Daily Archives: March 7, 2019

Flourish, New Venture Firm Focused on Impact Fintech, spins off from Omidyar Network

The evergreen fund launches with $200 million of existing assets under management and a new commitment of $300 million from Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay

REDWOOD CITY, California, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Financial Inclusion Initiative at Omidyar Network announced it has spun off to launch Flourish, a new venture firm focused on backing entrepreneurs whose innovations are helping people across the globe to capture economic opportunity and achieve financial health. The firm launches with a global team of 18 professionals and an existing $200 million portfolio across US and emerging markets, as well as an additional $300 million at its disposal over the next five years. Flourish is an evergreen fund backed by Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.

Flourish Logo

“We believe that capital, when deployed to create individual opportunity and change sectors, can shape a more inclusive economy—where everyone does better. That is at the core of Flourish’s mission,” said Tilman Ehrbeck, one of the three managing partners leading the new venture. “We have made remarkable progress in bringing people into the formal financial system, but that has not necessarily translated into better economic outcomes—that is the industry’s next challenge.”

In the past decade, more than one billion people have been financially included. Yet, in many emerging markets, more than half of working-age adults still live and work in the informal economy, often reluctantly self-employed without adequate resources or safety nets. In the US, the majority of households are not financially healthy, often living from paycheck-to-paycheck.

“As an industry, we have a better understanding of people’s complex relationships with money than ever before, and technology is creating new models for enhancing earnings, protecting against risk, and building wealth,” said Arjuna Costa, managing partner at Flourish. “To reshape economic systems and create opportunity for vulnerable people around the world, we invest in innovative technologies that give them more control over their financial lives.”

Flourish’s global portfolio includes more than 40 fintech companies helping low- and middle-income households and small businesses to improve their financial standing. Investment themes include digital-only, mobile-first challenger banks, including Chime (recently valued at $1.5 billion)AspirationNeonAlbo, and Tez; new insurance models, such as MicroEnsureKin, and Pula; and asset optimization tools, including United Income and Scripbox.

In addition, Flourish is pushing new frontiers with its investments. For example, Steady connects flexible workers in the US with gig economy jobs, helping them increase their earning opportunities, while optimizing their skills and available time. Juntos is re-personalizing the banking relationship in the digital age, creating AI-powered conversations over mobile in 20 languages across the globe.

“We back entrepreneurs with winning business models to responsibly harness the power of technology to improve their customers’ lives,” said managing partner Emmalyn Shaw. “Our portfolio companies represent a new generation of purpose-driven innovators, who believe in market-based solutions to empower individuals, and are pushing the boundaries to deliver on that belief.”

As a sector-change oriented firm, Flourish will also continue to support thought leaders in financial services, as well as forward-thinking regulators and policymakers. This work will build on existing engagements with ecosystem builders, that range from CFSI and FinRegLab in the US, to Alliance for Financial Inclusion and R2A Accelerator across emerging markets.

Flourish is a venture of The Omidyar Group. The firm has offices in Silicon Valley, Washington DC, and London, and covers India through a partnership with Omidyar Network India.

For more information on our why we launched Flourish, read our blog.

If you are in Austin for SXSW Interactive, come visit our “Fintech Forward Basecamp” event. Sign up to attend our sessions here.

About Flourish
Flourish is an evergreen fund investing in entrepreneurs whose innovations help people achieve financial health and prosperity. Established in 2019, Flourish is funded by Pam and Pierre Omidyar. Pierre is the founder of eBay. Managed by a global team, Flourish makes impact-oriented investments in challenger banks, personal finance, insurtech, regtech, and other technologies that empower people and foster a fair, more inclusive economy. For more information visit www.flourishventures.com or join our community through TwitterLinkedInInstagram, and Medium.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/831832/flourish_Logo.jpg

Globeleq collabore avec des partenaires pour agrandir la centrale d’Azito

ABIDJAN, Côte d’ivoire, 7 Mars, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Globeleq, principal producteur d’énergie indépendant en Afrique, et IPS (West Africa), entreprise détenue par le Fonds Aga Khan pour le développement économique, ont annoncé que leur filiale, Azito Energie SA, a signé un accord de concession avec le gouvernement de la Côte d’Ivoire. Cet accord permettra d’ajouter 250 MW de puissance électrique à la centrale thermique d’Azito déjà en activité dans la région d’Abidjan.

