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Building effective Startups: The Role of Culture

The culture of an organization, the way that things are done, will develop whether there’s intention or not. By defining what it should be, you can influence the behavior. If you don’t define it, it’ll develop organically and you might not like the results. 

Josh Sephton, Via LinkedIn.

Culture is “the way we do things around here.” When you join a new team, you will quickly be humbled. Everybody knows everybody, everyone has a circle – or not. They know the bosses’ good and bad times -read, when to ask for favors and when not to. There’s clearly a formula on how business runs, and everybody knows it, except you. The newbie. Always saying hi to those that prefer quiet mornings, inviting to lunch the project manager that eats sandwiches at his desk, or running every step of your project by your supervisor who really prefers to just oversee and give feedback. Or, the opposite- when you meet the micromanager. Most times, teams have held on to their beliefs, rituals and behaviors for far too long, and will immediately sideline anyone who dares question “the way of doing things.”

All these things, added together, really define how teams work. And, ultimately, decide whether a team will build something great, or will jeopardize the productivity of an organization. In this article, we’ll explore the profound impact of startup culture on team dynamics and why getting it right can be the difference between success and failure.

So what then, is Culture, and Why is it so Important?

Culture isn’t just about Ping-Pong tables, free snacks and beer Fridays; it’s the underlying DNA that shapes how a team works together, innovates, and ultimately thrives. A strong culture provides a shared sense of purpose and identity, aligns team members around common goals, and fosters trust, collaboration, and resilience.

With the right culture within an organization, team members feel aligned, valued and empowered to put their best foot forward. This ultimately manifests into productivity, as there is a common and shared sense of purpose. No one is sidelined, there is no deadweight on the team, or walking on eggshells when it’s time to put a point across. And, it’s not just about productivity.

When you think of startups, the thought of challenges and tough days surely must cross your mind. The beauty of a strong and positive culture is that it carries a startup –and really any organization, through the dark days. When the product launch is a flop, or the expected funding didn’t pan out. Delayed salaries and the dreaded PR disasters that are a daily dose for most startups. A trusting, aligned, resilient and optimistic team- all *aspects* cultivated by a positive organizational culture will more often than not be willing and able to endure the tough times without backing out, cutting corners or sabotaging the organization.

Conversely, a toxic or dysfunctional culture can erode morale, hinder productivity, and drive talented team members away, ultimately spelling doom for the startup.

Cultivating a Positive Startup Culture:

Building a positive startup culture requires intentional effort and a commitment from leadership to prioritize values, behaviors, and norms that support the company’s mission and vision. Elements that define a positive culture are many. Today we discuss 3 key elements of a positive startup culture, and how Core values are the foundation on which a culture is built.

1. Aligning with the core values of your organization.

Core values are the foundation on which a culture is built. By definition, core values are “ideals you believe that determine your behavior and decisions.” They do not change with every turn or dynamics of the economy, society or organizational disruption. The point of values and mission in an organization is to define a pathway and create a guide for the team to follow in the process of executing the set goals.

When hiring, it is important to look out for people who align with your core values. If, for instance, your core value as a startup is boldness, it is crucial to be on the lookout for hires that share this core value. This means people who are not afraid of leaping on new ideas, even without full knowledge. People who don’t wait for conditions to align to act. People that are ready to try, fail and then try again.

When your core value is perseverance, team members that don’t back out when the going gets tough, that stay objective as opposed to emotional or panicked in less than favorable circumstances, are your best bet. As a startup, it is crucial to realize that a hire can have the right skills and be the best on the job, but when their core values are misaligned with yours, any attempt to “be on the same page” or “share a culture” will be futile.

Every organization explicitly outlines their mission, vision and values on their websites and walls, but it is just that- words. They do not integrate their values into their daily operations- hiring, crisis management, milestone conversations.

Deciding what values will help you achieve your goals, then integrating them in your day to day running will set a good foundation for a positive culture, even for people that join in later on, or through the dynamics that are bound to happen.

2. Empowerment and Ownership.

An empowered team isn’t just an asset; they’re the heart and soul of a productive workforce. When individuals feel empowered to take ownership of their work, supported to innovate, and encouraged to voice their ideas, they not only thrive personally, they also become catalysts for positive change and contribute to a vibrant and collaborative environment where creativity, productivity and success becomes a collective journey. And that is exactly what the goal of a positive culture should be – To be on a collective journey.

Autonomy is one of the guaranteed ways to empower a team. The degree to which a team or individual has freedom to make their own decisions and take actions independently, without excessive external control or micromanagement is consistent with the level of responsibility and ownership they have towards their work. Autonomy can manifest in various forms, such as setting their own schedules, choosing how to approach tasks, making decisions about resource allocation, and having input into strategic planning and goal-setting –as long as the goal is met.  When individuals have a sense of control over their work and are trusted to make decisions, they tend to feel more invested in their jobs and more motivated to perform at their best.

Empowering employees, however, goes beyond simply granting them autonomy; it is about unleashing their full potential to drive innovation, creativity, and productivity.

Implementing your team’s good ideas and giving them credit for it, ensuring employee satisfaction and engagement in brainstorming sessions, promoting and supporting their personal growth and development can create a culture where individuals thrive and contribute to the collective success of the company.

3. Diversity and Inclusion.

If you are a startup founder, I hate to break it to you, diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords that corporates use to sound fancy. They are fundamental principles that drive innovation, creativity, and ultimately, the success of the company. When you talk of a positive organizational culture, diversity and inclusion must be among your to-do.

Diversity by definition is “the presence of a variety of different demographic and cultural characteristics within a group.” Most startup founders will be tempted to include their sister, a cousin, someone that looks like them, or with similar characters in the team. When it’s one or two, that might be okay. But at the very beginning stages of a startup, pulling all or most of your team members from your closest circle is as close to sabotage as you can get. Not only are boundaries shaky and blurred, but whenever a new team member from outside your circle or different from the team joins, they immediately are the outsider.

Diversity includes both visible differences, such as physical appearance, as well as invisible differences, such as cognitive styles, personality traits, and life experiences.

Embracing diversity means recognizing and valuing the unique perspectives, experiences, and contributions that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to the table. It involves creating an environment where people feel respected, included, and empowered to be their authentic selves, regardless of their differences.

 Inclusion on the other hand, means appreciating and empowering all team members to achieve the set goals, regardless of their differences in identity and background. This means actively having inclusive practices like training and education, implementation of ideas from different team members and equity in terms of pay.

5 African Women Founders: Trailblazers in a Woman’s World

In the pulsating heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where innovation meets opportunity, Africa stands at the forefront of technological advancement. And in the midst of all the exciting changes happening, although not talked about as much, women have fast risen to the call of technology and become bold trailblazers who have broken through barriers, challenged norms, and transformed the tech scene in Africa.

From coding geniuses to visionary entrepreneurs, these pioneers have not only harnessed the power of technology to change lives but have also become beacons of inspiration and hope for generations of women and young girls to come.

In this article, we honor the stories of 5 remarkable African women whose indomitable spirit, ingenuity, and vision have not only transformed the tech industry but have also left an indelible mark on the very essence of African innovation.

Naadiya Moosajee

Founder of Women in Engineering (WomEng), an organization dedicated to nurturing the talents of girls and women in engineering and technology, Moosajee is best known for her commitment to gender parity, spearheading a transformative movement to bridge the gender gap.

 In 2014, Forbes recognized her as one of Africa’s Top 20 Young Power Women in Africa, while the Government of China honored her at the BRICS Summit for her outstanding contributions to STEM education for African girls. Passionate about fostering STEM education and gender equality, Moosajee is committed to shaping prosperous and equitable societies in emerging economies.

Alongside Hema Vallabh, she co-founded WomHub, further expanding their impact on the industry.

According to Moosajee, “Engineers design our world and our society, and if we don’t have women at the design table, we exclude 50% of the population.”  

Betelhem Dessie

“As a young woman, coding made me feel independent and free, and that’s something I want to give other people.”

At the age of 7, Dessie fell in love with computers. And by the tender age of 20, this visionary Ethiopian technologist had six software programs patented in her name, and was involved in the development of the world-famous Sophia the robot. Dessie founded iCog-Anyone Can Code at the age of 24, an Ethiopian-based social enterprise that offers kids and youth an opportunity at a future through coding.

Through iCog, the futures of over 30,000 youths have been positively impacted, making them more employable and skilled for entrepreneurship.

Maya Horgan Famodu

Maya believes that if you want to support women, you put them in positions to do it themselves. And she lives by her words, having founded Ingressive capital and Ingressive for Good, one a venture capital that supports early-stage African tech startups, and the other a nonprofit providing micro-scholarships, technical skills training and talent placement to African tech talents in need, respectively.

Being the youngest Black woman to launch a tech fund, Maya Horgan has been honored by Forbes before in their “Under 30 Technology” list, in 2018.

Mary Mwangi

Mary Mwangi knows too well that being a pioneer, and especially in the tech space, is no bed of roses.

Founder and CEO of Data Integrated, this Kenyan powerhouse is a pioneer in the fintech logistics space in Africa, with her company leveraging on tech to offer financial solutions to African SMEs, with a greater focus on Kenya’s public transport system.

Being a pioneer, the challenges are there, she admits, but insists that “You can do it. You have to get up.” 

Charity Wanjiku

Charity Wanjiku describes herself as a shining star and a work-in-progress all at the same time. And a shining star she is indeed, having made patented solar panels and powered the most rural parts of Kenya before solar tiles were a thing. Recognized by both Forbes and the World Economic Forum as a top woman in tech globally, Charity is the founder Strauss Energy Ltd, an off-grid solar energy startup based in Nairobi, Kenya. She lights up the lives of Kenyans in rural areas – Literally.

The uniqueness of Strauss’ solar systems lies in their special meters that can feed unused electricity back to the national grid, generating income for households. 

She is passionate about breaking STEM barriers for women and girls, as in her words, “It’s important that girls are at the forefront of this digital age, because nobody will hire you if you do not have tech skills.”  

Strategic Survival: Unveiling the Path for African Startups Amidst Funding Challenges in 2024

African startup funding has seen a significant fall from the highs of 2021 and 2022, with investments in the startup scene in Africa dropping by around 27% in 2023

Disrupt Africa’s African Tech Startups Funding Report.

Would you start a startup if there was no funding for it? African startup funding has seen a significant fall from the highs of 2021 and 2022, with investments in the startup scene in Africa in terms of funding dropping by around 27% in 2023, according to Disrupt Africa’s African Tech Startups Funding Report. The number of investors during this time, according to the same report fell by half.

Does this inform the direction that startups might take in the future, or is it an indicator that starting a startup might not be a worthy cause in 2024? In the recent live podcast hosted by Founders Factory Africa on the good and bad of funding, experts in the startup ecosystem in Nairobi came together to discuss the importance of choosing the right capital in 2024, and how to navigate the tight belt fastened by investors.

In the panel for the live podcast episode were Rology CFO Jason Musyoka; Bruce Nsereko-Lule, co-founder and general partner at Seedstars; and June Odongo, founder and CEO of Senga Technologies.

One thing from the conversation was clear; in the fight for a win, and with the current lack of sufficient funding, startup founders might feel the need to scramble for every funding opportunity that presents itself, in the process hurting their business and perhaps themselves. Therefore despite these funding challenges, the panelists unanimously agreed that it’s still critical for startups to be reasonable and careful in choosing the investors they approach for funding.

So, what are these critical play points to be addressed in the race for funding, and how to understand good and bad funding?

Shifting investor expectations

In the best way to approach investors in these tight times, the panelists highlighted that times have changed in the ecosystem, and investors are now prioritizing fundamentals and sustainability over pure potential, advising that founders should be aware of investors’ shifting priorities and adapt their fundraising strategies accordingly. This requires founders to have a clear roadmap with achievable milestones (pilot, funding rounds) and contingency plans.

“As investors, we’re looking for a plan but you also need to model in variation,” says Nsero- Luke. “Aim to go with the plan but let’s model it if we need to spend a little bit more, for example.”

Additionally, investors are emphasizing due diligence and seeking ventures with strong fundamentals and realistic growth plans, moving away from solely chasing high-growth potential. That makes it important that they do everything they can to impress in the due diligence process.

“From an investor perspective, it’s important that you do your due diligence very well whilst you’re investing in a company so that, when you’re putting in the money, you don’t get unexpected surprises,” he adds.

Choosing the right investor

Even within this shifting environment, the panelists agree that it’s still important for startup founders to be discerning in the investors they approach for funding. More particularly, they say, founders must consider whether choosing local investors makes more sense than international ones. While international investors might have deeper pockets, local investors often have a greater contextual understanding of local environments and may therefore be better positioned to guide founders to success.

“The beauty about local investors is that we understand context,” says Musyoka. “And not just context but we also have networks. There are doors that the senior-level executives and CEOs that they introduce you to can open for you or businesses that they can enable for you that they can enable for that you wouldn’t be able to open for yourself.”

Another strategic considerations when choosing which investors to approach is your business goals. Founders should define their business goals (lifestyle vs. scaling) and align their investment strategy accordingly, potentially utilizing local angel investors and then seeking international capital for further growth.

Even with these considerations in mind, it’s still important that founders pay attention to the investment offers in front of them. “If you’ve got two competing term sheets in front of you, always go for the one that offers the least dilution,” says Musyoka, who has a unique perspective as an investor turned operator. “It gives you flexibility and allows you to operate in your known business framework.”  That may mean accepting a smaller investment but, Musyoka believes that this isn’t always a bad thing.

“A small amount is not necessarily bad for you,” he says. “You just have to recalibrate and work with what you have.”

According to Odongo, getting to the right investor also means knowing when to pause, when to move and when to stop, as Senga has had to do a couple of times over the past few years.

“At one point, we were going to raise money when we had validated our idea and it was growing well. Then we got a lot of competition that was emulating some of what we were doing and they were raising tones of money, so I decided not to raise because it was clear to me that things were not going to turn out well. So we retreated and pivoted to a new niche.”

