The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched a new initiative, titled the Africa Growth Platform, which aims to help African startups grow and compete in international markets.
WEF announced the launch of the initiative in a statement yesterday (27 August). It said the platform will bring together governments, investors and entrepreneurs to enhance funding prospects and create better enabling environments for business growth.
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The African Growth Platform will secure commitments from governments to implement policy reforms aimed at stimulating and accelerating business growth.
Africa Growth Platform founding members include Alibaba Group, Dalberg Group and Zenith Bank
The platform, WEF explained, also aims to build a community of investors — comprised of private investors, foundations, multilateral institutions or corporate intrapreneurs — to enable better coordination and pooling of resources that could facilitate larger subsequent rounds of funding.
In addition, the platform will create and sustain a community of startup enterprises, promoting collaboration and sharing best practices.
Founding members of the Africa Growth Platform are Alibaba Group, AT Kearney, Dalberg Group, Export Trading Group, US African Development Foundation, Zenith Bank.
WEF head of Africa Elsi Kanza pointed out in the same statement that Africa’s entrepreneurs are its greatest economic asset but spirit and resourcefulness alone are not always enough to help them succeed.
“Too often startups and innovative enterprises fail needlessly through lack of additional finance or overly burdensome regulations.
“The Africa Growth Platform brings together all the actors — governments, investors and the businesses themselves — necessary to create an environment where they can fulfil their potential in terms of growth and employment,” said Kanza.
WEF said the platform will form a major part of the programme at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2019 which takes place from next Wednesday to Friday (4 to 6 September) in Cape Town.
The event will convene more than 1000 regional and global leaders from government, business, civil society and academia.
WEF said the forum will explore new models to help Africa achieve success at a time when technology is creating “dramatic economic and societal shifts”.
The meeting’s programme will also cover issues that include skills and education, the ocean economy, the economic impact of drones, free trade and ecommerce.
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