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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote gains $600 million as cement company plans to buy back $112.75 million in shares

Dangote’s wealth has increased by over $929 million since the start of the year.

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Aliko Dangote.

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has seen his net worth increase by more than $600 million in the past three days thanks to a surge in the share price of his flagship company, Dangote Cement Plc, amid its planned share buyback program.

As of press time, Jan. 14, Dangote’s net worth is valued at over $20 billion, making him the richest man in Africa and the 95th wealthiest person in the world.

Since the start of the year, his wealth has increased by more than $929 million. The rise was driven by the recent $600-million bump in his net worth.

The multimillion-dollar surge in his fortune can be linked to a rise in the stock price of Dangote Cement on the Nigerian Exchange, as investors reacted to news of its planned share buyback program.

In a press statement issued from its Victoria Island Office in Lagos, the Nigeria-based cement maker announced the start of the second tranche of its share buyback program, a move that will see the company buy back one percent of its stake for N39.1 billion ($112.75 million) on the open market.

Under the arrangement, Dangote Cement will buy up to 170,003,074 fully paid-up ordinary shares, representing one percent of the company’s currently issued shares. The cement maker will also acquire 40,200,000 shares held as treasury shares.

In reaction to the development, the company’s share price has increased by 6.2 percent from N259 ($0.625) on Jan. 11 to N275 ($0.664) as of the time of the drafting of this report.

Meanwhile, its market capitalization surged from N4.41 trillion ($10.66 billion) to N4.69 trillion ($11.32 billion) thanks to the bullish sentiment on the local bourse.

Data retrieved from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index revealed that Dangote’s net worth since Jan. 11 has risen from $19.4 billion to $20 billion.

This equates to a total $600-million gain for the billionaire in three days.

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Nigerian startup founder Etop Ikpe’s Autochek acquires Morocco’s Kifal Auto

The former CEO of Cars45, Ikpe founded Autochek in 2020.

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Nigerian startup founder Etop Ikpe.

Autochek, a digital automotive commerce company led by Nigerian tech entrepreneur Etop Ikpe, has acquired Morocco’s KIFAL Auto for an undisclosed sum, thus establishing its presence in the North African vehicle market.

Ikpe, the former CEO of Cars45, founded Autochek in 2020 as an automotive technology startup that uses technology backed by analytics to deepen auto finance penetration across the continent.

It has raised more than $16.5 million since its inception nearly two years ago.

The acquisition of KIFAL Auto, which aligns with the startup’s strategic expansion plans, comes nearly seven months after it received $13.1 million in seed funding from TLcom Capital and 4DX Ventures, the same pan-African venture capital firms that led its pre-seed round in 2020.

The integration of KIFAL Auto’s operations into Autochek will see the Nigeria-based startup consolidate its position in the automotive industry as it builds on its existing capacity following the acquisition of Cheki and four of its subsidiaries, including Cheki Nigeria Limited, Cheki Ghana Limited, Cheki Kenya Limited, and Cheki Uganda Limited.

Autochek is building the financial infrastructure to drive the penetration of auto financing across Africa, powered by a data analytics engine that makes it easier for financial institutions to offer credit to consumers.

KIFAL Auto, founded in 2019 by Nizar Abdalaoui Maane, is one of the leading auto marketplaces in Morocco, one of Africa’s largest markets for used and new cars.

The Moroccan startup, like Autochek, connects car buyers and sellers and, through partnerships, also provides financing and insurance.

With this acquisition, Autochek is strategically positioned to tap into the innovation that underpins Morocco’s thriving automotive ecosystem, having more than 1,500 dealers as partners across its markets, as well as existing partnerships with over 70 financial services firms, including Access Bank, Ecobank, UBA, Bank of Africa and NCBA Bank.

The startup now has the opportunity to introduce market-leading solutions to address various challenges across the value chain, as well as further integrate the pan-African automotive industry to drive shared value for consumers, manufacturers, financial institutions and other stakeholders.

