Forty leading fund managers from select African investment funds will gather at the Oxford University’s Saïd Business School next week. Together, they will discuss ways to better lead Africa’s exponential growth in the venture capital (VC) space.
Technical assistance facilities from Boost Africa and AfricaGrow will host them from 12 to 16 September in England as part of the Africa Venture Finance programme designed for VC fund managers investing in early and growth-stage technology start-ups in Africa.
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The week-long course will focus on the sharing of best practice and peer-to-peer knowledge, and provide cutting-edge insights and learning opportunities in all relevant aspects of fund management.
“The EIB is committed to supporting high impact innovation investment around the world. We are pleased to support the Boost Africa programme that is sharing investment best practice to strengthen the lasting impact of investment partners across Africa,” remarked Ambroise Fayolle, vice-president of the European Investment Bank.
In total, 15 funds will be represented with participants including representatives from AfricInvest, Knife Capital, TL Com Capital, Ventures Platform Fund, Janngo Capital, Atlantica Ventures and others. Reflecting the industry-wide need for improved women’s inclusion at senior levels, 62% of participant fund managers are women.
They will also have the chance to interact with business leaders, industry experts as well as representatives from development finance institutions (DFIs) such as the European Investment Bank and DEG Invest.
Saïd Business School programme director Aunnie Patton Power says, “We are incredibly excited to be convening a group of the leading African venture capital funds for this course in Oxford. During the week, participants will engage with global VC experts, Oxford faculty and most importantly, each other. We are hopeful that the course contributes to a strengthening and connecting of the African VC ecosystem.”
The African tech ecosystem has seen staggering growth in recent years, tripling in size from 2020 to $5.2 billion in 2021. However, the proportion of African-led start-ups receiving significant funding remains woefully low, remaining in the single digits.
In addition to its intrinsic benefit, locally-led leadership is critical in channelling VC investment towards innovations that effectively address challenges faced within and outside Africa. African start-ups have proven to be competitive, profitable, and world-class when equipped with support and expertise from investors and fund managers who truly understand their value and growth potential.
This programme therefore seeks to bring together African fund managers at the forefront of the continent’s unique growth trajectory, leveraging their own expertise as well as that of critical ecosystem stakeholders to usher in the African-led unicorns of tomorrow.
“Both AfricaGrow and Boost Africa aim to have a catalytic effect on the emerging African start-up ecosystem, by investing in and supporting VC funds in Africa,” said David van Dijk, team leader of the Boost Africa technical assistance facility.
“This week at the Oxford Saïd Business School is quite unique in bringing together 40 of Africa’s most relevant investors and will definitely help in furthering the conversation on how we can ensure the most promising founders on the continent have a fighting chance to start and grow their businesses.”
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