SHARM-EL-SHEIKH, Egypt - With a majority of African nations diversifying from traditional sources of income, entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a key to economic growth and African youth are the future of the world economy and entrepreneurship, said Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, under whose patronage the Africa 2018 forum is being held in Egypt.
Africa 2018, Egypt.
The Africa 2018 Forum, held 8-9 December 2018 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, was organised by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA).
The 2018 edition builds on the success of the previous editions, which have seen the participation of 11 Heads of State and more than 3,000 delegates from 80+ countries. This year the programme was been enhanced with a Women Empowering Africa Day, as well as exclusive Presidential Roundtables with African leaders and CEOs; and a Young Entrepreneurs Day.
Africa 2018 has established itself as the premier business platform to nurture new partnerships; meet investors and fast track business objectives in Africa.
Leading business forum Africa 2018, which kicked off in Sharm El Sheikh at the weekend, hosted Young Entrepreneurs Day (YED) which brought Africa's most inspiring business leaders as well as renowned captains of industries and key actors from the tech world, to provide first-hand insights on business, leadership, technology and disruptive business models to support young entrepreneurs developing their business skills.
Finding the right partners, mentors and investors is paramount for successfully scaling up your business. YED offered young entrepreneurs several opportunities to meet leading angel investors, venture capital firms, accelerators, incubators and policy-makers via its spectacular DealRoom.
The YED concluded with an intergenerational dialogue attended by five start-ups and also Presidents Al Sisi of Egypt and President Kagame of Rwanda.
We are increasingly sending a clear message to the world that Africa is the future of the world economy and more so entrepreneurship.
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 realise 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.
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."
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