Planning for an exit (or not)

In the long run, more and more startups taking this approach may also change how we think about exits on the continent.

“Exit opportunities exist in Africa,” says Nsereko-Lule. “We have local exchanges, we have big corporations, etc. The effective exit opportunities exist here, but the types of companies that local players want to buy are very different to the ones internationals want to buy.”

“As we contextualize venture capital to the local market, it will help,” he adds. “Then we can build businesses where founders have the necessary skill sets and build businesses capable of achieving exits on the continent.”

In conclusion, depending on how a founder goes about it, funding can be one of two; a blessing or a bad thing for a startup.  Even with the funding drought that the African startup system is facing, it is important for a startup to be wisely selective with choosing the right investor, lest they risk losing their soul and business in the fight.

Mastercard partners with Women Choice to create 1 million jobs for women Across the MENA region 

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Mastercard and Women Choice, an international organization dedicated to advancing women’s personal and professional development, have partnered to launch Social Innovation Incubator (SII).A program that aims to create one million jobs for women across the Middle East and North Africa

SII was established by Women Choice to provide comprehensive support for women entrepreneurs and create employment opportunities in their chosen field over the next five years. SII will also provide mentorship and training on topics such as business planning, capacity building, human resources, and recruitment expertise.

“We are excited to launch this program and to have the support of a global organization like Mastercard which is genuinely committed to bring change and improve the situation of women in the workplace. The success of ‘SII For Women’s Employment’ will be also linked to a series of strong partnerships with practical plans in place,” said Nezha Alaoui, Founder & CEO of Women Choice.

Mastercard has been at the forefront of providing women with access to digital tools and training to help them start and grow their businesses, creating mentorship and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and working with employers to create more job opportunities for women. The collaboration with Women Choice is aligned with Mastercard’s inclusive growth agenda.

“At Mastercard, we are committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable world, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Our partnership with Women Choice will not only have a significant impact on women across the region, but also provide them with the skills, resources and tools they need to succeed and drive economic growth in the region,” said Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President, Market Development, EEMEA for Mastercard

As part of its inclusivity efforts, Mastercard recently unveiled a coffee-table book, ‘Lasting Legacy – Honoring 25 Visionaries to Celebrate 25 Years of Priceless’ during Women’s Month 2023 in which Nezha Alaoui was featured alongside 24 other inspirational women leaders.

Additionally, Mastercard recently announced the second edition of its Women SME Leaders Awards to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women-owned and led businesses across Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nezha Alaoui will be part of the jury to review and select the winners who will be announced on 2 May 2023.

Through its collaboration with Mastercard, the Women Choice initiative will not only provide one million employment opportunities for women but also empower female social entrepreneurs across the Arab world with the proper training and resources to place at least 1,000 women in their respective enterprises.

The first chapters are being launched in the UAE and Morocco with the entire MENA region to follow as the goal is to empower women to take initiatives and grow social businesses both at a local and regional level.

The partnership is aligned with Mastercard’s global commitment to connect 25 million women entrepreneurs to the digital economy by 2025, as part of its goal to build a more sustainable and inclusive world. 

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Rising Cyber Threats Pose Serious Concerns for Financial Stability  

The Global Financial Stability Report 2024  by the IMF has found that Cyberattacks have more than doubled since the pandemic. As a result, financial institutions  lost a total of $12 billion to cyberattacks in the last 20 years ,$2.5 billion was lost between 2020 and 2024.

According to the report, attacks on financial firms account for nearly one-fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed. Such incidents could threaten financial and economic stability if they erode confidence in the financial system, disrupt critical services, or cause spillovers to other institutions.

For example, a severe incident at a financial institution could undermine trust and, in extreme cases, lead to market selloffs or runs on banks. Although no significant “cyber runs” have occurred thus far, the report suggests that modest and somewhat persistent deposit outflows have occurred at smaller US banks after a cyberattack.

The report indicated that Cyber incidents that disrupt critical services like payment networks could also severely affect economic activity. For example, a December attack at the Central Bank of Lesotho disrupted the national payment system, preventing transactions by domestic banks.

According to the report, While third-party IT service providers can improve operational resilience, however they can also expose the financial industry to systemwide shocks. For example, a 2023 ransomware attack on a cloud IT service provider caused simultaneous outages at 60 US credit unions.

Increasing digitalization and geopolitical tensions are another reason the global financial system  is facing significant and growing cyber attacks, therefore  policies and governance frameworks at firms must keep pace.

Furthermore because private incentives may be insufficient to address cyber risks—for example, firms may not fully account for the systemwide effects of incidents—public intervention may be necessary.

According to an IMF survey of central banks and supervisory authorities, cybersecurity policy frameworks, especially in emerging market and developing economies, often remain insufficient. For example, only about half of countries surveyed had a national, financial sector-focused cybersecurity strategy or dedicated cybersecurity regulations.

To strengthen resilience in the financial sector, authorities should develop an adequate national cybersecurity strategy accompanied by effective regulation and supervisory capacity that should encompass:

Periodically assessing the cybersecurity landscape and identifying potential systemic risks from interconnectedness and concentrations, including from third-party service providers.

Encouraging cyber “maturity” among financial sector firms, including board-level access to cybersecurity expertise, as supported by the chapter’s analysis which suggests that better cyber-related governance may reduce cyber risk.

Improving cyber hygiene of firms—that is, their online security and system health (such as antimalware and multifactor authentication)—and training and awareness.

Prioritizing data reporting and collection of cyber incidents, and sharing information among financial sector participants to enhance their collective preparedness.

As attacks often emanate from outside a financial firm’s home country and proceeds can be routed across borders, international cooperation is imperative to address cyber risk successfully.

While cyber incidents will occur, the financial sector needs the capacity to deliver critical business services during these disruptions. To this end, financial firms should develop, and test, response and recovery procedures and national authorities should have effective response protocols and crisis management frameworks in place.

The IMF actively helps member countries strengthen their cybersecurity frameworks through policy advice, for example as part of the Financial Sector Assessment Program, and through capacity-building activities.

MTN ’s super app Ayoba reaches 35 million monthly active users

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MTN ’s super app Ayoba  has  announced a significant milestone with the super-app reaching 35 million monthly active users across the African continent in December 2023.

Ayoba is an all-in-one app that allows you to chat, call, read, play, and listen to music. In 2023,the app witnessed strong growth in many areas of the service. Usage of Music continued to increase via ayoba’s popular playlist service in collaboration with Boomplay, which ended the year in excess of 600 million streams.  Amongst many other growth drivers were improvements in the messaging vertical and popularity of the new ‘Explore’ landing page.

Selorm Adadevoh, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer stated, “Empowering connections, fostering innovation, and charting the course for a digital future, ayoba is more than an app – it’s a transformative journey. Like the continent itself, ayoba has been resilient, dynamic, and forward-thinking.“

Adadevoh  stated that  while reflecting on the  milestones of 2023, it’s clear that dedication to innovation and user-centricity has propelled ayoba to new heights. He said that the company is  embarking on 2024 with a steadfast commitment to continuing to evolve ayoba delivering enriched experiences for its growing user base in Africa.

Ayoba’s  growth is attributed to the heightened retention rates and organic adoption, fuelled by an enhanced user experience in the communication suite and a robust content offering that includes music, channels, games, and services.

The expansion has been further propelled by the inclusion of users from new territories such as Kenya, Egypt, Mali, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and Botswana.

Looking ahead to 2024, Burak Akinci, ayoba’s CEO, expresses optimism, saying “We are very proud of our achievements in 2023, and we have a lot to look forward to in the coming year. We begin the year with a strong offering for Football fans including multiple daily news updates, games, themed playlists to name a few.  As we move into the year, our product and content teams have many updates coming across Messaging and Groups, User Stories, Music, Games and more. Our focus in 2024 will extend to the B2B front, introducing features to benefit our partners and leverage our growing ecosystem and traffic.“

In 2023, ayoba successfully launched content marketing attracting partnerships with top brands such as Cadbury’s, Chappies. The year ahead will see a heightened focus on expanding partnerships with known brands, as new Ad Sales options are introduced to capitalise on the growing user base and engagement.

On the content front, ayoba has secured new high-profile partners, from international NGOs to the localised Dycoco offering, adding more French comedy to the highly popular Adamant Media series on the platform. In plans for 2024, includes the introduction of more podcasts, playlists, education, sports news, lifestyle updates and uplifting with a focus on short-form video.

ayoba is set to launch an updated range of services, including a communications API, new payment partners and improvements to its partner portal. The newly launched ‘Discover’ Page in the Services vertical offers new traffic drivers for partners, as well as a curated services offering.

Messaging has always been a core focus for ayoba. Following on the successful re-engineering of the messaging module in 2023 which included a design and features refresh; ayoba will turn its attention to commercial features in 2024.  This includes the introduction of business accounts with related support and a suite of business-oriented features.

According to Adadevoh , the company focus remains unwavering on empowering communities, driving innovation, and building a sustainable ecosystem for long-term growth, ayoba is not just an app; it’s a testament to the power of connectivity.

Olkaria I geothermal power plant set for renovation  following partnership with Toshiba

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Olkaria I geothermal power plant  is set to undergo  renovation following partnership with Toshiba. The company has received an order from SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. To provide steam turbines and generators for the geothermal power plant equipment renovation of Units 1 through 3 at the old 45MW Olkaria I .

Olkaria I geothermal power plant which  is the oldest geothermal power plant in Kenya and has been in commercial operation by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen”) since 1981.

Shinya Fujitsuka, Director and Vice President of the Power Systems Division at Toshiba ESS, said, “I’m pleased that we can contribute to energy stability in Kenya by providing our equipment and services. Toshiba ESS will continue to provide optimal products and solutions to meet customer needs through its lineup of small to large geothermal steam turbines and generators with power outputs ranging from 1 MW to 200 MW.”

The steam turbines and generators will be shipped to the site by December 2025.Units 1 through 3 of the plant need renovation due to aging, and Toshiba ESS’s steam turbines and generators have been selected for the renovation.

This will increase the power output of Units 1 through 3 from the current 15 Megawatts(MW)to 21 MW each, enabling them to achieve a higher output with less steam. These points were highly evaluated by KenGen and led to the adoption of the contract.

Kenya’s economic growth is spurring demand for power. The government has responded with a comprehensive blueprint for development, Vision 2030, which currently includes provision for boosting Kenya’s electricity generating capacity from renewable sources and seeking to transition to 100% green energy by 2030. Many new geothermal power plants are planned to tap into the 9GW geothermal potential in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley region.

Toshiba ESS and KenGen concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to anticipate partnership on Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services through a combination of KenGen and Toshiba ESS’s know-how and networks in 2022.

They aim to provide O&M services for geothermal power plants for developing countries including East African countries outside Kenya.

Toshiba ESS has several successful delivery records providing geothermal power generation systems in Kenya and other East African countries. Additionally, Toshiba ESS has contributed to the promotion of geothermal power generation by signing MOU’s on geothermal power plant business with several partners in other East African nations.

Toyota Ventures Raises Another $300 Million for Early-Stage Technology and Climate Startups

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Toyota Ventures, the early-stage venture capital arm of Toyota, founded in July 2017 to discover what’s next for Toyota, has raised an additional $300 million, bringing the firm’s total assets under management to over $800 million.  

Since its founding, the SF Bay Area-based Toyota Ventures has invested in more than 75 startups across areas ranging from artificial intelligence and robotics to hydrogen solutions and renewable energy.

With these new funds, Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund II (TVFF II $150 million) and Toyota Ventures Climate Fund II (TVCF II $150 million), the firm can support more entrepreneurs around the world as they tackle tough challenges to build a better future for society and the planet.  

“At Toyota Ventures, we are explorers. Our role is to understand technology trends that could advance Toyota’s mobility transformation in the near term and embrace the next generation of disruptive innovation in the long term,” said Jim Adler, founder and general partner of Toyota Ventures. “With seismic breakthroughs in generative AI, e-fuels, space commercialization, carbon capture, and synthetic biology, it’s a crucial time to be investing for Toyota.”  

TVFF II will focus on startups at the cutting edge of deep technology in areas like AI, robotics, mobility, cloud, and quantum computing while TVCF II will seek out startups developing smart, scalable solutions that combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.

Gill Pratt, chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation, CEO of TRI, and board member at Toyota Ventures said, “These new funds underscore our dedication to supporting entrepreneurs who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and I’m thrilled to continue this journey alongside the Toyota Ventures team and portfolio.”  

Apart from capital, Toyota Ventures aims to leverage Toyota’s global network, deep technical expertise, and strategic partnerships to assist startups in its portfolio. The firm will also provide guidance in product and business development, fundraising, marketing, and other areas to help the companies scale effectively.

Entrepreneurs seeking early-stage funding are invited to learn more and submit an online pitch at the Toyota Ventures website.  

Nigeria’s Remittance Startup Pesa Launches in India After Impressive Results in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon

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Pesa, a Nigerian remittance firm founded Nigerian immigrants in Toronto, Canada has announced its expansion into India following impressive results serving the West African diaspora (Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon).

After achieving $2 million in revenue (and profitability) in its first year, the Toronto-based company is doubling down on the even larger India remittance corridor, which receives flows of over $100 billion annually. The firm allows users to access Pesa’s new India remittance service by signing up or downloading the app via the company’s website.

To support its India expansion, Pesa will hire local payment experts and open an office in India this year.

Founded in 2022 by immigrants, Tolu Osho and Yusuf Yakub, Pesa has rapidly grown to transaction volumes in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The founders bring industry experience in financial services from stints working with global leaders such Interswitch, Coinbase, and Interac.

Since launching Pesa, Osho and Yakub have led the venture to scale tens of thousands of monthly users. They’ve achieved this by providing seamless services, better commissions, and more competitive money transfer fees (than competitors) to immigrants sending money to family and friends back home.

