22 ON SLOANE To Celebrate Africa Day
KIZITO OKECHUKWU | MAY 15, 2018
On the 25th May 1963, Africa made history by establishing the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union), which brought the continent together. This led to the creation of Africa Day on the 25th of May, an annual celebration of the continent’s identity and unity across the world, particularly in Africa.
The African Union’s Agenda 2063
The AU’s Agenda 2063 is to lead Africa towards the “Africa we want”; one with a more prosperous future in which all its citizens, young, old, male, female, rural, urban, of all creeds and backgrounds, are empowered to realise their full potential, live with satisfaction and pride about their continent; a future with healthy, well-educated people living in robust and developed economies. Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063 particularly talks of “an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African People, especially its women, youth and caring for children”.
The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa fully embraces the ideals of Agenda 2063. For example 22 ON SLOANE, the GEN’s innovative start-up campus, offers disruptive start-ups and innovative SMEs a complete turnkey solution to scale, from the initial idea all the way to commercialisation, source funding opportunities and access to markets. Its aim is to nurture the entrepreneurial mindset, ensure their sustainability, explore the development of new industries and contribute towards job creation in Africa.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
After two years of negotiations, one of the AU’s flagship projects for greater African integration is now a reality. To further solidify the continent’s collaborative efforts to strengthen economic prowess, and in so doing empower its people more, forty-four African countries recently signed the historic trade agreement to open the paths to a liberalised market for goods and services across the continent.
Known as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the agreement follows the European Union’s version and was signed in 2018 during the 10th Ordinary Session of African Union Heads of State summit, held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. At the historical event, nineteen presidents were present, as well as various prime ministers and government representatives to sign for their respective countries. The AfCFTA is now the world’s largest free trade area since the World Trade Organization was formed in 1995 and is expected to culminate in the creation of the almost US$3trn African trade bloc.
Five Key Challenges facing African Startups
Though the African startup ecosystem continues to advance, there are still a few challenges that hinder startup growth on the continent. According to the recent study conducted by 22 on Sloane, below are some of the key challenges faced by African startups:
1. Inadequate analysis of the Need
2. Inadequate infrastructure
3. Access to Startup financing
4. Unfair competition by big business
5. Lack of targeted Business support programmes
Join GEN Africa to celebrate entrepreneurship on Africa Day
GEN Africa represents 42 countries on the continent with more than one million networks within the ecosystem. We offer an exciting platform to encourage intra-continental trade by offering Market Research, Access to Markets and Entrepreneurship Exchange Programmes, Technical Skills, to name a few.
Please join us on Africa Day for an informal networking and drinks session with our resident startups, entrepreneurs and business chambers from across the continent and 20 MBA students from George Washington University! Networking session starts at 16h00 – 18h00 on Friday 25 May 2018. Dress code is African attire.
For more information on the 22 ON SLOANE Africa Day Networking session, please visit www.22onsloane.co