US venture capital firm explores partnerships in Rwanda, hosts two-day African healthcare conference

Black Pearl Global Investments, an American asset management and venture capital firm, hosted its two-day conference: African Healthcare: Lessons from the Continent on September 8-9 at Norrsken Kigali House and African Leadership University.

The conference brought together students, healthcare professionals, government officials and tech entrepreneurs to discuss the current state of healthcare in Africa and innovative solutions.

The conference brought together panelists from the United States, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Rwanda with representatives from the Ministry of Health, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the International Financial Center of Kigali, Partners in Health and many health technology companies.

The two-day event was hosted by media personality Fiona Muthoni, with day one taking place at Norrsken and day two at ALU.

“We are delighted to have hosted our first healthcare conference in Kigali and look forward to continued conversations to explore partnership opportunities with organizations in the region.

There is so much talent here making great strides against the multitude of factors that affect healthcare and we want to support these organizations, institutions and startups to the best of our abilities,” said Black Pearl CEO Dr. Shante Williams.

Black Pearl is a US$25 million venture capital fund headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with operations in Africa and the Caribbean.

As part of their broader effort to expand their African presence, Black Pearl was also in Rwanda to explore possible partnerships and investments.

As a result, they signed a memorandum of understanding with Norrsken to explore opportunities for collaboration and partnered with ALU to host a student pitch competition.

They awarded three student companies a one-year mentorship and cash prizes totaling US$5,000:

  • First place: Eco Cooks – A sustainable biofuels company seeking to bridge the energy poverty gap in rural communities

  • Second place: Mari Test – An automated device that diagnoses malaria within 24 hours of contraction without drawing blood

  • Third place: Ali Farms – A hydroponic farming technology company that provides jobs for young people.


Black Pearl is a US$25 million venture capital fund headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with affiliates in Africa and the Caribbean.

Black Pearl provides funding to companies that innovate in healthcare in the form of venture capital, private equity and private loans.

Black Pearl’s mission is to equitably accelerate the deployment of funding to the companies, entrepreneurs and innovators who need it most and where it can have the greatest impact.

They focus on North America, the Caribbean and Africa.