Winners Announced: Southern Africa Startup Awards — South Africa

Southern Africa Startup Awards — South Africa, in partnership with Startup Grind Johannesburg had the pleasure of hosting the 1st Annual SASAwards South Africa national finals at a prestigious event on the 24th October 2018, at The Bird House in Johannesburg.

The event was hosted by Nomalanga Sithole, Founder of The Voice Within and Siphumelele Zondi, Anchor of Network on SABC. Over 150 startup ecosystem stakeholders and leaders in business attended the function to award, recognise and celebrate key players in South Africa’s startup ecosystem.

15 winners in 15 categories were selected out of 75 finalists through public voting, and an adjudication process.

An esteemed panel which was made up of Clive Butkow, Hilton Theunissenand Tiyani Nghonyama had an engaging discussion on “The practical tools and strategies that startups can use to meet the demands of the 4th industrial revolution.” The panel was moderated by Startup Grind Johannesburg Director Beth Malatji, who is also the founder of ReBeth Wines, which guests had an opportunity to enjoy on the night.

McKevin Ayaba, CEO of Southern Africa Startup Awards, made mention in an impassioned address to the guests, that the initiative focuses on creating an enabling platform to accelerate the growth of young leaders in the country and Africa, by recognising their achievements and creating local and international connections for them.

“In order to encourage more entrepreneurs, we as a continent must create an ecosystem of support for them. And one way we can all play a part in reviving and fostering Africa’s entrepreneurial engine is to recognize and celebrate our nation’s entrepreneurs”. Said McKevin.

These winners are leaders who are not just focused on personal wealth creation, but have dedicated time, energy and resources to making an impact on the lives of others in the various communities they are involved in. They were all invited to share their amazing startup journeys in the newly established Southern Africa Startup Magazine announced by COO, Flo Mosoane.

The winners will represent South Africa at the Regional Grand Finale of the Southern Africa Startup Awards scheduled for the 21st — 22nd of November 2018 in Johannesburg.

About SASAwards:

Southern Africa Startup Awards is a circuit of the world renowned Global Startup Awards, which provides an annual spotlight on web/tech startups in regions across the globe. Global Startup Awards It is one of the largest independent startup-ecosystem competitions, started in the Nordics in 2012, covering more than 45 countries in 7 regions.

Since 2012 in the Nordics, Global Startup Awards has grown to include South East Asia, Central Europe, SAARC Region (South Asia), and now East Asia, Baltics and Southern Africa which launched in 2018.

The African Youth Development Summit

This youth summit, co-hosted by the Africa80 & JCI and in partnership with the APRM & Global Citizens Festival will feature a 3 day conference starting at the Pan African Parliament to identify the greatest challenges we face as youth; speak on collaborative opportunities and hindrances; as well as identifying actionable solutions to co-create the AFRICA WE WANT!

The Summit will bring together not only young leaders from across Africa in an assortment of industries and professions, but also current leaders in governance; civil society; and business in order to engage in an intergenerational dialogue & co-creation of solutions. The #AYDSummit is FREE entry, but ONLY 100 YOUNG LEADERS will be selected to attend. All participants/delegates will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation fees; and though this is the case, we are happy to send formal invitation letters to selected participants looking to secure sponsorship.

After the conference, each participant will be given a complimentary ticket to attend the Global Citizens Festival celebrating Nelson Mandela’s centenary on the 2nd December 2018 at FNB Stadium. The Festival will feature international & continental artists such as Beyoncé; Jay-Z; Wizkid; Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams; Cassper Nyovest; D’ Banj; Usher, but to name a few.

Venture Capital and Private Equity investment a cornerstone of SA economic growth

As a proven catalyst of job creation, private equity and venture capital investment holds the potential to drive real economic growth and development across South Africa. Over the past two decades, the sector has shown remarkable expansion, with a total compound annual growth rate for venture capital and private equity funding of 9,4%.

However, with the region’s attractiveness as an investment destination having come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, it is vital to demonstrate to investors that Southern Africa possesses the necessary capabilities to identify and maximise these investment opportunities.

This is according to Tanya van Lill, CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), who points to research by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) which reveals that companies with investment from the private equity and venture capital sector experience an average growth in their staff complement of 40%.

