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Andela Launches Tech Hub In Rwanda

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Andela, a pan-African tech firm, which develops software engineers, has launched in Kigali, Rwanda. Already, it has hubs in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. To fuel the expansion, Andela is partnering with the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Development Board.

Kigali was chosen as a strategic location for Andela’s first pan-African hub due to its strong existing infrastructure and ease of access for developers across the continent. Through the partnership, RDB will support Andela’s efforts to build a pan-African workforce and support the development of Rwandan and other African talent.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner in the Government of Rwanda whose mission is so closely aligned with our own: to grow and sustain a pan-African elite tech workforce. In Kigali, we have found a location that makes travel to-and-from other African countries seamless and also has the modern and connected infrastructure we require to collaborate with a global workforce,” says Andela co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson.

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Andela launched operations in Nigeria in 2014 to help global companies overcome the severe shortage of skilled software developers and invest in Africa’s top technical minds.

In 2018, Andela earned Best Place to Work awards for both its Lagos and Nairobi offices in recognition of its company-wide focus on diversity and inclusion, stellar office culture, dynamic working environment, and opportunities for career advancement.

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Mastercard Foundation launches $200 million fund to support female-centric African SMEs

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The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF), has announced the launching of a $200 million funding initiative for female-centric Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The MFAGF, in a statement on Thursday, said the funding scheme will work through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, and beside providing capital for investment vehicles, “The Fund of Funds” will offer a business development facility for its portfolio companies.

The initiative, it said, will use gender lens investing principles to help advance the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“The program has so far identified two investment vehicles, one in East Africa and another in West Africa to help in supporting entrepreneurial growth,” the MFAGF said.

“The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund’s goal is to provide dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women.

“The Fund of Funds is catalytic, helping to bring in additional capital for African entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. It strengthens and de-risks African investment funds committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.

“Mastercard has a vision of enabling 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. Eligible enterprises are those owned and led by African entrepreneurs and located on the African continent are often considered high-risk,” it added.

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South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital, announces new $25 million seed funding

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South African early-stage venture capital fund firm, 4Di Capital, has announced a new $25 million seed funding few months after the company raised $8 million funds from the South African SME Fund.

Founded in 2009, 4Di Capital principal partner, Justin Stanford, said the outfit has since then played a key role in uplifting startups across different parts of the continent with the startups reaping from its hands-on experience and approach in growing and scaling new businesses in Africa.

“Having spent the past 13 years refining our investment strategy and expanding our footprint past South Africa into the East African market and beyond, we look forward to collaborating hand-in-hand with our new partners,” Stanford said in a statement on Wednesday while announcing the funding.

The new fund which was created in partnership with DotEXe Ventures in Mauritius, Stanford said, will help 4Di Capital invest in more viable startups in Africa.

“Unlike other markets globally which have become saturated, the African market still represents an opportunity for investors.

“The investment landscape is less competitive, resulting in more favourable valuations and terms, and thus the opportunity to potentially achieve higher returns,” Stanford added.

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