Angel Fair West Africa is mere days away, and is another opportunity for startups in Lagos to get in front of potential backers. AFWA’s reach means that investors from all over Africa will be present.

TechCabal has reached out to Eric Osiakwan, a key personality where AFWA’s March 30th – 31sth event is concerned to inquire more about the platform’s Lagos debut as well as other related trends that affect the technology startup investment plane in Africa. What comes next is a Q and A which was conducted over email with Eric.

Angel fair

Could we get some brief context around the founding and purpose of AFWA?

Angel Fair West Africa (AFWA) was born out of the successful Angel Fair in Joburg, South Africa last year. It is a partnership between Angel Africa List, Lagos Angel Network, Ghana Angel Investor Network, and the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

The purpose of the event is to bring together entrepreneurial startups and investors to do deals.

A lot of angel platforms, competitions, accelerators and demo platforms are headed for Nigeria this year. We’ve seen the TechCabal Battlefield. and Leadpath accelerators launch in the past month. DEMO Africa and WEF are coming soon. We are used to Kenya and South Africa being the first port of call for tech in Africa. Has that changed? Any idea as to the cause of the sudden Nigeria fever?

If you may, allow me to indulge myself a bit with my “KiNGSS” concept. It alludes to the countries leading innovation and development on the continent of Africa and these are Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Senegal (KiNGSS). In my view none of these are second to the other, and it is also important to establish that we are seeing innovation and development in a lot of African countries and so the KiNGSS are only representative.

There is a new block of global players called the MINT countries different from the BRICS and Nigeria is firmly there representing Africa as South Africa did in the BRICS establishment.

What kinds of startups are you looking to see at Angel Fair West Africa?

We have broken the event down to two categories for the two days, seed capital businesses for the 30th and those looking for Venture/Growth Capital for the second day. These are startups from different countries and sectors but majority would be tech and from Nigeria.

A number of interesting things have been happening in the ecosystem. A couple of large startup funding events by private equity actors. Accelerators launching in Lagos too are an interesting trend by themselves. Can you on the strength of these developments make a forecast about the general investment climate for technology ventures in Africa?

Yes, some of these developments are responsible for Angel Fair and AFWA. The numbers tell us that there is a lot of investment capital looking at Africa so ours is to create the channels for capital to meet the right businesses. I am one of those who dares to postulate that the next big thing in global technology would come from Africa, if the reach and impact of innovations like Mpedigree, Sproxil, Ushahidi, Kuzima, mpesa, etc are anything to build on.

How does AFWA work exactly, for both sides of the table — investors and startups?

We screen both the startups and investors prior. The investors are from AAL, LAN, GAIN and AVCA and the startups are choosen from partners such as Appfrica, VC4Africa, ActivSpaces, TVC Labs and CTIC.

What does success look like for Angel Fair West Africa?

Getting deals done and at the very least, starting a process towards that.

For details and updates about the event, visit

Bankole Oluwafemi Author

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