At its first “Speed Meet” of 2015, Homecoming Revolution welcomes you once again in London on 20-21 March for the largest gathering of international African professionals, recruiters, speakers and media of its kind. It is the place to be if you’re an African seeking prestigious opportunities back home. Get your tickets.
Speed-dating is fun, but we at LelapaFund are already pretty serious about our relationship with the African diaspora. Forget fancy invitations –
This is a love letter.
Because, well, the African diaspora deserves a lot more love. Last year Kenyans sent home $1,4bn of their hard-earned cash, and Nigerians regularly send back over $20bn per year. As a group, Africans living abroad will inject over $40bn in 2016. We’re talking about regular people here – not investment banks.
With no incentive schemes, tax breaks or public recognition, sending cash home is pretty much a thankless task. (And that eye-popping cost of money transfer – in 2015, really?) The truth is that the African diaspora is quietly building Africa without anyone taking notice. Financial inclusion, economic development and upliftment are trophies that should be handed over to you – not Norwegian development funds or Bono.
It’s not just a story about money. Africans living in London, Paris and New York are forging a unique identity (Afro-what?) blending their background, expertise, communities and creativity. While this might seem like a by-product of a relentless struggle of identity and integration, it is the two-way bridge across continents that will transport the global African businesses of tomorrow. With that in mind, let us use this nano-space on the Internet to appreciate the tremendous value of the diaspora.
At LelapaFund, we believe that the diaspora must, and will lead Africa’s growth. No one understands consumer trends and investment risks in Africa better than you. Non-diaspora investors must follow your lead in deciding how and where to build opportunities. Tony Elumelu agrees:
"No one can develop Africa better than Africans and I believe foreign investors would be happier to have local investors too" @TonyOElumelu
— Libby Howard (@libby_howard) January 26, 2015
That’s why we’ve built a crowdinvestment platform for you and your friends to invest small amounts together in African companies and products that you want to see in malls and supermarkets back home.
If one in every 10 of you invested $1000 of your savings in local SMEs and start-ups, this most creative, modern layer of the home-grown economy would get a boost of over $3bn. Your potential is enormous.