Welcome to The Trajectory: Africa!
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This is a brief introduction to The Trajectory Africa, a podcast series exploring the trajectory, or pathway, of venture capital and startup formation in Africa. With the unique African landscape—market characteristics, business environment, goals, and culture—as a starting point, The Trajectory Africa aims to pinpoint a destination for African tech, and the signposts that signal direction of travel. It’s inspired by the concept of a mixtape, in which each episode, or “track” will feature a conversation with a “guest artist”. There is also a soundtrack for inspiration provided by (DJ) Saphir Esmail (bio below) via his Spotify playlist (link below). You can find more African tech and VC resources below as well. Enjoy!

About Me:
I've has spent several years working in African tech and entrepreneurship, with an emphasis on building enabling infrastructure such as tech hubs and accelerators. Recently, I have focused on conducting research, specifically on early stage investing in Africa with Kinyungu Ventures and thesubtext, the role of tech hubs in African startup ecosystems for the International Trade Centre, shared models of ownership for the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and the future of work in Africa with the RSA. Prior to this I served as a Senior Consultant with infoDev/the World Bank Group for XL Africa, and as the first Executive Director of AfriLabs

About Saphir Esmail:
Saphir is a dual degree MBA/MA candidate at The Wharton School and The Lauder Institute with a focus on Africa. He is from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Saphir graduated from Temple University with a degree in Finance. After graduating, Saphir went on to work for Deloitte as a consultant focused on the financial services industry. Saphir is passionate about entrepreneurship and venture capital in Africa. He has spent the past year working at Golden Palm Investments, an early-stage fund that invests exclusively in Africa across various industries. After Wharton, Saphir hopes to make his way back to the continent to work at an Africa-focused fund.

Spotify Playlist:
This playlist was originally used at the 2021 Lauder Institute Africa Symposium on the Future of Work.

Chasing Outliers:

African Tech and VC Resources:



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