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1 - 04 - 2019

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The African Development Bank has approved12.5 million investment targeting SMEs in Francophone West Africa. The investment will contribute to Adiwale Fund 1, a PE fund targeting high-growth SMEs in Francophone West Africa with a target fund size of €75 million and average deal size of €3 to €8 million. The fund will focus on three key sectors; consumer goods & services, business services (e.g transport, internet services etc.) and manufacturing. It will focus on countries that are currently underserved by the global private equity (PE) market. Startup activity is quickly growing in Francophone Africa but the region doesn't get as much attention as the Anglophone region.

Ghanaian health startup, mPharma, is set to buy Haltons, Kenya’s second-largest pharmacy chain. The 20-store pharmacy chain was believed to have been acquired for under $5 million from Mauritius-based Fanisi Capital. The deal will allow mPharma develop and test patient-centered services for its franchise pharmacies. The startup has so far raised about $21.3 million with the latest being a $9.7 million investment led by 4DX Ventures and Novastar Ventures. The latest investment, raised in January 2019, is part of a $12 million Series B funding which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

South Africa's government has launched a $95 million fund to support SMEs and startups. The 'SA SME Fund' will support SMEs with turnover between $1.40 million and $35.23 million. It will support 10 black businesses, 200 SMEs, and five black entrepreneurs over the next five years. Here's a list of the funds and accelerator the 'SA SME fund' will invest in.
If the news from Techpoint is anything to go by, all is not well at Nigerian motorbike hailing company, Gokada. According to the publication, Gokada's CEO Deji Oduntan stepped down about three weeks ago and there are allegations of mismanagement and lack of direction at the company. This has reportedly led to a mass resignation of employees since August 2018. Gokada launched in January 2018 and within a year it signed up 1,000 riders with 100,000 app downloads.
According to CAJ News, the number of internet subscriptions in Nigeria has increased by 11% to 113.9 million users in the last one year. This indicates a 61% penetration which is above the 16% African average. In the latest details released by the Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN accounted for the biggest share of subscriptions and has been increasing month-on-month (m/m) since June 2018. Airtel recorded m/m increase too in January while 9 Mobile and Globacom suffered declines.
The UK government has called for applications to the Business Innovation Challenge under its four-year Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund. The $6.5 million programme was announced last year during Prime Minister, Theresa May's visit to Kenya and it will award up to $130,000 each to five enterprises with innovative solutions to unemployment. Apply here before April 8.
SA-based edtech company, CoGrammar, is calling for applications to its 6-month coding program. The program aims to train 200 code-quality assurance engineers, software engineers and web developers by 2020. South Africa residents can apply to the program before April 7. CoGrammar (previously Hyperion) supports learners to begin a career in tech and is backed by Facebook and Google.
Nigeria's Federal Government will make it mandatory for government offices to use official emails with the .gov.ng domain, according to a local report. The government is taking this step due to identity theft and other cyber security threats. Public enterprise, Galaxy Backbone and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will undertake the task of ensuring every government official gets an official email address. Government officials are notorious for using personal emails sometimes because the service simply doesn't exist and other times because they didn't  know how to.

BBC's Christopher Giles in this article explores how African governments shut down the internet.

About 75 innovation hubs across Nigeria have formed the Innovation Support Network Hubs (ISN). The objective of the organisation is to foster collaboration among its members. This isn't the first, there's also NINe, the Network of Incubators and Innovators in Nigeria, an enterprise support organisation founded in 2013. Learn more about ISN Hubs here.

From TechCabalAre We Grooming Women Leaders in Africa’s Technology Ecosystem?Adia Sowho shares her experience about leading complex organizations

Thanks for reading. Have a great week! - Olanrewaju

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