Boost Africa aims to harness the continent’s potential and create opportunities on the ground to prevent the “talent drain” to the north.
Madagascar is eligible. The funds invested will be distributed in the countries and injected into intermediary financial organizations such as seed funds, accelerator and incubator funds, bridge funds, “business angels”, community investment platforms and venture capital funds which, in turn, will provide capital to companies with high growth potential, indicates the AfDB on its site. “Indeed, the economies of Africa are dynamic and have a rapidly growing young population. Emerging economies pull these young graduates at the end of their studies, which represents a growing threat to the economic, social, environmental and technological progress of the continent. Based on this observation, the Bank wants to stimulate the entrepreneurial strength of young people on the continent. The Boost Africa initiative foresees a global volume of approximately 250 million euros and aims to leverage up to 1 billion euros of additional investments, to support 1,500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and thus create 25,000 direct jobs and at least 70,000 indirect jobs. Concretely, the mobilization will be in the form of equity and not in the form of a loan, which is more beneficial for companies in the start-up phase. Emphasis will be placed on six main sectors with strong pools, namely ICTs, agri-food, financial services, health, education and renewable energies.
Technical assistance services and a laboratory will provide support to actors in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem to increase the chances of success for young entrepreneurs. “The lab will directly support young entrepreneurs and their innovative business ideas, for example by connecting them to more established companies that can help them move up the ladder of their innovations. It will also disseminate best practices, and provide support to national ecosystems,” says the AfDB.