The CEO of Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, in an interview with the Global Business Forum Africa, discussed some of the opportunities available to entrepreneurs and potential investors on the continent. The interview is part of the activities leading up to the GBF Africa 2021 Forum, a 2-day event set to kick off October 13 in Dubai, where Ifeyinwa will be participating as a speaker.
Themed “Transformation Through Trade”, this year’s event is aimed at bringing trade and investment communities together to explore bilateral trade opportunities between Dubai and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Here are some important points from the interview:
On the challenges faced by African Entrepreneurs:
It has been argued Africa is the economic epicentre of the covid-19 pandemic. This is evidenced by soaring inflation, food insecurity, devaluation of currencies and the acute liquidity crisis. Access to finance is therefore the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs are facing in post-covid Africa. Through our tried and tested entrepreneurship programme DFIs at the foundation, Governments and the Private Sector are able to channel finances to where it’s needed the most.
On the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic on Africa’s start-up industry:
Even before the pandemic, start-ups were faced with peculiar challenges, all of which have been further compounded by the global health crisis. The truth is it has been a mixed case for the continent. There are a lot of new opportunities as a result of the pandemic; we have seen new and more intelligent ways of doing things as many businesses have been forced to adapt or sink.
On the most effective policies to help nurture start-ups in Africa:
While this differs country by country, if we were to take Africa as a whole then definitely the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement is the single most impactful piece of legislation that will transform the face of entrepreneurship on the continent.
On the sectors with the most potential for investors in Africa in 2022:
Africa has always been a land of opportunity and the same remains true today.Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu
Africa has always been a land of opportunity and the same remains true today. With our land mass, fertile soil and human capital; agriculture is a clear favourite. Indeed, Africa has the potential to be the food basket of the world. It is also critical to note the increasing importance of Green projects from renewable energy and recycling to biodiversity. These areas have huge potential and will position Africa as the Green Economy of the world with multiple opportunities for carbon credit.