based in the region
with staff in the region
members interested in the region
2017 Trends in East Africa
- Increased interest amongst investors in supporting SGBs in the last mile distribution sector. “Last
mile” is a term used in supply chain management and transportation planning to describe the movement
of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination in the home. A few notable
companies that received venture capital in the sector include Copia Global, Sendy, Soko Watch, and
Twiga Foods. In addition, Practical Action, B.O.P Innovation and Hystra launched the Global
Distributors Collective, a one-stop shop and a community of practice for last mile distributors.
- Increased debt financing in the solar energy sector. This has enabled off-grid solar distributing
companies to provide a wider product offering to their end users. The majority of these have been
efficient household appliances (fans, televisions, and refrigerators) that integrate with a core
solar home system product .
- Investors increasingly interested in off-grid solutions that facilitate productive uses of energy.
This was evidenced by the launch of 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition.
InspiraFarms, an ANDE Member that supports small and growing agribusinesses with off-grid
post-harvest solutions, raised over US $5 million in 2017 and 2018. In addition, in 2017 the East
Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition launched, increasing financial support to off-grid
solutions that reduce post-harvest loss. Also in 2017, Nairobi held the first the first All Africa Post Harvest Congress.
- Talent conversations leading to action. Spire, Shortlist, and Fuzu have all sponsored breakfast
workshops, meet-ups, and workshops focused on talent, and these conversations and workshops have led
to more ‘upskilling’ trainings and other capacity building workshops. In addition, new entrants to
the Uganda market, such as ProInterns and Kafeero Foundation, focus on providing talent solutions to
- More corporations engaging with the sector. In 2017, Safaricom introduced Masoko, an e-commerce
platform targeting formal retail and informal online trading in Kenya. Drawing on the Amazon model,
the initiative is expected to facilitate increased access to consumers for local SGBs. Merck, a German pharmaceutical company, launched its African Satellite Programme aimed at
early-stage start-ups in Kenya.