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Egyptian tycoon Ahmed El Sewedy’s electric company launches Africa’s first busway dielectric system facility

The facility is one of the largest in the Middle East, offering sandwiched non-ventilated busway systems.

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Egyptian tycoon Ahmed El Sewedy.

El Sewedy Electric, a multinational cable and electrical product manufacturer led by Egyptian multimillionaire businessman Ahmed El Sewedy, has launched Africa’s first busway dielectric epoxy insulation system* facility to prefabricate electrical distribution using bus bars in a protective enclosure.

El Sewedy Electric’s new factory is entirely dedicated to producing all components used in the busway system, including housing, conductors, insulators, and electro-plating.

According to Abdel Rahman El-Sewedy, Elsewedy Electric’s head of strategy and corporate development, the arrival of the high-tech busway system meeting international standards to the local and global markets demonstrates that Elsewedy Electric has taken another significant step toward localizing product manufacturing in Egypt, in line with the national vision.

General Manager of Elsewedy Electric Busway System Medhat Rizk explained that localization with such high specifications will fill a major market gap and introduce a significant benefit to the market with the standards and services provided by Elsewedy Electric.

El Sewedy Electric’s busway dielectric system facility is the region’s first epoxy-insulated busway system.

It is also one of the largest facilities in the Middle East region, offering sandwiched non-ventilated busway systems ranging from 630 A to 6300 A copper and 630 A to 5000 A aluminum (bimetal) conductors to end markets.

Under the leadership of Ahmed El-Sewedy, Elsewedy Electric has grown into a leading company, with total assets of EGP67.7 billion ($4.3 billion) spread across 15 countries since it was founded 84 years ago by the wealthy Elsewedy family.

In 2021, its net profit increased by 16.7 percent from EGP3 billion ($191 million) in 2020 to EGP3.5 billion ($224.5 million) at the end of 2021, owing to strong growth in sales and revenue.

Sadek, Ahmed and Mohammed Elsewedy, members of the El-Sewedy family, own a 68-percent stake, or 1,478,689,860 ordinary shares, in the company.

*Busway dielectric epoxy insulation system is a prefabricated electrical distribution system consisting of bus bars in a protective enclosure. It is the ideal solution for large-built structures that require high preventive security standards.

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Kenyan entrepreneur Peter Njonjo’s Twiga Foods injects $10-million into new farming venture

Njonjo and Grant Brooke founded Twiga Foods in 2013.

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Kenyan entrepreneur Peter Njonjo.

Twiga Foods, a Nairobi-based Agri-tech startup led by Kenyan entrepreneur Peter Njongo, has launched a new farming subsidiary as part of its plans to expand its business model beyond supplying fresh produce and commodities through its mobile-based platform.

Njonjo and Grant Brooke founded Twiga Foods in 2013 to connect Kenyan farmers and vendors to fair, trusted and modern markets. The startup provides a complete supply chain for high-quality produce.

The coming on stream of the new farming venture, Twiga Fresh, with a $10-million initial capital injection, comes just months after Twiga Foods added sugar, salt and snacks to its branded products, which include rice, cooking oil and maize flour, to attract customers with lower prices.

The move comes nearly seven months after the Njongo-led startup announced the successful close of a $50-million Series-C round to scale operations in Kenya and neighboring countries.

Twiga Foods’ product diversification strategy will be strengthened by the arrival of the new farming venture, as it moves to attract end consumers and small shops with thin margins.

To jumpstart its operations, Twiga Fresh has leased a 650-hectare farm in Taita Taveta, Kenya, where it plans to use modern farming techniques to grow onions, tomatoes, and watermelons and increase yields.

“Twiga Fresh, in addition to our growing range of private label products, will ensure we drive growth in customer numbers and broaden basket size by offering quality produce at a discount against prevailing market prices,” Njonjo said of the new farming venture’s launch.

He added that to scale up the operations of Twiga Fresh, the new venture will be funded in the long run through debt in collaboration with development financial institutions focused on primary agriculture and food security.

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