Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The World Bank’s private investment arm, the International Finance Corp (IFC) has said that 80 per cent of African start-ups have funding challenges which the organisation can intervene to reduce markedly.
The IFC said it sees huge potential to boost investment in Africa and help support entrepreneurship and digital transformation on the continent.
United States President, Joe Biden, last week, hosted a three-day summit attended by 45 African national leaders that was aimed at bolstering trade ties between the United States and Africa after years of inroads by rival China.
IFC Managing Director, Makhtar Diop, told Reuters the IFC was working with African countries to help match up entrepreneurs with urgently needed financing to support economic growth and job creation across the continent.
“Africa is buzzing with innovative tech solutions that can transform people’s lives for the better. We’ve seen a surge in new business models and platforms in everything from health-tech to fintech. Yet over 80 per cent of African start-ups report difficulties in accessing funding,” he said.
IFC’s Global Director of Disruptive Technology, William Sonneborn, said Africa, with a population of 1.4 billion under the age of 18, was home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
“Africa is the market of the future for US products and services, and so, if (the United States) is not active, it will miss out on a huge opportunity,” Sonneborn said, citing what he called an “economic pivot” to focus on key new markets.