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Kenyan oil-tech startup, iGas, launches digital LPG marketplace

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A Kenyan digital oil and gas startup, iGas, has announced the launch of a digital LPG marketplace that aims to accelerate “access to clean cooking by solving affordability, accessibility and last mile delivery constraints.”

Founder and CEO of iGas, Michael Rapudo, who spoke on the launching of the new marketplace, said vendors would get shop visibility, digital business management, sales analytics and periodic reports.

Customers, on the other hand, would get access to their nearest verified LPG shops, seamless payment options, refill fund options, and a convenient purchase experience.

Founded in 2021, iGas enables gas vendors, both commercial or domestic, to create online shops from which customers can purchase gas through the iGas app.

“We are aggregating the customer purchasing data to design a credit scoring model we will use to extend small personal and MSME loans, and customised insurance solutions,” Rapudo said.

Rapudo added that the motivation to set up the iGas marketplace came from growing up in rural Kenya, where the main source of cooking energy is firewood and charcoal, had opened his eyes to the gradual environmental damage that has been done over the years.

“I returned home in 2020 to find forest covers gone, farm lands destroyed by big gulleys from flash floods, and increased rates of drought.”

“As a climate change conscious activist I felt something had to be done to transition dependence on fossil fuels to LPG as a source of clean cooking,” he said.

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AFC to invest $40m in African Medical Centre of Excellence in Nigeria

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The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has committed $40 million equity investment in the African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) in Abuja, Nigeria.

AFC, which is Africa’s top instrumental infrastructure solutions provider, signed the equity investment term sheet pledging the sum towards the construction of the AMCE hospital.

According to a statement by AFC President and CEO, Samaila Zubairu, the agreement will see the visionary 500-bed medical health facility currently being developed by Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in partnership with King’s College Hospital, London (KCH), become one of the best health facilities in the continent.

Zubairu said the agreement which was signed at the inaugural AMCE African Health Forum in Abuja on Friday, will “strategically harness KCH’s unparalleled diagnostic, clinical, and capacity-building expertise and specialise in three core non-communicable diseases – oncology, cardiology, and haematology – with a commitment to world-class research, education, and development capabilities to establish itself as a leader in clinical services.”

“The AMCE initiative heralds a revolution in healthcare in West Africa. It aims to turn the tide of medical tourism away from the continent by building the first in a series of world-class medical centres of excellence in Africa, thus providing widespread access to critical health care in the region,” the AFC CEO said.

“Africa’s healthcare sector suffers a severe and alarming infrastructure gap and a shortage of qualified medical practitioners.

“We are therefore pleased to partner alongside Afreximbank and King’s College Hospital, London, on this epoch-making project that will transform healthcare in Africa and contribute to a reversal in medical tourism.

“Building a world-class facility that captures medical spend in Africa, promotes specialist skills development, retains and, most importantly, attracts healthcare practitioners in our local communities, aligns well with AFC’s import substitution strategy and we look forward to working with all partners to establish the AMCE as a beacon of medical excellence on the continent.”

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Uganda’s Diamond Trust Bank partners TerraPay for ease of global money transfers

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Leading Ugandan bank, Diamond Trust Bank Uganda (DTBU), has entered into a partnership with global cross-border payments network company, TerraPay, aimed at expanding international money transfers and strengthening financial inclusion in the country.

While announcing the strategic partnership on Friday, DTBU, a member of the Diamond Trust Bank Group, said both firms will deliver unparalleled benefits to customers worldwide with the key attributes of the partnership being the “ability to facilitate direct account deposits from any part of the world and leverage DTB’s renowned brand name to optimize advantages for customers across the globe.”

A statement by the Managing Director, Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, Varghese Thambi, noted that the partnership is poised to “significantly narrow the financial inclusion gap, streamlining the processes of money transfer, savings, and credit accessibility for individuals.”

“We are committed to providing our customers with the best possible banking experience.

“This partnership with TerraPay will allow us to offer our customers faster, more convenient, and more secure money transfers, with lower fees.

“By forging this collaboration with TerraPay, Diamond Trust Bank Uganda will witness an expansion in its customer base for international money transfers, consequently bolstering direct international investments within the nation.

“Notably, this initiative will greatly benefit customers and expatriates residing in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Kenya, Germany, Qatar, Canada, and Europe, granting them the capability to execute real-time money transfers to their loved ones in Uganda, a pivotal hub within this partnership.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Willie Kanyeki, TerraPay’s Vice President, East and South Africa, said:

“We are excited to partner with Diamond Trust Bank Uganda to expand our reach in East Africa and make it easier for people to send and receive money across borders.

“This partnership will help us achieve our goal of providing everyone with access to affordable, reliable financial services. Diamond Trust Bank Uganda is a well-respected bank with a strong track record of providing excellent customer service.

“We are confident that this partnership will be a success and will help promote financial inclusion in the region, by simplifying global money movement for both individuals and businesses, making it easier than ever to connect with loved ones and also, empower global commerce.”

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