Young African entrepreneurs stand to gain more from the continued business partnerships between the United States and Africa.
The just concluded US-African business Forum in New York reaffirmed the United States commitment to help Africa grow despite the hardships many are still going through.
Dahabshiil Chief Executive Director Abdirashid Duale whose international money transfer company operates in the United States and in Africa says the opening of opportunities for African investors into the US has helped turn around the lives of many in Africa.
Speaking after the forum, he said: “Through remittances from Africans living in the United States, those back home have been able to set up small businesses and hence earn a living.”
“Dahabshiil is a living testimony of how the US Africa business partnerships have helped improve the quality of life in Africa,” he added.
And it’s not just through remittances, Duale says, jobs have been created and young entrepreneurs given opportunities to become business leaders in different fields.
In his remarks during the close of forum on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama said from his visits to Africa he had realised that , Africans do not just want aid, they want trade.
“They want partners, not patrons. They want to do business and grow businesses, and create value and companies that will last and that will help to build a great future for the continent.”
Obama added: “Our Global Entrepreneurship Summits in Morocco and Kenya and our Young African Leaders Initiative are giving nearly 300,000 talented, striving young Africans the tools and networks to become the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future. We’ve got some of those outstanding young people here today.
“We need to invest more in Africa’s most precious resource, and that is its people, especially young people. We got to continue to empower these aspiring leaders — give them the tools, the training and the support. Because if Africa’s young people flourish, if they are getting education, if they are getting opportunity, I’m absolutely convinced that Africa will flourish as well,” observed Obama.
And Duale says he is proud Dahabshiil has in the past partnered with the US Embassy in Kampala early in the year help identify youth talent and create innovation in Uganda as a means of reducing unemployment.
“We in Dahabshiil believe in the power of entrepreneurship to dramatically change the socioeconomic landscape in Africa. Youth entrepreneurs, in particular are key drivers of innovation and future economic growth and we are happy the US through their business partnership are creating these opportunities and we will continue working with them in future for the good of Africa.”
Dahabshiil has also sponsored a startup competitions and hackathon in Nairobi.
The US Africa Business forum was organised by former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg through his Bloomberg Foundation.