Private equity fund Kibo Capital Partners sells its stake in I&M Bank Rwanda

RWANDA – Private equity fund Kibo Capital Partners, the Mauritius-based private equity fund, has sold its shares in I&M Rwanda to Egide Gatera, a business magnate, assisted by Enexus Finance. Established in 1963 as Banque Commerciale du Rwanda and bought by I&M Group in 2012, I&M Rwanda is considered the second largest bank in Rwanda. With this investment, Gatera indirectly becomes the third-largest shareholder of I&M Rwanda, after I&M Group and Africinvest. Gatera, a prominent business tycoon in Rwanda, owns a chain of companies with interests in agribusiness, finance and…

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Rwanda selected to host continental headquarters of the AeTrade group

RWANDA – The African Electronic Trade Group (the A-eTrade Group) which also includes the African e-Commerce Development International, has announced that it has accepted the offer of the Government of Rwanda to host the continental headquarters. The announcement is one of the significant events of the Second Africa Integration Day and this follows the last announcement exactly two years ago in Niger, Niamey when the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of Guinea were awarded the regional headquarters for Southern Africa and West Africa respectively bringing the total number of…

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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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SoftBank and Smart Africa ink MoU for affordable broadband solutions in the continent

RWANDA – Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank and Smart Africa Secretariat (Smart Africa) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop solutions that enable affordable broadband across Africa. Specifically, SoftBank and Smart Africa will work to provide accessible and affordable internet connectivity to Africa’s underserved regions, and effectively “bridge the digital divide”. The news forms part of Smart Africa overall goal to double broadband penetration in Africa to 51% by the year 2025 and as such, the alliance is working to implement the Bulk Capacity Purchase Project, an initiative…

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Drone delivery company Zipline raises US$250m for expansion

RWANDA – Zipline, arguably the world’s largest drone delivery service for medical supplies which was founded in Rwanda has raised US$250 million in new equity financing, bringing the company’s valuation to US$2.75 billion. The new financing will enable Zipline to continue advancing its integrated service, including its autonomy platform, aircraft, fulfilment systems, and operations. According to the firm, they will use the funding to further expand their logistics networks in Africa and the United States and also use the funding w to build out infrastructure for new service contracts for four new…

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Rwanda gets US$84m financing from AfDB to boost electricity access

RWANDA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), has approved  US$84.22 million in loans and grants to electrify nearly 80,000 rural households in south Rwanda. The electricity project will advance the country’s goal of universal electrification and benefit small businesses and youth.   The funds comprise a loan of US$36.77 million from the Bank Group’s African Development Fund and a US$47.45 million ADF grant. The project financing was approved on 26 May 2021. The Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project will provide first-time…

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Eleven African startups get selected for Sweden’s Norrsken Impact Accelerator

AFRICA – Eleven African startups have been selected for the Norrsken Impact Accelerator in Stockholm, Sweden, gaining access to support and potential access to funding. Founded by Niklas Adalberth, one of the founders of Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna, in 2016, Norrsken aims to help entrepreneurs solve the world’s greatest challenges. Its ecosystem consists of Norrsken House, a co-working space for over 350 impact entrepreneurs in Stockholm, the Norrsken Founders Fund, and Norrsken VC. The goal of the accelerator, which will have 20 participant startups, is to create real change through…

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KCB Group shareholders approve the proposed acquisition of BPR and BancABC

EAST AFRICA – Shareholders of KCB Group, the Kenyan financing company, have approved the proposal to acquire up to 100% of the issued ordinary shares in Banque Populaire Du Rwanda (BPR) and a 100% stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (BancABC). The twin acquisitions in Rwanda and Tanzania are part of KCB Group’s ongoing strategy to achieve regional relevance and will increase the brand’s footprint while reinforcing existing market capabilities. The transactions follow the offer made by KCB Group late last year and having now received shareholder approval, they…

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Trade and Development Bank finances the expansion of King Faisal Hospital in Rwanda

RWANDA – The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB), is financing the expansion of Kigali’s King Faisal Hospital (KFH)’s outpatient facilities with over US$14 million in a 6-year primary forfaiting transaction. KFH is a multi-specialty 160-bed quaternary hospital providing a range of specialized health care in Eastern and Central Africa. Additionally, the new outpatient clinic and doubling of the hospital’s outpatient facilities capacity to 45 consultation rooms, TDB’s financing will support the renovation and construction of the outpatient block’s education and research centre, day care premium facilities,…

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Energy start-ups from Rwanda and Zambia secure funding from an impact investor Opens-LCEF

ZAMBIA – Rwanda’s Munyax Eco and Zambia’s WidEnergy have secured investment from female-focused fund Opens-LCEF, an impact investor that provides catalytic capital to early-stage social enterprises in  emerging markets. Open-LCEF has a portfolio of 17 investments across 11 countries, seven of which operate in East Africa, and has established the Restart East Africa initiative to address the issue of female underrepresentation in the renewable energy sector. Supported by the DOEN Foundation and the Good Energies Foundation, Restart East Africa supports innovative impact organisations which have been impacted by COVID-19 or…

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