Msingi East Africa Limited (Msingi) was conceived and incubated by Gatsby Africa, and is co-funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).  It was established as a Company Limited by Guarantee in June 2016 and has a commitment from its founding funders of £30 million for the first five years of operation, with an intent to renew this commitment for the second five year period.


Gatsby was founded in 1967 by Lord David Sainsbury, a British businessman, politician and philanthropist.  Gatsby has funded and implemented programmes in Africa since 1985. It has a strong history in technology transfer, agricultural development and investment. More recently it has focused its portfolio around a series of ambitious industry transformation programmes across East Africa.

Gatsby targets high potential sectors where growth could benefit large numbers of people and where the pre-conditions for change – such as private sector momentum, political support and local champions – are in place. Gatsby believes both the private and public sectors have crucial roles to play in catalysing economic growth.

Gatsby’s programmes in East Africa include cotton, tea, textiles, and forestry.  Gatsby also co-funds an industry development organisation, Kenya Markets Trust. 

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DFID, the UK government department responsible for overseas aid, aims to promote sustainable development and alleviate poverty. It has significant experience in economic development and East Africa.

In 2013-14, DFID made economic development a key priority: it published the Economic Development Strategic Framework and began to use a wider array of instruments to stimulate investment that reduces poverty through jobs. 

DFID’s economic development programmes in East Africa include:

  • TradeMark East Africa 
  • Kenya Markets Trust
  • The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
  • Financial Sector Deepening Programmes

For more information on DFID support to Msingi click here

For more information about DFID click here

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