Unleashing the potential of youth to succeed in business

The two-day event was held in Dakar, Senegal on 13-14 November 2018 during the Global Entrepreneurship Week. It was a featured event of the Global Entrepreneurship Week and was jointly co-organized by the partners of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth: International Labour Organization (ILO), International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It is held in collaboration with the Government of Senegal, Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes (ANPEJ), Agence Sénégalaise de Promotion des Exportations (ASEPEX), the Government of Spain, the Government of Luxembourg, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, Nestlé and Jokkolabs, host of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Senegal.

Themes

The event provided a platform for over 250 stakeholders involved in Decent Jobs for Youth and particularly in the area of youth entrepreneurship and self-employment to engage, share experiences, innovations, and opportunities for scaled action.

The event programme covered three main themes:

  1. Promoting an enabling policy and regulatory environment for youth entrepreneurship and self-employment
  2. Facilitating access to markets, networks, knowledge and skills for young entrepreneurs and youth in businesses
  3. Facilitating access to finance for young entrepreneurs and youth in businesses

Audience and outcome

The event brought together over 250 key stakeholders in the field of youth entrepreneurship and self-employment in West Africa and beyond including policymakers, young entrepreneurs, social partners, civil society, private sector actors, financial and business-support service providers, as well as international and regional institutions

The event was expected to:

● Exchange knowledge, lessons learned and best practices from policies, programmes and initiatives in the area of youth entrepreneurship and self-employment;

● Call upon stakeholders to commit to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and to develop a declaration for joint action to support youth entrepreneurship and self-employment.

Event format

The event format was as follows:

  • Plenary sessions on the three main themes of the event
  • Breakout sessions to engage in technical discussions
  • Pitching competition for young entrepreneurs
  • Marketplace for youth entrepreneurship and self-employment actors
  • Global Initiative commitment platform
  • Inspirational talks from young global entrepreneurs
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Speakers
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Joannie Marlene Bewa

