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MEDA Backs Obuntu Foundation

Staff writer
May 22, 2024, 6:19 p.m.
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The Obuntu Foundation, a catalyst for the next generation of Africa-focused Fund Managers, has announced a strategic partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), a global non-profit organization focused on economic development and entrepreneurship.

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The Obuntu Foundation, a catalyst for the next generation of Africa-focused Fund Managers, has announced a strategic partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), a global non-profit organization focused on economic development and entrepreneurship.

As part of the collaboration, the call for nominations to the third cohort of the Obuntu Launchpad Program is now open, inviting African-focused fund managers to advance their investment approach, optimize fund outcomes and expand their impact.

The Obuntu Launchpad Program, supported by MEDA, equips early-stage fund managers with the essential tools and expertise to build and operate successful funds within an African context.

The 12-month program will provide tailored training, LP engagement opportunities, and a collaborative network for knowledge sharing and deal flow.

By catalyzing the energy of the venture capital ecosystem on hand to support first-time fund managers investing in belief capital, MEDA and Obuntu ensure that successful participants will receive ongoing support; this includes mentorship, fundraising assistance, and promoting innovative fund models tailored to the unique needs of African startups.

The fellowship features practitioner-led sessions by industry experts like Lewam Kefela (Partech), Andreata Muforo (TLcom Capital), and Fope Adelowo (Helios). 

Since its launch 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 (Managing Partner at Digital Africa Ventures) and Emmanuel Adegboye (Head, Madica).

The program’s commitment to nurturing a vibrant ecosystem of skilled, innovative fund managers continues to contribute significantly 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 9 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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