The YED concluded with an intergenerational dialogue attended by 5 start-ups and also Presidents Al Sisi of Egypt and President Kagame of Rwanda.
President Al Sisi said that “we are increasingly sending a clear message to the world that Africa is the future of the world economy and more so entrepreneurship.”
He highlighted the laws that have been promulgated in the country had been done to encourage youth to establish companies and empower them, and called for the youth to never waver from following their dreams.
President Kagame said the growth of Africa’s population was really not a threat but an advantage for Africa, but right investments are required to make it work. “The right investments are in our people but we need facilitation to get us where we want to go.”
With more than 60% of its population under the age of 25, sub-Saharan Africa is already the world’s youngest region today – and, by 2030, will be home to more than one-quarter of the world’s under-25 population. As this young population, the best-educated and globally connected the continent has ever had, enters the world of work, the region has a demographic opportunity.
“Today more than ever, we need to realize the economic potential of the continent’s young entrepreneurs and innovators to create millions of high quality jobs and promote inclusive economic growth continent-wide”, said Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation about the importance of nurturing and promoting young entrepreneurs.
It is evident that the African entrepreneurship scene is sizzling and a lot of foreign and local players are helping to spice it up. Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO, AppsTech said, “What I would look for in an entrepreneur is grit, because I think being able to sustain in a very difficult business environment is essential. Business environment in the continent is quite challenging. You need to spend your blood, sweat and tears to succeed.”
President Sisi concluded “We know you face challenges but these can be overcome with perseverance and creativity and by being self confident and your determination to turn these dreams into reality,”