Ann Brown

  • How A Cordon Bleu-Trained Chef Taught Cape Verdean Women To Cook For A Living

    By Ann Brown, 4:27 pm AFKI Original

    When Phaisit Kimakom moved to Cape Verde, the Cordon Bleu-trained chef wanted to help create jobs. He trained 12 young women in his kitchen to run a catering service, then stepped back and let them take control. Poor service is a common complaint on the island. How does Kimakom teach his staff about good service? “I take them out to restaurants,” he told AFKInsider. “You won’t know how to serve if you have never been served.”

  • Obama Young African Leader Brings Microfinance To Malawi Women And Youth

    By Ann Brown, 10:14 am AFKI Original

    Andrew Longwe won international praise for his microfinance company in Malawi. An entrepreneur and pioneer, he faced obstacles as a formal enterprise dealing in the informal sector, where business risks are high. He’s ironed out problems with loan repayments and loan recovery, he told AFKInsider. What keeps him motivated? Poverty in Malawi, he said. “Until Malawi becomes a better country than I found it, I don’t feel anything with my current accolades.”

  • How SA Entrepreneurs Grew A Backyard Fynbos Nursery Into A Thriving Business

    By Ann Brown, 9:12 am AFKI Original

    There is a strong demand for South African fynbos worldwide. Germany, the U.K., Japan, and the Netherlands represent the greatest opportunities for exports. Fynbos, an Afrikaans word meaning “fine bush,” comprises 80 percent of the Cape Floral Kingdom. It includes rare species that have disappeared in the wild. One of the best known fynbos species is the king protea, South Africa’s national flower.

  • How A YALI Fellow Overcame Stigma Of Female Entrepreneurship In Uganda

    By Ann Brown, 11:41 am AFKI Original

    Starting a business in Uganda is hard when you’re a woman. The elders in some communities think you should get married and have kids instead. You have to prove your worth. Jamila Mayanja took something as simple as washing clothes and turned it into a business that’s helping empower women in Kampala. Mayanja participated in U.S. President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative in 2015.

  • How A Nigerian Tech Millionaire Turned $250 Into $6M

    Q&A With Nigerian Tech Millionaire Abasiama Idaresit By Ann Brown, 9:56 am AFKI Original

    He turned $250 in startup funds into more than $6 million, and may be on his way to becoming Africa’s first tech billionaire. His company is one of Africa’s leading digital marketing agencies. He wants Nigeria to have more exportable technology and services that can compete globally, and like other global tech entrepreneurs, he’s bcoming a venture capitalist. “We are just starting,” said Abasiama Idaresit, 36.

  • More Than Just Salt: Exploring Sal, Cape Verde’s Tourist Hub

    By Ann Brown, 9:09 am

    there’s a lot more going on in Sal, Cape Verde’s most popular island, than meets the initial eye. The island is teeming with luxurious all-inclusive five-star resorts, mostly opened by foreign investors, and many well-known global brands. There’s a lively town center full of restaurants and music venues. Lush white sand beaches lure you to the sand and turquoise sea. You can also venture out on a various nature, historical, and water sports excursions.

  • Cachupa! Taste-Testing The National Dish Of Cape Verde

    By Ann Brown, 6:30 pm

    I went on a cachupa tasting test in Praia, trying the dish all around town. That’s when I discovered that everyone makes cachupa differently — and you can get it everywhere. Almost every restaurant serves it. On Saturdays you can find people cooking it in large kettle pots outside of their homes for hours and serving it up to everyone in the neighborhood — sometimes for money, sometimes for free. Men and women alike cook cachupa. And some of the best I have had were actually cooked up by men.

  • How A Cosmetics Firm Uses African Ingredients To Target Black Women

    By Ann Brown, 11:23 am AFKI Original

    African women often struggle to find beauty products that cater to their skin tone and hair texture. Many are desperate for high quality, natural and organic skincare products, says the Kenyan-Australian CEO of skincare line Afya Organics. Highly wired and open to change, Africans are also very vocal about what they do and don’t like. This has created a bold and aggressive marketplace. Neva Mwiti-Read saw an opportunity to create a global cosmetic firm that capitalizes on the beauty secrets of Africa. Check out her AFKInsider interview.

  • Rwandan Entrepreneur’s Solar-Powered Mobile Kiosks Charge Phones, Create Jobs

    Solar-Powered Mobile Kiosks By Ann Brown, 11:26 am AFKI Original

    Cell phone use is growing exponentially in Africa, but with electricity scarce, charging those phones is a challenge. Africa-born, U.S.-educated entrepreneur Henri Nyakarundi saw a business opportunity. He developed a franchise system that lets other entrepreneurs run his solar-powered mobile kiosks as their own businesses in Rwanda. Now he’s developing software for content providers.

  • African Diaspora: Why A Social Entrepreneur Chose Kenya For Her Firm

    By Ann Brown, 7:57 am AFKI Original

    What do you do for an encore when you’ve been a World Bank executive, worked at JP Morgan in London, and done policy analysis for the U.N. in New York? If you’re Canadian-Kenyan Wandia Gichuru, you strike out on your own. Not in finance. In fashion — fashion with a social goal. Gichuru has lived in Mozambique, Sudan and Uganda. She spoke to AFKInsider about why she chose Kenya for her business, Vivo Activewear.