Unlocking the African Hidden Potential
This was a joint venture on entrepreneurship development in Africa by The African and Innovation Centre and Kickstart Digital Marketing powered by Mercedes Benz, South Africa. It is an opportunity in a lifetime that has become a reality.We certainly hope you enjoyed our Global Entrepreneurship business conference that took place on the 27th of Nover 2019. Your presence and support is highly appreciated.
Many thanks to all our guest speakers who truly motivated and empowered us with their wisdom by giving us very valuable tips that can help us grow in business. We are also very grateful to all our performers, sponsors, partners and everyone else involved in making the day a success. I love the words of the former and late Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. “Africans should grasp the many means and opportunities available to them for improving their quality of life.” These words have always been a source of motivation and drive for me and I cherish them deeply.
It is time for us as Africans to assume full control over our economic and political destiny. Our continent is destined to grow at a rapid pace, with recent trends showing massive economic growth coupled with extensive urbanisation. Our growth as a continent is identified by the rest of the world as an opportunity – yet investor sentiments remain cautious. Where does South Africa position itself in the race to enter African markets? How do we utilise our position as an economic, political hegemony and leader to capitalise on available opportunities? How do South African towns, cities, and regions organise themselves for this shift, whilst dealing with local problems of unemployment, inequality and civil unrest? There is an urgent need to mobilise resources and capabilities to maximise the growth and employment opportunities – which presents a window now!
South Africa’s decision to support entrepreneurship and comprehensive reforms has shaped the destiny of a nation and changed its trajectory. South Africa will continue to play a role on the continental stage but as a nation, we must set realistic goals; goals that can advance the objectives of the nation where the sun never sets.In my view, the time has come for South Africa and South Africans to take on some challenges and collaborate with new partners – working as friends and tossing past animosities to history.
At the conference, I took you through you my personal story. My dream was to escape poverty. My life is a testament that it is possible to tear down preconceived ideas that others may have about us based on circumstances beyond our control. However, your life begins when you begin to take control of it. I have committed myself to be the change I want to see by utilising my own work, as an example of the potential that can be inspired and created elsewhere.I am certain that you can agree with me when I say that ‘Africa’s time is now!’.
As Africans, let’s take advantage of this! Let me end by saying that ‘whatever the future may hold for our continent, you can be assured that I will dedicate myself to the cause’. Once again, thank you! We look forward to welcoming you all back to our Conference in 2020. OLIVER CHIKODZORE is an economic strategist and Author of The African Hidden Potential