In the first of a series of posts on African entrepreneurship in the lead-up to the inaugural LSE Africa Summit, LSE’s Preston Ideh details how the organisers of the Africa Summit are embracing their role as entrepreneurs.
African entrepreneurship is a call home. At the launch of Mara Online, Ugandan multimillionaire Ashish Thakkar flew a chartered plane over Silicon Valley, the world’s technology hub with a banner reading ‘It’s time for Africa’. The call is profound, yet remains unanswered by those gifted with ingenuity. It is very much Africa’s time today, and the answer is simple – Entrepreneurship.
Africa’s role on the world stage is yet to be harnessed, but the world is patiently watching in anticipation. It is a familiar tale of African governments and Foreign Offices to call on Foreign Direct Investment to unlock Africa’s potential, but the answer also lies somewhere even more familiar to us. It lies in our power to dream, to envision and to create. Entrepreneurship is more than running a business and marginal profits; it is about owning something distinct and commercialising an innovation. Innovation itself has always been the driver of progress, and it has never been more necessary. What innovation needs are those entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to create the future by thinking now. We all have a desire to see Africa grow, but we must do it ourselves, because what is not started will never get finished. Continue reading