World Bank Giving African Startups A Boost With Business Acceleration Initiative
Entrepreneurs at work on a startup idea. Photo: africanentrepreneurcollective

World Bank Boosts African Startups With Business Acceleration Initiative

By Peter Pedroncelli, 5:36 am

The World Bank Group has committed to supporting the growth of Africa’s digital economy with the launch of XL Africa, a business acceleration initiative that will provide a raft of benefits for the 20 most promising startups in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five months. African digital entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to be mentored by various global specialists, increase their visibility on the continent and receive access to corporate partners and investors.

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    By Staff, 1:01 am

    Halima Aliko Dangote, daughter of Nigerian cement magnate Aliko Dangote, is trying to raise money in Africa to open an African art and policy institute in New York. She hoped to raise up to $5 million at a recent fundraiser in Nigeria, and said she planned similar events in Morocco and Kenya. The building that houses the Africa Center was completed several years ago but the center itself hasn’t opened yet for lack of funds.

  • GE Oil & Gas Opens New Sub-Saharan Africa Facility To Support ENI

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    African exploration took a hit the last two years. Eni’s success shows it’s not over. Eni is Africa’s leading gas producer. With an oil sector less than 10 years old, Ghanaian companies have limited experience providing tech services to offshore operators. GE says it plans to provide training and support for the local oil and gas supply chain, and SMEs. GE’s new Ghana facility is already supporting Eni. Eni’s exploration success rate is the envy of its peers. Most of Eni’s oil finds were discovered in the last decade, mainly in Nigeria, the Congo, Ghana and Angola.

  • Youthful Entrepreneur Uses Green Waste Recovery To Fight Malaria In Madagascar

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    When a coup in Madagascar sent her father into bankruptcy, 24-year-old Hanta Tiana Ranaivo Rajaonarisoa was forced to abandon her business administration studies in the U.S. She took over the family’s unused essential oil-making machine, and now supplies insect repellants to 40 pharmacies in Madagascar. Malaria is one of the country’s top 5 causes of death. Rajaonarisoa says she’s helping protect Madagascar’s amazing biodiversity — up to 90 percent of the country’s plant species are endemic — by using green waste recovery in her products.

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    The idea of funding a venture by raising money through many small contributions on the internet strikes a chord among Africans. It’s ubuntu at its finest. When Media 24 closed Ideas magazine in South Africa in 2016, former editor Terena le Roux took it upon herself to resurrect the publication. Thanks to support on social media, she launched a crowdfunding campaign via Thundafund. The money continues to come in, and she was able to relaunch the magazine.

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