Friday, June 27, 2008

The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund - AECF

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The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a US$50-100m private sector fund, backed by some of the biggest names in development finance and hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Our aim is to encourage private sector companies to compete for like-for-like investment support for their new and innovative business ideas.

The AECF is open to proposals from all countries in Africa. However it will focus initially on 13 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia) operating from three regional hubs (Nairobi, Accra and Johannesburg). Multi-country and regional projects are also eligible.


AfricaBio is a non-political, non-profit biotechnology association for the safe, ethical and responsible research, development and application of biotechnology and its products. The Association also serves as a forum for informed dialogue on biotechnological issues in Africa.

Overall objectives include:

  • To provide expert advice to specific ministries and administrations.
  • To provide information on national and international regulatory legislation that can influence the use, production or marketing of biotechnology products.
  • To provide current information and supportive measures to its members to ensure that biotechnology is accurately represented at all levels of society.
  • To provide information to all members and interested parties on key issues affecting biotechnology in South Africa.
  • To provide regular forums for exchange of information.
  • To facilitate research and development, education and training projects required by members.

African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum (ABSF)

ABSF aims to create an enabling environment in which Africa can participate and benefit from biotechnology in a responsible and sustainable manner. The association, through the dissemination of information, aims to enhance the understanding and awareness.

    • To provide a forum for sharing and exchanging experiences and practices in biotechnology with a view of strengthening its application for increased food security, health improvement, poverty alleviation, industrialization and environmental conservation in Africa.
    • To improve public understanding of biotechnology through provision of accurate and balanced information to consumers, media and policy makers to ensure that biotechnology is accurately represented at all levels of society.
    • To explore innovative and appropriate biotechnology applications and facilitate their adoption and use in sustainable development and poverty alleviation in Africa.
    • To create capacity for information generation, dissemination and wise use of biotechnology.
    • To facilitate research, development, education and training on biotechnology as well as policy and infrastructure development for meeting Africa’s needs in biotechnology.

TED video - Seyi Oyesola affordable medical equipment

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Investors Without Borders - affordable loans for African SME market

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IWB is web-based marketplace connecting individuals across the globe with opportunities to invest directly in Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. Investors gain access to return-oriented, social impact investments by directly funding SME loan requests with as little as $100 per loan. Borrowers gain access to affordable loans that can create greater economic opportunities while connecting with a global business network.

IWB will launch in Ghana, West Africa, with more countries to follow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Satya Capital

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Satya Capital Limited is a private investment firm committed both to helping businesses improve their competitive standing and to realizing value for our investors.

We specialize in Africa-related investment, providing companies with the operational, technological and financial resources they need to expand and take advantage of burgeoning growth opportunities in their industries.

We are long-term investors who are guided by a multi-strategy discipline that reflects our decades of collective experience successfully leading and investing in companies across Africa. Our deep understanding of the environment makes it possible for us to partner effectively with senior company managers, and also informs every aspect of our investment process. We build and unlock value through careful selection, rigorous due diligence, innovative structuring and creative value realization programmes.

Spore - using mobile phone to irrigate crops

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Small-scale sugarcane farmers in South Africa are using cellphone-based technology to decide when to irrigate their crops. A pilot scheme launched by the South African Sugar Association at Pongola in Mpumalanga Province and Makhathini in KwaZulu Natal has shown the high-tech system can help boost production and save water, a precious commodity in these dry regions. Indications are that the mobile-based initiative can reduce farmers' irrigation costs by €200/ha.

The system, called My Canesim, uses automatic weather stations, the Internet and cellular technology to produce up-to-date information about when to irrigate crops. Extrapolating information from field and real-time weather data, My Canesim estimates the recent, current and future water balance, as well as the crop status and projected yield of a given plot. It then automatically generates and distributes simple irrigation advice by SMS to farmers' mobile phones.

ICT and the BPO Industry in Kenya

Business Process Outsourcing is an emerging industry in Africa. This film looks at the various issues and opportunities facing the BPO sector in Kenya from the perspectives of one of Kenya's BPO CEO and three young women entrepreneurs who created a BPO start-up. A pressing challenge affecting the competitiveness of Africa's BPO companies is the cost of high speed connectivity.

The World Bank's US$424 million Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (RCIP) aims to address this issue by extending access to affordable high speed connectivity to as many as 25 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.

exZeed BPO - Accra, Ghana

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exZeed is a BPO provider based in Accra, Ghana. They provide the following services:

o Help Desk
o Order Taking
o Faxed & Mail-In Orders
o Directory Assistance Service (DAS)

o Marketing & Sales
o Surveys
o Market Research
o Customer Service

Telecom Players Focus on Africa

WSJ has an article about investors flocking to Africa to acquire Telecoms.

Telecom Players Focus on Africa

Deal-Making Flurry
Shows the Desire
To Tap Into Growth
June 5, 2008; Page B5

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Amid a global scramble for new subscribers, telecommunications operators and investors are taking a sudden shine to a place with lots of potential customers: Africa.

In the latest show of interest, private-equity firms Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and TA Associates Inc. agreed to buy a €1.1 billion ($1.7 billion) stake in Weather Investments, a holding company owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. Among other assets, Weather holds a controlling stake in Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, one of the biggest telecom outfits in subscriber terms in Africa and the Middle East.

That continued a flurry of deal-making. On Monday, news broke that South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale is leading a consortium, including U.S. hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management LLC, exploring an acquisition of Telkom SA Ltd., the continent's largest fixed-line operator in terms of subscribers and revenue. The same day, Vodafone Group PLC, the world's largest mobile operator in revenue terms, said it wanted to boost its stake in a joint mobile-phone venture with Telkom. Last month, an Indian suitor walked away from merger talks with Africa's largest mobile carrier, MTN Group Ltd., only to be replaced by another Indian company.

Read More

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pan African Capital Group

Pan African Capital Group, LLC provides investment banking services to the African markets. Building on a core of business that leverages its relationships with a number of key companies in Africa, we provide advice and capital to increase our partners’ ability to compete on a global basis and build markets for their products and services. In particular, Pan African Capital Group targets opportunities in the financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing.

AfriCap - Microfinance fund

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AfriCap is a landmark fund. Established in 2001 AfriCap is a Mauritian based investment company operating out of Johannesburg and investing solely in Microfinance and microfinance related industries throughout Africa. Using a combination of developmental and private investors, AfriCap generates both financial and social returns through investing in institutions committed to serving low-income communities without access to conventional banking services.

AfriCap currently has 10 investments across 11 countries in equity and quasi equity instruments and maintains the role of active minority investor by providing governance, management advice and technical assistance. In 2007 AfriCap closed a second round of funding; raising its capital to $50 million and reconstituting as a permanent capital investment company - AfriCap Microfinance Investment Company.
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