Eric Kakou is the Co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners, an investment and consultancy group. He authored his first book when he was 34 years which was published by the Wharton School. He is a young global leader at the World Economic Forum. Kakou has been by Forbes Africa as one of the 20 builders of tomorrow. Born in Côte d’Ivoire, Kakou got his MBA at Wharton and has worked in different sectors, in North America, Europe and Africa.
Kakou gives shares these nuggets with young people in Africa:
It doesn’t matter which sector young Africans pick today to develop their career. What really matters is the mindset they bring to the sector they join. Aim for the top and to be the best. If you are in tech, aim to be the next Google. The sky is the limit. The opportunities are in Africa.
If you give your best, you will do extremely well. Aim for world class standards.
This requires discipline, ethics and building something that will last instead of looking for a deal.
Kakou says Africa’s biggest problem is not lack of resources or infrastructure but a deficit of mindset.
“We spend a lot of energy dealing with last minute issues and problems, and we don’t spend the power of innovation and the power of entrepreneurship to solve the issues we face,” says Kakou.
Kakou believes three factors have to change or accelerate for Africa to move to the next level.
Education: Not just formal education but practical knowledge that will help transform lives.
Entrepreneurship: Not making short term deals but business that employee people, create solutions to problems facing and pay tax to build a country.
Leadership: You don’t have to be driving a big car and living in a big house to be a leader. I think leadership is about the choices we make as individuals and how it impacts our community.
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