Rwanda receives US$3.6m from EU to revamp labs for Covid-19 vaccine production

RWANDA – The government of Rwanda has signed a Rwf3.6 billion (US$3.6 million) partnership with the European Union to help upgrade the country’s laboratory capacity to help it attract investors to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines. The funds will be used to strengthen the Foods and Drugs Authority’s quality control for medical products to enable the regulator to acquire the necessary certification from the World Health Organisation (WHO). “What we signed is a step to revamp and also strengthen the Rwanda Foods and Drugs Authority. The money we will receive from the EU will support…

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Kenya to sign trade agreement with EU without her EAC partners

KENYA – The European Union plans to sign an Economic Partnership Agreement(EPA) with Kenya, leaving out the rest of East African Counties that have failed to ratify the trade deal. According to Valdis Dombrovskis, the block’s executive vice-president and trade commissioner, the European trading block will first sign the agreement with Kenya as other EAC counties wait for ratification. The EPA agreement was concluded seven years ago but had not come into life due to lack of signatures from other EAC counties. Kenya has already signed the regional EPA and…

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Gambia launches US$23m electricity project to benefit 685 communities

GAMBIA – The Gambian Vice President has laid the foundation stone for the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) Transmission and Distribution Modernisation Project at the Salagi Forest Park which is part of its plan to meet the target of Energy for all. The project is co-funded by the World Bank, European Union, and European Investment Bank as part of The Gambia’s Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project (GERMP) at a total project cost of US$23 million, with the contract awarded to TBEA, a Chinese company. Fafa Sanyang, the country’s Minister of Petroleum…

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Flat6Labs launches capacity building program for regional support structures in Tunisia

TUNISIA – North Africa focused startup accelerator Flat6Labs, has launched Ignite Tunisia, a capacity building program for regional support structures in Tunisia. Launched by Flat6Labs, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France as part of the “Innov’i” project, Ignite Tunisia is a capacity building program for regional support structures in Tunisia. “Ignite Tunisia was born from a reflection of more than two years,” said Yehia Houry, Managing Director of Flat6Labs. “We were able to identify the challenges encountered by the regional support structures which can range from…

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European Union to spend US$1.2b in constructing vaccine factories in Africa

AFRICA – The European Union is planning to invest US$1.2 billion to facilitate construction of vaccine factories in Africa, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said. The president added that this will help the continent, where vaccination against COVID-19 has barely begun in many countries, to catch up. The bloc’s head made the pledges in Rome at a health summit of the G20, the world’s major economies. “Preventing future health emergencies means strengthening capacities throughout the world. Today, Africa imports 99% of its vaccines. This has to change. Therefore,…

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Kenya’s horticulture sector gets US$6m boost from EU

KENYA – The European Union (EU) has granted Kenya €5 million (US$6 million) to support Kenya’s horticultural sector achieve sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) as required by the export markets. Under a four-year plan dubbed New Export Trade (NExT), EU aims at increasing the contribution of the horticultural sector to household income.  Deputy Head of Delegation, EU to Kenya, Katrin Hagemann, said this will be achieved through the generation of employment opportunities and foreign currency. She said to improve food security safety and nutrition there is need to increase the…

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French government to double Air France-KLM stake as part of a recapitalization

WORLD – European Commission regulators have approved a €4 billion (US$4.7 billion) recapitalisation of Air France that could see the French government more than double its shareholding in Air France-KLM.  The French government’s stake in the group will increase from 14.3% to a maximum of 30% as part of the arrangement, Air France-KLM said. The too Dutch government has confirmed that its holding will be diluted to 9.3% from 14%. Dutch flag-carrier KLM supports the recapitalisation measure, the group stated but will not benefit from the €4 billion aid, according to the…

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Equity Group and FMO sign US$50m loan guaranty facility to support entrepreneurs

KENYA – Equity Bank has entered into a partnership with the Netherlands development bank FMO with the signing of a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee facility to support Kenyan entrepreneurs. The US$50 million facility is the second NASIRA guarantee signed with Equity with the support of European Union funding. With the funding, Equity Bank Kenya will further support Kenyan entrepreneurs during these challenging times with a special focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), it said in a press statement. The FMO funding will provide a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee…

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Equity Bank receives US$150.4m loan facility from EIB to support SMEs

KENYA – Equity Group Holdings has signed a US$150.4 million loan facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU) to support small businesses in Kenya. The loan facility is in Kenya Shillings to match the operating currency of SME businesses and eliminate the risk of foreign exchange. The US$23.7 million grant on the other hand allows capacity building on the borrowing clients to de-risk lowering the risk of default and hence allowing affordability by adoption of low-risk priced interest rates. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Equity…

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Orange S.A. and GIZ partner to launch a digital centre in Ethiopia, 3rd in MEA region

ETHIOPIA – GIZ, a German development agency, Orange, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Innovation and Technology  have partnered to launch the Addis Ababa Orange Digital Centre, an ecosystem that is entirely dedicated to digital skills and innovation. After launches in Tunisia and Senegal, Ethiopia will be home to the third Orange Digital Centre in Africa and the Middle East. Occupying a space of 500m2, it is the first centre in East Africa that will operate as a strategic network, allowing experiences and expertise to be shared between countries and offering a simple…

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