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In search of a new chair of the ALI-SA board

Adi Enthoven has served on the ALI board for 12 years; he spent the last five years serving as the chair. Most Fellows are aware that Adi and his family have been the backbone of this organisation and its largest funders for some time. He will soon come to the end of his tenure. Adi commits to remain active in support of ALI, and we will keep Spier as our seminar base for the foreseeable future. ...

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Clouds and silver linings: Reflections from the ALI COVID-19 dialogue

On the 30th day of South Africa’s lockdown, 91 ALI fellows and guests joined a virtual Dialogue centred on the socio-economic impact of the national shutdown. Our immediate future is, as we know, tumultuous and stormy indeed, but the speakers also identified some potential silver linings. The dialogue was moderated by Ralph Freese, executive director of ALI South Africa. The panel included Adi ...

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ALI Fellow Konehali Gugushe appointed CEO of Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

ALI Fellow Konehali Gugushe (Class X: XSeed) has been appointed as CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Trust. Her tenure started on the 4th of March 2020. She joins the Fund in the year of its 25th anniversary. Konehali’s responsibilities will include strengthening Madiba’s vision for his legacy organisations for children (the Fund, the Trust and NMCH) by promoting synergies, ...

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YALI Fellows take on COVID19 and the healthcare sector

Free mobile and web-based COVID-19 pre-screening symptom checker launched to help flatten the curve  YALI Fellows Jessica Chivinge, Rhobhi Matinyi Farai Chikumbu and their business associate Farai Chikumbu have founded a healthtech start-up called epione.net. epione.net is an end-to-end healthcare platform that seamlessly connects all stakeholders in the healthcare value chain for improved patie...

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From your future, with love – By Francesca Melandri

The acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri, who has been under lockdown in Rome for almost three weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has written a letter to fellow Europeans “from your future”, laying out the range of emotions people are likely to go through over the coming weeks. I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in...

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ALI SA Chair Adrian Enthoven steps up to make a difference in a time of a global health crisis

On Monday 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown that will be implemented to curtail the spread of COVID-19. To safeguard the most vulnerable in our society from the potential economic ramifications of the lockdown, the government has set up a Solidarity Fund. The Fund will enable well-off South Africans and businesses to contribute towards the provision of muc...

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The constitution and the economy: Eskom and the other SOEs

ALI’s March Dialogue in Cape Town was entitled: “Eskom through the gloom: placing the Constitution at the centre of the reform discussion”. Unusually for any conversation involving Eskom, the Dialogue was largely uplifting. This had nothing to do with good news, regrettably, but arose from the refreshed awareness of the quality of goodwill that is being brought to solving the problem by a b...

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Isilimela – ALI’s Class 12 name is inspired by ancient African lore

We are the digging stars. It is time to invest in the harvest of tomorrow. We are the leaders who will light up the night with a promise of plenty, We are the renewal we seek. We are the herald of freedom that marks Africa Day. We are all digging stars. IsiLimela or the Pleiades were the ‘digging stars’, whose appearance in southern Africa warned of the coming need to begin hoeing the...

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ALI West Africa Hosts African Fellows at the 2nd Biennial Africa Impact Forum in Accra Ghana!

The 2020 AIF was the 2nd edition of the forum where Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellows from across the African continent gathered to deeply connect, engage and recommit on matters of significance to the continent. The Forum aimed to deepen the pool of influential, effective and ethical leaders across Africa, who assume personal and collective accountability for the “Good Society”, by ...

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AIF 2020 Youth Panel on Leadership vs Systems

The Youth Panel on Leadership vs Systems brought in new energy into the plenary sessions, with provocative ideas and new narratives from the panellists. Expertly moderated by one of Ghana’s leading journalists, Bernard Avle, the conversation sought to surface how these young people were seeing the tension between leadership and systems in their respective areas of work and their thoughts on how...

