On February 15, the Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote speech at the Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) 2017 where he encouraged the youth to be active members in contributing to economic growth in the African continent.
“Think of the young entrepreneurs who are leading the world, think of what to do instead of complaining. Young people it’s your time to lead. Women and youth are the game changers. We can harness the power of young people by giving them the opportunities,” Mr. Ban Ki-moon added.
The Hub sponsored and participated in the 11th edition of AFIF 2017, which brought together SMEs managers, entrepreneurs, investors and government representatives to exchange knowledge on access to finance in key sectors, such as energy, water, ICT, health and agriculture. AFIF also hosted an Entrepreneurship Award in which 51 SMEs competed. The innovative projects were drawn from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania for their social, economic and ecological impact, and their potential for growth and job creation nationally and regionally.
Christian Mwijage, Managing Director of Eco Act (Tanzania), won AFIF Entrepreneurship Award 2017. EcoAct transforms waste plastic into plastic lumber, an affordable alternative to timber for construction purposes. Eco Act is addressing challenges of plastic pollution, waste management, deforestation and climate change. His company was awarded $10,000.
The Hub's Investment Director participated in a panel discussion titled Improving Access to Finance in Africa, where she advised entrepreneurs to focus on three key things to attract impact investors 1.) scale your business, 2.) articulate impact, 3.) focus on bottom pyramid.
The Hub also participated in B2B sessions that connected companies looking for trade and investment opportunities in East Africa.
EMRC, an organization dedicated to growing Africa, convened the conference on February 13-16 in Nairobi, Kenya.