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Charles Immanuel Akhimien

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Mohamed Fadel

AIESEC

Priya Gajraj

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Senegal

H.E. Alberto Antonio Virella Gomes

Ambassador of Spain to Senegal

Dorothy Tembo

International Trade Centre

Finda Koroma

ECOWAS Commission

Aminata Kouyaté

National Director of Youth Employment, Guinea

Martin Ruvugabigwi

Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs

Fiorina Mugione

UNCTAD

Richard Zulu

Business Innovation Consortium

Christian Jekinnou

Afric’Innov

Beran Dondeh

Information Technology

Fatoumata Niang Niox

Jokkolabs

Regina Mbodj Brown

CTIC Dakar

Martin Labbé

ITC

Abraham Déthié Diouf

Nestlé, Senegal

Othmane Benhlima

Eco-Heat

Bibusa Wissemann

SensXAfrica

Emanuele Santi

Afrilantropy

Vital Sounouvou

Exportunity Group

Matteo Landi

UNIDO

Ousmane Ba

Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes, Senegal

Khady Ndiaye

Sentaar

Ibrahim Lahouli Kabore

Aviculture

Dianne Cornes

Youth Business International

Ata Cisse

UNCDF

Hadja Ba

Strategy, Risk and Performance, INTOUCH

Sobel Ngom

Social Change Factory

Yann Le Beux

YUX

Makhan Sacko

Sahel Analytics

Alpha Bacar Barry

Jatropha

David Cordobés

ITC

Mujinga Tambwe

ITC

Mariama Johm

Afri Taste

Arielle Kitio

CAYSTI

Abdourahamane Diallo

Coopérative pour l\\\\\\\'Agriculture et la Production Animale

Nuwajuna Justus Kamuhanda

Just-us Investment

Chérifatou Ibrahima Agoumo

NIGERBIOGAZ

Rotimi Williams

Kereksuk Rice Farm

Lamia Naji

Mastercard Foundation

Oumar Syll

FAO, Senegal

Malick Sy

UNIDO, Senegal

Ambrose Ayooluwa Ayodele

FESTO Didactic

Karamoko Diarra

Institute of Higher Education for Agriculture and Entrepreneurship, UCAD

Christophe Yvetot

UNIDO

Khadidiatou Diop Ndiaye

Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes

Hugues Legros

LuxDev

Bamba Fall

Entrepreneurship training

Charles Ocici

Enterprise Uganda

José Manuel Medina

ILO, Cabo Verde

Nadja Nutz

ILO

Amadou Lamine Diagne

Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal

Baba Drame

PACEV programme, Senegal

Amy Mbengue

ECOBAG

Oumar Basse

Nano Air

Moustapha Kamal Gueye

ILO

Cheikh Thaim

Entrepreneurship trainer, Senegal

Djamila Gueye

Djamila Gueye

Emanuela Benini

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

TBC

Délégation Générale à l’Entrepreneuriat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes

Charleine Mbuyi-Lusamba

ILO

Oduyebo Simeon Adekunle

Enterprise Development and Promotion Department, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Niger

Fati N’Zi-Hassane

Skills and Employment for Youth Programme, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency

Rui Fernandes

Cooperation, Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Senegal

Lucia Ahoefa Allah-Assogba

TOGOSIME

Rotimi Opeyemi Olawale

JR Farms Limited

Ghada Khalifa

Microsoft Philanthropies

Sukti Dasgupta

ILO

François Murangira

Decent Work Team, Country Office for Senegal, Cabo Verde, The Gambia and Guinea, ILO

Mao Ba

BIOSENE

Abdoulaye Seye

Hub Rural

Oscarine Mboye

TBD

Lamin Darboe

National Youth Council, The Gambia

Cristiana Finotti

Microcred, Senegal

Brianna Losoya-Evora

ANDE

Abdoulie Singhateh

NEDI

Adel Elsayed Sparr

UN Office of Counter-Terrorism

Jeph Acheampong

Blossom Academy

Ismaila Sambou

Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce

John Trew

Plan International

Peter Loewi

UN MGCY

Callie Ham

ILO

Djonabaye Israel

iPLUS and The Builders

Eric M. Tamandja

National Coalition for Youth Employment (CNEJ)

Ndeye Absa Gningue

African Development Bank

Gallo Diop

Club Ohada Thies

Kone Gninlnagnon

RAJEL International

Gabriel Luciano Preira

Senegalese Ministry on Youth

Maria Perdomo

UNCDF

Programmes

Tue, 13 Nov 2018 08:00 am To 21:00 pm

Day 1 - YES Forum

Summary

In the opening remarks all speakers highlighted the statistics of youth unemployment and underemployment, 63 million young people being unemployed and over 141 million being employed but living in poverty. Taking this as a starting point, they unanimously emphasized the importance to jointly tackle this youth employment challenge along with the high potential of entrepreneurship to foster growth and development. Entrepreneurship was also considered in the context of addressing international migration. A mutual dialogue between youth and policy makers as offered at the YES Forum is critical to effectively work together, listen to young people and address the urgent needs of youth to allow them to connect to the resources they need in order to realize their economic potential. The Plan Sénégal Emergent makes youth entrepreneurship and self-employment a priority, underlining the relevance of this issue as a major concern for the host country of the forum. Joint efforts and inclusive partnerships are needed to remove barriers that youth suffer from in the world of work and to rise up to this key challenges for the region of West Africa. The United Nations Youth Strategy and the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth are a proof of the international commitment and the much needed partnerships to adequately address this global priority.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Joannie Marlene Bewa

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Charles Immanuel Akhimien

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Mohamed Fadel

AIESEC

Priya Gajraj

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Senegal

H.E. Alberto Antonio Virella Gomes

Ambassador of Spain to Senegal

Dorothy Tembo

International Trade Centre

Gabriel Luciano Preira

Senegalese Ministry on Youth

Images

Overview

Promoting youth entrepreneurship and self-employment calls for actions at policy and institutional levels. Evidence shows that effective reforms in business environments lead to the emergence of new firms and job creation. The session focuses on understanding what works and what does not in promoting an enabling policy and regulatory environment for young entrepreneurs and self-employed youth. Challenges in supporting youth entrepreneurship and self-employment encountered by policymakers and institutions, particularly in the case of West Africa, is also explored. The discussion will be informed by experiences and lessons learned from integrating youth into national entrepreneurship and industrial strategies, in line with regional development objectives anchored in frameworks such as the Third Decade of Industrial Development for Africa (IDDA3), the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).

