Author: Nasha Harper

Kenya’s Selina Wamucii receives USD 100,000 grant from Expo Live

Kenya’s Selina Wamucii receives USD 100,000 grant from Expo Live

Technology
Selina Wamucii’s mobile phone-driven sourcing platform for fresh produce from Kenyan smallholder farmers, has received USD 100,000  grant from global social impact programme Expo Live, run by organisers of the next World Expo, Expo 2020 Dubai. Some 60 per cent of food produced by smallholder farmers in Africa never reaches the market due to supply chain inefficiencies. Selina Wamucii’s mobile platform aims to improve the agricultural supply chain by enabling buyers and exporters to source fresh produce directly from smallholder farmers, even without access to the internet. Selina Wamucii was founded in June 2015 by John Oroko and Gaita Kariuki, both of whom were born and raised in smallholder families. The company is named after the co-founders’ mothers. By shortening the supp
Addressing the Challenges in Accessing Electricity in Africa

Addressing the Challenges in Accessing Electricity in Africa

Technology, Uncategorized
Almost 20 years ago, approximately 400 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa had no access to electricity. Today, the number of people without access has increased, as the population growth has outpaced infrastructure development. As a result, there are over 600 million people with no access to electricity today. The lack of access to electricity is a particular problem in rural areas. Around 63% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa is rural, of which only 19% has access to energy, compared to 63% of the urban population. Access to clean and affordable energy is critical for development; it is vital in powering water supplies, telecommunication services, health care, education and of course, preserving the environment. Moreover, it could be the catalyst for economic developm...
Cellulant lands Africa’s largest investment in the fintech Space

Cellulant lands Africa’s largest investment in the fintech Space

Business, Technology
Cellulant, an African digital payments service provider bagged $47.5 million from Rise Fund, an impact fund run by private equity group TPG Growth though details of the stake still unclear. The investment is not only currently Africa’s largest in the fintech arena but also it is unique to Cellulant as the company is “for Africa, by Africans, in Africa” according to its mission statement. “Across Africa, expanding easy-to-use and low cost mobile banking offers immense potential for impact and Cellulant is at the leading edge of that work,” said Bill McGlashan, CEO and co-founder of The Rise Fund in a press statement. “We’re excited to invest in African entrepreneurs like Ken and Bolaji to help them grow their businesses and expand their impact on society. Cellulant is a perfect part
Mobile tools to unlock the productivity of African utilities’ work forces

Mobile tools to unlock the productivity of African utilities’ work forces

Mobile
Africa’s abundant natural resources and urgent need for power mean that it is one of the most exciting and innovative energy markets in a world that is moving rapidly towards clean, renewable energy sources. The continent’s energy industry is taking new approaches to providing unserved and underserved communities with access to power, with an emphasis on smart technologies and greener energy sources. Power systems are evolving from centralised, top-down systems as interest in off-grid technology grows among African businesses and consumers. And according to PwC, we will see installed power capacity rise from 2012’s 90GW to 380GW in 2040 in sub-Saharan Africa. Power utilities are needing to rethink their business models and how they manage and monetise their assets to keep pace with
African agri-tech ecosystem grows 110% in last two years

African agri-tech ecosystem grows 110% in last two years

Technology
The African agri-tech space is booming, with the number of startups operating in the market growing 110 per cent over the past two years, and over US$19 million invested into the sector in that period. The Agrinnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Agri-Tech Startup Ecosystem Report 2018, released today by Disrupt Africa, records 82 agri-tech startups in operation across Africa by the start of 2018, with 52 per cent of these ventures launched in the past two years. The report tracks annual startup activity in the agri-tech space as early as 2010, but finds this activity remained limited until the end of 2015. The current boom began in 2016, and over the following two years 43 new ventures launched across Africa. The research shows that while Kenya was the early pioneer of...