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Technology

“GET IT,” Local Start-up secures additional venture capital funding

Lauren Russell Nkuranga, the founder of GET IT, a commercial food distribution service company based in Rwanda, says that investors still have appetite for the country despite Covid-19 pandemic. Nkuranga’s startup completed its Series A funding – the first significant round of venture capital financing – last month from Chicago-based impact investor VestedWorld. Earlier this year, Chandaria Capital, the professional early-stage investment arm of the Chandaria Group of companies based in Kenya also announced an investment in GET IT. “This is an indication that investors are still interested in Rwanda despite Covid-19,”she said in an interview with Business Times.  While the conversation with investors began before the pandemic, the...

AfricInvest IV Fund mobilizes $202 million

 AfricInvest IV Fund, the fourth fund launched by Tunisia-based investment firm AfricInvest, reached a total of $202 million in mobilization. Last week, the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) committed $50 million in a one-off grant, the largest to its African partner. The second contributor to this fundraising is Finland’s development finance fund FinFund, which injected $20 million. The other donors include Proparco, which is the private arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), the International Finance Corporation, and the American development finance institution, Development Finance Corporation. The fund, whose total resources are expected to reach $500 million, targets medium-sized African companies that are well-positioned and likely to become strong regional businesses. The fund’s...

CDC Group, Finnfund Invests $70m Into AfricInvest Fund IV To Support Startups And Businesses Across Africa

The CDC Group and Finnfund have made a $70-million commitment to AfricInvest Fund IV, a generalist Pan-African fund aiming to foster the growth of African enterprises across the continent. Fund IV will invest in mid-cap and growth-oriented companies in sectors including financial services, agribusiness, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and education. Here Is What You Need To Know CDC, the UK’s impact investor and development finance institution, committed $50-million and Finnfund, the Finnish development financier, committed $20-million. AfricInvest Fund IV is aimed at general African enterprise growth through investing in mid-cap and growth-focused financial services, agribusiness, logistics, manufacturing, health and educational businesses, and will receive USD 50 million from CDC and USD...

ACTIS-BACKED AFRICAN EDUCATION GROUP, HONORIS UNITED UNIVERSITIES, ACQUIRES NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY

Honoris United Universities, an African Actis-backed education group, has added Nile University of Nigeria, a private university based in Abuja, to its extensive network. The group already owns private universities in Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This is its first acquisition in West Africa Actis launched Honoris United Universities, a private pan-African higher education network, in 2017 with a $275 million fund. Honoris United Universities harnesses the collaborative intelligence and the pioneering efforts of institutions to educate Africa’s next generations of leaders and professionals. Actis’s strategy for Honoris United Universities started with “beacon” markets in Francophone Africa.  In December 2014, it made an investment in Universite...

Nigeria launches $2.9b gas pipeline project

Nigeria has flagged off the construction of its $2.8 billion first phase of natural gas pipeline project to supply gas to three electricity power stations and later to North Africa. The 614 kilometres Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) project will be done on a build-and-transfer Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis.According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline project—traversing the states of Kogi, Niger, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna and Kano states—is dear to the people and "it must succeed." When completed, the pipeline is expected to transport 3,500 million metric standard cubic feet per day of dehydrated gas from several gas gathering projects located in southern Nigeria. The construction of the...

SA’s Redefine sold 111mln shares in British subsidiary DRI Reit

South African real estate investment trust, Redefine Properties, announced on June 29 it has reached an agreement with US investment firm Starwood Capital Group to sell 111.9 million shares in its British arm RDI Reit at 95 pence per share. Redefine will cash a total of 106.3 million pound sterling ($130.3 million) from this transaction. The sale’s proceeds will help the South African company to strengthen its balance sheet and have enough resources to deal with the post-covid phase. According to Andrew Konig (pictured), Redefine CEO, the market conditions and the current health crisis could put huge pressure on the local real estate sector during this and...

The African Union Launches Youth Innovation Challenge on Democracy & Governance

The African Union (AU) has launched the “Democracy and Governance in Africa- Youth Innovation Challenge”, to identify, capacitate and recognize youth working on digital or non-digital innovations in Africa. The African Union says it’s looking for structural ideas that can prevent conflict through addressing issues of democracy deficit, lack of good governance and work to promote human rights practices. The innovation challenge targets youth innovators, innovation hubs and incubation centres across the continent led by the youth. The challenge seeks ideas or innovations that have been implemented and/or tested with a level of success and impact, and open for prospects of improvement, replication or scale up at national, regional or...

South Africa’s Mama Money Expands Global Reach With Western Union

Western Union and Mama Money, a rapidly growing international money transfer company, have joined forces to enable the customers of the South African fintech startup, to send money to their loved ones around the world via Western Union’s Global Network. This collaboration will gear Mama Money’s more than 500,000 customers in South Africa to send money from their smartphones for a payout into billions of bank accounts in over 100 countries around the world or in cash at Western Union Agent locations across more than 200 countries and territories. Customers can pay for transactions within the Mama Money app via direct transfers from their bank accounts or through a vast...

Fintech MFS Africa acquires digital payments provider Beyonic

Johannesburg-based fintech firm MFS Africa announced today that it has acquired Beyonic, a digital payments management provider of business services for SMEs, fintechs, and social impact entities across Africa. MFS Africa – which claims to be Africa’s largest digital payments hub – connects more than 200 million mobile wallets on the continent through one API. The company was founded in 2009 by CEO Dare Okoudjou Beyonic focusses on domestic payments and collections coupled with secure front-end business functionality. MFS Africa said in a statement today that the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval by the Fair Competition Commission in Tanzania, will provide the growing micro, small, and medium enterprise segment across Africa...

Zimbabwean tech enthusiast wins grant at international drone competition

Our loyal readers would have come across the name Tawanda Chihambakwe by now. The drone professional absolutely loves drones and has been behind a number of cool initiatives locally including a drone racing community a few years ago. Most recently Chihambakwe also wanted to help disinfect Harare’s CBD using drones but the City Council made sure that wouldn’t happen – but anyway that’s a story for another day… Right now we talk about how, Chihambakwe won a US$15 000 grant earlier this year in We Robotic’s Unusual Solutions competition. The challenge he participated in was to figure out how drones and data can be used ethically to solve local problems. Tawanda set out to...