[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Accelerating sustainable and clean transport solutions
25-11-2022 13:05:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 2249 | Tags:

A bulk of East African countries’ electricity comes from renewables. Yet the region’s transport sector relies entirely on imported petroleum fuels.

A new revolution in the transport sector is however shaping up. That of transforming conventional diesel vehicles to environmentally-friendly electric ones. The aim is to tame climate emissions, clean up the air in cities, and give vehicle owners relief from the rising cost of diesel.

Governments, private sector players, multinationals and startups are investing in the new clean and sustainable transport renaissance in East Africa. Studies show that The Middle East and Africa electric bus market is expected to grow from $ 410.66 million in 2021 to $1.16 billion by 2028.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company, KenGen, recently unveiled four electric vehicles, which include two SUVs and two double-cabin pickups that will primarily be used for data collection and policy development. KenGen also says it plans to install over 30 EV charging stations across the country in 2023. 

Bboxx, a  platform providing access to essential products and services, and Ampersand, an e-mobility company delivering sustainable transport solutions in East Africa have also partnered to expand Ampersand’s e-mobility scheme in Rwanda. The initiative will see the provision of ten of thousands e-motos (electric motorcycles) to taxi drivers in Rwanda over the coming years.

At the same time, PIDG company InfraCo Africa, together with a consortium including DOB Equity and Mobility 54, signed an agreement with Zembo, committing €3.4 million to support the growth of the company’s electric motorcycle business in Kampala, Uganda. The investment will enable the company to grow the number of electric motorcycles on the road by approximately 2,000 and will support development of an additional 60 Zembo charging and battery swapping stations across the city.

Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) also recently signed a cooperation agreement to facilitate the development of value chain in electric battery and clean energy sector. It is expected to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation on the initiative to develop the battery value chain as well as strengthen collaboration between Zambia and DRC. 

Last month, Kenyan-Swedish electric vehicle manufacturer Roam launched the first mass transit electric bus to ply various routes in Nairobi. The bus, with a capacity of 90 passengers is part of the company’s strategy to build vehicles for mass transportation.

In the banking and financial sector news this week, Equity Group has appointed Samuel Kirubi as the Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO). Kirubi moves from the position of Managing Director, Equity Bank Uganda to head the Group operations from the Equity’s head office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Hantec Financial, a multinational corporation based in Hong Kong with a focus on providing professional financial services to global clients, announced its ongoing global expansion into Rwanda.

Afreximbank has outlined its $3 billion country programme for Kenya. A significant part of the support will involve the establishment of a Kenya Climate Change Adaptation Facility. 

In the startups scene, Ramani, a Tanzania software company building a cloud network of micro-distribution centres for Africa's $1 Trillion consumer-packaged goods supply chain, has closed its $32million series A round of equity & debt. Founded in 2019, Ramani is focused on fixing fragmented consumer goods supply chains that traditionally suffer from lack of data visibility and are burdened by limited access to financial services. 

Stable Foods, a Kenyan agri-tech startup offering a host of solutions to small-scale farmers has raised $600k in funding. The startup’s services include an irrigation-as-a-Service package, where farmers pay a small fee to hire irrigation services.

And Leta, the supply chain and logistics startup driving distribution optimization, announced the close of  $3 million Pre-Seed equity roundLeta uses artificial intelligence to enable the efficient and automated movement of goods for businesses.

Bob Koigi is the East African Region Editor at Africa Business Communities