Browse Tag


3 mins read

Black Woman-Owned Company Acquires Largest Wind Farm in South Africa

DLO Energy Resources Group is a Black woman-owned renewable energy company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Founded in 2011 by Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, the company has since grown to become one of the leading renewable energy developers in Africa.

DLO Energy Resources Group
Linda Mabhena-Olagunju

Mabhena-Olagunju founded her company with the goal of developing renewable energy projects in Africa. Their first project was the 10-MW Onseleni solar park, which was completed in 2013. Since then, they have developed a number of other renewable energy projects, including the Longyuan Mulilo wind farm.

She is a strong advocate for the use of renewable energy in Africa. She believes that renewable energy is essential for Africa’s economic development and for addressing the continent’s energy poverty problem. She is also a vocal advocate for women in business and is a role model for young women who are interested in a career in renewable energy.

DLO Energy Resources Group’s portfolio includes a wide range of renewable energy projects, including wind farms, solar parks, and biomass power plants. The company’s flagship project is the 140-megawatt (MW) Longyuan Mulilo wind farm, which is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The Longyuan Mulilo wind farm is one of the largest wind farms in Africa and is capable of generating enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes.

In addition to its renewable energy projects, the company also provides engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services to other renewable energy companies. The company has a team of experienced engineers and technicians who are experts in the design, construction, and operation of renewable energy projects.

DLO Energy Resources Group is committed to providing clean and affordable energy to Africa. The company’s mission is to “lead the way in the development of sustainable and renewable energy solutions for Africa.” DLO Energy Resources Group is well-positioned to achieve its mission, as it has a strong track record of success in the renewable energy sector.

The company recently acquired a 30% equity stake in the broad-based Black economic empowerment special purpose vehicle (SPV) of the Longyuan Mulilo wind projects in the Northern Cape. This acquisition positions the company as the largest Black woman-owned shareholder in one of South Africa’s largest operational wind farms.

The acquisition is a significant milestone for DLO Energy Resources Group and is a testament to the company’s commitment to sustainable development and to the empowerment of women in business. The acquisition will also enable the company to expand its renewable energy portfolio and to continue to make a positive impact on the African continent.

by Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Crossing Continents: Ashley Cleveland’s Entrepreneurial Journey from the U.S. to Africa

In this interview, Ashley Cleveland, founder of Ashley in Afrika and the Afrika Investors Academy, takes us on her transformative path from the United States to Africa. She shares the driving force that led her to make the momentous decision to relocate.

Delving into the origins of the Afrika Investors Academy, Ashley sheds light on its inception and how it has grown into a thriving online community with members from across the globe. She highlights the Academy’s mission of fostering entrepreneurship and investment in Africa, showcasing the remarkable businesses and projects being built by its members.

Drawing from her own experiences, Ashley identifies lucrative business opportunities and investment sectors in Africa, emphasizing the significance of staying attuned to geopolitical developments. With insightful anecdotes, she reflects on the reception of Black Americans in Africa and explores the evolving relationship between the diaspora and the continent, unearthing both the immense potential and the challenges that lie ahead.

For aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals considering a move or starting a business in South Africa or Tanzania, Ashley offers invaluable advice, drawing from her firsthand encounters and lessons learned. Furthermore, she shares her unique insights and experiences on dating and socializing in Africa, providing a captivating glimpse into the vibrant cultural landscape.

Join Ashley Cleveland on this entrepreneurial journey as she unveils the motivations, triumphs, and invaluable wisdom gained from her transformative move to Africa and the establishment of the Afrika Investors Academy.

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by Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Advancing U.S.-Africa Trade: Uncovering AGOA Benefits and Strategies

In this conversation, Dr. Wilmot Allen, Founder of VentureLift Africa (VLA), Ms. Florie Liser, CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa, and Mr. Witney Schneidman, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, discuss the background of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and its benefits for businesses through duty-free trade with Africa.

VentureLift Africa is partnering with the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa initiative to train AGOA advisors and connect them with potential American buyers and African sellers. This work is supported by USAID through the Africa Trade and Investment program.

Dr. Allen sheds light on VLA’s role in relation to this AGOA mandate, highlighting the firm’s efforts to provide training and facilitate connections. The conversation also delves into key AGOA trends and potential strategies to strengthen the trade agreement.

The panel shares examples of successful ventures and discusses key supporting factors for realizing AGOA benefits, including trade finance, an effective logistics strategy, and identifying capable local partners.

Dr. Allen further explores the significant role of the Diaspora in promoting trade and investment with Africa, emphasizing the significant potential within this network.

For more information about the AGOA project referenced in this video, please visit or contact with any questions.

