Connecting Africa's Early Stage Investors
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Dear ABAN Member,

At the start of each new year, I take a moment to reflect on that past twelve months and share some of my thoughts in writing. This past year was particularly notable given the dramatic increase in access to early-stage funding across the continent.

In 2017, I commented on how African startups raised more than $195M. A year later, in 2018, the number reached a record-breaking $725.6 million across 458 deals. However, even these numbers pale in comparison to the tremendous boost in startup investment the continent saw in 2019.

The following two developments are central to the conversation: 

  • Africa’s early-stage ecosystem has investment momentum
  • Innovation is finally being recognised as an economic development tool by African Governments and their development partners
[Click here, to read the full article]  

By H. Tomi Davies
President, ABAN
Building on the momentum established in 2019, we project further growth in 2020 in several areas. Our primary focus will be to continue increasing investment in early-stage entrepreneurship across Africa & growing the number of angel investors supporting local entrepreneurs in building commercially successful startup ventures across the continent.
2020 Programs and partnerships in the pipeline [as of now]:
  • The angel investing ecosystems and helping to launch new investors networks in five Southern African countries (Zambia, Botswana, South Africa etc) in a consortium together with Alexandra Fraser Consulting and VBAN as part of the SAIS initiative by the Finnish government.
  • The launch of a new angel investor network in Conakry, Guinea in partnership with the ITC.
  • The launch of a new angel network in Windhoek, Namibia in partnership with GreenTec Capital.
  • The AfriLabs Capacity Building Programme, funded by the AFD- Agence France Development
  • Existing networks in Nigeria and Kenya and supporting new initiatives in Rwanda and Ghana in partnership with GIZ.
  • The Catalyst matching fund in partnership with Afrilabs and the AFD.
A number of other conversations are ongoing with partners and donors including (for example), a multi-year program around building bridges between innovators across Europe and Africa, as well as formalising the ABAN membership structure that was announced last year.
Connect with the ABAN Team in 2020
As the new year begins to roll out, we look forward to meet, share and collaborate with like-minded investors from around the world representing Africa's early-stage investor community, and promoting the African opportunity at the following events:
African Diaspora Network, Santa Monica US
The 2020 symposium provides an intimate, cross-sector environment for entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives, academics, corporate and non-profit leaders to engage and interact. 23-25 Jan 2020.
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Startup Egypt Forum 2020, Cairo 
This programme aims to inspire, nurture and support Egyptian entrepreneurs and social impact organizations. The 2nd annual forum will showcase its 45 startups incubated in Cairo, Assiut & Alexandria. 29 Jan 2020
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Africa Tech Summit, Kigali
Africa Tech Summit Kigali and London are leading African tech events that connect African tech leaders, investors, corporates and start-ups with international players and global opportunities. 6-8 Feb 2020.
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Melting Pot, Cyber City Mauritius
Over the course of two days, MeltingPot2020, brings together cutting-edge innovation and pathbreaking ideas from 100+ leading entrepreneurs, academics, organizations, and institutions. 14-15 Feb 2020
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Sankalp Africa Summit 2020, Nairobi
One of the region's leading events for social entrepreneurship and impact investing which witnesses hundreds of game-changing social entrepreneurs interact with investors every year. 27 Feb 2020.
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Women in Tech Africa, Johannesburg
Get inspired by the vibrant and talented African women in the tech community, liaise with top tech companies & enhance your skills portfolio whilst celebrating diversity in all forms within the tech industry. 11-12 March 2020.
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Seedstars Summit, Lausanne
A meeting point for over 1500 participants. This Summit will host keynote speeches from tech leaders & founders from emerging markets, panel discussions & industry-focused workshops. 3 April 2020.
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AVCA Conference, Dakar
The annual AVCA Conference is the largest Africa focused private equity global gathering, attracting over 500 investors who collectively manage over US$1.5trn in assets. 20-23 April 2020.
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Transform Africa, Conakry
The Transform Africa Summit is the flagship event of Smart Africa. After 5 successful editions, this summit, under the theme "Integrating Africa", is expected to attract more than 4,000 participants. 20-23 April 2020.
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AFSIC – Investing in Africa summit, London
AFSIC is the largest annual Africa investment conference taking place outside Africa. If you want to invest in Africa or raise capital for your company or project in Africa then AFSIC is perfect for you. 5-7 May 2020.
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Africa - France Summit, Bordeaux
This event aims to develop new long-term partnerships, with the shared ambition of building lasting innovative urban ecosystems that stimulate maximum economic activity for minimal investment. 4-6 June 2020.
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Afrobytes, Paris
Bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists & tech enthusiasts to explore business opportunities between the African tech ecosystem & players in the global tech world. 6 June 2020.
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We're excited for the year ahead and look forward to connecting with you at one of our above-mentioned events.

On behalf of the ABAN team,
David van Dijk .
ABAN, Director General

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