The African Diaspora Network (ADN)  hosted the first Silicon Valley convening of Global Leaders and Entrepreneurs invested in the future of Africa on January 29th – 30th 2015. The Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Team participated in this significant event which attracted private equity firms, venture capitalists, accomplished entrepreneurs, educators, foundations and not-for-profits. Keynote speakers and panelists represented organizations such as Google, USAID, VC4Africa, Rockefeller Foundation, Facebook, DraperDarkFlow, Savannah Fund, Global Fund for Women, Stanford University – Change Labs (RAN’s key partner supporting innovation), the World Bank, Calvert Foundation,, Africa Business Jumpstart and many more.

The 2016 African Diaspora Investment Symposium (#ADIS2016)was the first ever Silicon Valley convening to bring together leaders of the Diaspora and Africa invested in entrepreneurship, innovation, business and the future of the home continent-Africa. The purposeful panels and workshops focused on the role of the Diaspora in development of the African continent distinguishing it from previous Africa-specific forums.

The inspiring key note speakers  uncovered important secrets on how to prepare your start-up for success in Africa’s unique social economic and political infrastructure – “The Africa business Model method” , a boot camp on understanding Angel investing in Africa, vibrant panel led discussions on How might the Diaspora contribute Human Capital to Africa, using the Human centered design approach in innovation and business and an evening networking reception with traditional dancers as guests celebrated the historic and ground breaking event through the African heritage dances.

Day Two focused on “New and Emerging Investment Opportunities in Africa”, “The Changing Investment Landscape in Africa.” This was characterized by great stimulating panels that discussed; impact investment, social investment, philanthropy, lessons from other Diasporas, “Silicon valley meets Private equity, Development Fund and Venture capitalists”. The symposium was seasoned with success stories of individuals that shared their success stories on how they made it in Africa, obstacles they met and how they overcame challenges. The unique networking lunch on day two was a great resource as it allowed individuals to narrow their thinking through round table discussions on key topics like Crowd funding, UN sustainable goals, Energy, Angels,  venture capitalists and private equity investment. This allowed different individuals who converged on tables to discuss, share ideas, network and to start thinking about possible partnerships on how to move forward.

The symposium concluded with a “Take Action” assembly where participants shared innovative ideas and fruitful partnerships that had culminated throughout the conference sessions. New links and connections between African entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley, to support the new generation of African entrepreneurs, and empower African entrepreneurial have been established through this rich knowledge generation and sharing event.

The symposium marked a significant start for RAN to tap from this huge pool of investors and entrepreneurs to enrich efforts directed towards incubating and scaling resilience innovations. The African Diaspora Network has been built on the premise of mobilizing, informing and engaging Africans in the diaspora to collaborate with social entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders in order to invest in and improve the lives of everyone on the African continent. Next is to further explore and leverage from the available opportunities, resources that were unveiled through this symposium and continue discussions with key partners that were identified for strong and fruitful collaboration as we together develop Africa.
Photos shared here