The company’s micro-pricing model and digital remittance rails have made it a hit, especially among younger, tech-savvy members of the African and Asian diasporas.

“Building a competitive remittance company is no small feat, but our relentless focus on the customer experience and compliance has allowed us to gain traction,” said Tolu Osho, CEO and co-founder of Pesa, who is licensed by FINTRAC – the national financial intelligence agency of Canada.

“We cannot be all things to all people, and we know large players exist. However, we concentrate on strong communities, like the Indian and Nigerian diaspora, where we can provide an unmatched experience at affordable rates. Our high customer retention is a testament to our differentiated product. We are excited to now make our affordable, fast, and secure remittance services available to the Canadian-Indian diaspora,” said Osho.

Pesa is on a mission to help immigrants succeed by providing affordable money transfer services to send funds back home. Founded by immigrants, Pesa leverages digital remittance rails and micro-pricing to dramatically undercut fees of traditional money transfer firms. The company is backed by Fast Forward Venture Studio and several leading financial service providers.

Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award Announce 2024 Winners

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Global Citizen, the advocacy group, today announced the winners of its annual Global Citizen Prize and Cisco Youth Leadership Award.

The six young, trailblazing changemakers will be celebrated during the Global Citizen NOW summit in New York on May 1, 2024 for their exceptional commitment to defeating poverty, defending the planet, and demanding equity. The awards celebrate activists who champion and elevate their communities most vulnerable, taking actions to end extreme poverty, while fostering social change across the world.
 
The six come from across five categories: gender equity, civic space, climate change, food and nutrition, health and vaccines. The recipients will each receive a year-long programme of support from Global Citizen, together with a cash grant for their organization.
 
The Global Citizen Prize 2024 awardees are:

  • Andrew Ddembe, Health Lawyer, Founder and Executive Director, Mobiklinic Foundation, from Uganda;
  • Lydia Charles Moyo, Founder and Executive Director of Her Initiative and Panda Digital, from Tanzania;
  • Olivier Bahemuke Ndoole, Environmental Rights Defender and Lawyer, Cofounder of Alerte Congolaise pour l’Environnement et les Droits de l’Homme, from Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • Sophie Healy-Thow, Founder, Act4Food, Global Youth Campaigns Coordinator for the GAIN (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), from Ireland; and
  • Vishal Prasad, Campaign Director, Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change, from Fiji.

 
Established in 2018 by Cisco and Global Citizen, the Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award honors an individual aged 18-30 who has contributed meaningfully to global problem solving. The prize winner will receive a US$250,000 grant to their organization to enable its continued growth.
 
This year’s Cisco Youth Leadership Award recipient is Ricardo Enrique Alba Torres, environmental engineer, Cofounder and CEO of the social enterprise Eko Group H2O+, from Bogotá, Colombia. Through his Eko Group H2O+ Ricardo provides environmentally sustainable technologies to address global water access issues. His expertise has sensitized over 150 communities, with 15000 active users benefiting from the 350 Ekomuros H2O+ tanks installed across Colombia and LATAM, reaching over 85,000 indirect beneficiaries. Ricardo’s commitment to environmental sustainability and social impact underscores his powerful leadership in tackling one of the world’s most pressing challenges.
 
“If we are to address the world’s most pressing issues, we need to support young leaders who are taking action now,” said Liza Henshaw, President, Global Citizen. “It is an honor to celebrate these inspirational trailblazers, who are dedicating their lives to uplifting the most vulnerable in their local communities, and advancing the fight against ending extreme poverty across the world.”
 
The Global Citizen Prize is part of Global Citizen NOW, a two-day summit taking place in New York City on May
1 and 2. Global Citizen NOW is supported by partners Authentic Brands Group, Bridgewater Associates, Cisco, Citi, Delta Air Lines, P&G and Verizon.
 

SunTrustLtd.com Review: A Gateway to Forex Excellence

In the digital age where forex trading platforms abound, the SunTrustLtd.com review unfolds the story of a broker that distinguishes itself through unmatched service quality and innovative trading solutions. This platform not only offers an extensive range of trading instruments but also excels in providing traders with an environment that’s both secure and conducive to exploring financial markets. With a focus on user experience and customer support, SunTrustLtd.com emerges as a commendable choice for both novice and seasoned traders.

Suntrustltd.com Review: Numbers Don’t Lie

When selecting a Forex broker, traders often look for reliability, diversity, and global reach. Suntrustltd.com seems to stand out in these aspects, and here’s why:

1. Proven Track Record

  • 1 Million Successful Trades: Achievement of a milestone like 1 million trades indicates a robust platform with a history of facilitating a high volume of transactions. This suggests a level of trust that traders have in the platform, likely a result of efficient execution, stable platforms, and responsive customer service.

2. Diverse Trading Options

  • 2K+ Tradable Assets: The wide array of over 2,000 assets means traders can diversify their portfolios within a single platform. This diversity includes various market sectors, indices, commodities, and more, allowing traders to spread risk and explore different market opportunities.

3. Flexible Transactions

  • 20+ Payment Methods: Accessibility is key in trading, and with over 20 payment methods, Suntrustltd.com shows commitment to providing convenience for its users. This flexibility ensures traders worldwide can manage their funds easily and enter trades faster.

4. Global Presence

  • 100+ Available Countries: A presence in over 100 countries reflects a global trust and compliance with multiple regulatory standards. This broad availability signifies an understanding of different investor needs and adherence to diverse legal frameworks, enhancing the security of trader investments.

In essence, Suntrustltd.com’s impressive numbers are indicative of a Forex broker that prioritizes user satisfaction, market presence, and a wide range of trading instruments, making it a commendable choice for traders looking for a comprehensive and reliable trading experience.

suntrustltd.com Review: Crafting a Trader-Centric World in Forex

In the intricate tapestry of Forex trading, suntrustltd.com positions itself as a beacon of empowerment and innovation. Their work is multidimensional:

Empowering Traders with Knowledge and Choice

  • At its core, Suntrustltd.com is dedicated to offering clients an extensive range of investment opportunities. This not only provides the chance for portfolio diversification but also empowers traders to make informed decisions.

Fostering Growth and Confidence

  • Their vision extends to building a community centered around growth and sustainable trading education. This approach brings individuals from various backgrounds into the trading sphere, equipped with the confidence to navigate complex markets.

Commitment to Transparency

  • The philosophy at Suntrustltd.com pivots on customer-centric strategies. Prioritizing clients’ needs, the platform holds transparency and fairness as cornerstones of all business dealings, ensuring an ethical trading environment.

Technological Edge in Trading

  • Suntrustltd.com employs a comprehensive trading strategy that intertwines cutting-edge technology, in-depth market research, and personalized support. This harmonious blend ensures that each trader’s experience is tailored to their unique market approach and goals.

As a segment of a larger review, suntrustltd.com emerges not just as a broker but as a facilitator of a future where Forex trading is accessible, equitable, and enriched by technology. This platform offers a promising sanctuary for traders looking to engage with the markets on a grounded yet forward-thinking foundation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Trading with suntrustltd.com

Engaging with the Forex market through suntrustltd.com is streamlined into an efficient process designed to enhance focus and minimize complexity. Here’s a walkthrough of the trading journey:

1. Registration: Setting the Foundation

  • Sign Up: Begin by creating and verifying your account. The process is designed to be straightforward, requiring valid personal information to ensure security and compliance.

2. Funding: The Fuel to Start Trading

  • Deposit Funds: Seamlessly top up your account using secure payment methods. This step is critical as it empowers you to be trade-ready almost instantaneously.

3. Education: Empowering with Knowledge

  • Learn: Delve into educational resources available on the platform. Acquiring knowledge in various trading aspects allows you to practice strategies in a sandbox environment before going live.

4. Execution: The Trading Commences

  • Start Trading: With your account funded and knowledge in hand, embark on the actual trading journey. Suntrustltd.com provides access to a range of global financial markets, enabling you to execute trades on preferred instruments.

5. Capital Management: Reaping the Rewards

  • Withdrawals: Finally, the platform facilitates quick and hassle-free withdrawals, allowing you to efficiently manage and enjoy the returns on your investment.

In this suntrustltd.com review section, each stage of the process from sign-up to withdrawal is crafted to be user-friendly, underlining the broker’s commitment to a hassle-free trading experience. This streamlined approach reflects suntrustltd.com’s dedication to facilitating a smooth trading journey for every client.

suntrustltd.com Review: A Trio of Services Elevating Forex Trading

Within the bustling realm of Forex trading, suntrustltd.com presents a trio of services designed to enhance the trader’s journey. This segment of the review delves into the unique features that suntrustltd.com offers.

Maximizing Gains: Profitability Tools

  • Advanced Market Analysis: Traders can harness the potential of the markets with cutting-edge tools provided by suntrustltd.com. Signing up unlocks access to sophisticated market analysis instruments, crafted to elevate the trading experience and optimize profitability.

Minimizing Costs: Economical Trading

  • Low Transaction Fees: In the spirit of fostering a supportive environment, suntrustltd.com ensures that traders are not burdened by excessive fees. Their low-cost approach prioritizes the trader’s success, allowing for a cost-efficient trading strategy without hidden charges.

Expanding Horizons: Asset Diversity

  • Infinite Opportunities: With an eye on the global markets, suntrustltd.com opens doors to a plethora of assets. The platform’s emphasis is on providing traders with limitless possibilities, granting them access to a vast array of international assets to diversify their trading portfolio.

This concise review section highlights how suntrustltd.com stands out by offering tailored services that address profitability, cost-efficiency, and a wide range of trading opportunities, signifying their dedication to trader advancement and success in the competitive Forex landscape.

suntrustltd.com Review: Exploring Diverse Markets for Trading Opportunities

The brokerage platform suntrustltd.com offers traders an impressive range of markets, each with its unique characteristics and opportunities for growth. This part of our extensive review provides a glimpse into these markets.

Vast Forex Market

  • Global Currency Trading: Suntrustltd.com enables trading in the comprehensive Forex market, promising ease in managing currency transactions across the globe.

Energizing Commodities Trade

  • Diverse Commodities: The platform allows for the expansion of portfolios by trading in various commodities like cocoa, coffee, and copper, appealing to those interested in tangible goods markets.

Shining a Light on Metals

  • Precious Metals: Traders can enhance their investment portfolios with precious metals trading, offering options like palladium, platinum, gold, and indium—ideal for those looking to hedge against inflation.

Fueling Futures with Energy

  • Energy Sector: Profit from the energy sector through strategic trades in spot or futures contracts, leveraging expertise in a highly volatile but potentially rewarding market.

Solid Investments in Bonds

  • Bond Market: Engage in Contracts for Difference (CFDs) on bonds from leading economies, available under exceptional terms provided by suntrustltd.com.

Broadening Horizons with Stocks

  • Equity Markets: The platform provides access to trade CFDs on stocks from top-tier companies, including tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Meta.

Index Insight

  • Market Indices: Monitor and trade based on key market indices such as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones for broad market exposure.

Diversified ETF Trading

  • Exchange-Traded Funds: Suntrustltd.com offers a simplified approach to diversification with ETFs, facilitating the management of a range of linked assets through a single transaction.

Each market available through suntrustltd.com caters to different trading preferences and strategies, providing a well-rounded offering for traders seeking to diversify their approach to the Forex landscape.

suntrustltd.com Review: Tailored Account Types for Every Trader

suntrustltd.com caters to a diverse clientele with a range of account types, each structured to meet various trading needs and investment levels. This section of the review highlights the unique features of each account type available.

Bronze Account

  • For the Emerging Trader: With a $10,000 minimum deposit, this account is suited for those new to Forex. It offers:
    • A personal account manager
    • Trading platform assistance
    • Risk management insights
    • Introduction to markets

Silver Account

  • Progressive Trading Platform: A step up with a $25,000 minimum deposit, the Silver account builds on the Bronze by offering:
    • Customized trading alerts
    • Further market education

Gold Account

  • Advanced Trader Hub: This account requires a $50,000 deposit and is designed for more experienced traders, providing:
    • Options for risk-free trading
    • Practice trading sessions

Premium Account

  • Exclusive Market Access: With a $100,000 minimum deposit, the Premium account adds:
    • Qualification for managed account services
    • Practices for trading without risk

Platinum Account

  • Ultimate Trading Experience: For elite traders, the Platinum account requires a $250,000 deposit and offers:
    • Access to enhanced credit opportunities
    • All aforementioned benefits

Each account level at suntrustltd.com is meticulously designed to enhance the trading experience, providing the necessary tools, guidance, and opportunities suitable for every stage of a trader’s journey.

For a deep dive into the world of Forex trading, the suntrustltd.com review section provides an invaluable resource. This site boasts a detailed and expansive database of Forex brokers from across the globe, giving users a robust tool for comparison and research. In addition to general broker information, suntrustltd.com offers specialized insights into various brands, including detailed coverage of the suntrustltd brand. This makes it an essential tool for traders of all levels who are looking to navigate the Forex market with confidence and comprehensive knowledge.

suntrustltd.com Review: Accessing Dedicated Support

For traders seeking assistance, suntrustltd.com offers multiple avenues to connect with their dedicated support team. Here we examine the available options and the functionality of the support service.

Email Support

  • Direct Email Contact: Traders can reach out to the support team via email at [email protected], ensuring a direct and documented line of communication for queries or assistance.

Telephone Assistance

  • Immediate Response: For more urgent support or a direct conversation, traders can call +44 935 177 306. This option provides real-time assistance, allowing for immediate resolution of pressing concerns.

Physical Correspondence

  • Office Address: For those who prefer traditional methods or require physical documentation, there is the option to send mail to their office at 2nd Floor Queens House 180 Tottenham Court Road London W1T 7PD.

Online Contact Form

  • Convenient Online Queries: A message can be submitted through the website’s contact form, where traders can detail their issues or requests, providing an easy and quick way to get in touch with the team.