Summary

Throughout the session, reference was made to existing projects that support young entrepreneurs, e.g. EMPRETEC, the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) in The Gambia or Startup Incubator Gambia, which are all opportunities available for youth and young founders to receive skills training and mentorship and which enhance entrepreneurship. Promoting entrepreneurship is essential as the government cannot employ all youth that wish to enter the labor market – job creation through entrepreneurship and value added activities are needed for the further development of a country. So-called Entrepreneurship Fridays are conducted in Guinea as a platform where youth come together to exchange information, ask questions and receive support, orientation and guidance. The Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs in East Africa brings together young entrepreneurs as well, giving them a combined voice to enhance youth entrepreneurship and gain support through this peer network and the sharing of experiences.

Equipping especially girls and young women with the necessary training and skills to foster their self-confidence and encourage them to claim the right to equal pay is important. At the same time, the mind-set of the society needs to change to allow women the same opportunities as entrepreneurs as men. Working with the private sector, the funding for a project can be tied to a certain number of girls that must be included in the project.

One of the most important challenges faced by youth in the region who want to start their own businesses are access to resources, in particular financial resources, and the high collaterals required by banks. Programmes that help entrepreneurs to access finance like the YEP mini grant and mini loan scheme, which are at the moment the only options of access to finance for youth in The Gambia, are essential. ECOWAS currently conducts a pilot of a youth entrepreneurship funding scheme that combines a grant and a loan component in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The importance of acting together as an ecosystem, moving towards coordinated approaches and joining forces with other players to develop new funding mechanisms for young entrepreneurs was underlined. In addition to monetary support for young entrepreneurs they also need financial education –financial knowledge is critical in addition to the financial means themselves. Tax regulations should also be designed in a way that they allow young entrepreneurs to start paying once their business is growing.

Moreover, the relevance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was stressed. However, many youth in West Africa may not yet be able to begin to export, so the focus should be on larger companies that will be able to benefit, while the others should first of all grow in the national context and then take this as the fundamental to enter into regional and global trade.

Session organizer(s)

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Speakers

Finda Koroma

ECOWAS Commission

Aminata Kouyaté

National Director of Youth Employment, Guinea

Martin Ruvugabigwi

Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs

Lamin Darboe

National Youth Council, The Gambia

Fiorina Mugione

UNCTAD

Images

Images

Images

The role of tech hubs and industry associations in supporting young entrepreneurs

This session focused particularly on the role of tech hubs and industry associations in nurturing the development of strong tech ecosystems in the African context, particularly for youth. Specific consideration was given to the challenges of serving start-ups in weaker ecosystems and draw on lessons from more advanced and mature tech ecosystems. Speakers discussed on the relevance and feasibility of start-ups development and promotion activities happening within the broader ecosystem, and the role that hubs play convening and connecting with them.

Summary

Industry associations and tech hubs from Uganda, Senegal, The Gambia, and France brought to the forefront the increasing need to nurture strong entrepreneurship ecosystems to support start-ups and young people. Given the decreasing cost of internet connectivity, rising attention on digital skills as well as improved access to technology and smartphones, more and more African youth are embarking on tech-related entrepreneurial journeys. Moreover, the speakers noted the new entrants in entrepreneurship ecosystems of most African countries in the form of incubators, hubs, venture capital funds, impact investors and accelerators. Supporting young entrepreneurs, especially in the technology sector, is the primary focus of most of these institutions. The speakers emphasised the need for collaboration among the institutions in order to build a well-functioning, relevant and credible entrepreneurship ecosystem that places the needs of entrepreneurs at the centre. It is critical for institutions within such tech entrepreneurship ecosystems to share good practices and deliver coordinated services. While entrepreneurship is a challenging path for young people where success is not fully guaranteed, supportive ecosystems can reduce risk and provide access to the right networks for start-up development and sustainability.

