As usual, West Africa was kept abuzz with a series of events held in the heralding of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and to bolster the startups springing and thriving in the geopolitical compartment. As it is our culture, we bring you glimpses of these occasions weekly. In no particular order, here are some of the events that occurred in West Africa’s business sector in the past 7 days.
It was a memorable day for the British and of course Nigerians, as Theresa May arrived Nigeria as part of her three-day tour across African countries. After her debut in Cape Town South Africa, the British Prime Minister headed for an indoor meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja. After signing an MoU in security and defense partnership with the country, she headed to Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos. In the hippy, densely populated city of Lagos, she was welcome by Governor Ambode and his entourage, who then accompanied her to an assembly of entrepreneurial biggies such as Femi Otedola, Aliko Dangote, and Tony Elumelu among others. The 40-minute meeting which held at the FMDQ Security Exchange Building in Victoria Island was expected to provide an opportunity for forging more bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Reports say that May’s visit to Lagos was to form reciprocal trading relationships between Britain and Nigeria.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Program
In Ibadan, Oyo State, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) held a workshop for youth entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Congo and other African nations. An envoy from the United States attended the event, and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington was the key man in the fixture. The highlight of the event unfolded as the ambassador urged the entrepreneurs to learn from Silicon Valley and patronize each other. He also encouraged the youths to support one another on their different quests to becoming impactful in their business environments and immediate communities. He urged them to never give up, despite as many times as they would fall. According to him, the maxim at the forefront of every lip in Silicon Valley is that ‘an entrepreneur who hasn’t failed once is not yet in business.’ In this event still, The EYA group, through Evelyn Ohanwusi, who is the interim head, had made a presentation to the ambassador on how it operates on a philosophy of “to grow crops, you must grow farmers”, and how its goal is to reduce economic marginalization of the African youth through modernized agricultural technology.
HCC Startup Challenge Awards
A Ghanaian organization known as Heritage Christian College, under the auspices of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and Ethics (CEPE), awarded up to USD 27 K to students that emerged winners in the HCC Startup Challenge. A total of eight teams were awarded cash prizes that would enable them to get their business off the ground. The President of HCC, Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah, while presenting the check awards to the winners at a media conference, said that HCC organizes annual business competitions for members in the University Community – a move which he described as one towards the facilitation of national development. Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah said that the competition aimed to provide support for those with what were scrutinized to be the best business proposals to; to turn those ideas into successful businesses. According to him, HCC seeks top challenge student entrepreneurship to dream, experiment, iterate and persist.
To know the startups that won this challenge (including the amounts awarded) and get further details of this event, check here.