A Message From AVCA’s CEO

Afri-Spective by AVCA
4 min readMar 26, 2024

The 2024 Annual AVCA Conference marks AVCA’s 20th year of convening the private capital ecosystem across various cities in Africa. Hear AVCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Abi Mustapha-Maduakor, speak about what to expect from the global gathering this year.

Learn more about the 20th Annual AVCA Conference and VC Summit: https://www.avcaconference.com/

Why is AVCA’s Annual Conference Important?

  1. The conference is a key melting point for private capital industry players. It is an annual landmark event that provides the industry with opportunities to reflect, and share challenges and lessons learned towards creating strategies for the future.
  2. Every year we gather global delegates in a different city on the continent for an immersive week of new interactions, re-connections, insightful discussions, deal exchanges, partnership origination and showcasing of the diverse opportunities in Africa.
  3. This convener plays a crucial role in connecting the ecosystem and providing a platform for strategic partnerships and deal-making.

Who attends the Annual AVCA Conference and VC Summit?

The annual gathering brings together a diverse range of global attendees. These include but are not limited to Africa and global-focused fund managers (across all asset classes), institutional investors (such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and DFIs), corporates, entrepreneurs, and executives across various sectors.

The conference takes a holistic view of private capital and is inclusive of all actors within the value chain. To that effect, our delegates also include policymakers, such as government agencies, regulatory bodies, and ministers responsible for shaping policy updates; as well as professional services, including legal advisors and financial consultants; and academic institutions. We believe a diverse composition of attendees ensures rich discussions, meaningful connections, and valuable outcomes that contribute to the growth and sustainability of private capital investment in Africa.

This year we will hear market-shaping perspectives and strategies from organisations including African Development Bank, AfricInvest, Adenia Partners, Alitheia Capital, Allianz Global Investors, Alterra Capital Partners, Amethis, Axian, Boost Africa, British International Investment, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Development Partners International , European Investment Bank, FSD Africa,, International Finance Corporation, Helios Investment Partners, McKinsey, Old Mutual Alternative Investments, Prosper Africa, Soros Economic Development Fund, Visa Foundation, and more.

Being the 20th Anniversary Conference, what should delegates expect this year at the Annual AVCA Conference and VC Summit?

In celebration of our two-decade legacy of convening the industry, this year’s will take a vision 20:20 approach — first reflecting on the evolution of private capital over the past 20 years and writing the future for the next two decades.

a. Regional Forums; we will host a series of Forums that will offer a regional outlook and unveil investment opportunities across the continent, spotlighting leading companies within each region.

b. 20th Annual AVCA Conference Anniversary Awards; the awards will take a holistic lens in recognising and celebrating individual and firm contributions in the private capital industry through the years; shining a spotlight on those who have made lasting impact on the private capital industry in Africa.

As we focus on fostering innovation and collaboration within the ecosystem, how do you believe investors, allocators, and entrepreneurs can contribute to tackling bold problems and adopting innovative solutions for sustainable growth in Africa?

Addressing challenges and opportunities on the continent requires collective effort across all stakeholders in the investment value chain. Firstly, it requires entrepreneurs to continue thinking ambitiously about solutions to everyday and longer-term challenges. Innovations creating long-lasting products/solutions that are fit for purpose on the continent, that address a core need, that has a sustainability lens and that can be replicated.

Backing these entrepreneurs and businesses is the second hurdle. It requires purpose-aligned investors that either take early-stage risk to back the ideas or that can provide capital to businesses that are scaling solutions. Capital is therefore essential, and as such, ensuring the sustainability of the capital providers ecosystem is important, particularly in such a nascent industry. This can be through peer-to-peer knowledge exchange between investors, capacity building and other measures to ensure the industry continues to evolve, applying lessons learned from the past and sure-proofing the future.

As key actors in the private capital ecosystem, what concrete actions do you think industry leaders should take today to shape Africa’s future and achieve results in the next two decades?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and we are already seeing multiple industry leaders focused on next-generation leadership in nuanced ways with not a single standardised solution. The most important from my perspective is the intentionality to build a transformative and sustainable continent. This intentionality will translate to investment decisions, companies that are backed, principles and value creation tactics that are employed to support the company’s scale and achieve impact.

More specifically, industry leaders can focus on the following:

  1. Promoting long-term Investments: prioritising long-term investments in defensive sectors such as infrastructure, healthcare, education, and technology to help build sustainable growth and development in Africa.
  2. Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship: continuing to support and foster a culture of innovation by investing in scalable entrepreneurs, across all stages, thereby driving economic growth, creating jobs, and spurring technological advancements.
  3. Promoting sustainability: embracing sustainable business practices and investing in opportunities that have positive environmental, social and governance impact, ensuring a more inclusive and equitable future for the continent.
  4. Skills enhancement: skills transfer and equipping the next generation of leaders and innovators on the continent by investing in human capital and backing businesses that focus on education training and skills development.
  5. Cross-border collaboration: focusing on building partnerships and collaborations within and outside of the continent as a tool for knowledge exchange and strategic opportunities for business on the continent to scale.