ACCRA, Ghana, Nov 16 – The prosperity of the African continent lies with the empowerment of its youth, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said Saturday during the Netpreneur Summit and Prize Initiative 2019.
President Akufo said Africa needs to vigorously inculcate the culture of entrepreneurship which he added can only be achieved through supporting the youth who consist a majority of start-up ventures.
“The empowerment of this young population with access to education and skills, while creating an enabling environment for their business to survive and thrive will constitute very powerful tools for economic development in Africa and the world,” he said.
Alibaba Founder Jack Ma who graced the event held in Ghana’s capital, Accra, added that the countries should also adopt innovation which he said was central to resolving African problems.
“If Africa wants to develop, to solve their problems and have a sustainable growth the most important thing is to start using unique ways that will need entrepreneurs to start working together,” he added.
African and global entrepreneurs, investors, educators, and leaders convened to discuss how best to enable entrepreneurship and the digital economy across the continent.
The Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative seeks to identify top entrepreneurs from across the continent.
The finalists will then receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices, and resources.
The prize also aims to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.
Each year for the next ten years, the prize will host a pitch competition in Africa where ten finalists from across the continent will compete for US$1 million prize money.
The Netpreneur Prize is the second initiative launched by Jack Ma to support African entrepreneurs.
Last year, Alibaba Business School and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development announced the eFounders Fellowship Initiative, a program that will train 1,000 entrepreneurs from emerging markets, 200 of whom will come from Africa, with the purpose of building a community of young entrepreneurs committed to creating digital platforms to build more inclusive economies.