Malawi commissions its first solar PV plant at 60MW

MALAWI – The government of Malawi has officially launched the 60 MW Salima Solar PV plant that was developed by JCM Matswani Solar Corp Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) owned by the Canadian Independent Power Producer (IPP) JCM Power and InfraCo Africa Limited. The facility becomes Malawi’s first commercial solar project to connect to the grid. Situated 75km east of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, the new solar energy facility will supply power to Malawi’s state-owned electricity utility, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM), via a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The African Trade Insurance…

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Fintech startup Ozow raises US$48m Series B funding round for expansion

SOUTH AFRICA – Ozow, a South African fintech company, has raised a US$48 million Series B funding round to help it further develop its product offering and expand into new markets. Ozow, which rebranded from i-Pay in April 2019 as it zeroed in on assisting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with payments, was launched in November 2014 by Thomas Pays, Mitchan Adams, and Lyle Eckstein, who identified a need for an efficient and secure online payment system in the local market. The company enables millions of merchants and consumers with…

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Imperial Logistics acquires 24% stake in Africa-focused online portal FIGJAM

AFRICA – Imperial, the African-focused integrated market access and logistics solutions group, has taken a 24 percent stake from November 1, 2021, in FIGJAM, a sales force automation solution provider in Africa.  FIGJAM was founded in 2013 to create an online portal through which businesses can actively manage field operations by focusing on and building technology to reach the geographically fragmented markets more easily in Africa. “Our investment in FIGJAM is in line with Imperial’s mobile commerce digital initiative and will provide our Market Access business, which has a footprint…

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MTN to sell its South Africa cellphone towers to IHS in a US$413.5m deal

SOUTH AFRICA – MTN South Africa has reached an agreement to sell its cellphone towers to IHS Towers for R6.4 billion (US$413.5 million), in a transaction that would help bolster the company’s arsenal for the anticipated auction of spectrum. MTN is selling and will lease back, 5,709 of its towers in South Africa, which include some 4 000 “greenfield” and 1,700 rooftop sites. The telco will also outsource power and related services. “Proceeds will be reinvested into strategic growth initiatives, such as securing high demand spectrum frequencies, and providing MTN…

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Tony Elumelu Foundation funds 5000 SMEs for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme

AFRICA – The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading philanthropy empowering African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries, has selected 4,949 entrepreneurs from across Africa for its 2021 Entrepreneurship Programme. The 2021 beneficiaries were selected from a pool of over 400,000 applications, based on their innovation, performance, and growth potential to create jobs and eradicate poverty on the continent. Consisting of both new start-ups and existing small businesses, the 2021 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs have undergone world-class business training, mentorship and coaching and will have lifetime access to the Tony Elumelu…

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Maersk and Grindrod in joint venture to offer end-to-end logistics in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Danish shipping company A. P. Moller – Maersk has announced its intention to form a joint venture with Grindrod Group in order to enhance its capabilities as an integrated logistics player in South Africa. “Through this proposed joint venture, the logistics activities of Grindrod Intermodal business and the ocean activities of Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL) will complement Maersk’s current ocean capabilities and logistics & services, enabling customers seamless access to a wider range of end-to-end supply chain solutions,” read the press release. Maersk will have a…

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Standard Chartered appoints Bongiwe Gangeni to head Consumer, Private and Business Banking for EMEA region

AFRICA – Standard Chartered has appointed Bongiwe Gangeni as Head of Private & Business Banking (CPBB), Africa & Middle East, and Europe (AME/E), subject to regulatory approval. Bongiwe will be based in Dubai when she joins the Bank in March 2022. Bongiwe is joining Standard Chartered from Absa, where she spent the last 14 years, most recently as a member of the Group Executive Committee, with the dual roles of Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Retail and Business Banking, and Head of Relationship Banking. Bongiwe’s successful career at Absa comprises…

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UK Climate Investment and Norfund in US$100m renewable energy equity deal in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – UK Climate Investment (UKCI) and Norfund have announced that they will finance what will become one of South Africa’s largest renewable energy equity deal valued at around US$100 million, reports ESI Africa. The financing is a joint venture between H1 Holdings and Pele Green Energy for a 40% equity participation in a 700MW portfolio of onshore wind farms. Both partners will invest alongside Enel Green Power who will retain a 60% ownership interest. UKCI and Norfund’s commitment is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number seven…

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