Trudeau Liberals wasted $42.4 million on a Kenyan sales company boondoggle

In 2017, the Trudeau Liberals launched FinDev, the Development Finance Institute of Canada, to promote development in poor countries. Their first investment included M-Kopa Holdings — a Nairobi door-to-door sales company that received $42.4 million without a return on investment.

Trudeau Liberals wasted $42.4 million on a Kenyan sales company boondoggle
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The Trudeau Liberals justified a failed $42.4 million investment in a Kenyan door-to-door sales company as part of its global feminist mandate. As of writing, it remains unclear if Canadians will ever see their dues returned.

In 2017, the Trudeau Liberals launched FinDev, the Development Finance Institute of Canada, to promote development in poor countries, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. Their first investment included M-Kopa Holdings — a Nairobi door-to-door sales company specializing in cell phones and household appliances.

FinDev purchased $15.4 million in shares, hoping M-Kopa would "break-even" in 2020 after doubling their revenues in 2018. It did not. 

Corporate filings indicate the company lost more than $25 million that year. The Annual Report attributed the financial hardship to the COVID pandemic.

Since FinDev bought shares in the company, M-Kopa has lost $115.6 million, accounts show. Ottawa never explained why it purchased shares on the taxpayer dime, or why it continued to funnel additional capital despite concerns being raised on its future viability.

"The group is under discussion to raise additional capital with new and existing shareholders which would support the operations for the foreseeable future," directors of M-Kopa Holdings Ltd. wrote in their Annual Report

"The directors have made an assessment of the group’s ability to continue as a going concern which includes the current uncertainties created by Covid-19," it added.

While the Crown corporation pledged to exit the investment in 2024, according to a 2021 Inquiry Of Ministry, it chose to subsidize the Kenyan venture an additional $27 million last August 1. 

Despite not turning a profit, spokesperson Angela Rodriguez denied they misled MPs. "FinDev noted simply that there might be a ‘potential exit’ of the investment in 2024," she clarified.

When asked if taxpayers would see their $42.4 million investment returned, Rodriguez did not respond, reported Blacklock’s Reporter. She pivoted, suggesting their purchase of shares "was informed by market development impact and financial return considerations."

Asked, "Did any cabinet member approve the M-Kopa investment?" the Inquiry replied: "No."

Access To Information records earlier showed FinDev managers approved spending on the Kenyan phone company with little review by staff. They justified it to "create good quality jobs in East Africa," reads an agency memo.

FinDev in a statement last August 1 justified the subsidy further in their promotion of gender equality overseas. "The company has a women employment rate of 50 percent," it said.

But taxpayers have not seen any pay back despite paying its CEO Jesse Moore $397,000 annually with stock options valued at $633,000, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

Moore earlier claimed that Blacklock’s Reporter published “highly misleading articles” about the firm but did not respond to requests for comment by the publication. 

Moore is a former child activist once praised by the Toronto Star as a "voice of Canada’s youth" and "leader of tomorrow." Maclean’s magazine in 1997 named Moore among 100 Canadians To Watch.

Prior to becoming CEO, he served as a director with CARE Canada, and attended a 2006 youth forum by the controversial We Charity. 

"I realized as a young person I had no time to waste, and I could do whatever I wanted to do, and I could conquer the world," Moore said in a 1996 interview with the Edmonton Journal.

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