Agriculture: Latest News
Tom Jackson, 3:26 pm AFKI Original
Startups innovate much faster than mobile operators but they lack the wide reach — and customers — that more established companies have. Mobile operators and startups in emerging markets should work together because collaboration could be mutually beneficial, according to a new GSMA report — “Opening Doors: A Start-Up’s Guide to Working With Mobile Operators in Emerging Markets.” Some mobile operators are openly listing their API documentation and integration processes, and are willing to listen to startup founders.
Ann Brown, 1:13 pm AFKI Original
There are millions of small-scale farmers locked out of Kenya’s formal economy. Alex Muriu is finding a way to help them. He created Farm Capital Africa to invest in profitable business ventures in the underfunded agricultural sector. He uses the internet to raise funds for agripreneurs — mostly youth and women age 25 to 35 — so they can scale up their agricultural ventures. “We have had some challenges,” Muriu told AFKInsider. “Social-impact investors are not as rampant as profit-making investors.”
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:30 am
Seven South African biotech, health, agro-processing, and manufacturing projects have received a funding boost from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) through their Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) initiative. The grants, which form part of the Cape Craft and Design Institute’s second round of seed funding, will allow for the innovative projects to be developed for use in a variety of sectors that will benefit from the ideas in development.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:49 am
The annual World Economic Forum on Africa will see a selection of impressive women tech entrepreneurs taking center stage in Durban, South Africa, with the aim of showcasing the wealth of entrepreneurial talent available on the continent. The 2017 meeting runs from Wednesday, May 3 to Friday, May 5, and will be conducted with the wider theme of “Achieving inclusive growth through responsive and responsible leadership” in mind. Women continue to be an important driver of African economies, with one-third of all businesses across Africa owned by women.
Staff, 8:52 am
Paris & Co, the economic development and innovation agency of Paris, and Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding ), underpinning France’s recognition of Ghana’s potential in new technologies and its support of the West African country’s startup ecosystem. A statement by the French Embassy in Ghana says the African […]
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:00 am AFKI Original
Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate more flexibly than private equity, and they have the creativity to generate bond-like returns that outpace inflation. Critics say hedge funds have limited liquidity in an opaque world. The riskiest play — but with big returns — is in agriculture and land. Where land is for sale in Africa, investors are making a play for a limited resource, especially when it’s arable, ripe for production or ideal for commercial and residential construction.
Staff, 1:00 am
By moving manufacturing to Ethiopia, Chinese textile companies are moving closer to their raw material base, the cotton-producing countries. This is part of their value chain repositioning, a strategy most Chinese companies are adopting. They’re are also using Africa as a gateway to emerging markets on and off the continent. Products made in Ethiopia can be exported duty- and quota free to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The same benefits apply to the E.U. Ethiopia also offers cheap electricity at US$0.04 cents per kilowatt hour. It’s now the second-largest electricity producer in sub-Sahara due to its hydropower dams.
Staff, 12:01 am
The fall in African private equity investment in 2016 could be a short-term blip. Among the losers was US-based Carlyle, one of the world’s winningest investment firms. Carlyle invested $147m in Nigeria’s Diamond Bank in 2014. The bank’s market cap fell by 90% over the subsequent two years. Bob Geldof’s PE firm 8 Miles just invested in Blue Skies, a British fruit firm that operates in Africa. Utilities including telecoms were the most popular target for private equity investment in 2016. West Africa was the most active region.
Reuters, 1:00 am
Africa’s informal alcohol market is about four times bigger than its $11 billion commercial market, analysts say. Home brews have a strong tradition rooted in centuries-old African rituals. AB InBev needs to develop products affordable enough to tap the informal beer and alcohol markets, says InBev’s new Africa head. AB Inbev’s big rivals in Africa – Heineken and Diageo – have also launched lower-priced drinks made with local ingredients that are affordable for more people.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:54 am AFKI Original
As commodity prices have fallen, African manufacturing has increased leverage — and the attention of investors — to garner more foreign investment. Tanzania is probably one of the easier bets if you are following the crowd. Success stories include Kenya-based Catalyst Principal Partners, an East Africa-focused private equity firm which invested in Zenufa Laboratories, a leading Tanzanian pharmaceuticals manufacturer. Catalyst also invested in Chemi Cotex, which makes toothpaste, skin and hair products. Both involve non-food and beverage consumer goods that are manufactured locally. Both have taken market share due to quality products and competitive pricing.
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