Nutrition Africa Investor Forum to help raise finance for high-impact nutrition businesses in the continent

Nutrition Africa Investor Forum (NAIF) is a first-of-a-kind event, hosted by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in partnership with Royal DSM, the SUN Business Network (SBN) and African Business magazine, that aims to position nutrition as a promising new investment area


Nutrition Africa Investor Forum to help raise finance for high-impact nutrition businesses in the continent

Over 200 delegates, including dealmakers, entrepreneurs and investors will meet at the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum (NAIF) on October 16-17 – World Food Day — in Nairobi, Kenya, to explore partnerships, access business finance and enter new markets. Over these two days, selected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from across Africa will have opportunities to participate in the first ever Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition as well as The Nutrition Dealroom to meet venture capitalists and business financiers to improve their access to finance.

NAIF is a first-of-a-kind event, hosted by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) (, in partnership with Royal DSM, the SUN Business Network (SBN) and African Business magazine, that aims to position nutrition as a promising new investment area. The event will bring together leaders from commerce, agri-food, development agencies, academia along with investors to share their experiences, present research results, explore collaborations and spark new ideas – all with the aim of developing new projects and attracting investment for high-impact nutrition businesses.

Malnutrition affects millions of children across the world. Africa alone has estimated that 58.7 million children under the age of five are stunted – having a low height for a given age –  and 13.8 million who are wasting – low weight for a certain height. There is no doubt that stunted children today will lead to stunted economies tomorrow. In fact, African nations lose ( between 1.9% and 16% of the gross domestic product (GDP) annually to undernutrition due to increased mortality, absenteeism, chronic illnesses, and lost productivity. Governments alone cannot address this issue. Private sector investment is key to tackle this challenge. In fact, the nutrition sector offers tremendous opportunities to businesses.

There is a central role for business in tackling malnutrition in Africa, explains Fokko Wientjesvice president of nutrition in emerging markets and public-private partnerships at Royal DSM.

“As scaling up nutrition action delivers at least $16 in returns on investment for every $1 spent (, nutrition-sensitive capital investments along the entire food value chain are likely to represent ( a tremendous purpose-driven investment opportunity. We will fundamentally integrate SDG 1 (poverty reduction) with SDG 2 (hunger & nutrition) by producing locally; Africa nourishes Africa.”

Africa’s demographic dividend is also an opportunity, Mr. Wientjes reveals, “There are more than 1 billion people in the current African consumer market. This is expected to increase to more than 2 billion ( by 2050. With 226 million people ( aged between 15 and 25 years, the continent also has the youngest population in the world. This represents enormous potential: a young, growing African consumer market that is more health-conscious, favouring nutritious and healthy foods. Emerging markets are the fastest urbanizing countries in the world. They are moving away from subsistence and smallholder farming and with that separating the producer from the consumer.”

In fact, SMEs, along with smallholder farmers, make up the bulk of the actors in the food system in developing and emerging markets. They play a key role as input suppliers, off-takers, processors, and distributors, which furthermore creates jobs and enhances regional economic growth.

Yet, barriers to accessing finance mean that agri-food SMEs are not achieving their full potential in developing and scaling up market-based solutions that can improve the consumption of safe and nutritious foods.

“We have a great opportunity to close that gap,” explains Dr. Lawrence Haddad, GAIN’s Executive Director, “by creating a sustainable food value chain and working through local agrifood industry SMEs, to ensure that nutritious foods are more accessible, affordable, and aspirational. To help this cause, GAIN has recently launched a Nutritious Foods Financing Program (, which aims to build and maintain an investable pipeline of opportunities among agrifood SMEs, linking this to investors, leveraging blended finance options to help de-risk private investments, and providing technical assistance to investees”.

The Forum will also be host to two engagement channels to facilitate partnerships between high-impact nutrition businesses and venture capitalists and financers:

  1. The Nutrition Dealroom will bring investors face-to-face with established small and medium growing businesses. This transaction and deal-making platform will showcase Africa’s fastest-growing enterprises working to improve nutrition in a sustainable and scalable way and aims to achieve tangible results by matching a curated portfolio of investment-ready companies with private sector investors.
  2. The first Africa edition of the Scaling Up Nutrition Pitch Competition, will be launched. Organised by the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN), an initiative of GAIN and the UN World Food Program (WFP), plus local partners, the competition aims to showcase investment opportunities presented by SMEs working to improve access to nutritious food. Out of more than 450 outstanding entries, 21 SMEs have been shortlisted from national pitch competitions in Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia. Each entrepreneur will pitch their innovative nutritional investment opportunities to a panel of influential judges. The judges will select the overall winner who will be awarded with the title of SBN Nutrition Champion, which includes a travel and technical assistance prize. In addition, other top performing finalists stand a chance to win cash and technical assistance awards generously contributed by partners.

