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The Future of Food in Africa








Eastern Africa’s Biggest Food Products & New Technologies Trade Show










Start-ups and young businesses in sub-Saharan Africa face a myriad of challenges, including lack of access to technology, expertise and networks to grow. At The Nest Africa, we are creating a collaborative facility with new product development labs, production and packaging kitchens and office space for use by start-ups and young companies to facilitate their innovations and growth towards becoming the next big thing. AND WE BELIEVE THAT CONNECTING THEM TO BIG CORPORATES AND FUNDERS IS KEY TO THEIR SUCCESS Visit the website and sign up to partner with us today




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EVENTS CALENDAR OPINION BRIEFINGS AFRICA INC GREEN Investments in renewables rise in Africa despite of Covid-19

AFRICA INC GREEN Mozambique: On the path to becoming a global natural gas player





Supply Chain Decarbonization: What Corporations Must Consider

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES: Soaring high in the middle of the pandemic


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JUNE 2021

DIGITAL TECH AFRICA Fintechs as an emerging disruptive market force in Nigeria


TRAVEL: ZANZIBAR paradise of peace and tranquility with a touch of adventure WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM





COMPANY FEATURE: AMITRUCK Connecting cargo owners directly with truckers to facilitate trade





Leading the way in North Africa to create a vibrant, competitive economy




Hospitality guru wins global award as he dabbles into real estate to pivot from Covid-19

Award winning packaging firm eyes growth


COMPANY FEATURE: UKHESHE Digitizing banking and payment across Africa and the World




JUNE 2021




AGRICULTURE & FOOD CAMINEX 01 - 03 Jun 2021 Kitwe, Zambia www.caminex.co.zm Sipsa-Filaha & Agrofood 03 - 06 Jun 2021 Mohammadia, Algeria www.sipsa-filaha.com West Africa Agribusiness Show 23 - 25 February 2021 Lagos, Nigeria www.waashow.org Agro & Poultry East Africa 09 - 11 Jul 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.mxmexhibitions.com Agrena Middle East 14 - 16 Oct 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.cantonfair.net

AUTO & AUTOMOTIVE Festival of Motoring 27 - 29 Aug 2021 Midrand, South Africa www.safestivalofmotoring.com Equip Auto Algeria 27 - 30 Sep 2021 Mohammadia, Algeria www.equipauto-algeria.net West Africa Automotive Show 19 - 21 Oct 2021 Nigeria, Lagos www.westafricaautomotive.com Autoexpo Ethiopia 02 - 04 Dec 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.autoexpogr.com

BANKING & FINANCE The Central Bank Payments Conference 21 - 23 Jun 2021 Cape Town, South Africa www.currencyresearch.com 4


JUNE 2021

Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference 27 Jul 2021 Accra, Ghana www.ghanatrade.com Nairobi Security Expo & Conference 05 - 07 Aug 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.securexpoeastafrica.com Ibadan International Education Fair 04 Oct 2021 Ibadan, Nigeria https://educationfair.com.ng/

BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION West & Central Africa Mining Summit & Expo 05 - 06 Oct 2021 Accra, Ghana www.magenta-global.com Ethiopia Build Expo 24 - 27 Sep 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.expogr.com The Big 5 Construct Egypt 26 - 29 Jun 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.thebig5constructegypt.com Africa Mining Summit 21 - 22 Sep 2021 Gaborone, Botswana www.grvglobal.com Best 5 Algeria 18 - 20 Nov 2021 Mohammadia, Algeria www.thebig5constructegypt.com

ELECTRIC & ELECTRICALS IEEE International Conference on Design and Test of Integrated Micro and Nano-Systems 07 - 10 Jun 2021 Sfax, Tunisia www.dts-conf.org

Lightexpo Africa 28 - 30 Sep 2021 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania www.lightexpo.com Electrex Africa 04 - 06 Nov 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.mxmexhibitions.com Addis Power 17 - 19 Nov 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia http://addispower.com/

ENVIRONMENTAL & WASTE Siee Pollutec 31 May - 03 Jun 2021 Oran, Algeria http://siee-pollutec.com/ Leading trade fair for Waste Water & Water Treatment Technologies 14 - 16 Jun 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.watrexexpo.com Ethio Weetex- Water, Energy, Electricity, Renewable (Solar, Wind) Energy 07 - 09 Jul 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia http://ethioweetex.com/

HOSPITALITY & TOURISM The Design Show Egypt 03 - 05 Jun 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.thedesign-show.com Food & Beverages - Food & Hospitality 09 - 11 Jul 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.kenyanfoodevent.com The Hotel & Hospitality Show 23 - 25 Aug 2021 Johannesburg, South Africa www.thehotelshowafrica.com





Egypt Petroleum Show 07 - 09 Jun 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.egyps.com

AfricaCom 08 - 12 Nov 2021 Cape Town, South Africa https://tmt.knect365.com/africacom/

CardioAlex Conference 01 - 04 Jun 2021 Alexandria, Egypt https://cardio-alex.com/

Power Nigeria 21 - 23 Sep 2021 Lagos, Nigeria www.nigeria-energy.com

IoT Tech Expo Virtual 13 - 15 Sep 2021 Online www.iottechexpo.com

Mega Clima Kenya 08 - 10 Nov 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.megaclimakenya.com

East Africa Com 10 - 11 May 2022 Nairobi, Kenya https://tmt.knect365.com/ eastafricacom/

West Africa Pharma & HealthCare Show 21 - 23 Jul 2021 Accra, Ghana https://westafricapharmahealthcare. com/



Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition 05 - 08 Jul 2021 Abuja, Nigeria www.nogevent.com

Autoparts East Africa 03 - 05 Sep 2021 Nairobi, Kenya https://autoparts-eastafrica.com/

Electra Mining Botswana 14 - 16 Sep 2021 Gaborone, Botswana www.electramining.co.bw

Autoexpo Tanzania 21 - 23 Sep 2021 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania www.expogr.com

Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit 21 - 22 Sep 2021 Kampala, Uganda https://uiogs.com/

Southern African Transport Conference 05 - 09 Jul 2021 Pretoria, South Africa www.satc.org.za

Oil & Gas Tanzania 28 - 30 Sep 2021 Tanzania, Dar es Salaam www.tanzaniaoilgas.com

African Aviation Week 23 - 27 Nov 2021 Abuja, Nigeria https://aviationweek.com/

Mozambique Gas Summit & Exhibition 28 - 30 Sep 2021 Maputo, Mozambique www.mozambique-gas-summit.com

Transport Evolution Mozambique Forum & Showcase 21 - 23 Jul 2021 Maputo, Mozambique www.transportevolutionmz.com

Ghana Oil Gas & Energy Summit & Exhibition 29 - 30 Sep 2021 Accra, Ghana www.ghana-summit.com


World conference cities and ports 12 - 16 Oct 2021 Tangier, Morocco https://citiesandportsworldconference. org/

MEDICAL EXPO 03 - 06 Jun 2021 Casablanca, Morocco www.medicalexpo.com MEDEXPO KENYA 10 - 12 Jun 2021 Nairobi, Kenya https://www.expogr.com/kenyamed Mozambique Advanced Study Week on Emerging and Re Emerging Viruses 29 Aug - 03 Sep 2021 Maputo, Mozambique www.emerging-viruses.org

EDUCATION & TRAINING Ghana International Model United Nations Conference 05 - 07 Jul 2021 Accra, Ghana https://thegimun.org/ Customer Experience Management Africa Summit 11 - 12 Aug 2021 Cape Town, South Africa https://cemafricasummit.com/ UK Boarding School Exhibition Nigeria 09 - 10 Oct 2021 Lagos, Nigeria www.ukboardingschoolexhibition.com

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FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Francis Juma EDITORIAL Jacky Muinde I Elly Akoko | Paul Ongeto ADVERTISING & SUBSCRIPTION Jonah Sambai | Hellen Mucheru | Virginia Nyoro CONTRIBUTORS Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike - Sahara Accelerator. DESIGN & LAYOUT Clare Ngode

FW AFRICA P.O Box 1874-00621, Nairobi Kenya Tel: +254 20 8155022, Cell: +254 725 343932 Email: info@fwafrica.net; Corporate website: www.fwafrica.net RELATED PUBLICATIONS


Africa Inc. is published 4 times a year by FoodWorld Media Ltd. The magazine is distributed into a number of sectors of the industry in Africa. The magazine is available through subscription for the other stakeholders in the industry, including suppliers to the sector. Postage is paid at Nairobi, Kenya. Send address changes to FoodWorld Media Ltd by phone or email. Copyright 2020. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission from the editor is prohibited. All information is published in good faith. While care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of any action taken on the basis of information published.



JUNE 2021

Is Africa Doing Enough to Catch Up With The Global VC Landscape? Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike - Co-Founder saharasparks.com and Sahara

Accelerator. The U.S. is the world’s monopoly for venture capital, accounting for more than half, 51 percent (US$132.9 Billion) of total global venture capital. Is Africa doing enough to catch up? In 2020 according to Disrupt Africa, the continent attracted US$700 Million worth of investment to African tech startups. Depending on tools and methodology adopted some sources estimate the number can go up to USD 1.3 Billion disclosed and undisclosed amounts. The KNGS (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa), and recently, Egypt still has the largest share of the deals absorbing more than US$ 600 Million, more than 75 percent of all the capital going to startups in the continent led by Kenya at 27 percent, Nigeria at 21 percent and South Africa and Egypt both at 20 percent. While across all the sources WeeTracker, Partech Partners, Disrupt Africa, and Briter Bridges are showing positive growth in terms of year on year (YoY) growth of VC funds coming to the continent, capital in Africa is still not evenly distributed and the amount of capital coming into the continent is still significantly low compared to US, Asia, and Europe. There is a need to encourage the further flow of capital by strengthening systems

and structures that will encourage attracting investment from the regional and global landscape by strengthening local investment infrastructure. THE GLOBAL VC LANDSCAPE The U.S. is the world’s monopoly for the value of venture capital financing worldwide. According to data captured in the last quarter of 2020 by CB Insights/PWC in the MoneyTree Report. The North American region accounts for more than half, 51 percent (US$ 132.9 Billion) of total global venture capital, followed by Asia at 33 percent (US$ 87.1 Bn) and Europe with 13 percent (US$ 33.4 Bn). Africa follows under the rest of the world category who shares roughly 2


percent (US$ 6 Billion). Interestingly, cities like San Francisco with a population of fewer than 1 million people attract almost 10 times compared to what the continent absorbs in a year. According to PWC, The Francisco Bay Area remained the top location in Venture Capital (VC) spending in 2019, accounting for approximately 44 percent of U.S. spending or approximately 22 percent of global spending. This is almost four times what the rest of the world is getting if you exclude Asia and Europe. According to Global Data, North America accounted for 37.9% of global VC investment volume in Q4 2020, followed by APAC with 33.5% and Europe with 23.2% share. The Middle East and Africa, and South and Central America garnered 4.2% and 1.3% shares of VC investment volume, respectively. Both reports and analysis showed the volume of VC investment coming to the continent is still significantly low compared to what goes to the US, Asia, and Europe. AFRICA MAJOR DEALS In 2020 we witnessed acquisitions happening with crazy numbers; Network International Acquiring DPO Group for 288 Million US$, Stripe acquiring Paystack for 200 Million US$, WorldRemitt buying Sendwave for 500

Million US$, and the most recent one in the first quarter of 2021, Flutterwave raising 170 Million US$ from multiple investors led by Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global. Other major deals of 2020 include; MetroFibre Networx US$97.6 Million Equity Funding from Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) to expand their operations. Jumo US$55 million Series C in debt and equity, an investment round led by Goldman Sachs, Odey Asset Management, and LeapFrog Investments making the total investment attracted by Jumo to US$ to US$ 146 Million so far. CrossBoundary Energy raised US$40 Million in equity financing from ARCH Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF). Vezeeta raised US$40 Million Series D investment from Gulf Capital and Saudi Technology Venture. Flutterwave raised US$35 million Series B investment round led by Greycroft, this was before its current round of US$ 170 Million. Lumos Global raised US$35 Million from the United States International Development Finance Corporation. Skynamo raised US$30.1 million Series A from USbased investor Five Elms Capital. Chipper Cash raised a US$ 30 Million Series B round led by Ribbit Capital, with the participation of Bezos Expeditions. In conclusion, even though the recent growth of the VC landscape is creating optimism, by global standards there is a lot that needs to be done to catch up. The continent can not afford to settle for less. Infrastructure needs to be created that further encourages regional and global investors to invest in startups from the continent. Issues around the legal and regulatory environment, skills and talents, lack of data and insights, local investor networks, and political stability needs to be addressed if we are to reach the next phase of growth in the sector.

Infrastructure needs to be created that further encourages regional and global investors to invest in startups from the continent.

Disclaimer | Information gathered in this article has been captured from different sources online. The accuracy and completeness of such information expressed herein cannot be guaranteed. Opinions are subject to change without notice, and Sahara Ventures assumes no responsibility to update or amend any information or opinions contained herein.


JUNE 2021




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 marketleading Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar company with a focus on SubSaharan Africa and South Asia. The transaction will see the creation of Starsight Premier Energy Group which will offer sustainable power and coolingas-a-service and battery storage solutions to C&I clients in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Founded in 2015, Starsight Energy is the leading technology-enabled African Commercial & Industrial (C&I) energy-as-a-service provider. It has deployed 41 MW of installed generating capacity, 33 MWh of battery storage, and 16,320 HP in cooling capacity across 547 sites in all Nigerian states and Ghana.



JUNE 2021

Logistics company DSV Panalpina completes the acquisition of Globeflight

SOUTH AFRICA – DSV Panalpina, a Danish transport and logistics company, has completed the acquisition of South Africanbased Globeflight Worldwide Express after the relevant competition authorities have approved the details in the agreement. The deal was initially announced in December 2020. The acquisition includes all Globeflight’s operations in South Africa and Swaziland and will immediately be able to fortify DSV Panalpina’s presence in the small express parcel courier sector. The acquisition is consistent with DSV Panalpina’s global strategy of growth through acquisitions while at the same time being a strategically important step for DSV Panalpina to serve customers in the growing express and small parcel market in South Africa. “The acquisition of Globeflight constitutes a great match for DSV in South Africa while at the same time tapping into our global M&A strategy. Both have a culture that is performance-driven and customer-centric and the client fit is complementary and provides room to grow. DSV Panalpina’s courier business typically centres on larger clients, while Globeflight’s strength is in the express and small parcel market with a particular emphasis in the critical B2B market,” said Keith Pienaar, CEO, DSV Africa.

Morocco’s BIM sells 35% minority shares to Blue Investment Holding MOROCCO – BIM, a Turkish retail chain company, has announced the sale of 35% minority shares of the capital of its subsidiary in Morocco, Bim Stores SARL, to Blue Investment Holding, affiliated with British private equity fund Helios Investment Partners. BIM Morocco said that the total value of the sales stands at MAD 742.10 million (US$83.2 million), with the sales price per share standing at MAD 1,000 (US$112.83). BIM Morocco proceeded to the completion of its sales transaction with Blue Investment holding after both entities signed a sale and

purchase agreement on December 9, 2020, to agree to certain jointly set details. With the sale, the Turkish company aims to maintain and develop its stores’ current upward growth trend in Morocco and support

localization with investors specialized in the Africa region to create further value, noted the company’s statement. Since its entry into the Moroccan market in 2009, BIM has opened a number of stores in multiple cities across the country. In 2020 alone, the retail company opened 37 new stores, bringing the number of its stores in Morocco to 534.


Kuehne+Nagel completes acquisition of Apex Logistics

Allianz SE completes the acquisition of 66% stake in Jubilee Holdings

WORLD – Global transport and logistics company Kuehne Nagel, has completed the acquisition of Apex International Corporation, following the satisfaction of all closing conditions. Apex is an Asian freight forwarder, especially on the transpacific and intra-Asia trade routes. In 2020, the company generated turnover of CHF 2.2 billion (US$2.4 billion), gross profit of CHF 296 million (US$327 million) and earnings before taxes of CHF 126 million (US$139 million) and ranked seventh in terms of global air freight forwarding volume. In the first quarter of 2021, Apex has continued to perform strongly with turnover of CHF 556 million (US$613,6 million), gross profit of CHF 109 million (US$120.3 million) and earnings before tax of CHF 64 million (US$70.6 million). Together, Kuehne Nagel and Apex offer their customers a compelling value proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility. A minority participation remains with the Apex management, with the parties retaining customary contractual rights to acquire and sell these shares.

KENYA – German multinational financial services company Allianz SE, one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers, has completed the acquisition of a 66% stake in Jubilee Holdings general insurance arm in Kenya making it the majority shareholder. The purchased stake represents 1,522,622 ordinary shares acquired from Jubilee Holdings Limited which now retains a 34% shareholding in the company. In a statement sent to the press, the German financial services provider expects to complete the acquisition of Jubilee General Insurance businesses in Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and Mauritius in due course. The acquisition follows the execution of an agreement signed on September 29, 2020, whereby the German company agreed to acquire the majority shareholding in the short-term general (property and casualty) insurance business operations of JHL in in five countries in Africa, namely, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius. Upon completion of corporate filings, the new business will operate as “Jubilee Allianz General Insurance Limited.”

I&M Holdings completes acquisition of Ugandan lender Orient Bank

UGANDA – I&M Holdings Plc. has completed the acquisition of 90 percent shareholding in Uganda’s privatelyowned lender Orient Bank Ltd (OBL) as part of its regional


expansion plan. In a press statement, I&M said the acquisition was completed on April 30, 2021 after the transaction received the necessary approvals from the Central Bank

of Kenya, Bank of Uganda, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The agreement for the deal priced at US$26.93 million was made in July 2020. “I&M Group aspires to be Eastern Africa’s leading financial partner for growth. The acquisition of OBL will place I&M Bank in an advantageous position to capitalize

on the growth in the Eastern African economies and thereby ultimately increasing shareholder value,” said Sarit Raja Shah, I&M’s Group Executive Director. “This acquisition is expected to give the Group greater capacity to grow profitably, through extending our network to our Regional customers. Further it demonstrates our continued leadership role in the industry across East Africa,” he added.

JUNE 2021

Kgatelopele Lime acquires PPC Lime for US$39.1m

SOUTH AFRICA – IMR, the global commodities trader with ownership of mining assets and steel production facilities, has announced the US$39.1 million acquisition of PPC Lime in South Africa along with a consortium of investors. Post completion of the transaction, PPC Lime is expected to be 39% black-owned, with: 29% owned by strategic BEE investors; 5% owned by relevant PPC Lime employees; and 5% owned by host communities of PPC Lime, in accordance with the requirements of South Africa’s Mining Charter. The name was deliberately chosen to symbolise an intention to embrace the employees as well as the broader community as partners, as we breathe new life into the operation and the region and progress the mine forward.




Equity Group buys KfW’s US$9.3m stake in Congo bank DRC – Equity Group has acquired an additional 7.7 per cent stake in Equity Bank Congo (EBC) from German sovereign wealth fund KfW for US$9.3 million as part of a strategy to consolidate its banking subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This raised its ownership in EBC to 94.3 per cent and marked the latest investment in the subsidiary since the Kenyan banking multinational purchased its initial 79 per cent stake in September 2015 for Sh4.5 billion. A month later, Equity merged EBC with its second bank in DRC, Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC), in which it had recently acquired a 66.53 per cent stake at a cost of $95 million. The merged bank, the second largest in DRC with an asset base of US$3 billion, was renamed EquityBCDC. Equity has now spent a cumulative US$158 million in DRC, making it the second most important market after Kenya in which the lender has invested a total of US$400 million. 10 AFRICA INC.

