Despite downturns in some of Africa's largest markets, Africa Tech is continuing to make international headlines.
Global investor interest is on the rise fuelled by events such as Obama’s visit to Kenya last year and Mark Zuckerberg’s recent visit to Nigeria and Kenya, where he went on to hail Africa as the future hub of global growth. Investments such as the recent $1.2 million dollar raise by Nigerian startup ToLet.Com.ng are evidence that the publicity is helping to drive real deals.
However many challenges remain for foreign investors interested in tapping into Africa’s emerging tech opportunities particularly due to lack of knowledge of the local market.
Yaron Cohen, co-Founder & international angels initiative lead at Viktoria Ventures believes that local investors can be a great catalyst for foreign investment into the technology sector in Africa. They understand the local market needs and therefore know where the big opportunities lie. However given a still nascent tech ecosystem in Africa with only a few success stories and exits so far, many of these local investors do not understand tech investment and are therefore less likely to invest in startups.
At our upcoming Africa Technology Investment Roundtable, Yaron will be sharing some of the work they have been doing to build the local tech investment ecosystem in East Africa. Having been based in Kenya, the hotbed for mobile and tech innovation and "Silicon Savannah" of Africa for the past couple of years, Yaron will provide an overview of this burgeoning ecosystem, the exciting opportunities emerging as well as the challenges that remain.
The Roundtable will also focus on Africa's fastest growing tech hub Rwanda, which although still a very small tech ecosystem compared to the more well-known Kenya and Nigeria, has quickly built up a reputation in tech circles of being the best launchpad to pilot innovation in Africa.
The Rwanda Government has played a big role in this by investing in key infrastructure and actively partnering with the private sector to drive innovation. Case in point is their recent partnership with California-based startup Zipline to launch the world’s first national drone delivery program. Our second guest speaker is Francis Rudasingwa, Legal Analyst in Strategic Investments Department of Rwanda Development Board (RDB). Francis will be sharing about the catalytic role that African governments can play in driving investment into technology and innovation.
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