CategoryAfrica

My new refrigerator

My refrigerator died last week, and with that, my family and I lived with an “ice box” in its place, using frozen bottles of water as the source of cooling until today, when the new refrigerator was installed. Refrigeration is a service billions of us take for granted. Living without it for a week helps one ungrant that taking (or however that is supposed to be phrased). All of this...

Visiting three African SMEs in Tanzania

Last month I was in Tanzania visiting three Africa Eats‘ investees: Swahili Honey, Goldenpot, and Rogathe Dairy. Below are three short videos showing off their factories. All of these companies have grown more than 10x since I first met them, some of them growing that fast in two years. See the post on fast-growing SMEs to see each of their growth stories, and click on the other companies...

Africa’s population patterns

1.4 billion people live in Africa. But that population is far from evenly distributed. The southern edge of the Sahara is clearly visible in West Africa, as is the enormous population in Nigeria. Then over in East Africa it is even denser in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and over into Rwanda around Lake Victoria and Lake Kivu, and yet denser still down in Malawi. See the original post on www...

Why Not?

Other people, see things and . . . say ‘Why?’ . . . But I dream things that never were– and I say: ‘Why not?’ – George Bernard Shaw This has shown in my 30+ year career repeatedly. Most recently a few months ago, when pondering the “Missing Middle” of capital for startups in general, and SMEs in Africa specifically. Why? Why is it taking so long for...

Where (exactly) is the Global South?

There is no multi-national or other organizations that uses the name “Global South” and thus no clear cut definition of which countries are included when you use that term. In general, this is the most recent way to talk about the poorer countries with “emerging markets”, formerly known as “developing” economies, and before that the “3rd World”. The...

Growing tiny companies past the $1M+ revenue milestone

I’m often asked what I do. I invest in young companies and help them scale up. That is true but a bit vague. So today let me show you what I mean by scale up, using seven examples from my Africa Eats portfolio. Africa Eats invests in companies building the food/ag supply chain, filling in the gaps of business infrastructure, and our progress ending hunger and poverty. I met all of the...

The Most Severely Misunderstood Markets in the World

I missed The Most Severely Misunderstood Markets in the World can Achieve Outsized Investor Returns:¬†Africa, posted a few months ago, but the story therein continues to ring true now. Read the whole thing but TL;DR in the author’s own words: Africa risk is much lower than you think. Africa is growing differently than you think. There are more $10B+ opportunities than you think. The talent...

The World is Becoming more African

It’s quite rare when the U.S. media has something nice to say about Africa. This week was an exception, in The New York Times, in an interactive digital article about the population growth and economic growth of the African continent. The median age in Africa here in 2023 is just 19 years old, nearly a decade younger than in India and the rest of South Asia. By 2050, more than 1/3rd of all...

Half of CO2 emissions are from 10% of the global population

Half of all the CO2 emitted annually come from just 10% of the global population. Not surprisingly, from the richest 10%. And in case you think you are not rich, this is the top 10% global income, which is 99% of everyone living in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The “Global North”. Meanwhile, most of my work is spent focused on Africa, where 90% of the...

Developed, Developing, and other outdated terminology

Hans Rosling was an impressive public speaker, with not just an ability to distill complex topics into easy to understand stories, but to do so with a flair of showmanship. One of the many lessons in those stories was the fact that the world is no longer divided into “developed” and “developing” economies, but is instead is now a world with a continuum of incomes. What...

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