From 12 – 16 September 2022, the Boost Africa Technical Assistance Facility and AfricaGrow Technical Assistance Facility will host 40 leading fund managers from select African investment funds for an in-person programme held at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. The aim of the programme is to engage in dialogue and extend expertise in leading Africa’s exponential growth in the tech venture capital (VC) space.
The ‘Africa Venture Finance Programme’ is designed specifically for VC fund managers investing in early and growth-stage technology companies in Africa. 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.
In total, 15 funds will be represented, with participants including fund managers 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, more than half (62%) of participant fund managers are women.
Fund managers 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.
The African tech ecosystem has seen staggering growth in recent years, tripling in size from 2020 to USD 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.
Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, said: “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.”
Aunnie Patton Power, Program Director, Oxford Saïd Business School, said: “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.”
David van Dijk, Team Leader, Boost Africa Technical Assistance Facility, said: “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. 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.”
This article was first published on 5 September by EIB.