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Week commencing 19 March 2018
Global telecommunications group Econet Wireless has begun the process of investing more than $250m in a solar power systems project. Indications are that it has placed orders for nearly 20MW. The investment will be done through its subsidiary, Distributed Power Africa, and will provide solar energy solutions for industrial, commercial and home use and is targeting the creation of more than 5,000 new jobs in Zimbabwe over the next two years.
The Herald Zimbabwe 12 March
Samsung has acquired artificial intelligence start-up Kngine to improve its virtual assistant, Bixby. The acquisition was made by Samsung affiliate Samsung Next, which acquired 100% of Kngine. The start-up had struggled to raise investments after securing its first round and has had to move to the US to raise more money. Kngine had raised its first investment from Cairo-based Sawari Ventures. The total disclosed investment raised by the start-up amounted to $775,000. The financial details of the Samsung acquisition were not disclosed.
Telecompaper 12 March
Germany is investing €20m to boost agriculture productivity among small-scale farmers. The investment will support various initiatives including the country’s Green Innovation centres for the agriculture and food sectors. The initiative, which has prioritised women and youths, is aimed at increasing the incomes of 70,000 small-scale farming enterprises and improving the region’s food supply through the adoption of innovations in agriculture.
Zambia Daily Mail 13 March
Real estate income group Grit is set to expand into Ghana with the acquisition of a $20.5m office block. The real estate firm signed heads of agreement to purchase 5th Avenue Corporate Offices, a three-storey, fully let 5 070m2 complex in the upmarket Cantonments quarter of Accra from Ghanaian property developer, Greenline Development. The asset is anchored by a public-private partnership in which the government holds a 38% shareholding.
Liquid Africa 16 March
Swedish caller ID software company Trucaller will be integrating local online platform VConnect’s business directory to its app to strengthen the visibility of the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs). The integration is aimed at empowering SMEs in Nigeria to get more visibility and new customers. It will also help deepen relations between the two organisations and bring about the digital inclusion of small businesses. The Swedish firm will, however, be setting up its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Vanguard 13 March