Globeleq - Powering Africa's Growth

La centrale existante génère à l’heure actuelle 430 MW de puissance et joue un rôle primordial dans ce secteur. Cette extension de Phase IV, associée à la modernisation technique MXL2 (entreprise en 2019 et qui ajoutera 30 MW à la capacité de production de la centrale), amènera Azito à fournir environ 700 MW de puissance, soit environ 30 pour cent de la puissance installée en Côte d’Ivoire.

Le PDG de Globeleq, Paul Hanrahan, a commenté : « Notre entreprise a énormément d’expérience en termes de développement, de construction et d’exploitation de projets énergétiques en Afrique. Avec notre partenaire IPS (West Africa), nous sommes actifs dans le secteur de l’énergie en Côte d’Ivoire depuis plus de 15 ans. La Phase IV d’Azito offre l’un des tarifs les plus faibles de toutes les centrales thermiques du pays et permet des synergies multiples au moyen d’une infrastructure existante ainsi que de l’expertise de son équipe opérationnelle actuelle. La centrale d’Azito deviendra l’un des parcs de centrales thermiques les plus fiables et efficaces de la région. »

Mahamadou Sylla, PDG de IPS (West Africa), a ajouté : « Cette nouvelle extension de la centrale d’Azito est l’aboutissement d’un partenariat durable et fructueux avec l’État ivoirien dans le secteur de l’énergie, qui a débuté à la fin des années 1990. IPS West Africa et ses partenaires ont depuis lors investi presque 1 milliard USD dans ce secteur. Nous remercions les autorités ivoiriennes pour leur confiance renouvelée aux actionnaires et nous félicitons l’équipe d’Azito pour son engagement et son professionnalisme qui ont aidé à bâtir cette relation de confiance. »

Monsieur Abdourahmane Cissé, Ministre du Pétrole, de l’Energie et des Energies Renouvelables, a pour sa part indiqué : « La signature de cet avenant à la convention de concession entre Azito et le gouvernement de la Côte d’Ivoire est une étape importante de notre programme de production d’électricité. Cette décision s’inscrit dans la politique de maîtrise de l’énergie en ligne avec le plan actuellement mis en œuvre par le Président Alassane Ouattara. Cette étape est particulièrement cruciale pour répondre à la croissance de la demande en électricité estimée à environ 10%. Le gouvernement de la Côte d’Ivoire travaille également sur plusieurs autres projets, qui nous permettront d’atteindre l’objectif fixé par le Président Alassane Ouattara lui-même, qui est de réaliser 4000 MW en 2020. »

L’extension de Phase IV d’Azito devrait atteindre sa clôture financière en juin 2019, conformément à l’objectif souhaité par le Gouvernement.

À propos de Globeleq
Globeleq est un réalisateur, promoteur et gestionnaire principal de production d’électricité en Afrique. Son équipe expérimentée de professionnels a constitué un portefeuille varié de centrales électriques indépendantes, qui produisent environ 1300 MW de puissance dans 8 sites répartis sur 5 pays. Elle travaille aussi sur des projets énergétiques en développement, dont la puissance cumulée s’élève à environ 2000 MW. www.globeleq.com

À propos d’IPS (WA)
Industrial Promotion Services (West Africa) (IPS (WA)) est une institution du Fonds Aga Khan pour le développement économique (AKFED) centrée sur le développement des secteurs de l’industrie et des infrastructures afin de participer au développement économique des pays dans lesquels il opère.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/612609/GLobeleq_Logo.jpg

Globeleq Works With Partners To Expand Azito Plant

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Globeleq, a leading independent power producer in Africa, and IPS (West Africa) a company owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, have announced its subsidiary, Azito Energie SA, has signed an amended Concession Agreement with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to add 250 MW to the existing Azito gas-fired power plant near Abidjan.

Globeleq - Powering Africa's Growth

The existing power plant currently generates 430 MW and plays an important part in the sector. The Phase IV expansion, combined with the technical MXL2 upgrade (being undertaken during 2019 adding 30 MW to the plant’s capacity), will see Azito supplying around 700 MW, or approximately 30 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s installed capacity.

Globeleq’s CEO, Paul Hanrahan commented: “Our company has a wealth of experience in developing, constructing and operating power projects in Africa.  We have been active in the Côte d’Ivoire energy sector, together with our partner IPS (West Africa) for more than 15 years.  The Azito Phase IV tariff is one of the lowest of the country’s thermal power producers and enables multiple synergies by using existing infrastructure and the expertise of its existing operational team.  The Azito power plant will become one of the most reliable and efficient thermal power generation facilities in the region.”

