ZIMBABWEAN telecoms, media and financial services tycoon, Strive Masiyiwa, is now worth US$1.7 billion and ranked 14th on Forbes' list of African billionaires. According to the US-based business magazine, Masiyiwa becomes Zimbabwe's first billionaire and the country's only representative on its list of Africa's super rich. Masiyiwa, a globally respected business leader and philanthropist, is executive chairman of the Econet Group which was founded in 1993 with the launch of mobile phone company Econet Wireless Zimbabwe after a five-year legal battle against the Harare government. His telecoms venture has since expanded internationally with operations now spanning Africa as well as in Europe, South America, North America and the East Asia Pacific Rim. Listed on the local stock market,...
Access to power is a major issue in Africa, and in solar, many people feel they have the solution. Yet solar is doing more than switching on off-grid populations, and providing a potentially lucrative and investor friendly business opportunities to companies like M-KOPA Solar and BBOXX. It is also helping to create a middleman later of “solarpreneurs”, offering people the chance to make revenues by offering people in disconnected areas solar services. One such company doing this is Rwandan hardware-as-a-service company ARED, which is empowering local people with a “business in a box” solar kiosk platform that enables them to start their own businesses by charging phones and selling virtual top-ups. Launched in January 2013, ARED is focused primarily on women and disabled indivi
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline has already been completed and it holds great opportunities businesses can benefit from. Among the partners that played a role to make the construction successful include China National Offshore Oil Corporation Uganda, Tullow Oil Uganda, Total E&P Uganda and American firm Gulf Interstate Engineering. Other development partners are Uganda National Oil Company and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation. The export-pipeline will serve the East African Community (EAC) states as an integral component to boost trade. The firm has invited local companies dealing in engineering, procurement and construction to grab the opportunities that will be available after the conclusion of the project. They will be able to invest in there sectors and enha...
Another landmark year in the development of the Nigerian tech startup space, with the huge Andela funding round probably the standout moment. Yet much more than that happened in 2017. Disrupt Africa wraps up the best bits. Andela’s landmark funding round How could we start with anything else? Coding school Andela announced in October it had secured US$40 million in Series C funding from a host of investors, taking its total venture funding to over US$80 million. The round was led by pan-African firm CRE Venture Capital (catch up with co-founder Pule Taukobong here), and will be used to fuel Andela’s pan-African expansion. A quick mention too for former Andela co-founder Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, whose new venture – payments startup Flutterwave – secured funding of its own in Au
Muzi Mkhize is determined, short and very presentable. The glasses fit the stereotype of a nerdy app developer. We meet at The Wine Bar, in the famous Vilakazi Street in Soweto, once home to two Nobel Prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The businesses there have the QR code to Mkhize’s app on their tables. Through it you can download the app and connect with the establishments. Mkhize was born, and lived most of his life, in Soweto, about 30 kilometers south of Johannesburg. After completing high school in the east of Johannesburg, Mkhize moved into the Information Technology (IT) sector. On graduation, in 2005, Mkhize worked for a few big companies. That is where he decided not a lot of black graduates are given opportunities to grow within the IT sector.
Start Business at 20, Audrey Cheng (age 24), founder and CEO of Moringa School, a training institution for software developers, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Audrey got featured on Finding Impact Podcast (FIP). FIP is a weekly series where Andy Narracott (@AndyNarracott) has conversations with people moving the needle in social enterprise. Each episode discusses strategy, tactics and practical advice to help you build your own venture. Many start-ups seek investment or grants to fund their operations. But Cheng, who previously worked at early-stage investor Savannah Fund, decided to bootstrap Moringa School by using her own money, particularly during the first few years. In this (slightly-edited) excerpt, she explains the reasons for following this route. “What I realised pretty earl
South African e-health startup RecoMed has raised ZAR4.5 million (US$324,000) in funding to fund a shift to increasing product traction and market its products and services. RecoMed is an online healthcare marketplace, enabling consumers to easily book appointments with a diverse group of healthcare providers 24/7, who in turn benefit from increased patient traffic and practice efficiencies. The investment was secured by investment and advisory firm HAVAÍC, the ASISA Enterprise Development Fund, and Growth Grid Venture Capital Partners. The ASISA ESD Fund was an early investor in RecoMed, and has increased its equity participation with this new round. Two-thirds of the funding will be utilised in the immediate term, with the rest to be drawn at RecoMed’s request within six months
Facebook is launching a “community hub” and training program in Nigeria, its biggest market in Africa. The hub will offer support to tech startups and will also train 50,000 young people and SMEs in digital skills across the country. Opening in 2018, it will be Facebook’s first tech space in Africa as the social media company follows in the footsteps of search giant Google who in July launched an ambitious initiative to train 10 million young people in online skills over five years. Emeka Afigbo, Head of platform partnerships, Middle East & Africa told CNN: “What we aim to do at the incubator is to provide support for high tech startups that do not ordinarily get investments, until they can develop a proof of concept, which will attract other investors.” With an eye on
The United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) has made a renewed call for investment in renewable energy, this time targeting the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). Forty seven countries, most of which are in Africa, are currently designated by the United Nations as LDCs. They include Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, the Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, the
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has confirmed that it plans to invest over $16 billion in Nigeria’s healthcare sector. The bank said its decision to make such investment is in consonance with its long-term plan to deepen its investment portfolio in the country by building an ultra modern healthcare hospital to be located either in Abuja or Lagos, Nigeria’s most popular cities. This disclosure was made by Dr. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of AFREXIMBank at a press briefing in Abuja. Oramah stated that the multi-million dollar tertiary level hospital will be a joint partnership investment between the bank, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health and the Kings College Hospital (KCH), London. The Afreximbank president said the cost for th