“Considering that job creation remains one of the most critical challenges facing Southern African economies, it is key to recognise not only the role that venture capital and private equity can play in contributing to the success of investee companies, but also the positive impact that this type of investment can have on the broader economy and society.”

Craig Dreyer, Chairman of SAVCA says that it is against this backdrop that the SAVCA Industry Awards were launched in 2018. “The objective of the awards platform is to create an event that not only recognises the portfolio companies that have thrived from private equity and venture capital investment in the region, but also to promote the significant positive impact that these thriving businesses have on the economy.”

Aside from the vital benefit of capital injection that these asset classes can provide, Dreyer explains that investee companies also gain access to a wealth of experience, financial acumen and strategic foresight. “Gaining access to capital is important, but real value is derived in the form of sweat capital through mentorship, the promotion of market access, business development, guidance around corporate governance, and the general support from seasoned experts within the private equity and venture capital industry.”

“As these investee companies formalise their operations, they are in turn creating meaningful employment opportunities and contributing to the national fiscus; thereby increasing government’s ability to invest in infrastructure and social development,” he explains.

The winners for the inaugural SAVCA Industry Awards will be announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony – an even that is open to anyone with an interest in the industry says Dreyer. “There are still a limited number of tickets available to the formal gala taking place at Montecasino on 8 November 2018, which promises to be a spectacular evening of industry celebration and networking.”

In order to attract promising talent into the industry, Dreyer says that all ticket proceeds will go to the SAVCA Bursary Fund. “The purpose of this fund is to provide financial aid to a deserving student who has an exceptional academic record and demonstrates an aptitude for a potential career in the industry,” he concludes.


After the success of the first Challenge in 34 African countries, this year’s has been extended to a total of 55 countries around the world.

3 winners from each country will receive financial support, extensive publicity and coaching. From among these 3 winners per country, grand winners will be selected by region, who will be offered additional support.

This year, a Top Female Entrepreneur category has been introduced. During the first Challenge, women accounted for almost 25% of the winners, even though they only made up 13% of the applicants. With this special award this year, it is hoped to give the women entrepreneurs an extra push to take part. It is also aligned with other Total initiatives for women.

The challenge is open to startups and projects that are under two years old and have have a social and community impact.

In addition, the startup founder or project owners must not be more than 35-years old while their solutions must demonstrate feasibility and have the potential to benefit the broader public.

The first edition of the challenge — held in 2015 — aimed to encourage social entrepreneurship and to help innovative under 35-year olds develop their concepts or startups.

In the inaugural year, more than 11 000 applications were received, with 6642 meeting the challenging requirements. In all, 102 innovators were selected as winners with their solutions ranging from health, ecommerce to education.

Check out for more details

Lifting people out of poverty by investing in sustainable business

Desertification and land degradation are not new to the fragile Sahel ecosystem, a semi-arid strip of land south of the Sahara Desert. Climate change, which is expected to deeply modify the region’s climate, including by abruptly increasing rainfall, adds another layer of complexity to the daily lives of the people living in the Sahel.

Environmentally-friendly economic growth is one strategy for overcoming these challenges, and local entrepreneurs are increasingly looking towards sustainable industries to improve their livelihoods.

Shea butter, locally known as karité, is a key ingredient in many moisturizing creams. It is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree which grows indigenously in the Sahel and is a primary source of employment and income for millions of people, especially women. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates that, on average, three million African women benefit directly or indirectly from shea butter production.

Burkina Faso is one of the top shea nut-producing countries, and export of shea products represents a major source of revenue.

Felicite Yameogo, who lives in Burkina Faso, is the director of New Karikis International and one of the women entrepreneurs who have benefited from this business, which she says is crucial for empowering women in the region. “With this project, thousands of women are being lifted out of poverty,” says Yameogo.

New Karikis International, one of the beneficiaries of the SWITCH Africa Green project, is a small company that deals with the production and export of shea nuts, organic shea butter and shea butter cosmetics. The company also offers training and advice to farmers and companies in the industry.

She spoke to UN Environment at the SWITCH Africa Green Regional Forum, held recently in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, about her experience transitioning to a green business. “Access to finance and market is still challenging for our small businesses. It is much easier sometimes to export abroad than to our regional market,” says Yameogo. “UN Environment and the European Union, through Switch Africa Green project, are helping us to network with banks, donors and other players who can support us to grow our business in a more sustainable way.”