The support service at suntrustltd.com is structured to be comprehensive and responsive, catering to various preferences for communication. The broker emphasizes accessibility and readiness to assist, ensuring that traders’ needs are promptly met.

Spidertrex.com Review: A User’s Perspective on Forex Trading

This Spidertrex.com review embarks on a detailed examination of a platform that’s swiftly climbing the ranks in the forex market. From their intuitive interface to the personalized support, Spidertrex.com crafts an environment where strategy and success converge, offering a glimpse into the future of trading.

Spidertrex.com Review: Pioneering Personalized Forex Trading

Ethical Trading with Spidertrex.com

Delving deeper into the world of Spidertrex.com, their staunch commitment to ethical trading practices shines through. It’s the unwavering integrity and trust they maintain that provides a rock-solid foundation for traders seeking a dependable platform.

Technological Advancements in Trading

Spidertrex.com stands at the vanguard of technological integration, implementing state-of-the-art trading tools. This fusion of tech and trade offers users a seamless and efficient experience, pivotal for maneuvering in the ever-volatile forex markets.

Catering to the Individual Trader

Acknowledging the diversity of its clientele, Spidertrex.com embraces a bespoke trading strategy. The individual investor is the centerpiece of their service, receiving tailored strategies that align with their specific trading style and goals.

Summing Up Spidertrex.com’s Approach

As this section of our review highlights, Spidertrex.com’s philosophy is about creating a partnership with traders. They place a strong emphasis on building a service that not only facilitates trading but also supports and values the individual’s trading aspirations. The melding of their core principles with innovative practices is what helps Spidertrex.com stand out as a foremost ally in forex trading.

Spidertrex.com Review: The Ideal Blend for Forex Mastery

Harnessing Superior Trading Tools

Spidertrex.com distinguishes itself with a collection of advanced trading tools, which are indispensable for in-depth market analysis and informed trade execution. The platform’s customization abilities empower traders to shape their trading interface to suit their unique strategies and preferences, ensuring an optimal trading environment tailored to individual needs.

Embracing Market Diversity

Access to a broad spectrum of markets is a standout feature at Spidertrex.com. Traders can venture beyond the typical forex offerings to include an eclectic mix of currency pairs, from the most traded to the more obscure, thus facilitating portfolio diversification and resilience against market volatility. This breadth of choice underscores Spidertrex.com’s commitment to providing a trading foundation that is as diverse as the investment goals of its clients.

Upholding Unmatched Security

Security is paramount in online trading, and Spidertrex.com places a fortress around its clients’ assets and data. With cutting-edge encryption standards and the implementation of two-factor authentication, traders can focus on their trading decisions without undue concern for the safety of their capital or personal information.

Concluding Thoughts

In an arena where technology, diversity, and security are critical, Spidertrex.com emerges as a broker that not only meets these needs but excels at them. For traders seeking a partner that is committed to providing a safe, comprehensive, and highly capable trading platform, Spidertrex.com stands out as the go-to choice.

Spidertrex.com Review: Seamlessly Kick-start Your Forex Trading

Embarking on the Spidertrex.com Trading Voyage

The first leg of your trading expedition with Spidertrex.com begins with a simple sign-up procedure. This initial phase requires just the essential personal details to forge your unique trading identity on their platform.

Fortifying Your Trading Base with Verification

Transitioning to the second phase involves fortifying your account. Here, Spidertrex.com emphasizes the importance of account security through a thorough verification process. By confirming your identity and residence, you are not only adhering to global regulatory standards but also anchoring the safety of your future transactions.

Navigating the Trading Waters

Once you’ve set your sails with a verified account, the third phase allows you to dive into the market. Spidertrex.com equips you with an array of tools for trading and risk management, facilitating an environment where you can execute and oversee your trades with confidence and precision.

Conclusion: The Spidertrex.com Advantage

In following these structured steps, Spidertrex.com ensures that beginning your trading journey is as efficient and secure as possible. Each phase of the process reflects their commitment to providing a user-friendly and safeguarded platform, positioning you for a successful foray into the forex market.

Spidertrex.com Review: Customizing Your Forex Trading Experience

Standard Accounts Tailored to Trader Profiles

At Spidertrex.com, traders can select from a spectrum of standard accounts, each structured to cater to varying levels of investment and support preferences:

Bronze Account for the Budding Trader

The Bronze tier, starting at an accessible $10,000, opens the door to the forex market with essential services, including a personal account manager and foundational educational resources.

Silver Account: The Next Step Up

Investing $25,000, Silver account holders enjoy the Bronze benefits enhanced with expert analysis reports, providing more depth to their trading strategies.

Gold Account: The Popular Choice

The Gold account, requiring $50,000, is equipped with advanced tools and priority support, becoming a favorite for traders taking their investment more seriously.

Platinum Account: For the Active Trader

At $100,000, the Platinum account introduces real-time updates, an essential feature for traders who base their strategies on the pulse of the market.

Diamond Account: The Elite Tier

Diamond traders, with an investment starting at $250,000, receive comprehensive access to all Spidertrex.com services, including direct guidance from market experts.

Premium Accounts with a VIP Edge

Spidertrex.com’s premium accounts are crafted for the ultimate trading endeavor:

VIP Account: Enhancing Your Trading Journey

The VIP account elevates the trading experience by offering a suite of premium features including advanced tools and personalized expert guidance.

VIP+ Account: The Ultimate Trading Ecosystem

For the ultimate in bespoke trading, the VIP+ account provides elite traders with everything from reduced fees to one-on-one expert coaching.

Spidertrex.com has thoughtfully designed each account type to align with the traders’ aspirations and levels of engagement, promising a fitting solution for every forex market participant.

Spidertrex.com Review: Navigating Support with Easeю

Reaching Out to Spidertrex.com Support

Spidertrex.com has established a variety of contact methods for their client base:

Email Communication for Comprehensive Support

  • Clients preferring to document their concerns can use the email address [email protected], which is ideal for non-urgent, detailed communication.

Direct Telephone Line for Immediate Response

  • A direct phone line, +441457833807, is available for traders seeking instant support, providing a swift connection to the help they need.

Postal Address for Official Correspondence

  • Traditional mail can be sent to their physical address at 1 Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9HT, for those occasions when physical documents need to be dispatched.

The Functionality of Spidertrex.com’s Customer Service

Personalized Advice from Industry Experts

  • Traders can expect custom-tailored guidance from a team with deep expertise in the forex market.

Rapid Response for Efficient Trading

  • Recognizing the fast-paced nature of trading, the customer support team is trained to provide quick and efficient service to ensure minimal disruption to trading activities.

The commitment of Spidertrex.com to providing accessible and expert customer support stands out, highlighting their dedication to ensuring a smooth and supportive trading experience for all their clients.

Spidertrex.com Review: Summing Up the Trader’s Experience

 This Spidertrex.com review wraps up with a positive note on its comprehensive services. The platform’s dedication to evolving with trader needs and market trends is commendable, marking it as an adaptable and forward-thinking choice for modern traders.

SilverLineTrust.net Review 2024

In today’s fast-paced world of Forex trading, where the global financial markets can be both exhilarating and daunting, finding the right brokerage platform is essential. This SilverLineTrust.net review aims to shed light on a brokerage that has been gaining attention among traders of all levels. As traders navigate the complexities of currency markets, they seek a partner they can trust, one that offers not only a robust trading platform but also comprehensive support and guidance. SilverLineTrust.net emerges as a beacon in this landscape, promising traders a reliable and rewarding experience. Let’s delve deeper into what sets SilverLineTrust.net apart and why it’s becoming a preferred choice for many in the Forex community.

SilverLineTrust.net Review: A Comprehensive Approach to Forex Trading

Investment Planning

Tailored Strategies: SilverLineTrust.net stands out for its personalized investment planning. Each client receives a tailored strategy that aligns precisely with their unique financial goals. This bespoke approach ensures that traders are not just another number, but a priority, with services sculpted to fit their individual investment journey.

Market Analysis

Research and Insight: The market analysis provided by SilverLineTrust.net is not only comprehensive but insightful. With an emphasis on in-depth research, traders gain access to a wealth of knowledge on various financial markets. This feature is critical for making informed decisions, allowing traders to understand market dynamics and potential investment opportunities in a nuanced way.

Educational Services

Empowering Traders: Empowerment through education is the cornerstone of SilverLineTrust.net’s services. By offering comprehensive educational resources, the broker ensures that traders of all levels enhance their knowledge and skills. This educational commitment suggests that SilverLineTrust.net values long-term success and client competence in trading, which is pivotal for those who seek to grow and succeed in the forex market.

In summary, SilverLineTrust.net delivers a well-rounded forex trading experience with a notable emphasis on customization, in-depth analysis, and trader education. It’s these pillars that make them a commendable choice for anyone looking to engage with the forex market thoughtfully and successfully.

Kickstarting Your Forex Journey with SilverLineTrust.net: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Sign Up

To embark on your trading journey with SilverLineTrust.net, begin with these simple actions:

  • Visit their website and locate the registration section.
  • Fill out the user-friendly form with your details to create your account.

Features of Signing Up:

  • Easy and streamlined sign-up process.
  • Initial step to accessing a world of trading opportunities.

Step 2: Fund Your Account

Once your account is set up, the next phase is funding:

  • Securely deposit funds into your trading account.
  • Choose from a range of convenient payment methods.

Account Funding Features:

  • Secure transactions to ensure the safety of your funds.
  • Multiple payment options for added convenience.

Step 3: Start Trading

With your account ready and funded, you’re set to dive into trading:

  • Access SilverLineTrust.net’s trading platform.
  • Explore various market opportunities.
  • Execute trades to work towards achieving your financial aspirations.

Features of the Trading Phase:

  • Intuitive trading platform designed for users of all levels.
  • A broad spectrum of markets to trade, from forex to commodities.

In summary, SilverLineTrust.net lays out a clear, three-step path to enter the forex market. Their structured approach is aimed at simplifying the process for traders, backed by a secure and supportive trading environment. This review underscores their commitment to facilitating a smooth start for aspiring traders.

SilverLineTrust.net Review: A Gateway to Diverse Markets

Forex: The Currency Exchange Arena

  • Specializes in Forex CFDs for versatile short or long positions.
  • Offers a premium experience with optimal trading conditions in the international forex markets.

Commodities: The Assets of Variety

  • Provides opportunities to diversify with commodities such as cocoa, coffee, and copper.
  • Enables both standalone trading and portfolio diversification.

Stocks: The Equity Market Pulse

  • Allows trading CFDs on leading stocks including tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Meta.
  • Offers a route to engage with the pulse of the tech industry and beyond.

Indices: The Market Trendsetters

  • Features the ability to track major indices like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Aims to deliver insights into broader market trends for informed decision-making.

SilverLineTrust.net opens up a world of trading possibilities across a multitude of markets. Whether you’re looking to trade currency pairs, diversify with commodities, invest in the stock market, or analyze the indices for broader trends, this broker has tailored options for both beginners and experienced traders. Their platform is designed to help you take control of your financial future with a well-rounded trading experience.

Account Options at SilverLineTrust.net: Tailored to Every Trader

Bronze Account: The Entry-Level Gateway

  • Minimum Deposit: $10,000
  • Features: Personal Account Manager, Educational Materials, Expert Analysis Report, Advanced Trading Tools, Premium Customer Support, Instantaneous News Alerts, and Expert Analysts Guidance.

Silver Account: Stepping Up the Trading Game

  • Minimum Deposit: $25,000
  • Adds: Enhanced versions of all Bronze features for a more dynamic trading experience.

Gold Account: The Preferred Choice

  • Minimum Deposit: $50,000
  • Recognized as the ‘Best Choice’ for serious traders, integrating all Silver account benefits with an emphasis on premium service.

Premium Account: For the Dedicated Trader

  • Minimum Deposit: $100,000
  • Caters to high-volume traders with exclusive service offerings and the most advanced toolset.

Platinum Account: The Elite Trading Experience

  • Minimum Deposit: $250,000
  • The pinnacle of personal trading services, offering the most comprehensive features for top-tier investors.

This section of our comprehensive SilverLineTrust.net review explores the varied account types available, each designed to cater to the different needs and investment scales of traders. From the solid foundation of the Bronze account to the exclusive offerings of the Platinum, SilverLineTrust.net delivers a diverse range of services to suit both newcomers and experienced market players.

Core Values and Services of SilverLineTrust.net: An In-depth Review

Empowering Traders: SilverLineTrust.net’s Mission

SilverLineTrust.net is dedicated to:

  • Empowering traders across all skill levels to reach their financial objectives.
  • Providing a transparent and innovative trading experience.
  • Offering accessible resources, expert guidance, and advanced technology.

Client-Centric Approach: Building Trust

Their approach is built on:

  • A philosophy that puts the client’s interests first, ensuring transparency and integrity.
  • Striving for customer satisfaction in all facets of their service.
  • Establishing lasting relationships with clients by offering personalized support and educational resources.

Visionary Leadership: Setting Industry Standards

SilverLineTrust.net aims to:

  • Be a vanguard in the trading sector, pioneering excellence and innovation.
  • Inspire and empower a global community of traders.
  • Foster a network of informed, confident, and successful investors.

In this segment of our review, we focus on what sets SilverLineTrust.net apart. Their commitment to facilitating trader success through a combination of client-focused services and visionary leadership establishes them as a trusted partner for those seeking financial growth in the Forex market.

SilverLineTrust.net Review: A Closer Look at Customer Support Options

Dedicated Support Channels

SilverLineTrust.net provides a range of accessible customer service options:

  • Live Chat: A real-time messaging service where traders can get immediate assistance.
  • Email Support: For more detailed inquiries or issues that require thorough follow-up.
  • Phone Support: A direct line to speak with a support representative for urgent or complex matters.

