DON'T MISS : Talking Africa Podcast – Mozambique's insurgency: After Palma, what comes next?

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #32 – Zhou Yahui, planting seeds of a digital harvest

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: Digital Africa

By Jaysim Hanspal
Posted on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 14:44, updated on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 10:20

Yahui Zhou, chairman and co-CEO of Opera.
Yahui Zhou, chairman and co-CEO of Opera.

Chinese billionaire Zhou Yahui has been moving his pawns across the digital chessboard for some years; in Africa he part owns OPay, a Nigerian Unicorn, raising $400m for further investment in the fintech space in Africa. He is is #32 in our list of Top African Digital Leaders.

A mobile-money platform also known for its motorcycle-­based delivery service in Lagos, Nigeria, OPay has become one of Africa’s rare unicorns (a startup with a valuation of more than $1bn). The company’s value is estimated at $2bn, after it raised $400m during an August fundraising round that included Japan’s SoftBank.

Opay is part owned by Chinese billionaire Zhou Yahui, founder of Kunlun Tech Co, a web game developer in China.

Zhou ranks #32 in our list of Top African Digital Leaders

Also in this in Depth:

Africa’s Digital Top 40… Strive Masiyiwa, Tayo Oviosu, Paul Kagame…

Tech builds the future for Africa’s youth, providing jobs, opportunities and access to knowledge. As the ecosystem gets ever more crowded with talent, The Africa Report launches its first ranking of the digital economy’s power players

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #1 – Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwe’s telecoms pioneer

Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, who has raised more than $1bn to ensure the growth of his group Econet, has ranked number one in our exclusive ranking of Africa's digital leaders

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #5+6 – Naspers Koos Bekker and Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa

Koos Bekker has changed the face of South Africa's digital landscape, and catapulted Naspers into the front row of African media. Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, as Naspers CEO for South Africa now has a chance to throw down a ladder to South African startups, as head of Naspers Foundry, its incubator for fresh talent. They rank 5th and 6th on our list of Africa's Top Digital Leaders

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #8 – Nigeria’s Mitchell Elegbe, Unicorn builder

Nigerian fintech legend Mitchell Elegbe is celebrated as a pioneer of the country's digital uplift, creating Interswitch, one of Africa's first unicorns. It achieved the $1bn+ valuation after a $200m injection from Visa in 2019. He comes in at #8 on our list of Africa's Top 40 Digital Leaders.

Africa’s top 40 Digital Leaders: #9 – Ralph Mupita

The continent’s top telco is gearing up to get leaner and meaner for its next transformation. Under Zimbabwean CEO Ralph Mupita, South Africa-based MTN Group is betting on mobile money, fintech innovations and building platforms to expand its bottom line. In Nigeria, the group’s biggest market, data revenue is soon set to overpass voice revenue for the first time.

Egypt’s Fintech faces obstacles to bring digital banking to fruition

Nearly two thirds of Egypt's population of 102 million are without access to banking services. Slashing this number is a key prerequisite to integrate the country’s vast grey economy - whose financial activity is not taxed or monitored by the government - into the formal sector.

How has Africa’s mobile money market adapted to the pandemic? 

Covid-19 led to widespread regulatory limits on mobile money transaction fees to boost financial inclusion through the pandemic. How have the controls impacted mobile money operators, which earn 80%+ of revenues from transaction fees? It looks like the controls are here to stay in some countries. In others, like Tanzania, Vodacom and Airtel successfully lobbied to remove a mobile money tax.