Emirates reaffirms partnership with Mauritius

Emirates reaffirms partnership with Mauritius in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline

Emirates has reaffirmed its partnership with Mauritius by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA). The current agreement builds on the existing partnership between the two entities to promote tourism to Mauritius from key markets across the Emirates network.

The MoU was signed at the 2022 Arabian Travel Market, the region’s largest travel trade event in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group. The agreement was signed by Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ SVP Commercial West Asia & Indian Ocean and Arvind Bundhun, Director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).

Ahmed Khoory, SVP Commercial West Asia & Indian Ocean at Emirates, said, “We enjoy a long-standing partnership with Mauritius and have had a fruitful association in the past. The renewal of this partnership is a testament of our commitment to boost tourism to the island nation.”

“As international borders reopen and travel restrictions ease, we remain deeply committed to support initiatives that boost inbound tourism and increase leisure traffic to Mauritius. Emirates’ second daily flight will now start from 23 June to facilitate summer travel from the Americas, Europe and the Middle East to the island nation. The extension of our partnership reiterates our commitment to Mauritius and enables joint initiatives to undertake tourism recovery,” he added.

Honourable Louis Steven Obeegadoo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, said, “We are delighted to be renewing this MoU with Emirates as we pursue the strong partnership, we have developed over almost 20 years. Mauritius tourism is recovering fast, and some markets are already performing better than prior to the pandemic. We therefore welcome the increase in capacity planned by Emirates and the new partnership agreement as they will provide a boost to our tourist arrivals worldwide.”

Under the MoU, Emirates will jointly undertake marketing activities with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Board.

Emirates started operations to Mauritius in September 2002 with three weekly flights and currently is in its 20th year of operations to the Indian Ocean destination.

Emirates currently operates nine weekly flights to Mauritius and in line with rising demand, the airline will be scaling up operations to double daily flights from 23 June 2022. The second daily flight will be served utilising a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from 23 June-30June and, from 1 July the airline will deploy its flagship A380 aircraft.

Emirates continues to place top priority on safe travel with the implementation of comprehensive measures on the ground throughout all touchpoints and on board to provide its passengers with the highest safety and hygiene standards at every step of the journey. Customers travelling from Dubai can also take advantage of state of the art contactless technology to ease their journey through the airport.

Orginal Article Link: https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/emirates-reaffirms-partnership-with-mauritius/

Kenyan fintech Asante announces $7.5m Series A funding for pan-African expansion

Kenya-based fintech startup Asante has announced a US$7.5 million Series A investment to help its credit offerings to a host of African countries.

Asante has developed a digital lending platform that uses alternative data and a proprietary AI loan decisioning management system to approve loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The company works directly with ecosystem channel partners, including telcos, mobile-based marketplaces, airlines, retailers, payment processors, insurance companies, smartphone phone OEMs and large FMCGs, to collect conventional and non-conventional MSME data, with the prior consent of the clients, in order to reduce the cost of customer acquisition and due diligence while providing sufficient alternative data for credit underwriting.

Asante has executed over 16 strategic corporate channel partnerships, giving Asante direct access to 2m MSMEs with a monthly lending opportunity in excess of US$200 million. Incorporated in Mauritius, Asante has grown exponentially since it commenced operations in 2018, and now operates in Kenya and Uganda.

The startup has active plans to be in 12 countries by 2025, and looks set to realise part of that goal after announcing a US$7.5 million Series A round anchored by Goodwell Investments with participation by other investors including Sorenson Impact Foundation and Forsage Holdings.

The Series A investment enables Asante to scale its credit offerings to the underserved segment of MSMEs in Kenya and Uganda, and expand to Nigeria and Rwanda.

“We are delighted to welcome our new investors including Goodwell, Sorenson and Forsage in our inaugural institutional fundraise. Together, we will advance access to finance, and financial independence and wellbeing for the millions of small businesses on the continent,” said Chidi Okpala, founding chief executive officer (CEO) of Asante.

“With over 650 per cent growth in lending activities since Q1 2021 and a sustained average all-in default rate of 2.5 per cent, Asante is well-positioned to fast track scale and deepen our impact in our operating markets. Our bold post-COVID response is helping small businesses recover, reconstruct and reposition for growth while ensuring that thousands of jobs are safeguarded. We look forward to a round extension very early in the new year to support the solid growth momentum.”

Orginal Article Link: https://disrupt-africa.com/2021/10/20/kenyan-fintech-asante-announces-7-5m-series-a-funding-for-pan-african-expansion/