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African technology start-ups becoming
next frontier for investments: executive 

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Technology-based start-ups that have sprung up in many parts of Africa have attracted investments thanks to their potential for growth, executives said on Friday.

Tomi Davies, president of African Business Angel Network (ABAN), said the continent’s technology-driven enterprises could be the next frontier of massive capital injection from local and overseas fund managers.

“I see the African technology-based entrepreneurship space as dynamic and growing. It has become increasingly innovative but we need the supportive ecosystem to sustain this momentum,” Davies said.

He spoke in Nairobi during a tour of start-ups that are transforming agri-business, urban transport and financial services with support from multinational technology giants.

Founders of African start-ups and investors visited Kenyan innovation hubs that have transformed commerce, urban mobility, health, agriculture and education.

Davies said African governments should invest in supportive infrastructure and skills development in order to facilitate growth of local start-ups that are providing jobs to the youth.

“As investors, we are hoping governments will address infrastructure and skills gap that often hinder growth of start-ups despite abundance of talent and innovations,” said Davies.

“Specifically, we would like to see access to internet and research enhanced to enable youth come up with successful enterprises,” he added.

Davies said reform of the regulatory environment, mentorship and access to seed capital are key to unlocking the potential of African technology-based enterprises.

Global investors are keen to venture into Kenya’s nascent start-up scene that is on the verge of take-off thanks to state incentives, macro-economic stability and higher digital literacy levels among the youth.

Rachael Crawford, innovation manager for emerging markets at Village Capital, a Nairobi-based facilitator of investments in technology start-ups, said a robust entrepreneur ecosystem is key to realizing success of Africa-based incubations.

“The number of incubators and accelerators in Africa has grown exponentially, but the number of successful start-ups in the continent has not grown at the same rate,” Crawford said.

“It is still hard to raise capital and scale up a business in most parts of the continent,” she added.



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