Industry associations and tech hubs from Uganda, Senegal, The Gambia, and France brought to the forefront the increasing need to nurture strong entrepreneurship ecosystems to support start-ups and young people. Given the decreasing cost of internet connectivity, rising attention on digital skills as well as improved access to technology and smartphones, more and more African youth are embarking on tech-related entrepreneurial journeys. Moreover, the speakers noted the new entrants in entrepreneurship ecosystems of most African countries in the form of incubators, hubs, venture capital funds, impact investors and accelerators. Supporting young entrepreneurs, especially in the technology sector, is the primary focus of most of these institutions. The speakers emphasised the need for collaboration among the institutions in order to build a well-functioning, relevant and credible entrepreneurship ecosystem that places the needs of entrepreneurs at the centre. It is critical for institutions within such tech entrepreneurship ecosystems to share good practices and deliver coordinated services. While entrepreneurship is a challenging path for young people where success is not fully guaranteed, supportive ecosystems can reduce risk and provide access to the right networks for start-up development and sustainability.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Richard Zulu

Business Innovation Consortium

Christian Jekinnou

Afric’Innov

Beran Dondeh

Information Technology

Brianna Losoya-Evora

ANDE

Fatoumata Niang Niox

Jokkolabs

Regina Mbodj Brown

CTIC Dakar

Martin Labbé

ITC

Images

Overview

While entrepreneurship significantly contributes to the creation of jobs for young women and men, social enterprises, by default of their business model, are also a crucial driving force for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This session identifed and discussed best practices and opportunities to empower young women and men to create and develop successful social enterprises that can respond to pressing issues faced in Africa, including food security and climate change, waste management, or marginalization of vulnerable groups of society.

Summary

The session was inspired by the success stories of young entrepreneurs applying business solutions to economic, social and environmental challenges, while highlighting the challenges that young entrepreneurs continue to face. The role of social entrepreneurs in achieving the SDGs has been greatly underestimated, underfunded and underregulated. This is often aggravated by a lacking understanding of social entrepreneurs as agents of change that are impact driven while ensuring financial sustainability of their enterprise.

 

The session also discussed how the ecosystem can and should enable and support young entrepreneurs, particularly in Africa. This includes an enabling policy environment with appropriate incentives that appeal to the nature of social entrepreneurship and recognize the degree of dynamism as well as susceptibility to failure that social entrepreneurs need to endure. Similarly, support services need to be made accessible in a meaningful way that will ensure that young entrepreneurs can realize their full potential. While access to finance is critical, especially funding informed by a meaningful results framework, so is ensuring youth are finance-ready, prepared through guidance and mentoring both face-to-face or virtually. Also, dedicated programmes, particularly those that consider the specificity of women and youth, are instrumental to create sustainable and financially viable social enterprises. To conclude, policies and strategies on social entrepreneurship should be informed by consultations with young entrepreneurs, and aspire to harmonize both the different interventions, as well as the impact assessment needed by social entrepreneurs.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Abraham Déthié Diouf

Nestlé, Senegal

Othmane Benhlima

Eco-Heat

Bibusa Wissemann

SensXAfrica

Emanuele Santi

Afrilantropy

Vital Sounouvou

Exportunity Group

Mohamed Fadel

AIESEC

Matteo Landi

UNIDO

Images

Overview

Limited access to finance is often a critical challenge faced by young entrepreneurs. Building and enhancing the capacities of financial service providers is a prerequisite for better access to finance. Moreover, access to finance for young entrepreneurs should be combined with training and support services, building on the evidence that improving access to finance is most effective when combined with improved access to non-financial services. Two sessions will look into challenges and best practices in supporting young entrepreneurs with increased access to finance and improved financial literacy. The role of different stakeholders, such as governments, financial service providers and training organizations will be explored.

