UNU-IAS, the University of Nairobi and the University of Tokyo GPSS-GLI jointly organized, with the support of the African Development Bank, an Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop on the theme of “African Youth entrepreneurship Development for Sustainable Industrialization” from 25 – 27 August 2016 at KCB Leadership Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
The workshop, planned and implemented by ESDA’s Next Generation Researcher (NGR) team, brought together 30 young African entrepreneurs and 25 young African researchers.During the three-day workshop, the participants heard keynote messages and lectures by resources persons and held group discussions on key areas of youth entrepreneurship for sustainable industrialization in Africa. They also made a field visit to the factory of a Kenyan entrepreneur Lorna Rutto of Ecopost participating in the workshop.
At the end of the workshop the participants agreed to a set of conclusions and recommendations to pursue further collaboration between young entrepreneurs and researchers, which was subsequently presented at the TICAD Youth Entrepreneurship Forum . The participants’ three recommendations were to:
- Develop a collaborative network of young African entrepreneurs and researchers to share streams of entrepreneurial innovations and experiences to establish a linked system of entrepreneurship development;
- Expand and increase the number of business incubation centers across Africa to enable young entrepreneurs and researchers collaborate in joint entrepreneurial innovations.
- Develop and test entrepreneurial training courses and programs to be jointly hosted by African higher education institutions, including, in particular, elaboration of multi-layered training schemes which are field-oriented and reflecting socio-economic and cultural conditions in African countries and which will be effective in attracting and generating streams of business innovators and industrial leaders who can contribute to the promotion of high growth and sustainable industrialization in Africa (‘African’ MBA). Efforts in this direction should be based on the network of the young entrepreneurs and researchers.
The Forum started with a brief presentation of the Conclusions and Recommendations of the Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop by ESDA/NGA Coordinator, Dr. Emmanuel Mutisya, who also served as the moderator for the entire forum. Then keynote messages were delivered by President Akinwumi Adesina of AfDB and Cabinet Secretary Sicilly Kariyuki of Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs. A panel discussion followed on the theme of the ‘role of entrepreneurship and research for sustainable industrialization in Africa’, with Prof. Peter Mbithi (Vice Chancellor, University of Nairobi), Mr. Mr. Kevit Desai (Kenya Private Sector Alliance), Dr. Assie Lumumba (Professor, Cornell University) and a South African entrepreneur who participated in the Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop, Ms. Kgatlhanye Thato (CEO, Rethaka), serving as panelists. The forum, filled with lively and constructive exchanges, ended with a closing statement by Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Senior Vice Rector, UNU), which endorsed the recommendations by the young entrepreneurs and researchers to pursue their collaboration for the promotion of sustainable industrialization in Africa.