World Bank awards US$350m grant to Tanzania and Uganda for quality broadband internet services

EAST AFRICA – The World Bank has approved grants totalling US$350 million to the East African countries of Tanzania and Uganda to expand access to high-speed and affordable internet, improve efficiency of digitally enabled public service delivery, and strengthen digital inclusion. Tanzania will get US$150 million as part of its Digital Tanzania Project (DTP), one of three national projects for which the international financial institution has released a total of US$850 million. The money received for the DTP will be used to increase access to quality broadband internet services for government,…

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Africa Healthcare Network secures US$5m loan from DFC

EAST AFRICA – US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced the first disbursement of a US$5 million direct loan to Africa Healthcare Network (AHN), the largest operator of dialysis centers in East Africa. The project is part of DFC’s comprehensive COVID-19 Response through which the agency is mitigating the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and DFC’s Global Health and Prosperity Initiative, under which the agency is working to strengthen global health systems. “DFC continues to support global health and sustainable economic growth in developing countries during…

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German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd enters East African market

EAST AFRICA- Hapag-Lloyd AG, a German international shipping and container transportation company, has entered the East African market with weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania. In a statement, the company says it will deploy seven 2,800 TEU vessels to the service, which will arrive in Kenya and Tanzania next week and offer connections to Hapag-Lloyd’s global network. “The new East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania with very competitive transit times. In addition, the EAS3 will offer…

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Starsights Energy expands to East Africa with 50% acquisition of Premier Solar Group

NIGERIA – Starsight Energy, a commercial & industrial(C&I) solar power supplier, has announced its expansion into East Africa via the acquisition of a 50% stake in the East African operations of Premier Solar Group, a market-leading Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar company with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The transaction will see the creation of Starsight Premier Energy Group which will offer sustainable power and cooling-as-a-service and battery storage solutions to C&I clients in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Founded in 2015, Starsight Energy is the leading…

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Investment platform Pangea Accelerator’s 2021 Scale-Up Program to invest up to US$3m in East African start-ups

EAST AFRICA – Investment platform Pangea Accelerator, has launched a scale-up program to support start-ups and grow them from seed to series A to enable more African entrepreneurs to gain access to the capital they need to accelerate their enterprises. The investment platform will invest between US$0.5 million to US$3 million into East African start-ups as only 6% of local founders have raised over US$1m compared to start-ups founded by expatriates.  Pangea Accelerator aims to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors and provide them with the skills they need…

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French banks disavow Total-led East African crude oil pipeline project

EAST AFRICA – Three French banks have committed not to provide project financing for the Total-led East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole will not participate, France’s Les Echos newspaper has reported. “The project is too hard to defend,” Les Echos quoted an unnamed source as saying. A statement from Reclaim Finance noted that Barclays, Credit Suisse and ANZ had also said they would steer clear of the EACOP plan. The environmental NGO called on Natixis to follow suit. BankTrack researcher Ryan Brightwell called…

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Fintech Ukheshe and startup Tanda partner to offer affordable digital banking to price-sensitive East African payments market

EAST AFRICA – In a region still dominated by cash and mobile money options, like M-Pesa, operated by mobile phone company Safaricom, new collaborations between fintechs are looking to capture the price-sensitive market with innovative, open-loop digital payment solutions in East Africa. According to Mark Dankworth, President International, Ukheshe Technologies, the region is poised for a surge in digital banking growth, with the likes of MCQR and virtual cards likely to make the biggest impact. This follows the Kenyan retail-tech startup, Tanda, leveraging Ukheshe Technologies’ cutting-edge Eclipse API to increase their digital…

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Data analytics firm IDinsight appoints Frida Njogu as East Africa regional director

KENYA – Data analytics, research, and advisory firm–IDinsight has picked Frida Njogu-Ndongwe as its regional director for East Africa amongst other changes at the regional office.   Frida will oversee IDinsight’s projects, partnerships, and collaborations in East Africa, enabling decision-makers to use high-quality evidence to further their goals of improving lives. Frida is a medical doctor, public health specialist, entrepreneur, and development and management consultant. Prior to IDinsight, she was the director of programmes at the Centre for Health Solutions – Kenya and a consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Africa Delivery Hub. She served most recently…

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IFC appoints Amena Arif as new country manager for East Africa and Malawi

EAST AFRICA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced the appointment of Amena Arif as its new Country Manager for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Malawi, with immediate effect. Arif joined IFC in 2012 after building a career in commercial banking with Citibank and ABN AMRO Bank. She led IFC’s debt and equity investment transactions working with financial institutions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Lebanon and most recently, Arif served as IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, based in Colombo. As IFC Country Manager…

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Finland backs TradeMark East Africa with US$13m to boost regional trade

EAST AFRICA – TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and Finland have signed a three-year agreement to revive and boost trade in the region following a decline caused by Covid-19 restrictions.  The US$13 million fund is aimed at supporting initiatives along the Northern Corridor that stimulate economic activity. The agreement was signed at the Kenya Ports Authority headquarters in Mombasa on by Finnish Ambassador to Kenya Erik Lundberg and TMEA board chairman Erastus Mwencha and witnessed by Dr Kevit Desai, Principal Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of East Africa Community Affairs. Mr Lundberg…

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