Further Education and Professional training is required to Establish Angel Investing Ecosystem in Africa, Says ABAN

The event that was supposed to kick off the frenzy of angel investment in Africa encouraging Angel investors to come in started on the 5th of Nov 2015. The conference and event held in Ghana was the third in the line of such events. The first two held respectively in Johannesburg and Lagos were considered roaring successes and the event that happened in Ghana is no different.

The Start of Something Big

As far as the co founder of the fair is concerned the fair which allows a number of the top investors in Africa and from the around the world to invest in African ideas and businesses startup has helped the economy of the continent as a whole. Despite being in infancy, the conference that happened in Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra was attended by fifty entrepreneurs and investors who sat down at the luxurious destination to do deals of mutual benefit.

An example of the success of such events for angle investors and entrepreneurs to sit together and talk can be seen with Vuyos. The Johannesburg based business was invested in by the Lagos Angel’s network and the success of that investment was such that the company featured in the Forbes Africa magazine.

Another company that the Lagos angels group invested in was Hutbay and Autobox one was a Nigerian property market place whilst the other was an online platform for the shopping of electrical accessories and auto parts.

The Angels investor fairs have been doing their rounds in the KINGS countries of Africa. KINGS is an abbreviation of the countries that it consists of namely, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. The term being used can have parallels drawn with Asian Tigers a term that refers to countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. The significance of the Kings countries in Africa is that they have been the countries that are leading the charge for the emergence of Africa’s digital economy.

There is more to be done

What has been done for the African continent has been commended in all quarters and yet more needs to be done if the African economy is to challenge and pose a threat to the world. The Angel Fair in America has been conducted on a grander scale in countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. There is room for many more such events in the future in countries such as Ivory Coast, Kenya i.e. nations that make up the KINGS of Africa.

As mentioned above, despite the efforts being put into play by a number of organizations the picture of angel investing in Africa is not one that glooms with a very bright future. Another investor group that has worked much like the angel investors fair is the ABAN. The ABAN which stands for the African Business Angel’s Network has also worked to introduce the concept of angel investment in the Cape of Good Faith. According to their opinion there needs to be further effort and education given to the entrepreneurs and the investors of the continent for the economic system to grow.

Over the last three months ABAN a sizeable organization in its own regard has gone on to successfully conclude 3 different workshops in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa within 3 months. The theme for their workshops has been the to unlock the capital of the early stage investments. The workshops have helped the organization make a careful assessment of the state of Angel investment in the continent in general and the KINGS nations in particular.

The conclusions that have been drawn from their efforts have been one of gradual but slow progress. The African angel investment opportunities are still in its infancy. The fact that they are in its infancy has meant that there is not much support, financial backing and information about this exercise. The investors are skeptic about investing their money in startup business ideas. The lack of information and most important education about the aims and objectives of Angel investment has meant an acute shortage of guidance available even for those that are willing to use the angle investment platform to invest in a business and for the entrepreneurs to be able to present their ideas in a more meaningful way.

Increase in Communication

The participants of both the events that were organized by two of the leading angel investment organizations in the world highlighted primarily the same things. The participants believed that as a continent the amount of wealth that Africa possesses is great. There is an abundance of oil, jewels and other natural resources in many African countries. The problem however is that of infrastructure and funding. The conferences and workshops that brought forth a number of new entrepreneurs with business ideas was an indication of what can be achieved with some backing.

Another important aspect that was touched upon was that such events that is helpful in educating investors and entrepreneurs alike and need to be organized more often. The investors and business personalities expressed a desire to keep in contact with one another informing the other person if any feasible investment opportunity arose.

The scope of the African continent in terms of economic growth is huge. However the fact that Africa is lagging behind the world in terms of economic prosperity is a question that has never been met with an answer. Why have the fortunes of Africa not changed despite having much of the world’s riches stored in their land. Whether it is the largest diamond or the largest reserves of oil Africa tops the world. The problem as one sees it and has been highlighted by the ABAN group is that there is a lack of education of angel investment and therefore few chances for the rise of entrepreneur activities.

However despite being in its period of infancy, the fact that there has been an increase in communication and such workshop and fairs is taking the growth of the economic system of Africa in the right direction.