Us Envoy: Nigeria Remains Number One Destination For Venture Capital In Africa

The Consul General of the United States Mission in Nigeria, Will Stevens, has said that Nigeria is the number one destination for venture capital investment in Africa.

He disclosed that the US President, Joe Biden, wants to work with the nations on the African continent in equal partnership to combat the challenges that face the entire world, stressing that no nation can do it alone.

“Africa shaped our past, it’s shaping our present, and it will define our future.  And, I might add, no nation is having a bigger impact on the evolving digital transformation than Nigeria.

“As Africa’s largest economy, largest democracy and number one destination for venture capital – Nigeria is driving innovation and creative solutions to the challenges that vex Nigerians, Africans and people across the world,” he said.

Stevens who spoke during the Omniverse Summit in Lagos on Thursday with the theme: The Role of Technology in Fostering International Collaboration in an Interconnected World said the innovative creators were reinforcing his belief that African solutions and African voices are critical and central to resolving the problems of the 21st century and beyond.

“The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, fuelled by the relentless innovation from an increasingly interconnected world. In the past decade, global internet traffic has grown by 700 percent, and mobile phone users have surpassed 6.6 billion.

“This increased connectivity creates boundless potential for cross-border collaboration – creating a global village where ideas can spark across oceans, and innovations can blossom through collective efforts,” he added.

He stressed that some of the challenges are already being addressed, explaining that US venture capital firms have invested heavily in African tech startups with over 60 and 40 percent of venture capital funding in Nigeria and Africa respectively.

“Up to 60 percent of African start-ups are incorporated in the United States – this figure is 80 percent when considering Nigeria alone.  In 2021, African start-ups raised $4.8 billion, this translates to an average of over $1 million every 2 hours!

“Despite the global downturn in VC funding, the United States still accounted for about 40 percent of the $3.4 billion raised by African start-ups last year,” he stated.

He noted that the United States is proud to be one of the largest foreign investors in Nigeria with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) totalling $5.6 billion in 2022.

According to him, there are over 80 US companies operating in Nigeria, in manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, technology, among others.

“These companies collectively pay billions of naira in taxes, create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and directly support various socioeconomic programs that improve the lives of Nigerians.

“We are committed to supporting Nigeria and Africa on its journey to prosperity as we believe that a strong and prosperous Africa is good for the United States, and good for the world!

“Let us, therefore, leverage this opportunity to forge lasting partnerships, break down barriers, and use technology not just to connect, but to create a future where innovation flourishes for the betterment of our interconnected world,” he concluded.

Segun James