[Interview] Kifle Bantayehu, Founder, Afrinection.com
Kifle Bantayehu is an Ethiopian entrepreneur, consulting professional and policy strategist. He founded in 2016 Afrinection, a platform that closes several gaping holes in the African employment and investment market.
What does your company do?
Afrinection is an integrated professional networking, jobs, marketing and investment identification platform. I launched Afrinection in September 2016 in response to what I saw as a critical void in the African community (diaspora as well as on-continent.) The lack of a dedicated platform enabling African professionals (or those whose professional background is focused on Africa), entrepreneurs and jobseekers to connect with fellow professionals, prospective investors or prospective employers. My vision for Afrinection was to develop a “one-stop shop” platform enabling these meaningful connections to be made across the globe as well as Africa, providing a niche community where, for example, employers seeking to hire African talent would quickly be able to navigate country and industry to find the right candidate for their job opening. My vision is, as an African, to have a community we may call “our own,” highlighting the dynamic African professional, the rich talents of African entrepreneurs to prospective investors and consumers, and also to highlight the talented African jobseeker seeking employment.
How is Afrinection funded, and why did you create it?
Afrinection is self-funded to date and recently launched a seed-funding round, seeking a $100k investment.
Afrinection was created to serve as a pan-African, cross-industry platform enabling engagement by regsitered companies/organizations and individuals. In addition, the African diaspora residing abroad are a key demographic of Afrinection, especially those who are seeking employment opportunities in Africa, are entrepreneurs, or professionals seeking to engage with companies/organizations based in Africa or fellow African professionals.
What are the USPs of Afrinection?
For starters, registration is completely free.
It offers the ability to identify entrepreneurs for prospective investment opportunities, jobseeker talent to fill vacancies, and subject matter experts/professionals of African descent (or whose expertise focuses on Africa) via a fully-searchable network page. The network page is searchable by country as well as industry. You can also gain greater visibility for your brand/product/service by registering as an advertising partner (a one-time fee of USD$25) and having a permanent advertisement placed on the Afrinection website as well as initial social media posting to our 20k plus social media followers.
Communication among members is easy. They can send quick chat messages in real-time, follow profiles of and sending direct inbox messages to registered companies/organizations and individuals on Afrinection.
How has the market responded to your services?
The response to Afrinection has been favorable to date, with a frequent comment being how this is a benefical tool for providing visibility to African entrepreneurs, highlighting the expertise of African professionals or those whose background is focused on Africa, and serving as a “virtual resume” for jobseekers seeking opportunities in Africa. In addition, the vast majority of registrations to date are from companies/organizations who have noted a significant increase in either jobseekers responding to their vacancies posted on Afrinection, or traffic to their respective company/organization websites.
Who can be a part of Afrinection, and how?
To create a free company/organization or individual profile on Afrinection, simply visit the website and click on the Register button on the top right hand corner of the website, at which point you will be directed to a regisration screen where you may select your appropriate registration category. If you are business owner, Afrinection provides the opportunity to advertise your brand/product/service after registering a company/organization profile by visiting the Advertising Partners page and signing up as an advertising partner. In addition, if you are specifically seeking to hire candidates for job vacancies based in Africa, after registering a company/organization profile you may visit the Jobs page to post a new job.
What are the ambitions of Afrinection?
It is my vision that Afrinection will grow into the largest online platform for African professionals, entrepreneurs, jobseekers and those seeking to invest in African owned businesses or hire African talent. When someone asks the question, “I want to invest in Africa, where can I find such opportunities?” it is my goal that the resounding first answer will be, “Afrinection!” Afrinection is a platform enabling meaningful connections as well as visibility. The more companies/organizations and individuals who register a profile with Afrinection, the stronger the network available to establish fruitful professional relationships and broader visibility. By creating such a community, Africa’s socio-economic future may continue to prosper. Together, we are one.
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