Summary

Limited access to finance is often a critical challenge faced by young entrepreneurs. Building and enhancing the capacities of financial service providers is a prerequisite for better access to finance. Moreover, access to finance for young entrepreneurs should be combined with training and support services, building on the evidence that improving access to finance is most effective when combined with improved access to non-financial services. Financial access should be followed by consistent support in conflict solving and capacity building. Funding from the government and other support agencies are crucial for youth starting businesses, but financial products such as microcredit should be adapted to the need of young entrepreneurs, and youth should avoid the mentality to start a business for accessing financial assistance. Monitoring and assistance are required for financial service for achieving effectiveness and building financial sustainability.

Overview

This panel discussed successful approaches in improving access to finance, and the challenges that need to be taken into consideration, including financial literacy for rural development, and the importance of improving non-financial services in tandem.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Ousmane Ba

Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes, Senegal

Khady Ndiaye

Sentaar

Ibrahim Lahouli Kabore

Aviculture

Dianne Cornes

Youth Business International

Cristiana Finotti

Microcred, Senegal

Ata Cisse

UNCDF

Images

Overview

This panel session identified and discussed innovative financial mechanisms, particularly in view of today’s fast paced digital age, such as peer-to-peer financing, mobile banking and payments, crowd funding platforms and other mechanisms. Similarly, it discussed means of financing that are driven by impact, such as impact investing, which has significant potential to support youth-led entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in Africa.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Hadja Ba

Strategy, Risk and Performance, INTOUCH

Sobel Ngom

Social Change Factory

Yann Le Beux

YUX

Makhan Sacko

Sahel Analytics

Alpha Bacar Barry

Jatropha

Ata Cisse

UNCDF

Images

Images

Espace Éphémère

Overview

Young entrepreneurs took part in this live on-stage pitching competition and pitched their business cases to a panel of jury members from the private sector who will provide instant feedback and ask challenging questions. This competition organized by ASEPEX and ANPEJ will put a specific spotlight on young entrepreneurs from Senegal with a focus on companies that are on international markets and have a social objective.


The competition put a specific spotlight on young entrepreneurs from the West Africa region with a focus on social entrepreneurship and sustainable development goals. The jury was consist of impact investors and established young entrepreneurs.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

David Cordobés

ITC

Images

Overview

This session took stock of the day, recaped the key messages and recommendations of the breakout and panel sessions, and set the stage for day 2.

Summary

The moderators took the opportunity to ask the audience for their main takeaways from the first day of the conference, before sharing their own summarizing thoughts. Involving youth in project planning, giving them guidance and the means to pursue their entrepreneurial goals while at the same time encouraging them to showcase their businesses and develop them with self-confidence and perseverance is considered to be of key importance. Furthermore, the necessity of collaboration and an ecosystem approach was underlined.   

 

Charles Immanuel Akhimien highlighted the call to young entrepreneurs to never give up as a common threat running throughout all sessions of the day. Determination and persistence is required from entrepreneurs. This is particularly evident when it comes to access to funding for entrepreneurs in West Africa. Patience and a strong will are critical to go through the high number of applications usually necessary to obtain a first grant. However, other innovative financial mechanisms apart from grants must be found. as businesses cannot solely rely on grants to be sustainable.

Speakers

Joannie Marlene Bewa

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Charles Immanuel Akhimien

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Images

Espace Éphémère

Featured

Announcement of winner of the pitching competition in the presence of:

  • Dorothy Ng'ambi Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)

Speakers

Dorothy Tembo

International Trade Centre

Mujinga Tambwe

ITC

Images

Wed, 14 Nov 2018 09:00 am To 18:00 pm

Day 2 - YES Forum

Overview

This session provided an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to take centre stage in voicing their aspirations for promoting youth entrepreneurship and self-employment in the West Africa region. The challenges encountered in the policy environment, in building market linkages and in accessing finance were highlighted through the real-life experiences of the young entrepreneurs in the panel.

