William Jimerson, executive director at Musa Capital, believes the key to increased African investment lies in the integration of technology in business.
Jimerson spoke to HumanIPO at the African Venture Capital Association (AVCA) Alpha conference last week in Cape Town, South Africa. HumanIPO reported last week on the perspectives of other investors at the conference, emphasising Africa’s need for proper infrastructure to attract more investment.
Coming from an engineering background himself, Jimerson believes technology is a “core industry”, also in Africa. The investor said: “I love tech, but my view is on both sides of the business.” Technology and investment collaboration or raising funds for partners will enhance African business operations, increasing investor attraction. “People need stuff, they need telecommunications,” he pointed out.
To Jimerson, technology investments mean the use of technology as a platform for a broad-based service to satisfy the needs of the market. Adding software solutions to systems which are primarily automated, as well as cell phone banking and other “seamless” platform integration of technology are such examples. “We invest in it as a tool to deliver basic services,” the financial expert explained about the operations of Musa Capital.
As financial needs are quite high on the continent, help from abroad in the form of investments can collaborate tech-wise with the analysis of credit, system improvements and credit assessment, he added.In this way, “first world technology can be adapted to the African market,” he explained.
This will also solve another obstacle posing risk to African investments – the lack of track records resulting in mistrust from potential international investors, as pointed out during a panel discussion at the AVCA conference.
Musa Capital’s main investments in Africa are 75 per cent in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries of which 82 per cent lies in South Africa, with the rest in West African countries such as Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Future investments in Uganda, Senegal and Ghana are also planned.