5 mins read

The Cultural Significance of Coffee in Africa and Black America

Coffee has a rich and fascinating history in Africa, dating back several centuries. The story of coffee in Africa is one of trade, migration, and cultural significance. The journey of coffee from Africa to America was a long and winding road that took many years, but today it is a staple beverage on both continents.

Coffee is believed to have originated in the region of Ethiopia, where it was first discovered growing wild. Ethiopian tribesmen were known to have used the beans for medicinal purposes, as well as to produce a beverage that was used in religious ceremonies. It wasn’t until the 9th century that coffee began to spread beyond Ethiopia, reaching the surrounding countries of Yemen, Egypt, and the Middle East.

coffee africa

The first coffee plantations in Africa were established in the 16th century by the Portuguese, who had colonized many parts of the continent. From there, coffee spread to other European colonies, including the Dutch and French, who established coffee plantations in what are now known as Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.

Coffee quickly became an important crop in Africa, providing jobs and income for many people. It also played a significant role in shaping the cultural and economic landscape of the continent. In the 19th century, coffee became a major export from Africa to Europe, with trade routes established between the two continents.

The journey of coffee from Africa to America was a slow and steady process that took many years. The first coffee plant was introduced to the Americas in the early 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that coffee became a major commercial crop. Today, coffee is a staple beverage in America, with millions of people drinking it every day.

The cultural significance of coffee in Africa and America is undeniable. In Africa, coffee is often associated with hospitality and is a symbol of generosity and friendship. In America, coffee has become an important part of the daily routine for many people, serving as a pick-me-up and a source of comfort and energy.

Coffee has also played a significant role in shaping the history of both Africa and America. For example, in Africa, coffee was an important commodity in the slave trade, with enslaved Africans being forced to work on coffee plantations. In America, coffee was a major part of the civil rights movement, with coffee shops serving as gathering places for activists and leaders.

Coffee shops in America played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement by providing a safe and neutral space for activists and leaders to gather and discuss strategies. They were also used as a platform to spread awareness and mobilize people to take action against racial discrimination and inequality.

coffee africa

For example, the famous Greensboro sit-ins in North Carolina were started by four African American college students who sat at a Woolworth’s lunch counter, demanding to be served. The sit-ins quickly spread to other cities and became a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Many other similar protests were also organized in coffee shops, which served as meeting places for activists and leaders to plan their actions.

Coffee shops also provided a safe space for artists and musicians to perform and showcase their work. Jazz and blues music, which were popular among African Americans, often had their roots in coffee shops and provided a powerful voice for the Civil Rights Movement. The music conveyed messages of hope, unity, and resistance, and inspired people to come together and fight for their rights.

Today, coffee shops in America continue to serve as gathering places for people from all walks of life. They are places where people can come together to socialize, work, and discuss important issues.

coffee africa

The legacy of coffee as a tool for social and political change lives on, and its cultural significance cannot be underestimated.

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2 mins read

Ghanaian E-Logistics Platform Jetstream Raises $13 Million for Expansion

Rapid urbanization and economic growth in Africa have contributed to a rise in e-commerce activity.

Simultaneously, the lack of developed transportation infrastructure and logistics networks in many African countries poses a significant challenge for businesses attempting to move goods across the continent.

This creates a significant market opportunity for e-logistics platforms that can assist businesses in overcoming logistical challenges.

Ghanaian e-logistics platform, Jetstream was founded in 2018 by Miishe Addy and Solomon Torgbor with the goal of giving African businesses greater visibility and control over their global supply chains.

Following a successful $3 million seed round, the company announced today that it has raised $13 million in a Series A round of funding.

Initially, Jetstream provided two services: logistics for cargo owners handling imports and exports, and financing for freight forwarders. Recently, however, they have consolidated these two services into a single one, focusing exclusively on cargo owners. According to CEO Miishe Addy, the pivot helped Jetstream in achieving product-market fit.

Since adopting this new strategy, Jetstream has experienced significant growth. The company estimates that its trade finance product has disbursed approximately $9 million in loans to date, up from $1 million at the middle of 2021. By the end of 2023, it intends to increase this by five times.

Additionally, in the past year, the company’s revenue has grown by 48% and its active customer base by 102%. Currently, 47% of the freight handled by Jetstream is transported via air, 44% via ocean, and 9% via ground.

Twelve of the 29 countries where the company currently operates are in Africa. The funds will be used to support Jetstream’s expansion into new countries and its ongoing technological platform development.


by Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

$136M Agribusiness Fund Aims To Boost Food Security in Africa

Agribusiness is a term used to describe the enterprises involved in the production, processing, and distribution of food for consumer use.

