A new World Economic Forum initiative, the Africa Growth Platform, has been launched with the goal of helping Africa’s community of startup enterprises grow and compete in international markets.
The Africa Growth Platform will do this in three ways:
- Firstly, by securing commitments from governments to implement policy reforms aimed at stimulating and accelerating business growth.
- Secondly, it aims to build a community of investors, whether private investors, foundations, multilateral institutions or corporate intrapreneurs to enable better coordination and pooling of resources that could facilitate larger subsequent rounds of funding.
- Third, the platform will create and sustain a community of startup businesses themselves, promoting collaboration and sharing best practices.
Two-thirds of Africa’s 420 million young people are currently unemployed which highlights a clear need for new solutions to drive employment growth. At the same time, Africa’s young population is well-endowed with an entrepreneurial spirit with early-stage entrepreneurial activity 13 per cent higher than the global average.
However, due to insufficient support and infrastructure, the region’s startups are 14 per cent more likely to fail than those elsewhere in the world.
The founding members of the Africa Growth Platform are Alibaba Group, A. T. Kearney, Dalberg Group, Export Trading Group, U.S. African Development Foundation and Zenith Bank.
The theme of the 2019 World Economic Forum on Africa is Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The meeting will convene more than 1,000 regional and global leaders from government, business, civil society and academia.
This gathering will explore new models to help Africa achieve success at a time when technology is creating dramatic economic and societal shifts. The meeting’s highly interactive programme will also cover issues as diverse as skills and education, the ocean economy, the economic impact of drones, free trade and E-commerce.