MultiChoice Africa Accelerator set to boost African small and medium-sized businesses
MultiChoice launched the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator programme which trained 29 businesses across 9 African countries in key entrepreneurial skills. As the second leg of the programme, a panel of experts has selected 11 of the most promising small businesses and invited them to pitch to prospective international investors in Dubai.
“There’s no denying the impact African SMMEs have on job creation and economic growth,” says Fhulufhelo Badugela, MultiChoice Africa CEO. “Through the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, our vision is to take that impact and multiply it beyond what our start-up founders ever believed possible. I have no doubt these small businesses will be able to take everything they’ve learned so far to unlock transformative business funding.”
The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator programme, the brainchild of the MultiChoice Group and part of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, in collaboration with Dubai-based business incubator Companies Creating Change (C3), technical partner EOH, and Galelo Africa, has been designed as a platform to help grow start-up businesses from across Africa. The programme specifically targets start-ups and small businesses in the technology sectors of health tech, agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy, and creative industries.
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“The quality of the submissions this year was high. It confirms our view that Africa has enormous potential. The specific focus on tech industries allows us to showcase the innovation of Africa to the world, but also enables these businesses to develop tech solutions to real societal problems,” continues Badugela.
The first phase of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme saw public and private-sector partners in each country nominating businesses or entrepreneurs for the programme. From there, 29 of the start-ups embarked on an intensive virtual training course during December 2022 and in Johannesburg.
The 11 start-ups attended a dedicated boot camp in Lusaka, Zambia to learn more about how to shape their story for international investors, and to get “pitch ready” before their big presentations. The shortlisted startups to present their business plans to a panel of investors for this year’s MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme are:
Tupuca from Angola is an on-demand quick-commerce platform and logistical aggregator of uber-like drivers that allows users to order from multiple vendors and service providers ranging from restaurants, grocery stores, small retailers and courier services.
Taskmoby from Ethiopia is the first digital marketplace in Ethiopia that connects customers with qualified home services providers (e.g. plumbers, cleaners, electricians), leveraging a mobile application, SMS/USSD solutions and a dedicated call center.
StarNews Mobile from Ivory Coast is a pan-African media-tech company whose mission is to give financial freedom to African creators from the distribution and monetization of their digital content globally.
Tendo from Ghana is a social commerce platform that enables anyone to sell online with zero capital.
Zuri Health from Kenya is a virtual hospital (Super Health App) providing affordable and accessible healthcare services to patients across Sub-Saharan Africa via mobile app, website, WhatsApp bot and SMS service. Through the app, patients can chat and consult with doctors, buy medication from pharmacies, book labs and diagnostic tests and even have a doctor visit them at home.
Dojah Inc and Crop2Cash from Nigeria: Dojah Inc is an end-to-end Identity verification and compliance framework to strengthen confidence, credibility, and compliance across digital businesses. At Crop2Cash, we have built a digital financial service that allows smallholder farmers anywhere in Nigeria to open a bank account on their feature phones in under 2 minutes, with no internet required.
MaTontine from Senegal is a digital financial services platform. It digitise traditional, African savings groups to provide access to financial services for financially excluded women in Africa.
Botlhale AI and Gradesmatch South Africa: Botlhale AI builds Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools for African languages. Developers and organisations can integrate any of these tools into their solutions through its APIs. Gradesmatch helps students (and families) to transition from education to economic opportunity by making the journey as simple as possible. The company builds the core enabling infrastructure that simplifies the journey from education to economic opportunity.
Mighty Finance Solution from Zambia provides SMEs in emerging markets with seamless credit and financial solutions using artificial intelligence. The company leverages proprietary credit rating algorithm to pave the way for a unique lending experience and transforming lives through the provision of simple, quick and affordable loans.
AWIEF Opens Registration for its 2023 Africa Conference
AWIEF 2022 Conference held in Cairo, Egypt (Image: Supplied)
The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) has announced the opening of registration for its annual conference and awards. This year is the 9th edition of the prestigious AWIEF event, and it will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), Kigali, Rwanda, on 9 and 10 November 2023.
AWIEF has become Africa’s leading entrepreneurship, innovation and technology platform, bringing together more than 1,300 entrepreneurs and startups, industry experts, thought leaders, policy drivers, and change-makers from across Government, Corporate and Development sectors for impactful discussions and dialogue on new ideas, initiatives, strategies, and solutions to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, digitization, intra-Africa trade, investing, food security, climate action and sustainability and, ultimately, economic and social transformation in Africa.
Last year’s speakers included H. E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission, H. E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Solomon Quaynor, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure & Industrialization, African Development Bank (AfDB), Jackie Jones, Director, Gender Equality Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Izabela Milewska, Digital Skills Global Leader, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Sponsors included Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AWS, Afreximbank, Sparkle, and Africa Europe Foundation. AWIEF 2023 will be a fully in-person event, coming back to its full glory since 2020 when COVID-19 pandemic forced the event to go virtual and hybrid.
AWIEF Founder and CEO, Irene Ochem, said: “We are excited to be bringing the 9th edition of our annual conference to East Africa for the first time and especially Kigali, one of the most exciting cities in Africa right now. We are looking forward to advancing our efforts in connecting the African and global entrepreneurship ecosystem in this significant hub for business, technology, and innovation.”
All AWIEF 2023 participants, attending the event from outside Rwanda, are eligible for a visa upon arrival without prior application. Citizens of African Union, Commonwealth and La Francophonie member countries can obtain free visas upon arrival for a visit of 30 days.