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YALI Fellow Rorisang Tshabalala reflects on the Africa Impact Forum youth panel discussion

The AIF 2020 took place in Accra, Ghana, from the 26th to the 29th of February. ALI Fellows from South Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Mozambique came together to connect and engage on matters of significance regarding the continent. This year’s theme was Building to Last: Leadership vs. Systems. YALI Fellow Rorisang Tshabalala shares his thoughts on the youth panel discussion that took pl...

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Least of these, by Class 12 Fellow Monique Mathys-Graff

I feel a bit like I’ve been Alice in wonderland these last few days; not least of all because I drank way too much tea and lost track of time completely as if at the mad hatter’s table for too long. As I stood on the deck awaiting a new set of strangers who were suddenly my mirror, the words of Paul the apostle from the Bible swirl in my head – I am the least of these. I am too broken to be...

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The 2020/21 South African National Budget, by Associate Professor Reza Daniels

On Tuesday, 3 March, Statistics South Africa released data showing that South Africa has entered a technical recession in the latter half of 2019, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. This provides an important contextual reference point for Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget Speech, delivered on the 26th of February. As a nation, we are in year three of operation ‘restore ...

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Letter from Ralph: The global race against coronavirus

By now, we all have the image of the coronavirus in our minds. It floats like a weapon from World War 2. A mine to destroy ships along with the trade and people they carry. Fear seems to be driving decisions of governments and individuals instead of good risk assessments. This is because we really do not have all the information we need, and the longer-term impact is not yet measurable. The disea...

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ESKOM: Setting the scene

30 January 2020
ESKOM: Setting the scene

In 1998, Coleman Andrews was appointed by Saki Makozoma to turn SAA around. Two years later, he left with an after-tax payment of US$29m (R500m today) as well as a portion of the R200m paid to Bain (a consultancy he founded) and appointed to SAA. He also spent R118m on nine expatriate managers. Coleman and company left SAA – having achieved what he was contracted to do – bereft of a susta...

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TEACH South Africa Ambassador Success Story

Mr Sabelo Dumezweni, Lomso’ Father; Mr Khulile Qamata, Nyanga SSS Principal; Dr Futhi Mtoba; Lomso Dumezweni; Lerato Mathenjwa; and Jethro Leshaba, TEACH Ambassador. TEACH South Africa (TEACH) attended the announcement of the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination results at Vodacom on 06 January 2020. TEACH Ambassador Mr Jethro Leshaba and the principal from Nyanga Senior Secondary ...

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ALI Media Fellow Sikonathi Mantshantsha joins Eskom as the new spokesperson

We are honoured to announce that veteran financial journalist and ALI Media Fellow Sikonathi Mantshantsha is the new spokesperson for Eskom. The appointment was officially announced on Wednesday, the 22nd of January 2020. Sikonathi, who has spent over 15 years writing about the power utility, will be leading its media liaison team; a role he will take up on the 1st of February 2020. Speaking on t...

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The African Spelling Bee

29 January 2020
The African Spelling Bee

The African Spelling Bee was founded by ALI Fellow Roger Dickinson in 2015. Currently, 15 African countries participate in the spelling bee, these include Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The African Spelling Bee was started with the vision of celebrating the African Child, inspiring them ...

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Message from the Chair, Adi Enthoven

2019 has been an intense year. In terms of our political, economic, environmental and social contexts, it has often been a year of painful attrition of the good. Most in the news, perhaps, has been the impact of the accelerating implosion of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), in particular Eskom and SAA. Political credibility has been as badly hit as business confidence. The results of the political...

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Letter from Isaac Shongwe on Ali Mufuruki’s passing

Dear ALI Fellows, By now, some of you would have heard about the passing of Ali Mufuruki, the Founder and Chairman of Africa Leadership Initiative East Africa. Ali left us in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Morningside Clinic in Sandton, Johannesburg. My condolences to Ali’s family; Saada and daughters, Leila, Zahra, Sofia, and son Tighenye. We share the deep pain that you are feeling ...

