Monday, 7 April 2014

Take Advantage of Africa's Growing Market, FG Tells Investors, Entrepreneurs

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Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga
The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has charged entrepreneurs and investors across the globe to take advantage of Africa's ever growing market noting that the continent's consumer spending had begun to increase steadily.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, explained that Africa's consumer spending has increased by $2.4 trillion dollars maintaining that the spending rate would increase in the coming years.
Aganga during the inaugural ceremony of Angel Fair West Africa (AWFA), organised by the Lagos Angel Network (LAN), an exclusive network of angel investors providingearly stage, seed funding and mentoring to start up entrepreneurs stressed that the continent has began to attract investments from different parts of the world and emerging as the most viable continent to do business.
“This fair is coming at a  better time when Africa is central for investment in the world. Investors are in the right place and we also have to start thinking as one. The world needs the African market,” he said.

He said the fair would create the platform for small businesses in the country to boost industrialisation leading to economic growth and also support angel networks aimed at bringing entrepreneurial businesses and active investors across Africa to drive entrepreneurship growth and development in the continent.
According to the minister, small businesses contribute about 50 percent of the nation’s development stressing that developing small businesses in Africa is vital for meeting the ever growing demands of the world.
“We have a lot of investment opportunities in this continent because Africa has the highest middle class rate in the world and Nigeria is one the six fastest growing economies by the year 2020,”he added.
An angel and business mentor, Mr. Tomi Davies of Lagos Angel Network said the aim of the fair was to create a platform to bring start up businesses in contact with investors pointing out that the fair would avail businesses needing up to $50,000 or less and half a million dollars or above to meet with investors to help develop their businesses.
“There are not many angel investors in Nigeria. This fair is to create awareness for people to know that such opportunities exist. To have the Minister keynote this event is a welcome development because as the chief promoter of Nigeria's huge potential for investment he has an enviable record of presiding over the most significant growth in private sector non-oil investments into the country in recent history so I am sure both investors and entrepreneurs will be happy to hear his views,” Davies said.
He added that the event will have 20 specially selected early stage businesses pitching to investors from LAN, Angel Africa List (AAL), Ghana Angel Investor Network (GAIN) and the Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA).
“The businesses include Prowork, a locally developed project management solution from Nigeria,, a social platform for live interaction with TV from Cameroon and Farmerline, a mobile application that integrates agricultural output of rural farmers, from Ghana,” he said.
In his words, “The pitches will be interspersed with investors and entrepreneurs panels with active investors and successful entrepreneurs sharing their experiences and expertise with the audience in interactive sessions. Fatumata Soukouna of Soft Solutions, Folabi Esan of Adlevo Capital, Sangu Delle of Golden Palm Investments, Maurizio Caio of TLCom and Eghosa Omoigui of Echo VC Partners are some of those on the Investors panel, which will be moderated by Wiebe Boer of TEF.
A Managing Partner, TLCom, Mr. Maurizio Caio said the growth of Africa’s entrepreneurship has to be handled with care saying that there are lots of demand for commerce in the continent with high level of opportunities to tap from.
He pointed out that there is no better time to be an investor in Africa saying that the opportunities in the continent is yet to be tapped.
“We have barely scratched the surface of the continent. There are lots of shortages in different sectors of the economy but despite these shortages, there are lots of opportunities but the conditions to tap these opportunities are not conducive,” he said.
Source: ThisDayLive

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