Africa is making strides for a single digital economy . In the rise of robotics & AI, relationship building skills, problem solving, creative thinking and collaboration skills become critical and a priority area for human capital development in Africa. So what happens when we get entrepreneurs from different parts of the continent into one room to share experiences, ideas and aspirations? You get solutions and increased avenues for collaboration.
With the theme ‘Upskilling industries workforces in preparation for Africa’s digital transformation…’ AYES is on a mission to showcase what we can achieve when we let young minds lead the way. With 50% of the African population being under 25, there is an urgency to accelerate the capacity to develop and execute solutions by African youth to African challenges. By highlighting youth commitments and achievements across Africa, we create a platform for youth to create wealth through developing and operating sustainable business on the foundation of Collective ideas, Collective Plans, Collective encouragement and motivation.
AYES 2019 has managed to develop a pragmatic framework on how youth entrepreneurs can disrupt and innovate in markets creating new territories whilst operating in a digital VUCA (Volatile , Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) economy. Participating Countries in AYES 2019 included Botswana ( Gaborone, Maun & Palapye ), Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Congo, Malawi and South Africa following up from 2018 which had entrepreneurs from Botswana, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zambia.
Connect Circle is a Foreign Direct Investment Firm based in Gaborone, Botswana. Its Mandate is to facilitate investment, expansion, wealth creation and partnerships between youth entrepreneurs in Africa. It achieves its mandate through its annual flagship event called the Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit which has been in existence for the past 2 years. AYES’s headquarters are in Gaborone Botswana which is strategically positioned at the heart of Southern Africa. Being interlinked to 4 boarders (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia & Namibia), Botswana is perfectly positioned as the go to destination in Southern Africa to facilitate inter-regional trade and thereby attracting Foreign Direct investment ( FDI) to the SADC region and other Regions in Africa as entrepreneurs in SADC also get the opportunity to collaborate with entrepreneurs in the North, East and West parts of the region.
The mission of AYES is to create a physical dialogue platform for entrepreneurs from different countries and industries in the African region to interact. The intended outcome for the facilitated interactions is to promote African inter-regional trade through the sharing of experiences, insights, values, resources, ideas and efforts of African entrepreneurs in order to provide solutions to African challenges. This concept/ initiative comes at a critical time where Africa is assessing its identity and consolidating its socio-economic power and potential through policies such as the inter-continental Africa trade agreement. Where the Vision is to create a single African digital market to facilitate the trade of goods and services across Africa. The question is, will African youth entrepreneurs be able to leverage on this opportunity? Furthermore, do they understand the opportunity before them? Where do we begin?
Young Africans must rise to the occasion and the first step requires that we have the right conversations amongst ourselves. Conversations that encourage a resolve for learning and growth. Conversations that highlight our own abilities and talents. Conversations that deepen our focus, sense of urgency and ability to act on our ideas very quickly given the rapid changes that occur in commerce as a result of technology. Conversations that lead us to fall in love with the process of creating jobs, creating inclusiveness and generating wealth. Conversations that lead to a community of Entrepreneurs with collective thoughts and collective actions. Entrepreneurship is the vehicle to our solutions and Connect circle has created a platform for these conversations called the Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Summit.
Connect circle identified an opportunity for African entrepreneurs to interact , connect and build deeper relationships in order for youth entrepreneurs to leverage on the opportunities a single digital market in Africa affords through possible joint ventures, partnerships, access to markets to trade their products / services as well as a network of mentorship and collaboration. It is against this background that the 2019 Africa Youth Entrepreneur’s Summit carried the theme :
Disruptive innovation in todays versatile business jungle.
- To empower and deliver more Botswana entrepreneurs.
- To facilitate Batswana entrepreneurs launching into Africa.
- To promote inter-regional trade in Africa.
- To provide structure, guidance and community to African entrepreneurs