African Diaspora Network Impact & Innovation Speaker Series

Shifting Global Perspectives on Investment in Africa: Venture, Philanthropy, and Impact Investment

Summary and Next Steps

How can we engage Silicon Valley venture capitalists to see Africa as an investment destination? How can we increase the participation of Africans in VC, Impact, and Philanthropic investment, and drive the inclusivity of women in that sector?  

On August 10, African Diaspora Network convened investors, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists in Silicon Valley to discuss how to shift global perspectives toward Africa as the next frontier for Venture, Impact, and Philanthropic investments. The panel featured moderator Sid Mofya, Draper Venture Network; Lydia Idem, FM Capital Group; Jude O’Reilley, Skoll Foundation; Magatte Wade, Skin is Skin; and Marsha Wulff, LoftyInc Capital Management. 

With 50+ audience members present at the event, panelists and participants engaged in a deep-dive discussion to address three primary areas of interest: 1) how do you get access to funding, 2) how do you attract investors to your venture, and 3) how can we increase the network. Marsha Wulff presented the case for Africa as an investment destination, as Jude O’Reilley distinguished Africa’s unique value proposition through the lens of Skoll Foundation. As an entrepreneur, Magatte, shared her experience fundraising for her venture, as Lydia delved into her work with engaging Africans in the diaspora to invest back home.  

The panel provided key takeaways from the entrepreneur, philanthropic, and VC sides of the conversation. Overall, there is a need to ensure economic freedom in Africa, which includes access to resources, access to opportunities, and an ecosystem conducive for entrepreneurs to thrive. Magatte proposed pilot cities in Africa, using Dubai as a case study, to have economic freedom flourish. Jude addressed the role of philanthropic organizations and alignment in funding mechanisms for ventures. On the VC side, Lydia discussed angel investment as Marsha discussed the tremendous potential and opportunity on the continent based on her work with Afropreneurs.  

Sid Mofya concluded the conversation with next steps and questions for the audience to consider, including the need to define what kind of capital is missing and what kind of returns an investor can expect from these opportunities. In addition, what kind of knowledge do investors looking to invest in Africa need, and where can they find it? What can ADN do to help curate and collect enough people experienced in investing on the continent. 

ADN seeks to continue the conversation at our upcoming Impact & Innovation Series event in Washington D.C. on September 17 and at the African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020: Defining an Investment Framework for Africa. 

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