JUNE 2021

Djibouti’s Salaam African Bank acquires Kenya’s Uwezo Microfinance

KENYA – Djibouti lender Salaam African Bank (SAB), has acquired a 100 percent stake in Kenya’s Uwezo Microfinance Bank that was founded in 2008 but has struggled to post profits for an undisclosed amount. The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) announced that Djibouti’s largest lender by branch network, Salaam African Bank (SAB), completed the transaction on March 25, 2021. The regulator did not disclose how much the Djibouti lender paid to the owners of the micro-financier. “This follows CBK’s approval on December 24, 2020 under Section 19(4) of the Microfinance Act and approval by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning on January 12, 2021, pursuant to Section 19(3) (b) of the Microfinance Act,” CBK said in a statement. “CBK welcomes this transaction which will strengthen the business model of Uwezo MFB and enhance the resilience of Kenya’s microfinance banking sector.” The Islamic lender, which holds 30 per cent of the total bank accounts in Djibouti, has a presence in Ethiopia through a representative office and in Kenya through an investment bank licensed by the Capital Markets Authority.

Hospitality investment platform Kasada Capital Management acquires the largest hospitality complex in Namibia

NAMIBIA – Sub-Saharan hospitality investment platform Kasada Capital Management, has announced the acquisition of the 414-key Safari Hotels and Conference Centre in Windhoek, Namibia. The transaction will be made through Kasada Hospitality Fund LP and remains subject to approval by the Namibian Competition Commission. The hotel complex is strategically located within ten minutes of Windhoek’s city centre and adjacent to Eros Airport. It consists of the 215-key Safari Court Hotel, the 199-key Safari Hotel and Namibia’s foremost Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE) venue, the Safari Court Conference Centre that includes a 1,600m2 grand ballroom that can hold up to 2,400 delegates.

Kasada will rebrand the hotels utilizing the management skills, expertise and marketing resources available from its strategic partnership with Accor and its portfolio of renowned international hotel brands. The Safari Court Hotel will be converted to Mövenpick, and the Safari Hotel will become an ibis Styles.


Fintech Branch International acquires Kenya’s lender Century Microfinance Bank

Raya Holdings to sell its subsidiary BariQ for Techno and Advanced Industries

KENYA – Fintech Branch International, has acquired microfinance lender Century Microfinance Bank in a move that gives the financial technology firm a stronger presence in Kenya’s financial sector. According to regulatory filings published by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), Branch has acquired 84.89 per cent of the issued share capital in the microfinance bank. The deal has been approved by the market regulator. “The Competition Authority has authorised the proposed transaction as set out herein on condition that the acquirer and the target will each maintain the terms agreed with the borrowers in respect of all loans existing in their loan books at the time of the acquisition,” explained CAK in a notice in the Kenya Gazette. The deal will further give Century Microfinance Bank a much-needed lifeline, coming in the wake of depressed earnings due to disruption from digital lenders and recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.

EGYPT – Raya Holding Group for Financial Investments has signed a contract to sell one of its subsidiary companies, BariQ for Techno and Advanced Industries, to Intro Waste Management and Material Recovery Holding Ltd. The deal involved the direct stake of Raya Holding, which accounts for 98.76% of the BariQ shares, and its indirect share through its subsidiaries, amounting to 1.24%. This means a total of 6.5 million shares. The Board of Directors at BariQ decided to authorise its Chairperson to take the necessary measures to implement the sale amounting to EGP 490.75 million (US$31.32m), provided that both parties fulfil certain conditions. Medhat Khalil, Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Raya Holding, expressed his happiness with the deal’s completion and cooperation with the Intro Waste Management and Recycling Company to complete BariQ’s growth. This comes as part of the state’s plan to focus on recycling waste and relying on clean energies.

Integrated Customer Experience platform for businesses Ajua acquires Kenya-based AI platform WayaWaya KENYA – Ajua, the integrated Customer Experience Management solution for businesses in Africa, has acquired WayaWaya, the Kenya-based Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning [ML] known for its innovative Janja platform, that enables borderless banking and payments across apps and social media platforms, for an undisclosed sum. WayaWaya founder and lead Janja product WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

builder, Teddy Ogallo, will now join Ajua as VP of Product APIs and Integrations. The acquisition of WayaWaya allows Ajua to integrate Janja to automate much

of the customer experience journey by integrating janja.me product into their product stack, closing the customer experience loop as the smart AI and ML built by WayaWaya

gives SMEs the ability to automate responses and give the customer what they want, when they want it. WayaWaya currently helps both individuals and businesses with intelligent messaging, across several social platforms, including Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Telegram, and others, and allows its users to automate customer support and take cross-border payments.

JUNE 2021

Payment platform AZA Finance acquires South Africa’s Exchange4Free SOUTH AFRICA - Digital foreign exchange and payment platform AZA Finance, has agreed to acquire cross-border payments specialist Exchange4Free, making it the largest non-bank provider of FX treasury services across Africa. Acquiring Exchange4Free, the largest South African non-bank currency broker, will enable AZA Finance to more than double transaction volume to US$2.5 billion in 2021 through synergies and leveraging cross-selling opportunities, while extending the company’s reach to 115 countries spanning Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and America. The acquisition enables AZA Finance to leverage Exchange4Free’s own platform for their services, including its set of APIs that provide companies with the FX, treasury, and regulatory compliance services they need to make cross-border payments into South Africa from more than 100 countries.




Energy company Konexa to deploy US$100m renewable energy in Nigeria

NIGERIA – British Energy company Konexa has signed an agreement with Kano State Electricity Distribution Company (Kedco) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) for the deployment of US$100 million renewable energy in Kano State in northern Nigeria. Kano State’s electricity capacity is expected to increase by 2022. This is the promise made by Konexa, a renewable energy producer based in London, UK. The company, which has focused its development strategy on sub-

Saharan Africa, recently signed an agreement with Kano State Electricity Distribution Company (Kedco), the company that provides the electricity utility in Kano State, Nigeria. The agreement covers the deployment of renewable energy in the northern

Nigerian state. The company plans to invest USD 100 million with the backing of the

Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). Under this partnership, the deployment of solar energy will be favoured given its accessibility and the natural potential of northern Nigeria (Sahel). “This partnership allows us to attract investment to improve the reliability and quality of supply for our customers. We have both on-grid and off-grid solutions. Solar is an off-grid solution, and there are other solutions

that Konexa brings,” said Jamil Gwamna, Kedco’s managing director.

IPP Acwa Power secures US$500m funding for its Redstone solar power plant in Northern Cape SOUTH AFRICA – Saudi Arabian independent power producer (IPP) Acwa Power, has raised US&500 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Absa Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), CDC Group, Nedbank, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Investec Bank and Sanlam Life Insurance to finance the construction of Redstone concentrated solar power plant (CSP). Following the announcement of the fundraiser, construction work on the 100 MW capacity facility is set to begin. The announcement is an important milestone for this concession granted to Acwa Power since 2015, under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). The facility, which is now entering the construction phase, will require a total investment of US$828.4 million. Acwa Power is part of a consortium that also includes Central Energy Fund and Pele Green Energy. The local community will also be a shareholder in the future solar thermodynamic power plant (CSP). The plant will have a two-tank direct molten salt storage system providing 12 hours of energy storage at full load, equivalent to 1,200 MWh of electricity generation, avoiding the need for backup fuel.

Electricity distributor Kenya Power to rollout electric car charging stations KENYA – Public utility Kenya Power, has announced plans to roll out electric vehicle charging stations in Kenya as it eyes new revenues streams and boost demand for electric cars. The electricity distributor said it would build a nationwide network of public charging points, removing one of the hurdles for use of electric cars in Kenya. Kenya has joined the global push to promote the use of electric vehicles and reduce reliance on petrol and diesel, the country’s biggest import item.


JUNE 2021

Kenya Power is expected to set the electric car charging points along major highways, parking lots and malls. Kenya Power joins Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), which also recently announced it is investing in electric car charging system. Scaling up the project will see both Kenya Power and KenGen generate revenue from vehicle owners who will require to charge their vehicles, but this is heavily dependent on the technology picking up in the country.

The use of electric vehicles has been gaining momentum in European, America and Asian countries as the world turns attention to cutting down on greenhouse gas emission. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

Sunon Asogli Power to deploy 200MW solar power plants in Sierra Leonne

SIERRA LEONNE – Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited, Ghana’s biggest Independent Power Producer, has announced plans to expand to Sierra Leonne with a solar power plant in Freetown. The giant power producer is planning deploy toa 20MWp-50MWp [megawatt power] Solar PV in one year and another 160MW to be known as Benkongor Hydro plant in four years. According to Business Development Manager of the Company, Elikplim Apetorgbor, the expected total investment cost for the two projects is about US$700million. According to him, the 20MWp – 50MWp Solar PV plant deployment by the Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Ltd is urgently needed to augment the power generation shortages in the capital – Freetown and other parts of the country as well as to complement power supply for the future construction works of the 160MW Bengongor Hydro Power plant in four years. Touching on the deal, he explained that it was reached in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Energy representing the government of the Republic of Sierra Leone on one hand and the Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Ltd on the other hand.

Djibouti unveils wind-powered desalination plant DJIBOUTI – French group Eiffage, via its subsidiary Eiffage genie civil, in partnership with Tedagua, a Spanish company specialising in water treatment and a subsidiary of the Cobra group, have constructed a wind powered solar desalination plant in Djibouti. The plant will improve the supply of drinking water in this country in the Horn of Africa, which faces persistent water stress. The seawater desalination plant was inaugurated on March 14th, 2021 by Djibouti’s president, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh. The plant is powered by a nearby wind farm and is one of the few wind-powered water treatment plants in Africa. The same process will also be used for the Chtouka desalination plant in Morocco. The Doraleh reverse osmosis plant has a treatment capacity of 22,500 m3 of water per

day and will make it possible to serve up to 250,000 Djiboutians. The authorities of this East African country plan to extend the capacity of the desalination plant to 45,000 m3 per day after the full completion of the Peper project (Production of drinking water by renewable energy) launched in 2017.

Libra Capital secures US$12.73m loan from AAIB for its renewable energy projects

EGYPT – The Arab African International Bank (AAIB), has signed a new long-term loan agreement worth EGP 200 million (US$12.73m) with Libra Capital, a subsidiary of Enara Group to WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

finance its renewable energy projects. Libra Capital, which provides integrated solutions for the commercial and industrial sectors. The loan, which will cover a period of up to 10 years, will help the Enara Group subsidiary finance its projects in Egypt, in the field of developing, constructing, and operating solar power stations.

It comes in view of the banking sector’s main role in achieving sustainable development goals, improving the efficient use of natural resources, and encouraging institutions and individuals to adopt sustainable practices. It also comes in light of banks acting as the financing arm for all sectors that affect the environment and society. JUNE 2021

AECF launches US$1.2m Innovation Fund for renewable energy business opportunities AFRICA – The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), has launched a US$1.2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities. The fund is aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale. Businesses and entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe can apply for funding. The fund will also aim to find solutions that reduce the negative impacts associated with the use of traditional cooking options at the household and institutional levels, build climate change resilience among communities and support productive uses such as water pumping, agroprocessing, cooling, and refrigeration services are examples that the Fund seeks to support.




Orange to reduce carbon print with deployment of solar solutions in Africa AFRICA – Orange, a multi-service telecoms operator, is set to deploying solar solutions across Africa and Middle East, an initiative to avoid using generators that run on fossil fuels that emit CO2. Innovative solar

solutions are at the forefront of Orange’s. This is in-line with their goal to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint to zero by 2040. Across the region, many of the company’s sites are not connected to the electricity grid and when they are, the quality of the grid often requires alternative backup solutions. To avoid using generators that run on fuel, Orange is putting in place several initiatives such as solar panels. In several of its subsidiaries, Orange is deploying innovative solar solutions and the latest generation batteries with partners specialising in energy. 14 AFRICA INC.

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Algeria set to launch tenders to produce 1,000 MW of renewable energy ALGERIA – The Algerian government is preparing to launch a call for tenders for independent power producers (IPPs) aiming to select companies to produce 1,000 MW of renewable energy, with some conditions for foreign investors. In terms of renewable energy production, Algeria lags behind its Moroccan and Egyptian neighbours. But the country wants to diversify its electricity mix. This is what justifies the call for tenders that Algiers is currently preparing. This electricity will be produced from renewable sources, the most abundant of which in this North African country is solar. In a decree published on April 29th, 2021 in the official gazette, the Algerian government empowered Chems Eddine Chitour, the Minister of Energy Transition and Renewable Energies, to manage and supervise the entire operation. The call for tenders, which will be launched between June and July 2021, will be divided into 10 lots of 100 MW each, open to foreign investment.

Burkina Faso secures US$34m from EAIF for the construction of 30MW solar plant

BURKINA FASO – Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) has provided US$34.59 million to Burkina Faso to support the construction of 30MW solar plant which will supply national grid. EAIF, a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is lending the project’s developer, Urbasolar SAS, 80% of the capital needed for the construction of the facility which is estimated to have a US$42.22 million development cost. EAIF is the sole lender to the project, its 20th clean energy project, providing US$34.59 million of the estimated Financial close (the transfer of funds from lender to borrower) is expected by the second quarter of the year. EAIF has now supported 20 renewable energy projects across Africa. It has invested US$350 million of loans to private sector developers, bringing Africa 825MW of clean, renewable energy.

Asset manager Mergence Namibia acquires majority stake in two Ejuva renewable energy projects in Gobabis

NAMIBIA – Asset manager Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers (Namibia), has upped its shareholding in the two Ejuva renewable energy projects in Gobabis from 17% to a majority stake of 66% having acquired the 49% previously held by co-developer and initial part-financier, CIGenCo, a subsidiary of South Africa-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG). The two adjacent Ejuva solar power plants, with a combined output of 10MW, were officially opened in August 2018 as part of the Namibian Feed-in Tariff program (REFIT program). The REFIT programme was initiated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Electricity Control Board to establish independent power producers in Namibia. The Ejuva projects are backed by 25-year power purchase agreements with Nampower and feed an estimated 25.8GWh (Gigawatt hours) per annum into Namibia’s national grid. Hileni Nghinaunye, Mergence Portfolio Manager, said that the increased Mergence shareholding demonstrates further localisation of the renewable energy industry in Namibia.




AFD launches US$84m fund for renewable energy in Nigeria

NIGERIA – The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) is supporting access to renewable energy for Nigerian manufacturers with €70 million (US$84.35m) under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) Nigeria Programme for renewable energy. The fund would be administered through the Access Bank Plc and the United Bank for Africa Plc. The AFP described energy efficiency projects (EEP) as capital expenditure projects that would allow energy consumers to use less energy for achieving the same level of energy service. However, only renewable energy projects like solar, wind, small hydro, biomas including waste-to-energy power plants would be eligible for funding under the SUNREF initiative. The AFP announced this during the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency investors’ virtual conference. This is in partnership with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), which

is a technical assistance programme cofunded by the European Union (EU) and the German Government and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power and All-On of the Shell Foundation.


Taxi-hailing firm Bolt introduces eco-friendly rides KENYA – Taxi services firm Bolt has introduced a new ride category on its platform dubbed Bolt Green to offer eco-friendly rides as the company moves towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. In a statement issued to the press, the platform said the category will have

to reduce emissions during trips taken on the Bolt platform thus offering greener transport options. The eco-friendly ride will attract similar rates as the Bolt Base category, with a minimum fare of US$2.74 and passengers will be able to choose the new ride-type when

hybrid and electric cars in which it aim

they order a car in the Bolt app at no

extra cost. Bolt Green is currently available to Bolt customers in Nairobi with plans to expand to more cities in Kenya soon. The company offers the widest array of ride-hailing options at the most affordable prices in the market and continues to have steady growth in operations driven by the demand for its quality services.

Cleantech company Havenhill Synergy Limited secures US$4.6m funding to build solar mini-grids NIGERIA – Havenhill Synergy Limited, a Nigerian clean-tech company that deploys renewable energy solutions, has just secured US$4.6 million from Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NDIF) to build 22 solar mini-grids in rural Nigeria. The financing was obtained through a fund raising in which Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NDIF) is the sole participant. The fund is providing US$4.6 million in local currency (the naira) to the solar mini-grid supplier Havenhill Synergy. Part of the funds allocated by the NDIF were injected by the African Development Bank (AfDB). These mini-grids will connect 70,000 people along with other establishments in the host

communities to clean, reliable energy supply. The construction of the offgrid solar systems is part of the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) which receives funding from the World Bank and the AfDB. To accelerate rural electrification, the REA provides subsidies to suppliers of mini grids and solar home systems.

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IPP Masdar Clean Energy to supply 500MWp of solar power in Ethiopia ETHIOPIA – United Arab Emirates based independent power producer (IPP) Masdar Clean Energy has obtained an approval from the Ethiopian government to produce 500 MWp of solar energy to be fed into the grid of the state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP). Under the terms of the agreement, Masdar, which is expanding rapidly on the African continent, will develop, engineering, procurement, construction, testing, commissioning, insurance,

operation, and maintenance of the solar photovoltaic plants. The energy firm plans to conclude a power purchase agreement (PPA) for all its solar power plants before the end of the year 2021. Masdar will quickly start construction work on its solar plants for the start of commercial operations in 2022. 16 AFRICA INC.

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Nedbank gets US$200m loan from IFC to drive renewables in South Africa

Solar off-grids developer Nuru secures US$1.2m from Proparco to expand in DRC

SOUTH AFRICA – Financial services group Nedbank has received a US$200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, to drive renewable energy projects in South Africa. Arvana Singh, head of sustainable finance solutions at Nedbank’s Corporate Investment Banking (CIB), said the US$200 million loan facility will complement Nedbank’s already well-established green finance operations, grow its climate portfolio, and expand its support of renewable energy projects that are key to the continued evolution of South Africa’s green economy. The announcement comes a week after the country’s mineral resources and energy ministry , finally announced the much-awaited opening of Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme, which will procure a further 2,600MW of renewable energy from independent power producers. According to the minister Gwede Mantashe, this will inject a total private sector investment amount of US$3 billion into the South African economy. (REREC) and is funded by the World Bank through its subsidiary, the International Development Agency (IDA).

DRC – French multinational electric utility company ENGIE has reached an agreement to acquire from Abengoa a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company. The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand. Power is contracted through a 20 years Power Purchase Agreement with state utility Eskom. Xina Solar One is supplying clean energy to more than 95,000 South African households and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 348,000 tons of CO2 each year. The plant is located in the Northern Cape of South Africa, which is also the location of ENGIE’s 100MW Kathu CSP plant. Xina Solar One will increase ENGIE’s renewable footprint and is a further step to cementing its position as the leading Independent Power Producer in South Africa.

CrossBoundary Group commissions 424KWp solar plant for XFlora Rose Farms in Kenya KENYA – CrossBoundary Group through its facility, Crossboundary Energy Fund I, has commissioned a 424KWp solar plant for XFlora Rose Farms in Nakuru County, Kenya. The new roof and ground installations will generate 750MWh of reliable, clean energy annually, resulting in approximately 35% reduction in their power cost. With this solar plant installation, XFlora Farm will over the 20 – year life of the plant,

avert over 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The CrossBoundary Energy Fund I was launched in 2015 and is Sub-Saharan Africa’s first investment platform for commercial and industrial solar. It provides solar electricity to African enterprises, through fully financed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and the firm now has over 30 MWp of C&I projects under operation, construction or awarded – the largest portfolio of such assets in SubSaharan Africa. CrossBoundary Energy Access is the firm’s latest facility providing blended project finance for mini grids in Africa.