Through initiatives such as Switch Africa Green, African women have been able to organize themselves in cooperatives to harvest, produce and export shea products. After a successful startup, many female entrepreneurs are now looking to expand their business to other countries in the region and beyond.

SWITCH Africa Green Programme, a project funded by the European Union in partnership with UN Environment, supports African countries in their transition to a green economy, and promotes sustainable consumption and production practices. So far, the project has helped thousands of small and medium enterprises in Africa to start sustainable businesses and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.

For more information, please contact: Mohamed Atani – Head of Communication and Outreach, UN Environment, Africa Office – Tel. +254727531253

TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has directly impacted 4,470 entrepreneurs in 4 years – Parminder Vir

The annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum is one of the most vibrant aspects of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. This year’s TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the fourth edition of the annual Forum, is taking place on October 25 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The Forum has grown in scale every year with over 5,000 entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem players expected to converge on Lagos for this year’s Forum. This year, we are celebrating the 2018 beneficiaries of our Entrepreneurship Programme, bringing the total beneficiaries of our USD100 million seed capital, mentoring and world-class training to 4,470 African entrepreneurs. The Forum is also an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to engage with and learn from established entrepreneurs, global investors, leaders from the African public and private sectors and developmental organizations.

In keeping with the Foundation’s track record – most recently with President Macron of France – of bringing politicians face-to-face with the new generation of young businesswomen and men shaping Africa, the Forum will include an interactive session with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu. We will also launch TEFConnect, the world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs, dedicated to connecting African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The programme will also include a fireside chat with TEF Trustee, Gavi Champion for Immunisation in Africa and CEO, Avon Medical, Dr. Awele Elumelu, moderated by CNNMoney Africa Correspondent, Eleni Giokos, on “The Role of the Private Sector in Furthering Economic Development across Africa”.


The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is four this year. Looking back, what would you say is the impact of the programme so far, especially on past beneficiaries and their businesses?

In just four years, we have directly impacted 4,470 entrepreneurs, and we are beginning to see the results – they are creating jobs, generating revenues and making a social impact through their businesses. This year, we began to track the progress of the 3,010 entrepreneurs who graduated between 2015 and 2017 and our study of just 1,472 entrepreneurs who responded to the survey shows they have generated USD52,486,234 after completion, compared to USD18,155,241 before they were selected for the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. In terms of jobs, the same 1,472 entrepreneurs have created 11,971 jobs compared to 4,034 before they were selected for the programme. Furthermore, our study shows that upon completing the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, 62 percent of these businesses are now fully operational while 29 percent have become partly operational. This also explains the phenomenal growth in jobs (15 percent of the entrepreneurs now employ at least 10 people) and revenue (13 percent of the entrepreneurs now generate above $50,000 annually) recorded after the Entrepreneurship Programme.

With regard to gender representation, over the years, the Foundation has made it a priority to ensure that both female and male entrepreneurs have an equal opportunity to apply to the programme. When the programme was launched in 2015, 76 percent of the applicants were male while 24 percent were female. As a result, male applicants accounted for 71 percent of the entrepreneurs eventually selected into the programme while female applicants accounted for only 29 percent. Given this significant gender disparity, the Foundation developed strategies to create awareness about the programme amongst women and encourage them to apply for the programme. To achieve this, the Foundation ensured that advertisements and promotions of the programme were targeted towards women. On social media, profiles of successful female entrepreneurs on the programme were used to encourage aspiring female entrepreneurs to apply. Female alumni of the programme took this a step further by organizing workshops and trainings to assist them in their application. The result of all these activities was that by 2018, the gap had significantly reduced – male applicants accounted for 58.8 percent of total applicants, down from 76 percent in 2015, while female applicants accounted for 41.2 percent, up from 24 percent in 2015. Similarly, in terms of selection, the number of selected male applicants fell to 65 percent, from 71 percent in 2015, while selected female applicants increased to 35 percent, from 29 percent in 2015.