 

Summary

The session gave centre stage to seven young entrepreneurs from Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, The Gambia, Uganda and Senegal to outline challenges they encountered, encourage aspiring entrepreneurs and make recommendations to optimize the regional, sub-regional and national policy and regulatory environment for entrepreneurship, based on their real-life experiences. The panelists called for strengthened government support with regard to: a tax system that allows young entrepreneurs to reinvest the resources they are generating into their own businesses; sensible land reforms; adjusted venture capital regulations; governmental funding or in-kind support; the promotion and purchase of local products; and tenders reserved for youth-owned enterprises. The speakers also gave advice to young entrepreneurs to find the appropriate legal status that is most favorable for their business regarding funding opportunities and considering the tax system, to strike the right balance between their own vision and matching the language of potential investors, and to gain their trust through clear communication and transparency. They encouraged youth to pool their resources and join hands to reduce the risk of starting your own business, reminded them to enter entrepreneurship only for the right reasons, and called on them to be patient and persistent when beginning their entrepreneurial journey.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Mariama Johm

Afri Taste

Arielle Kitio

CAYSTI

Abdourahamane Diallo

Coopérative pour l\\\'Agriculture et la Production Animale

Nuwajuna Justus Kamuhanda

Just-us Investment

Charles Immanuel Akhimien

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Chérifatou Ibrahima Agoumo

NIGERBIOGAZ

Mao Ba

BIOSENE

Joannie Marlene Bewa

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Images

Overview

For young women and men to fully realize the economic opportunities presented by an economy, a holistic view of market opportunities is critical. Particularly in Africa, there is significant untapped potential in agriculture and rurally based industries, the development of which can be key to addressing a number of challenges. Improved market linkages and integration into (rural) value chains allows young entrepreneurs to realize such opportunities, which can contribute to the creation of decent jobs and the empowerment of young women and men to achieve more sustainable livelihoods. Similarly, meeting demands for improved environmental sustainability harbors significant potential for green industries, both in terms of green production processes as well as products and services. However, having access to appropriate tools and services is key for young entrepreneurs to succeed in creating and developing sustainable enterprises and in accessing local, regional and international markets. In addition to access to adequate financing mechanisms, these include equal access to entrepreneurship skills development and training, market information and new technologies, as well as access to networks.

Overview: Providing youth with the tools to succeed as entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs are notably the driving force of sustainable development, and access to markets, networks, knowledge and skills have been recognized as key factors to the successful development of any business, especially for youth. Yet, access also remains a key challenge to many young entrepreneurs. The breakout session shed light on tools that can facilitate such access, including skills training initiatives, innovation hubs, and value chain development initiatives.

Summary

Access to support service remains a significant challenge for young entrepreneurs, especially for young women. The support services face challenges in terms of sustainability, inclusiveness, and effectiveness. To address the challenges, young entrepreneurs should be more acute to business dimensions such as technical requirements, profitability, and limitations. Trainers’ role is to transferring the entrepreneurial mind-set and practical knowledge to youth. In designing support services, high quality technical solution and conflict-solving solutions should be integrated, and the trainings should be flexible and personalized to meet practical needs of young entrepreneurs. BDS service should be perceived by providers as an investment instead of a give-away, so it should aim to have value buy-in from the youth with effectiveness in terms of the outcomes.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Khadidiatou Diop Ndiaye

Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de l’Emploi des Jeunes

Hugues Legros

LuxDev

Bamba Fall

Entrepreneurship training

Charles Ocici

Enterprise Uganda

José Manuel Medina

ILO, Cabo Verde

Oscarine Mboye

TBD

Nadja Nutz

ILO

Images

Overview: Transforming the rural economy through agri-preneurship

Agri-based industries have shown to be a critical source of jobs for Africa’s youth, and thus of inclusive and sustainable industrialization, while addressing pressing challenges such as food security, migration and rapid urbanization. However, a number of challenges continue to hinder youth from realizing the economic opportunities that these industries harbour. This session discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by agri-preneurship to drive rural development and to accelerate the sustainable transformation of Africa.