Navigating Customer Support

The support service at SilverLineTrust.net operates with a client-focused approach:

  • Personalized Assistance: Each query is handled with a tailored response to meet the individual’s needs.
  • Prompt Responses: Quick and efficient support, especially through the chat and phone services.
  • Physical Accessibility: For in-person assistance, their office is open to visitors, reflecting their commitment to a trader-first service philosophy.

In this portion of our review, SilverLineTrust.net’s commitment to providing an exceptional support system is evident. Whether it’s through instant chat, email, or a phone call, traders have multiple avenues to seek assistance, ensuring their trading experience is smooth and supported.

SkyTargetLTD.com Review: Pioneering Innovation in Forex Trading

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In the ever-evolving realm of forex trading, where adaptability and accessibility reign supreme, SkyTargetLTD.com emerges as a beacon of innovation. Explore our comprehensive SkyTargetLTD.com Review, meticulously crafted to unveil all facets of this dynamic brand. With its cutting-edge mobile application, SkyTargetLTD.com is fundamentally transforming how traders engage with the market, offering unparalleled flexibility and seamless access to financial opportunities. Delve into this review to discover the transformative potential of SkyTargetLTD.com, shedding light on its mobile trading platform and the myriad benefits it bestows upon traders worldwide. From its steadfast commitment to security and inclusivity to its unwavering dedication to empowering traders with educational resources and real-time market insights, SkyTargetLTD.com stands at the forefront of the industry, reshaping the landscape of trading for the modern trader.

SkyTargetLTD.com Review: A Synthesis of Simplicity and Security in Forex Trading

Streamlined Trading Redefined

SkyTargetLTD.com revolutionizes the trading interface with:

  • A design that welcomes both beginners and professionals.
  • Rapid execution of trades with minimal fuss.
  • Easy navigation for real-time market tracking and account oversight.

Your Passport to Global Trading

With SkyTargetLTD.com, traders are guaranteed:

  • An all-access pass to international financial markets.
  • A suite of tools to capitalize on global trading opportunities.
  • Support for strategic investment moves on a global stage.

Unyielding Security Measures

SkyTargetLTD.com prioritizes trader protection through:

  • Cutting-edge encryption for ultimate data safety.
  • Vigilant safeguards for financial and personal information.
  • A trustworthy platform where security meets innovation.

Round-the-Clock Support System

The commitment of SkyTargetLTD.com is evidenced by:

  • 24/7 availability of customer service experts.
  • Real-time solutions for technical and trading issues.
  • A relentless dedication to client success in Forex trading.

In summary, SkyTargetLTD.com offers a harmonious blend of user-focused design, extensive market access, uncompromising security protocols, and relentless customer service, establishing itself as a distinguished Forex brokerage platform.

SkyTargetLTD.com Review: Crafting Your Forex Success Story

Initiating Your Trading Chapter

Embark on the Forex journey with SkyTargetLTD.com by signing up—an essential first step that secures your trading path with necessary verifications and a streamlined setup process.

Investing in Your Trading Journey

Progress to solidifying your intentions by injecting funds into your newly created account. SkyTargetLTD.com safeguards this procedure, providing peace of mind as you prepare to engage with the markets.

Knowledge as Your Trading Ally

Capitalize on the rich educational content SkyTargetLTD.com offers. Before placing any trades, arm yourself with strategy and insight, which are as crucial as capital in the realm of Forex.

The Trading Arena Awaits

With preparation complete, it’s time to apply your knowledge. SkyTargetLTD.com presents a plethora of global markets for you to execute your trading plans and potentially reap the rewards.

The Fruits of Your Labor

Conclude your trading activities by withdrawing your profits through a secure and straightforward process. SkyTargetLTD.com ensures that accessing your returns is as user-centric as every other step in the journey.

With each phase, SkyTargetLTD.com demonstrates its commitment to providing a seamless trading experience, endorsing its status as a trustworthy partner in your Forex market exploration.

For those interested in the global Forex trading landscape, SkyTargetLTD.com offers an insightful review section. This platform hosts a thorough and expansive database of international Forex brokers, enabling users to explore options and gather information efficiently. Additionally, SkyTargetLTD.com features detailed analyses, including a dedicated section on the SkyTargetLTD brand, helping traders make informed decisions. The website serves as a valuable resource for both novice and experienced traders seeking reliable and comprehensive broker reviews.

SkyTargetLTD.com Review: Customized Accounts for Progressive Trading

Beginner’s Entry: The Bronze Account

  • Launch into trading with a minimum of $10,000.
  • Ideal for novices, offering fundamental tools and educational support.
  • Access to trade a variety of stocks, commodities, and currencies.

Enhanced Experience: Silver Account

  • Step up with a $25,000 deposit requirement.
  • Targets traders with some market experience, expanding their trading scope.
  • A broader spectrum of investment opportunities is available.

Sophisticated Strategy: Gold Account

  • For the seasoned trader, a $50,000 deposit unlocks this account.
  • Offers enhanced tools for complex strategy formulation.
  • Comes with priority support for more nuanced trading approaches.

Professional’s Portfolio: Platinum Account

  • A substantial $100,000 deposit caters to the serious trader’s needs.
  • Comprehensive market access and top-tier tools are the hallmarks.
  • Premium customer service ensures a tailored trading experience.

Institutional Ambition: Diamond Account

  • A high entry point at $250,000 for the elite market player.
  • Offers in-depth market analysis and individualized trading guidance.
  • Dedicated to facilitating large-volume trading with expert support.

SkyTargetLTD.com’s tiered account structure aligns with individual trader growth, from initial steps to the pinnacle of trading expertise, underscoring their dedication to client progression in the Forex arena.

A Closer Look at SkyTargetLTD.com’s Diverse Trading Services

Strategic Account Guidance

SkyTargetLTD.com offers a dedicated service to manage and enhance investment strategies for both new entrants and experienced traders, ensuring a personalized approach to financial growth.

Bespoke Training Solutions

The platform provides customized educational modules to empower traders, instilling confidence and expertise for successful navigation in the dynamic financial markets.

Insightful Market Analysis

A key offering is SkyTargetLTD.com’s comprehensive analytics, which includes:

  • Detailed, insightful financial analyses.
  • Real-time data dissemination.
  • Trend evaluations to bolster trading decisions.

Dedicated Support Network

Recognizing the importance of support, SkyTargetLTD.com extends:

  • A hands-on approach to customer inquiries.
  • Guidance for a smooth and effective trading experience.

Broad ETF Portfolio

In its service roster, SkyTargetLTD.com also features:

  • A wide-ranging selection of ETFs.
  • Options for diversified and strategic asset allocation.

In review, SkyTargetLTD.com’s array of services underscores its commitment to providing a supportive and resource-rich environment for traders at all levels of their Forex journey.

SkyTargetLTD.com Review: Nurturing a Secure and Progressive Forex Environment

Cultivating a Secure Trading Ecosystem

SkyTargetLTD.com instills a philosophy that intertwines:

  • Ensuring robust security measures.
  • Promoting an inclusive environment.
  • Encouraging continual learning and innovation.

Dedicated to Empowering Forex Traders

SkyTargetLTD.com steadfastly pursues a mission centered around trader empowerment, which includes:

  • Developing an accessible, fortified online trading platform.
  • Curating a comprehensive suite of educational tools.
  • Integrating advanced trading technologies.
  • Providing dedicated and responsive customer support.

Visionary Goals for Market Leadership

SkyTargetLTD.com aspires to set the standard in forex trading by:

  • Staying agile amidst the dynamic financial market shifts.
  • Championing innovative practices for global trading dominance.
  • Pursuing excellence in service and strategic market insight.

In this review, SkyTargetLTD.com emerges as a broker that is committed to providing a trading environment that is not only secure but also conducive to growth and innovation, helping traders to achieve their full potential in the ever-changing forex landscape.

Exploring SkyTargetLTD.com: Unleashing the Power of Mobile Trading

Embracing Mobile Trading

SkyTargetLTD.com revolutionizes the trading experience with its cutting-edge mobile application, catering to the needs of modern traders who value flexibility and accessibility.

Simple App Acquisition Process

Acquiring the SkyTargetLTD.com app is a breeze:

  • Visit the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android devices.
  • Search for the SkyTargetLTD.com trading app.
  • Tap ‘Download’ to install the app on your smartphone or tablet.

Advantages of the Mobile Platform

Discover the benefits of trading with SkyTargetLTD.com’s mobile app:

  • 24/7 Accessibility: Trade anytime, anywhere, even on the move.
  • Intuitive Interface: Navigate effortlessly through the app’s user-friendly design.
  • Real-Time Market Updates: Stay informed with live market data at your fingertips.
  • Robust Security Features: Trade with peace of mind knowing your transactions are secure.
  • Diverse Trading Options: Access a wide range of financial instruments, including forex, stocks, and more.
  • Educational Resources: Expand your trading knowledge with integrated tutorials and resources.

With its mobile trading app, SkyTargetLTD.com empowers traders to take control of their investments with convenience, security, and comprehensive market access.

Mastercard and Equity Bank join forces to enhance cross-border money transfers in Kenya

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Equity Bank has tapped Mastercard in a deal that will enable Equity Bank customers to send money safely and securely to 30 countries, a deal that will see Equity Bank customers send funds through any Equity Branch Location in Kenya with faster transaction times, enhanced security measures, and competitive pricing, making cross-border transactions accessible to consumers across Equity Bank’s expansive market network.

According to Dr. James Mwangi (CBS), Group Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc, “This facilitates money transfers and more importantly connects lives and empowers our customers. This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing accessible financial solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers and solidifies our role in fostering inclusive growth across the region.”

Remittances are a key economic driver in Sub-Saharan Africa with a reported $53 billion flowing into the region in 2022. In Kenya, the Central Bank of Kenya reported $5.77 billion worth of foreign currency inflows in 2022. Cross border remittances unlock financial inclusion by empowering individuals to access formal financial services, ultimately fostering economic growth and stability in the region.

“Providing innovative solutions that deliver the choice, security, and flexibility that customers transacting from Kenya need and expect is a factor we take pride in. Mastercard is delighted to collaborate with Equity Bank to make this level of payment ingenuity a reality for Equity Bank customers, giving Mastercard an opportunity to bring millions of people from underserved communities into the financial and digital economy,” said Mark Elliott, President for Africa at Mastercard.

This collaboration also ensures full value for recipients as there are no landing fees. The charges linked to this innovative service are significantly lower than traditional international payments, making it a more affordable and accessible option for customers. This development aligns with the evolving payments landscape, catering to customer demands for cost-effective and efficient international transactions.

Maximizing Visibility: Harnessing the Power of Bing Traffic for SEO

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In search engine optimization (SEO), leveraging various traffic sources is critical to bolstering a website’s visibility and ranking. Among these sources, Bing traffic emerges as a valuable asset, often overshadowed by the behemoth Google but equally deserving of attention as an SEO specialist. Understanding and tapping into Bing’s potential can unlock new avenues for increasing website visibility and attracting a diverse audience. Let’s delve into the nuances of Bing traffic and how it can be optimized for maximum impact.

The Unique Landscape of Bing Traffic

Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, holds a unique position in the search ecosystem. While it may not boast the same volume of users as Google, its user base is loyal and growing. This presents a ripe opportunity for businesses and website owners looking to diversify their traffic sources. Moreover, Bing’s partnership with Yahoo means optimizing for one effectively optimizes for both, doubling the potential reach.

Understanding the Bing Audience

The first step in leveraging Bing traffic is understanding its audience. Bing users tend to have specific demographic characteristics: They are often older, have a higher income, and are more likely to use desktop computers. Websites catering to such demographics can greatly benefit from optimizing for Bing. Tailoring content and keywords to match this audience’s interests and search habits can boost visibility on Bing’s search results pages.

Bing SEO: Key Considerations

Optimizing for Bing involves several considerations that, while similar to Google, have their unique twists:

  1. Keyword Optimization: Bing places a significant emphasis on keyword matching. Including precise, targeted keywords in titles, headings, and throughout the content can boost rankings. Long-tail keywords are incredibly effective, given Bing users’ tendency to use more specific queries.
  2. Quality Content: Content is king on Bing just as much as on Google. High-quality, authoritative, and informative content ranks well. However, Bing also values multimedia content, such as images and videos, more prominently than Google. Incorporating varied content types can enhance visibility.
  3. Backlink Quality: Bing emphasizes quality rather than quantity of backlinks. A few high-quality, authoritative backlinks can significantly impact rankings.
  4. Social Signals: Bing openly acknowledges the influence of social signals on rankings. A vibrant, engaging presence on social media platforms can boost Bing’s SEO.
  5. Click-Through Rate (CTR): Bing considers CTR a ranking factor. Crafting compelling meta descriptions and titles that encourage clicks can improve rankings on Bing.

Local SEO on Bing

Local SEO is another area in which Bing offers substantial opportunities. Bing Places for Business is Bing’s answer to Google My Business, and it’s a powerful tool for local businesses looking to increase their visibility. Ensuring your business is accurately listed, up-to-date information, and engaging photos can enhance your presence in local search results. Bing also strongly emphasizes user reviews, making them a crucial element of local SEO.

Technical SEO for Bing

On the technical side, ensuring your website is optimized for Bing’s crawlers is pivotal. This includes utilizing Bing Webmaster Tools to monitor your site’s performance, submit sitemaps, and identify issues. Bing also places a higher emphasis on meta keyword tags than Google, giving website owners an additional tool for optimization.

Leveraging Bing Ads

In addition to organic search optimization, Bing Ads offers a powerful platform for reaching potential customers. Because of its smaller user base, competition on Bing Ads is often lower than on Google AdWords, resulting in lower costs per click (CPC). This makes Bing Ads an attractive option for businesses looking to maximize their advertising budget.

