Ann Brown

  • In Nigeria’s Developing Processed Food Sector, This Player Positions For First Mover Advantage

    processed food By Ann Brown, 8:52 am AFKI Original

    Many ingredients for cooking Nigerian meals are not produced or packaged in Nigeria. The owners of the OmoAlata brand want to change that. “Seeing Nigerian food ingredients in ethnic stores in the U.K. and U.S. with ‘made in Ghana’ labels ignited a longing to change the narrative (that) nothing good comes out of Naija,” said Kasope Ladipo-Ajai in an AFKInsider interview. OmoAlata takes the labor out of chopping and prepping pepper, tomatoes, and onions for soups or stews from scratch. The company parboils and packages soup and veggie mixes.

  • How An Entrepreneur Turned A Class Project Into One Of Ghana’s Hottest Real Estate Tech Startups

    Tech Startups For Real Estate By Ann Brown, 9:53 am AFKI Original

    Finding suitable accommodation in Ghana can be difficult. The founders of online platform meQasa claim to make it easier, acting as a sort of go-between for prospective tenants and buyers with owners and sellers. They won the confidence of some deep pockets. The Meltwater school invested $90,000 in the startup. Soon after, classifieds-focused Frontier Digital Ventures invested $500,000 in meQasa.

  • Serial Entrepreneur’s Crowdfund Helps Anyone Who Owns A Cow Get Financial Services

    Anyone Who Owns A Cow By Ann Brown, 12:20 pm AFKI Original

    South African Ntuthuko Shezi’s entrepreneurial spirit landed him a spot on Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The initiative should continue, Shezi told AFKInsider. The U.S. “has been very involved in Africa for many years with various aid programs, but I think the past model was a bit flawed,” he said. It didn’t really recognize that (Africans) can build their own own roads and clinics. “What we need is to be empowered with information and support,” he said. “This is where Obama has got it right with YALI.”

  • Ecobus Runs On Vegetable Oil. It Also Runs On Time, Something Other Cabo Verdean Minibus Operators Find Threatening

    Ecobus runs on vegetable oil By Ann Brown, 12:01 am AFKI Original

    In the capital city of Cabo Verde, transportation can be disorganized, even chaotic. Fáron Peckham, a transplanted New Yorker, saw a business opportunity. He began his Ecobus taxi company on the island of Santiago to try and bring some order to the chaos. If you’re a taxi company, using free renewable energy while running on schedule sounds like a great idea that solves several problems. But some of the other taxi operators didn’t like it.

  • How A Young African Leader Plans To Fix Nigerian Affordable Housing Shortage

    Nigerian affordable housing By Ann Brown, 11:11 am AFKI Original

    Amaka Nwaokolo believes innovative building technology can help lower rental rates. Her idea earned her a spot in Obama’s coveted Young African Leaders Initiative. Nwaokolo had 6 weeks of entrepreneurship training at Yale University. She found the leadership sessions particularly empowering and useful back home. “They focused on developing me as an individual,” she told AFKInsider. But sometimes there was a disconnect between U.S. and African realities. “It was shocking to see how little was known of Africa. It felt good changing and shaping perceptions.”

  • How A Ghanaian Got U.S. Funds And Training To Take His Adventure Travel Firm To The Next Level

    Obama Young African Leader By Ann Brown, 5:04 pm AFKI Original

    Jay Jay Segbefia is something of a tourism pioneer in Ghana, where he runs an adventure sports business. He got his first taste of rock-climbing in the U.S. “Having lived in a mostly patriarchal society … putting my life in the hands of a female instructor was a unique experience,” he said. Now 80% of his staff in Ghana is female. The Obama Young African Leaders experience heightened his desire to succeed, he told AFKInsider. It turns out he’s made of the same stuff that “contributes to America’s enviable entrepreneurial success.”

  • How A Kenyan Street Hawker Became A Young African Leader And Built A Film Village In Kenya

    film village in Kenya By Ann Brown, 5:00 pm AFKI Original

    Get ready to be inspired. This is the story of Rachael Wainaina, who worked as a street hawker in Nairobi to pay for her education. Now she’s building a film industry village in Kenya that could become the largest of its kind in Africa. Her efforts got Obama’s attention. The film market in Kenya and Africa is still untapped, Wainaina told AFKInsider. “There is an opportunity especially in the box office films. The village will give the world an opportunity to tell the African story in high quality and showcase Kenya to the world.”

  • How A Fashion Designer And Young African Leader Wowed Michelle Obama

    Senegalese fashion designer wowed Michelle Obama By Ann Brown, 6:59 am AFKI Original

    Senegalese Ndeye Absa Gningue was working for a fast-moving consumer goods company when she fell in love with the African print they were selling. She decided she would make her own African clothes from the fabrics and wear them. Then a friend suggested she make a business with the clothes she was wearing. Those clothes helped Gningue get chosen as a Mandela Fellow for Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Michelle Obama took notice.

  • Obama Young African Leader: Some Things Just Aren’t Adaptable To Realities Of Africa

    By Ann Brown, 2:55 pm AFKI Original

    Zimbabwean businessman Taurai Chinyamakobvu believes in adopting and adapting. Some of the things he learned from Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative at Yale University were adoptable and adaptable to the realities of an African country. Others, not so much. “The U.S. has a dynamic ecosystem for technology and start-up companies which does not exist in Africa,” he told AFKInsider. “Venture capital, private equity financing, and angel investment opportunities are either few and far between or nonexistent.”

  • Young African With A Biomedical Degree Prefers Farming Watermelons

    African with a biomedical degree prefers farming watermelons By Ann Brown, 9:57 am AFKI Original

    In Kenya, many women don’t know their families’ net worth. “Our culture is such that men hide their wealth from their wives and children,” says Annie Nyaga, a local watermelon farmer. Nyaga is all about changing perceptions. “It is only in Africa where a farmer is the poorest member of the community,” she told AFKInsider.” We have to start by changing key attitudes. Agriculture is not the option for the laziest and failures in the classrooms. It is for entrepreneurs and innovators.” Here’s how Nyaga is changing minds and paying it forward with her business, Farm2Home.