JAMIE PUJARA - Hospitality guru wins global award as he dabbles into real estate to pivot from Covid-19


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By Elly Akoko

Jamie Pajura was recently awarded the prestigious Mark Lincoln Volunteer of the Year Award 2021 by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization for his selfless dedication to helping fellow business owners survive the Covid-19 pandemic. An entrepreneur whose family opened Nairobi’s first Chinese restaurant Tin Tin Restaurant in 1978, he is an avid investor with prior forays into E-commerce and has recently entered the real estate business. Africa Inc. magazine had a chat with Jamie Pujara. KINDLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF BRIEFLY

I am a second-generation Kenyan. My grandparents moved to Kenya from Hong Kong and India and my parents were born in Mombasa. My grandfather moved to Nairobi in 1978 upon his retirement from Africa Marines and set up Tin Tin restaurant at Kenyatta International Convention Centre, one of the oldest restaurants in Nairobi, and the first Chinese restaurant in Nairobi. I started my education in Nairobi then later to the UK where I studied Management and Economics. I then worked for two years in Tokyo, Japan and later in New York, USA for two years. In 2008, my father fell ill and so I moved back to Nairobi to help run the business while he was undergoing treatment and that marked the start of my work career in Kenya. I must admit it was a culture shock work-wise. I later on left Tin Tin Restaurant for a while and started a company called BuyRent Kenya, which is a property portal. We raised two rounds of funding and in 2017, I exited that business after the company was acquired by Ringier Group and returned to the restaurant business. We had a lot of plans of how we wanted to change the business, but Covid-19 struck and we had to put a lot of our plans on hold. Right now, we are thinking and reimagining how to move it forward when things return to normality.


That was an award from the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), which has 15,000 members in 61 countries. I joined the Organisation in 2014 with the main of learning and growing through peer to peer network, where my colleagues, who are also entrepreneurs can resonate with what I go through because most probably they have experienced it too. All the positions in the organization are volunteer positions. I served as the president of the Kenyan Chapter, then moved to the regional council as product director and am currently serving as regional chair for Pakistan, Middle East and Africa. My role is to grow the organization so that


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the members can have the opportunity to learn and grow not only in their business but also in their communities and families and become better, all-round persons. To qualify to join the organization, one’s business must have a turnover of at least US$1 million per year. When Covid-19 hit, businesses started to suffer and there was a real possibility that members would not renew or afford their membership but the global board was gracious in putting together a support fund to subsidize their membership fee, which I advocated and lobbied for. Another key action I did was to give people a deeper insight to step ahead of the curve, understand the pandemic from industry perspective, and to leverage on this knowledge to find true value for the members.


Our communities matter to us. This belonging is very important when it comes to selfdevelopment. These membership bodies do have an impact in our businesses including our private lives. I remember when I joined EO, I was in BuyRent Kenya and I was trying to sell a product to a client and he insisted that I join the organization. When I went in and understood it, the first thing I thought to myself was ‘this is going to impact my business’. And while that has come probably later on, I think the first impact was to me as a person, understanding who I was. Today I have a greater sense of self-awareness than I did seven years ago; I have an idea of what my priorities are. While we are all business people, we have families and the totality of who we are is shaped by the community that we are part of and it really matters. In these organizations and communities, we have to have such mindsets, give everything we have in order to see transformation.


I believe the sector will recover; the only question is are we going to be prepared for the recovery?


Kenya has seen an explosion in the hospitality sector over the last five years, which have brought a lot of good to the sector but also competition has heightened.


As the world gets bigger, things like food remain critical and because people bond over food, it brings good times. Kenya has seen an explosion in the hospitality sector over the last five years, which have brought a lot of good to the sector but also competition has heightened. A lot of restaurants and eateries have come up. What changes going forward is innovation in delivery and how you reach the consumer and tapping into people’s passion because food elicits passion and creativity. People love new things. We have been closed for so long which has forced us to rethink our business models, try reach the consumers now that they can’t come to us. As more and more restaurants are being opened here in Kenya, the market is being split and therefore you have to make it to the top of the list in order to survive the competition - you have to be creative in order to attract and maintain your customers. Competition is important because it forces people to be creative and innovative. The only challenge is shall we able to outlast the pandemic?. The Kenyan middle class doesn’t grow as fast as the new restaurants and eateries that are being opened.


My biggest learning is servant leadership - the ability to do things for others without expecting anything in return and this changed my trajectory in EO. Two years ago, I got an opportunity to attend a course in Cape Town, South Africa and we had the opportunity to visit Pollsmoor prison where we talked to the guards who watched over Nelson Mandela. One thing that kept coming up was servant leadership - you know the ability to do things for others without expecting anything in return. The second lesson is the concept of a beginner’s mindset. I learnt this when I came back from New York. If you think you know everything then it is very difficult to find opportunity and see the solutions. If you over analyze then you’ll find a reason not to do something.


As an entrepreneur, I am attracted to problems. Back in 2012, there was a problem of how people could look for housing and that’s how I got attracted to it and started BuyRentKenya.com. I have always been interested in that area. I always look at a lot of data and I realized there was a problem when it comes to affordable housing targeting middle income earners and that is where Aspire Heights comes in. I always knew I wanted to do development on more affordable/middle class housing. At Aspire heights, we are developing 65 apartments in Riruta: 2 and 3 bedrooms going for US$61,000 and US$70,000 respectively. The area is a great location, close to upmarket Lavington. It’s about aspirational living. When covid-19 shut everything down and my day-to-day program and I could not come to the restaurant, our plans to grow had been put on hold. We had plans to debut low cost food of KSh. 300 (about US$ 3.00) for office workers, and had planned huge delivery networks. However, when people stopped going to the offices, it stopped, and I started looking at housing as my next opportunity. I had the data, knew the area, the right price point and the designs for the houses, so we just accelerated the process. It’s a great project and I am excited about it. JUNE 2021




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Strive Masiyiwa's entrepreneurship journey is one of the most interesting in Africa. With a vast investment portfolio and a big heart, Masiyiwa is one of the most impactful people in the Continent.

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By Jacky Muinde Strive Masiyiwa, a Zimbabwean businessman and philanthropist is best known for being the Founder and Chairman of Econet Wireless International and Zimbabwe’s first billionaire. A husband and a father of six, Masiyiwa was born in 1961 in Zimbabwe. His father was a miner who later became a businessman. His mother was an entrepreneur whose interests ranged from retail sales to small-scale farming and transportation. At the age of 12, Masiyiwa’s parents afforded him the opportunity to study abroad at a private school in Edinburgh, Scotland where he graduated in 1978. He later joined the University of Wales where he earned a degree in electrical and electronic engineering in 1983. He worked briefly stint in the computer industry in Cambridge, England and in 1984, he returned to his home country. He joined Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications Corporations (ZPTC) as a senior engineer and would eventually become a principal engineer within the company. Masiyiwa became frustrated with the government bureaucracy, however, and left ZPTC in 1988 to start an electrical contracting firm named Retrofit Engineering. He organized a team of about 100 people and launched the company with about US$75 and began offering electrical engineering services on a contract basis.



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In 1990, Masiyiwa realised that there was great promise for wireless telephones in subSaharan Africa and he founded Econet Wireless in that same year and in 1994 he sold Retrofit Engineering and started to finance Econet Wireless through his family company, TS Masiyiwa Holdings (TSMH). This business venture was met with heavy opposition from ZPTC, which had claimed a monopoly on telecommunications, and the Zimbabwean Government. After lengthy legal battles, Masiyiwa’s Econet obtained a licence to provide mobile phone services in Zimbabwe. Econet's first cell phone subscriber was connected to the new network in 1998. Initially called "Enhanced Communications Network", Econet is a diversified telecommunications group currently having operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim, offering products and services in the core areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, satellite, optical fiber networks and mobile payment. The group's subsidiaries include Econet Mobile Networks Group, Liquid Telecom, Cassava SmarTech, Distributed Power Africa (DPA), Vaya Africa and Technites Africa. Liquid Telecom is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and


Technites solution provides real-time platforms to connect users to their nearest service provider, saving them time and money through increased efficiency. In February 2013, Econet acquired a controlling interest in the then TN Bank Zimbabwe and renamed it Steward Bank. In October 2014, it acquired VimpelCom's Telecel in Burundi (U-COM) and Telecel in the Central African Republic (Telecel RCA) for US$65 million. Masiyiwa’s other business interests also include renewable energy, water treatment, beverage bottling, financial services and hospitality.



Econet subsidiaries include Econet Mobile Networks Group, Liquid Telecom, Cassava SmarTech, Distributed Power Africa (DPA), Vaya Africa and Technites Africa.


southern Africa. It supplies fibre optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa’s largest mobile network operators, ISPs and businesses of all sizes. It also provides payment solutions to financial institutions and retailers, as well as data storage and communication solutions to businesses across Africa and beyond. Liquid Telecom has so far built a fibre optic network that spans 15 African countries from South Africa, all the way to the border of South Sudan in East Africa, and now wants to move into West Africa. Cassava Smartech is a diversified smart technologies group. It has established a balanced portfolio of distinct, yet highly synergistic business pillars, namely FinTech, InsurTech, Social Payments, On-Demand Services, e-Commerce, AgriTech, HealthTech and EduTech. DPA is a market leader in innovative solar energy solutions. They have operations in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. DPA supplies commercial and industrial customers with efficient, green solar energy installations without an initial capital outlay. Vaya Africa is a web and mobile app that fixates on social and economic growth with mobility services for people and logistics for goods. Technites is an app designed to link service requests with the firm’s highly trained, qualified and certified third-party contractors to complete specialised jobs at the clients’ premises. The

Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy for All, Morehouse College and the Hilton Foundation’s Humanitarian Prize Jury. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. He currently co-chairs the AU/WEF platform for investment in African agriculture, known as GROW Africa, and is also the Emeritus Chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is also the Chair Emeritus of Nutrition International’s Board of Directors, a global organization focused on improving nutrition. In 2012, he was invited by US President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. He is currently also a member of Thebe Investment Corporation of South Africa, an empowerment company that was set up by the Mbabatho Trust of the ANC. Amongst his other business leadership achievements, Strive was a member of the coordinating committee, which set up the Social Dimensions Fund (SDF), an initiative to alleviate the impact of poverty arising during the implementation of economic reforms in Zimbabwe. He was also a founding member of the JUNE 2021





African Latin American Institute at Punta Del Este in Uruguay in 1994. The institute promotes cultural, educational and business linkages between Southern Africa and the Mercusior region of Latin America. In December 2020, Masiyiwa was selected to the board of Netflix, an American content platform and production company. Susan Rice, who is now the director of US President Joe Biden’s Domestic Policy Council, previously held the seat.


Masiyiwa has been endowed with numerous awards from his work and philanthropy across the World.


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These include: Businessman of the Year, Republic of Zimbabwe, 1990; Manager and Entrepreneur of the Year, Republic of Zimbabwe, 1998; Ten Most Outstanding Young Persons of the World, Junior Chamber International (JCI), 1999; Global Influentials, Time, 2002. Most Influential Business Leaders in the World in 2003 by CNN & Time magazine; 25 Leaders of Africa's Renaissance Award, The Times of London, 2011; 20 Most Powerful Businesspeople in African Business by Forbes Magazine, 2012; 50 Most Influential Business Leaders in the World, Fortune Magazine 2014. In 2014 and 2020 he was cited one of the Top 100 Most Influential Africans by New African



magazine; the 10 Most Powerful Men in Africa, Forbes Magazine, 2015; Number 33 in the World's Greatest Leaders, Fortune Magazine, 2017. In 2019, he was awarded the Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Medallion and named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine. In 2020, he was named a JA Worldwide Global Business Hall of Fame Laureate. He was named by Bloomberg as one of the 50 World's Most Influential People; 100 Most Influential Africans, New African Magazine; 100 Africans of the Year by Mail & Guardian Continential Edition.


Masiyiwa is estimated to have a net worth of US$1.7 billion and was declared Zimbabwe's first-ever dollar billionaire by Forbes in 2018. In 2019 he was ranked the 9th richest black person in the world. With his wealth, he has done several notable works for the community. With his wife, they founded and financed the Higher Life Foundation, which empowers disadvantaged children through education and creating opportunities for highly talented young people. Through one of the largest scholarship programmes in Africa, the Foundation pays the school fees for 30,000 students annually in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi. The two also pledged US$100 million to establish a fund to invest in rural entrepreneurs in his home country. He has used his own family fortune to build one of the largest support programs for educating orphans in Africa. At any given time, his family foundations support and educate more than 40,000 children. In September 2014, the Chair of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asked Masiyiwa to help mobilise resources for Africa's response to the Ebola outbreak. Masiyiwa, with the help of other leaders, set up the first ever Pan-African fund-raising campaign known as #AfricaAgainstEbola Solidarity Fund. Upon the cholera outbreak, which happened in Zimbabwe in 2019, Strive Masiyiwa together with his wife donated a total of US$10m to fight against the disease. Moreover, he pledged US$60m to be used to build resilience against the disease. In 2015, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) awarded Masiyiwa the Freedom Award. The award is given annually to an individual who makes an extraordinary contribution towards supporting refugees and championing the causes of liberty, individual freedom, and dignity. In January 2020 he paid for Zimbabwe's doctors to return to work after they downed tools so that the government could pay pending salaries and improve conditions of work. In May 2020, he was appointed by South African President and African Union Chair Cyril Ramaphosa to serve as a Special Envoy to the African Union for COVID response. Masiyiwa is also a member of the Bill Gates and Warren Buffett initiative known as the Giving Pledge and in 2018, Masiyiwa was granted the Points of Light Award in recognition of his volunteer work.

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Masiyiwa is estimated to have a net worth of US$1.7 billion and was declared Zimbabwe's first-ever dollar billionaire by Forbes in 2018. In 2019 he was ranked the 9th richest black person in the world.




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WEBSITE www.amitruck.com

AMITRUCK: CONNECTING CARGO OWNERS DIRECTLY WITH TRUCKERS TO FACILITATE TRADE Amitruck, a Kenyan based start-up is betting on transparency and trust to build the next big logistics solutions provider in a market that is projected to grow exponentially in the next decade. We had a discussion with the company’s CEO and Founder Mark Mwangi on the company’s journey and future prospects JUNE 2021




By Elly Akoko The world’s fastest growing economies by 2030 will be in Africa. This consequently makes the continent the next big e-commerce market. And as this positive narrative continues to place Africa as a top investment destination, the need for advanced logistics systems has become inevitable. The growth of e-commerce will significantly depend on the quality and efficiency of logistics networks; from intra and cross trade to financial transactions in payment of goods and services. One of the biggest hurdles holding back the logistics industry in Africa is the inherent inefficiencies in the sector. This, coupled by poor road networks, make it even harder to conveniently deliver products to customers. Consequently, companies have had to rely on fairly descriptive trucking systems. The delivery 30 AFRICA INC.

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trucks are also required to keep in constant contact with clients when delivering products, to receive further directions while en-route. While generally Africa's infrastructure lags behind that of its counterparts in other parts of the world, it is worth of note that each country has its own value proposition. In 2018, the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index placed South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, and Côte d'Ivoire as the top 4 best performing countries in Africa, while Somalia, Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Zimbabwe were at the bottom 4. In most African countries, the result of the poor road infrastructure is heavy traffic jams that lead to delayed deliveries, cancelled orders for the on-demand services and subsequently loss of revenue and high cost of goods. Providentially, technology has been a boon to the logistics WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM



In Kenya, Amitruck, a trucking logistics marketplace is trying to solve the inefficiency in the logistics sector, which is estimated to be worth a whooping US$160 billion in Africa. Mark says that the original idea to start Amitruck came from the bad experiences and inefficiencies that truck owners and customers in the cement industry were facing in Kenya – and the deeply opaque pricing and cost structures in the value chain. “It was interesting to find that up to 70% of the final cost of goods is transport and 80% of that is by road and more so on the Kenyan side. When we first had a look at the space, we realized that there are middlemen or brokers and there are deliveries where there can be up to 3 brokers between a cargo owner and the trucker,


and they can consume up to 60% of the delivery fee,” said Mark Mwangi, the Founder and CEO of Amitruck, a start-up based in Nairobi, Kenya. “When we began to look deeper, we realized that there was a complete lack of systems and data. There was no single convenient place where you could go communicate and compare the options you have. The process was manual and was tedious to know which transporter was giving you good value in terms of fair price and good service,” added Mark. The marketplace CEO added that lack of transparency and security greatly increases the cost and liability of transporting goods and so, they came up with Amitruck which is basically a digital marketplace for transport which connects clients to transport resulting into savings by cutting out the middlemen and allows drivers to bid for work. On the other hand, the client can also participate in the auction thereby bringing in a competitive nature of pricing and that dynamic pricing has its benefits, meaning that when its busy, a cargo owner can still get capacity and when its quiet, one gets discounted prices and because of that, they have seen customers save up to 40% of their costs. “The vehicles and drivers on the platform are vetted so we know who owns the vehicle, driver because we have the documentation, and we also provide goods in transit insurance for safety of the goods. Customers therefore have a convenient competitively priced secure mode of transportation, and the driver has control of his livelihood and pay at the end of it.” Since its launch in February 2019, Mark reveals that they have done over 15,000 transactions and served over 200 business clients. They have seen good uptake on the platform, revealing to Disrupt Africa that the year 2020 was especially a good one for the firm, with revenues tripling and the mobile app was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the January to November period.

Since its launch in February 2019, Amitruck has done over 15,000 transactions and served over 200 business client and seen good uptake on the platform.


That Covid-19 pandemic hit business hard is not in doubt. While some companies and businesses benefited from the e-commerce boom that rose as a result of the containment measures, for Amitruck the pandemic has offered new opportunities for growth while “For us, it has been a mixed bag. On one end we saw a lot of business clients especially in 2020. The supply chains were disrupted, issues at Mombasa port, lockdown, confusion on regulatory documents one needed to move, and queues at the border! Transporters asked for higher transport fees because of delays, border JUNE 2021




past two years that they have been in operation, they have witnessed some big companies getting convinced about their model and that more are having that discussion at this time of the pandemic. The start-up announced hitting the 200 clients B2B companies in March 2021.



Companies are beginning to realise that you have to change to innovate and the benefits of digitising to the last mile will cause reduction in human error, increase in flexibility, free up capital to focus more on your core activity and the simplification of all the paperwork.


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crossings, lack of return loads. It was costing them more. We also saw customers asking for lower prices because demand was down,” says Mwangi. “On the positive side, customers saw Amitruck as a tool to manage the uncertainties and the chaos during the lockdown. Transport as a cost centre has changed during this pandemic, customers are now looking at the advantages of digitizing to the last mile, and the kind of cost advantage they can get. They are also looking at the transporter’s ability to deliver to his/her customer well and the ability to have a flexible supply chain as well,” adds Mwangi. The CEO added by saying that over the

In order to stay and become relevant in an ecosystem which lacks systems and transparency, Amitruck says it is focussing on one core issue, which is the high cost of transportation in a fair and transparent manner. “We are in a market where trust is generally low, doesn’t matter how you look at it, whether B2B or B2C. Even in e-commerce, there has been a struggle to get trust through the system and by having the transparency and giving good experience you can begin to build that trust. We want to continue to do that,” he emphasizes. Mwangi added that in their tracking so far, they have only lost one load and that was due to a breakdown. He reiterates that this is because they have put processes and mechanisms to run the business in a transparent manner that goes a long way in building trust with its growing list of customers. Despite their impressive records, the trucking platform still does not have a plan to venture into other markets just yet. “We want to focus our resources on Kenya, solve the problem well, get traction then later on look at other markets. We definitely want to move beyond the Kenyan market but right now we have not figured out how and when.”


