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Fred Swaniker on How Entrepreneurs Might Assist Africa Emerge Stronger From the Coronavirus Pandemic

Fred Swaniker on How Entrepreneurs Could Help Africa Emerge Stronger From the Coronavirus Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled a lot of the worldwide economic system, with probably disastrous impacts for a lot of African nations. However there are indicators of hope, too. Fred Swaniker, a Ghanian entrepreneur and management skilled, says {that a} technology of younger entrepreneurs is already working throughout the continent to develop new and progressive enterprises within the face of hardship.

“If we reimagine how we reside and do enterprise on the continent, we will really flip this into a chance and never a disaster,” Swaniker mentioned throughout Tuesday’s TIME100 Talks.

Whereas Swaniker acknowledges {that a} international financial recession will make it more durable for African international locations to develop their economies and create jobs, he believes that the constraints posed by the virus “will drive innovation.” The shift towards on-line, distant work, for instance, might open up new employment alternatives for a few of the best-educated Africans, with out them needing to depart the continent.

Nonetheless, innovation must be uniquely African to satisfy the wants of the continent, he mentioned. For example, Silicon Valley’s mannequin, which prizes the creating of $1-billion “unicorn” startups with huge exterior capital that create few jobs, won’t be helpful on the continent. “In Africa, we have to do it the opposite method round,” he mentioned.

Profitable African entrepreneurs ought to goal to create enterprise that offer many roles with out a want for big funding capital. “What we’d like in Africa just isn’t the unicorn, however maybe a camel,” he mentioned. “Camels are sturdy. They’re able to stand up to troublesome instances.”

Tuesday’s TIME100 Talks, which targeted on international management, additionally featured 27th Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, U.N. Secretary Basic António Guterres, actor and U.N. Improvement Programme Goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh and a efficiency and particular message from Pink Velvet – IRENE & SEULGI.

Swaniker, the founder and CEO of the African Management Group, has devoted his profession to creating and growing African leaders. He believes fostering management for younger individuals is significant to carving a method out of this disaster. Africa is the world’s youngest continent, with 60% of its inhabitants beneath the age of 25. “Growing the subsequent technology of African leaders is likely one of the most vital challenges,” he says. “Africa’s younger inhabitants is its biggest treasure.”

However, he warns the continent’s demographics may be a “ticking time bomb” if leaders don’t discover a solution to create alternative for younger individuals.

“So, what we do in Africa this century will decide the place the world goes,” he mentioned. “And that’s why it’s such a vital problem to deal with.”

This text is a part of #TIME100Talks: Discovering Hope, a particular sequence that includes leaders throughout completely different fields encouraging motion towards a greater world. Need extra? Join entry to extra digital occasions, together with reside conversations with influential newsmakers.