In terms of the impact of the Seven Pillars of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, the 1,472 entrepreneurs who responded to the survey, we see that both the 12-week enterprise toolkit and the mentorship received at least a 70 percent high impact rating while 61 percent of them indicated that TEF provided them with the first seed capital for their business. So clearly, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is having an impact. We will be launching the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme 2015-2017 Progress Report at the TEF Forum on October 25, which will provide deeper analysis and insights of impact across sectors, regions and business location.

 Considering Africa’s specific growth needs and peculiarities, does the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme place priority on certain sectors of the economy?

TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is and will remain sector-agnostic. We have over 30 sectors represented in the programme across the 54 African countries. The agriculture sector has, however, consistently accounted for more of the selected entrepreneurs on the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme since the launch of the programme in 2015, without any deliberate effort by the Foundation to attract entrepreneurs from this sector. This reflects a rising interest of young Africans who seek to operate on different segments of the agriculture value chain using more modern technology and innovations than their predecessors.

The recent rise of start-ups in the ICT sector on the continent continues to illustrate the increasing significance of technology across the continent accounting for over 8 percent of the applications. Besides the development of core IT software and applications, these ICT entrepreneurs are creating solutions that are relevant to a plethora of industries. Given that the world is rapidly moving into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the relevance of this sector in ensuring that Africa is not left behind cannot be overstated. Manufacturing has also emerged as one of the popular sectors amongst the TEF entrepreneurs accounting for an average of 7 percent of applicants annually.

Four years into the 10-year programme, it is evident that African start-ups and SMEs will find the gaps in the market and develop innovative solutions to meeting these gaps for their products and services.

Beyond the annual forum, is there a follow-up mechanism whereby the beneficiaries draw continuous support from the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Foundation as well tracks the progress of the beneficiaries?

Paramount to the success of TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is our continuous engagement with the entrepreneurs who have successfully completed the programme because we are building to last. We maintain contact with the entrepreneurs both online and offline. Through the TEF Online Hub, we have built Africa’s largest online network of African entrepreneurs for cross-border business growth, skills, and knowledge-sharing. TEF Hub is the go-to destination for TEF Alumni and our value-add partners, who provide ongoing products, business information, advisory services, innovation capital, market access, skills and training, and supply chain integration for TEF Alumni. This is also the platform through which we promote the emerging entrepreneurship networks across Africa and globally, important for business opportunities, building cross-country networks and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship.

In 2017, we launched TEF Entrepreneurship Awards to recognise the achievements of TEF entrepreneurs from the 54 African countries to raise their profiles and inspire investors and policymakers to recognise and support African entrepreneurs. We also launched TEF Forum Pitch Competition, and we have added TEF Africa Market Place to the TEF Forum where TEF Entrepreneurs can showcase and sell their products and services to a diverse and inclusive pan-African gathering. 

At the 2018 TEF Forum this month, the Foundation will launch TEFConnect, Africa’s largest digital platform, connecting African entrepreneurs globally. Positioned as the “Facebook for African Entrepreneurs”, the platform will provide three main benefits to its users – empower African entrepreneurs to buy and sell across countries and regions in Africa’s largest digital marketplace with digital traffic reaching millions of people; access free business tools such as financial planning calculators and marketing templates, and enable entrepreneurs to promote their businesses to potential investors and other partners. Through TEFConnect, we are scaling our impact by connecting African entrepreneurs all over the world on a single platform and increasing trade opportunities.

Apart from the seed capital, are the beneficiaries of the programme able to leverage on TEF’s connections to access additional capital from banks and other sources across Africa and beyond?

Access to finance remains one of the biggest challenges for African start-ups and SMEs. To enable TEF entrepreneurs to access capital, we have formed a range of diverse partnerships with financial services providers and investors to mobilise both early-stage and growth-stage financing. Contrary to the perception that African start-ups are risky investments, we have ample evidence that they are bankable provided they are given the right business development support as proven by our entrepreneurship development programme. Based on this, we have encouraged commercial banks to embrace SMEs and to set up SME desks as part of their services. We have signed a partnership with Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) to provide risk guarantee scheme with United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. In 2018, we will further diversify and deepen the partnerships between financial services providers and investors with the TEF entrepreneurs. Through our engagement with African start-ups, we are aware that financial literacy is the weak link and we have enhanced our financial management modules to support them. We are also aware that the finance sector also needs to be educated to better serve start-ups and are working with angel networks, promoting public private grants and technical assistance, venture capital, private equity, and financial institutions. TEFConnect will build an investor network on the digital platform.

