Startup gnuGrid raises US$612,500 seed round, switches into fintech space

UGANDA – Ugandan startup gnuGrid has increased the size of its seed funding round to US$612,500 as it pivots its product offering to move into the fintech space. Launched in 2019 by David Opio and James Dailey, gnuGrid built Solar Sentra, which aimed to streamline and automate the highly fragmented solar industry in Uganda and beyond by using AI-optimised sensors to monitor solar systems and collect data on power usage which is used by solar companies to tailor service delivery.  gnuGrid bundled this hardware with digital payments, predictive analytics, customer profiling and…

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Simon Denny to head Goldman Sachs South Africa unit

SOUTH AFRICA – Goldman Sachs Group has hired Simon Denny, head of Banking Africa at Barclays Plc, to run investment banking at its South African unit, the U.S. banking giant told Reuters on Monday, reports Moneyweb. Goldman has been building up its activities in the region and seeking to win business as the continent’s most advanced economy emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, making fertile ground for deals, debt-raising, and restructuring. “Simon joins the firm as a managing director and head of investment banking in South Africa,” Goldman said in response…

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CDC commits US$50m to expand digital connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, has announced commitments totalling US$50.9 million to expand digital infrastructure, boost rural connectivity and accelerate digital technology access for rural and underserved communities across sub-Saharan Africa. The capital will support the continued growth of the ICT sector in the continent, helping to boost the development of necessary infrastructure and providing rural and underserved communities with access to affordable mobile connectivity. The first investment is a US$40 million commitment to Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF), managed…

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Shelter Afrique settles its commercial debts, eyes regional bonds

KENYA – Shelter Afrique, a Pan-African housing development financier, has fully paid commercial debts owed to eight lenders, giving the company the leverage to underwrite new debt. In 2018, Shelter Afrique signed a Debt Restructuring Agreement with the eight lenders – six DFIs and two commercial banks to restructure its debt with a new 5 – Year tenor to run from June 2019 to June 2024. The US$186 million including accrued interest owed to African Development Bank, Agence Française de Developpement, Commercial Bank of Africa, European Investment Bank, German KFW,…

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AFC launches US$500m climate-resilient infrastructure fund

AFRICA – The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has announced the creation of an investment fund for climate-resilient infrastructure that will be managed by the new fund manager AFC Capital Partners. The Climate Resilient Infrastructure Fund (CRIDF) aims to improve the quality of ports, roads, bridges, railways, telecommunications facilities, clean energy production and logistics in Africa. The fund aims to provide an effective response to rising temperatures due to climate change. The fund manager will be headed by Ayaan Zeinab Adams, a climate investment specialist who has worked with the United…

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United Airlines to start Washington D.C–Lagos flights in November 2021

NIGERIA – United Airlines has announced a new service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria beginning November 29. 2021, subject to government approval. The airline will operate three weekly flights connecting the U.S. capital to Nigeria’s largest city, which is also the top Western African destination for U.S-based travelers.  “This new flight to Lagos has been highly anticipated by our customers and offers the first-ever nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and Nigeria, as well as convenient, one-stop connections to over 80 destinations throughout the Americas including Houston and Chicago,” said…

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Radisson Hotel Group announces a record year in Africa with 13 signings

AFRICA – Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s leading hotel groups, has announced a hotel expansion record in Africa with 13 signings to date, translating to a new hotel signed every 20 days. The Group’s expansion drive, adding 2,500 rooms to its African portfolio, includes the announcement of nine hotels in Morocco, the Group’s debut in Djibouti and the introduction of the Radisson Individuals brand in Africa.  Adding to this expansion milestone, the Group has also opened five hotels to date in 2021, including Africa’s second Radisson RED in South Africa and four Radisson Blu resort…

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Orange picks Ericsson for mobile money in Africa

AFRICA – Orange Middle East and Africa is set to deploy Ericsson’s Mobile Financial Services solutions across fourteen of the countries in its Orange Money footprint. Starting with Senegal, Ericsson’s solutions will be rolled out in phases and once operational will provide a more agile and compliant IT architecture to enhance performance in managing the flow of transactions. In addition, by strengthening Orange’s core mobile money platform, Ericsson will help promote financial inclusion and economic development across the continent. “Stable, secure, reliable and compliant mobile financial services are fundamental to…

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FirstRand to stop funding new coal power plants and mines

SOUTH AFRICA – FirstRand Limited, one of South Africa’s largest banks, has announced that it will no longer finance new coal-fired power stations, and from 2026 will no longer provide direct project finance to new coal mines. The company made the announcement after publishing its Climate Change Policy and an updated Energy and Fossil Fuel Policy on 15th September 2021. FirstRand’s Climate Change Policy and Energy and Fossil Fuel Policy outline how the group is tackling the impact of climate change and cover the management of the company’s own emissions…

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Accor expands luxury footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa with Fairmont in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI – Accor, a world augmented hospitality group with over 400 hotels across India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, is adding a new flagship property to its portfolio in Africa with Fairmont Djibouti. Set to open in 2024, the hotel will feature 155 rooms and 10 serviced apartments, with five food and beverage outlets combined with 1,398 sqm of Meetings & Events facilities. Located in Djibouti City, the capital of Djibouti and one of the country’s most affluent areas, the property will be strategically located by the beach in Plateau…

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