Kenya’s Mwalimu Sacco edges key shareholder out of Spire Bank, begins search for strategic investor

KENYA – Kenya’s Mwalimu National Sacco has acquired 100% ownership of the trouble-ridden local bank Spire Bank in a tactical move to eventually offload the shares to a strategic investor after close to six years of clinging to an investment that went bust. The giant teachers’ Sacco finally edged out business tycoon Naushad Merali from the bank in a share-purchase deal deemed as the ticket for attracting deep pocketed investors with much-needed resources and expertise to turn around the loss-making third-tier lender. Spire Bank’s acting managing director Brian Kilonzo told…

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Equity Bank Congo and Banque Commerciale Du Congo get regulatory approval for merger

DRC – Equity Group Holdings Plc. (UGH) has received regulatory approval to merge Equity Bank Congo (EBC) and Barque Infomercial Du Congo (BCDC) to form a new bank. Going forward, the new bank will be known as, Equity Banque Commercial du Congo (EquityBCDC). The move follows EGH’s acquisition of 66.53% shareholding of BCDC from the family of George Forrest, combined with prior EGH 86.6% shareholding in EBC and an additional EBC shareholding of 7.75% acquired from KFW during the year. Post-merger, EGH holds 77.5% in Equity BCDC with the remainder being held by IFC, the Government of DRC and…

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Berger Paints appoints Ogechi Iheanacho as Non-Executive Director

NIGERIA – Berger Paints, a Nigeria-based company, which is engaged in manufacturing and marketing of paints and allied products, and holds an investment property, has announced the appointment of Ogechi U. Iheanacho as Non-Executive Director, as Engineer Patrick Buruche retires.  The Board of Directors and Management of Berger Paints Nigeria Plc has announced the appointment of Mrs. Ogechi U. Iheanacho as Non-Executive Director of the company, as Engineer Patrick Buruche sets to retire as Non-Executive Director.  Mr. Ayoko announced that Engr Buruche will be retiring from the Board of the Company as a…

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Mobile tech company Mondia launches its entertainment platform in Nigeria

NIGERIA – Mondia, a mobile technology company, has announced the launch of its time-based entertainment platform Monsooq in Nigeria. This follows on the heels of the initial launch in South Africa.  Monsooq is the first-of-its kind model which utilises time as the currency. Users pay only for the time they spend consuming content and are not required to take out any contracts or subscriptions.  Monsooq’s unique time-based model allows consumers to buy entertainment time just as they would mobile airtime and use that time to consume any content they choose, including movies, sports, educational content,…

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South Africa’s REIT Attacq to dispose of its shares in MAS real estate for US$34.2m

SOUTH AFRICA – South African-based Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Attacq, has announced that its wholly-owned indirect subsidiary, AIM Investco, has entered into a sale of shares agreement to dispose of its 41.67 million shares in MAS Real Estate for US$34.2 million, with the proceeds from the disposal earmarked to reduce its overall debt levels and improving its interest cover ratio. Attacq said the disposal will be effected by an off-market block trade on or before January 20, and the consideration, payable in cash, represents a disposal price of US$0.82…

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Zambian micro-lending startup PremierCredit raises US$650k funding from Enygma Ventures

ZAMBIA – PremierCredit, Zambian micro-lending platform that also operates in Zimbabwe, has raised US$650,000 in funding from Enygma Ventures to help it scale further. Launched in 2019, PremierCredit offers micro-loans to Zambian entrepreneurs and small scale traders, many of whom are women, increasing their access to capital and the ability to grow their businesses.  With the support of its partner bank in Zimbabwe, meanwhile, PremierCredit provides affordable bicycles, smartphones and solar equipment on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis to under-served communities. “We are extremely elated about our partnership with Enygma Ventures.…

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New incubator for transport and logistic startups launched in Algeria

ALGERIA – Algeria’s Minister of Transport, Lazhar Hani, has launched a new incubator dedicated to startups active in the transport and logistics sector, entitled “Naql Tech”.  The minister was accompanied by the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Brahim Boumzar and the Minister of Startups and Knowledge Economy, Oualid El-Mahdi Yacine.  The incubator, located at the training center of the Urban and Suburban Transport Establishment of Algiers (ETUSA), hosts a dozen innovative startups in the transport and logistics sectors ranging from information to real time to the data city via digital logistics platforms.  During his speech on this occasion, the Minister of Transport underlined the…

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Kenya-based digital bank Umba raises US$2m seed funding to expand product range

KENYA – Kenya-based digital bank for emerging markets Umba has announced a US$2 million seed funding round to help it expand product capabilities. Currently operating in Kenya and Nigeria, Umba offers a safe, transparent and accessible digital financial service alternative to legacy African banks. The full service digital banking app is bringing the next generation of financial services to the under served and rapidly emerging markets that exists in Africa. Investors in its US$2 million seed round include Lachy Groom, ex-head of issuing at Stripe, as well as Ludlow Ventures, Frontline…

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Impact investor Villgro Africa backs Kenyan e-health startup Damu-Sasa with US$20k to enhance COVID-19 capabilities

KENYA – Kenyan e-health startup Damu-Sasa, which runs an innovative end-to-end blood services information management platform, has been awarded US$20,000 in grant funding from Villgro Africa to enable it to enhance its contributions to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.  Damu-Sasa works across the entire blood ecosystem by helping hospitals source blood from donors and from each other, while also supporting screening, preparation of blood products and inventory and transfusions management.   The Damu-Sasa system also helps mobilize donors and tracks their donations, while giving them digital access to their donation history.…

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Nedbank secures US$200m from IFC to increase green financing in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Nedbank have partnered to increase financing for renewable energy projects in South Africa, helping the country transition to cleaner forms of power, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs in the renewables sector. IFC will provide Nedbank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nedbank Group, with a loan of up to US$200 million to help it expand its green finance operations and grow its climate portfolio by funding renewable energy projects. The partnership is part of…

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