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The ALI Class X: XSeed Reunion

In September, ALI’s Class 10 Fellows had their second reunion at the idyllic Miarestate Hotel in the Eastern Cape. The Fellows spent time engaging in thought-provoking conversations, which were guided by readings that included A Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan, On the Shortness of Life by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and Wide Open by Dawna Markova. The main topic of discussion was state-owned enterprises...

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Raymond Ndlovu (Class VIII: Mahube) steps into key telecoms position

Remgro-controlled telecoms group Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), the parent company of Dark Fibre Africa and Vumatel, has appointed ALI Fellow Raymond Ndlovu as CEO. CIVH has ambitious growth plans, and Ndlovu’s primary role is to drive a diversified wholesale, open-access ICT infrastructure business. He knows the business well, as he has been investment executive and a manageme...

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The fightback against state capture – and the fightback against the fightback

We’re living in interesting times. As much as the reformist agenda of President Cyril Ramaphosa is pushing back the forces of state capture, those forces in turn are fighting back against reforms that will cut off their access to power and riches. At November’s Dialogue in Johannesburg, ALI Fellow Ferial Haffajee explored the headlines. View Gallery Is the fightback on the back foot? What a...

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Why Wellness and Wellbeing Matters by Dr Mothomang Diaho

Scientists predict the first person to live to 200 has already been born. “Just imagine what you could achieve…” muses Lesedi Ndaba, the world’s first 200-year-old, blowing out her birthday candles in 2218, in a Sanlam advertisement. But in what state – mentally or physically – will we be when we hit the 200-year mark? In his expeditions around the globe, journalist Ban Buettner [1] ...

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Tsakani Ratsela has been appointed to chair the board of SAICA

In October, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) announced its new board, after a scrupulous review of its governance structures. ALI Fellow Tsakani Ratsela (Class VII: Dinatla) has been appointed to serve as the new chairperson of the board. SAICA’s mandate is to serve the interests of the chartered accountancy profession by upholding professional standards and integrit...

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A tribute to Sandile Dikeni: A child of the Karoo. Beacon of the oppressed. Poet of the people

South Africa has lost a literary disrupter, political activist and an ardent beacon of love, power, hope and truth. Sandile Dikeni passed away on Sunday, 10 November 2019. He was celebrated for being a prominent storyteller whose familiarity with racism, poverty and exclusion enabled him to use his words as ammunition to speak against the behemoth that was the apartheid regime.  Born in Victoria...

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The NHI Bill: What does it mean for you?

South Africa’s National Health Insurance Bill (the NHI Bill) continues to evoke a fierce public discourse. October’s ALI Dialogue brought together ALI Fellows and medical systems experts, Dr Malixole Percy Mahlathi (Class V: Mayihlome) and Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba (Class I: Inaugural Class), to lead the discussion about what the NHI Bill means for us and the health sector overall. View Gallery &nbs...

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News from the global network: CALI Fellow Arturo Condo leads Earth University

As a member of a global network of industry pioneers in the private and public sector, and civil society, we value the act of honouring all Fellows of the Aspen network. This month, we would like to recognise and highlight the achievements of Dr Arturo Condo, a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI), a foundation that is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.  Espou...

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ALI Fellow Lesego Sennelo has joined the board of the International Women’s Forum of South Africa

ALI Fellow Lesego Sennelo (Class X: Seed) is a qualified chartered accountant with a passion for human resource development and economic empowerment. Many of the roles that she has taken up in her career have focused on the empowerment and advancement of African women, particularly in the finance sector. Lesego served as the president of the African Women Chartered Accountants (AWCA) Forum from 2...

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Refilwe Moloto: First Black Female to Host a Commercial Talk Radio Breakfast Show on her Own

With over 15 years of experience in the financial services and investment space, ALI Fellow Refilwe Moloto (Class XI: Tekano) is making great strides in the media and broadcasting industry. A financial analyst turned media doyenne, Refilwe started her journey with radio as a business and finance news contributor on the Afternoon Drive with John Maythamon CapeTalk. Thereafter, she landed her own a...

