EBAN was at ChangeNOW in Paris with AEDIBNET

EBAN, in collaboration with the AEDIBNET project and with the support of ABAN, organised a side event titled “African Diaspora Success Stories Meet Investors” at ChangeNOW. This final AEDIBNET event aimed to highlight success stories of African diaspora entrepreneurs, share best practices for cross-border investments, and facilitate connections among the African and European entrepreneurs, SMEs, and investors.

The event provided valuable insights into the landscape of African innovation and investment, fostering constructive dialogue and actionable ideas to influence investment trends on the continent. Distinguished speakers from EBAN, ABAN, VC4A, and other representative organisations shared their expertise, emphasising the importance of sustainable investment practices and the opportunities for positive change in Africa and Europe. Abel Fernandez also provided a brief presentation of the AEDIBNET project highlighting key achievements.

The event marked significant milestones in African entrepreneurship, showcasing success stories that illustrate the increasing potential of African enterprises. These successes signify a shift towards impactful investment strategies with lasting implications.

During discussions on the reasons for investing in Africa, a common theme emerged: the opportunity to address pressing challenges with tangible solutions. Investors are attracted not only by the continent’s vast market potential but also by the chance to make a direct, transformative impact through their investments. Abu from VCX4 emphasised Africa’s remarkable diversity, with the continent boasting the most languages and 40 different currencies. He also shed light on Africa’s status as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. However, challenges such as currency volatility, exemplified by Egypt’s 61% drop in 2024, and varying regulations across geographies were discussed. Despite these challenges, Africa presents a young and untapped market ripe for exploration and investment.

This sentiment was echoed by African diaspora entrepreneurs such as Aziz Daifi and Matina Razafimahefa, who shared their journeys at the event. Despite being based outside of Africa, both founders felt a strong connection to the continent and were motivated by a shared vision of empowerment and development. Aziz, a member of the Franco-Algerian diaspora, co-founded LEYA, a platform addressing mobile money liquidity shortages. Matina, from the Madagascan diaspora in France, co-founded SAYNA, an innovative Edtech platform bridging educational gaps in Africa. These pioneering startups’ narratives highlighted the essential role of entrepreneurship in fostering inclusive growth and driving change across the continent.

Their stories underscore the power of diaspora entrepreneurship and the significance of fostering partnerships between Africa and Europe. These founders are united in their dedication to empowering Africa and promoting collaboration between continents. Their stories demonstrate the transformative potential of cross-border partnerships and the collective efforts required to drive sustainable development and innovation in Africa.

Despite challenges such as currency volatility and regulatory complexities, a sense of optimism prevailed regarding Africa’s youthful demographic and untapped markets. Investors like Huseyin Demirhisar emphasised the importance of aligning investments with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and seizing opportunities to create tangible social and economic impact.

As EBAN reflects on the success of this initiative, it renews its commitment to fostering strategic partnerships and empowering entrepreneurs to unlock Africa’s full potential. By leveraging collective expertise, resources, and a shared vision for sustainable development, EBAN and its partners are positioned to shape a future where African innovation flourishes and investment generates meaningful, measurable impact.

Key takeaways from the event include the need to direct capital, time, and resources towards impactful change, encouragement for investors to prioritise positive impact, and the utilisation of local resources and understanding of ecosystems. The challenges posed by currency diversification were reframed as opportunities for strategic investment diversification across countries.

Big thanks to our speakers for makign this event so special: Hannah Subayi from Launch Africa Ventures, Huseyin R Demirhisar from EBAN and Bid Capital Partners, Olanike Jagun from Rising Tide Africa, Erick Yong from Greentec Capita , Rui Falcao from COREANgels, Ange Ahyi from Bpifrance, Brenda Pennell from BiD Capital Partners and Abu Cassim from ABAN and VC4A. We also want to express our sincere thanks to our partners at the AEDIBNET project that have accompanied us through this journey of innovation and collaboration for these years:

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