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How to bridge Kenya’s housing gap

Kenya has a housing deficit of over two million units, and more than six in 10 urban Kenyans live in slums. Its Vision 2030 Strategy calls for 200,000 new units per year, quadruple the current rate. Filling Kenya’s gap for affordable housing could spur the “housing multiplier effect”: economic growth, job creation, and a deepening of

Inspirafarms raises $1.75 million to stem food waste on small farms

Inspirafarms has raised $1.75 million to stem food waste on small farms. The startup, based in Sevenoaks, U.K., designs and manufactures cold-storage and food-processing equipment that is modular and can work off-grid to help small agribusinesses reduce post-harvest losses due to pests, heat and exposure to the elements. With the equipment, a small-scale farming operation can

Kenya taps mobile-money platforms to issue infrastructure bond

The Kenyan government has issued the first mobile phone-based bond to users of mobile-money platforms M-Pesa and Airtel to develop a new funding stream for infrastructure projects. The bond, a 150 million KES ($1.5 million) offering called M-Akiba, reached a 50 percent subscription rate within a week and was bought by about 10,000 investors (suggesting

And a Skoll Award goes to…Babban Gona, for boosting incomes of Nigerian farmers

And a Skoll Award goes to…Kola Masha of Babban Gona, for boosting incomes of Nigerian farmers. The six-year-old agriculture startup is the first for-profit company to receive a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, which were announced ahead of next week’s Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. Based in Lagos, Babban Gona has helped more than 13,000 smallholder

Famine in East Africa sounds the alarm for a new approach to food security

International aid organizations are warning that more than 16 million people face hunger in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. Nigeria and Yemen also face food emergencies. The compounding crises offer an urgent reminder that nearly a billion people worldwide are unable to access sufficient food. Food insecurity is likely to increase as population growth

Ziweto moves to consolidate Malawi’s (tiny) livestock veterinary market

Ziweto, a small chain of livestock veterinary stores in Malawi, is expanding via acquisition of a competitor, Alfa Medics. The acquisition is being funded with $50,000 from Aviary, part of Seattle investor Luni Libes’ Fledge network of funds, and other investors. Most Malawians live in rural areas and depend on subsistence and small-scale agriculture. Ziweto, which

Tanzania emerges as a hub of African entrepreneurial success

Women Rising Tanzania is emerging as a hub of African entrepreneurial success. The East African country is often overshadowed by the continent’s other business power centers: Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. But it has seven of the top 30 most promising entrepreneurs under the age of 35, according to Forbes. Most of the top-ranked entrepreneurs have started