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Africa's Venture Capital landscape faces challenges

Africa's Venture Capital landscape faces challenges
A job seeker works on his resume during the Opportunity Fair and Forum employment event in Dallas, Friday, May 19, 2017.   -  
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Recent years have been a rollercoaster for Africa's venture capital scene. Investments in African startups surged from $1.3 billion to $4 billion between 2019 and 2021.

This was due to global interest and low interest rates. However, in 2023, investments dropped to $2.27 billion, similar to pre-2016 levels. Eghosa Omoigui from EchoVC shared this insight.

As the funding environment undergoes a transformation, African startups and investors are facing a myriad of challenges. Dr. Gabre-Madhin former UN Chief Innovation Officer emphasizes the urgency of building a robust domestic investment base to sustain VC inflows, stating, "The most important structural issue is that the base of venture capital in Africa is almost entirely foreign investment." She highlights the need for collaboration between governments and institutional investors to bolster domestic VC activity and safeguard against external shocks. 

Gabre-Madhin's recently launched the timbuktoo fund at the WEF Davos earlier this year, giving African tech entrepreneurs access to 1B$.

To attract and retain venture capital investment in the long term, Dr. Gabre-Madhin advocates for a multi-country approach for tech startups. "One of the most important initiatives... is to mitigate single-country risk by going across borders as soon as possible," she asserts. By expanding into multiple markets early on, startups can hedge against country-level issues and enhance their attractiveness to investors.