How Important it is to Connect African Startups to the Silicon Valley


According to Stephen Ozoigo, the CEO of African Technology Foundation, he said that the continent is not under the management of a single person. Instead, it contains 55 countries with the same number of policies and more than 3,000 languages. African Technology Foundation is a startup based in Palo Alto California. The company which was launched in 2014 and has been working tirelessly to link the African technology to the Silicon Valley and proves to the world the big role of the upcoming entrepreneurs who major in the technology world.

Ozoigo said that he was confident that the youth, technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation will do well. Ozoigo’s background knowledge of the African startup has made many individuals seek advice from him. According to him a large number of the unemployed population Africa stands out to be a great market for the increase in partnership. He went ahead and opened an organization in 2013 with the aim of linking African startups to the expertise and funders in the US.

Currently, the African Technology Foundation has 12 staff members. The company taps African diaspora to work out its role to expose Africa and promote it as a potential market. The exposure doesn’t stop the potential market but it goes further to a growing market with above 700 million smartphone connections due by 2020. Initially, the Silicon Valley never used to invest in Africa since their funds were not designed with the continent in mind.

African Technology Foundation is working on educating the companies which are creating new investment funds on the available opportunities in Africa. It’s now to the African startups to up their games and play their roles diligently. The African startups should ask some questions when it comes to investors like, what kind of team and funding do they have? Do they understand the legal process and have they worked out contracts with their partners? And are they developing technologies that would be locally relevant?

Bayo Balogun of Lagos, Nigeria, started a website called Car Parts Nigeria which allows users to make price comparisons for car parts, after his own experience getting different estimates. African Technology Foundation also works on gender empowerment, such as an October 2015 project with Sweden-based Help to Help. Along with local organizers, they hosted a bootcamp that took one week for 94 women in Tanzania, teaching them basic computer skills to run a business. In a more recent project, funded by the U.S. State Department, the African Technology Foundation helped bring 50 female scientists and engineers from around the world to the United States to tell their stories in an upcoming documentary called “Hidden No More.”

According to the CEO, each of these women is a rock star in their field. Bringing them together facilitated practical connections, such as helping young women find a scholarship or a job as a research assistant, but it also provided role models for the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.


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Written by Denis Opudo

Am an engineer who's a tech blogger, hit me up on [email protected] and we base our discussion on technology in Africa and the rest of the world.
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