E-hailing firm Swvl resumes operations in Nairobi after Covid-19 disruptions

KENYA – Swvl, Egyptian ride-hailing firm, has resumed commuter services in Nairobi which had been disrupted by stay-at-home measures taken to contain the spread of Covid-19 last year. The tech firm scaled down operations at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya in March last year following a decrease in commuter numbers. The firm’s popular city routes included Ruiru to the CBD/Upper Hill, Karen to CBD/Westlands via Upper Hill, Ongata Rongai to Westlands/CBD via Upper Hill, Ruiru to Westlands, Ndenderu to CBD/ Upper Hill, and Kikuyu to CBD/ Upper…

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E-hailing firm Bolt gets US$23.8m capital injection from IFC for Africa, Eastern Europe expansion

SOUTH AFRICA – E- hailing service provider Bolt has received a US$23.8 million capital injection from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to expand mobility solutions that create earning opportunities, improve access to transportation, and stimulate entrepreneurship in African and Eastern European markets. The IFC investment will be directed towards Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and African markets, such as Nigeria and South Africa, and support Bolt’s ongoing work to empower drivers while creating new economic opportunities. The investment from IFC comes as Bolt is growing in South Africa  and the rest of the Africa and…

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Kenya Railways to take over SGR operations from Chinese firm AfriStar

KENYA – The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has begun a gradual takeover of operations on the standard gauge railway (SGR) from Chinese firm Africa Star Railway Operation Company (AfriStar) amid concerns of high costs of keeping trains moving. KRC board chairman Omudho Awitta said the corporation has already assumed ticketing, security and fuelling functions on the SGR passenger and cargo trains as part of a deal to fully run operations on the Chinese funded and built track by May next year. “KRC has not terminated its contract with Africa Star…

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Brick maker Brikor acquires 40% stake in transportation services provider Zingaro Holdings

SOUTH AFRICA – Brick manufacturer and supplier Brikor has acquired a 40% shareholding in multi-product road transportation services provider Zingaro Holdings for US$3.4 million. Zingaro primarily operates in South Africa and mostly services short to medium distance routes in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo, with a fleet of more than 100 specialised transportation vehicles and trucks. Zingaro also specialises in providing turnkey services for mine activities, such as loading, hauling, stockpile management and haul road maintenance by using a range of specialised trucks and earthmoving equipment. The company’s specialised…

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Taxi hailing firm Bolt raises US$180.9m, to launch e-scooters

KENYA – Taxi hailing services company Bolt Kenya, is set to launch e-scooter rental business and expand to smaller towns and peri-urban centres in Kenya after raising US$180.9 million US private equity firm D1 Capital Partners. Bolt Kenya country manager Olaoluwa Akinnusi said the company will expand its network beyond the 16 urban centres it currently operates and introduce the electric scooters. The move comes after Bolt, the global company, headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia received US$180.9 million from private equity firm, D1 Capital Partners, which will also be for invested…

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Bollore Transport & Logistics gets ISO 9001 certification in Mozambique

MOZAMBIQUE – The Quality Management System set up by Bollore Transport & Logistics, a major international transport and logistics operator, in Mozambique received the ISO 9001 certification, following an audit carried out by Bureau Veritas. The certification audit that took place from October 7 to 14, 2020, encompassing the International freight, customs services, value-added warehousing, road transportation, air freight, sea freight, shipping, and port operations activities, concluded that the Bolloré Transport & Mozambique’s Quality Management System does comply with the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. The International Organisation for Standardisation…

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Maputo port records 13% decline in cargo handled in 2020

MOZAMBIQUE – The port of Maputo, Mozambique has recorded a 13 percent decline in the amount of cargo handled in 2020 in comparison with the 2019 figure. According to a press release from the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), 18.3 million tonnes of cargo was handled by the port in 2020, against 21 million tonnes the previous year. MPDC attributed the decline to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the measures taken to halt the spread of the disease, notably the closure of the borders and the first South…

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DHL Global Forwarding pumps US$8.3m in new facility in Johannesburg

SOUTH AFRICA – DHL Global Forwarding is investing US$8.3 million into a new facility in Johannesburg as it aims to cement its market-leading position in South Africa. The new 13,000m2 facility will be located within the bonded zone at Skyparks Business Estate, a short distance from the O.R. Tambo International Airport. “While it is too early to fully grasp the economic impact of the current pandemic, our confidence in investing ahead of the curve is abetted by our diverse service portfolio and long-established foothold in Africa. As the world’s largest free trade area…

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Uganda to build 2,700km-long standard gauge railway

UGANDA – The government of Uganda will build its standard gauge railway even if Kenya fails to extend its line to the border town of Malaba, its officials have said. Construction of the long-delayed SGR will now start in the 2022/2023 fiscal year even as the connection with Kenya remains a sticking point. The country’s 271-kilometre-long SGR was part of the Northern Corridor Infrastructure project linking Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, but has stalled amid political and financial uncertainty. In all, Uganda is now looking at building 2,700km of SGR with…

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South Africa’s Planet42 raises US$10m in debt round to scale globally

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa-based Estonia car rental startup Planet42, a car subscription company that helps individuals ignored by banks to get access to a personal vehicle, has announced a US$10 million debt funding round to help it scale its operations and move into new markets. Launched as CarGet in 2017, Planet42 partners with dealerships across South Africa to offer access to a personal car to its largely underbanked clientele. The startup uses an automated scoring algorithm to process client applications based on credit bureau, affordability, and alternative data. If the application…

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