The tenth edition of what is probably the biggest investment conference for Africa brought together entrepreneurs and business opportunities with more than 1,200 delegates, over 350 speakers and 300 institutional and other investors representing over $1 trillion in assets under management. Quickfire sessions offered more than 70 entrepreneurs and promoters a chance to present 5-minute pitches over the 2 days.
The AFSIC – Investing in Africa (link for 2024 website) conference in London has been growing in energy and momentum since 2013. The energy has bounced back stronger than ever after COVID, much like star African economies.
Last week on 9-10 October the giant Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London was buzzing with energy. The agenda brings together investors and entrepreneurs, with many meeting options on the conference app and opportunities for one-on-one and other meetings spread across many floors of the hotel, giving potential investors chances to quiz management in informal settings.
AFSIC is entirely focused on connecting investors and business leaders with African business and investment opportunities. The agenda and meetings were organized around streams: banking, informed investing, building, fintech innovation, sustainable growth, agriculture, and power. Top asset managers and many industry experts shared insights into new trends while business leaders running exciting growth companies showcased opportunities.
Conference organizer Rupert McCammon has decades of successful experience in investing in and promoting investment, business, and trade opportunities in Africa. He was the past CEO of the Botswana Stock Exchange at a key stage of its successful development. You can hear an interview with him here on exciting new news channel Capital Markets Africa here.
According to the organizers: “AFSIC generates extensive deal flow across Africa from start-ups seeking venture capital to significant development projects.”
The quickfire sessions showcased opportunities listed on the AFSIC African Investments Dashboard which has attracted over 1,000 investor-ready projects. Investors included development finance institutions (DFIs), international finance institutions (IFIs), private and listed equity funds, venture funds, foundations, family offices and impact funds.
One area which has developed over recent years into a leading showcase are the expanded country investment summits. This year Ethiopia was in the spotlight as FSD Ethiopia took a lead to coordinate a very comprehensive Ethiopian delegation who met institutions, including rating agencies and development partners.
The team are raising capital for the forthcoming Ethiopian Securities Exchange (ESX – written up here) and promoting investment opportunities in the Ethiopian financial sector. Ethiopian Investment Holdings, the country’s sovereign wealth fund and written up here on our blog, is keen to attract interested investors into the current portfolio.
FSD Ethiopia is a development agency established in 2021 to support the development of accessible, inclusive, and sustainable financial markets for economic growth with a vision is to contribute to a thriving financial system that delivers real value to people of Ethiopia.
Your reporter also attended the Namibia Investment Summit, where Nangula Uaandja (Chairperson and CEO of Namibia Investment Promotion & Development Board, NIPDB) and a team of investors and entrepreneurs highlighted the country’s giant opportunities in renewable energy including green hydrogen and solar and the global scale mining opportunities.
Lead sponsor for AFSIC 2023 was Stears, a leading provider of African data and insights and reflecting the company’s commitment to promoting investment opportunities in Africa, driving capital inflows and increasing the ease of doing business.
Mitrelli, with over 10 years of profound impact in Africa, were new sponsors of the AFSIC Event and Meeting App which allowed delegates, investors, speakers and interested parties to engage and begin networking prior to the event, on site and post event. Mitrelli promotes national holistic and sustainable solutions to impact countries’ economic and social growth in partnership with African leadership, governments, local businesses, financial sector, and communities and support transformative solutions to national initiatives to improve quality of life and support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Organizer Africa Events Limited (AEL) works across all countries in Africa. With sister company African Investments Limited, it operates 3 business platforms matching Africa’s business, trade and investment opportunities at scale:
- AFSIC – Investing in Africa, perhaps Africa’s most important investor event – takes place annually in London. It is attended physically by many of Africa’s largest investors, most significant companies, and Africa’s leading regional and national trade and investment promotion agencies.
- AFSIC African Investments Dashboard, a fintech platform originating Africa’s largest and most attractive investment opportunities and matching them to regulated institutional investors with a mandate to invest in Africa.
- Africa Business Opportunities Dashboard, a fintech platform matching business, trade, and investment opportunities across Africa covering all business products, sectors, countries in Africa and multiple business objectives. Customers joining the Africa Business Opportunities Dashboard join one of Africa’s most dynamic business communities and recent joiners are highlighted on LinkedIn.
They also cover more 120 projects in the AFSIC 2023 Deal Book. The platforms won the 2022 Global Salesforce Innovation Award for Financial Services from the leading global tech company, reportedly the 60th largest listed company in the world.
Here is Rupert McCammon on Capital Markets Africa’s YouTube channel.