Image of colorful dialogue boxes and lines surrounding the event totle Youth Entrepreneurship: Universities and Youth in Conversation


Virtual Event:  Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 8:00am-9:30am ET / 3:00-4:30pm CAT

Exploring Africa's Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

African countries are experiencing exponential growth in the youth population. However, economies are not creating new wage-earning jobs fast enough to absorb the growing workforce. This, coupled with the seasonal nature of labor demand, leaves many skilled youths in a crisis. Fostering entrepreneurship has become a key pillar to expanding employment opportunities for youth since it creates employment prospects for young people, builds ingenuity and resilience, and builds their demographic dividend but is yet to be fully harnessed.

Governments, the private sector, higher education institutions, and communities realize existing gaps and opportunities and are making advancements toward creating a viable ecosystem for the socio-economic participation of the youth through entrepreneurial support. However, the efforts are unsustainable due to the short duration of youth empowerment initiatives, an excessive emphasis on supply-side training, insufficient or non-existent financial solution support, and a tenuous connection to viable market opportunities. With more youth joining the labor force, African countries have a window of opportunity to achieve both economic growth and livelihood development if the right social and economic investments and policies are made to support the youth entrepreneurial ecosystem. These investments will allow young entrepreneurs to create jobs, train other youth, make a difference in their communities, and create or expand markets by providing goods and services. They will also catalyze young African ingenuity by supporting and expanding their enterprises. 

Join entrepreneurs and experts from Egerton University, Michigan State University, and some of Africa’s emerging entrepreneurs through the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) Public Dialogue to discuss and appreciate the challenges surrounding youth and entrepreneurship and opportunities for the sustainable development of the youth entrepreneurial ecosystem. The session will cover the strategies to support youth in entrepreneurship, building equitable synergies, sustainable investments in youth entrepreneurship, and policy dynamics around supporting youth entrepreneurship, among others.

This event is sponsored by the Alliance for African Partnership and Egerton University.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Alexander K Kahi, Project Director, Centre of Excellence for Livestock, Innovation and Business (CoELIB), and Partner Lead, USAID Empowered Youth, Egerton University (Kenya)

Opening Remarks: Youth and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Isaac Kibwage, Vice Chancellor, Egerton University (Kenya)

Youth Employment: Analysis of Opportunities and Challenges
Patience Mshenga, Professor of Agribusiness and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Egerton University (Kenya)

Universities Role in Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship
Laurel Ofstei, Faculty Director, Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Michigan State University (United States)

Regional and Local Experiences with Increasing Economic Prospects of Youth Through Entrepreneurship
Wilson M. Karimi, Project and Youth Empowerment Officer, USAID Empowered Youth, Egerton University (Kenya)

The New Normal: Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to Accelerate the Growth of Youth Enterprises
Matlhogonolo Mongwa, Founding Director and Practicing Doctor,  Kalafhi Medical Center (Botswana)

Innovating with Youth and Creating Decent Jobs
Samuel Mwangi, CEO and Founder, Plotus Technology Company (Kenya)

Questions and Answers
Miriam Charimbu, Lecturer in Crop Production and Protection, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University  and one planet fellowship Laureate (Kenya)


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