For young tech start-ups in Africa, funding WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

raising is one of the major hurdles partly due to lack of proper regulator frameworks. However, Amitruck did manage to receive investments from US-based Dynamo Ventures with participation from Plug n Play Ventures and other strategic angel investors. The other major investor in Amitruck is GreenTec Capital of Germany, making an undisclosed investment in the firm in April 2020. The investment by GreenTec Capital, which makes small investments in African tech startups, enabled Amitruck to join a host of African start-ups in which the company had invested in in recent times, including Kenyan AI startup SuperFluid Labs, Nigerian logistics startup Parcel-it, Kenyan insurtech platform Bismart, Moroccan recruitment service KWIKS, and Ivory Coast-based waste management startup Coliba. GreenTec Capital’s senior company builder Maxime Bayen said at the time of the signing of the deal that logistics was a significant challenge in Africa, and one which was only emphasised by the COVID-19 crisis. “Amitruck’s solution has the potential to tackle the fragmentation and lack of trust in the sector while enabling capacity growth by increasing driver and truck owner accessibility to the broader market. We are extremely proud to be kicking off this long-term collaboration with Amitruck’s team,” he said. The investment from GreenTec Capital was expected to boost the start-up’s efforts at gaining a foothold in the East African market, where competition in the space has seen the likes of Sendy and Lori Systems also make their mark. “We approached 300 different investors, got into discussion with 70 and got into a final with about 5 and of the 3 that invested, 2 actually approached us. We had a success rate of below 1%! Start-ups in Africa lack an ecosystem where local investors are supporting start-ups quite as aggressively as the VCs in the West,” he advices. Apart from seeking investors, the company has also sought new partnerships that will fuel its growth into the future. In April 2021, Amitruck and e-commerce platform Sky.Garden, announced a partnership that will provide end-toend digital chain for goods pick-up and deliveries to the last mile, a move that will allow more than 6,000 B2B clients to keep their businesses alive and maintain jobs across many industries they support in Kenya. “We help Sky.Garden just as we help everyone else to deliver their goods from their e-commerce site to their customers,” says Mwangi.



Mark believes that the future is bright for his company, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way business is transacted not only in Africa but globally and as E-commerce takes root quickly in the Continent. “There is a lot of space for companies to increase efficiency within the supply chain by going digital. Companies are beginning to realise that you have to change to innovate and the benefits of digitising to the last mile will cause reduction in human error, increase in flexibility, free up capital to focus more on your core activity and the simplification of all the paperwork,” advises Mwangi. As the logistics start-up focuses on the future, it was one of the five start-ups selected to join the first cohort of the “NINJA Accelerator” in Kenya, which offers a blend of local, Japanese, and international mentoring, expertise, coaching, and investor relations - customized to meet the needs of each venture over the course of three months with a Demo Day scheduled for July 2021. Organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the 5 startups will have a chance to take part in an international experience from Nairobi, Kenya, Tokyo, Japan and Silicon Valley, USA. Mark reveals that he and the team at Amitruck is excited to join these selected few start-ups in the program and that the learnings and connections that will materialise from the exposure will surely raise the profile and prospects of his firm going forward.

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COMPANY Packaging Industries Limited







PACKAGING INDUSTRIES LTD: AWARD WINNING PACKAGING FIRM EYES GROWTH Packaging Industries Limited is proud of its achievements in facilitating trade and boosting the economy and creating jobs in Kenya. A leading manufacturer of high-quality packaging solutions, the company has recently received an international packaging award that adds a feather to its many years of impact WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

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By Francis Juma Packaging Industries Ltd was stablished by Mr. Navin Raichand Haria from its humble beginnings in 1985, when the company founder started by investing in a monolayer extrusion machine and a bag-making machine. The company is responsible for an extensive range of packaging from beverage, food, health care, home and personal care, pet food, agricultural packaging, and more. With Kenya being on a developmental spree, the packaging solutions provider grew to be one of the most extensive blown film manufacturing facilities in East & Central Africa, supplying to markets in Kenya and beyond its borders. Flexible packaging took an upturn at a drastic rate, as consumer demand for better packaged consumer goods and agricultural produce rose. PIL took the reins and invested in multilayer coextruders and multicolor flexographic printing machines and marched ahead of others in the regional market. In the 1990s, Kenya's vision for supermarkets and commodity packaging grew in abundance and PIL designed, developed, and innovated packaging to meet the market demand. It was majorly involved in the transition of milk packaging from multi-material compositions to flexible pouches. "Our quick turnaround and unbeatable quality coupled with excellent customer service and technical expertise are the basis on our client’s dependency on us as their solution providers," says Vaishali Malde, the firm’s Sales and Marketing Manager. Employing over 250 people in the industry, Packaging Industries Limited has grown over the years, diversifying with the challenging times following the ban of plastic carrier bags, which were gazetted by the Kenyan Government in 2017. This led to their investment in the alternative material carrier bags made from non-woven polypropylene materials and the installment of a paper converting line. Though both their assets currently lay idle due to the preference of plastic packaging over the alternatives by users, the firm constantly collaborates with the industry stakeholders to understand the life cycle assessment of various alternatives to plastics and their effect on the environment at the end of their useful life. “We are closely working with the authorities to understand the direction we as a country would like to take in addressing the plastic menace. We also actively participate in all clean-ups around the country that are accompanied by awareness creation sessions for people to understand how to dispose of plastic packaging at the end of its useful life and keep the environment clean.” 36 AFRICA INC.

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PIL strongly follows their fundamental values such as care, integrity, hygiene and safety, teamwork and collaboration, and circularity. "We are committed to promote a circular economy in packaging to consumers by adopting recyclable packaging materials and technology. We design solutions to serve our clients more sustainably through intense and collaborative efforts with like-minded partners.”


The 2020 was an exciting one for PIL, after the company bagged the Gold award in the 32nd Packaging Innovation Awards, brought by DOW, to recognize their innovative Mama Silage Bag. The Packaging Innovation Awards recognize innovations in the packaging supply chain that excel in technological advancement, responsible packaging, and enhanced user experience. The Mama Silage bag is a high-performance plastic bag consisting of multiple layers of polymers with a unique oxygen barrier to preserve fodder for cattle. This innovative technology ensures an anaerobic environment is provided in the bag that is perfect for silage fermentation. With no oxygen transpiration, the nutritional quality of the silage is preserved for long durations without spoilage. Vaishali Malde joined the company in 2016 as a sales representative and was later made the Sales and Marketing Manager. At every step of her career, she leveraged her strong growth focus and passion for sustainable packaging solutions for clients to deliver double-digit growth for the company in sustainability projects. Vaishali has developed long-term relationships fostering a spirit of collaboration through a market and solution-oriented mindset. She has led major successful innovation adoption projects such as the Mama Silage Bag. Vaishali has broad experience in the flexible packaging industry. She has spent intensive time learning about flexible packaging, understanding plastic packaging's environmental issues, learning post-harvest technologies to reduce food waste by employing packaging, and understanding solid waste management to redirect packaging to recycling centers. She is focused mainly on sustainable packaging design for a circular economy.

Our quick turnaround and unbeatable quality coupled with excellent customer service and technical expertise are the basis on our client’s dependency on us as their solution providers.


“The Kenyan dairy farmers deal with erratic weather patterns, with extremely wet periods and extremely dry periods. Naturally, for a dairy farmer, it is critical to be able to feed his cows WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

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throughout its life. That is when the Mama Silage bags come into play. The farmers can store animal feed for longer periods, ensuring the feed's nutritional quality is preserved and giving them food security leading to constant milk production and steadier income throughout the seasons. The Mama Silage bags are not only very robust and reusable but also easy to recycle locally," says Vaishali. “Being a flexible packaging supplier for pouched UHT milk, we were concerned about the fluctuation consumption of packaging throughout the year and were curious to understand the cause. With most milk processed in Kenya coming from small-scale farmers through co-operative societies, we got to the grassroots levels to speak to farmers regarding the stability of milk production and their drawbacks. Noting that feeding the animal is the highest cost of a farmer, and erratic weather patterns make it difficult for a constant forage supply, the farmers stored silage in traditional ways to feed to animals through dry periods. The shortfalls of the traditional bunker and pit methods lead to deterioration of the silage quality, and forage waste from overfermentation and mold growth.” “With packaging being our strong area of expertise, we recognized the need for a better packaging and storage solution. The Mama Silage bag was innovated to address farmers' plight and ensure the preservation of nutrition for a long period, giving them a stable source of animal food. Essentially, it is more efficient in preserving


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fodder when compared to conventional methods.” “We would like to share this innovation with other countries in Africa where small-scale dairy farming is practiced. We are looking forward to collaboration through the entire dairy value chain to reach a wider network for farmers and make dairy farming more profitable to smallscale farmers. We would also be looking to leverage digitization to accelerate the adoption of the innovation."


Vaishali notes that the flexible packaging market has grown globally in all packaging industry areas and supplemented and replaced rigid packaging in many applications. She adds that it is easy to see why flexible packaging has seen growth and become the preferred packaging material, majorly in the food and beverage market. Its portability, safety, product freshness, convenience, shelf stability, and shelf-life extension make it the ideal choice. Flexible packaging design allows us to combine the best quality of various materials to deliver a broad range of properties while using minimal material. With flexible packaging, functionality benefits such as such as moisture and oxygen barriers to extend a product shelf life can be achieved. These benefits are the driving demand for the increase in the use of flexible packaging and the conversion to flexible packaging from other package formats.


We are looking forward to collaboration through the entire dairy value chain to reach a wider network for farmers and make dairy farming more profitable to small-scale farmers.


Flexible packaging is sustainable in many ways. The superior barrier protection, extended shelf life, and food safety ultimately benefits the consumer by providing safe, long-lasting, and cheaper products. A holistic view of the sustainability benefits of flexible packaging needs to be understood by consumers compared to other packaging types. Many people do not consider the science of plastics considering all the benefits the flexibles offer; however, it is critical to understand the science behind the various packaging materials and sustainability and end-of-life issues. "When sustainability is an important attribute to consider when designing packaging, it needs a more holistic thought process through the product and packaging lifecycle. For example, before choosing a biodegradable material requires a thorough life cycle assessment through the supply and manufacturing chain of the packaging, including the energy used in all processes and its transportation, the unintended impacts of the bio-degradable packaging in recycling streams, and how long it would take to degrade on the roadside." Vaishali adds that flexible packaging is directly related to less material use, since it saves money in material sourcing and transportation, as the films are shipped in flat format or rolls, which allow more material to be shipped per square foot of transport space, contributing to sustainability. "Flexible packaging consumes fewer natural resources than many of its alternatives. Its higher product to packaging ratio allows trucks to fit more of it per load, using less fuel and fewer emissions," she points out. With the five years of her time at PIL, Vaishali has closely collaborated with clients and advised them on developing environmentally friendly packaging. "We interact with clients to discuss functionalities that their packaging needs to serve and after that educate them on sustainable solutions and give them the ideas and opportunities to expand their packaging ideas until the scope meets a sustainable reality. With our team's technical expertise, we ensure the packaging serves all the clients' required needs.”


Vaishali spends much time creating awareness on the environmental upsides of packaging and better disposal of flexible packaging to improve recycling rates instead of the blanket assumption of consumers noting that plastic packaging is fundamentally bad for the environment. She works closely with regulatory bodies, various authorities, manufacturing organizations WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

and advocacy groups to promote the shift to sustainable packaging, increase recycling through designing for recyclability, and drive greater use of post-consumer materials. “A significant growth in the consumer goods space has given us growth by the migration of buying loose unpacked products to buying prepacked products with a better, longer shelf life. Everyone is entitled to access safe and hygienically contained consumables, especially food products, no matter what income bracket they fall in. This makes our packaging development team think outside the box to provide pocket-friendly packaging to all categories of consumers. With this growth, we continue to focus on sustainability in packaging; we are making our workforce value-conscious and mission-driven and adding larger dimensions to our values by helping the environment, reducing food waste, and serving our clients’ needs in the most sustainable ways.” With the need to join the global drive towards a circular economy for plastic packaging, Vaishali reveals that PIL is rethinking packaging designs, reducing the plastic entering the system by downgauging in applications and using recycled plastics in others. “Recycling packaging at the end of its useful life is not just environmentally friendly and sustainable but also a major raw material required in many industries, including ours. We ensure our clients are aware of recycling's benefits and see the value of further educating their consumers on segregation at the source to reduce plastic contamination in the system and maximize recyclables' value. In this way, the packaging materials flow around in a ‘closed loop’ system rather than being used once and discarded.” She adds that flexible packaging gets bad press because of its high visibility in the environment. "If the packaging is not disposed of properly by consumers, it can easily end up in the environment as litter and becomes difficult to collect. Alternatives to plastics will also lead to a sore eye if left to litter around. A focus on educating the consumers on the correct disposal of packaging waste would reduce littering in the environment and improve the recycling rates. Driving the consumer behavior is currently the biggest challenge of all!", she points out saliently. “We have an exciting journey ahead at Packaging Industries Limited. The strength of our team, our capabilities and technologies will enable us to build closer relationships with our customers by contributing to innovative localized solutions while maintaining a world-class standard,” she concludes.

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The 2020 was an exciting one for PIL, after the company bagged the Gold award in the 32nd Packaging Innovation Awards, brought by DOW, to recognize their innovative Mama Silage Bag.




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South Africa


WEBSITE www.ukheshe.com

UKHESHE: DIGITIZING BANKING AND PAYMENT ACROSS AFRICA AND THE WORLD Ukheshe Technologies aims to be one of the next unicorns to emerge from Africa. With the fintech space getting more crowded to meet the rising demand for financial solutions, the South African fintech firm has set its sights on the rest of Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Europe. We have a discussion with the company’s CEO Clayton Hayward on the company’s impact and future plans. JUNE 2021




financial literacy have contributed to the region being underbanked.


By Elly Akoko



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According to a new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), online retail sales grew markedly in several countries in 2020 with global e-commerce sales jumping to US$26.7 trillion globally in 2019, up 4% from 2018. These include businessto-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales and was equivalent to 30% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020. These statistics show the growing importance of online activities. They also point to the need for countries, especially developing ones, to have such information as they rebuild their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the core of e-commerce is fintech. According to the World Bank, financial intermediation and financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa remains low, despite progress in recent years. The Bank notes that, on average, countries in sub-Saharan Africa continue to have a shallower financial system than those in other developing regions of the world. For example, in terms of financial inclusion, only 20% of the population has a bank account compared to 92 percent in advanced economies and 38% in nonadvanced economies, noting that under-investment, poor infrastructure, and comparatively low levels of

South Africa based Ukheshe is one of the leading fintechs in the African continent with a growing presence in several countries, Europe, Australia and Asia. The fintech company offers a range of seamless API payment experience, digital payment integrations, issuing and acquiring of physical and virtual cards and has created a user-friendly digital service hub that powers innovative digital-first fintech propositions for many of its customers and partners across Africa. Ukheshe Technologies started as a software development company focused on building technology for the banks and telecommunication companies (telcos) and later decided to build its own digital bank, because they saw a big opportunity in the underserved markets in the digital banking space. The company’s founders, led by the CEO Clayton Hayward, started the fintech firm, hoping to tap into the exciting fintech space that several estimates point to rise into the trillions of dollars in the next few years, especially if the large number of the unbanked population in developing economies of Africa can be brought into the fold. “It has been a really exciting journey. We added close to a million clients in our first year or so of operations and in that journey, we realised that the big opportunity for us was to leverage this technology framework that we had built to really help banks and telcos, governments, insurance companies build really powerful fintech proposition,” said Ukheshe CEO Clayton Hayward. “So, we decided to pivot the business 18 months ago to focus whole heartedly on being an enabling platform for fintech, banks and telcos across the continent who really wanted to deliver quickly a powerful value proposition in fintech space, whether that’s a cheque banking proposition on WhatsApp or tape on glass or mobile phone or virtual card issuing and anyone of our digital propositions,” adds Clayton. According to the CEO, Ukheshe sees itself as one of the leading providers of fully integrated propositions of digital KYC, virtual cards, physical cards, QR codes etc. as they continue growing in the continent. “When somebody is trying to launch a proposition whether you are an international remittance company looking for a partner with a footprint across the continent or a multi territory WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

bank looking for a partner, we want Ukheshe to be top of the mind in that discussion.” It’s API platform Eclipse allows for payments to be made and received all via a single API solution unlike any payment service or solution. The firm is Masterpass certified, which means it can accept payments from any Masterpass enabled app and most banking apps. The company’s Tap2Pay is a card payment system designed for secure, quick, and easy payments for small payment amounts through the use of special antennas embedded in them, which are used to transfer information on Tap to Pay terminals. It is ideal for merchants who process low ticket value transactions, such as fastfood restaurants, petrol stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, movie theatres, among others. Ukheshe also has availed its Chat Commerce service, which is fast becoming the way to support their customers as they search for products, place orders, pay bills, buy airtime, and much more. Clayton says that as the shift to cashless payments continues to gain momentum with digital commerce growing at 2x the rate of physical, reaching more merchants and consumers, as they demand an ever more personalised and attentive shopping experience. The firm’s KYC solution allows companies to protect themselves by ensuring that they are doing business legally and with legitimate entities and also protects the individuals who might otherwise be harmed by financial crime.


According to recent report by FSD Africa launched in 2019, there was a potential US$5.1 trillion of fintech opportunity in Africa. “Africa is seen as the last frontier from the emerging markets points of view. We have a huge population in the continent, huge underserved markets and we see e-commerce penetration still in the single digit percentages - that’s where all this growth is going to come from. It is about delivering financial inclusion to the mass market, delivering the access to e-commerce, delivering access to financial services all via these new digital channels,” he adds. “Africa has always managed to leapfrog technology because of where it has come from. Even in the mobile space, most of the technologies in GSM were pioneered in Africa and that is also going to happen in the financial services because we have such an underserviced population. We now have ability to deliver new innovative lending solutions, payment solutions and anything in that space that will not be encumbered by legacy WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

systems, we can really go out there and deliver something new and exciting,” he emphasizes. After initially launching its operations in South Africa, Ukheshe has set its bold ambition to expand its operations globally, starting with the rest of Africa, where it has already signed several successful high-profile projects and partnerships in countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Botswana, Angola, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Ghana. In order to accelerate its business and impact across Africa, the company has of late sought a number of new partnerships with leading players in the sector. The CEO says that their partnerships across Africa are going to deliver big returns, as they have active partners across 40 territories in Africa, including banks, telcos and other players. He adds that the growth opportunities for them in Africa offer very exciting prospects for their future. In March 2020, it has signed deals with Tanda, a Kenya-based retail-tech start-up Tanda, which will leverage Ukheshe’s Eclipse API to increase their digital banking offering in Kenya and East Africa to include QR payments, digital wallets and the issuing of physical and virtual cards - a move that will empower Tanda agents and merchants throughout East Africa to implement 100,000 physical touch points within the next 2 years. In February 2020, it announced the conclusion of an agreement with the Kenyabased bank, KCB Bank. Through the agreement, KCB will sponsor Ukheshe’s Bank Identification Number (BIN) number, which will allow Ukheshe to immediately issue both physical and virtual cards across East Africa where KCB has an extensive footprint. “By joining forces with KCB we are wellplaced to address several open-loop market opportunities while boosting wider consumer adoption. Payment options across various segments will benefit such as payroll, companion cards, multi-currency prepaid cards, travel cards, and gift cards, together with social security and other government benefit programs such as insurance claims,” said Victor Ndlovu, the then Vice President of Ukheshe Africa. In its home market South Africa, Ukheshe, in collaboration with the global cloud communications platform Infobip, developed and launched a WhatsApp payment gateway for use by Telkom South Africa customers. South Africa’s first digital wallet platform, the solution is the first WhatsApp channel to enable payments using QR codes in the country. Ukheshe says the solution allows Telkom SA customers to send

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Ukhesh will focus on establishing significant long-term partnerships in strategic locations within the Asia Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East as it unravels its global growth strategy.




money quickly and securely to anyone with a mobile number, with no need for another app or additional software. In another move, the fintech, in partnership with financial services provider Nedbank and Mastercard launched Money Message, a payment platform that lets small and micro businesses receive in-chat payments from their customers via WhatsApp. The solution will enable merchants to send an invoice requesting payment from any customer through WhatsApp and their customers, in turn, can quickly settle a payment directly from the platform. “The need for a diverse range of contactless payment methods is more important today than we could have possibly imagined, as we seek to rebuild the economy by giving businesses the ability to transact in a safe and secure way,” said Chipo Mushwana, Nedbank’s Executive for emerging payments, at the signing of the deal. “What’s great about the way we have developed our technology is that our partners can leverage that ecosystem very easily. What would have taken them 12 or 18 months to form a relationship with Mastercard, secure bench sponsorship with a bank both technology and integration, they can now access this API from us in real time and build a solution and take to market. From a time to market point of view, is see support a lot of support for fintechs across the continent.” He says that even with all the great ideas, compliance, regulatory, technology hurdles and relationships hurdles will slow these things down – hence the need to work with a facilitator like Ukheshe to deliver faster, more seamlessly. “We see ourselves as the accelerator in the continent of Africa for this. We have done all the hard work; we have got all the building blocks, so we see ourselves as that partner that enables everybody, from that small fintech like Tanda to a big telco like MTN to leverage exactly the same API to deliver value proposition in the market they are playing in,“emphasizes Clayton.


The year 2020-21 has seen a lot of merger and acquisitions in the fintech space in Africa, which have potentially changed the game in the continent. For Ukheshe in addition to collaborating with numerous blue-chip banks, telcos and fintechs, it has built strong alliances with Mastercard while acquiring two companies and raising just under US$6.4 million within the last two years. In one of the deals, Ukheshe acquired Oltio from Mastercard, the company that developed the digital payments platform for Masterpass, Mastercard’s QR code payments service. The deal, whose value was not disclosed, is a 44 AFRICA INC.

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“natural fit” for the company, according to Clayton, adding that it enabled the fintech to continue providing fintechs, telcos and banks with payment solutions and services that will further deepen financial inclusion in the region. Ukheshe has an established partnership with Mastercard and is a participant in the payment giant’s Accelerate programme. The programme allows it to tap into Mastercard’s technology, data, expertise, and global network of corporate clients and fintechs to help scale its operations globally. “We will continue to look for potential acquisitions in these new markets to further support Ukheshe’s growth and strategy as we pursue our goal of reaching unicorn status within the next three years. Ukheshe is excited to be at the forefront of the rapid shift towards innovative digital-first solutions, especially in markets that are ripe for disruption,” the CEO said. However, Clayton is quick to add that the company will want to remain a neutral player and will not be looking at having a big telco or bank become a shareholder in the business in the future. “Realistically, we will never have a bank or a telco as a shareholder because we will end up in a competitive situation. When we have a bank as a shareholder, then other banks will say we do not want do business with you, same as a telco so want to keep our independent space,” declares Clayton. “I think there is a lot of room for consolidation so we are aggressively looking for additional acquisition in the continent to bulk up the business and I think the next step for us will be a listing. We are very keen to list the business most likely on the London Stock Exchange and we want to create the next fintech unicorn. You have seen lots of news in the press recently, like Flutterwave achieving unicorn status and I believe Ukheshe has the ability to become that next unicorn and become a real player on the continent.”


Apart from its regional African reach, the CEO says the fintech will focus on establishing WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM


We will continue to look for potential acquisitions in these new markets to further support Ukheshe’s growth and strategy as we pursue our goal of reaching unicorn status within the next three years.


significant long-term partnerships in strategic locations within the Asia Pacific region, Europe, and the Middle East as it unravels its global growth strategy. In this regard, the firm recently filled key senior positions to drive its agenda, with the announcement of Donovan Drew as President: Asia Pacific; Paul Selibas as President Project Engineering, based in Europe; together with Chris Pillay as VP of Finance, located in Dubai. It further announced the appointment of Anton Coertzen as President of Strategic Partnerships. He will be responsible for growing the business through key partnerships which complement the company’s business development and product innovation strategy, as the fintech continues to entrench its position as a formidable payment technology specialist within the business-to-business sector. The CEO says that following the announcement of its global expansion plans, Ukheshe will focus on establishing significant long-term partnerships with banks, telcos, fintechs, governments, and payment associations across Africa as well as in other international locations. In May 2021, the fintech announced it is expanding its footprint into the Asia-Pacific region as it introduces innovative digital-first payment solutions via key partnerships in what is emerging as a lucrative growth market for the B2B payment technology specialist. Clayton says the company aims to partner with local institutions in the region by offering credible, agile solutions in an ever-changing market. “Our payment technologies also solve for the problems of expensive acceptance rails and carrying cash, particularly in markets within Asia-Pacific where digital wallets are expected to become the preferred online payment method over the next four years,” he says. Ukheshe is one of the few African businesses which have ventured into the Asian market and according to the CEO, that is an amazing thing. He likens the decision to MacDonald’s’ burger whose exchange, financial value and transaction is the same irrespective of where it is bought. “What is amazing with payments is that lets say you are buying a McDonald’s burger in Nairobi or Singapore: it is the same burger, same exchange value, same financial transactions. Whether you are sitting in New York, Lagos or Johannesburg, the challenges you have are all the same. What is great with fintech is that we now

have the ability to grow our business on the back of our partnerships with the likes of Mastercard. So, where Mastercard are looking at their digital first strategy across the world, we become a very attractive partner for them to pull into these opportunities, because we are already integrated into their core technologies, we understand their strategy, and makes it quite easy for us to go into player solutions in these markets.” “One of the biggest changes that has happened is Covid-19. Covid-19 has changed the way people do business. Two years ago, you could not do business in Africa without face-to-face meetings – you would have to fly to Nairobi, Lagos or DRC and you would have to have a suit and tie, shake the hands, go for dinner etc. Covid-19 has taken those formalities away and for us now, we can scale exponentially. Companies have now adopted digital ways of transacting business. There’s exponential efficiency now. Covid-19 has made demand for digital financial services more important,” states the CEO.


According to the CEO, as the fintech enters into the rest of the continent and beyond, they do not see other fintech like mobile money such as M-Pesa as competitors, but rather as partners. “We see them as partners. Remember we are a B2B player and a tech enabler. We are looking for system integration partners, fintech partners across the continent to help grow this ecosystem, grow financial services. We really have the opportunity in Africa to be the poster child for fintech across the world. Am really excited to be part of this” he emphasizes.


Ukheshe is proud of how far they have come with the platform, after being honoured with multiple awards in its home country of South Africa, Africa and globally, key of them being becoming part of the Mastercard Start Path Program partners. Other achievements include being a finalist at Singapore FinTech Festival – the world’s largest fintech festival; South Africa Reserve Bank FinTech winner; and a Catapult Inclusion Africa cohort member, where they were selected from 245 companies. The fintech also received an endorsement from The World Bank to accelerate its efforts towards financial inclusion. More importantly, its cashless payment revolution has moved a massive part of the South African informal sector into a cashless payment revolution. It is this impact that Clayton and his team is seeking to replicate in the rest of Africa and globally. JUNE 2021




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By Jacky Muinde


The 55-floor mixed-use property development is located in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa and stands at a height of 234 meters (768 ft). It is owned by Legacy Group, a company known for its collection of exclusive and luxury hotels, resorts and lodges. Opened in 2019, the building took more than four years to build at an estimated cost of US$135 million (R2 billion).





Built in 1975, Ponte City is a 54-floor cylindrical building with a height of 173 meters (567.6 ft), making it the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. It is Located in Berea, Johannesburg, South Africa, and is owned by the Kempston Group, a diverse, privately owned group with a wide range of service offerings.


Located in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, The Carlton Centre is a 50-storey standing at 223 meters (732 ft) making it the tallest office building. Opened in 1973, it is currently owned by transport parastatal Transnet.


The building that will serve as headquarters of the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the country's largest bank is 198 meters (650 ft) making it the tallest building in East Africa. It is located at Yohanis Street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is being constructed by China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC) at a cost of US$266.5 million. It is set to be completed by 2021.


The 47-storey mixed use building by Chinese state-owned aerospace and defence company, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC International), is located in Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya. The 184 meter (604 ft) and 43- story building is estimated to drain up US$365 million (KSh40 billion) in construction and related costs once completion in 2021. Construction began in 2015 and will comprises of an office tower, community



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COMMERCIAL BANK OF ETHIOPIA HEADQUARTERS - ETHIOPIA apartments, luxury five-star hotel, and mall.


The 43-storey skyscraper is located in Sharia


at 142 meters (466 ft) making it the second highest building in Egypt in terms of height.


The El Maadi Residential Tower has six tower that are 140 meters (460 ft) high comprising of 42 floors each. Mainly used for residential purpose, the towers were completed in 1987.


The Grand Nile Tower Hotel, owned by the



Hassan Sabry, Cairo, Egypt. The Movenpick hotel was completed in 1996. Owned by Khaled Aly Fouda, the tower stands 48 AFRICA INC.

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Sokoine Drive, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.



GRAND HYATT (NILE) CAIRO - EGYPT Saudi Egyptian Touristic Development Company (SETDC), is located on Roda Island in Cairo, Egypt. Standing at 142 meters (466 ft), the 41-floor hotel was built in 2001 at a cost of US$380 million.


Also known as Johannesburg Sun and Towers, the building, now owned by Sol Kerzner's Southern Sun Hotels is located in the Central Business District of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was rebuilt to a 40-story main tower in the early 1980s and at a cost of R100 million (US$6.80m).


The building that serves as the official headquarters for Tanzania Ports Authority was completed I 2016. It took 5 years to construction the 40-floor building. The 157-meter (515 ft) building is located at












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MOROCCO: LEADING THE WAY IN NORTH AFRICA TO CREATE A VIBRANT, COMPETITIVE ECONOMY Morocco, located in the Maghreb region of Africa, offers unique investment opportunities. In this article, we highlight the opportunities in agriculture, hospitality and manufacturing, while reviewing government policies that have positively impacted the country’s investment climate.

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By Paul Ongeto Saddled between Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara region is the Kingdom of Morocco, the 5th largest African economy by GDP and one of the only three monarchies in Africa. A constitutional monarchy, Morocco has a predictable and relatively a stable political environment. Coupled with its relatively open economy and a strategic location, the Maghreb nation is a low risk investment destination. Additionally, it's sound economic management in recent years has yielded strong growth and investment grade status, attracting investors from Europe seeking to have a foothold of the African market and those from China seeking to leverage the vibrant European-African trade. Focus Economics analysts project the economy of the country to expand 4.6% in 2021, a strong testament to the country’s resilience amid a pandemic and the country’s growing importance as an economic powerhouse.



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A combination of geographical conditions, coupled with close proximity to key European

markets, has made Morocco a regional leader in agriculture in the Maghreb region. The sector is central to Morocco’s economy, contributing over 11% of the country’s GDP and employing 34% of national employment and nearly 74% of jobs in rural areas. The sector has, however, not achieved its full potential, as it suffers from frequent unpredictable weather. Lack of modernization also meant low yields and subsequently low income for farmers. In 2008, Morocco launched the Green Morocco plan (GMP), to make agriculture more resilient by raising the economic value-add of agriculture, increase mechanisation and agroindustrial processing, and reduce vulnerability to climate change. The government aggressively pursued this policy, expanding irrigated areas, increasing number of diversified crops and and putting up larger swathes of arable land for lease to both local and multinational agroprocessing firms. The country has also increased collaboration with Gulf nations, opening up new markets for its agricultural exports and reducing its over-reliance on the European market. A combination of these factors has attracted foreign investments into the country’s agriculture WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

a direct access to the key markets of Europe and Middle East. For Gulf countries, which depend on imports for over 85% of their food requirements, Morocco offers the potential to produce high-quality agricultural goods in a politically stable environment with investmentfriendly regulations. Morocco also consistently ranks among the world's largest producers and exporters of cannabis, an activity that brings in US$2 billion in annual revenues, representing 0.57% of Morocco's GDP. A recent decision by the country’s government to approve a landmark bill that would legalize non-recreational uses of marijuana also creates potential for a further burgeoning of the industry that investors can tap into.


sector. The government estimates that as at 2018, a total of 104 Billion MAD (US$11.59 billion) had been pumped into the sector, 60% of which came from private sources. Abu Dhabi-based agro food conglomerate Al Dahra is one of the companies that came into Morocco as a result of the attractive investment environment created by the GMP. The company signed a partnership agreement with the authorities in 2015 to develop 560 hectares of olive production and in 2017 announced it would invest a further US$15.6m to produce apples and high-value flowers. It also announced that it had secured a MAD55m (US$5.6m) loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to build a processing plant to produce olive oil for export. Overall, the government notes that as a result of the Green Morocco plan, the country’s agricultural GDP has increased annually by 5.25% against 3.8% for the other sectors, creating an additional added value of 47 billion MAD (US$ 5.2 billion) and about 42,000 permanent jobs. With the GMP still active, Morocco promises investment-friendly regulations, a varying geography that allows agro-industrial investors to diversify production across the year, and WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

Morocco is a world-renowned tourist destination, attracting more tourists than any other country in Africa. The country’s beautiful and unspoiled coastline, vast swathes of desert, and a unique cultural heritage attract millions of visitors to the Maghreb nation every year. In 2019, Morocco attracted 13 million visitors, making it the second most visited tourist destination in Africa after Egypt. The record tourist arrivals increased the country’s revenue from the activity to US$9.1 billion or 7.1% of the national GDP. After making a name for itself as one of Africa’s top tourist destination, Morocco has its eyes set on becoming one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world, aiming to attract more than 20 million tourists annually. It also wants to

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Morocco has its eyes set on becoming one of the top 20 tourist destinations in the world, aiming to attract more than 20 million tourists annually.





raise its revenue from the MAD 81 billion to over MAD 140 billion. To achieve this, Morocco has set out a series of policies that aim to diversify its feeder markets by attracting visitors from newer countries like China, while regaining the trust of traditional markets. It is also providing new financing solutions to the hotel industry and embarking on an effective marketing strategy to sell the country as a top tourist destination. The country’s strategy is already bearing some fruits. Visa relaxation for Chinese citizens led to the number of Chinese tourists rising to 180,000 in 2018, from 42,000 in 2016. Morocco wants to raise this figure to 500,000 in the next few years. The government’s tourism strategy has also attracted new hotel brands to Morocco, further promoting the country as an attractive tourism destination, according to Naziha Bagui, from JLL’s Hotel & Hospitality Group, Middle East and North Africa (MENA). There is a strong pipeline of new hotels into the country, with



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Royal Al Mansour due to re-open in Casablanca by 2021 while JW Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn are scheduled to open in Casablanca in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Just as the plan to put Morocco on the world map as a top tourist destination was getting unerway, the Covid-19 pandemic struck, almost bringing the country’s tourism to a standstill. Not giving up on its goals, it is working to revive the sector, which contributes over 51% of the GDP of the service sector and employs 25% of the nation’s population. For the financial year 2021, it plans to spend over US$58.33 million in reviving the country’s tourism sector while modernisation of the airports of Rabat, Casablanca and Nador will continue. The Government is also planning to increase both quantity and quality of hotel supply coming years, so there are real opportunities for both foreign and local developers as well as hotel operators, notes Bagui. Morocco is also home to several unbranded properties, which are not compliant with international standards, offering brands the chance to partner with owners, take over properties, and increase the quality of the country’s hotel stock. Unspoiled coastlines, vast swathes of deser, and a unique cultural heritage in Morocco’s three southern provinces that support the development of a sustainable tourism industry, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence. It goes on to add that the region lags behind others in terms of site development and accommodation, something which potential investors seeking to have a piece of Morocco’s tourism market can tap into. However, the uncertainty around Covid-19 continues to frustrate Morocco’s hopes of reviving its tourism sector this spring. Hotels are urging an extension of state support until June 2021, including tax exemptions until 2022. “Tourism is at a standstill,” said Faouzi Zemrani, Vice President of the national tourism companies’ federation, adding that the sector may not recover until 2024.


Morocco is home to one of the most thriving industrial sectors in the Africa. Its automotive industry is unmatched anywhere in the continent, while its robust pharmaceutical sector is second only to South Africa. Morocco was however not an industrial powerhouse two decades ago: it took two industrialization policies to create a business environment that attracted investors into the country’s manufacturing sector. The first policy - the 2009-2015 National Pact for Industrial Emergence (PNEI) - established WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

the foundations for the development of the Moroccan industry. Under the policy, it created new industrial parks and offered fiscal incentives such a tax exemptions during the first five years of operations and a reduced rate of 8.75% over the following 25 years, to spur investment into the country’s industrial parks. The country also created specialised training institutes such as the Moroccan Aerospace Institute (IMA), to improve the quality of human resource required by the highly skilled industries that it was targeting. With a conducive business environment created, major automotive companies started setting up shop in Morocco’s industrial cities. Renault was among the earliest to arrive, investing US$1.5b in 2013 to build a factory with an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles. Major aerospace company Bombadier, which set up its wing component plant in Morocco the same year, soon followed it. Other manufacturers, mainly suppliers of automotive parts also flocked to Morocco further expanding the sector. US-based Delphi opened its third factory specialising in car wiring in the Atlantic Free Zone of Kenitra in (when?), Spain’s Grupo Antolin opened a second manufacturing unit at the end of 2014 in Tangiers specialised in sewing car seat covers, while German Leoni invested €7.5m in a new automotive wiring factory in Berrechid in October 2014. By 2014, PNEI had expanded the country’s


automotive sector, placing the industry, for the first time, as the kingdom’s leading exporter, rivalling phosphates, agriculture and textiles. That year, automotive exports amounted to US$5.12 billion, while the number of people employed had risen to 80,000. To consolidate the country’s achievement under PNEI, Morocco unveiled the Industrial Acceleration Plan (PAI) in 2015 targeting the development of six key export industries, including aeronautics, auto-industry, agroindustry, offshoring, textiles and pharmaceuticals. Under PAI, the country has been able to attract even more investment into the manufacturing sector. The automotive sector has been the biggest beneficiary, attracting new major automakers in the names of PSA Group (now Stellantis) and Volkswagen. PSA committed to Morocco in 2015 and in 2019 started production at its US$663 million facility in Kenitra. Renault also gradually increased its production capacity under the incentives provided by PAI and today produces over 400,000 vehicles at its two facilities in the country. The sector also became one of the prime generators of employment, creating almost 117,000 jobs between 2014 and 2018 – representing 28.8% of all new jobs over that period, according to figures from the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy. PAI also achieved another milestone in

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By setting the right policies, incentives and conditions for foreign direct investment, Morocco has been able to set itself apart as a top agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing hub in Africa.



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2016 when the Kingdom signed a deal with Boeing to attract the aircraft maker’s suppliers into Morocco. Under the agreement known as the “Boeing Ecosystem”, the US aircraft maker committed to bring around 120 suppliers of the company into Morocco. Reuters reports that the deal could raise Morocco’s aeronautics exports by US$1 billion and create 8,700 jobs. Boeing already has a joint venture with France’s Safran in the country to build wire bundles and harnesses for aircraft makers, including Boeing and Airbus. As at 2020, Morocco had 142 companies in the aeronautics sector making equipment that cumulatively comprise of 38% of an aircraft. According to the Moroccan Minister of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, “each commercial plane that flies in the skies of our planet carries with it at least one part machined in Morocco.” As the industry expands, Joshua Cobb, an automotive analyst at Fitch Solutions who studies the African market, believes that Morocco is still a very attractive destination for manufacturing. Part of that competitiveness is due to the low cost of labor in Morocco, which analysts say is about 25 percent that of the nearest European country, Spain, where the average auto worker's wage was 26 euros an hour in 2020, according to Eurostat. Generous incentives and policies that support investment, free-trade zones and a new roll-on/roll-off port facility in Tangier are the other three factors which raise Morocco’s profile as a preferred manufacturing hub, according to Cobb. Opportunity particularly exists for automotive industry suppliers as the country’s two auto makers Renault and Stellantis plan to ramp up their production. Stellantis has plans to double annual capacity to 200,000 vehicles at Kenitra before 2023, while Renault is reported to consider raising its capacity to 500,000 in the near future. PSA sources 60% of its raw materials from

local suppliers and plans to raise this to 100% in the near future, creating new opportunities for automotive industry suppliers. Moreover, as a result of the pandemic, key automotive manufacturers in Europe could consider regional relocations from Asia to the Mediterranean basin countries, such as Morocco and Egypt to shorten supply chain routes, according to a policy paper issued by the Moroccan Institute of Strategic Intelligence. Given its highly developed automotive infrastructure, a crop of highly skilled workers, and attractive government incentives, Morocco is clearly better positioned to attract new players, further developing the manufacturing eco-system, increasing competition, and creating more jobs for Moroccans. Morocco’s traditional industry segments of textile and pharmaceuticals industries have however not been as fortunate and have experienced slower growth in recent years. Consequently, the Kingdom has set up the Industrial Development Fund (FDI) to help jump start their growth. The US$2.81 billion fund aims to substitute the country’s need for imported goods, while incentivising the transition of businesses from the informal to the formal sector.


By setting the right policies, incentives and conditions for foreign direct investment, Morocco has been able set itself apart as a top agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing hub in Africa. The country has been able to attract some of the world’s largest manufacturing companies such as Boeing, Renault, and PSA and integrate them into an efficient ecosystem characterised by industrial and special economic zones that grant producers easy access to government services and a network of suppliers. Expansion of infrastructure, the Tangier-Med port in particular has also made it more convenient to do business in Morocco. Additionally, Morocco has signed free trade agreements with up to 56 countries further expanding the market horizons of potential investors. The recently inaugurated US$1 trillion African continental free trade area is also expected to open up opportunities for investors setting base in Morocco. All in all, Morocco has set itself apart as the premier investment destination in Africa. Any investor seeking opportunities in Africa should seriously consider the Maghreb country. For African technocrats, Morocco is a model of how African countries can build a robust and competitive manufacturing industry.







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The East African island of Zanzibar is one of the most outstanding and stunning tourist destinations in Africa. With long stretches of sandy beaches and other attractions, the island's deep history offers any traveller breathtaking views and a travel down history lane than any other. We review why it is worthwhile for you to take your next holiday at this marvelous location JUNE 2021




By Catherine Wanjiku Zanzibar Island, an exquisite jewel set at the India Ocean, offers a kaleidoscope of sights, smells, tastes and experiences that will feed your soul, rejuvenate your body and reawaken your creativity as you immerse yourself in the ultimate beach and leisure experience. The magic of Zanzibar is that it is a multifaceted destination. Other than offering a unique blend of idyllic beaches, the Island will intrigue you with its superlative history, cultural diversity, tasty cuisine, exotic spices, water sports and rich flora and fauna. The Zanzibar Island, also known as Unguja, is by far the largest and most famous of the islands that make up the Zanzibar Archipelago, which is also comprises of the Pemba Island and other small isles, together giving nature lovers, culture vultures, and adventurers a slice of heaven. It is important to note that this tropical paradise is a remarkable amalgamation of the many travellers that passed through it for centuries. Arabs, Indians, Persians, European and even a trace of Chinese, each left an indelible mark in the form of architectural styles and culture that now contribute to its charm. Many people combine a Zanzibar tour with Maasai Mara and Serengeti Safaris, the perfect cherry at the top of the cake. However, as a stand-alone holiday package, Zanzibar gives every traveller an experience of a life-time. Pour yourself a glass of cold mocktail, as here begins the voyage through Zanzibar!


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The main centre of attraction at this dreamy gate-away is its picturesque beaches with soft white sand, shimmering turquoise blue waters and palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze. This is perfect for anyone who simply wants to enjoy a relaxing beach vacation, stretching out on a quaint sisal daybed or getting rocked to sleep in a hammock strung between two palm trees, as the sounds of the gentle waves twirling and the rustling of the trees create a serene harmony. In no time the sparkling tepid waters will attract you for a swim. More relaxing is the walks along the powdery beaches, especially after the tide goes out, giving you a chance to spot the tiny marine creatures stranded in pools of water, waiting for the next tide to come in. To make your stay even more comfortable, the Island has accommodation that ranges from luxury beachfront cottages to exclusive boutique hotels and pastoral chalets that are entirely constructed with naturally occurring materials. They are all characterized by exquisite décor with a touch of the native style, opulent living spaces, sumptuous cuisine and a host of facilities such as a private plunge pool, elegant spa, library, patio gardens, infinity pools and much more, enabling you to revel in the utmost comfort and pampering.


You will have short-changed your stay at the Zanzibar if you don’t take a walk through the


cobbled streets of the Island’s old quarter, Stone Town. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Stone Town is an incredible mash-up of winding alleys and old Arabic-style buildings where history whispers to you as you wander through it. With every turn through the narrow labyrinth streets, you temporarily lose yourself in its magic as it unravels its captivating historical monuments. This ancient metropolis where most of the houses date back more than 150 years has preserved traces of most historical events that occurred in it. The Anglican and Catholic churches remind you of the colonial advent on the island while the mosques, Omani palaces, the old fort and cannons talk to you of the yesteryear Sultan’s statehood presence. The intricate carved doors and latticed windows bring to mind the Swahili essence of the island while the fresh spices selling in the stalls talk of the island's ancient significance on the spice route. Power has changed hands numerous times over the years; the Portuguese, Arabs, Sultans of Oman and English have all had their influence on this unique and fascinating town. Some of the sites to visit at this old town with grand storey buildings crafted with coral limestone include Forodhani Park, Darajani Bazaar, and Fruit, Spice and Food Market. More of the Island’s history is tacked in the museums for the purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, respect and sustainable utilization of these resources. Some of the mustsee museums include Palace Museum, Zanzibar WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

National Museum of History & Culture (House of Wonders) and Peace Memorial Museum. Further to that, the Island also houses historically important buildings such as the Hamamni Persian Baths, Kidichi Persian Baths, Mangapwani Slave Chamber, Anglican Cathedral, Old Dispensary, Old Fort, Livingstone House, Kizimkazi Mosque, St. Joseph's Cathedral and Maruhubi Palace Ruins.


The Zanzibar holiday is a sensory experience par excellence. Other than site seeing, travellers get to take part in spice tours. This offers one a first row sit to observe the cultivation of myriad of spices such as cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. that have made the island famous since time immemorial. This is an explorative learning opportunity as one is able to learn about the process and history of these crops, their medicinal and culinary uses. Combined with the aromas and delicious blend of flavours in the farm, touring the spice farms is a blissful experience. Other than spice farming, the locals also engaged in seaweed cultivation. One needs to add a visit to the Seaweed Center in Paje to their itinerary and learn about the fascinating sustainable work they are doing by training women in seaweed farming.


In its secret bag of treasures is the vast and scenic spread of green: the Jozani Forest Reserve, home to many indigenous varieties of flora JUNE 2021


The Zanzibar Island, also known as Unguja, is by far the largest and most famous of the islands that make up the Zanzibar Archipelago, which also comprises of the Pemba Island and other small isles.




The Zanzibar International Film Festival is the largest cultural event that takes place in June and July to celebrate the arts and cultures of the African continent, the Gulf States, Iran, India, Pakistan and the islands of the Indian Ocean


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and fauna including the Zanzibari Red Colobus Monkey, one of the rarest primates in Africa. This reserve was designated as a protected area in the 1960s and thanks to its establishment, the endangered red colobus monkeys are slowly recovering from the brink of extinction. Other species that you might catch a glimpse of at the forest include Blue Sykes’ Monkeys, Bush Pigs, Bush babies, Aders Duiker Antelopes, Elephant Shrews, Chameleons and numerous birds, among many others. Neighbouring the forest, forming eastern boundaries for the reserve is the Uzi and Chwaka Bays and the mangrove forests, a perfect habitats for diverse marine life like turtles, crabs, mollusks and more. Also next to the Jozani Forest is a magical garden, Zanzibar Butterfly Centre, the largest butterfly enclosure in East Africa. Here one is able to see many of Zanzibar's exotic butterfly species and witness, close up, every stage of their amazing life cycle.


As you will appreciate when traveling in Zanzibar, it is not a single island, but an archipelago made up of many small and large islands, offering a range of thrilling customizable activities aside from Stone Town, Spice Farm and the nature trail at Jozani. Pemba, the archipelago's second largest landmass, ranks among the world's best dive sites thanks to its pristine coral reefs, warmish waters and visibility between 20 and 40 metres. Just like Pemba, Mafia Island, a classic off-thebeaten-track tropical island also has amazing diving sites. But it is the underwater marine realm that is captivatingly beautiful. As you slip into the blue waters, you will enter a paradise illuminated only by the sunshine filtering down. It lights up the many hues of the living coral and the multicolored diversity of pelagic, demersal and coral fish denizens. One can snorkel at the Mnemba or Chumbe Islands. Another unforgettable experience is the spotting of the schools of bottle-nosed or humpback dolphins in the crystal clear waters of Zanzibar. It is at the Prison Island where one gets a

fascinating glimpse into the island’s slightly dark past. This land was once used as a place where slaves were detained and, when slavery was abolished, it functioned as a camp where people with deadly diseases were sent. Fortunately enough that is all in the past and today the island is a nature reserve for giant tortoises and a place to see the ruins that once functioned as the prison. Other distinct water excursions one can take part in are fishing, quad biking, yachting, jet skiing, fly-boarding, water-skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, kayaking, kitesurfing and many more.


Zanzibar has a few interesting festivals – Zanzibar Beach & Water sports festival, a three day annual festival celebrating beach life, culture and music; Sauti za Busara, a three -day cultural extravaganza taking place every February, showcasing a diversity of performing arts which are all rooted in Swahili language and traditions; Zanzibar Cultural Day, takes place at 19th of July in each year, marked by cultural dances, road shows, Taarab Performances, exhibitions, art and craft and the likes; Mwaka Kogwa, a fourday festival held in July to mark Nairuzim - the Shirazi New Year; and Jahazi, a Jazz and Literary festival usually in September. The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) is the largest cultural event that takes place in June and July. The festival celebrates the arts and cultures of the African continent, the Gulf States, Iran, India, Pakistan and the islands of the Indian Ocean, collectively known as the Dhow countries. People from across the African continent participate in these gatherings seeing a crosssection of cultures, ages and backgrounds celebrating together. Sources: Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, African Mecca Safaris, The Culture Trip, Go2Africa



MONUMENTS The Island also houses historically important buildings such as:-

Anglican cathedral Forodhani Park - Forodhani is a popular

food market where people get to indulge in the tantalising variety of culinary delights - from fresh fish cooked on open fires to Lobster Thermidor, spiced and served with traditional flavours and twists. Other most popular cuisines are Pilau, Biryan, Zanzibar mix (Urojo), among many others.

Darajani Bazaar - Spending some time walking around the Darajani market is a fantastic way to learn about the culture of Zanzibar and to observed local lifestyle. Here one can buy exquisitely carved artefacts, beautiful jewellery, incredibly distinct traditional clothing from kitenge to Swahili dresses and so much more.

Fruit, Spice and Food Market - The Fruit, Spice

and Food Market, built in 1904, is a good place for shopping and sightseeing. It is an attractive place full of fresh farm produced, but the most evocative products are the scented spices and seafood. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

Hamamni Persian Baths - Built by sultan Said Barghash in the late 19th century, the Hamamni Persian Baths were the first public baths in Zanzibar. Although they are no longer functioning, they are maintained in near-perfect condition.

Kidichi Persian Baths - The Persian Baths at Kidichi are located northeast of Stone Town, in the main plantation area of the island. They were built in 1850 by Sultan Said who owned land nearby, so that he could refresh after his excursions in the farm.

Mangapwani Slave Chamber - The Mangapwani Slave Chamber is about 20 Kilometers North of Stone Town. It was built around 1880 from the cave and connected to the seaside 2kms away. It was an important transit point for the captured slaves to be sold to the outside world. JUNE 2021

- The Anglican cathedral Christ Church is a landmark historical church in Stone Town, Zanzibar as well as one of the most prominent examples of early Christian architecture in East Africa. The church occupies a large area where the biggest slave market of Zanzibar used to be; the construction of the cathedral was in fact intended to celebrate the end of slavery.

Old Dispensary (now known as the Stone Town Cultural Centre) is a grand four story building with a set of decorative balconies. Built in 1894 by Tharia Thopen, one of Zanzibar's richest men to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It served as a dispensary during colonial times but fell in 1970’s. AFRICA INC.




Zanzibar Town, just a few steps from the beach. The palace was built by Sultan Barghash, the third Arab sultan of Zanzibar, between 1880 -1882. Sultan Barghash used the palace to house his wife and up to 100 concubines, while he himself lived in a separate palace in Zanzibar Town. Maruhubi Palace was destroyed by a fire in 1899, leaving few remains including the large stone columns which had once supported a large wooden balcony that circumnavigated the upper floor.

Old Fort - The Arab Fort (Old Fort) was built


between 1698 and 1701 by the Busaidi group of Omani Arabs. It is a large building with high, dark brown walls topped by castellated battlements. The Arabs used the fort to defend themselves against the Portuguese and against a rival Omani group. In recent years it has been partially renovated to house the Zanzibar Cultural Centre.

More of the Island’s history are tacked in the Museums for the purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, respect and sustainable utilization of these resources. Some of the mustsee Museums include:-

It was built in 1883 as a ceremonial palace for Sultan Barghash and was the first in Zanzibar to have electric light and an electric lift. It hosts a highly interesting exhibition and offers a brilliant insight into Zanzibari and Swahili culture.

Peace Memorial Museum - It was

Livingstone House - David Livingstone is

probably the best-known of all the 19th century European explorers in Africa. The house was built around 1860 by Sultan Majid and is located on the northeast side of Stone Town. It was used by Livingstone and other missionaries and explorers as a starting point for expeditions into eastern and central Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Today, this old building is now the headquarters of Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agricultures (ZNCCIA).

Palace Museum - The palace was built in late

19th century to serve as a residence for the Sultan’s family. After the Zanzibar Revolution, in 1964 it was formally renamed to People's Palace. In 1994, it became a museum about the Zanzibari royal family and history.

Zanzibar National Museum of History & Culture (House of Wonders) - The House of

Maruhubi Palace Ruins - The ruins of Maruhubi Palace are only four kilometers north of 64 AFRICA INC.

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Wonders is a very large square-shaped building, with several stories, surrounded by tiers of pillars and balconies, and topped by a large clock tower.

designed by the British architect J H Sinclair, who also designed the high court, the British residency and several other public buildings around Zanzibar town. The beautiful spherical design of the National Museum acknowledges Zanzibar's Arab influence and is reminiscent of the eastern architecture of Istanbul and India. This magnificent structure houses old and new history books, a selection of archaeological findings, plus records of early trade, slavery, palaces, mosques, sultans, explorers and missionaries, in addition to exhibits of traditional crafts, stamps and coins.





Investments in renewables rise in Africa despite of Covid-19 By Elly Akoko Provision of universal, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy access offers the opportunity to empower the people in Africa to decide the course of their lives through education, health, and economic development. Renewable energy lies at the heart of both the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Advancing to achieve SDG 7 can spur progress across almost all other SDGs including for poverty eradication, gender equality, climate change, food security, health, education, sustainable cities and communities, clean water and sanitation, environment, jobs, innovation, and logistics. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

According to The High Level Platform for Sustainable Energy Investments in Africa (SEI Platform), almost 600 million people will still lack access to electricity in Africa by 2030 in the absence of major changes (representing 90% of the total estimated population without access globally). Moreover, the continent faces an urgent social, economic, and environmental crisis in the lack of access to clean cooking. The clean cooking sector remains stunted, with 900 million people (over 80% of the population) lacking access to clean cooking solutions, including 70% in urban areas. JUNE 2021




Fossil fuels and unsustainable biomass also cause major environmental and climate damage, with an annual deforestation rate of three percent annually, leading to total forest depletion in various zones in sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, Africa has low adaptive capacities and is highly vulnerable to climate change. The negative consequences are impacting across all economic sectors. Investing in renewable generation is therefore key to overcoming some of the challenges. We look into the renewables investments in Africa during the first quarter of 2021.


In Kenya, M-Kopa, a platform which provides digital financial services and solar systems and devices, negotiatiated a US$3 million expansion financing with the Dutch Development Finance Bank (FMO). The proposed facility of US$3

million will add up to its existing facility and allow the company to continue its growth trajectory and provide more products to its customers. On geothermal power generation, Stateowned Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC) secured a US$5 million grant from the African Union (AU) for geothermal exploration of the Paka Geothermal Project in Baringo in Rift Valley, in addition to a US$14.5 million grant from the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Fund (GRMF) for the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility, a risk mitigation facility that was set up in 2012 by the African Union Commission (AUC) for the implementation of the Baringo-Silali geothermal project. A consortium of investors also availed a US$11 million line of credit for SunCulture, a supplier of solar powered irrigation systems based in Nairobi, for the dissemination of its solutions in Africa. The new financial partners 66 AFRICA INC.

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included the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Energy Inclusion Facility (OGEF); Triodos Investment Management, the Danish government’s Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and the investment company AlphaMundi. Still on East Africa’s biggest economy, its second-largest wind power farm in Kenya Kipeto Energy, started feeding electricity to the national grid, after having constructed a 17km (220KV) high-voltage transmission line, linking the wind plant to the national grid. On the other hand, French multinational electric utility company Electricité de France (EDF) bought a 23% stake in Bboxx Kenya, the subsidiary of solar home systems provider Bboxx, an investment that will bring electricity to 2 million Kenyans living in rural areas by 2025. Janus Continental Group (JCG), a conglomerate with businesses in the energy, hospitality, and real estate sectors across three continents, announced an investment of US$13 million in Highview Enterprises Limited, the developer of liquid air longduration energy storage systems, called the CRYOBatter. JCG’s subsidiary, Great Lakes Africa Energy Ltd (GLAE), will license Highview Power’s cryogenic energy storage technology to co-develop large-scale renewable energy generation and storage projects. Back to solar energy, Solar kits company d.light, raised US$11.9 million to power its expansion in Kenya as it eyes a bigger share of the solar energy market. Delhi based d.light design, which provides affordable lighting and power solutions raised the funds from Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, through its capital raising vehicle Brighter Life Kenya 1 Limited (BLK1).

Renewable energy lies at the heart of both the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change.


In Africa’s second biggest economy, financial services group Nedbank received a US$200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, to drive renewable energy projects in South Africa and complement Nedbank’s already well-established green finance operations, grow its climate portfolio, and expand its support of renewable energy projects that are key to the continued evolution of South Africa’s green economy. The Development Bank of Southern Africa WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

(DBSA) launched its first green bond worth US$240 million in its bid to increase its role in climate financing. The bond was issued through a private placement with the French development finance institution, the Agence Française de Développement. French multinational electric utility company ENGIE reached an agreement to acquire a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company owned by Abengoa. The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand. Wrapping up the quarter, ENGIE announced the signing of an agreement with South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation, South African National Energy Development Institute, Anglo American, one of the world’s leading producers of platinum group metals, and Bambili Energy, the clean energy solutions provider, to carry out a feasibility study to create an “Hydrogen Valley” located on the Bushveld.


Kicking off the investments in renewables in West Africa was World Bank that approved an additional financing of US$22.5 million for the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP) to be implemented in 19 countries. The funds, which come from the International Development Association (IDA), a subsidiary of the World Bank, and the Clean Technology Funds (CTF), are for the ROGEP, which will increase access to electricity in 19 countries in West and Central Africa. Investments company Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) provided US$34.59 million to Burkina


Faso to support the construction of 30MW solar plant, which will supply national grid. In Nigeria, Havenhill Synergy Limited, a Nigerian clean-tech company that deploys renewable energy solutions, secured US$4.6 million from Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NDIF) to build 22 solar mini-grids in rural Nigeria. The financing was obtained through a fund raising in which Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NDIF) is the sole participant. Part of the funds allocated by the NDIF was injected by the African Development Bank (AfDB). These minigrids will connect 70,000 people along with other establishments in the host communities to clean, reliable energy supply. Still on Africa’s biggest economy, The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) also supported access to renewable energy for Nigerian manufacturers with US$84.35m under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) Nigeria Programme for renewable energy. The fund would be administered through the Access Bank Plc and the United Bank for Africa Plc. Starsight Energy, a Helios-backed solar power solutions firm, also obtained a US$10 million financing that would enlarge its current senior debt facility in a bid to scale up its generation capacity and services in the Nigerian and Ghanaian markets. The on-grid and off-grid energy services provider would have its existing debt with Finnfund and Oslo-based Norfund – two European development financiers with interest in developing countries – increased by 100 per cent to US$20 million. Similarly, Daystar Power, a provider of hybrid solar power solutions to businesses in West Africa, announced a Series B investment of US$38 million led by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), the Danish development finance institution (DFI). With the fundraise, Daystar Power will grow its operations in its key markets of Nigeria and Ghana, while deepening its presence in other regional countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Togo. In Sierra – Leone, Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited, Ghana’s biggest Independent Power Producer, announced plans to expand to Sierra Leonne with a solar power plant in Freetown. The giant power producer is planning to deploy a 20MWp-50MWp Solar PV plant in one year and another 160MW to be known as Benkongor Hydro plant in four years. Total investment cost for the two projects is about US$700million. In Cote D’ivoire, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU) signed a financial agreement with the General

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Confederation of Businesses in Ivory Coast (CGECI) to offer technical assistance for US$1.97 million renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for Ivorian companies. AFD plans to support Ivorian companies in their projects to acquire renewable energy and energy efficiency systems. The bank will participate in financing their green projects through the Sunref program. AFD’s green financing label aims to work with local banks for green growth in low-income countries.




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In North African nation of Egypt, The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved US$27.2 million in loan financing for the design, construction, and operation of a 200MW photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant at Kom Ombo, in Upper Egypt on the river Nile. The project, whose estimated cost is at US$156.4 million is expected to lower electricity costs for businesses and residences, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating construction and other jobs. In addition to the Bank’s financing, structured as a senior loan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Arab Bank and the OPEC Fund for International Development will contribute funding. Still in Egypt, The Arab African International Bank (AAIB), signed a new long-term loan agreement worth US$12.73m with Libra Capital, a subsidiary of Enara Group to finance its renewable energy projects. The loan, which will cover a period of up to 10 years, will help the Enara Group subsidiary finance its projects in Egypt, in the field of developing, constructing, and operating solar power stations. Infinity, a leading renewables energy solutions provider, also announced its aim to launch over 300 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2023 in Egypt and plans to invest

around US$19 million to reach this milestone. The company already has an existing network of over 40 charging stations with more than 150 charging points.


Still in North Africa, Morocco’s Société d’Ingénierie Energétique (SIE) secured a US$965,000 grant from The African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) to support its transition into the first Super Energy Service Company (ESCO) initiative in Africa. As a Super ESCO, the SIE will be able to overcome many of the challenges in scaling up energy efficiency investments. It will also open market opportunities for local ESCOs, offer quality assurance support and build their reputation among end-users and investors. Still in Morocco, The Institute for Research in Solar Energy and Renewable Energies (IRESEN) launched construction works for a research centre in Benguerir, central Morocco that will be dedicated to smart grids. The project is the fruit of a partnership with Mohammed VI Polytechnique University (UM6P) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Similarly, Moroccan electric and water utility ONEE signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a consortium formed by Italy’s Enel Green Power and Moroccan energy company Nareva Holding related to the 270-MW Jbel Lahdid wind farm that the duo will build in the North African kingdom. ONEE said that the wind project would mobilise an investment of around US$4317.1m.


Back to Sub-Saharan Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nuru, a developer of hybrid solar off-grids, obtained US$1.2m from Proparco, the subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) group responsible for financing the private sector, to deploy its off-grid solutions in several provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company aims to electrify 5 million people by 2024 in the DRC provinces of North Kivu, Maniema, Ituri, Haute Uélé and Kasaï. Nuru has already commissioned a 1.33 MW hybrid solar power plant, one of the largest offgrid power generation facilities on the African continent. According to Proparco, its investment will accompany not only the development of Nuru, but also the DRC’s energy transition and in particular the UN’s SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy for All) initiative, which aims to ensure universal WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

access to modern energy services and to double the share of renewable energies in the energy mix by 2030. Meanwhile, Canadian leading supplier of mobile and broadband wireless infrastructure solutions NuRAN has signed a contract with Orange to build a network for it and other operators in the DRC. Under the deal, Québecbased NuRAN will build 2,000 new solarpowered towers over the next 40 months throughout DRC, serving up to 10 million people. NuRAN put the value of the contract at up to US$395 million and the company confirmed it will be “partnering with Orange DRC and various multi-network operators” in a network-as-aservice (NaaS) arrangement.


In Uganda, Winch Energy in partnership with NEoT Off-Grid Africa, a platform set up by Electricité de France (EDF), Mitsubishi and Meridiam, set up a financing vehicle dubbed Winch Energy Holdings (WIPP) dedicated to the financing of its green mini grid projects in Africa. The new mechanism has already mobilised US$16 million for the realisation of 49 Winch Energy mini grid projects in Uganda and Sierra Leone. International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and HSBC Asset Management announced the final closing of the HSBC Real Economy Green Investment Opportunity GEM Bond Fund (REGIO), boosting access to climate finance and helping further develop the market for green bonds. REGIO, the first green bond fund focused on well-diversified climate-smart investments in “real economy” issuers in emerging market countries, closed with total investor commitments of US$538 million following further investment from two European investors. The aim of the fund is to help these economies in their transition to a low-carbon future by further increasing access to climate finance and promoting the development of sustainable capital markets through a broader range of issuers. Similarly, The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), launched a US$1.2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale. Not to be left behind is The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which announced the approval of additional WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

funding for the next phase of its successful large-scale partnership with the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The US$497 million fund will support thousands of individual investments in technologies that reduce emissions and enhance resilience to climate change. The new extension will help maintain momentum and continue scaling up gender-responsive green financing. It is estimated that the latest extension will avoid CO2 emissions of 800,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to retiring 125 MW of coalfired electricity generation capacity. Investment company SunFunder, a specialist in solar energy, also completed the financial mobilisation for its Solar Energy Transformation (SET) fund worth US$70 million. The multi-investor fund has been closed thanks to an investment by Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB). The SET Fund was launched by SunFunder with the aim of accelerating the electrification process in Africa and this financing mechanism has attracted many other investors like Swedfund, which injected US$12 million in September 2020. Ending the first quarter was The U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Shell Foundation, which signed a partnership to strengthen their investments in renewable energy in Africa and Asia to the tune of US$145 million by 2025. The two partners are thus committed to mobilising the resources to support the African private sector, particularly small electricity producers, who install clean energy systems in rural areas. As part of the partnership, DFC is committed to providing US$100 million in debt and equity to support early-stage companies. During the quarter too, The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) launched a US$1.2 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities. The fund is aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as securing financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale. The European Union (EU) also committed US$23.89m to Climate Investor Two (CI2), the second facility under the management of Climate Fund Managers (CFM), to expand the EU’s support for sustainable infrastructure in climate change adaptation sectors across global emerging markets. The investment in CI2 channelled through the EU’s partner bank, the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and is the second CFM-managed facility to receive a commitment from the EU, joining the renewable energy focused Climate Investor One (CI1) which also benefitted from EU support.

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Mozambique: On the path to becoming a global natural gas player

By Elly Akoko



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With eight planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects containing a total liquefaction capacity of 44 million tonnes, sub-Saharan Africa is set to become a regional leader in LNG production and export, accounting for 8% of potential global capacity by the mid-2020s. The Southern African nation of Mozambique has emerged as an LNG hotspot on the continent and is anticipated to become one of the top ten LNG producers globally by 2027, anchored by two offshore large-scale developments in the Ruvuma Basin. Oil & Gas Journal reports that Mozambique holds 100 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven natural gas reserves, which makes it the third-largest holder of proven natural gas reserves in Africa after Nigeria and Algeria. In 2018, Mozambique produced 212 billion cubic feet (BCF) and exported 148 billion BCF of natural gas mostly to South Africa, making it a small producer of natural gas, but substantial natural gas deposits discovered in Area 1 and Area 4 of Mozambique’s deep-water Rovuma Basin, which lies off the northern coast of the country, could transform the country into a significant LNG exporter. The Rovuma Basin is a coastal basin situated near the border of Mozambique and Tanzania and extends approximately 31,000 square miles,

with most of Mozambique’s recent natural gas exploration occurring in Area 1 and Area 4 of the Rovuma Basin. U.S.-based Anadarko Petroleum, which was acquired by Occidental Petroleum, led exploration activities in Area 1 before Francebased Total S.A secured Anadarko’s share (26.5%) of the LNG project in September 2019. American oil and gas giant ExxonMobil, Japanbased Mitsui, and South-Africa based Sasol also operate in the Basin.


A US$15.8 billion final investment decision (FID) was secured to finance the Rovuma LNG project from a consortium of export credit agencies and 20 commercial banks in 2019. The United States Export-Import (EXIM) bank was the largest lender in the group, providing a US$4.7 billion loan for the project. The FID was to be implemented in 2020, but was put on hold until 2021 because of the effect the COVID-19 mitigation efforts have had on oil prices. In July 2020, Japan’s Nippon Export, and Investment Insurance (NEXI) announced plans to provide loan insurance for the Rovuma LNG offshore project. The US$2 billion, 18-year


A new Westwood Global Energy study has shown a potential US$65 billion worth of stalled oil and gas resources globally, with the largest volume of stalled gas found in the RuvumaRufiji basin


instrument will cover political and credit risks for the Area 1 block. However, Mozambique’s advances in the LNG industry have been hampered by repeated militant attacks in Cabo Delgado, the northern most province of the country, by Islamic militants. Since March 2020, militants have twice targeted Mocimboa da Praia, a port town not far from Total’s LNG project; with the latest insurgent attacks in the port town of Palma, which displaced and led to the deaths of scores of people, the most lethal. With the discovery of over 180 TCF of natural gas reserves in the Rovuma basin by Texas-based Anadarko (Area 1) and Italian firm ENI (Area 4), Mozambique is expected to become a major exporter of LNG by 2023. With the mobilised resources, Anadarko will build an LNG plant to process the gas they discovered in Area 1 after it selected a joint venture of developers that includes McDermott (USA), Saipem (Italy) and Chiyoda (Japan) to construct the Afungi LNG Park valued at US$ 25-30 billion. Anadarko expects to conclude several sales and purchase agreements (SPA) by the end of 2021 for the LNG after they announced their final investment decision in June 2019 in the amount of US$ 25 billion during the US-Africa Doing Business Summit Conference. This is a major investment for Mozambique and the first of such value in the entire African continent. On June 1, 2017, ENI announced the final investment decision amounting to US$ 8 billion for the construction of six subsea wells connected to a Floating Liquified Natural Gas (FLNG) production facility in Area 4, which is due for completion in mid-2022. The Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract was officially awarded to a consortium composed of TechnipFMC, JGC, and Samsung Heavy Industries. Furthermore, in 2018, ExxonMobil acquired from ENI a 25% indirect interest in the Area 4 block. As part of this agreement, ENI will lead all upstream operations, and ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of liquefaction facilities onshore to be located in the Afungi LNG Park. Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute also awarded four concessions for petroleum exploration and production in offshore blocks in the Angoche and Zambezi Basins and in onshore blocks in the Mozambique Basin to four separate consortiums led by ExxonMobil, Sasol, ENI and Delonex Energy (U.K.). However, none of the operators have started exploration or production activities, as agreements are still under negotiation with the government.


In 2020, the Mozambique Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Area 1 Project and the African Development Bank (AfDB) jointly received the prestigious Global Multilateral Deal of the Year 2020 award by the print and online publication Project Finance International (PFI). The project, the single largest foreign direct investment in Africa to date with a value of more than US$24 billion, will exploit Mozambique’s immense offshore natural gas reserves, which can potentially transform global energy markets. The project is implemented by an international consortium of energy developers and operators led by Total as the operator of the project and includes Mitsui, Oil India, Bharat Petroleum, PTTEP, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Mozambique’s national oil and gas company, Empresa Nacionalde Hidrocarbonetos (ENH). Additionally, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi was selected as Africa Oil & Power’s “Person of the Year” for 2020 by Africa Oil & Power 2020 for his leadership in bringing these mega natural gas projects to fruition, providing vital investment security to close several multibillion-dollar deals. There is no doubt, the natural gas projects will transform Mozambique, bringing progress and prosperity to the entire country and placing Mozambique at the forefront of a global natural gas revolution.


A new Westwood Global Energy study has shown a potential US$65 billion worth of stalled oil and gas resources globally, with the largest volume of stalled gas found in the Ruvuma-Rufiji basin of Mozambique and Tanzania. This oil and gas, potentially, worth more than US$65 billion and costing an estimated US$24bn to discover, represents 40% of the volume found in high impact discoveries in the period. The study shows where these resources are located, why are they stranded and how big an opportunity they represent. The largest volume of stalled gas is in the Ruvuma-Rufiji basin of Mozambique and Tanzania where 166 trillion cubic feet (TCF) was discovered between 2010 and 2015 and yet only 38 TCF has shown any sign of progression and 128 TCF of gas remains stalled. Mozambique is hoping that LNG projects such as Total’s will transform one of the world’s poorest countries and catapult it to being a major global exporter of the fuel.

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Supply Chain Decarbonization: What Corporations Must Consider New research published earlier this year shows how tackling supply chain emissions can be a game-changer in the worldwide battle against climate change. Net-Zero Challenge: The Supply Chain Opportunity from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group looks at the top eight worldwide supply chains that produce more than 50% of global greenhouse (GHG) emissions. They find that several corporations can multiply their climate impact by focusing on supply chain decarbonization. On the other hand, even leading corporations struggle to set clear goals and standards for their suppliers and get the data they need. How best can corporations build a meaningful pathway to deep decarbonization within their supply chains?


The term “decarbonization” is used to represent the process of reducing and removing the carbon dioxide, or CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent, meaning, all 7 greenhouse gases included), output from a country’s economy. The most common way this is done is by decreasing the amount of CO2e released from active industries within each economy - including but not limited to utilities, transportation, consumer goods, construction, and materials.


The first step every corporation should take to get a handle on supply chain emissions is to gain a complete view of what those emissions are. The GHG Protocol’s Scope 3 Standard provides corporations with a methodology that can be used to account for and report carbon emissions from companies of all sectors, worldwide. Corporations should consider building a detailed view of emissions with supplier-specific data to set


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ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions. You can take control of your supply chain’s carbon emissions by performing a carbon inventory. You should be able to compare emissions sources and resource consumption together with quickly identifying trends and patterns. Ensure you can aggregate, sort, and filter your emissions data to manage risk better and help/support suppliers to find deep decarbonization opportunities.


Corporations should consider exploring historical activity data to project emissions as their business grows and changes, creating forecast baselines they can use to monitor progress. Establishing a comprehensive emissions baseline for your corporation is vital. Baselines are built according to business growth, and you can combine these with supply chain emissions with different levels of detail, to generate multiple baselines according to additional premises. Use granular data to analyze suppliers that contribute the most significant emissions. Emerging software can help corporations easily match procurement data with environmentally extended input/output factors, building a highlevel picture of their supply chain’s overall carbon footprint. Corporations can also leverage predictive analytics on resource consumption and emissions trends to gain better insight and business intelligence.


Corporations should consider engaging diverse partners in their supply chain in a meaningful way, assisting them in a value-based exchange of emissions data. Work towards a flexible data collection process to move away from generic data sources and create custom emissions factors that you can track with ease. Collaboration is crucial, and we know supply chain emissions data can be messy. By automating data

collection, corporations can consolidate, analyze and organize data from various sources quickly and easily, leading to more accountable reporting and better decision making.


Corporations should look to optimize their carbon emissions strategy through scenario and sensitivity analysis and enhanced risk management for deep supply chain decarbonization. Intelligent, data-driven scenario analysis can future-proof your corporation and your supply chain, with a heightened understanding of your projected deep decarbonization pathways. Accurate and precise data can show which assets of the corporation are most at risk. Explore any reduction opportunities that exist and what costpositive opportunities may be worth investing in, in the long-term. Suppliers that go over the same type of analysis, will ultimately reduce their scope 1 and 2, which will reflect back to their buyers’ scope 3. The overall approach helps everyone in the supply chain to reduce emissions, with their own individual definition of success.


Front-runners in several global industries are using innovative and cutting-edge technology to better manage their supply chain’s journey to deep decarbonization. They have a complete view of carbon emissions throughout their supply chain and baseline definitions in place, reviewing more granular data of those with the highest emissions. They are working towards deep decarbonization through automated carbon inventories from suppliers and following carbon emissions strategies, backed by data.


Ethiopian Airlines: Soaring high in the middle of the pandemic As Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the global aviation industry with thousands of airlines forced to ground their fleets to curb the spread of the virus, one airline stood tall to weather the storm. Ethiopian Airlines ferried thousands of stranded citizens not forgetting the tonnes of cargo it moved globally, in the middle of the pandemic. In this article, we review the strategy of Africa’s leading airline. By Elly Akoko Wholly owned by the Ethiopian government, Ethiopian Airlines, often referred to simply as Ethiopian, was founded on December 21, 1945 and commenced operations on 8 April 1946, expanding to international flights in 1951, making it one of the oldest airlines in Africa. From its base in Bole International Airport and Lomé’s Tokoin International Airport, the airline


flies to 127 passenger and 58 cargo destinations, including 20 domestic routes, making it Africa's largest airline in terms of passengers carried, destinations served, fleet size, and revenue and the world's 4th largest airline by the number of countries served. It currently operates more than 115 of the young and most modern fleet, with less than five years of age, and has a 57 fleet on order.

