After Mauritius in 2019, the second edition India Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Summit will be held on the 1st & 2nd July 2022 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. The objective of this event organized by a consortium of investors is to build bridges between Indian and African entrepreneurs.
India Africa trade and commerce goes back to a thousand years when Indian merchants using strong and predictable monsoon winds, regularly sailed to the east coast of Africa in search of mangrove poles, elephant tusks, and gold and precious stones to sell them in the bazaars of Calicut and Surat.
During colonial times, indentured labor was brought in from India to work on the railways as well as on sugar and other plantations in Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar and Southern Africa.
In time, the Indian diaspora, with deep family roots, became a key driver of export of African commodities such as tea, coffee and cotton and the import of manufactured goods and grains such as rice, pulses and textiles.
India is also the third largest StartUp Hub in the world with 14,000 recognized startups in 2021 (an increase from only 733 in 2016-17) as per the last Economic Survey Report. This indicates a high level of entrepreneurial energy and spirit that India shares with Africa.
Africa, on the other hand, is now home to about 760 Startups that received a combined investment of US$4.9 billion (Source – Briter Bridges) – a 250% increase from 2020 with a total funding of $1.3 billion. Indian Startups in comparison received US$42 billion in investment over the same period.
“India and Africa are well poised to partner each other in their co-creating, entrepreneurial activities providing bilateral knowledge, funding and market opportunity to its early stage enterprises, thereby strengthening existing efforts in increasing trade and development between the two economies”, says Baljinder Sharma, one of the founders of the event.
“Collaboration between startups and large but entrepreneurial businesses, on the other hand, can increase the reach and impact of innovation, according to Accenture Africa research, which increasingly correlates with higher economic performance at enterprise and economy-wide levels. By leveraging the power of ecosystems and open innovation, African economies can accelerate progress, unlocking Africa’s abundance for all”, adds Baljinder Sharma.
It is in this context, India Africa Entrepreneurship Forum (IAEF), aspires to become the go-to platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors actively involved in the entrepreneurial space in both India and Africa. These dynamic ecosystems and subsystems have much in common, and much to gain from interacting.
The Second India Africa Entrepreneurship and Investment Summit to be held on the 1st and 2nd July 2022, features a diverse and nimble suite of programming that is accessible to entrepreneurs and includes events, delegations, training, collaborative business incubation, and bilateral funds. Facilities for web conferencing and video links will be made available for easy access and mediated interaction between participants wherever and when required.
The Summit is inviting pre-eminent entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the opportunities and challenges of investing in Africa with a view to Educate/Inform and connect with Potential Indian investors and Entrepreneurs who may either be interested in Investing or creating joint-ventures and/or market access arrangements. Similarly, Global Investors in the African Entrepreneurial ecosystem, also keen to invest in India or promote the entry of their existing African portfolios. While the experience of Naspers ( US$6B investment so far) as a South African investor in India is widely known, several other groups are contemplating benefiting from the Indian growth story.