Summary

The session aimed to shed light on how the agricultural sector holds significant potential to addressing prevailing challenges, particularly in rural areas, of West Africa. The agricultural sector presents a path to sustainable industrialization and opportunities for job creation and employment in agricultural and non-farm sectors, including in agro-processing and manufacturing of agricultural inputs. Furthermore, realizing opportunities in rural areas, including through agripreneurship, can address prevailing challenges including rapid urbanization and migration due to economic flight from rural areas in search of unemployment, as well as ensuring food security for a growing population while improving resource efficiency to safeguard the environment.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Rotimi Williams

Kereksuk Rice Farm

Lamia Naji

Mastercard Foundation

Oumar Syll

FAO, Senegal

Malick Sy

UNIDO, Senegal

Ambrose Ayooluwa Ayodele

FESTO Didactic

Karamoko Diarra

Institute of Higher Education for Agriculture and Entrepreneurship, UCAD

Abdoulaye Seye

Hub Rural

Christophe Yvetot

UNIDO

Images

Overview - Enabling young entrepreneurs for a greener economy

This session discussed the role of young women and men in the just transition to a greener economy, in light of the rapid advancement of technology, changing consumer preferences, and policies calling for more environmentally sustainable economies. Young entrepreneurs, service providers, and policy-makers shed light on the market opportunities and will share experiences and views about the next steps for a greener economy in West Africa.

Summary

The session reviewed the role of young women and men in the promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment in the context of a just transition to a greener economy. Ms. Amy Mbengue and Mr. Oumar Basse shared their experiences as young entrepreneurs developing green business models in Senegal. They discussed the specific challenges that young women and men face in starting a green business in the region, including those relating to information flows, market access, finance, regulation, and skills development.

Mr. Baba Drame and Dr. Amadou Lamine Diagne shared their experiences working on programmes and policy meant to promote green entrepreneurship for youth, including lessons learned and potential opportunities for better enabling young green entrepreneurs in the future. Callie Ham discussed the ILO’s approach to facilitating market changes to be more conducive to entrepreneurship promotion and shared an example from the ILO’s Green Jobs Programme in Zambia’s Green Building Construction sector.

Participants in the audience expressed strong interest in seeing the government roll out green innovations, like those developed by Ms. Mbengue and Mr. Basse, across the country to help support a cleaner and safer environment for the Senegalese population.  Overall, it was felt that the potential for job creation through innovative and ground-breaking enterprise development in the environmental sector remain largely untapped and that government policies can do more to encourage and support young people in that area.

 

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Amadou Lamine Diagne

Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal

Baba Drame

PACEV programme, Senegal

Amy Mbengue

ECOBAG

Oumar Basse

Nano Air

Moustapha Kamal Gueye

ILO

Overview - Empowering young women entrepreneurs in social-challenging environments

This session showcased how approaches to women’s entrepreneurship development empower young women in business, family and community, by combining entrepreneurship training with post-training support, advocacy for a conducive environment and adapted business support services, as well as awareness raising towards productive roles for young women in families and communities.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Finda Koroma

ECOWAS Commission

Cheikh Thaim

Entrepreneurship trainer, Senegal

Djamila Gueye

Djamila Gueye

Emanuela Benini

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

TBC

Délégation Générale à l’Entrepreneuriat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes

Charleine Mbuyi-Lusamba

ILO

Images

Espace Ephémère

Overview

This session provided an opportunity for selected youth entrepreneurship actors to highlight achievements, discuss challenges and announce future action related to the three themes of this event: (1) policy and business environment, (2) access to markets, networks, knowledge and skills, and (3) access to finance.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Mujinga Tambwe

