Africa gets its first branded café thanks to City banker

By Simon Evans
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:20

City banker Stefan Allesch-Taylor is planning to plough $1m (£650,000) of his own cash into a new not-for-profit café venture in Africa.

Mr Allesch-Taylor, the founder of the boutique investment bank Fairfax, is supporting plans to open 100 so-called Afri-Can co-operative cafés across Malawi and beyond.

The cafés, the first of which was opened in a hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, last month, are made out of shipping containers and are intended to create jobs for Malawians.

"We want them to become social hubs, much in the same way as other coffee shops around the world are," said Mr Allesch-Taylor.

"Afri-Can Cafés is one of the first indigenous brand names for the continent and we have plans to roll out similar projects in Mozambique and other sub-Saharan countries."

Two more completed cafés are due to be sent to their new destinations later this month.

All the work to convert the containers into cafés, including a small on-site bakery and the creation of the chairs and tables, is undertaken by a local workforce using reclaimed materials.

"Every Afri-Can Café will be identical in all respects across Africa and will be instantly recognisable," Mr Allesch-Taylor said.

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