The Power of Diversification

Ultimately, the power of Bing traffic lies in diversification. By tapping into this underutilized traffic source, businesses can reduce their dependence on Google, mitigate risks associated with algorithm changes, and reach a broader, diverse audience. Combining a strategic approach to Bing SEO with a presence on Bing Ads can create a robust, multi-faceted traffic acquisition strategy.

Conclusion

As an SEO specialist, overlooking Bing means missing out on a potent source of traffic and visibility. By understanding the nuances of Bing’s search engine and audience and tailoring your SEO and advertising strategies accordingly, you can unlock new levels of success. Bing offers a unique landscape with opportunities for those willing to explore it. Diversification is critical in the quest for online visibility, and Bing represents a valuable piece of the puzzle.

FINCA Celebrates Social Impact with $400,000 Awarded to 12 African Entrepreneurs

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The FINCA Ventures Prize awarded $400,000 in grants to 12 social enterprises making a difference in sub-Saharan Africa.

The first-ever competition, held on March 28, 2024, showcased the power of social entrepreneurship and impact investing in Africa.

The 12 finalists, representing both healthcare and agriculture sectors, pitched their innovative solutions to a panel of judges and an audience of around 150.

Among the guests were the United Republic of Tanzania’s Ambassador to the US., H.E Dr Elsie Sia Kanza, Togo’s Ambassador to the US, Monsieur Frédéric Edem Hegbe, and Andrew Buop, education attaché from the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya.     

FINCA, an organization dedicated to financial empowerment, specifically targets entrepreneurs with bold visions focused on creating positive change for low-income communities.

Women entrepreneurs were a major highlight of the competition. Ten of the 12 finalists had women in leadership roles, and all four first-place winners were either founded or co-founded by women. This reflects FINCA’s commitment to gender parity and women’s empowerment.

Innovating in Agriculture and Healthcare

The competition awarded $70,000 grants to the top enterprises in each of the four categories: agriculture and healthcare.

Agriculture winners:

  • Rio Fish, led by Angela Odero, fights exploitation in the fish industry by supporting smallholder fish farmers with market access and cold chain facilities.
  • Kazi Yetu, a female-led agribusiness founded by Ashley Speyer, sources and processes teas, herbs, and spices from Tanzanian farms, promoting fair trade practices.

Healthcare winners:

  • Bena Care, led by Naom Monari, uses technology to connect patients in Kenya with a network of healthcare workers, improving access and reducing costs.
  • Neopenda, founded by Sona Shah, focuses on medical technology with their neoGuard wearable vitals monitor that alerts healthcare providers to patients in distress.

Second and Third Place Winners Offer Diverse Solutions

Beyond the top prize winners, the FINCA Ventures Prize recognized several other inspiring social enterprises.

Runners-up in Healthcare

  • CheckUps (founded by Renee Ngamau and Moka Lantum) tackles affordability in Kenya and South Sudan. They offer tech-enabled financing tools and micro-insurance, making healthcare accessible to more people. Their innovative approach earned them a well-deserved $20,000 grant.
  • Technovera, led by Neo Hutiri, improves healthcare efficiency in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. Their locker system allows patients to collect chronic disease medication in under 30 seconds, eliminating long wait times at clinics. This second-place winner received a significant boost with their $20,000 grant.

Second Place in Agriculture

The competition also highlighted excellence in agricultural solutions.

  • Baobaby, led by Ida Solitoke and Koffi Nomedji, empowers women farmers in Togo. They purchase crops at fair prices and create a more nutritious, affordable, and water-efficient baby formula compared to imported options. This innovative company secured a second-place grant of $20,000.
  • Sprout, founded by Ashley King-Bischof, utilizes artificial intelligence to help Kenyan coffee farmers build resilience against climate change. Their second-place win came with a $20,000 grant to support their crucial work.

Third-Place Spotlight

The competition wasn’t just about top spots. Several third-place winners presented impactful solutions.

  • Emergency Response Africa, led by Folake Owodunni, revolutionizes emergency care in Nigeria by reducing response times by 40-80%. Their life-saving service received a $10,000 grant.
  • OneHealth, founded by Adeola Alli, provides a digital healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria. Their platform connects patients, insurers, and pharmacies with a network of over 900 providers, ensuring access to quality healthcare solutions. This impactful initiative earned a $10,000 grant.
  • Koolboks, led by Natalie Casey, offers accessible and sustainable solar cooling solutions in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda. Their contribution to climate-friendly healthcare storage secured a $10,000 grant.
  • Sommalife, founded by JohnCarl Dunyo, boosts incomes in the shea value chain across Ghana and Burkina Faso. Their work empowering communities earned them a $10,000 grant.

A Call for More Impact Investing in Women

The event highlighted the need for increased support for women entrepreneurs.

FINCA President, Andrée Simon and Greta Bull, Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, emphasized the importance of getting more capital into the hands of female founders with good ideas.

“We know that about 2-3% of venture funding worldwide goes to women. It cannot be the case that women only have 2-3% of the good ideas,” Bull told the audience during a live virtual interview. “If we want to build economic growth in the markets that we care about, we won’t get there if half the population is sitting on the bench,” she continued. “We need to find better ways to get capital to women so they can invest in their good ideas. But we also need to find ways to buy women time so that they can actually realize those good ideas.” 

A Celebration of Progress

The FINCA Ventures Prize serves as a powerful example of how social entrepreneurship and impact investing can create positive change. As these award winners move forward, they are not only equipped with financial resources but also the backing of a global community committed to a brighter future for all.

Daktari Smart Telemedicine Initiative Aims to Reach 32,400 Children, Plans to Impact 5 Million Over Five Years

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The Daktari Smart program, a telemedicine initiative led by Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in collaboration with Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation and the M-PESA Foundation, aims to provide medical care to a minimum of 32,400 children across five counties in its initial phase.

Over the next five years, the goal is to impact 5 million children in the region, providing direct care to 45,000 children suffering from complex non-communicable diseases like cancer and cardiovascular conditions.

Since its launch in 2021, the Daktari Smart initiative has delivered specialized pediatric medical care to 10,000 children. Services are currently available in Narok, Samburu, Baringo, Homa Bay, and Lamu counties.

During the World Health Day event, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Dr Robert Nyarango advocated for the use of telemedicine technology to deliver affordable, high-quality care, thereby expanding coverage and reducing preventable childhood deaths.

He highlighted the success of the Daktari Smart program in five counties and stressed the potential for collaboration among stakeholders to extend its reach further.

“The Daktari Smart programme has so far been implemented in 5 counties, allowing 10,000 children to
access specialized pediatric care that they would otherwise never have received. There is an
opportunity to serve more children through working together as stakeholders to increase the number of
counties on Daktari Smart to support the limited number of pediatricians and other specialists. At such a scale and with the communities covered under Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), the healthcare system will be strengthened to deliver high quality early diagnosis and more efficient utilization of the available scarce healthcare resources.”

This year’s World Health Day theme, “My Health, My Right,” emphasizes universal access to healthcare as a fundamental human right. The World Health Organization urges the improvement of healthcare service accessibility as part of its campaign.

A study conducted in 2022 revealed a significant shortage of healthcare professionals in Kenya, with only 13.8 workers per 10,000 people, far below the World Heald Organization (WHO) recommended ratio.

BCS

Acting Director General for Health at the Ministry of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth affirmed the importance of technology in addressing this gap and pledged policy support for telemedicine and other health technology initiatives.

Dr Amoth also announced the establishment of a digital health board tasked with developing regulations to govern telemedicine and other electronic health initiatives, ensuring compliance with existing laws and data protection measures.

“The power of telemedicine is amazing because it can help reach people in underserved communities
with health services. We are now in the process of developing regulations to operationalise e-health, m-
health, and telemedicine with careful consideration of our laws and data protection and confidentiality. The recently inaugurated board of digital health has been tasked with developing these regulations
within the next 6 weeks for submission to parliament for approval,” said Dr. Amoth.

Karen Basiye, Director of Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom PLC, emphasized the need for partnerships and investment to sustain the impact of health-tech initiatives like Daktari Smart. She highlighted Safaricom’s commitment to developing digital health solutions that enhance healthcare accessibility and affordability.

The Daktari Smart telemedicine kit includes various electronic medical devices such as the Electronic Stethoscope, Vital Signs Monitor, Derma Scope Camera, Ultrasound Machine, Otoscope for inner ear examination, and Electrocardiogram (ECG).

These devices enable local healthcare workers to conduct examinations on patients, with specialist doctors at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital providing remote diagnosis and advanced medical care.

Namibia Boosts Connectivity with $5.9 Million Telecom Infrastructure Investment

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Namibia is set for a significant improvement in its telecommunication infrastructure with a government investment of $5.9 million (N$110 million) over the next three years.

Announced by Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Emma Theofelus, the initiative will see the installation of 30 new network towers across the country.

This initiative builds upon plans announced last year by Namibia’s telecom infrastructure company, PowerCom, which identified a need for close to 300 new towers within the next few years.

The project signifies the government’s commitment to fostering a more robust ICT sector, as emphasized by Shoki Kandjimi, a senior public relations officer at the Ministry.

“The construction of these new towers is expected to enhance mobile network coverage throughout Namibia, potentially benefiting both individuals and businesses,” the ministry stated.

Improved connectivity can facilitate easier access to information and communication, potentially leading to positive impacts on areas like education, commerce, and social interaction.

This project comes at a time when reliable internet access is increasingly crucial for development.

The additional towers have the potential to bridge the digital divide in Namibia, ensuring a more connected and inclusive society.

Ghana’s digital banking platform, Affinity raises funding for expansion

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 Affinity, a Ghanian neo-bank, with a bold vision to provide banking services to 350 million adults who remain unbanked in Africa has raised new funding from Renew Capital for expansion.

The digital banking platform offers a full suite of banking services, including current, savings and investment accounts, transfers, payments and loans with a targeted focus on financially excluded populations in Africa with zero fees accounts and competitive interest rates on deposits and affordable loans.

“At Affinity, we’ve developed a fully integrated platform dedicated to promoting financial inclusion by effectively addressing the challenges faced by individuals and MSMEs without access to financial services across sub-Saharan Africa,” stated the group CEO and founder of Affinity Africa, Tarek Mouganie. “Our approach revolves around low-cost deposits, fully online digital channels and becoming the most affordable MSME lender.”

Small businesses and individuals in Africa face barriers due to traditional documentation requirements, leading to rejection by conventional banks. Affinity aims to leverage technology to bridge these financial gaps underscores its pivotal role in shaping the future of banking in Africa.

“Progress is being made across the continent related to financial inclusion, but there are still millions more to reach,” stated JC Oelofse, Renew Capital’s head of investment. “Renew Capital is thrilled to invest in Affinity, our first investment in Ghana and looks forward to supporting them as they look to expand across the continent.”

Applications Open for the US$100,000 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition

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The 2024 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition invites agrifood entrepreneurs from across Africa to showcase their startup business ventures.

This year’s competition is aimed to recognize and celebrate African entrepreneurs whose business solutions address the pressing need for efficient local production of nutritious food, with business models that embrace scale and innovation, while also helping to mitigate climate and broader environmental challenges.

Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara International and GoGettaz co-founder. “I continue to be impressed by the tremendous efforts of the young entrepreneurs we meet in the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. The way they leverage technologies and innovative business models exemplifies the potential in the agrifood sector and the crucial role of entrepreneurship in driving sustainable development. As we embark on the campaign to find our agrifood stars for 2024, we are motivated by the greater impact to create jobs, uplift communities, and nourish Africa’s growing population.”

The top competitors selected this year will have the opportunity to shine at the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize final pitch competition, set to take place during the prestigious Africa Food Systems Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, from 2 to 6 September.

Two grand prizes of $50,000 each will be awarded to the most promising and impactful female and male agripreneur-led businesses. The judges will also be looking to award ventures that make a significant impact in one or more of the following areas: rural livelihoods, nutrition, climate, digital technology, gender, natural resources, and job creation.

 Africa’s agripreneurs are called upon to showcase their ingenuity and resilience by entering the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition. The GoGettaz partnership platform offers an avenue for recognition, networking and support, and fast-tracks the development and implementation of groundbreaking solutions essential for the sustainable transformation of Africa’s food systems.

According to United Nations forecasts, by 2050 one quarter of humanity and at least one third of the world’s youth population ages 15-24 will be African. Today more than 70% of sub-Saharan Africans are under the age of 30, making Africa the continent with the youngest population globally. The continent also has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship.

“Some fear a potential ‘youth quake,’” observed GoGettaz co-founder Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman of Econet Group, who served as Chair of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for several years. “However, we see huge opportunities and promise if the right support is given and enabling environments created for our youth who are filled with creative energy and ideas. Africa’s GoGettaz entrepreneurs are not passive bystanders! They are already seeing and seizing the moment, embracing technology, and working to revolutionize the agrifood industry,” he said.

“Since we launched the first GoGettaz Africa competition in 2019, we’ve discovered young entrepreneurs from across the continent building an amazing array of innovative agribusinesses, both traditional growers and very high-tech AI-driven ones. At the same time, they’re growing the prosperity of their families and nations, and the food security of Africa! These dynamic young entrepreneurs deserve both our recognition and support. That’s why we launched GoGettaz,” he said. 

The 2024 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition welcomes a broader pool of African talent, as the competition expands support to address food systems issues affecting communities at country and regional level. This year, GoGettaz is excited to extend support to French-speaking entrepreneurs, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility across linguistic boundaries.

“The GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition stands as a beacon of hope, rallying Africa’s brightest minds to pioneer transformative solutions and drive meaningful change with the bulk of youth to accelerate the SGDs achievements by 2030,” says Amath Pathe Sene, Managing Director of the Africa Food Systems Forum. “

The 2024 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition offers exciting opportunities and rewards for African agrifood entrepreneurs. Beyond the competition, GoGettaz finalists can look forward to ongoing support to advance their leadership and impact in the agrifood sector. Top contestants will be invited to apply for the exclusive 6-month GoGettaz Africa Leadership Program, designed to empower emerging leaders with the skills and network to grow themselves and their businesses. Selected entrepreneurs will benefit from personalised support, engaging in individual coaching, peer-to-peer sessions, and workshops led by thought leaders, fostering continuous growth and development even after the GAPC competition period concludes. As the 2023 Cohort is currently reaping the benefits of this transformative program, the 2024 competition promises to offer numerous growth opportunities for the next generation of agrifood innovators.

