16% –  SoftBank— A Japanese tech giant.

11% – Matt Collen.

8.6% – Travis Kalanick (Co-founder).

6% – Gareth Camp.

5.3% – Sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

5.2% – Alphabet, that’s the parent company of Google.

What Uber says they expect?

“We expect our operating expenses to increase significantly in the foreseeable future, and we may not achieve profitability. Also, we do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future”.

Anything else apart from these numbers?

Yes. In Saudi Arabia, Uber recently gave it’s women drivers the ability to select only female riders. Uber developed this feature after they found out that 74% of Saudi female drivers did not want to pick up male passengers.

But why now?

Last year June, Saudi Arabia finally removed the ban on letting women drive, and there have been countless reports of female users and drivers of both Uber and Lyft suffering abuse and harassment. Very thoughtful move there by Uber.

Why are people still hyped about investing in Uber?

Growth. Optimism. The belief that it will work out and everyone would soon be smiling to the bank.

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

We’re gonna tell you a story about two companies.

The first one is called Pinterest, a social media network which was founded in 2010 and the other is called  Zoom, a video conference tool which was born in 2011.

Last year Zoom reported a revenue of $330.5 million, while Pinterest generated sales of $755.9 million.

Zoom raised $160 million as a private company while Pinterest raised about $1.5 billion.Zoom was valued at $1 billion while Pinterest was valued at $12.3 billion before going public.

After recently listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Zoom’s valuation went up significantly, gaining an early valuation of $16.7 billion, while Pinterest’s own nearly $13 billion.

Hmm, why did this happened?

Zoom is profitable. It made $7.6 million net profit, while Pinterest had a loss of $63 million in 2018.

Zoom is growing faster: Sales increased 118% between the last two fiscal years, while Pinterest grew 60%.

Moral Lesson

In a world filled with loss-making tech companies, Zoom is a gentle reminder that it’s still possible to be ‘successful’ and profitable. Profit still matters.

Africa’s 3 little birds

What does Nigeria, Benin and Eritrea have in common?

They’ve decided not to seat with the other ‘cool’ African countries in Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Wait, Where’s Eritrea again?

The North Eastern side of Africa, close to the Red Sea.

Okay, what else should I know about Eritrea?

Eritrea has had the same president since 1993, has no national language and recently ordered it’s local men to marry more than one wife or risk being sent to prison for life.

Okay, enough of Eritrea what’s AfCFTA?

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a trade agreement between 49 African Union member states, with the goal of creating a single market. This is also followed by free movement and a single-currency union.  This means African businesses, traders and consumers will no longer pay tariffs on about 90% of goods that they trade between African countries. Sounds cool right?

Why does it matter?

Over 80 percent of African trade is with the rest of the world, while intra-Africa trade accounts for just over 10 per cent of its total trade. In comparison to Europe, where nearly 70 percent is within Europe.

AfCFTA would allow African-owned companies to enter new markets. This would expand their customer base and lead to new products and services, making investing in innovation viable. Also, it eases the process of importing raw materials from other African countries.

If successful, AfCFTA would bring significant economic benefits to Africa. For instance, an UNCTAD report shows that AfCFTA would add $17.6bn (2.8%) to Africa’s overall trade with the rest of the world, stimulating exports by $25.4bn (or 4%).

Why is Nigeria not part?

The president of Nigeria’s labour union has described the AfCFTA as “an extremely dangerous and radioactive neo-liberal policy initiative that seeks to open our seaports, airports and other businesses to unbridled foreign interference never before witnessed in the history of the country”.

Dangote said “Nigeria did not rush to sign the agreement because there are consequences and Nigeria has some big industries. The regional markets need to work to prevent foreign goods from invading our market.”

Oh, so it’s not that rosy?

Yes, On the flip side it could also lead to:

Loss of source of income, employment and shut down of small firms because they can’t compete with the bigger firms, For example, small family farms can’t compete with large agri-businesses in high-income African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and Nigeria.

Poor work conditions as labourers from poorer countries may be forced to work long hours and to live in terrible conditions without basic amenities such as drinking water and electricity.

Theft of intellectual property,Many African countries don’t have laws in place that protect patents, inventions and new processes. This could discourage investment in innovation.What do we think?

For Nigeria, the best way to have a say is to have a seat at the table and not by shunning AfCFTA completely.

Israel’s Prime Minister: 10 years and counting.

What’s going on?

Israel’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu who was recently re-elected has been nominated by Israeli President Reuven Rivilin, to form a coalition to govern the 21st Knesset. After 65 members out 120 of the Knesset recommended him for Prime minister, Rivilin had no choice but to allow Netanyahu to serve an unprecedented fifth term, in order to unite the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties.

What is the Knesset?

It is the legislative branch of the Israeli government which passes the law, elects the President, appoints the Cabinet and supervises the government through its committee. Its aim is to check and balance the Israeli government.

What happens next? 

Netanyahu has been given 28 days to form the government with a possible two weeks extension.  

Netanyahu has vowed to represent all Israelis, “those that voted for me, and those that didn’t.”

Fixing Notre Dam: Money is not the problem.

Source: NBC News 

What happened?

A major fire erupted at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday. The cause of the fire is most likely due to an electrical fault not terrorism or arson. However, about 40 people have been questioned by investigators.

And so far, about a billion dollars have been pledged to help restore the landmark.

What’s so special about this building?

The construction of Notre Dame began in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a worldwide icon of Paris and the location of some of the most important moments in the history of France. 

Looks like everything is fine right?

Well, people aren’t too happy with the millions flowing in.

“If they can give tens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, then they should stop telling us there is no money to help with the social emergency.”—Philippe Martinez, head of the CGT trade union.What’s the issue here?

Notre Dame’s story is interesting: No one was killed, no one is starving, but everyone— philanthropists are promptly giving without being asked to do so.

Source: Twitter