 Interest in the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has continued to grow annually resulting in increased number of applications. Are there plans to expand the scope and number of beneficiaries?

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme started in 2015 with 20,000 applicants and by 2018 this figure has grown to 151,692 from across 54 African countries. Given the rapid increase in the number of African start-ups applying, in 2017, we began to scale and replicate the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme with strategic partners who can support the selection of additional entrepreneurs to the programme. While TEF provides the training and mentorship for their businesses, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sponsored 200 entrepreneurs in the post-conflict areas of Nigeria with a commitment of $1 million seed capital. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided USD200,000 to support 40 pan-African entrepreneurs with USD5,000 seed capital funding. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency, has committed €1 million to empower 210 additional young and female tech entrepreneurs in selected East and West African countries. Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is providing a risk-sharing guarantee framework for loans for Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs to access loans from UBA. They have also committed finance for joint research to track the impact of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. We are also pleased to share that Indorama Corporation has pledged USD100,000 to support 20 Nigerian entrepreneurs with USD5,000 seed capital funding in 2017 and 2018. Other partnerships include Microsoft, Sage One and GE, for ongoing business development support services and access to markets for the TEF Entrepreneurship ProgrammeAlumni. They will serve as blueprint for others to follow as we actively engage the participation and contribution of the partners to support sponsorship of additional entrepreneurs, and value-add partners.

 What would you consider the major challenges in the past four years since inception of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme?

The biggest challenge has been managing success. We never imagined the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme would grow so rapidly. In 2015, we received over 20,000 applications from 50 African countries; in 2016 it was over 45,000 from all 54 African countries; 2017 saw this number increase to 93,000 and in 2018 we had 151,692 applications from 54 African countries. Every year we select 1,000 unique entrepreneurs onto the programme. The challenge is managing the expectations, dreams and hopes of those who are not selected. They remain part of the TEF Network and we share information and value-add opportunities, but we realized this is not enough. So, in 2018 we decided to build an open source digital platform, TEFConnect, where those not selected and others can access business tools, investor network, marketplace, mentoring, and learning content. TEFConnect will be a place for knowledge exchange, solve common problems, learn useful tips, form virtual networks across the continent to drive business growth.

 Given that governments are major drivers of policy reforms, what kind of relationship do you have with governments across Africa?

The importance of government in establishing and maintaining healthy and competitive enabling business environment cannot be overstated. The economic ecosystem is determined by the policies and functionality of government. Their effectiveness is critical to the success of SMEs. The Foundation continues to engage with government policymakers and leaders. At the 4thedition of the TEF Forum, we will welcome the President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to engage in an interactive dialogue with the TEF founder, Tony O. Elumelu (CON). In July this year we welcomed President Macron of France to engage with over 2,000 TEF Entrepreneurs shaping Africa. In 2016, we welcomed President of Sierra Leone to the TEF Forum. Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo joined the Forum in 2015 and 2017, to name but a few.

Over the past four years the Tony Elumelu Foundation has played its part in helping African governments see that innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth are inextricably linked. For example, Rwanda has streamlined its business registration procedures to such an extent that it only takes six hours for an entrepreneur to register and be ready for operation. Kenya’s economy has been transformed through entrepreneurship. The Ghanaian government’s Youth Enterprise Support initiative provides young entrepreneurs and innovators with opportunities to grow their businesses from idea to implementation to scale. Enterprise Uganda is a programme of the Ugandan government which offers young entrepreneurs training and financial literacy aid as well as a credit facilitation service that provides guidance around available sources of financing. These few examples are proof that attempts are being made to create entrepreneurial ecosystems that encourage and promote business development. While establishing a quality business environment is important, from our engagement with thousands of African entrepreneurs, the governments also need to address the broader issues: affordable power, reliable infrastructure, taxation, cross-border business, access to credit, etc. The Foundation participates and supports high-profile pan-African and international business conferences, summits, and forums to highlight the economic value of entrepreneurship to policymakers, promote entrepreneurship as good career choice and support the development of an entrepreneurial culture across the continent.

 Overall, what role would you say the TEF is playing in driving innovation and creativity across Africa?

