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A Sit Down with the Winner of the African Business Leader of the Year Award

Changing the continent’s narrative will entail solving old problems while also harnessing the power of new technologies, says Akintoye Akindele, a serial entrepreneur and investor from Nigeria. With more exposure and through encouraging creativity by giving innovators permission to fail, Africa can take its tech sector global, repeating the success of its Afrobeats music industry, Akindele argues. Africa’s tech landscape is also increasingly attracting attention — and funding. Between 2015 and 2021, total annual funding flowing into African tech startups has grown by 1,000 per cent according to the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2021. Akindele has just released a book “A Love Affair with Failure: When Hitting Bottom Becomes a Launchpad to Success,” jointly written with Olakunle Soriyan. They argue that many people do not fulfill their full potential because they are afraid to fail. But without taking risks, innovations that could propel Africa’s and the world’s growth will not emerge. Akindele noted that Africa’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem is only about a decade old but he has high hopes for its growth in the global marketplace.