Nigeria, the largest country and economy in the area, took a leadership role with the 2021 launch of the $195 million Deep Blue Project, which provides personnel and vessels to guard regional waters.

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea aren’t just a regional problem. Fewer pirates also means fewer shipping delays, safer crews, and lower insurance premiums around the world.


Dealmaker

Ivorian fintech startup Djamo raised $14 million in a round led by Enza Capital, Oikocredit, and Partech Africa. Other investors in the company, which offers a money transfer app, include Y Combinator, Janngo Capital, P1 Ventures, Axian, and Launch Africa. Djamo was founded in 2020 and claims to have processed $400 million in transactions. The company is looking to grow beyond Côte d’Ivoire to other Francophone African countries.

Pivo, a women-founded Nigerian digital bank startup targeting freight carriers, raised $2 million in a seed round that included Mercy Corps, Precursor Ventures, Vested World, FoundersX, and Y Combinator. Pivo says it serves 500 small and medium businesses and has lent them $3 million, with a 98% repayment rate.


Quartz gems

How millennials and Gen Zers fell in love with luxury brands

In 2019, millennials and Gen Z accounted for 40% of luxury shoppers in North America, and 44% for the industry globally, according to joint research by the consulting firm Bain & Co. and the Italian luxury goods association Altagamma. By 2025, they are projected to account for 70% of the global luxury market. The youthfulness of China’s luxury market has been even starker: Half of China’s luxury buyers last year were born after 1990.

The huge success of big luxury groups like LVMH and Kering, has in part been thanks to their expansion into more diversified product areas, including sportswear.

There’s also an undeniable cultural component to the embrace of luxury by young people. A Bank of America analysis of Billboard year-end Hot 100 singles found that mentions of luxury brands and luxury products have skyrocketed in recent years.


Other things we liked

Airtel Money Uganda lost $2.1 million to hackers. For the Daily Monitor, Benson Tumusiime details how hackers used a betting site as a gateway to penetrate Airtel Money’s IT systems.

Ghana is buying oil using gold instead of US dollars. For Reuters, Cooper Inveen and Christian Akorlie write that Ghana will start using gold to pay for oil imports to tackle a foreign currency shortage.

Algeria condemned 49 people to death. The sentences for the mob killing of a man falsely accused of starting deadly forest fires are likely to be commuted to life in prison, BBC’s Ahmed Rouaba explains.

Suspected Islamic extremists killed 11 people in Mali. The AP’s Baba Ahmed describes the deadly attack against a camp hosting refugees from the northern part of the country.

Kenya blocked the exports of Kilifi baobabs to Georgia. President William Ruto has ordered an investigation into how a foreign contractor obtained permission for the operation, Caroline Kimeu reports for the Guardian.


ICYMI

Win part of Opera’s $300,000 World Cup prizes. Opera, the company behind the Opera Mini mobile browser, is asking all African soccer fans to shake their phones to have a chance of winning daily World Cup prizes such as airtime by MTN, Safaricom, Airtel, and AirtelTigo, cash prizes, and brand-new phones. (Now till Dec. 18)

Get Google’s $60,000 research fund. Are you a professor in an African university? Apply for Google’s 2023 research scholar program and help the continent research modern technologies. (Dec. 1)


🎵 This brief was produced while listening to “Suzanna” by Sauti Sol (Kenya).


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