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The NHI Bill: How Will it Reform Healthcare in South Africa?

Since it’s promulgation, the National Health Insurance Bill has been a topic of hot discussion, with varying opinions and perspectives coming to the fore. On the 30th of September, ALI will be hosting a public dialogue centred around the NHI, which was announced at the National Assembly on the 8th of August. ALI Fellow Dr Malixole Percy Mahlathi, Class V: Mayihlome, will be chairing the discuss...

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ALI Fellows Reflect on the Resnick McNulty Action Forum

The Resnick McNulty Action Forum is a platform of engagement aimed at bringing together Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network—a network that ALI is a proud member of. The Resnick McNulty Action Forum facilitates conversations around professional development and active citizenship. Every year, the Forum welcomes more than 350 entrepreneurs from over 30 countries to discuss the most pres...

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ALI Fellow Linda Mateza Appointed CEO and Principal Officer of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund

ALI Fellow Linda Mateza (Class IX: Tariro) has been appointed as the new chief executive and principal officer of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF). The appointment comes as no surprise considering her wealth of experience and knowledge in managing pensions and investments across asset classes, including equities, bonds, property and money market investments. Linda holds a Master’...

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Reimagining South Africa’s Economic Future

July’s ALI Dialogue Series event was a sparkling – and, participants felt, long-overdue – discussion focused on “The Constitution and the Economy: Renewing and Implementing the Social Compact.” In heartfelt comments both from the panellists and the floor, participants from all walks of life – economists and businesspeople, social justice advocates and media people, researchers...

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Joshin Raghubar (Class IV: Kalipha), announced as a 2019 Laureate for the John P. McNulty Prize

The McNulty Foundation, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute, has announced the 2019 Laureates for the 12th annual John P. McNulty Prize. ALI Fellow Joshin Raghubar (Class IV: Kalipha) has been recognised as a remarkable tech and social entrepreneur, using his “expertise, experience and networks to build and lead transformative social impact ventures” in South Africa. According to the Mc...

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The Road Home by Dele Olojede

About three years ago, at the end of my several years as a ‘wandering Jew, I started thinking about hosting an ideas festival for the African world. My extended period of dabbling, following the winding up of NEXT in Nigeria, was coming to an end, it seemed clear to me, as my mind reset itself. In retrospect, the direction I have now embarked upon should have seemed obvious; I was going to fin...

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On Being Wrong and a New Language by Luke Jordan

Four years ago, I started an organisation called Grassroot. I had been living in China and India for almost a decade before coming home. During my time abroad, I was inspired by how collaborative efforts can bring about a significant change in a community. In India, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) had organised millions of women from poverty-stricken societies to do everything, fro...

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Toyosi Ogunseye (ALI Media Fellow: Class 2) Has Been Elected Vice-President of the World Editors Forum

Media freedom is under attack across the world, and the World Editors Forum (WEF) – the leading global network for print and digital editors – is a critical defender of both press freedom and editorial excellence. This month, ALI-WA member and head of BBC West Africa, Toyisi Ogunseye, was elected vice-president of the WEF. The new president, Warren Fernandez, is editor of the Straits Times a...

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Basani Maluleke (Class IX Tariro) Appears on the Cover of Forbes Africa

“Three bankers who are shaping how banking will look in the next five years,”reads an article in the latest issue of the Forbes Africa magazine. “One runs the new kid on the block; the other a bank that has risen from the ashes; the third is spearheading a traditional bank’s transformation in 11 African countries. A glimpse into the future of banking…” The banker who is running th...

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To Be Young, Gifted and Blank – By Raymond Ledwaba, YALI Fellow (Nomvula Class)

In 1969, the high priestess of soul music, Nina Simone, released a song intended to “make black children all over the world feel good about themselves, forever.” She titled this song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”. The queen of soul music, Aretha Franklin, covered the song and took it to a whole new level in 1973 when she won a Grammy for it. To be Young, Gifted and Black became an a...