ITC

Brianna Losoya-Evora

ANDE

Abdoulie Singhateh

NEDI

Adel Elsayed Sparr

UN Office of Counter-Terrorism

Jeph Acheampong

Blossom Academy

Fiorina Mugione

UNCTAD

Ismaila Sambou

Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce

John Trew

Plan International

Peter Loewi

UN MGCY

Nadja Nutz

ILO

Callie Ham

ILO

Cheikh Thaim

Entrepreneurship trainer, Senegal

Abdourahamane Diallo

Coopérative pour l\\\'Agriculture et la Production Animale

Djonabaye Israel

iPLUS and The Builders

Eric M. Tamandja

National Coalition for Youth Employment (CNEJ)

Ndeye Absa Gningue

African Development Bank

Gallo Diop

Club Ohada Thies

Oumar Syll

FAO, Senegal

Kone Gninlnagnon

RAJEL International

Images

Overview

The session provided a platform to launch and scale up partnerships to Decent Jobs for Youth and for existing partners to present progress on their commitments. It provided an opportunity to call upon stakeholders to commit to Decent Jobs for Youth and to discuss a declaration to take joint action towards supporting young entrepreneurs by 2030.

Summary

This session was built upon insights from young entrepreneurs on key areas where joint action can effectively unlock barriers for the growth of youth-owned businesses, and it highlighted partners’ actions and commitments to Decent Jobs for Youth. Speakers reaffirmed that multi-stakeholder partnerships can support young people in scaling up their businesses; accessing technology, investment opportunities and financing mechanisms; as well as in building and strengthening entrepreneurial skills through education and training. However, multi-stakeholder partnerships on youth employment face challenges in being effective in areas such as knowledge building, gender inclusiveness, youth engagement, and the sustainability. It was stressed that the role of private sectors in multi-stakeholder partnerships should be enhanced, and a linkage should be created to collaborate with the private sector in support of the 2030 Agenda especially on youth entrepreneurship and self-employment. The Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth serves as such a platform to enhance action and scale up impact on youth employment together with multi-sectorial partners, exemplified by fruitful partnerships with Microsoft Philanthropies, the government of Luxembourg, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and many more partners. Highlights of the Declaration were introduced along with an invitation for joint action as part of the Declaration to create linkages that maximize the effectiveness of investments in youth entrepreneurship and self-employment in West Africa and beyond.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

Oduyebo Simeon Adekunle

Enterprise Development and Promotion Department, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Niger

Fati N’Zi-Hassane

Skills and Employment for Youth Programme, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency

Rui Fernandes

Cooperation, Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Senegal

Lucia Ahoefa Allah-Assogba

TOGOSIME

Rotimi Opeyemi Olawale

JR Farms Limited

Ghada Khalifa

Microsoft Philanthropies

Sukti Dasgupta

ILO

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Overview

The closing session of the YES Forum served to recap the key messages and recommendations of the two-day event, which built the foundation for a declaration that will guide the joint efforts of partners of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth in the creation of decent jobs for youth.

Summary

The closing session of the YES Forum brought together the key messages and recommendations of the two-day event, which build the foundation for a declaration that will guide the joint efforts of the partners of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth. Representatives of ITC, ILO, UNCDF, UNCTAD and UNIDO, emphasized the challenges of unemployment, informality and underemployment faced by young people in the West African labour market. It is in this context, the different partners of the Decent Jobs for Youth initiative are committed to accelerate the support to young people. The YES Forum Declaration resulting from the discussions of the event, is a key starting point for regional actors to work together and create an alliance that can share knowledge and engage in joint implementation efforts. It is a call for action for youth employment stakeholders with young people at the very centre of it. The success of this declaration will rely on strategic partnerships, new financing mechanisms and ownership at all levels from policymakers and institutional actors to private sector and young people themselves.

Session organizer(s)

Speakers

David Cordobés

ITC

François Murangira

Decent Work Team, Country Office for Senegal, Cabo Verde, The Gambia and Guinea, ILO

Maria Perdomo

UNCDF

Fiorina Mugione

UNCTAD

Matteo Landi

UNIDO

Joannie Marlene Bewa

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

Charles Immanuel Akhimien

UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals

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