BrandArena: MEDA Supports Obuntu Foundation to Empower Emerging African Fund Managers as Nominations Open

Wednesday 22 May 2024

MEDA Supports Obuntu Foundation to Empower Emerging African Fund Managers as Nominations Open

The Obuntu Foundation, a pivotal force for nurturing the next generation of Africa-focused fund managers, has announced a strategic partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), a global non-profit dedicated to economic development and entrepreneurship. As part of this collaboration, nominations are now open for the third cohort of the Obuntu Launchpad Program, inviting African-focused fund managers to refine their investment strategies, optimise fund outcomes, and expand their impact.

The Obuntu Launchpad Program, bolstered by MEDA's support, equips early-stage fund managers with essential tools and expertise to build and operate successful funds within the African context. This 12-month program offers tailored training, opportunities for Limited Partner (LP) engagement, and access to a collaborative network for knowledge sharing and deal flow. By harnessing the dynamic venture capital ecosystem, MEDA and Obuntu ensure that successful participants receive ongoing support, including mentorship, fundraising assistance, and the promotion of innovative fund models tailored to the unique needs of African startups. The fellowship features practitioner-led sessions by industry experts such as Lewam Kefela (Partech), Andreata Muforo (TLcom Capital), and Fope Adelowo (Helios).

Since its inception in 2022, the Obuntu Launchpad Fellowship has successfully run two cohorts, supporting 24 fellows representing 21 funds with a combined target Assets Under Management (AUM) of $281 million. Notable alumni include Yewande Odumoso (Founding Partner, HoaQ), Aly El Shalakany (Managing Partner, Acasia), Thandeka Xaba (General Partner, Savant), and Emmanuel Adegboye (Head, Madica). The program's commitment to fostering a vibrant ecosystem of skilled, innovative fund managers continues to significantly contribute to the entrepreneurial landscape across the continent, highlighted by its alumni achievements:

58% of the fellows are female 

Alumni are based across 8 African countries in Anglophone, Francophone, and Arabic-speaking Africa

Actively investing across Africa, including Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Mauritius, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.

The partnership with MEDA will strengthen the Obuntu Foundation's mission of empowering a thriving ecosystem of African fund managers. By attracting significant investments from both local and international backers, this collaboration injects vital capital into a continent where startups remain underfunded yet abound with potential. 

"We are excited to join forces with MEDA, an organization that shares our passion for empowering African entrepreneurs and driving economic development," said Wambui Kinya, Co-Founder of the Obuntu Foundation. "This partnership serves as a validation of our successes to date and will significantly enhance our Launchpad Fellowship, providing our Fellows with unparalleled access to MEDA's vast network, resources, and expertise. "

"MEDA is thrilled to partner with the Obuntu Foundation as we need to do everything it takes now to build a continent with shared prosperity and sustainable, inclusive growth," said Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO of MEDA. "This partnership is critical and represents our shared commitment to strengthening the impact investment ecosystem in Africa by enabling more women to lead investment vehicles thereby unlocking the full potential of African entrepreneurship to job creation for women and youth via investments in small and medium-sized enterprises. “

Nominations are open until June 9th for active Africa-focused VC Fund Managers who meet the following criteria: diverse profiles ranging from local startup and corporate operators to experienced senior roles within a VC fund, prior experience investing in Africa, and active pursuit of building their new fund. 

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