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African Diaspora Central Bank to invest $9 billion in electric vehicle startup

Ndileka Mandela is the co-owner of Mandrolli start-up. Picture:Paballo Thekiso.

Ndileka Mandela is the co-owner of Mandrolli start-up. Picture:Paballo Thekiso.

Published Jul 30, 2021


The African Diaspora Central Bank has committed to invest $9 billion in Mandrolli, a solar and battery-powered electric vehicle (EV) startup based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a base in the U.S.

Mandrolli describes itself as an electric vehicle start-up that is set to drive electric mobility pioneering in Africa.

Mandrolli is co-founded by Tami Mase, Ndileka Mandela, and B.Taylor. The investment means that Mandrolli is the first in the EV space to raise investment for the entire full production in one round.

“This move will propel Mandrolli into the mix among new EV companies headed to the automotive market,” the company said.

Chairman and Bank President Timothy McPherson said: “What is clear going forward is that industrialisation will be the driving force behind Africa’s continental free trade area, and certainly one of the greatest industries to participate in, is, of course, the automotive industry,

“That is why our dedicated financial Institution, the African Diaspora Central Bank, and ECO-6 are very honoured to acknowledge our investment, commitment, and participation in the development of Mandrolli South Africa’s future leading carbon emissions-free automotive manufacturing. We are excited to support the team Mandrolli, with the distribution chain that goes across not only through Continental Africa, but in the Americas and in Europe.”

Mandrolli was birthed in the Eastern Cape, where Premier Oscar Mabuyane has agreed to support the initiative to the fullest.

Mandrolli CEO Tami Mase said: “It is extremely thrilling to see this dream unfolding. Mandrolli has become more than just an automotive innovation, but a golden bridge that unites Continental Africa and her Diaspora. The investment Mandrolli received from the African Diaspora Central Bank instantly activates a unified approach to the continent’s Free Trade and gives Mandrolli the opportunity to industrialise and empower the African Economy.”

As the first grandchild of Nelson Mandela, Ndileka Mandela said she was committed to adding to the Mandela legacy in generations to come.

“The Mandrolli car will be the first-ever to bear the signature of my grandfather, Nelson Mandela. Heading the Special Projects Division will therefore give me the opportunity to take responsibility upholding the integrity of his generational legacy and use it to unite the world while preserving our African culture. Seeing this vision manifest through Mandrolli’s vision and designs is a marvel yet to unfurl.”

Mandrolli co-Founder, head of US operations B Taylor, has also secured global partners that will develop, engineer and manufacture the prototype.

“Mandrolli is not just about car manufacturing, but about getting our black women and youth into the very limited skills and industries of the future such as engineering, technology, systems architecture, and digital transformation,” said Taylor.