Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative

Africa’s biggest challenge in its pursuit of SDGs and beyond is how to bring about ‘sustainable industrialization’ so as to enable inclusive and green growth, and, above all, employment creation for its increasing population. This would call for strengthening of existing industries and investing massively for the creation of new industries and improved operation of supporting sectors, such as infrastructure. The most critical and urgent need for this new departure should be to set in motion a mechanism for generating a stream of entrepreneurial talents to carry on this long-term development process.


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 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. At the end of the workshop, the participants agreed to three recommendations to pursue further collaboration between young entrepreneurs and researchers, as follows: The participants’ three recommendations were to:


1/ Establish a web-based platform to promote a collaborative network of young African entrepreneurs and researchers to share streams of entrepreneurial innovations and experiences in support of entrepreneurship development;


2/  Establish a network of university-based business incubation centers to promote across Africa to enable young entrepreneurs and researchers collaborate in joint entrepreneurial innovations; and


3/ Develop and test entrepreneurial training courses and programs to be jointly hosted by African higher education institutions, 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.