AVEVA Partners with Azule Energy to drive Digital Transformation
AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, driving innovation and sustainability, has partnered with Azule Energy, Angola’s largest independent oil and gas operator, to drive digital excellence throughout the firm’s operations. The partnership agreement will enable Azule Energy – a 50/50 Joint Venture backed by bp and Eni – to reduce costs, improve safety and unlock new production opportunities using AVEVA’s cloud, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and digital twin technologies.
Moreover, the partnership will help cut the time spent searching for key asset information, improve maintenance planning, reduce offshore trips and visits, enhance team collaboration, and facilitate remote operations. Azule Energy boasts a strong pipeline of new projects that are scheduled to support the energy needs of Angola’s growing economy and strengthen its role as a global liquified natural gas (LNG) exporter.
Digital Twin Spans Entire Asset Lifecycle
AVEVA will deploy its digital twin software to connect data from every layer of the technology stack for one contextualized, multi-visual experience. In the first phase, AVEVA will focus on existing operations, implementing AVEVA Asset Information Management, AVEVA Information Standards Manager, and Assai Cloud for Operations – for two existing floating production storage and offloading units (FPSOs) in Block 18 (Greater Plutonio Development) and Block 31 (PSVM).
AVEVA’s digital twin technology is the only solution on the market that spans the entire asset lifecycle. The vendor-agnostic solution is scalable, integrated, and open. It unites engineering and enterprise data to create a true digital backbone that will bring industrial intelligence to Azule’s entire team, delivered via the cloud.
Peter Harriman, COO, Azule Energy, said: “We have signed a strategic contract with AVEVA to digitally transform our operations for optimized productivity, efficiency and safety. This partnership will enable Azule Energy to achieve our goal of establishing a world-class operation.”
Caspar Herzberg, CEO, AVEVA, commented: “The move to AVEVA SaaS will empower Azule Energy to innovate and remotely collaborate across teams regarding their FPSO assets. The vessels are located a long distance offshore, which represents a significant challenge to operations. Using data-led insights, Azule’s team will be able to breakdown silos and deepen collaboration between onshore and FPSO teams, using their combined insight to streamline processes and accelerate delivery.“
Herzberg added: “AVEVA’s industry leading visualization technology will further enable Azule Energy to deliver faster and at scale. AVEVA is the only provider to supply a fully integrated solution that can be developed quickly and reliably. Together we are committed to providing secure, lower carbon energy to support Angola’s sustainable development.”
Baron & Cabot launches a portal to support the expansion of local real estate agencies in Africa
Baron & Cabot Managing Director, Mark Pearson
Baron and Cabot, a UK-based international real estate firm has launched a game-changing concept, a UK property portal that is offering a strategic expansion plan for real estate agencies in Africa. The innovative approach, is a first of its kind using AI technology to predict property prices and will allow real estate agents in Africa to sell properties, and earn in pounds, providing an unprecedented opportunity for growth and financial success.
Through this portal, real estate firms will get to de-risk their investments in international markets and gain access to a wide range of fully compliant properties. Baron & Cabot, with a reputation for being one of the top fastest-growing property companies in the world and transacting on around £100 million GBP per annum ($120 m) of UK property while having access to some of the best property developments in the UK, has been particularly successful in Africa due to inflation driving clients to move their money into GBP and Dollar to purchase assets.
“We are thrilled to be launching this innovative concept that will not only provide a platform for real estate agents in Africa to sell UK properties but will also create job opportunities and drive economic growth. We believe that by leveraging AI technology to predict property prices, we can provide our partners with a unique advantage and help them to achieve financial success. Our joint venture expansion plans are aimed at creating mutually beneficial partnerships that will bring value to all parties involved.” – Mark Pearson, Managing Director of Baron & Cabot.
In addition to providing agents with access to new revenue streams, Baron and Cabot’s property portal is also expected to create new job opportunities in the African market. The company is committed to providing its agents with comprehensive 2 to 4 week training and support to help them succeed in their new roles. This training will ensure that agents are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the real estate market and take advantage of the opportunities that Baron and Cabot’s concept provides. Real estate will have the ability to reserve properties and Baron and Cabot will process the client through legal processes.
As part of its offering, Baron and Cabot will provide clients with mortgages anywhere in the world (excluding war zones), with mortgage rates lower than 6% and deposits below 35%, making it easier for clients to invest in UK properties.
Mark Pearson, Managing Director of Baron & Cabot, said, “Our management company boasts an impressive occupancy rate of over 99%, with properties awaiting new tenants for an average of only 10 days. This sets us apart from other cities around the world, where the average occupancy rate is only 70%. In addition, our AirBnb or short-term rental products have an average occupancy rate of over 70%, resulting in substantial rental returns and a secure investment. Our secret to success lies in our ability to identify high-demand areas with low supply, combined with exceptional management that keeps both our tenants and landlords satisfied.”
Baron and Cabot utilizes advanced machine learning and data processing to analyze millions of lines of data to identify the best investment locations and pockets of value for clients. With access to information such as the square footage of every property in England and every sold price of every residential property in the UK since 1997, along with economic forecasts, government investment plans, and knowledge of upcoming transport links for the next 5 years, Baron and Cabot is ahead of the curve when it comes to investments. This allows investors to benefit not only from the firm’s purchasing power and large discounts, but also from massive rental growth and capital growth.