News and developments from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit
MallforAfrica (MFA), Africa's largest online mall, announced today its expansion into Kenya with its new website, MallforKenya (MFK). The global e-commerce company will enable Kenya's 47 million residents immediate access to over 50 stores and more than 1.5 billion items.
Shoppers will now have the ability to purchase items ranging from clothing to jewelry to electronics from stores such as Macy's, Carolee, Carter's, Bebe, Zappos and Amazon. Products purchased through the MallforKenya platform will be received by customers within 4-15 business days. The same secured payment options as MallforAfrica will be available to all users.
Founded in 2011 by Nigerian tech entrepreneur Chris Folayan, MallforAfrica enables Africans to purchase products from the US and UK. Its guaranteed payment system allows consumers access to over 8.5 billion items, while ensuring payment to vendors and handling all transactional fees. MFA works with over 150 of the best retailers in the world with plans on rapidly expanding across Africa.
"As Kenya is one of the leading e-commerce capitals in the world, we are thrilled to be joining the Silicon Savannah," said CEO and founder of MallforAfrica, Chris Folayan. "Since almost two-thirds of all homes have at least one mobile phone, consumers will now have the opportunity to shop at our US and UK retail stores."
The launch of MallforKenya coincides with Chris Folayan speaking on intra-regional entrepreneurship and trade at this year's Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) on July 25 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, has signed a mandate letter to begin financing discussions with Mawingu Networks, a provider of solar-powered wireless Internet across rural Kenya.
OPIC’s President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield is in Nairobi for the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and signed the OPIC mandate alongside Antony Cook, Microsoft’s Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs for the Middle East and Africa, who served as a witness to the mandate between OPIC and Mawingu.
Mawingu Networks was able to establish their current operating model using an initial grant from Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), an investment from Angel Investor Jim Forster, and early funding from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.
Using a network of solar-powered “nomadic” wireless internet stations, Mawingu provides last-mile connectivity access to areas that cannot economically access the Internet. Spurred on by the promise of Mawingu’s initial pilot operations, OPIC’s consideration of a potential $4 million loan would allow a commercial expansion of a proven model to utilise existing technology of TV White Spaces (TVWS) connectivity for off-grid Internet access.
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The US government's development finance institution, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC),and Microsoft have signed an agreement with Kenyan wireless internet provider Mawingu Networks Ltd that will pave the way for possible funding to the tune of $4million towards the company's free Wi-Fi project.
The Project is aimed at helping people living off-grid and in rural communities across Africa access affordable Wi-Fi.
OPIC president and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield is currently in Nairobi for the 2015 Global Entrepreneur Summit, and signed the OPIC mandate alongside Antony Cook who is Microsoft's head of legal and corporate affairs for the Middle East and Africa. Cook served as a witness to the mandate between OPIC and Mawingu.
"The development potential from creative private sector organisations like Mawingu captures the spirit and promise at the heart of this week's Global Entrepreneurship Summit," said Littlefield.
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North America's SkyPower, the world's largest developer and owner of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) energy projects, is to sign a landmark agreement with the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for the development of 1 GW of world-class solar projects in Kenya over the next five years.
The historic US $2.2 billion agreement will be signed in Nairobi at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).
Representatives of SkyPower will be available for media inquiries following the announcement.
Global technology company, General Electric, will launch a healthcare training institute in Kenya at the end of this year as part of Sh1.3 billion investment in the country in the next decade.
Making the announcement Thursday ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) to be held in Nairobi from July 24 – 26, in Nairobi, GE Healthcare Africa president, Farid Fezoua, said this investment is part of its new commitment to addressing some of the most critical health challenges in East Africa.
“As a cornerstone of the mega-modernisation program, GE (General Electric) will launch the new GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute in Kenya, representing a long-term investment of at least $13 million over the next 10 years.
With specialised GE Healthcare training facilities across the globe, the centre is set to become GE’s first dedicated skills development facility in Africa when inaugurated in Nairobi later in Q4 2015 that will serve Kenya and the wider East Africa,” Mr Fezoua, said today in Nairobi.
The training institute will address critical shortage of healthcare skills especially in the counties following the implementation of the Sh38 billion medical leasing equipment, which has partly been hit by a scarcity of specialised medical personnel.
The institute will initially offer biomedical and clinical applications training courses and, at a later date, offer leadership, technical and clinical education courses. It expects to train over 1,000 healthcare professionals over the next 3 years.
General Electric, which has its Africa headquarters in Nairobi, was, in February this year, selected by the Kenyan government as a key technology partner in the Sh38 billion healthcare transformation plan for Kenya.
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