Development can only be led by the private sector
The AFIF 2017 pan-African meeting of entrepreneurs and investors convened by EMRC, has taken place from 13-16 February in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference gathered over 200 participants to address how to access to finance in leading economic sectors of Africa – agriculture and agribusiness, infrastructure, energy, water and healthcare. Over 400 B2B meetings between investors and entrepreneurs were organised during the conference.
Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary General, delivered a keynote speech during the AFIF 2017. The former UNSG highlighted, “Social and economic development can only be led by the private sector”. He also encouraged young entrepreneurs to form alliances and network with their peers, while pointing out that governments should create the right environment for the private sector to operate without restrictions.
Christian Mwijage, Managing Director of EcoAct (Tanzania), won the AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017. EcoAct Tanzania, is a social enterprise established to address the challenges of urban waste management, plastic pollution, deforestation and climate change. EcoAct recycles and transforms post consumer waste plastic into durable and environmentally friendly plastic lumber.
“This award will help me to increase my production by 30%,” explained Mwijage. He added, “Aside from the prize, I’m going back home very empowered thanks to the 2-day training that we have received. This is the best way EMRC is supporting entrepreneurs”. The hands-on training “Scaling your Entrepreneurial Venture” took place from 13 to 14 February at the Strathmore Business School. The entrepreneurs learned how to present a business plan, how to pitch and communicate your project and how to access funding in Africa. The training also included a special session about the Japanese Kaizen method, delivered by experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).