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Ethiopian Airlines was a success story much before the start of the Covid -19 pandemic. While its peers South African Airlines and Kenya Airways are on the decline, Ethiopian Airlines has been on the rise and as things stand, it looks like even the Covid-19 pandemic cannot stop the carrier from achieving its goal to become the best African airline by 2025. While many airlines both in Africa and globally have sought bailout packages from their government, cut jobs and declared employees redundant, Ethiopian Airlines somehow managed to survive the pandemic without any financial aid or reducing job count to cut cost.


For the better part of 2020, the media was awash with speculations suggesting that Ethiopian Airlines had shown interest in South African Airways, as the embattled state-owned carrier, which has been running at a loss since 2011, opened up to the possibility of outside investment. It is reported that Ethiopian Airlines considered acquiring a stake in South African Airways as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the carrier was open to the participation of the private sector. However, Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said the two airlines did 74 AFRICA INC.

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not have any constructive discussions, which would suggest a potential stake acquisition. It is worth noting that Ethiopian Airlines is no stranger to investments in African aviation. Over the years, it has made strategic investments in regional west African carrier based in Togo (ASKY Airlines), in Mozambique (Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines), in Malawi (Malawi Airlines) and in Chad (Tchadia Airlines), which clearly indicates that the carrier wants to build a network of feeder airlines covering as much of Africa as possible, with the airline providing the hub and spoke connection to the rest of the world. To this end, the Sky Alliance member’s decision to buy South African Airlines made sense for the carrier as many see that the decision to invest in South African Airways could be a part of its broader plan to dominate the aviation sector in Africa. “The last ten years have been very good for Ethiopian Airlines both in terms of profitability, reinvesting our profits for growth and expansion, not only on fleet, but also on the prospects and human resource development. These all put us in a better foundation and in a better position to face the future,” said Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam during an interview with FlightGlobal magazine in March 2021. In Zambia, the Ethiopian Airlines group put

Ethiopian Airlines completed the 86,000m2 terminal expansion at Bole International Airport, with capacity to serve 22 million passengers a year, making it the continent’s second largest capacity airport after O.R. Tambo International Airport WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

forth US$13.5m towards the revival of the long-forgotten airline, which went under in 1995 following liquidity challenges. Zambia Airways is now 45% owned by Ethiopian and is set for relaunch in the second quarter of 2021. ASKY Airlines, which is largely based in Togo, has codeshare agreements with Ethiopian, while Ethiopian was largely instrumental in the launch of the West African carrier and currently holds 40% stake. In Malawian Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines also acquired a 49% stake in Malawi’s flag carrier in 2013 and operates the airline. Ethiopian Airlines has also invested in Mozambique Airlines (also known as Ethiopian Mozambique Airlines) and Tchadia Airlines in Chad where Chad Government controls 51 % of Tchadia, while Ethiopian Airlines owns the rest.



Even though global aviation industry is slowly returning to normal and things starting to look up in the sector, it will still take a considerable amount of time to return to pre-Covid-19 levels. According to the International Air Travel Association (IATA), global air passenger traffic will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024. Some airlines have secured record bailouts from their governments, while those who haven’t are on the brink of collapse. However, Ethiopian Airlines received no funds in the form of a bailout package. Surprisingly, the carrier is making ends meet and is also paying all its overhead costs and fixed costs, in addition to every other financial commitment. Ethiopian Airlines has not defaulted on any payment so far and has converted 25 of its 777s passenger aircraft to increase its cargo capacity. In April, despite losing around US$500 million in income due to the pandemic, Ethiopian Airlines survived and stayed afloat through its cargo business. Now, as passenger demand gradually grows after restrictions are lifted, some of those 777s are being put back into their original form. The decision to rapidly pivot cargo has helped the carrier fight the pandemic during its peak. It has also been busy working on repatriation flights and became the only airline to continue to fly to China while patient cases increased on the Chinese Mainland.


As the pandemic was just starting, Ethiopian Airlines completed the 86,000-square-meter terminal expansion at Addis Ababa’s Bole WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

International Airport, with capacity to serve 22 million passengers a year, making it home to the continent’s second largest capacity airport after South Africa’s O.R. Tambo International Airport. But this is no ordinary terminal project. The US$300 million Terminal 2 has the distinction of being the World’s first completed amid the pandemic and designed with an eye towards biosafety. Aside from daily airport cleaning procedures the airport has an array of digitized features, including state-of-the-art thermal scanners, 30 self-check-in kiosks, 60 check-in counters, 32 arrival immigration counters with eight e-gates, 16 security screening areas, touch-free sanitizing gel dispensers, and socially distanced gate seating. Additionally, the global shutdown opened the door to new opportunities, such as transporting Norway’s fish exports and Kenya’s flower exports. As a result of the skyrocketing cargo demand through June, the airline doubled its cargo revenue and its cargo route expanded to 74 destinations. “If cargo hadn’t been our strategic pillar back in 2010, we couldn’t do anything now,” said the CEO. Additional cash revenue sources have come from MRO services, another of Ethiopian’s established business units: 40 aircraft from subSaharan Africa, plus a Middle East carrier use the airline’s MRO services, further providing stable income streams to the carrier. Ethiopian’s veteran CEO Tewolde GebreMariam recently shared that the airline’s decision to diversify over the years had proven to be ‘a life-saving decision.’ On technology, Ethiopian Airlines has invested more than US$40 million in the past five years on the latest ICT technologies to boost online sales. The airline made the investment to acquire and develop a data centre, systems, and software, while its digital department has internally developed a mobile application that enables customers to book flights, make payments and check in using their mobile phones. Miretab Teklaye, director integrated marketing communication, explained that ICT is one of the four pillars of the airline’s ‘vision 2025’ 15-year growth roadmap programme – the others are fleet, human resource, and network. “We are in the digital era and we are providing our customers with seamless operational services using the latest communication technology,” he said. Ethiopian launched the mobile app in 2018 and, today, has close to one million users. Online sales represent 25% of the total volume. “Our online sales have grown from 11% in 2017 and we plan to increase this figure to 50%

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The new airport will cover an area of 35 square kilometres. Reports suggest the airport will be developed in Bishoftu, a town 39 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, and will have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers a year. Construction of the new airport was expected to start during the second half of 2020, but Covd19 disruptions halted the plans. Less than a decade ago, Bole handled fewer than a million passengers a year. The success of the airline has contributed heavily to the rise in passenger inflow at the airport.


by 2022,” Teklaye added. The airline’s online sales in Ethiopia alone have grown from 4% to 40%. “Ethiopian Airlines’ corporate strategy is to be a cost-leader by providing global-standard service. To be a cost-leader, one of the drivers is the operational excellence that we offer using communication technology,” said Teklaye.



Our online sales have grown from 11% in 2017 and we plan to increase this figure to 50% by 2022.


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The success of Ethiopian Airlines can be attributed to one main reason: the airline’s clarity of vision and independence from the government in its day-to-day operations. The airline achieved its Vision 2025 targets in 2018 and is now working toward realising its Vision 2035. Despite being state-owned, Ethiopian Airlines has been operating its dayto-day business independently as a commercial entity, which was further supported by competent leadership and well-trained staff. Secondly, Ethiopia’s geographical location has also contributed immensely to establish of the country as an aviation hub connecting Africa with the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. In recent times, Addis Ababa has become a hub, where it is able to attract and transfer much more traffic, particularly from Asia moving on to the American continents. Addis Ababa is also developing Africa’s largest airport and Ethiopian Airlines is spending an estimated US$5 billion to develop a new airport, which could possibly become Africa’s busiest airport capable of handling more passengers than the current busiest hub in South Africa. The decision comes at a time when its current base in Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is finding it difficult to manage the fast-growing capacity.

To boost its cargo capacity, Ethiopian Airlines, has put up a state-of-the-art cargo terminal, which is outfitted with compartmentalised cold storage facilities with temperature between -230C to 250C. It occupies an area of 54,000 square metres, with dedicated cool dollies and pharma team, as well as real-time temperature monitoring system to ensure a safe and seamless cold chain logistics for handling temperature sensitive healthcare products. Ethiopian was among the 11 airlines picked by UNICEF to distribute Covid-19 vaccines globally, further boosting its profile as Africa’s leading cargo carrier. Similarly, the Horn of Africa carrier has signed a pact with Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arms of Alibaba Group Holdings, to launch special cold chain air freight for the transportation of temperature-controlled medicines from Shenzhen Airport, China's to Africa, and to the rest of the world via Dubai and Addis Ababa. Early 2020, Ethiopian Airlines partnered DHL and the African Electronic Trade (AeTrade) Group to transport historical parcels in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), launching Trans-Pacific routes, extending from Incheon, South Korea to Atlanta via Anchorage effective November 2020.





Fintechs as an emerging disruptive market force in Nigeria By Jacky Muinde Financial Technology (FinTech), the technology (internet, mobile devices, software app, cloud services and many more) that are used in delivering important financial services that were exclusive to traditional financial institutions, has become the new ‘disruptive market force’ in Nigeria, resulting to countless numbers of fintech players (start-ups/companies) competing for market share. Banking in Nigeria remains an attractive sector, with over US$9 billion in value pools, but despite high levels of competition, the vast WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM

majority of consumers are underserved. Lack of access to services, especially in rural areas, issues of affordability, and poor user experience all contribute to the frustration consumers experience right across the customer spectrum. Lack of access to credit and financial services has been the main impediment to financial growth and poverty reduction in several emerging economies. This has created an opening that FinTechs have been quick to take advantage of, with many stepping up to develop enhanced propositions JUNE 2021




across the value chain to address pain points in affordable payments, quick loans, and flexible savings and investments, among others. The goal of FinTech companies in Africa is to make financial services easily accessible to the population, enhance financial procedures, promoting financial inclusion and ensure seamless payments across multiple platforms.


In Nigeria, there are four major types of FinTechs that include PaymentTech, InsureTech, CreditTech, Asset/WealthTech, Crypto and Personal Finance. PaymentTech is a very important space to both regulators, other tech startups and also users. It provides the base for financial interactions and also affects the monetary planning of the government. Flutterwave, Interswitch, Afriex and Paystacks fall in this category. They are divided into payment gateway providers, bill payment platforms, mobile money, settlement service providers, payment infrastructure service providers, payment service providers, integrated payment players, payment service banks, agent banking, payment terminal among others. The InsureTechs leverage tech to provide microinsurance services while making the services more efficient and accessible via ultra-customized policies, social insurance that are cheap. They include Reliancehmo, Topcheckafrica among others. The CreditTech firms are innovating people’s access to credit and loan facilities in a faster and more customized way to suit the current low income amidst Nigerians. They include Fundall, Carbon, Renmoney, Zedvance, Branch, PayConnects, Xerde, Credpal and Pagefinancials. The WealthTech firms are leveraging tech & cutting-edge customer services to provide access to savings, investment and personal finance services. They include Cowrywise, PiggyBankNG, Fundall, Farmcrowdy, Thriveagric, Crowdyvest, Kuda, OPay and Bankly. With the emergence of blockchain and new techs, CryptoTech is fast gaining traction, giving Nigerians ease of storing, trading and owning about digital currencies especially cryptocurrencies. They include BitKoinAfriKa, NairaEx, Cowrie, Blueloop etc.


Despite the increased activity in the fintech sector in Nigeria and the positive multiplier effect in the economy, there is significant potential for further growth. According to Mckinsey, Fintech accounted 78 AFRICA INC.

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for only around 1.25 IN NUMBERS percent of retail banking revenues in 2019. And while fintech investments in Nigeria grew to approximately US$460 million in 2019, the majority of which was FINTECH INVESTMENTS IN NIGERIA IN from external investors, 2019 this was only a small fraction of the US$36 billion invested in fintech globally. FinTechs can create impact in three broad dimensions: through stimulating economic activity, by creating a multiplier effect, and by driving progress towards development goals. Economic impact will primarily come from expanding revenue pools and attracting foreign direct investment to the country. The sector can unlock economic benefit by driving increased productivity, capital, and labor hours through digitization of financial services. Increased fintech activity could also indirectly grow the digital economy by, for example, providing business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace tools such as payment integration on social media platforms, and further enabling the Nigerian e-commerce industry. In March 2021, Crowdyvest secured new investment from a group of investors led by Tope Omotolani, prompting it to spin out as an independent entity and pivot its model in a bid to scale up as a digital savings company. Kuda secured US$25 million Series A funding round led by New York-based venture capital firm Valar Ventures with participation from existing investor Target Global, an international venture capital firm headquartered in Berlin, and several other existing investors in order to help it fund its aggressive growth plan. In November 2020, it raised US$10 million seed round. Cowrie got an US$750,000 investment from Stellar Development Foundation Foundation (SDF), the foundation of the network that supports the cryptocurrency Stellar (XLM). The investment provides resources for Cowrie to continue its expansion into operations in emerging markets, such as blockchain, and thus be able to further develop payment corridors both inside and outside Africa, with an initial focus on Nigeria highlights the note, due to its status as the largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. In January 2021, the firm raised US$3 million in pre-Series A funding to expand its product offering, support the onboarding of more fund managers, and build out its investment management infrastructure.



Afriex raised US$1.2 million in its seed funding round as it bids to scale its payments and remittances platform across Africa, to grow its team and expand into further new markets, speeding its vision to be the fastest, cheapest way to send money to anyone in the world. The seed round was led by Pan-African VC firm, Launch Africa. Other investors include Y Combinator, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Future Africa, Brightstone VC, Processus Capital, Uncommon Ventures, A$AP Capital, Precursor Ventures, and Ivernet Holdings. Angel investors like Russell Smith, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon, Furqan Rydhan, and Andrea Vaccari also took part. Bankly raised US$2 million in a seed round to accelerate its consumer acquisition and offer direct-to-consumer (DTC) products to Nigeria’s unbanked and underbanked populations. The seed round was led by Vault with participation from Plug and Play Ventures, Rising Tide Africa and Chrysalis Capital. With the fundraise, Bankly aims to increase its 35,000-customer base in cash-dependent communities by growing the number of its physical “cash in” points by expanding its 15,000 person agent network and plugging its API into partner networks. Flutterwave closed a US$170 million Series C funding round led by New York-based private investment firm Avenir Growth Capital and U.S. hedge fund and investment firm Tiger Global, valuing the company over US$1 billion. New and existing investors who participated in this round included DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital, Greycroft Capital, Insight Ventures, PayPal, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, Worldpay FIS 9yards Capital. This


new funding will be used to speed up customer acquisition in its present markets. In January 2020, it raised US$35 million in a series Series B round that was led by US VC firms Greycroft and eVentures, with participation of Visa, Green Visor and African fund CRE Venture Capital. In December 2020, CredPal announced that it raised US$1.5 million in funding round from leading investors to drive adoption and usability of credit cards in Nigeria. The investors that took part in this round included US seed-stage accelerator, Y Combinator, Lagos-based fintech investment holding company, GreenHouse Capital, an unnamed digital insurance company, and other VC firms. Blueloop secured US$77,000 in pre-seed funding from Hustle Fund VC, Pioneer, Mozilla, and some angel investors as it builds Flux, a mobile app for crypto-based cross-border payments. OnePipe secured a US$950,000 pre-seed funding round to implement its “banking as a service” solution and expand its user base. The round was led by the team at US seed-stage accelerator, Techstars, and African impactfocused VC fund, Atlantica Ventures. Several institutional investors like Future Perfect Ventures, Raba Capital, P1 Ventures, Ingressive Capital, Sherpa Ventures Africa, Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab also participated. Angel investors weren’t left out as Chris Adelsbach, an early investor in Kuda; Idris Ayo Bello; Jim Chu; Haresh Aswani; Vishal Agarwal; and Folabi Esan; among others, wrote cheques. In November 2020, Fintech startup Pass announced that it had embarked on a major operational expansion with the raising of preseed round that included angel investors from across US, Dubai and Nigeria. In January 2020, Chipper Cash raised a US$6 million seed round led by Deciens Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses on making angel and seed investments. In June the same year, it closed a US$13.8 million Series-A investment round led by Deciens Capital. Later in December the same year, it raised a US$30 million Series B funding round to be used in expansion of product offering and

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Despite the increased activity in the fintech sector in Nigeria and the positive multiplier effect in the economy, there is significant potential for further growth.


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venture into new markets. In November 2019, Opay raised US$120 million in Series B investment to fund its plans to scale in Nigeria and expand its payments product to Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. The series B capital raise was backed by Chinese investors, which included Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong, Source Code Capital, Softbank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital, Sequoia China and GSR Ventures. PalmPay raised US$40 million in a seed round led by Chinese mobile-phone maker Transsion to expand its operations in the West African region. In March 2019, Carbon secured a US$5 million debt facility from Lendable, a New York and Nairobi-based technology-enabled funding provider. Meanwhile, Lagos-based Interswitch received US$200 million from Visa to value it at more than US$1 billion and become Nigeria’s first home-grown unicorn. In one of the most outstanding deals in Africa’s Fintech space, in October 2020, the American based payment solutions provider Stripe acquired Paystack in a deal worth US$200m, a landmark deal that could potentially be the largest in the African startup industry to date. In 2018, Stripe led Paystack’s US$8 million funding round. Stripe’s payments software is used by customers including Amazon, Google, Shopify and Zoom, and its acquisition of Paystack is the latest move in its international expansion. Paystack will be Stripe’s catalyst for growing internet commerce in Africa, with the Lagos-based startup having plans to expand across the continent, starting with a pilot in South Africa.


Startups like Blueloop, Piggyvest, Fundall, Trove Finance, Risevest, Agropartnership, Chaka, and Monnify suffered a blow in early 2021, after the Federal government of Nigeria banned the use of crypto currency in the country. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) called on banks across the country to cease servicing or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges. Nigeria is one of the world’s largest users of virtual currencies, pointing to the sheer impact of a crypto-wide bank-backed account ban. According to a Statista report published in August 2020, almost a third of Nigerians use or own cryptocurrency. And in the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria saw an increase of 210.6% in 18 to 24-year-old crypto users, per a Coinmarketcap report. Nigeria is arguably the largest market of cryptocurrency in Africa. According to Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace,




Kuda cowrie

Valar Venture Target Global SDF

US$25M US$10M US$750,000


Launch Africa







Avenir Growth US$170M Capital Greycroft Capital US$35M Quona Capital US$3M


Y Combinator



Hustle Fund Vc






Deciens Capital

US$6M US13.5M US$30M


Chinese Investors US$120M










Nigeria has the world’s second-largest Bitcoin trading volume, trading 60,215 Bitcoins in the last five years, or more than US$566 million. With growing popularity, fintech platforms in the country have also mainstreamed digital currency investment into their operations, by allowing the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies as well as conversion to Naira. The CBN’s latest directive was met with immediate compliance by fintech platforms in Nigeria and those outside the country, as most of the fintechs announced to their customers that they will no longer facilitate cryptotransactions via Naira deposit while disabling the option. Fintech platforms that had enlisted cryptocurrency investments on their platforms disabled the option to comply with the directive.



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Profile for FW Africa

Africa Inc. June 2021 Issue  

Africa Inc. Magazine Inspires Sustainable Business in Africa

Africa Inc. June 2021 Issue  

Africa Inc. Magazine Inspires Sustainable Business in Africa

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