Highs and lows from the Africa Cup of Nations

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Highs and lows from the Africa Cup of Nations
Highs and lows from the Africa Cup of Nations

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The end is nigh

Later today, Cameroon will host a colorful closing ceremony for the final match of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament—but not for its own national team. The Indomitable Lions came close to the final, but their hopes were dashed after they missed three penalties in the semifinal against Egypt. That means the Pharaohs will challenge Senegal’s Teranga Lions for this year’s $5 million prize and a place in the World Cup.

Whoever wins, it will bring an end to festivities that started on Jan. 9 at the newly built Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé. There have been high moments in the competition, especially for countries like Comoros and the Gambia. But there have also been lows, including a Jan. 24 pre-game stampede that killed eight people and left 40 others wounded. The fatal event reopened questions about Cameroon’s initial preparedness to host the tournament.

Today’s final will be played at Olembe, with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Cameroon’s local organizing committee reportedly satisfied that enough measures have been taken to prevent a repeat tragedy. Cameroon’s players also asked their soccer administrators to donate some of their performance bonuses to the stampede’s victims.

Cameroon might get some consolation in the third-place game against Burkina Faso, which has had to put aside the distraction of a military coup at home. But whatever happens, the continent will miss coming together for a month-long party that, barring one devastating event, has truly been a thrill. —Alexander Onukwue, west Africa correspondent

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Combating piracy to monetize music. Carlos Mureithi interviews Tosin Sorinola, director of artist and media relations for streaming service Boomplay, about Africa’s piracy problem, regulatory environment, and musical future.

Nigerian investment apps plot success. Robinhood shares might be in a slump, but similar apps in Africa—particularly in Nigeria—are making plans for a boom year after navigating regulatory troubles, Alexander Onukwue reports.

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DEALMAKER

Brimore, an Egyptian e-commerce company, raised $25 million in a round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Endure Capital, a US-based firm. Founded in 2017, Brimore enables shop owners to create mobile-app-based stores. The company says 74% of its 75,000 sellers are women who primarily live in Egypt’s rural communities.

Nestcoin, a startup creating media, gaming, and trading products on blockchain platforms, has raised $6.45 million from a host of investors including Serena Ventures, the investment company of Serena Williams. Nestcoin launched in November with a team of mainly Nigerians, but has a global focus for all its products.

Nigerian retail investment app Bamboo raised $15 million in a round led by US firms Tiger Global and Greycroft. Bamboo is one of a growing number of apps in Africa replicating Robinhood’s fractional trading model for retail stock investors. It launched in January 2020 and, after two years learning the market in Nigeria, plans to expand to Ghana later this year.

Does your company share the highly adaptable habits of the best companies for remote workers? Enter them for Quartz’s Best Companies for Remote Workers 2022 list.

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