Egypt’s Thndr closes US$20M series A round to normalize investing in the MENA region

EGYPT – Thndr, the Egyptian digital investment platform, has announced a new US$20 million series A investment round for development and expansion across the MENA region. The latest funding was co-led by Tiger Global, BECO Capital, and Prosus Ventures, in addition to participation from Base Capital, firstminute and existing investors Endure Capital, 4DX Ventures, Raba Partnerships and JIMCO. Thndr has…

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Funeral startup SOKNA closes US$1M pre-seed round to expand operations in Egypt

EGYPT – Egyptian startup SOKNA, which offers end-to-end funeral services to honor the deceased, has concluded a US$1 million pre-seed round to scale across the country. SOKNA, launched in 2020 provides a full array of funerary services, including support in obtaining burial permits and paperwork, cemetery set-up, and transportation.  The platform also offers hall and condolences service booking, obituaries, ongoing…

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Kwabena Asante-Poku appointed CDC Coverage Director for Ghana

GHANA – Kwabena Asante-Poku has been appointed by UK’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) CDC as Coverage Director for Ghana. The new position will amplify the DFI’s presence in West Africa and strengthen its reach across the continent. Based in Accra, Asante-Poku will lead CDC’s on-the-ground operations in Ghana, working to manage and strengthen the firm’s portfolio and to originate new…

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AfDB and UN Women sign a US$4M agreement to support women in West Africa

WEST AFRICA – The African Development Bank Group, through its Access to Finance for Women in Africa (AFAWA) Initiative has granted US$4 million to UN Women to support women entrepreneurs access to public procurement in West Africa. The funding, the Bank’s largest-ever grant to UN Women, will improve the access of women-led businesses to public contracts.It will also leverage the…

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Nigerian Reliance Health closes US$40M series B funding, eyes expansion into other countries

NIGERIA – Reliance Health, a Lagos and Texas-based digital healthcare provider has raised US$40 million series B  funding to fuel its continued growth and service delivery in the continent. The new round was led by General Atlantic and other participants including Partech, Picus Capital, Tencent Exploration, Africa Healthcare Master Fund, P1 Ventures, Laerdal Million Lives Fund, and M3 Inc. The…

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Morocco’s e-commerce flourishes beyond the Covid-19 pandemic

MOROCCO – Morocco’s e-commerce websites have recorded a 46% boost in the volume of transactions following the four-month lockdown in 2020, marking a 25%year-on-year year increase in the money spent on online purchases. Morocco’s high internet penetration rate, reaching 75% of the country’s 37-million citizens, coupled with a robust road network has contributed to the rise in e-commerce. The sector…

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IMF upgrades Egypt’s real GDP growth for 2022 to 5.6 percent

EGYPT – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded Egypt’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 0.4 percent in 2022 to 5.6 percent, compared to the fund’s October 2021 projections. Egypt has managed to do well amid the  Covid-19 pandemic compared to other oil-importer countries according to Petya Koeva Brooks, the IMF’s deputy director of the research department. She…

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Morocco diaspora remittances increase to US$9.95bn in 2021

MOROCCO – Remittances from members of the Moroccan diaspora reached MAD 93.3 billion (US$9.95 billion) at the end of December 2021 compared to MAD 68.18 billion (US$7.27 billion) a year earlier. Money transfers from Moroccan diaspora members experienced an increase of 36.8% or MAD 25.07 billion (US$2.67 billion) in 2021 according to Morocco Exchange Office. The figures show that the…

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Arab Monetary Fund extends Egypt’s US$368M loan to counter coronavirus repercussions

EGYPT – The Arab Monetary Fund has provided a new 87.7 million dinars (US$368 million) compensatory loan to Egypt for containing the effects of the Coronavirus. The agreement was signed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), Tarek Amer, and General Director and Chairman of the Fund’s Board of Directors, Abdel Rahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidi. The new…

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African Development Bank extends US$10M grant to upgrade climate information systems in Liberia

LIBERIA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US$10 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, for which the Bank is the accredited agency, to improve Liberia’s early warning weather systems. The project will also receive US$431,969 from the Bank’s ClimDev Africa Special Fund and US$1 million from the government of Liberia. The project…

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