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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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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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Koa Academy Wins MEST Africa Challenge 2023, Secures $50,000 Funding

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Koa Academy team

MEST Africa, a leading Pan-African tech entrepreneurship training program, seed fund, and incubator, proudly announces Koa Academy as the grand prize winner of the 2023 MEST Africa Challenge (MAC), securing a $50,000 equity investment after a competitive pitch battle among Africa’s brightest tech innovators.

In a thrilling showcase of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, Koa Academy from South Africa stood out at the MEST Africa Challenge finale in Accra, Ghana, surpassing contenders from across the continent. This coveted startup competition, known for identifying and nurturing tech talent, saw Koa Academy clinch the top spot with its groundbreaking solution, poised to transform the Edtech industry.

The competition drew applications from hundreds of early-stage tech startups, rigorously assessed on criteria such as innovation, scalability, and team strength. Finalists from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Kenya competed in the grand finale, demonstrating their unique solutions and business models to a panel of esteemed judges, including investors and industry experts.

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Koa Academy, Winner of the 2023 MEST Africa Challenge and a South African innovator in online education, offers dynamic and interactive courses for grades 4-12. With a focus on engagement and accessibility, it champions digital learning, making quality education available to anyone, anywhere, and transforming the educational landscape in South Africa. The startup impressed the judges at the MAC Finale showcasing significant market potential, revenue growth, and social impact.

“Winning the MEST Africa Challenge has been an amazing experience for the Koa Academy team. It highlights the hard work and dedication that everyone has put into growing Koa. This recognition is not just an award; it’s a testament to the passion and perseverance that drives us every day. Amidst the challenges, this journey has brought us closer to others across the continent, forging relationships and connections that fuel our mission even further. We are reminded that we’re not alone in this endeavor and are incredibly grateful for the support and learning opportunities this challenge has presented,” said Lauren Anderson, Co-founder and CEO, Koa Academy, expressing gratitude and optimism for the future of tech startups in Africa.

Ashwin Ravichandran, Portfolio Advisor at MEST Africa congratulated the winner and finalists for their exceptional achievements and resilience. The event also highlighted the support of Absa Bank Ghana for contributing to the challenge’s success. The MEST Africa Challenge continues to be a pivotal platform for emerging tech startups in Africa, offering funding, visibility, and support to innovate and scale. Koa Academy’s victory underscores the vibrant potential within Africa’s tech ecosystem, promising a brighter future for the continent’s digital landscape.

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Dream VC Launches Its 2024 Venture Capital Fellowship Program

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Dream VC, Africa’s foremost venture capital institute and investor accelerator announces the commencement of applications for the 2024 cohorts of their flagship African-focused Venture Capital training programs. Founded in 2021, Dream VC has trained more than 170 African and Africa-focused investment professionals across 3x successive cohorts and 5x programs, many of whom are currently leading and operating in different investment roles across over 65x African investment firms.

The annual remote venture capital fellowship programs provide the ideal launchpad for all aspiring and current investors to break into the African venture space, with an extensive curriculum, practical training, and direct exposure to world-class investors provided to both junior and more venture enthusiasts.

Dream VC’s tailored educational investor training programs are dedicated to creating the necessary pipeline of talent, the next generation of African-focused investors. Investor Acceleratorand Launch into VC are Dream VC’s remotely delivered flagship venture capital fellowship programs, both run entirely virtually. The two concurrently running programs provide an ideal launchpad for all aspiring and current investors to learn, practice, and sharpen the skills needed to successfully find, invest in, and grow African technology businesses.

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“The Dream VC fellowship was a big part of my journey into Venture Capital, it allows you to work alongside enthusiastic venture capitalists in the African VC ecosystem, gain hands-on experience in due diligence and deal sourcing, and build a strong network in the industry,” said Cinderella Alinaitwe, now an Investment Analyst at Pearl Capital Partners, a Dream VC alumni (2021 cohort).

“Dream VC is what I wished I had access to when I started my VC journey. The barrier to entry is high for anyone looking to break into the African VC industry, and going through Dream VC equips individuals with the necessary skills set needed to land that entry-level role at an African VC firm. With more African funds springing up every year, there is a huge opportunity to fill positions and get the best talent. The current gaps in the market for talent are huge, and Dream VC is plugging into a critical pain point. With Dream VC, you are sure of the best talents to hire from.” echoes Dayo Koleowo, General Partner at Microtraction and a past speaker at Dream VC’s venture capital training programs.

This year, Dream VC is back in full force with an expanded team and a success rate evidenced by the many funds that count Dream VC alumni on their teams. In 2024, the investor accelerator will accept applications for their now-familiar venture capital training programs from today, the 27th of February 2024. The two programs running for this year are:

Dream VC’s focus on accessibility continues, and Dream VC is proud to share that they have once again secured a round of commitments from their partners and alumni to enable the Dream VC Access Foundation (Dream VC’s scholarship arm) to provide much-needed support and financial assistance to any aspiring investor-in-training, who makes it through the application process but cannot cover a portion of the program costs.

“Our commitment at Dream VC extends far beyond merely churning out a set number of investors within a specific timeframe. We’re dedicated teachers and builders, meticulously identifying and bridging gaps within the investor ecosystem across Africa. We firmly believe in the immense potential of African talent. Through our programs, we’re shaping future leaders poised to enter various roles within the venture capital landscape, from joining VCs and launching funds of their own to becoming angels, venture builders, and ecosystem enablers at ESOs,” remarked Mark Kleyner, Co-Founder of Dream VC, highlighting Dream VC’s pivotal role and continued success rate in nurturing and empowering investors, funds, and corporate entities to actively participate in Africa’s burgeoning startup scene.

Applications for the 2024 cohort for “Launch into VC (LIVC)’’ and “Investor Accelerator” programs open on Tuesday, February 27th, and will close at 23:59 GMT on the 14th of April 2024.

Both programs will run concurrently from summer to autumn. Launch into VC runs for 4 months from June to Late September. The Investor Accelerator program commences in June and runs until October for a total of 5 months.

Interested applicants can apply for the 2024 cohort of Dream VC’s programs here before 23:59 GMT on April 14th, 2024: https://forms.gle/DJuY7QHsMMYxBEBZ9

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