The Tony Elumelu Foundation is driving innovation and creativity through its investment in the pan-African start-ups and SMEs. The selected entrepreneurs receive business development training through our 12-week Start-up Enterprise Toolkit, supported by mentors selected from around the world, business plan reviews by Accenture, followed by the seamless disbursement of direct seed capital to the qualifying TEF entrepreneurs across 54 African countries. This is innovation. Over the four years, we have increased the number of women business owners from just 24 percent in 2015 to 41 percent in 2018. We have invested in entrepreneurs in agriculture, ICT, fashion, manufacturing, education, and training, media and entertainment who are all developing sophisticated marketing and revenue models and driving innovation and creativity through their products and services. Many have successfully leveraged their association with the Foundation to win awards, access new funding, business support services, training, cross-border trade across Africa and the world generating revenues and creating jobs. The Foundation has built an investible pipeline of 4,460 entrepreneurs who are a viable investment opportunity for African and global business across the high growth sectors. Technology innovation and exchange are important drivers and we have built proprietary robust, scalable, and cloud-based multilingual technology platforms for applications, mentor learning, documents management, and alumni engagement. These platforms are the Foundation’s greatest assets, facilitating knowledge exchange, product promotion, networking and enabling the Foundation to connect African entrepreneurs across the continent. We have a database of over 300,000 African entrepreneurs from 54 African countries which is set to grow and will form the foundation for TEF Research Publications.

Partners for prosperity: what next after the Prime Minister’s visit to Africa?

This summer the Prime Minister visited South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. She met some of the young, dynamic and entrepreneurial next generation of Africans who are working hard, achieving change and challenging outdated stereotypes.

Alongside a delegation of British businesses, I accompanied the Prime Minister on a visit that marked our important historical, societal and people-to-people relationships with these great Commonwealth countries, whilst looking ahead to a future of greater trade, stronger partnerships and shared prosperity.

The message from Prime Minister May, President Ramaphosa, President Buhari and President Kenyatta was clear: now is the time to build a new partnership between the UK and African countries – built on investment, job creation and inclusive, growth.

During the visit, the Prime Minister saw first-hand that Africa is a continent full of potential, with its ambitious, young and growing populations, who are eager to embrace the opportunities of the 21st century.

But she also acknowledged the challenge we all face: that this potential will only be realised if there are enough jobs – the types of jobs that enable people to provide for their families in the pursuit of a healthier and more prosperous future.

18 million new jobs are needed every year between now and 2035, just to keep pace with fast-growing populations across Africa. Nigeria alone needs to create around 6,000 new jobs every single day until 2030.

Yet, there is good news. The continent is rich with great opportunity, growth and momentum – home to five of the world’s fastest growing economies. And some calculate that Africa’s GDP could double between 2015 and 2030.

So it is unsurprising that when I meet African leaders, civil society groups, young people and businesses, they are clear on what the answer is: investment.

By using the power of business, investment and the private sector – alongside investment in education and health – we can combine the catalytic youth force with fast-growing African economies, to create millions of jobs that empower young people and meet the rising aspirations of Africa’s next generation.

This is a genuine win-win.

For British investors and businesses, these emerging African markets – whether the agriculture innovations coming out of Kenya, the fast-growing fintech companies of Lagos, or the manufacturing hubs in Ethiopia – offer exciting, new opportunities.

For African nations, this investment will help businesses to grow and to hire – transforming economies, lifting people out of poverty, and enabling countries to move to a future beyond aid.

For the rest of the world, we all benefit when more export opportunities, more jobs and stronger economies are built by supporting African-led ambitions with expertise and investment.

This is why on her visit to the continent, the Prime Minister announced a new £4 billion package of UK investment to directly support over half a million jobs across Africa – making the case for using both UK aid and City of London expertise to unlock major private sector investment into African businesses and markets.

This month the Prime Minister took this message to the world stage, joining Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda – alongside young entrepreneurs and international investors – at the United Nations General Assembly annual meetings, to call on the world to invest in Africa. This event gave young African entrepreneurs the opportunity to tell the world about the investment opportunities their countries present, and the type of investment they need.

