The US State Department through the LIONS@FRICA partnership will sponsor the five for the ten-day trip as a way of thumping their support for entrepreneurship in Africa.
The International community added their voice to emphasize the need to tap entrepreneurial energy among Africans at the DEMO Africa event held in Lagos last week. The event which brought together players in the technology scene provided a critical platform for discussions geared towards fast tracking prosperity and growth in Africa with entrepreneurship being cited as the key to Africa’s freedom and prosperity.
In a video message to the participants, The US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the need to groom Africa’s young population to tap the entrepreneurial energy.
He reminded Africans that places where people are free to trade and transform ideas are on the right track to growth and prosperity. “You can count on the United States support as you take on this journey to transformation through entrepreneurship.” He assured.
Players within the African technology scene seem to have headed to the call to secure Africa’s freedom. This was evident as they converged for the first pan-African Angel investor’s forum at DEMO Africa. Here, the need to work together in a pan-African Business Angel Network was reiterated. The investors present, both local and international, included angel investors, impact investors, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital actors; all focused on early stage SME investing in Africa.
VC4Africa’s CEO and Founder Ben White explains: “We see angel networks emerging across the continent. Now is the time to bring them together in a shared conversation about how best to move forward.”
The interest around the business-technology scene In Africa is on the rise. Notable influencers including Baybars Altuntas, Vice President of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), was present at the DEMO Africa forum representing the interest and views of over 20,000 angel investors across Europe. Baybars confirmed that indeed, the majority of EBAN members want to learn more about African startups and the ecosystem, this being their new source of investment pipeline.
“To fully engage European angel investors we seek our counterparts across Africa. This is key for co-investing into opportunities on the ground. The European Business Angel Network could support an African Business Angel Network with incubation.”