Is Investing In Africa For You?

Africa is a region that has long been on the radar of the international investment community.  With the rise of mobile finance, agriculture and according to the UN, a labor force of 225 million young people ages 15-25, which is expected to 450 million by 2055, the continent is ripe for opportunities.

We sat down with investor, Mbwana Alliy, Founder and Managing Partner, Savannah Fund, an Africa-focused technology venture capital fund.  Alliy has overseen 26 investments in six African countries creating more than 200 full-time jobs raising more than $40M in venture financing.  He has a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree from Bristol University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

We hope the interview below, and suggested resources, are helpful to those thinking about starting their own business, help scale a business, or invest in start-ups in Africa.

Download Market Overview

Doing Business In Africa: Mbwana Alliy

Key Takeaways:

  1. “Instead of looking West, look East. Compare M-Pesa with Alipay or PTM in India.  See how those are similar or not similar.  Those comparisons are more relevant and could pave the way for the next Alibaba.” (Video: M-Pesa, Mobile Trends and Business).
  2. “I come across too many folks doing business in Africa but aren’t based there.  It’s important to invest time on the ground to learn and observe.  Take public transportation.  See how locals consume media.” (Video: Doing Business in Africa).
  3. “Trends: Rapid urbanization and the huge youthful labor force coming up,  there is an opportunity to tap that labor.” (Video: Investing Trends and Strategy).

Useful Resources: 

Africa Capital Digest: Africa Capital Digest’s 2017 Guide to Sub-Saharan Private Equity

African Legal Network: Alliance of 14 African countries with business development and integration expertise

Venture Capital In Africa: African Venture Finance

African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA): Pan-African industry body which promotes and enables private investment in Africa

AnswersAfrica: Top 10 Venture Capitalists In Africa

How We Made It In Africa: Venture capital investment in Africa: Where the IFC is betting its money

Top Investment Opportunities in Africa: Agriculture, Power, Infrastructure and Retail

Doing Business in Africa: Ten Things No One Ever Told You

Why Africa? : Africa is home to six of the top 10 fastest growing countries in the world and U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa now top $21 billion a year

Expat in Africa: Living and Working in Africa

Harvard Business Review: 7 Myths About Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa

Business In Africa: The risks, rewards and challenges

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