DECEMBER 22, 2022
3 min Read
Investors update: December 22 2022
World Bank approves $311m for West African solar project
- The World Bank approved $311 million for the new Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project (RESPITE) this week.
- RESPITE is aimed at increasing the grid-connected renewable energy capacity of the participating West African countries—Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
- The project also includes a $20 million grant to help facilitate future regional power trade and strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the West Africa Power Pool.
Source: World Bank
West Africa has one of the lowest electrification rates and some of the highest electricity costs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, rising oil prices have increased the liabilities of electricity utilities and countries are staring at an acute power supply crisis that threatens to upend their economic growth. The World Bank financing is expected to support reforms in power distribution and transmission across the four nations by funding the installation and operation of 106MW worth of solar photovoltaic battery and storage systems and 41MW worth of hydroelectric capacity growth.
MSC Group completes acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics
- MSC Group has confirmed that its wholly owned subsidiary SAS Shipping Agencies Services has completed the acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics after the transaction was approved by all applicable regulatory authorities.
- The deal strengthens MSC’s longstanding ties with Africa and reinforces its commitment to the continent’s growth, says MSC Group President Diego Aponte.
- The Group plans to operate Bolloré Africa Logistics Group as an autonomous entity with its portfolio of diversified partners, under a new brand to be unveiled in 2023.
The acquisition of Bolloré Africa Logistics SAS and its affiliates, Bolloré Africa Logistics Group, by MSC—a foremost player in the continent’s shipping industry—reflects its interest in harnessing opportunities within the African supply chains and infrastructure while supporting the needs of clients of both businesses. Meanwhile, the Group’s financial strength and operational expertise should enable Bolloré Africa Logistics to meet all its commitments to governments, particularly regarding port concessions.
Fintech enabler Ukheshe International gets Series A funding
- Africa-focused Ukheshe International, a banking-as-a-service (BAAS) startup, has closed an undisclosed Series A funding round from Development Partners International and Fireball Capital, to help accelerate its international expansion.
- Founded by four founders in 2018, Ukheshe was established to drive financial inclusion across Africa and beyond, by creating new ways for businesses to develop and grow their financial services offerings.
- Since its founding, Ukheshe has scaled rapidly, and today serves over100 customers across different sectors, including banks, fintech startups, mobile network operators, and other small and medium-sized businesses.
Across Africa, it reportedly takes an average of $500,000 and 18 months to build and go to market with financial products; companies need to go through the hurdles of rigorous licensing and compliance processes, multiple integration layers, complex banking and third-party relationships, and invest in complicated core-banking infrastructure. Banking-as-a-service platforms like Ukheshe help reduce the time and financial costs of building through their API infrastructure. We believe this is the next phase of fintech innovation in Africa and should aid digital financial services in capturing the sizeable financial inclusion opportunity on the continent.