“Through years of experience working with African partners and governments, I am convinced that if we grow and support high impact businesses in food systems in Africa, we will be able to make inroads to reducing malnutrition,” concludes Dr. Haddad, “The potential is huge if we can get the investment recipe right”.

Kenya Airways partner with Cellulant and Pesalink to offer Innovative online Payment Solutions

Kenya Airways has partnered with Pesalink, a switch which has over thirty banks, in a move that will provide a variety of mobile and bank payment options to its customers paying for bookings online.


Mr Michael Mbuthia, CIO Integrated Payment Services Ltd (IPSL), Vincent Coste, Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer and Mr Bryan Kariuki, Group Head of New Product Execution, Cellulant during the signing of partnership agreement to offer Innovative online Payment Solutions .

The first of its kind payment solution for corporates will be powered by Cellulant, a multinational payments company in Africa providing one-stop shop payment solutions that enable businesses and consumers to make and accept digital payments.

Commenting on the partnership, Kenya Airways Chief Commercial Officer Vincent Coste noted that the airline is keen to continually offer innovative solutions at a speed to match the constantly evolving marketplace by embracing technology to enhance customer experience and increase efficiency in how it does business.

“We continue to partner with the different Fintech companies across the world which will help Kenya Airways improve the online payment experience and increase confidence to its customers while paying for their tickets at Kenya Airways website and mobile app”, Said Vincent Coste.

Kenya Airways is the first Merchant to offer Pesalink at the checkout page, a move that will see KQ customers enjoy low transactional fee when making ticket payments using Pesalink on Kenya Airways website and mobile app for amounts up to Ksh 999,999.

Group Head of New Product Execution at Cellulant, Mr Bryan Kariuki said; “We are proud to power payments for Kenya Airways. Through our Mula payment platform, customers in Kenya can now book their tickets online using over 30 mobile money wallets and banks. This is a first in the region. We are now rolling out this capability across 33 countries in Africa, to include over 140 mobile money wallets and banks.”

Integrated Payment Services Ltd (IPSL) CIO Mr Michael Mbuthia said, “This is our first integration of its kind and we are glad to partner with Kenya Airways. Customers flying the Pride of Africa will now be able to make ticket payments using Pesalink for amounts up to Ksh 999,999”.

Kenya: NIC Bank hosts top KCPE student to raise awareness about education needs of children with albinism

NIC Bank today hosted Goldalyn Kakuya, the best performing student in the 2017 KCPE examinations, for a congratulatory luncheon at its headquarters in Nairobi. Goldalyn, who scored 455 out of 500 marks at St. Anne Junior Lubao, was accompanied by her family.


Photo 1

Dr. Choksey Prabha, founder of the Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation poses for a photo with top KCPE student Goldalyn Kakuya and NIC Bank Group Managing Director, John Gachora. 


NIC Bank sponsored Goldalyn’s primary school education through the Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation, which works with economically disadvantaged children who have albinism to improve the quality of their education.

Speaking at the event, NIC Bank’s Group Managing Director, John Gachora, pledged that the bank would maintain its support for the Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation. He said that Galdalyn’s stellar performance during the K.C.P.E exams was a compelling example of the high quality of the work that Dr. Choksey was doing through her foundation.

“Education is a central pillar of our corporate citizenship agenda.  We believe that it is young, brilliant minds, like Goldalyn who hold the answer to society’s most pressing problems,” said Mr. Gachora.


Photo 2

Top KCPE student Goldalyn Kakuya (C)expresses gratitude to the Dr. Choksey Foundation and NIC Bank for supporting her primary school education during a celebratory luncheon at NIC Bank on Wednesday, 29th November 2017.Looking on is NIC Bank Group Managing Director John Gachora (R), Dr. Choksey Prabha, founder of the Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation(L) and other beneficiaries of the Foundation Damaris Mukai and Alex Mwangi (Top L&R) 


Also present at the luncheon was Dr. Prabha Choksey, whose foundation is focused on creating awareness about the education needs of children with albinism.  Her foundation also provides free eye checkup and glasses.

“Over 80% of children with albinism attend schools for the visually impaired at primary school level. This is despite the fact that, with prescription glasses and a little assistance with large type text and high contrast written material, all children with albinism can attend normal schools,” said Dr. Choksey.

Goldalyn, who was given an opportunity to address the bank’s management and Dr. Choksey, noted her eagerness to raise awareness about the education needs of children with albinism.

“The important thing is not being number one, but offering an example of hard work and consistency to others,” she said.

Ever since the early announcement of the KCPE results just 19 days after the exams, Goldalyn has emerged as a symbol of resilience and determination due to her positive outlook on life.

The 14-year-old comes from a family of five; and she and her younger brother, Shevard, have albinism. She has received national acclaim for her outstanding performance, which has helped counter prejudices about albinism.

The also bank held a celebratory lunch for Goldalyn at NIC House on Wednesday, 29th November 2017.