All African agripreneurs are welcomed and encouraged to join the GoGettaz community and check to see if they qualify to take part in this year’s GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition.

To join the GoGettaz community, apply to compete in the 2024 GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition, and to discover ways you can contribute to our vision of a greener, more prosperous, and more sustainable future for Africa and beyond, you can find out more here: https://GoGettaz.Africa.

Hambro Perks Spring Studios invests in Bahrain’s Daleel to expand across the MENA region

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Daleel, MENA’s financial marketplace, has secured investments from Hambro Perks Spring Studios, a venture builder backed by Al Waha Fund of Funds, the global investment firm Hambro Perks, and Flat6Labs UAE, MENA’s seed and early-stage venture capital firm.

Founded in 2022 by Dania Alshowaikh, PK Shrivastava and Ridaa Shah, Daleel’s platform is focused on helping everyday individuals find the best financial products for themselves and helping banks and financial institutions leverage deep insights to acquire customers more effectively.

PK Shrivastava, the CEO and co-founder of Daleel, expressed his excitement “We are ecstatic to have secured investment from credible investors like Hambro Perks Spring Studios and Flat6Labs. This investment is a testament to our potential and the faith that key players in the industry have in our vision. It will enable us to forge significant financial partnerships and obtain the Open Banking license, which is crucial to our growth strategy. I am incredibly excited about these developments and look forward to the transformative journey ahead for Daleel.”

By creating a seamless and connected financial journey, aims to revolutionize the landscape of financial services in the region, empowering both consumers and financial institutions alike to make informed decisions and achieve financial success.

Daleel which is  PK’s second venture in the region and fourth in fintech, builds upon the co-founders’ experience in scaling Tarabut as the largest open banking platform in MENA. With this background, Daleel is poised to transform customer acquisition for financial institutions and empower consumers in their financial choices across the region.

With this investment round ,the company will be able  to launch significant financial partnerships, which are crucial to the company’s growth strategy.

 Furthermore, the investment will support Daleel’s expansion initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, enabling the company to expedite its growth and obtain an Open Banking license.

Zainab Khamis, the Head of HP Spring Studios, has expressed her enthusiasm for the impact that Daleel is making: “We at HP Spring Studios are excited to support the launch of Daleel, a financial marketplace in the MENA region. This transformative step for the financial sector exemplifies our commitment to empowering and bolstering local startups.”

Ryaan Sherif, General Manager of Flat6Labs UAE  said: “At Flat6Labs, our dedication to investing in FinTech companies that disrupt traditional paradigms is unwavering. This recent investment in Daleel exemplifies our belief in fostering innovation within the financial sector. By operating a marketplace with deep insights into consumer spending habits and leveraging open banking, Daleel ensures both financial institutions and consumers have access to the best offerings on the market.”

Kenya’s SunCulture raises $27.5 million to scale up its solar irrigation solutions across Africa

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Currently, many farmers in Africa rely on rainfed agriculture or carbon-emitting diesel or petrol pumps for irrigation. Kenya’s SunCulture has raised $27.5 million to scale up its solar irrigation solutions throughout sub-Saharan Africa and provide access to Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled solar-powered irrigation systems to hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers by the year 2030.

InfraCo Africa, an investment company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) released the $12 million financing package on 2 April 2024 as part of the Series B fundraising effort totaling $27.5 million.

According to SunCulture CEO, Samir Ibrahim, “This partnership represents a significant milestone for SunCulture, reflecting a strong vote of confidence in our vision, team, and potential. We are excited to collaborate with our investors as we work towards our shared goals.”

SunCulture offers farmers a sustainable alternative for managing climate-induced rainfall variability while eliminating the need for expensive and polluting fuel-based pumps. The company’s innovative approach encompasses the design, production, financing, installation, and maintenance of comprehensive solar irrigation systems featuring safe, low-voltage DC pumps. These systems, capable of pumping up to 1,200 liters of water per hour, are tailored for smallholdings spanning approximately 1-3 acres.

SunCulture operates on a “Pay-As-You-Grow” model, offering pumps to smallholder farmers at a 40-60% lower total cost of ownership compared to fuel-based pumps, depending on payment plans. Furthermore, SunCulture has registered as the first African solar water pump provider for a carbon credit program, verified by VERRA, further reducing upfront costs for farmers.

Equipped with solar PV systems, including sprinklers, drip irrigation, and battery storage, they optimize water usage efficiency by enabling early morning irrigation to minimize evaporation and targeted watering to individual plants to prevent wastage. Additionally, IoT-enabled functionalities provide remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, while battery systems offer domestic lighting and charging capabilities for small devices such as mobile phones.

InfraCo was joined by Savant Group Ltd’s other Series B investors to finalize the fundraising for SunCulture. REED Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix and Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive of Alphabet also participated in the round.

Updated: We had earlier reported that Sunculture raised $12 million. We were wrong as that was the amount InfraCo Africa contributed to the Series B round. The firm raised a total of $27.5 million from the round. We apologize for missing that detail.

Editor, TechMoran.com

Mastercard Foundation Fund calls for proposals from African SMEs and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector.

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The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity has launched an Agribusiness Challenge Fund, calling for proposals from SMEs in the agriculture sector that can create work opportunities at scale for young women and men, young persons with disabilities, and refugee youth.

The Agribusiness Challenge Fundwill provide SMEs with innovative and commercially viable agribusinesses across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to receive support to upscale their businesses in a bid to create sustainable employment opportunities for young people, with particular focus on young women.

Selected SMEs will receive support from the Fund, including grants ranging from US$ 500,000 to US$ 2,500,000, disbursed over a 3-year period, based on the applicants’ development stage, scalability and business model, in accordance with agreed periodic milestone targets. The funding structure will be determined on a case-by-case basis after evaluating proposals and organizations. Additional support to successful applicants will include tailored technical assistance in alignment with FRP objectives over the 3-year period.

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund is the first of several sector-focused calls for proposals that the Fund will launch focused on the potential of the SMEs to create work opportunities at scale.

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund targets SMEs in the following 20 Sub-Saharan Africa countries: Kenya, Benin, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

“The agriculture sector presents great opportunities for innovative SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa to grow, with opportunities to create dignified and fulfilling work for young people, especially young women, young persons with disabilities and refugee youth,” said Mrs. Smita Sanghrajka, Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity Engagement Partner.

She further stated that agri-SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa lack enough financial support to scale and need capacity building that may lead to better business practices and investor readiness.

“The Mastercard Foundation is collaborating with a network of partners to create job opportunities for young people across Sub-Saharan Africa, in line with our Young Africa Works strategy. The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity offers a fantastic opportunity for SMEs looking for support to expand and simultaneously generate employment for the youth,” said Mr. Daniel Hailu, Executive Director of Pan-African Programs at the Mastercard Foundation.

The Agribusiness Challenge Fund call for proposals is currently open and will close on November 22, 2024, with periodic collections of applications to be assessed every 12 weeks.

The Challenge will be open to SME applications as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and their projects are being implemented in at least one of the 20 focus countries the Fund is targeting. Unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to refine and resubmit their applications for subsequent collections.

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity is a new fund established following the successful conclusion of the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity, which was in operation for eight years from 2014 to 2023 and supported 38 participant businesses from 15 countries in Africa. These businesses were able to innovate and scale financial products and services targeting the rural population and further enable financial inclusion for over 5.3 million people.

Potential applicants for the Agribusiness Challenge Fund can register and access the application platform through the Fund website www.frp.org

Final Call for Entries in Global Startup Awards Africa 2024

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Accelerated visibility, access to new markets, new networks, and new funding models are critical to the success of African Innovation.

The Global Startup Awards Africa is calling on African innovators, startups, and ecosystem enablers dedicated to solving critical global challenges to enter and finalise the 2024 edition before the 5thMay 2024.

The categories are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda including; GreenTech, HealthTech, Mobility and Logistics, AgriTech, FinTech, and Women in Tech. With Africa being the youngest continent globally, boasting 60% of its population under 25 years old, GSA Africa aims to empower the youth to shape the future through innovation with the introduction of the Youth Startup category for founders under the age of 26.

The competition unfolds in four pivotal phases, and winners will embark on a journey through national and regional levels before converging at the GSA Africa Summit in Addis Ababa the Capital of Ethiopia. Delegates can expect a week-long festival to network, and showcase their innovation followed by an awards dinner to celebrate the African winners who have the opportunity to compete on the global stage.

The summit offers a platform for innovators to connect, celebrate, and propel Africa’s most innovative minds forward along with ambassadors, international investors, corporate leaders, and key government stakeholders.

Moreover, winners gain exclusive access to the GIIG Africa fund and the Global Startup Awards Alumni Network, offering invaluable networking opportunities, mentorship, and connections with regional and global stakeholders.

Applications for the 2024 GSA Africa close on 5 May, with only finalised applications eligible to progress to the next round. The application process is free and easy to follow. For more information and to apply, visit www.globalstartupawardsafrica.com. The GIIG Africa fund is open to qualified investors, for information contact [email protected]

For further details about GSA Africa 2024 and opportunities to get involved, visit www.globalstartupawardsafrica.com and www.giig.africa. Find us on LinkedIn here GSA | GIIG

ENDS

For media enquiries, contact Heike Kannemeyer at The Loudhailer via email at [email protected] The Loudhailer is the implementation partner for GSA & GIIG

Google launches Google Vids, an AI-powered video creation app’ for Workspace

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Google has launched Google Vids, an AI-driven video creation application designed for professional use.

 Google Vids, is a new AI-powered video creation app for work. Vids is your video, writing, production, and editing assistant, all in one. It can generate a storyboard that you can easily edit, and after choosing a style, it pieces together your first draft with suggested scenes from stock videos, images, and background music. It can also help you land your message with the right voiceover — either choosing from one of our preset voiceovers, or using your own.

Google stated that More than 15 years ago, it introduced the first-ever cloud-native text editors in Docs, Sheets, and Slides and now they’re bringing the same magic of real-time collaboration to video, allowing people everywhere to tap into immersive storytelling at work.

The feature which will be released to Workspace Labs in June is integrated with Google’s suite of productivity tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and it offers a user-friendly interface and secure collaboration features, empowering users to collaborate and share projects seamlessly from their browsers.

Vids will leverages advanced AI technology to  generate customizable storyboards that users can easily modify to suit their needs. Upon selecting a preferred style, Vids intelligently assembles initial drafts by recommending scenes from an extensive library of stock videos, images, and background music.

Its AI features like Take Notes for me (now in preview) let you drop the pen and lean into the conversation instead of taking notes. Translate for Me (coming in June) will automatically detect and translate captions in Meet with support for 69 languages (equal to 4,600 language pairs), helping people feel more confident and connected to their colleagues, regardless of language.

Vids  also provides assistance in delivering  the message effectively by offering options for personalized voiceovers, allowing users to choose from preset selections or utilize their own recordings .The Vids feature will revolutionize the video creation process, enabling anyone to become a proficient storyteller in the workplace.

Currently, Google Vids is undergoing restricted testing and its projected  to expand its availability  by June to  more testers within Google Labs, and subsequently, it will become accessible to customers subscribed to Gemini for Workspace.

The company also announced two commercial offers that will allow users bring AI-powered meetings and messaging, as well as AI-powered security, to everyone in the organization, each for only $10 per user, per month.

Further the company announced that Gemini is coming to Google Chat in preview, giving users an AI-powered teammate to summarize conversations, answer questions, and more.

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures Secures its First Fund at $60M to back growth stage Startups

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Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (“VKAV”) has closed its first fund at $60 million from SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency, and Japan ICT Fund including new investors such as  SCM Capital, formerly known as Sterling Capital Markets Limited, from Nigeria and a few additional institutional investors from Japan, including Taiyo Holdings and C2C Global Education Japan.

Launched in 2022, Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures(VKAV), is the first fund by Verod-Kepple Africa Partners, a joint venture between Verod Capital Management, a West African private equity firm investing in mid-sized enterprises across sectors, and Kepple Africa Ventures. 

Tingting Peng, Chief Capital, Strategy & Impact Officer at Moove notes, “At Moove we share VKAV’s mission to foster prosperity and reduce economic inequality across the continent, and we’re pleased to see more impactful investment into the African tech ecosystem. Having just closed our Series B funding round, we’re grateful for VKAV’s continued support in our journey and look forward to working together with the team to supercharge our growth” 

With a focus on growth stage companies, VKAV is tackling the growing gap of funding available, particularly from locally-based investors, for companies moving to Series A and B stages in Africa, The fund will focus on 3 key themes: companies building digital infrastructure across different sectors; inefficiency solvers who are solving for friction primarily between businesses or between businesses and consumers; and market creators who are creating economic opportunities for people, based on the changing dynamics of the overall African economy and demographics.

The fund has so far backed 12 companies including Moove AfricaKOKO Networks,  CeviantChariShuttlersNawyJulayaNowPayChefaaCloudlineZone, and mTek-Services

“VKAV has provided real and tangible value-add to KOKO with our Japanese market entry process, and in our African government relations strategy. They are an unusual firm, combining deep insight into African operating realities with an incredible network in Japan” says Greg Murray, co-founder and CEO of KOKO Networks.

Mostafa El-Beltagy, co-founder and CEO of Nawy, one of VKAV portfolio companies, commented,  “VKAV has been an amazing partner beyond the investment, the team is proactively and consistently seeking ways in which to help make the business more successful. We are very proud to have such a fund as a partner in our journey.”