There is still work to be done – it is estimated that $1.2 trillion needs to be invested in Africa every year if we are to achieve the Global Goals that lift people out of poverty for good and help more African nations move to a future free from aid dependency. And as the Prime Minister underlined, that investment needs to be sustainable and spread benefits right across society.

We are taking an important step in the right direction.

At the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister welcomed the launch of the Sustainable Development Capital Initiative – a City of London group of finance experts who, in partnership with UK Government, will develop the City’s role in raising the capital needed to meet the sustainable development goals. Then next year the UK will host an Africa investment summit in the UK – bringing African leaders together with private and institutional businesses and investors.

It is these long-term, meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships for prosperity – between our young people, governments, businesses and investors – that we want to harness over the coming months, years and decades, to deliver a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for the next generation of Africans, Brits and the rest of the world.

Minister for Africa at the Department for International Development, Harriett Baldwin.

Tunisia: 34 countries confirm participation in “Futurallia 2018”

Delegations from 34 countries have confirmed their participation in the International Business Forum “Futurallia TUNISIA 2018”, to be held from November 14 to 16 in Tunis.

These countries are: Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo China, Egypt, Spain, France, Guinea, India, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Malta, Morocco, Qatar, Romania, Syria, Senegal, Chad, Tunisia, Togo, Turkey, UK and the USA.

“Nearly 600 entrepreneurs and more than 8,000 B2B meetings to conclude partnership and cooperation opportunities in around 40 sectors” are on the agenda of this forum, organized by the international section of the Confederation of Tunisian Citizen Enterprises (CONECT).

The forum is expected to see a record number of participants among experts, businessmen and representatives of African and international institutions. Registrations will be open until October 15, 2018.

A “Startup Village” will be organized in collaboration with Smart Tunisia, Novation City, Sfax Technopark, El Ghazela Technopark, Tunisian Startups, CONECT INTECH, and Biatlabs. It will be made available to the most promising startups to better promote their projects “to encourage more young entrepreneurs to internationalize, to have access to the external market, “said the CONECT.

In parallel, an “exhibition space” will offer participants the opportunity to present their companies.

The General Public Private Partnership Forum (IGPP) will also be present at “Futurallia Tunisia 2018”.

It will present 33 projects that integrate vital sectors such as transport, logistics, energy, water and environment, communication and information technology, infrastructure and urban development in several governorates of the country.

An “International space” is reserved for the heads of delegations of foreign companies and another space “experts in business services” is planned as part of the Forum’s program. Donors and sponsors of the forum will in turn have their spaces.

Accenture set to showcase Open Innovation Africa programme at DEMO Africa

The Open Innovation leadership team at Accenture joined the league of DEMO Africa partner organizations and will be showcasing their programme at the 7th edition of DEMO Africa in Casablanca, Morocco.This relationship with Lions@frica will allow the startup finalists at DEMO Africa to gain direct insights and benefits from Accenture’s unique network of resources.

The 30 start-up finalists at DEMO Africa aim to develop unique products and services that will disrupt existing industries and create new markets. However, like many other entrepreneurs, they require expertise and resources needed to refine and improve their business models to the point where they are commercially viable, scalable and sustainable. By facilitating collaboration between large corporations and some of these start-ups, and contributing Accenture’s broad and deep technology and business capabilities, the Open Innovation program is designed to co-create solutions that solve tough business problems while also providing the selected start-ups with the support they need to grow.

Sandiso Sibisi, Accenture’s Open Innovation Africa Lead commented – “Accenture Open Innovation creates a vital bridge between Accenture’s clients and the start-up community. We connect clients to enterprise-relevant innovators and provide the consulting, technology and operations skills needed to help them achieve their objectives.”

Over two days of exciting programming including pitches from the 30 selected finalists, and pre-show activities around the Angel Investor Summit, Casablanca will be home to an array of innovation activities especially as some of the leading global venture luminaries join their African counterparts to explore investment opportunities, broaden their knowledge of African startup ecosystems and share best practices on global venture creation.

Accenture’s presence at this year’s conference, through the Open Innovation Africa program also offers a tremendous opportunity for delegates to learn more about the program and explore some of their case studies. The team works closely with the firm’s clients, using design thinking to define their business problems. Following their analysis, they then identify start-ups, labs or universities that can help solve the problem. Finally, working with the client and start-up, they embark on co-creating a solution and developing a proof of concept in the shortest possible time.