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The silver lining to the Eskom crisis

Prof Eberhard chairs the presidential task team mandated to resolve Eskom’s financial and technical woes. He is a power man through and through; he directs the Power Futures Lab at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business; was the founding Director of the Energy and Development Research Centre; and has put in a lifetime’s work in the energy sector across the developing worl...

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Zanele Mthembu (Class IX, Tariro) to head Newzroom Afrika’s newsroom

Television, film production and broadcasting executive Zanele Mthembu is one of a trio of top media people appointed to head South Africa’s new 24-hour news channel, Newzroom Afrika. It broadcasts on DStv channel 405, replacing the former Gupta-owned ANN7, which was taken off air last year. The channel launched just before the national election earlier this month after a competitive bidding pro...

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Busani Ngcaweni (Class X, XSeed) to head presidential advisory unit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the reinstatement of an advisory unit, known as Policy and Research Services, in the Office of the Presidency. Fellow Busani Ngcaweni, a long-standing veteran of the Office of the Presidency, is to take up the critical lead role. The unit is tasked with giving the President clear oversight of the way economic and investment policies are implemented. Its man...

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Eskom, electrified engagements and values-based leadership, by Katlego Tlale

A single topic that you will likely hear spoken about in newsrooms, boardrooms, bedrooms and within political circles is the future of Eskom. Among the largest power utilities globally, Eskom’s risk to the broader South African economy cannot be overstated. The challenges facing the power utility, and possible solutions, was the topic of discussion at the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Publ...

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Refilwe Moloto (Class XI: Tekano) joins CapeTalk

You may know her as the weekly finance and business contributor to the Afternoon Drive with John Maytham Show, or from her various stand-ins on other programmes, including Breakfast and The Money Show. Now she is joining talk radio station Cape Talk permanently as the voice behind their new daytime show, Upfront with Refilwe Moloto, on weekdays from 9am till 12 noon. The blurb on Cape Talk’s we...

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Réjane Woodroffe (Class VII – Dinatla) wins 2019 British Council Social Impact Award

RéjaneWoodroffe, member of the ALI Board and founder of Bulungula Incubator, has been presented with the British Council’s 2019 Social Impact Award. The British Council award series has a dual function: to celebrate Britain’s own tertiary education institutions (Réjanehas an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Sussex), and, importantly, to celebrate the impact of the best of...

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Nicola Galombik (Class III, Seriti) wins Skoll Award

Nicola Galombik and her colleague in Harambee Youth Accelerator, Maryana Iskander, have won the coveted 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship These Skoll awards are made annually to a group of nominated leaders whose  organisations disrupt the status quo, transforming the social landscape and driving large-scale sustainable change. Importantly, the awards are not given as much for what ha...

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Isaac Shongwe honoured with SAPSA Lifetime Achievement Award

Isaac Shongwe, co-founder of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), was honoured last month with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Professional Services Awards(SAPSA). Explaining the objective of this awards initiative, Sipho Mncwabe, Regional General Manager of the Sanlam Gauteng Region, highlighted that it gives visibility to disciplines that are desperately needed in this cou...

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Dialogue with Khanyisile Kweyama

From SAA to the SABC, from Transnet to Eskom, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are in a crumbling crisis of mismanagement. Instead of being the solid scaffold on which society rests, their combined failures and frailties are shattering confidence, and ruining South Africa’s reputational capital. What can and should interested and concerned people do about it? At one of ALI’s regular dialogues, ...

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Hugh Whalan and PEG Africa raise $25m to accelerate off-grid solar expansion in West Africa

PEG has completed a US$25m Series C round from existing and new investors to take its total raised to date to US$50m. PEG will use this latest round of investment to cement its position as a market leader in West Africa, where it already has operations in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal. US$20m of this round is in debt, with CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, arranging a $1...

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Thanks to our valued partners and to all the Fellows who continue to contribute in many ways.

  • Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Yellowwoods
  • Barloworld
  • Tshikululu