Nigeria’s Sabi plans financial-services partnerships for South Africa expansion

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Friday, 4 November 2022 06:00

Man in market in front of his fabric store. Ben Curtis/AP/SIPA

Sabi, a Lagos-based B2B network for informal traders, plans financial-services partnerships in South Africa to support its expansion, the company’s founders tell The Africa Report.

Some partnerships are now being finalised and Sabi is still looking for further agreements in South Africa to supply small merchants with financial services, CEO Anu Adasolum says. The company, which also operates in Kenya, opened an office in Johannesburg this year as part of a joint venture with South Africa-based tech platform Vumele. Sabi has the option to increase its stake in the venture.

Servicing Africa’s informal economy is key to achieving growth. The IMF has said the sector contributes over $800bn to Africa’s economy, while the International Labour Organization estimates that informal work accounts for over 80% of total employment in some sub-Saharan Africa economies. Informal output, according to the ILO, makes up more than 50% of the region’s official GDP.