Releaf startup set to expand into more crops and additional West African markets

NIGERIA – Releaf, a raw material procurement & logistics startup, which develops proprietary hardware and software solutions to drive the industrialisation of food processing in Africa, is planning to expand into more crops and additional West African markets after closing its seed round earlier this year. Releaf was founded in 2017 and took part in the Y Combinator accelerator programme in Silicon Valley the same year, but only started operations in the oil palm space in 2019 and deployed its proprietary technology in January of this year. “Our hardware increases…

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Government of Togo opens first data centre in its country’s capital

TOGO – Togo has opened the first data centre which has been officially opened for business in the country’s capital of Lomé as part of the Togolese government’s National Development Plan to ensure the country’s digital transformation and economic repositioning. Togo’s National Development Plan has sought to leverage the country’s geographic position by transforming Lomé into a regional trading centre and transport hub. The plan implemented business reforms and completed large infrastructure projects to attract investment; and it established the Business Climate Unit to coordinate economic reforms and play a…

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Imperial inks US$300m deal to acquire logistics company J&J

MOZAMBIQUE – Imperial Logistics has announced that it reached an agreement to buy African logistics company J&J Group in a R4.4 billion (US$300 million) deal. The agreement comes on the back of Imperial’s announcement that Dubai Ports World (DP World) wants to buy and de-list the local group in a R12.7 billion deal (US$867.9 million). Imperial explained that it had received DP World’s consent for the J&J transaction, which will be concluded once regulatory and other conditions are fulfilled.  J&J has logistics operations between Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and…

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Mauritius Commercial Bank signs a US$20m term loan facility with Bank of Kigali to support its growth objectives

MAURITIUS – The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited (MCB) and Bank of Kigali Plc have successfully signed US$20 million deal between them to provide additional liquidity to Bank of Kigali Plc over a 1-2 year period to facilitate execution of its lending strategy. Despite the challenging market conditions, Bank of Kigali Plc maintains strong financial performance and continues to attract the support of financial institutions, showcasing investors’ confidence in the bank. The loan proceeds will be used mostly to fund their general corporate projects. Bank of Kigali Plc remains a systemically…

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Rio Tinto signs renewable energy power purchase agreement in Madagascar

MADAGASCAR – Rio Tinto, Anglo-Australian metals and mining corporation, has signed a power purchasing agreement for a new renewable energy plant to power the operations of its QMM ilmenite mine in Fort Dauphin, Southern Madagascar. The project, which uses solar and wind energy, will significantly contribute towards Rio Tinto’s operations in Madagascar achieving its carbon neutral objective by 2023. The project is part of a broader initiative to reduce the ilmenite mine’s environmental footprint which includes programmes that focus on emissions reduction, waste and water management, carbon sequestration, ecological restoration…

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IFC backs Kasada Capital to support the hospitality sector in Sub-Saharan Africa

SSA – Kasada Capital Management (Kasada), the investment platform within Kasada Group dedicated to hospitality investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, has announced that IFC will form a partnership with Kasada Hospitality Fund LP by providing senior loan financing to accelerate Kasada’s strategy of building a strong and resilient hotel portfolio across sub-Saharan Africa. IFC will extend up to US$160 million of debt funding to Kasada, backing its plan to support the hospitality sector and instill globally recognized ESG practices in its hotels. The first loan granted by IFC, in collaboration with…

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Kenya’s Green Housing Projects receive US$48m boost from UK

KENYA – The United Kingdom through its UK Climate Investments and FSD Africa Investments will inject Kshs 5.2 billion (£35 million) to develop Kenya’s affordable green housing projects. UK Climate Investments (UKCI), the British Government’s International Climate Finance flagship program, has committed KShs 4.4 billion (£30 million). FSD Africa Investments (FSDAi), the investment arm of Britain’s flagship financial sector development agency in Africa, has committed KSh 740 million (£5 million) to the green housing initiative. The UK will channel this £35 million (KSh 5.2 billion) investment into a new 10-year…

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Mobility company Swvl plans to go public in US$1.5bn merger with Gambit Growth Capital

EGYPT – Dubai-based mobility company Swvl has announced plans to go public through a reverse merger with Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital was created earlier this year by a team of female executives (which claims to be the first women-led SPAC). Its CEO Victoria Grace is the founder of New York-based VC fund Colle Capital. The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for a business combination that would result in Swvl becoming a publicly listed company on NASDAQ after…

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Centum Investment makes leadership changes

KENYA – Investment firm Centum, has made some changes to its leadership team with the appointment of Dr. Laila Macharia as the new Vice-Chairperson of the board and Mr. Andrew Musangi as a member of the board. Dr. Macharia joined the board of Centum Investment in October 2013 as an independent non-executive director. Prior to her appointment as the vice-chair, she served as the leader of the nominations and governance committee as well as a member of the finance and investment, audit and risk committees. She also serves on the…

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American University in Cairo, International Financial Corporation to support entrepreneurship

EGYPT – The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at The American University in Cairo (AUC) signed an agreement with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) to support entrepreneurship. IFC will provide support to CEI within the next 18 months, to adopt and customize the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Venture Mentoring Services (MIT VMS) program to the local context.  CEI will receive the MIT VMS license to become a certified MIT VMS member and will establish a network of qualified mentors to guide aspiring and established entrepreneurs in Egypt throughout…

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