The latest capital investment follows the fund’s first and second close in 2022 and 2023, which were backed by Japanese institutional investors including SBI Holdings, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency and the Japan ICT Fund.

OnePlus Watch 2 is Getting a New Data Transfer Feature

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OnePlus watch 2 is getting a new data feature that lets you switch phones without resetting your smartwatch. Although the phone shipped with Wear OS 4, users had only the option to reset their watches whenever they needed to switch smartphones.

With the update, watches get access to the new Wear OS feature which now lets users transfer their watch to a new smartphone without the need to reset the phones. OnePlus watch 2 specifically has a “migrate data ” option on the settings bar. You need to install the feature on your device, sign up and pair using a QR code to pair your watch and phone.

Additionally, with the update, you are also able to toggle Raise to Wake and media auto launch from the phone instead of configuring the settings on the watch to view.

BasiGo to Unlock the Potential of Africa’s Electric Vehicle Industry, Set to Roll Out 1000 Buses

BasiGo, at the forefront of the electric mobility revolution in Africa, is poised to transform public transport across East Africa by rolling out 1,000 electric buses over the next three years.

With a population of 4.4 million people, Tumi, an e-bus company, estimated that 46% relied on public transport to get around in 2022. But as these cities grow so does the air pollution that comes with it.   

“Our goal is to electrify the public transport fleet in every African city. But our near-term goal is to deploy 1,000 electric buses between Kenya and Rwanda in the next three years,” said Jit Bhattacharya, Co-Founder and CEO of BasiGo Ltd.“African cities need to undergo a sustainable mobility revolution. So, that has to begin really with buses since it is such an important mode of travel for the vast majority of people, and we want to help lead that change”, he added.

BasiGo builds, sells, and maintains electric buses throughout Kenya and Rwanda.  The company imports and locally assembles e-buses to sell to private companies. BasiGo says these buses can travel up to 400 kilometres on a single charge, which takes about two hours to complete. “It’s critical that we deploy the charging directly along the bus routes. This is to ensure that a bus operator or a matatu owner here in Nairobi can use an electric bus in the same way that they use their diesel bus,” says Bhattacharya.

While BasiGo says it imports most of the materials needed to build e-busses, with only 5% of buses being locally sourced, BasiGo’s CEO states: “Our aspiration over the next few years is to eventually raise that to 25 to 30%.” He adds, “We are going to create 300 green manufacturing jobs here in Kenya,”

Since opening in 2022, BasiGo says its buses have driven more than 1.5 million kilometres and have carried about two million passengers, and they have no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

Africa’s power to become an unrivalled player in the global supply chain of electric vehicle batteries is poised to fuel BasiGo’s ambition. The continent has abundant minerals, including lithium, cobalt, and nickel, which are used to make the batteries that go into electric vehicles and battery storage devices. But another relatively unknown mineral used in batteries is Manganese.

Manganese is emerging as an important component in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, and one country, South Africa, has one of the largest reserves in the world. Louis Nell, CEO of Manganese Metal Company, tells Giokos, “40% of global production comes out of South Africa.”

Nell says manganese presents some safety and economic benefits: “[Manganese] provides some thermal stability to the battery, which is a safety concern. Compared to the other minerals, manganese is the cheapest or the most affordable of the lot compared to cobalt, nickel, and lithium […] we all know that some of the other minerals are plagued by concerns over ethical mining.” As a result, demand for its use in electric vehicle batteries and other lithium-ion batteries is increasing.

On the outskirts of Mbombela, a city in northeastern South Africa, this industrial complex plays an increasing role in the global electric vehicle revolution. Teheli Morabe, COO of Manganese Metal Company, says, “We get 80,000 tons of ore every year, and we produce 28,000 tons of product every year”.

Manganese goes through a complex production process, Morabe continues: “We mill it into a fine powder. We dissolve it in a process called leaching with acid to get it all into a soluble form. We then take it through various stages of purification. We take it to the tank house where we inject electricity to get the metal to plate on the steel sheets.”

As the EV market grows, the Manganese Metal Company has big expansion plans to keep the battery-grade refining process within the continent’s borders. “We’ve got ambitions to build a 5,000-ton battery-grade manganese sulphate plant. It’ll be a Brownfields extension to our current operations […] we could be in the market by probably the end of 2026,” Nell tells Giokos.

M-TIBA Adopts AI for Insurance Claims Processing, Reducing Approval Waiting Time

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M-TIBA, a leading health insurance technology platform, has integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI), into its insurance claims processing system, drastically reducing claim approval times to just hours. The implementation of AI technology, and in particular Machine Learning (ML) models, enhances efficiency and fraud management resulting in lower administrative and healthcare costs for health insurers. This ultimately allows health insurers to offer more affordable health insurance products to their customers.

“The AI solution is seamlessly integrated into our claims assessment process. This new system enables us to expedite claims reviews significantly,” said Mr. Shadrack Kiratu, Head of Pricing and Portfolio Management. “This innovative technology, developed and tested over the past three years, complements our existing systems, automating claim approvals without requiring manual review for each submission.”

Currently, over 40 percent of the claims can be automated. The AI technology swiftly approves claims upon submission, allowing claims assessors to concentrate on more complex evaluations. Over the last three months, M-TIBA has employed advanced technology to automatically assess claims for leading health insurers, facilitating faster payments to providers and hence improving their cash flow.

“Previously, manual claim reviews prolonged the approval process as traditional technologies are not scalable. With AI technology we can automate claims assessment at a scale, enabling our insurance clients to grow faster and our team to focus on more complex claims requiring additional expertise. With a more efficient system in place, insurers can pass on these benefits to their members in terms of more affordable health insurance products, making healthcare more accessible to a wider population,” added Mr. Kiratu.

According to the Insurance Industry Market Report 2022 by the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), the industry has witnessed an increase in claims frequency in recent years, which could become burdensome and expensive if insurers fail to embrace technologies such as Artificial Intelligence for claims processing. This technology can be applied responsibly and in line with data protection and other regulations.

Regulations require insurers to admit or deny liability, determine amounts, identify claimants, and make payments within 90 days (about 3 months).

Nigerian startup Moove is Africa’s most funded startup in Q1 2024

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Nigerian mobility startup, Moove, has emerged as the most funded startup in Africa as the continent’s startups raised $466 million in Q1 2024.

The Funding report  which was released by research firm, Africa: The Big Deal , revealed that  Moove  raised  24% of the total funds raised by African startups in the first three months of this year. The startup  raised a total of $110 million, including a $100 million Series B round led by Uber.

According to the  report,the $466 million raised by African startups in Q1 was realized through 121 startups that secured $100,000+ deals. This, represented a 27% decrease quarter on quarter, and was only half of the amount that was raised a year earlier in Q1 2023.

The report indicated that    Moove is the only  African startup that managed to raise more than $25 million in Q1 2024. The startup so far secured a total of  $110 million this quarter in total: a $100 million Series B round led by Uber, and a $10 million debt deal to finance its India expansion. Moove alone attracted 24% of the funding on the continent in Q1, therefore influencing other trends.

The report indicated that 87% of the funding went to start-ups founded in the Big Four with 60% going to Nigeria (2/3 of which were the Moove deals) and Kenya. Few other countries managed to claim more than $5m in funding during the period.

In terms of the sectors transport & logistics led  the total amount of funding  raised . Moove’s deals got nearly 3/4 of that amount, followed by fintech. For $100k+ deals, fintech topped  while Agri & Food  became second.

Combined, ClimateTech cutting across multiple sectors represented 31% of $100k+ deals and 27% of the total amount invested,” the report highlighted.

The report also revealed that equity formed the majority of the disclosed funding by African startups in Q1, representing 71%, with debt making up the rest 29%. While equity held up QoQ, the amount of debt disclosed was halved between Q4 2023 and Q1 2022.

According to the report, funding continued to favor male-founded and male-led ventures with less than 1% allocated to start-ups without at least one male founder, and 6.5% to female CEOs.

At the end of the first half of 2023, capital investment into Africa’s startups surpassed a big milestone, exceeding the $20 billion mark over a period of 15 years. Over the last year, there has been a significant change in the funding environment putting pressure on startups and investors alike.

Many startups have shut down, while many funds have struggled to meet their target closes. Others have been forced to take write-downs on their valuations and make deep cuts to their teams. This year, deals valued at $100m or more, startup funding in Africa experienced a decline to $1 billion during the first Half of 2023, contrasting with the $1.5 billion in the second half of 2022 and $1.8 billion in the first half of 2022.

Japan’s Shipping Co. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines to invest $200 million into Africa’s Novastar Ventures

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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Japan’s shipping and logistics firm, is set to invest $200,000 in Novastar Ventures, a pan-African startup fund which annually screens over 100 African startups and has invested in many startups that are making significant contributions to solving social issues and promoting economic development in Africa.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines will invest in Novastar Ventures People and Planet Fund III LP, an African startup investment fund managed by Novastar Ventures Ltd. Through investment in Novastar-managed funds, MOL will acquire the latest information on promising startups that could become its partners and accelerate its business development in growth areas.

In November 2023, Novastar announced a partnership with SBI Holdings, a major player in the Japanese venture capital scene to form a $40 million multi-fund investment by SBI Holdings to anchor Novastar’s upcoming funds. SBI Holdings will also help to mobilize matching commitments from Japanese institutional investors to Novastar’s funds. Today’s announcement is one such fruit!

MOL was the first Japanese shipping company to establish a route between Japan and the east coast of Africa in 1926 and has been offering marine transport services to and from Africa for about 100 years. Recently, MOL Group ventured into not only ocean freight forwarding, but also air freight forwarding, land transport, warehousing, and the export of used Japanese agricultural machinery.

MOL Group aims to further expand its logistics business based on ocean freight forwarding, and create and promote business opportunities in areas e-mobility, agritech, renewable energy, hydrogen, ammonia-related businesses, and so on. The Group will utilize this investment to step up business development throughout Africa and through Novastar’s extensive network, seize business opportunities and contribute to the African growth story.

Founded in 2014, Novastar is one of Africa’s oldest venture capital firm with more than US$200 million from investors around the world through two funds, Novastar Ventures East Africa Fund I LP and Novastar Ventures Africa Fund II LP, raised more than US$200 million from investors around the world. It’s investments in e-mobility, agriculture, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, retail and consumer goods, and fintech have contributed to solving social and environmental issues, improving people’s lives, and achieving economic growth in Africa.

MOL Group and Novastar Ventures will invest in E-mobility ventures such as BasiGo, agriculture, renewable energy, logistics, fintech, cold chain, affordable housing, retail and consumer goods, all across Africa from their planned $200 million fund from as early as June 2024 in its offices in London, Nairobi and Lagos.

MOL has a subsidiary in Kenya, MOL Shipping (Kenya) Ltd., and the Nairobi branch of MOL Group company MOL Logistics Co., Ltd. (MLG), doing forwarding business of ocean and air transportation to/from Africa. In May 2023, MOL and MLG teamed up with GCS Velogic, a major logistics company serving East Afica, and they offer forwarding, customs clearance, warehouse management, and land transport in Kenya and neighboring countries.

In July 2023, the MOL Group launches 1st warehouse operaiton in Africa. In January 2024, MOL, with MLG formed strategic alliance with Revital Healthcare, Kenya’s leading medical supplies manufacturer.

According to Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc: “With its rapid growth, young and tech-savvy population, abundant natural assets and increasing urbanization, Africa is poised for global leadership on sustainable development. We recognise Novastar as the leader in African VC and look forward to building a new, trusted bridge between Japan and Africa for financial and strategic investment, knowledge transfer and innovation learnings. This partnership will leverage Africa’s megatrends for the mutual benefit of Japanese investors and African businesses.”

Orange and Coursera partner to train African youth essential skills in digital professions

 Orange Digital Center , is launching a free high-level certification training program in partnership with Coursera, the world leader in online learning.

This partnership aims to offer young people in Africa and the Middle East the opportunity to acquire essential skills in digital professions, free of charge and at their own pace.

Asma Ennaifer, Executive Director CSR, Orange Digital Centers and Communication, Orange Africa and Middle East, says: “At Orange, we firmly believe that digital inclusion is the key to creating a fairer and more prosperous future for everyone. In partnership with Coursera and through the Orange Digital Centers, we are opening the doors of certification training to all our beneficiaries, offering educational and professional development opportunities to those who need them most. “

Although the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region has made substantial strides toward digital transformation, with hundreds of millions of people gaining access to the internet and productively utilizing a wide variety of digital services, such as mobile payments and online learning platforms. There still exits critical challenges for digital development, including underdeveloped digital infrastructure, lack of accessible and affordable connectivity, a stubborn digital gender gap, limited skills for digitally enabled industries, and inadequate regulatory and policy environments.

With approximately 60% of Africa’s population under the age of 25, young people have the energy, creativity, and drive to shape the continent’s future. By empowering and engaging youth in various sectors, Africa can unlock their innovative ideas, entrepreneurial spirit, and social activism to address pressing challenges and drive sustainable development.

The Orange Digital Center (ODC) network aims to drive digital inclusion for young people and entrepreneurs across Africa and the Middle East through its 16 centers. It is launching this initiative to provide young people in the region with key skills in essential areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship.

These programs are designed to meet the needs of the ever-evolving job market, providing talented young people with the knowledge and skills they need to enter the job market, develop their careers, or encourage them to become digital entrepreneurs.

Orange Digital Centers are physical structures designed to be hubs of innovation and learning, free and open to all, providing a dynamic environment where young people can develop their skills, explore new technologies, and stimulate their creativity.

Equipped with the latest technologies, they support young people throughout the entire technological innovation and entrepreneurship value chain.

 This innovation ecosystem consists of several spaces that offer free learning programs: a Code School, a Solidarity FabLab, an ‘Orange Fab’ startup accelerator, and Orange Ventures Middle East and Africa, the Orange Group’s investment fund that invests in the most promising startups.