AVCA Venture Capital in Africa summit : the challenges faced by African tech ventures
Charles Russell Speechlys took part in the inaugural Venture Capital (VC) in Africa summit hosted by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) in London. The VC Summit focused on examining the potential for venture capital investment as a catalyst for growth and development of early stage enterprises across Africa and featured various founders, investors and industry leaders. Partner Adrian Mayer moderated a panel and was joined by guest speakers Dan Kranzler, of Capria Ventures, Lexi Novitske of Singularity Investments, Eghosa Omoigui of Echo VC Partners, and Pule Taukobong of CRE Venture Capital.
The panelists spoke about on the challenges African tech ventures face in leapfrogging Silicon Valley, focusing in particular on:
- how African Governments can encourage tech investments in Africa by introducing and implementing investment friendly legislation,
- the responsibility of corporates when investing in African technology,
- the roles of local capital and the returning African diaspora in the context of tech ventures,
- how African tech ventures are leapfrogging some of the advances in Europe and the US,
- the current success (and prospects) of venture technology investing in Africa,
- how artificial intelligence would work in an Africa technology context,
- the role of “big data” in tech investing in Africa, and
- reasons to be positive and confident about tech investing in Africa, among others.
The panel discussed how African tech ventures could significantly compete with (and potentially leapfrog) Silicon Valley if local founders were to focus on adopting an approach that is unique to the African market, as opposed to imitating their counterparts in the developed markets. There was an emphasis on the need for industry players to be cohesive in encouraging technology investments in Africa.
On the success and prospects of technology investments in Africa, it was noted that there were various reasons to be positive and confident about the growth of technology in Africa.
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