2021 brought a few pleasant surprises for Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry. Other than high-grossing movies, there was also the return of many beloved characters like the Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze duo who partnered for an Aki and Pawpaw remake. The year also brought a sequel to 2018 thriller King of Boys—King of Boys: The Return of the King (KOB 2).
While KOB 2 does have its lowlights, the series is one of the better products of Nollywood. Released as Netflix’s first original Nigerian series, it helped the streaming platform gain more African subscribers while being on many top-10 charts. It’s also the originator of one of Nigeria’s beloved memes. 👇🏿
So, what went into making KOB 2?
We spoke to the production coordinator of KOB 2, Michael “AMA Psalmist” Akinrogunde, and here’s what we learnt:
The production of KOB 2 was going to be a world-class one anyway, regardless of Netflix’s contribution.
The team wasn’t aiming to make KOB 2 a series. In the script, it was a movie, but the first cut was nine hours long; only then was it converted to a series because there was no part the team could cut out at that point.
The scene where Makanaki goes to meet the babalawo was shot in a hotel hall.
KOB 2 was shot in 63 days and required a 60–90-member crew working collaboratively across different time zones.
And for the biting question: no one knows if Ade Tiger Eniola Salami will return.
CAMEROON’S NEW BILL THREATENS MOBILE MONEY
What new thing did you do in 2022?
For most Cameroonians, they spent it getting acquainted with the new Finance Bill, which came into force on January 1, 2022.
The bill enforces a 0.2% tax on the transfer and withdrawal of money via mobile wallets.
In Cameroon, mobile money is popular amongst its 65% unbanked population. The country accounts for about 65% of the mobile money wallets in the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa.
With such high penetration, many people are rightfully concerned about the bill, which was announced in November. In countries where such taxes have been implemented, they have harmed the growth of mobile money services and businesses. Since many mobile money users belong to marginalised social groups, the negative impact on financial inclusion and broader development goals of mobile money taxes is significant.
Big picture: Cameroon joins Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania as countries where governments have implemented taxes on mobile money transactions. While Ghana’s bill is still under consideration, both Ugandan and Tanzanian governments have been forced to slash the taxes, after protests from citizens. We’re hoping Cameroon follows suit.
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In 2021, crypto had a few highs, including some coins like bitcoin reaching an all-time price high at $68,000. In Africa, a few countries that will not be named pushed against crypto, introducing blanket bans and prohibitory regulations.
Despite this, crypto prevailed on the continent and adoption rates for crypto rose by 1,200%. A notable development is the rise in the development of digital currencies, with Nigeria launching Africa’s first CBDC, the eNaira. Ghana, Tunisia, South Africa, and Madagascar are also developing their own state-backed digital currencies.
What can we expect in 2022?
Luno, a global cryptocurrency company with 9 million customers, believes that in 2022, African countries may rethink anti-crypto regulations if they consider how little blanket bans in China have limited trading and helped consumers.
Marius Reitz, Luno’s General Manager for Africa, also believes that Kenya will emerge as East Africa’s leading crypto hub. Mobile money is already huge in the region, and Kenya presently ranks as the world’s leader in peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes for the second consecutive year. What’s missing, according to Reitz, is “widespread crypto education”.
Reitz also believes that the solution to Africa’s remittance problem lies in crypto adoption, a development only possible with favourable regulations.
Zoom out: We don’t see countries reneging on crypto bans any time soon, especially if they’re taking cues from China. Countries like Egypt and Algeria have had these restrictions since 2018, while Nigeria joined the line last year. We can, however, see many more African countries pushing for their own CBDCs.
ACCESS CRYPTO WITH QUIDAX
Quidax is an African-founded cryptocurrency exchange that makes it easy for you to access Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They also make it possible for fintech companies to offer cryptocurrency services to their customers.
Speaking of crypto, here’s some news to get your coins rolling.
Last week, a new crypto company launched in the US. Ryval is described as a marketplace that will allow investors fund lawsuits and trade tokens based on their beliefs about the cases’ prospects of success.
To put it simply, Ryval is going to let people bet crypto on how civil lawsuits will turn out.
Co-founder Kyle Roche believes that the US Federal Court is one of the best in the world, but that navigating it is expensive for the average American. What better way to solve that problem than to allow people open crypto-like GoFundMes for their cases?!
“What we do is: tell the story, vet the legal claim, and then allow the public to invest and give you the funds to go and litigate your case,” Roche explained.
Litigation funding isn’t new in the US, but pre-Ryval, only wealthy and accredited Americans could partake in it. Ryval wants to change that by allowing “all investors, regardless of accreditation status, to purchase tokens associated with a specific case and then hold or trade them on the open market”.
Is it a bad idea?
You tell us.
One of Ryval’s rule is that only “wealthy and accredited” investors will be able to trade their coins immediately while others will be required to hold their coins for at least one year. 🙃
What do you think?
TC INSIGHTS: INVESTMENT BLUES
Last year, African startups raised a record $4.9 billion in funding, signalling a growth of 258%, compared to 2020. It is more impressive when one considers that the continent’s funding volume grew almost 6 times faster than the global average between 2015 and 2020.
However, this growth doesn’t paint a full picture of the continent’s startup scene. For instance, the average return for VC investment after five years is a measly 2.7%, compared to the double-digit figures observed in other regions across the world.
Some reasons for this poor performance range from regulatory volatility across the continent, like the ban on ride-hailing services in Nigeria, to the tax on mobile money services in Ghana and Cameroon. Also, structural barriers limit expansion for startups leading to limited growth. Factor in the reduction in GDP per capita from $1,599 in 2019 to $1,484 in 2020, and it becomes clear why poor returns from investment are rife.
One way to increase returns on investments is for startups to leverage strategic partnerships with established companies to build new digital technologies that benefit both parties and the consumers at large.
More importantly, there is a need for government across the continent to implement innovation-friendly regulations so startups and venture capitalists can thrive. Some countries like Tunisia, Senegal, and Nigeria are beginning to take the lead in this area by passing startup bills into law.
As the funding windfall continues, it is important that investors are able to receive significant returns from their investments in African startups.
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