By Dipo Olowookere
Rwandan President, Mr Paul Kagame, who doubles as Chairman of Smart Africa, will be headlining the Young Entrepreneurship Day (YED) at the Africa 2017 Forum alongside and Mr Tony Elumelu, founder of the $100m Entrepreneurship Programme.
The YED is a new addition to the Forum and will take place on the eve of Africa 2017, on the 7th December.
It has been designed to connect some of Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs and also give them exposure to investors, incubators and accelerators as well as to partake in workshops that will give them the skills and tools to scale up their businesses.
Both Mr Kagame and Mr Elumelu have been championing entrepreneurship and will be sharing their perspectives both from government and the private sector as well as engaging in an open platform with some of the upcoming leaders from across Africa
Sitting on the advisory board of the YED are Issam Chleuh and Rebecca Enonchong, two of the foremost players in impact investing and in the technology space in Africa as well as Parminder Vir, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Other speakers at the YED include Ben White of VC4Africa and Wale Ayeni from IFC Ventures, the venture capital wing of the World Bank’s private sector arm.
Commenting on the YED, the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr, whose ministry is organising the Africa 2017 programme alongside COMESA Regional Investment Agency, said that creating a pro-business environment for entrepreneurs to thrive is at the centre of her government’s policies. “Egypt has been at the forefront of making entrepreneurship work. With a bustling population of 90 million, 50% of which are below the age of 30 and tech savvy, Egypt is rightly staking a claim as one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial hubs in the world.”
Africa 2017 has been earmarked as the biggest B2B and B2G gathering to take place in Africa this year. A number of heads of state have confirmed their attendance and there are 30 African investment promotion agencies and government delegations scheduled to attend.
Alongside President Al Sisi of Egypt and President Kagame of Rwanda, the Presidents of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Outtara will be in attendance as well as the President of Comoros, Azali Assoumani and the Prime Minister of Mozambique Carlos Agostinho do Rosário.
Some of Africa’s biggest names from business will also be attending Africa 2017, with the aim to accelerate cross-border investments and partnerships.
The Forum will also be a platform for Egypt to showcase some of the mega projects that are underway and the opportunities linked to these in agribusiness, logistics, mining, energy construction, real estate and tourism.
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