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The deadline is looming for potential African angel investors seeking to undergo training with the African Angel Academy. According to the Academy, applications for training close on Thursday 2 December.

The African Angel Academy launched in 2020 and aims to run training for run for new angels or experienced professionals from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and the UK who are committed to investing in local start-up ecosystems. The online course is coupled with masterclasses from local experts and angels, as well as virtual networking sessions and a start-up showcase.

“Our ecosystems are bubbling up with great technology solutions that meaningfully tackle the myriad of challenges that prohibit economic inclusion and growth for much of our population,” says Shirley Gilbey, Director UK-South Africa Tech Hub.

Aspiring early-stage investors in South Africa, Kenya and diaspora living in the UK, who are keen to learn how to source and invest in the local technology scale-ups that are solving these challenges, should apply, she adds.

The programme will be delivered over 10 weeks from mid-January, and the course is fully funded by the International Tech Hub Network.

Nigerian, South African, Kenyan and UK-based individuals who are committed to growing local start-up ecosystems, and are ready to invest their time, capital and expertise in the next six months should apply to join the programme.

The training programme by the African Angel Academy is delivered through an online course that draws on the experience of ten top angel investors, including Tomi Davies, Rebecca Enonochong, Abu Cassim, Stephen Gugu, Alexandra Fraser and Khaled Ismail. To date, 50 new angel investors from five countries have participated, and three angel groups have been accelerated through the programme.

Why it matters that Africans invest in Africa

Gilbey says successful African professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders have the potential to create significant impact and personal wealth by investing their time, money and expertise in talented local entrepreneurs.

To promote a culture of Africans investing in Africans, the International Tech Hub network, a UK Government initiative delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, is giving a group of Nigerian, Kenyan, South African and UK-based experienced professionals or new angel investors the opportunity to join the African Angel Academy in January 2021.

She notes that Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are considered the three most vibrant and active start-up ecosystems on the continent.

According to Partech, in 2019 Kenyan start-ups raised a total of US$ 564 million in funding over 52 deals (+18% YoY); South African start-ups raised a total of US$ 205 million with 66 deals (+78% YoY); and Nigerian start-ups raised a total of US$ 747 Million with 38 deals (+46% YoY).

However, the reality is that building a start-up in Africa is still incredibly tough (30-60% fail within the first two years), particularly if you don’t have access to early-stage capital and networks.

There are now close to 60 angel investor groups on the continent according to the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) actively investing in early-stage companies, but it is indisputable that Africa needs more individual investors to stimulate local economies and create scalable social impact.

“Entrepreneurs have already shown how disruptive technologies and business model innovation can be game-changing and create much needed jobs for Africa. However, they need support, both early stage capital and mentoring to achieve their potential. Through this programme, we hope to see more individuals becoming active angels”, says Sheena Raikundalia, Director at UK-Kenya Tech Hub.

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