Driving African Entrepreneurship session attended by the Egyptian and Rwandan presidents - Photo courtesy of EFG Hermes
CAIRO – 7 December 2017: African youth are crucial for economic growth as 60 percent of the African population is under the age of 25, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said during his speech at the Africa 2017 Forum.
“World leaders are now realizing the importance of youth participation in the economy because they trust in the capacities and capabilities of youth,” Sisi added in a panel titled ‘Driving African Entrepreneurship’.
Highlighting the efforts of the Egyptian administration in supporting entrepreneurs, Sisi noted that Egypt has run the National Youth Conferences for over a year; “this was a successful experience as we gave a chance for youth to speak up,” he said.
With the aim of coping with economic development, Egypt will launch the first regional center for entrepreneurs in Africa, Sisi said.
“We have developed educational curricula to be in line with economic developments, and we have also given wide support to universities and research centers,” Sisi said.
Egypt has also offered finance for entrepreneurs as the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has an initiative for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Moreover, the government has launched the largest start-up incubator in the region and worked to improve business legislations,” Sisi added.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame is the peer speaker in the panel, which was also attended by the presidents of Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Nigeria and Somalia.
Ambassadors of the Young Entrepreneurship Day (YED) are leading the session with the two African Presidents to discuss youth and entrepreneurship.
Participating YED ambassadors are Mohamed Azab, founder and CEO of Seha Capital in Egypt, Pauline Mujawamariya, CEO of Africa innovation Foundation in Rwanda and Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria.