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AfDB approves €10.5m pooled investment in startup fund

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Akinwumi AdesinaThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved an equity investment pool of €10.5m to drive technological innovation across sub-Saharan Africa.

The AfDB announced this in a statement titled ‘African Development Bank Group Board approves €10.5m pooled investment in tech start-up fund to boost innovation across sub-Saharan Africa.’

“The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved an equity investment pool of €10.5m toward the first close of the Janngo Start-Up Fund, a pan-African tech start-up fund,” it said.

According to the statement, the €10.5m pooled investment consists of €7m provided by the AfDB and a €3.5m contribution by the European Union and the Organization of African, the Caribbean, and the Pacific States.

Managed by Janngo Capital, the Janngo Start-Up Fund builds and invests in tech start-ups with proven business models and inclusive social impact, with a focus on agribusiness, financial services, energy, education, and healthcare, primarily in Francophone West Africa.

The bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, said, “Africa is experiencing rapid mobile penetration with Android and other platforms. This provides huge opportunities to develop innovative and high-growth-driven start-ups and SMEs. But there is a severe scarcity of risk capital for the new and upcoming first generation of venture capital funds targeting early-stage businesses.”

The statement said the pooled funds would enhance the private sector by deploying technology-enabled business models for small and medium enterprises that address the needs of underserved populations; generate substantial employment opportunities for youth and women, and enhance the quality of life for Africans.

“The pooled investment advances the Boost Africa Program, a collaboration among the contributing partners and the European Investment Bank to back investment funds that target early-stage innovative enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa,” it added.

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