Improved Business Environment will Empower Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs
May 31, 2012
The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) held its second Investment Climate Summit in Arusha, Tanzania between 28th and 30th May 2012. The main focus of the discussion was how to create an enabling environment for the now generation.
Up to three quarters of the population in many African countries is comprised by the youth, making job creation a key imperative for the continent. Businesses of all sizes have to be able to absorb this growing population and to do so they need a conducive environment where they can grow and thrive.
The creation of this conducive environment was the centre of discussions during the Investment Climate Summit which was attended by former Tanzanian president H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Neville Isdell and other notable dignitaries.
Over 200 participants from African governments, private sector, donors and development agencies attended the interactive plenary sessions which explored four main areas: starting a business, growing a business, thriving in business, and building the future.
Speaking at the summit, Omari Issa ICF Chief Executive Officer said, “It is amazing how youthful the African population is. These young people have the potential to drive forward Africa’s development. But to do that they need jobs, they need to be able to start their own enterprises and make them thrive. We have worked closely with our partner governments, the private sector and development partners to identify and quickly address the many constraints that inhibit businesses and entrepreneurs from investing, growing and creating jobs.”
The Summit also recognized major achievements implemented in partnership with African governments that have resulted in a rapidly improved business environment. Projects from six different countries provided demonstrations of how they have been able to improve the investment climate in their respective countries.
Benjamin Mkapa ICF Co-Chair stated: “ICF has demonstrated that real improvements can be implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner to generate tangible impact in African economies when stakeholders are fully committed and beneficiaries are engaged.”
Neville Isdell, ICF Co-Chair, concluded, “ICF stands out as an organization focused on practical action, delivering quick and cost-effective results, and successfully engaging African governments and businesses in the process. The huge enthusiasm generated by the tangible results demonstrated during this Investment Climate Summit has shown that now is the time for African governments, development partners and the private sector to replicate this success by adopting ICF’s proven approach.”