Connect with us

Business

PULA closes $6m Series A fundraise

Published

on

Pula, an InsureTech service provider that specialises in digital and agricultural insurance to de-risk smallholder farmers across Africa, has closed a US$6 million Series A fund with TLcom Capital.

According to a statement to the media issued yesterday, the new investment would be used to scale-up operations in Pula’s existing 13 markets across Africa.

The Series A fund was led by TLcom Capital, with the participation of Women’s World Banking.

Currently, Pula has impacted over 4.3 million farmers on the African continent and the new funding would also help to propel its expansion into Asia to power resilience and profitability for Asian small-holder farmers, reads the statement.

Launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru, Pula designs and delivers innovative agricultural insurance and digital products to help small-holder farmers endure climate risks.

Other services include improving small-holders’ farming practices and bolster their incomes over time.

“For small-holder farmers in emerging markets, the traditional method of calculating insurance through farm visits is often unaffordable for farmers, meaning these farmers are often neglected from financial protection against climate risks,” the statement read.

“Through its area yield index insurance product, Pula leverages machine learning, crop cuts experiments and data points relating to weather patterns and farmer losses to build products which caters for a variety of risks including drought, excessive rainfall, pests and diseases.”

Pula’s key clientele include the likes of the World Food Programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Zambian government and the Kenyan government.

Speaking on the new fundraise, Pula co-founder and co-chief executive officer Rose Goslinga said: “when Thomas and I launched Pula in 2015, we had one goal in mind: to build and deliver scalable insurance solutions for Africa’s 700 million small-holder farmers and with our latest funding, now is the time to break into new ground.

“In our five years since launching, we’ve built strong traction for our products but the fact remains that across Africa and other emerging markets, there are still millions of small-holder farmers with risks to their livelihoods that have not been covered.”

Meanwhile, Maurizio Caio, managing partner and founder at TLcom Capital, said in Pula, his organisation had found a company addressing a hugely underserved market in one of Africa’s key drivers of growth.

“This [is] an opportunity for major economic upside. The potential for the insurance market for small-holder farmers in Africa is huge and under the leadership of Rose and Thomas, Pula has rapidly established a strong presence throughout the continent and has a number of high-profile clients on their books,” said Caio.

“We are confident of Pula’s potential for growth in spite of the pandemic and look forward to partnering with them as they execute the next phase of their journey.”

Business

Zamtel targets near countrywide blanket coverage as it erects 790 new towers

Published

on

Zamtel says it is confident of attaining a near countrywide blanket coverage as it nears the completion of its towers roll out project.

Zamtel Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mupeta said once the project is completed, over 90 percent of the country will have adequate communication coverage.

Mr Mupeta said Zamtel is confident it will complete the installation of the remaining towers which are part of the 1009 towers project by end of the year.

He said access to communication services in the rural areas is helping transform livelihoods.

Mr Mupeta said farmers are now able to negotiate for better prices for their produce as they can now approach different buyers using their mobile phone.

The Zamtel CEO was speaking in Msanzala Constituency in Petauke when he launched two communication towers at Misolo and Ukwimi.

“I wish to inform you that the sites we are launching are is part of the 1009 communication towers which Zamtel has been erecting in different parts of the Country mainly in rural areas as part of Phase II of the GRZ Communication Towers project. So far, this project has delivered over 790 new sites with Msanzala receiving 8 new towers, one of which we are commissioning today at Misolo,” Mr Mupeta said.

“As the GRZ Communication Towers project nears completion, we are confident that we will deliver the remaining few sites this year which is within the project schedule. Allow me to make a bold proclamation here by stating that once this project is fully completed, Zambia will have a near blanket coverage with regard to communication services,” he said

He added, “This means that almost all the corners of this beautiful Country will have access to communication services.”

And Msanzala PF Member of Parliament Peter Daka says the PF government deserves re-election because they have delivered development everywhere.

Mr Daka said there is no part of Zambia that has not been touched by any form of development.

He said the PF under President Lungu has constructed roads, built clinics and hospitals and installed communications towers across the country.

“President Lungu promised when he came here that he will bring development without leaving anyone behind and this is what is happening today. We are here launching this tower as testimony of that promise by His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa,” Mr Daka said.

At the two ceremonies, both Chief Nyampande’s Representative Joyce Mwanza and Chief Sandwe commended Zamtel for bringing its network closer to the people.

Continue Reading

Business

The University of Zambia (UNZA) commences construction of 3km perimeter wall fence

Published

on

THE University of Zambia (UNZA) has commenced the construction of the three (3) kilometres perimeter wall fence aimed at securing the institution from vandals and theft activities.

