International Finance

WEF launches forum to help African startups compete globally

WEF African Growth Platform will bring together governments, investors, and entrepreneurs to the ease funding

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched the Africa Growth Platform with an aim to help African startups grow and compete in international markets. The World Economic Forum plans to achieve its objectives in three ways.

Firstly, the WEF Africa Growth Platform plans to commit the governments into amending outdated laws and implement policies which will facilitate business growth in Africa. Secondly, the WEF Africa Growth Platform plans to bring all the investors, be it private investors, foundations, multilateral institutions or corporate entrepreneurs under one umbrella to enhance the funding process in Africa. And lastly, the platform will create and sustain a community of startup businesses themselves, promoting collaboration and sharing the best practices.

Founding members of the WEF Africa Growth Platform are Alibaba Group, AT Kearney, Dalberg Group, Export Trading Group, US African Development Foundation, and Zenith Bank.

According to the World Economic Forum, 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, entrepreneurial spirit and the tendency to launch startups in African youth is very high.

However, due to insufficient support and infrastructure, African startups suffer the most when compared with startups in other countries. African startups are 14 percent more likely to fail than those elsewhere in the world.

According to WEF head of Africa Elsi Kanza, too often African startups and innovative enterprises in Africa fail due to the lack of financial backing or overly burdensome regulations. The Africa Growth Forum’s objective is to change exactly that.

The Africa Growth Forum is expected to be a major part of the programme at the upcoming World Economic Forum on Africa 2019, which is scheduled to take place between September 4to 6 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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