BY ANIN AGYEI–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Accra, Ghana- THE ONGOING World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa launched the Africa Growth Platform designed to assist African start-up enterprises to grow and compete at international markets.
The Director of Head of Africa at the WEF, Elsie Kanza said Africa’s entrepreneurs are its greatest economic asset but spirit and resourcefulness alone are not always enough to help them succeed,”
Too often start-ups and innovative enterprises fail needlessly due to a lack of additional finance or overly burdensome regulations, according to Kanza.
On a continent where nearly two thirds of the 420 million young people are currently unemployed, innovation and fresh solutions are critical to driving employment growth, she said.
“While job opportunities in Africa are in short supply, entrepreneurial spirit certainly is not, Kanza added.
In Africa, early-stage entrepreneurial activity is 13 percent higher than the global average, but insufficient support and infrastructure means the region’s start-ups are 14% more likely to fail than those in other parts of the world.
The Africa Growth Platform will help address this challenge, Kanza said. The platform will achieve this by securing commitments from governments to implement policy reforms aimed at stimulating and accelerating business growth, she said.
The Platform will bring together all the actors including governments, investors and the businesses themselves to create an environment where the potential in terms of growth and employment can be realized, said Kanza.
It also aims to build a community of investors, whether private investors, foundations, multilateral institutions or corporate entrepreneurs, to enable better coordination and pooling of resources that could facilitate larger subsequent rounds of funding, according Kanza.
It is also hoped that the game-changing platform will create and sustain a community of start-up businesses themselves, promoting collaboration and sharing best practices.
The founding members of the Africa Growth Platform are Alibaba Group, A.T. Kearney, Dalberg Group, Export Trading Group, U.S., African Development Foundation and Zenith Bank.
Under the theme “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the 28th WEF on Africa, which opened in Cape Town, aimed to tackle several issues by focusing on how to scale up the transformation of regional architecture related to innovation, cooperation, growth and stability.More than 1,000 regional and global leaders from politics, business, civil society and academia are currently in attendance at the major global event. Xinhua
BY ANIN AGYEI, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, AFRICA CORRESPONDENT
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