Ecobank, consortium partner to provide SMEs with digital skills and knowledge

AFRICA – Ecobank Group, a pan-African banking group, in partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy is set to provide training to equip Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa. This training will provide SMEs digital skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world. SMEs have been significantly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic with its attendant lockdowns and disruptions to supply chains, plummeting sales, lost revenue and operational challenges. “The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the shift towards digital. It is essential that businesses adapt so that they…

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Health tech startup launches Trust for investing 5% of future proceeds

AFRICA – 54gene, a health tech startup, is creating a Trust which it will use to invest up to 5% of future proceeds from the company’s commercial drug discovery program. The creation of the trust is part of its Commitment to Africa in establishing a more sustainable and thriving cyclical ecosystem across Africa’s scientific development space, as well as ensuring better quality healthcare delivery for the communities in which the company operates. 54gene is focused on creating a pipeline of novel drugs for global populations, based on insights drawn from…

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Cellulant gets nod to become payment solution service provider in Tanzania

TANZANIA – Digital payments company Cellulant, has been given an approval by the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) to operate as a Payment Solution Service Provider having satisfied all the necessary requirements. Payment Solution Service Providers make up the underlying e-Payment infrastructure in Tanzania and Banks, Online Merchants, payment processors, merchants, state governments, and consumers connect to PSSPs to meet their digital payment needs. This approval makes Cellulant one of the top Payment Solution Service Providers (PSSP) in Tanzania endorsed by the BOT to provide digital payments solutions across the nation.…

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Oxford Foundry, FMDQ Private Markets partner to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem

NIGERIA – Oxford Foundry and FMDQ Private Markets, a subsidiary of FMDQ Holdings Nigeria, Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure group, have launched a global partnership to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s startup ecosystem and nurture a future generation of young Nigerian leaders in entrepreneurship, through knowledge exchange and collaboration. The partnership will support Nigeria’s future business leaders and high growth startups to access the networks and skills they need to grow and sustain their businesses, create jobs and inclusive socioeconomic growth, and facilitate the growth of Nigeria’s venture…

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Seychelles gets US$20m loan from AfDB to support Covid-19 recovery

SEYCHELLES – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a US$20 million flexible loan to finance Seychelles’ Governance and Economic Reforms Support Program, expected to help drive the island nation’s macroeconomic stability and recovery from Covid-19 in the medium-term. The government program aims to deepen reforms introduced through the Bank’s Covid-19 Crisis Response Budget Support Program, approved in June 2020 for US$10 million. The reforms are expected to advance fiscal sustainability, improve the business environment and Seychelles’ climate change and environmental resilience. The Bank’s…

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REGMIFA secures US$10m additional funding from FMO to support growth of MSME

AFRICA – Dutch-based entrepreneurial development bank FMO has invested a further US$10 million in REGMIFA, the Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa and a public-private partnership advised by Symbiotics SA. This additional funding will support the growth of Africa’s MSME sector and foster economic development through employment creation, income generation and poverty alleviation. The investment will finance loans to businesses and low- and middle-income households via more than 50 selected financial institutions. The investment in class B-Shares for a maturity of seven years will increase the fund’s total assets…

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AfDB, Ethiopia, sign US$118m grant agreements to support agro-industrial park, youth employment and Ethiopia-Djibouti power interconnection

ETHIOPIA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Government of Ethiopia have signed two separate grant agreements for new projects to boost youth employment and electricity trade between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The grants fall under the Bank Group’s concessional lending window, the African Development Fund, and will go towards the Productivity Enhancement to Support Agro-Industrial Parks and Youth Employment Project worth US$47 million, and the US$71 million Ethiopia-Djibouti Second Power Interconnection Project, which aims to boost electricity trade between Ethiopia and neighboring Djibouti. The industrial parks and youth…

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PowerGen secures US$9m, partners CrossBoundary Energy Access to build minigrids

NIGERIA – PowerGen, a leading distributed energy developer in Africa, has partnered with CrossBoundary Energy Access to build 28 minigrids after securing US$9 million in construction financing. Although the minigrids’ technical specifications are yet to be announced, PowerGen will develop and maintain systems to provide approximately 55,000 rural Nigerians with electricity. Each distributed energy system will consist of PV solar and battery storage built into a special purpose vehicle, serving residential, commercial and productive use customers in parts of the country without grid electricity. Under the unique “take-out at completion”…

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BAT Kenya maintains US$3.2m interim dividend on slight profit rise

KENYA – Cigarette manufacturer BAT Kenya has maintained Sh350 million (US$3.2 million) interim dividend after net profit for the six months to June rose by 0.71 percent, partly slowed by increased operating cost. The company’s half-year net profit increased by Sh19 million (US$175,519) to hit Sh2.69 billion (US$24.8 million) as sales volumes grew in the Covid-19 environment.  The board has approved an interim dividend of Sh3.50 (US$0.032) per share amounting to Sh350 million (US$3.2 million), being the same as what was paid in the preceding similar period. The payout is…

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Standard Chartered Bank Kenya adds two new directors to its board

KENYA – Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has appointed two new directors to replace Eng. Patrick Obath and Ian Bryden who left the board one month ago. The new directors are technology and innovation expert Nivedita Sharma and banking professional Birju Sanghrajka. Nivedita will serve as a non-executive director on the board chaired by Kellen Eileen Kariuki. She is a tech expert and currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer at BRCK, a software company that provides free public Wi-Fi to low-income neighborhoods in Nairobi. Nivedita Co-founded eLimu, a company credited for digitizing…

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