In Africa most of the time governments view entrepreneurship as an escape route to high unemployment rates, thus their willingness to support entrepreneurs across the continent. This makes sense because according to the African Economic Outlook, on average, more than 70% of Africa’s youth live on less than 2$ per day – the internationally defined poverty threshold. However African youth entrepreneurship is so much more than simply providing employment; it has the ability to change the global perception of Africa.
Africa is rising, that fact is completely non-debatable. That notwithstanding we still have a long way to go. As Africa rises we must ask ourselves, who is benefiting? As billions of dollars of direct foreign investment is pumped into the continent we must ask ourselves where this money is going. We must ensure that not only certain members of the continent are growing but development should be felt across the board. African youth entrepreneurs can ensure this simply by the fact that they are everywhere, in literally all corners of the continent. As young African entrepreneurs we are building our own futures, thus solving our own problems. As young African entrepreneurs we are in charge of our own destiny. For the first time in history we really have the ability to change the perception of Africa.
We must follow in the footsteps of our founding fathers who dreamt of a united Africa whose main trading partners were fellow Africans and not foreigners from across the pond. There are currently 205,185,547 internet users on the continent, the internet has become a tool for all businesses to grow equally and there is no reason as to young African entrepreneurs can’t use this as a platform to connect, share ideas and grow. We should all extend a hand to the entrepreneur next to us and find a way to grow together.
Photo Credits: Statcan.gc.ca, socialmediaweek.org