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Mon, 24 Jun 2019
African Banker Awards names Ecobank ‘Best Retail Bank in Africa’...

The judges were especially impressed by how Ecobank’s state-of-the-art products, services, functionality and constant innovations provide 24/7 convenience, accessibility and affordability to meet the evolving needs and expectations of its customers across 33 African countries, whilst also successfully driving financial inclusion. Ecobank was also nominated for African Bank of the Year in the Awards. The Award ceremony was held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

“We are honoured to be recognised as Africa’s Best Retail Bank. This is a testament to the success of our digital strategy and pan-African presence as we continue to drive financial integration, inclusive banking and playing a catalytic role in the transformation of Africa.”

“We are constantly innovating to meet the needs of Africans, from our multi-functional Ecobank Mobile App, which has changed banking in Africa, to our KYC-lite Xpress account opening for the unbanked and the under-banked, and our Rapidtransfer App, for cross-border remittances to Africa at minimal or no cost. Our Xpress Point agencies further deliver face-to-face banking to thousands in local communities. The traditional banking model is changing and Ecobank will continue to play a pivotal and pioneering role in meeting the banking needs of millions of Africans.”

Nana Araba Abban, acting group executive, Consumer Bank said: “Ecobank is making banking accessible, convenient and affordable, and we are continuing to broaden our innovative range of best-in-class products, services and functionality to enrich our customers’ experience and stay a step ahead of their evolving needs and expectations. To win the prestigious ‘Best Retail Bank’ Award two years running strongly indicates that our strategy and service is working for ever-increasing numbers of sub-Saharan Africans across our pan-African footprint


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Fri, 21 Jun 2019
Hotel chains bet on Africa’s rising

Hilton Hotels & Resorts sees big opportunities for growth in Africa and South Africa, and is aiming for 100 hotels on the continent by 2025 and 10 hotels in South Africa by the same time.

“Africa is truly the continent of opportunities,” Jan Van Der Putten, Hilton vice-president of operations for Africa and the Indian Ocean, said during an interview.

Right now Hilton has four hotels in South Africa – two in Cape Town, one in Durban and one in Sandton in Johannesburg.

At the same time, Hilton is constructing another hotel in Cape Town and one in Durban.

“We are getting up to six and looking for quite a few more in the years to come,” Van Der Putten said.

Across the whole of Africa, Hilton has 44 hotels and another 56 are under construction and development. These new hotels were likely to cost more than $1 billion, he said.

Hilton opened hotels in two new countries in Africa this year – Botswana and eSwatini.

A 2018 report by Lagos-based company W Hospitality Group, which provides advisory services to the hotel, tourism and leisure industries, said that South Africa had 37 hotels under construction, which would add 4 311 rooms.

“The chains with the most reported activity in South Africa include Marriott International, Mantis Group and aha Hotels & Lodges,” the W Hospitality Groupreport said.

It showed that in 2018, throughout Africa, there were 418 hotels under development that would create more than 76 000 rooms.

“Marriott International [Hilton’s major competitor] once again leads the hotel chain development pipeline in terms of number of rooms and number of hotels,” W Hospitality Group reported.

The report said that Marriott was developing 93 new hotels in Africa that would add more than 17 700 rooms.

Van Der Putten said that Hilton was building the new hotel in Cape Town with Growthpoint Properties at a cost of between R450 million and R500 million.

The cost of the Durban hotel is a “little bit less than that” and is being built in Umhlanga Ridge to the north of Durban.

“We are looking for more opportunities in the bigger cities… But, also, secondary cities in South Africa have opportunities.”

Some of the places where Hilton is looking at building further hotels include Sandton and the broader Johannesburg area, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria.

“We are also looking at the smaller places in the provinces. Polokwane and Nelspruit would be considerations. Port Elizabeth – you would definitely look at. It also has to be where an investor or property investor is going.

“The confidence in the hotel business has come back. After the 2010 World Cup it was difficult with all the new hotels that had come on stream. Step by step the capacity is being used. Investors are becoming more interested in looking at new hotels.”

Hilton opened its first hotel in South Africa in late 1997. Across its four South African hotels, the hospitality company employs 1 250 people.

Regarding the election of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the state of the local economy, Van Der Putten said that South Africa deserves good leadership.

“I think [...]

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Wed, 12 Jun 2019
DHL rolls out e-commerce platform to more markets in Africa

DHL Africa eShop has seen impressive growth since launching and has now been rolled out to nine more countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Following the success of the DHL Africa eShop (www.Africa-eShop.DHL) app in 11 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, DHL Express has announced that its innovative mobile and desktop platform has been rolled out in nine more countries across the continent.

Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, says that they’ve seen impressive growth in usage of the DHL Africa eShop app since it was initially brought online in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Malawi, Botswana, Sierra Leone and Uganda in April this year.

“The uptake and usage of this platform over the past seven weeks has been incredible, with exponential growth in subscribers and physical orders. Based on this rapid growth and the positive feedback that we have received from the market, DHL Express has decided to proceed to the next phase of the rollout as quickly as possible. The platform is now live for consumers in in Cameroon, Democratic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.”

The DHL Africa eShop enables African customers to shop directly from over 200 US- and UK-based online retailers, with purchases delivered to their door, by DHL Express. This solution was developed in partnership with Link Commerce – a division of Mall for Africa.

Heymans notes that there is a growing demand for world-class online retail services in Africa. “As one report by the McKinsey Global Institute shows, Africa has a fast-growing middle-class consumer market which is embracing the internet at an astonishing rate. By 2025, the projected internet market penetration is expected to reach around 50% for the continent, with around 360 million smartphones expected to be in circulation. DHL Africa eShop provides the perfect solution for African consumers to access global brands.”

The DHL Africa eShop app offers African consumers unprecedented access to international retailers on an easy-to-use platform, with great convenience and speed. It also enables many global brands to connect with a captive African market – markets that were often overlooked due to the perception of high complexity and uncertainty.

“As the global leader in express logistics, DHL is well positioned to connect African consumers with these exciting global brands. We are committed to driving e-commerce growth on the continent on all fronts. We work with thousands of e-commerce brands in Africa, and help them to reach global customers, and now with our DHL Africa eShop, we also connect African consumer to global brands,” concludes Heymans.


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