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Autochek acquires Morocco’s KIFAL Auto to drive North Africa expansion

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Autochek, the automotive technology company making car ownership more accessible and affordable across Africa, has announced the acquisition of KIFAL Auto, Morocco’s leading automotive technology startup, to drive its expansion into North Africa. This acquisition represents the first major expansion of a West Africa-based startup into North Africa and it will facilitate effective Pan-African collaboration to drive innovation across the continent’s growing automotive market.

KIFAL Auto was founded by Nizar Abdallaoui Maane (Essec Paris graduate and former BNP Paribas consultant) in 2019 to transform the automotive experience in Morocco by providing a seamless process for buying and selling used cars, and enabling access to financing, warranties, insurance and other value-added services. The startup was the first to be accepted into the inaugural cohort of CDG Invest’s 212 Founders accelerator programme, which aims to fund and support world-class startups linked to Morocco and Africa.

Morocco is one of the most developed automotive markets in Africa, with more than 180,000 new cars and around 560,000 used cars sold annually. As a result of various policy developments and investments in infrastructure, Morocco’s automotive sector is set to grow a further $14 billion over the next five years. The country is home to an innovative technology hub, powered by a thriving startup ecosystem that delivers a wide range of solutions to support the automotive industry. Over the years, KIFAL Auto has emerged as a trusted partner for individuals and organisations in Morocco seeking to buy and sell used cars, with its transparent, secure and cost-effective processes. 

With this acquisition, Autochek is uniquely positioned to tap into the innovation that underpins Morocco’s thriving automotive ecosystem, introduce its market leading solutions to alleviate various challenges across the value chain and further integrate the Pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.

Autochek is building the financial infrastructure to drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers. It has existing operations across West and East Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Uganda), a partner-led retail footprint in over 1,500 dealer and workshop locations, and more than 70 banking partners including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.

Commenting on the acquisition, Etop Ikpe, CEO and co-founder of Autochek said, “from my first interaction with Nizar and his team at KIFAL Auto, I was so impressed by their passion for delivering effective solutions and their commitment to innovation. They have built an excellent platform and we are thrilled to have them onboard at Autochek to support the work we are doing to improve the automotive finance value proposition in Africa. There are so many parallels in our individual stories and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.”

Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, CEO and Founder of KIFAL Auto, said “I have long been an admirer of the work Autochek has done to enable improved experiences across Africa’s automotive value chain. There is so much we can learn from each other and I am looking forward to bringing my experience and expertise to deliver more game changing innovation in Morocco and beyond. In our Industry and especially in an African context, it makes a lot of sense to continue growing with a large player. Morocco is a gateway into North Africa and I am confident that we can unlock new value and drive further transformation across the board”.

Yassine Haddaoui, Head of CDG Invest said, “KIFAL Auto is a great example of the real change that innovation and a focus on value creation is driving across Africa today. Nizar and his team have shown a lot of passion, vision and entrepreneurial spirit to drive the success the company has seen to date and we are confident that this success will continue as they join the Autochek family.”

Nizar and the KIFAL Auto team will join Autochek and continue to explore new opportunities to deliver solutions to drive positive change in the automotive industry in Morocco and beyond.

 

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2024 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award opens for entries in South Africa

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Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award (Image: Supplied).

Since its inception in 1972, the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award has established the platform as the ultimate accolade highlighting female founders and CEO’s globally. Esteemed for honouring female pioneers who embody the spirit of Madame Clicquot, this award has two categories, the Bold Woman Award and the Bold Future Award, which highlight and give visibility to innovative women around the world. This is the first and longest-running international award of its kind and South African female business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to elevate their businesses and join a community of like-minded trailblazers are invited to enter from 18 March 2024.

Over 52 years, the award has celebrated women who exemplify the same tenacious, enterprising spirit of the Grande Dame of Champagne, Madame Clicquot. Widowed at the age of 27 in 1805, she defied norms and transformed an entire industry – an extraordinary feat during an era when women faced significant limitations, unable even to establish personal bank accounts, let alone independently own or manage businesses. The Bold Woman Award is a powerful tribute to women who share her fearlessness and determination. Open to women in 27 countries, the award has honoured over 450 businesswomen to date. Not only does it applaud their leadership, but also provides laureates with prominence, a powerful platform and access to an inspiring global community.

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The award’s impact is invaluable, and these Bold women in turn inspire and motivate future generations of female leaders. The South African edition of the 2023 Bold by Veuve Clicquot Barometer reveals that 72% of aspiring women entrepreneurs are inspired by, and can name, a local female role model. This finding underscores the vital role of the Bold by Veuve Clicquot programme, which sets out to fortify a sustainable future for businesswomen globally through impactful initiatives that inspire mentorship and collaboration. The data for the 2023 Bold by Veuve Clicquot Barometer was collated from over 49,000 women and men surveyed in 25 countries, contributing to a powerful overview of female entrepreneurship globally.

One initiative that sets out to amplify the Bold Programme and fosters global female networking is Veuve Clicquot’s Bold Open Database, a collaborative database catalysing social and economic development. South African women seeking to connect with fellow female entrepreneurs across the globe are invited to register Here.

