BioNTech to start building mRNA vaccine factory in Africa in mid-2022

RWANDA – German biotech company BioNTech has signed an agreement with the Rwandan government and Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal on the construction of the first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa starting in mid-2022, to help the continent ease health inequalities compared to other world regions. BioNTech, which developed the western world’s most widely used Covid-19 vaccines with partner Pfizer, will initially build a production line with 50 million doses annual capacity, which could be also used for Covid-19 vaccines, it said in a statement However, the partners…

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Amitruck partners with IMFact Africa to impact Africa’s logistics ecosystem

KENYA – East Africa leading digital logistics company Amitruck, has partnered with IMFact, a Smart Finance alternative to traditional bank lending for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the supply chain business, a move that will see Amitruck increase its financial stability while optimizing working capital that eliminates overhead cost constraints and other long payment cycles. Commenting on the deal, Derrick Lwatati, IMFact Commercial Director said that: “IMFact offers clients the ability to grow their business by turning their debtor portfolio immediately into cash. Also known as factoring, this method allows IMFact…

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Standard Bank, Citi, Norfund and CDC Group partner to fund US$75m sustainability-linked facility in Kenya

KENYA – Standard Bank Group, Citi, CDC Group and Norfund have partnered to provide a US$75 million Sustainable Finance Facility for Greenlight Planet Kenya. The landmark facility is one of the first sustainability-linked deals in Kenya, and one of the largest syndicated sustainable finance deals in the region to be provided in local currency. The transaction will allow Greenlight Planet to expand access to off-grid solar solutions to off-grid communities throughout Kenya and support its ambitions to reach an additional 10 million households globally in the next 5 years by…

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Startup Autochek closes US$13.1m seed funding round for West Africa expansion

NIGERIA – Autocheck, a Nigerian auto-tech startup, has raised a US$13.1 million seed funding round to bolster its core auto loan processing platform and deepen its footprint in West Africa. Autochek aims to build digital solutions that will enhance and enable a seamless and safe automotive commerce experience across Africa, starting with Nigeria and Ghana.  The firm plans to use technology to transform the automotive buying and selling experience for African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for consumers’ automotive needs, from sourcing and financing to after-sales support and warranties. The…

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Raxio Group expands its Africa footprint with Ivory Coast’s first carrier-neutral data center

IVORY COAST – Raxio Group, a pan-African data centre developer and operator, has invested in the first carrier-neutral Tier III data centre in Ivory Coast as it looks to expand its African footprint. The data centre developer and operator has revealed it will invest in ‘Raxio Abidjan’, which will be the latest facility of Raxio’s expanding network across Africa.  Earlier this year 2021, Raxio moved into Mozambique as part of its expansion and will now extend this to Ivory Coast with the development of the new data centre. Raxio Abidjan is being…

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MTN to invest US$218m Series II Bond proceeds in network expansion

NIGERIA – Following approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), MTN Nigeria has launched the book build in respect of the Series II 10-Year Fixed Rate Bond (Series II Bond) and have concluded plans to invest the proceeds from the book launch, which amounts to US$219 million in its network expansion drive, reports This Day. The telco had successfully raised US$268.2 million through the Series I bond in May 2021 and is set to raise US$487.6 million through Series II. This is just as the company has revealed that…

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Africa Investment Forum plans US$45m vaccine production plant in East Africa

EAST AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners under the Africa Investment Forum are considering the establishment of a US$45 million vaccine plant in East Africa. While the location of the World Health Organization-prequalified vaccine production plant is not yet known, the facility will be capable of routine production of three vaccines, including for COVID-19. This will be part of a US$140 million investment being considered by the forum to boost vaccines and healthcare in West and East Africa. During the virtual roundtable event held on October…

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Emirates to recruit 6,000 operational staff to support accelerated recovery

WORLD – Emirates plans to boost its operational workforce by planning to recruit more than 6,000 staff over the next six months. As restrictions ease worldwide with the wider administration of the vaccine, additional pilots, cabin crew, engineering specialists and ground staff will be needed to support the airline’s ramp-up of operations across its global network in response to the sooner-than-expected surge in customer demand. Emirates has already restored 90% of its network and is on track to reach 70% of its pre-pandemic capacity by the end of 2021. The…

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Telecom Egypt secures US$500m loan to support its capital expenditure

EGYPT – Telecom Egypt has announced obtaining a new US$500 million medium-term syndicated loan to be used to support its capital expenditure and refinance existing short-term facilities. According to Telecom Egypt, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC and Mashreq Bank PSC were mandated as Joint Coordinators, Underwriters, Bookrunners, and Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers of the facility, similar to the medium-term syndicated loan obtained in October 2018. It added that FAB is also the Facility Agent for the transaction and Mashreq the designated Account Bank and the Documentation Agent. “I am very…

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Agri-tech startup Vendease closes US$3.2m seed round to expand its operations

NIGERIA – Vendease, an agri-tech startup that lets restaurants and other food businesses buy supplies directly from manufacturers and farms, has secured a US$3.2 million seed round to expand operations and build out its technology. The funding round was led by Global Founders Capital with participation from Y Combinator, Hustle Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Soma Cap. Other local investors and early backers such as Paga CEO, Tayo Oviosu, Remita CEO, John Obaro, and Magic Fund also took part. Founded in January 2020 by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu…

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