Africa Business Communities

[East Africa Business Week] Bob Koigi: Deepening diaspora remittances, driving regional investment

In a first of its kind move, The East African Community (EAC) has announced it is setting up a Diaspora desk that will focus on facilitating East Africans living in the diaspora to invest and trade in the region.

The diaspora community has highlighted a lack of trust in local financial institutions as one of the challenges deterring investment in East Africa.

According to the EAC Secretariat, diaspora community will also be incorporated in EAC signature events, such as Pre-Summit retreats, offering them an opportunity to engage with EAC Heads of State, Ministers and the regional business community.

In the financial services and banking sector, Stanbic Bank Kenya has partnered with the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) to offer a series of financial literacy training sessions for Deaf SME business owners. The training will be conducted under KBA’s Inuka SME Program, which aims to reach 200 Deaf business owners.

At the same time, new financing approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors will help reduce the flood exposure of over 300,000 people, including many low-income communities, while providing access to better infrastructure and services.

 It will also help transform a flood prone area in the center of the city into a vibrant green space and commercial and residential area that will benefit all residents of Dar es Salaam.

African Development Bank Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization Solomon Quaynor will join Africa's young generation of innovators, policymakers, champions and leaders at the 2022 Youth Connekt Africa Summit, taking place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 13 to15 October 2022.

Youth Connekt Africa is a continental initiative with a presence in 28 countries. The Rwandan government has organized the event through its Ministry of Youth and Culture.

In the agriculture and food systems sector, Google Cloud has announced a collaboration with Twiga Foods, an e-commerce platform that provides fresh local produce to shops of all sizes across Kenya, that will be a catalyst in enhancing food security in the country.

Twiga Foods will leverage Google Cloud technologies in running an efficient food value chain that connects farmers directly with vendors to bring high quality, locally harvested fresh produce to people every day—increasing accessibility to food items in Kenya.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have sealed a partnership to further advance WFP’s homegrown school feeding and smallholder farmer support programmes in Rwanda and Uganda.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has committed a $4.1 million grant to improve health, nutrition, food security and incomes for marginalized and vulnerable smallholder farming communities. 

Food security remains a challenge in many parts of the world, especially as global supply chains break down and environmental imbalances leave lands barren.

The Ugandan tech company Inputi is improving the odds in its region with funding from Renew Capital, an impact investment firm growing small and medium-sized businesses in East Africa through its network of investors, Renew Capital Angels.

Inputi is an online marketplace, aggregator and distributor for farm inputs. Through versatile digital platforms, it delivers quality crop and livestock inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides to 1,000 rural agro shops, 20 dairy cooperatives and 12 meat cooperatives, sending them directly to buyers or to regional agro and vet shops at a fixed transportation cost. 

Elsewhere, Safaricom Ethiopia recently switched on its mobile telecommunications network and services in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital city. 

Safaricom Ethiopia is owned by an international consortium including Vodafone Group; Safaricom PLC; Vodacom Group; Sumitomo Corporation – one of the largest international trading and business investment companies; and British International Investment (BII) - the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor. 

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




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