In Africa, agribusiness is responsible for 70% of employment and about 25% of the continent’s GDP. Due to its enormous agricultural potential, the African agribusiness sector is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2030.

Zebu Investment Partners is a pan-African private equity fund with offices in Ghana and South Africa. It was established to build strong companies in the food value chain and improve food security in Africa.

Brian Frimpong, Managing Partner at Zebu Investments

In this interview with Brian Frimpong, Managing Partner at Zebu Investments, we discuss:

  • The reasons why his firm is focused on agribusiness investments
  • Current and emerging opportunities in the agribusiness sector
  • The ways technology is improving food security in Africa
  • Co-investing with funds based outside of Africa
  • The growing interest in Africa from African-American fund managers

Tony O. Lawson

1 min read

Black Executives Closing the Corporate Board Gap by Promoting African Business Growth

Despite high levels of education and proven ability, the pathway to the c-suite and paid board seats remains elusive for many Black executives in the United States.

B-Direct is a corporate board preparedness and executive search firm on a mission to multiply corporate board opportunities for U.S. Black executives and entrepreneurs by preparing them for and connecting them to board placement on African-based corporations looking to scale nationally and internationally.

Africa is home to over 430 businesses with $1 billion in annual sales. Of this total 25% are subsidiary group companies of foreign domicile multinationals, 50% have a local origin, 40% are publicly listed, and 60% are privately owned.

We caught up with the B-Direct executive team, Larry Yon, Andra Ward, and Henri Ward to discuss:

  • The importance of knowledge and resource sharing between African entrepreneurs on the Continent and Black professionals in the Diaspora.
  • Why the US should pay more attention to the business environment on the Continent.
  • What should US executives consider when taking on a board role in Africa
  • The mutual economic value of culturally connecting Africa to its US Diaspora.
  • Their unique approach to board placement

To learn more about how B-Direct™ is disrupting the corporate board training and placement marketplace you can reach them at and vis their website.

Interested candidates and corporations can learn more here.


1 min read

African Ancestry, the FIRST Black Owned DNA Testing Company

African Ancestry is the world leader in tracing maternal and paternal lineages of African descent. Founded in 2003 by Dr. Rick Kittles and Gina Paige, it is also the first Black owned DNA testing company.

With the industry’s largest and most comprehensive database of over 30,000 indigenous African DNA samples, African Ancestry determines specific countries and specific ethnic groups of origin with an unrivaled level of detail, accuracy, and confidence.

African Ancestry

In this episode, co-founder Gina Paige discusses:

  • The origin of
  • Taking DNA test recipients on curated “birthright trips” to Africa
  • Why she is passionate about her work
  • The many ways African Ancestry differs from other DNA tests
  • The surprising results from tracing her ancestral lineage
  • How a lack of connection to Africa impacts Black identity

-Tony O. Lawson


1 min read

Strengthening U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Partnerships

The United States Commercial Service (CS) is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

The mission of CS is to advance and protect strategic U.S. commercial and economic interests around the world.

Camille Richardson is a tenured Senior Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Commercial Service.

U.S.-Africa Trade
Camille Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East & Africa

She is an accredited diplomat who has served six successive tours of duty in Miami, FL; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India, and Sao Paulo, Brazil facilitating commercial partnerships between U.S. and local companies.

Camille was recently appointed as the International Trade Administrations’ new Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

In this interview with Camille, we discuss:

  • Using trade and investment to grow the U.S. economy.
  • Having more U.S.-based SMEs become partners in Africa’s growth story.
  • How to access information about business opportunities in multiple African countries.
  • The trade sectors that are being prioritized.
  • A recent example of a successful U.S.-Africa trade partnership.

-Tony O. Lawson

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1 min read

Black Owned Abroad: They Moved to South Africa and Started a Luxury Travel Company

Mark and Dr. Latesha Blanton are the owners of The Real South Africa, a luxury travel company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their company offers a variety of services for those interested in expanding their knowledge of South Africa and what it has to offer.

In this interview with Mark, he shares his experience living and working in Africa.

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0:00 Introduction

0:38 – What does his business do?

1: 45 – What inspired them to start the business?

2:43 – Moving to Johannesburg

3: 25 – What do you enjoy the most about living in Johannesburg?

7:00 – Are there a lot of African Americans in Johannesburg?

8:32 – Relocation process

10:33 – Trends/Changes in perception

15:26 – Mindset shift

18:12 – Business goals

19:40 – Africans vs African Americans (Uber story)

22:20 – Contact info

Tony O. Lawson

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