Harry Hare, Executive Producer, DEMO Africa commented – “Our corporate innovation programs at DEMO Africa have always
welcomed ecosystem stakeholders that are willing to partner with creative entrepreneurs, startups and organisations from diverse backgrounds to discover new and better ways to unlock venture creation resources and meet the growing market demand.​We are thrilled to have Accenture as a partner, and look forward to supporting their efforts to empower African entrepreneurs.”

The 2018 edition of DEMO Africa will see a combination of startup pitches, fireside chats and industry side events that are geared towards ensuring ecosystem wide discovery of sustainable economic opportunities. The conference will comprise of the following elements:

The DEMO Main Stage - Over 2 days of engagement, all of the 30 startup finalists will get six minutes to pitch and demonstrate their products to the general audience and an expert panel of judges for feedback and queries.
The DEMO Pit - Event attendees, technology buyers and the media will get an opportunity to meet the DEMO Africa startups at their individual booths which will be located at the DEMO Pit.
The Ecosystem Enabler Series - Through a combination of keynotes, panels and fireside chats, the Ecosystem Enabler Series will enable productive dialogue between industry leaders and innovation actors about the future of the African technology ecosystem.
The Investor Round-tables - In partnership with the African Business Angels Network we will convene an Investor Round-table to evaluate the current African investment and venture creation landscape and share best practices.
The African Future of X – The first in the series, the U.S State Department will lead discussions around the African Future of Infrastructure.
Workshops and Masterclasses - We will host a number of workshops and masterclasses across the venture creation value chain.
The LIONS@frica Innovation Awards - Five (5) Startups will be chosen as winners of the DEMO Africa and will proceed to Silicon Valley, California for the Lions Innovation Tour.

As an innovative company, Accenture is on the hunt to find Africa’s top tech start-ups – the digital pioneers solving critical challenges with technology across the continent. It’s a search for Africa’s big thinkers and big doers – visionaries who fearlessly push the boundaries of progress to shift African innovation to the next level. The Open Innovation leadership team will be on hand to meet with startups and delegates and to announce Accenture’s Africatop30 program as well.

To meet with the Accenture team, register to attend DEMO Africa – Register here:

I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 makes first investments

I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2,  a private equity fund launched in December 2017 with a first closing at €50m, has announced its first investments.

Operating in various sectors of activity, the first companies of IPAE 2 portfolio share a common feature: the choice to develop their activities, from the outset, in several African countries. Two of them also share a strong technological component.

The new companies in its portfolio are AFRIBON, African Management Initiative (AMI) and CoinAfrique.

AFRIBON is specialized in the development, production and marketing of food flavors.

Created in 2012, the group comprises five production sites, in Cameroon and East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania).

Launched in 2014, AMI is pioneering a scalable approach to workplace learning for Africa, blending online and in-person training to reach 20,000 people in 11 African countries.

CoinAfrique is a mobile platform launched in 2015, designed to easily sell and buy products within the community of users.

“More and more we meet companies such as Afribon, AMI or CoinAfrique, aiming for multi-country expansion. Besides, African companies are increasingly integrating new technologies into their service offering and/or business model,” said Jérémy Hajdenberg, CIO at I&P.

With a target size of €80m (a second closing between €70 and 75m will be announced by the end of 2018), IPAE 2 aims to invest in equity and quasi-equity in 30 to 40 startups and SMEs over the next five years in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in West and Central Africa, but also in East Africa and Madagascar.

IPAE 2 is a generalist fund that supports companies operating in various sectors (such as agro-industry, microfinance, health, education, construction).

IPAE 2’s investment ticket size can reach up to €3m, allowing I&P to support mature companies and large projects.

This category of high-potential SMEs represents a powerful growth driver in Africa, but very few equity or debt investors are willing to finance them.

Besides equity investment, IPAE 2 provides companies with active participation in their governance, personalized managerial support and technical assistance resources, enabling them to reach their full potential in terms of growth and impact.

ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) issues and impact measurement are at the heart of IPAE’s investment model.

IPAE 2 aims to deliver significant financial return and essential social and environmental impact, including notably: the promotion of a new generation of African entrepreneurs, the use of local subcontractors, job creation, the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship and the protection of the environment.