Speaking during the official ground-breaking and laying of the foundation stone ceremony, University of Zambia Vice Chancellor, Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba says that, once completed, the wall fence will enhance the outlook of the university but also improve the security of its infrastructure as well as the community living and working within the institution.

The Vice Chancellor has thanked the government of the Republic of Zambia, in particular the Ministry of Local Government for funding the construction process. The Vice Chancellor adds that, the funds for the construction of the wall fence have been derived from a compensation arising from the land affected by the construction of the new road connecting Nangwenya and Kamloops roads.

The University of Zambia has in the recent past embarked on a massive infrastructure development program, demonstrated by a number of projects at both the Great East Road and Ridgeway campuses. Of note, is the East Park Mall developed by Graduare Property Development Limited, the construction of student hostels which are yet to be completed, the construction of the road connecting Nangwenya and Kamloops roads and most recently the completion of the Teaching and Learning Complex commissioned by the Republican President, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

While the University of Zambia notes with pride, that these developments have changed the outlook of the university, it also notes that the developments have exposed the institution to a number of entrances into its premises. This exposure has in turn brought about challenges in effectively providing security to the university and its important installations.

To secure the university from vandals and theft activities, Management of the institution has embarked on a project of constructing a perimeter wall fence around the university which is expected to be completed within three (3) months.

This is according to a press statement issued by Dr. Brenda Bukowa, A/Head – Comm. & Marketing at the University of Zambia (UNZA).

Continue Reading

Business

Minister was wrong to declare CEC’s transmission and distribution lines as a common carrier, Court rules

Published

on

THE Lusaka High Court has quashed Energy Minister Matthew Nkhuwa’s decision to declare the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC’s) transmission and distribution lines as a common carrier.

In her judgement delivered on Friday judge Elita Mwikisa noted that there was a failure on the part of the Minister to act with procedural fairness towards CEC.

She said Minister’s decision to declare CEC’s transmission and distribution lines as common carrier through the passing of S.I No.57 of 2020, had taken away CEC’s rights to negotiate terms and conditions of use of its infrastructure in view of the fact that any enterprise can use CEC’s infractructure at the wheeling charge that ERB has set, which CEC had argued was not cost effective.

“In fact, KCM has abrogated its contractual obligations under the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) to pay the debt owed to CEC amounting to USD 144 million. I agree with CEC that S.I No. 57 of 2020 is too wide in its application in that it affects all the applicant’s transmission and distribution lines instead of only affecting lines supplying power to KCM,” judge Mwikisa said.

She found that the minister’s decision to declare CEC’s distribution and transmission lines as a common carrier was not for purposes of the Act but was intended to assist KCM avoid the effect of section 43 of the Electricity Act.

Judge Mwikisa agreed with CEC that the Minister’s decision was meant to ensure continous supply of electricity power to KCM, despite being indebted to CEC.

“The Minister’s decision is ultra vires the provisions of section 15 (2) of the Act and therefore illegal. KCM failed to pay the debt of USD144 million and CEC has the right under section 43 (1) to discontinue the supply of power,” she further said.

She further said CEC was not fairly treated by the Minister who arbitrarily used his powers to declare its transmission and distribution lines as common carrier without giving CEC a chance to negotiate terms and conditions for the use of its infrastructure.

“All in all, I find that the applicant has succeeded on all grounds under order 53 rule 3 of the Rules of the Supreme Court. I accordingly quash the decision of the Minister of May 29, 2020, to declare the applicant’s transmission and distribution lines as a common carrier. Costs follow the event,” ruled judge Mwikisa.

In this matter, CEC which cited the Attorney General and the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) as respondents, was seeking a declaration that Nkhuwa’s decision dated May 29, 2020, to declare its transmission and distribution lines as common carrier was unlawful.

CEC wanted a declaration that the decision of the Minister of Energy to direct it to provide a wheeling path for Zesco Limited to supply power to KCM on terms directed by the Energy Regulation Board was illegal and therefore null and void.

It also wanted a declaration that the decision by the Director General of the Energy Regulation Board of May 31, 2020 to direct it to charge a wheeling tariff of US$5.84/kw/per month was illegal and therefore null and void.

CEC further wanted among others, an order to quash the said decisions and a further order to stop Nkhuwa from enforcing SI no.57 of 2020 as it is illegal.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Foxdale Forest – Phase 2 Selling

ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

04 Mar 2021, 6:24 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

80,687 Total Cases
1,109 Deaths
76,498 Recovered

Mwebantu on Facebook