Kenyan tycoon Julius Mwale, the founder of $2 billion Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC), has been named as one of the key investors in Forbes acquisition for $800 million (Ksh109 billion) .
US publication Axios reported that US technology billionaire Austin Russell was a leader of the consortium that raised money for 82% of Forbes ownership, which includes Mr Mwale who is pumping in billions of shillings as a key investor in the iconic US media giant.
“Austin Russell, the 28 year old American CEO of Electric vehicle tech company Luminar Technologies plans to put in only $10 million of his own money as part of his bid to buy 82% of Forbes for $656 million…the rest is almost all coming from foreign investors, ” Axios reported. “Limited partners of investment group funding bid include Kenyan businessman Julius Mwale who will put in tens of millions of dollars.”
Other partners include Global Silicon Valley (GSV), a Silicon valley-based investment firm; Sun Group, a conglomerate from India to invest between $200 to $300 million; and Kazakistan businessman Bulat Utemaratov, who is investing $50 million.
Forbes is an iconic US media giant which has over 140 million unique users worldwide, with 55 million unique users based in the United States. Acquisition of Forbes will increase tycoon Mwale’s influence over these millions of business oriented users and will be the first time that an African is among the voices of global iconic media empires which may help change Africa’s perception in the world.
Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media (IWM) acquired a majority of Forbes from Forbes family a decade ago and will retain 8% after the sale. Mr Mwale last month attended Forbes Under 30 Summit in Botswana where he was the keynote speaker.
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The Forbes profile of Julius Mwale on the summit’s website outlines his success as an industrial entrepreneur and investor with vast experience of more than 20 years in innovative investments in technology, energy, health, retail, and construction industries. He is currently the principal of the $2 billion MMTC, which is based in Western Kenya.
As the lead investor in MMTC, Mr Mwale mobilized over $2 billion to build the new city with a 100% green concept. The city is anchored by Hamptons Hospital, which has been providing universal healthcare to 2 million residents in Kakamega County since 2019.
In his keynote speech at the Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa, Mr Mwale emphasized the need for job creation and poverty reduction in Africa. “In 20 years, Africa is going to have about a quarter of the global population, and we see ourselves being able to move about 800 million people on the continent out of poverty by creating jobs,” he stated.
He also pointed out the opportunities available in Africa brought about by the Africa Free Trade Agreement, which has three phases of implementation: trade and goods, intellectual property (IP), investment and competition, where Africa has the expertise, and third, e-commerce, which will make Africa a leading continent in the world in terms of population, development and growth by 2043.
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“We are in the driver’s seat leading that now and we want the Forbes team and the entire continent of Africa and the whole world to join us,” Mr Mwale added.
MMTC has expanded in 12 countries in Africa using an integrated model of smart city development, with a vision to build 18 smart cities and empower around 800 million people by 2050.
Mr Mwale’s background in telecommunications engineering enabled him to found and Chair SBA Technologies Inc., a biometric pioneer that was key in enabling the establishment of mobile digital identity infrastructure, that became a secure foundation for digital money transfer services worldwide.
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