Mahamadou Sylla, CEO of IPS (West Africa) added: “This new expansion of the Azito power plant is the outcome of a long and fruitful partnership with the Ivorian State in the energy sector, which began in the late 1990’s.  IPS West Africa and its partners have since invested almost US$1 billion in the sector.  We thank the Ivorian authorities for their renewed confidence in Azito shareholders and congratulate the Azito team whose commitment and professionalism have helped build this trust.”

Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy, Hon. Abdourahmane Cisse stated: “The signature of this amended concession agreement between Azito and the government of Cote d’Ivoire is an important step in our program for electricity generation.  This decision is part of the policy to control energy on line with the plan currently implemented by the President, Alassane Ouattara. This step is specifically crucial to answer the growth of electricity demand which has been estimated at about 10%.  The government of Côte d’Ivoire is also working on several other projects which will enable us to reach the objective set up by President Alassane Ouattara which is to achieve 4000MW in 2020.”

The Azito Phase IV expansion is expected to reach financial close in June 2019 in accordance with the government’s desired target.

About Globeleq
Globeleq is a leading developer, owner and operator of electricity generation in Africa.  Its experienced team of professionals has built a diverse portfolio of IPPs, generating nearly 1,300 MW in 8 locations across 5 countries and has around 2,000 MW of power projects in development.  www.globeleq.com

About IPS (WA)
Industrial Promotion Services (West Africa)-IPS(WA) is an Institution of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), focused on the development of industry and infrastructure sectors to support economic development in the countries in which it operates.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/612609/GLobeleq_Logo.jpg

Group Concerned Over Arrest of Egyptian Transgender Woman

CAIRO An international rights group voiced concern Thursday for the safety and well-being of an Egyptian transgender woman arrested in a police raid on her home in Cairo.

Amnesty International said Malal el-Kashef was arrested Wednesday night.

Due to her gender identity, Malak is at increased risk of torture by the police, including rape and sexual violence, as well as assault by other detainees, said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty’s deputy Middle East and North Africa director.

Mughrabi said el-Kashef’s arrest was related to her calls for protests following a Feb. 27 train crash in Cairo that killed at least 25 people. The London-based group said dozens of people have been arrested over anti-government protests related to the crash.

El-Kashef’s lawyer, Amr Mohamed, said state security prosecutors ordered el-Kashef held for 15 days on a charge of belonging to a terrorist group, a reference to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Amnesty has called for her release immediately and unconditionally.

Source: Voice of America

Government leaders embark on a clean-up campaign as part of the Good Green Deeds programme, 8 Mar

Government leaders from all three spheres to embark on a clean-up campaign

Government leaders from all three spheres of government which includes Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MECs and senior government officials will tomorrow, 08 March 2019 embark on the clean-up campaign as part of the Good Green Deeds programme.

This ground-breaking national initiative that seeks to change people’s attitudes and behaviours towards responsible management of waste will be officially launched tomorrow by President Cyril Ramaphosa tomorrow at Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape.

Various government leaders will heed the call and mobilise their communities to take part in the campaign to rid South Africa of illegal dumping and littering.

Government calls on all citizens to be part the Good Green Deeds nationwide environmental programme and participate at the clean-up activities happening in their communities.

Notable events taking place tomorrow (08 March 2019) include the following:

Eastern Cape – Presidential Launch of the Good Green Deeds Campaign taking place at Sisa Dukashe stadium in Mdantsane from 08:00.

Eastern Cape Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abraham will also embark on a clean-up activation at Sterkspruit community library, Eastern Cape from 09:00.

Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela will officially launch the Buy Back Centre as part of the Good Green Campaign at R28 Road to Clocolan from Ladybrand from 09:00. The build-up clean-up activities will take place at Itumeleng Community Hall, Manyatseng Township, Ladybrand from 07:00.

Gauteng – Minister Zulu will lead the visit to Ramahlale Primary School in Mamelodi to conduct a waste management programme and plant trees to promote green living open spaces for learners. The event will start at 09:00.

North West – Clean-up campaign and provincial launch led by Premier of the North West Province, Prof Tebogo Job Mokgoro at Mahikeng Taxi Rank from 07:00.

Source: Government of South Africa