CategoryWhite papers

Cake and Eat it Too

Impact investing is not one thing, it’s a continuum of tradeoffs between impact and return on investment.  At least sometimes. In the leftmost graph below, the top left corner is Wall Street-style investing, aiming to maximize returns with little to no regard for impact. The bottom right corner is philanthropy, maximizing impact with no returns. Everything in between is impact investing...

Economic Growth in Africa

McKinsey title

Africa is too often talked about as a single place, when it is in reality 54 countries across a geographic area larger than the US, EU, India, and China combined. McKinsey’s latest report entitled Reimagining economic growth in Africa: Turning diversity into opportunity dives deep into these differences. TL;DR, the one graphic below summarizes the differences in economic growth across the...

Dropping post-harvest losses from 40% to 2%

Various foods in bulk

The two missions of Africa Eats are lowering hunger and lowering poverty in Africa. Poverty is easier to describe, as most of the Africa Eats bizi buy from smallholder farmers, directly increasing the incomes of those farmers, on average by a factor of two. At East Africa Foods, the income of their farmers are in recent years above the median income for the country of Tanzania, up from the...

The True Size of Africa

The size of Africa

The standard Mercator projection maps of the world make the land at the top and bottom of the world look larger than they really are, which in turn makes land in the middle, like Africa, smaller in comparison. In reality, Africa is humongous:

Over 1 billion Africans

1.4 billion people in Africa

While the news organizations and policy makers often talk about the 1.4 billion people in China and 1.4 billion people in India, it is far rarer when they point out there is also 1.4 billion people in Africa. The population of China is already at its peak and declining, and the population of India is expected to peak in the 2020s, but UN projects the population of just Sub-Saharan Africa to reach...

The population of Africa is unequal

Africa population density header

We know the income and wealth distribution across Africa is unequal. That isn’t news. Neither should it be that the population on the continent is highly unequally distributed too. Near zero in the Sahara and Kalahari deserts, but above 500 people per square kilometer on the coast in Nigeria out westward into Ghana and ending in Cote d’Ivore, the Nile Valley in Egypt, around Addis in...

That’s now how it works in Africa (TNHIWIA)

businesses in an African town

Americans and Europeans often fail when starting companies in Africa because they bring with them a host of assumptions that they don’t even know are assumptions, until the way business works in Africa proves them wrong. What does work is not always what is most obvious. We spend ours at our annual gatherings sharing not only best-practices, but also ok-, good-, and failed- practices, so...

Filling in the Missing Middle

Filling the missing middle, by Luni Libes

“The Missing Middle” is what we call the gap in finance the majority of entrepreneurs face in getting from a viable prototype or early customers to a full-scale proven business. This talk was presented at Sankalp Global 2022 by Luni Libes, co-founder and CEO of Africa Eats. In Part 1, Luni explains who he is, and how he came to fill in this otherwise missing middle.   In Part 2...

Training farmers

Bananas in Africa

Talk to 100 foundations and government offices about their solution to hunger and poverty in Africa, and you’ll find hundreds of programs that send people out to the villages to train the farmers. These programs are pushing on a rope. Africa Eats pulls on the rope. Specifically, we invest in supply chain companies that buy from smallholder farmers. When you buy from the farmers, they then...

An Anti-SPAC

Old shillings

SPACs are the big new old thing in American finance this year. What is a SPAC? It’s a pile of money in search of a business. Africa Eats is an anti-SPAC. It’s a pile of companies in search of money. SPACs exist because the system for funding high-growth private companies in the United States is far from efficient, and that includes the process for listing shares on a stock exchange...

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