The women who step into the Bold Woman Award spotlight pay tribute to the legacy of Madame Clicquot and play a vital role in inspiring future generations of female entrepreneurs. South African women who are ready to be recognized for their business achievements are called to enter the 2024 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter the Bold Woman Award, candidates must be founders or CEOs of a company for more than three years, have demonstrated transformation and evolution in their field, and supported growth for at least two years while maintaining an ethical approach to business.

To qualify for the Bold Future Award, candidates must be the founders or CEOs of a company that has been in existence for less than three years. In that time, the candidate must have made a significant contribution to the success of their company by instilling a sense of entrepreneurship and have made a tangible contribution to transformation in an existing market, while bringing ethical change to the company.

Three finalists in each category will be selected by an esteemed jury and will be invited to attend the Bold Woman Award ceremony on 17 July where one laureate in each of the categories will be lauded by a grand jury. The Bold Woman Award winner will travel to Reims, France, for an immersion in the history, tradition, and luxury of Maison Veuve Clicquot.

Entries open on 18 March and close on 30 April 2024. Business leaders and role models who are ready to be recognised for their remarkable success are invited to enter the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award by completing a simple form Here.

Applicants must be an official resident of South Africa and the business must be based in or operating in South Africa. The finalists will be selected by an independent panel of judges.

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Press Release

Shelter Afrique CEO Presents Credentials to the Government of Kenya

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Shelter Afrique Development Bank (ShafDB) Chief Executive Officer, Thierno Habib Hann, has presented his credentials to Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya and Foreign & Diaspora Affairs Minister of Kenya, H.E Dr. Musalia Mudavadi.

In a formal ceremony held at the Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya’s office in Nairobi, Mr. Hann conveyed Shelter Afrique Development Bank ‘s commitment to enhancing its collaboration with the Government of Kenya in addressing the pressing challenges of affordable housing and urban development in the country and across Africa.

Mr. Hann highlighted the organization’s commitment to sustaining its impactful efforts in Kenya, particularly in advancing affordable housing programs. Mr. Hann reiterated Shelter Afrique Development Bank ‘s dedication to supporting Kenya’s housing agenda with a particular focus on housing programs that seek to address key thematic areas of climate financing, gender, migrants, refugees, and the diaspora.

“We enjoy a great relationship with the Government of Kenya, being Kenya Shelter Afrique Development Bank ‘s largest shareholder and we are looking forward to scaling up projects that are in line with the visionary economic development agenda – Kenya Vision 2030. We extend our gratitude to the Government of Kenya for their enduring confidence in our institution and for hosting ShafDB’s Headquarters for the last 42 years,” stated Mr. Hann.

He further conveyed Shelter Afrique Development Bank ‘s readiness to collaborate closely with Kenyan authorities in implementing innovative solutions aimed at expediting the provision of quality, affordable housing, and associated infrastructure and urban development across the nation.

Welcoming Mr. Hann and accepting his appointment, Prime Cabinet Secretary Honorable Musalia Mudavadi, commended Shelter Afrique Development Bank for its ongoing transformation and continued commitment to Kenya and further Africa’s development priorities, highlighting the organization’s valuable contributions to the region’s housing sector over the years.

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Press Release

AfCFTA Extends Reach To North Africa

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The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and N Gage Consulting signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance implementation of the AfCFTA within Africa, with a focus on North Africa and Arabic speaking countries as well as harness the potential of the AfCFTA through targeted outreach towards positive impact in Africa. The MoU was sealed by the AfCFTA Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Wamkele Mene and Mr. Karim Refaat, Chairman of N Gage Consulting and Dr. Sherif Fahmy, CEO.

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The was established as an effort to eliminate trade barriers among African countries with the aim of creating a single market size of 1.3 billion people with a combined annual GDP of $3.4 trillion. As the largest free trade area in the world, the AfCFTA is expected to increase intra-African trade and promote regional economic integration of Africa and, as a result, contribute to the sustainable economic and social development of the continent through the creation of employment opportunities and the reduction of poverty.

Pursuant to the MoU, the two parties commit to strengthen cooperation and promote concrete activities in areas of conducting webinars, tailor effective roundtable sessions, public-private dialogues and to develop a series of monthly newsletters to disseminate relevant information through social media platforms with the aim of raising awareness of business and governments on the AfCFTA, its objectives and showcasing AfCFTA’s Guided Trade Initiative and its role in powering trade among members states. 

Additionally, the collaboration will facilitate the preparation for the AfCFTA Business Forum and The Intra African Trade Fair (IATF) and the execution of different capacity building programs for the member states in order to leverage the AfCFTA to boost intra-African trade and utilise Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects to support investment in infrastructure.

The MoU is expected to promote the AfCFTA as a trade liberalisation instrument and sustainable development enabler and accelerator as well as enhance intra-African trade as an engine for economic diversification and industrialisation.

As one of the leading companies operating in the area of government relations and public policy in the MENA region, N Gage Consulting is committed to support the AfCFTA and will deploy all the necessary resources to strengthen and expand cooperation with the AfCFTA Secretariat to enhance African trade integration. 

In addition to her impressive legal background, Rosemond has cultivated a niche expertise in the tech startup ecosystem. She has consistently provided comprehensive consulting, due diligence, and investor readiness services to numerous companies in the tech sector.

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