• SME champions forum: the fourth edition in Rwanda
  • SME champions forum: the fourth edition in Rwanda

SME champions forum: the fourth edition in Rwanda

For its fourth edition, SME Forum Champions returns to English-speaking Africa. In Rwanda specifically, a country that has set up an ecosystem conducive to the emergence of national champions. A model that the meeting, initiated by the recruitment firm AfricSearch, invites to study.

So after Dakar, Nairobi, and Abidjan, the SME champions forum will be held this year, from 17 to 19 November, in Kigali, Rwanda. A choice that owes nothing to chance.


With AfricSearch, you organize each year the SME CHAMPIONS Forum, which aims to bring together the ecosystem in which these African champions will hatch. Since the first edition, have the sown grains given fruit?

SMEs have needs. The question of leadership  coaching, support in financial solutions, access to the market. The Africa SME Champions Forum, the first forum exclusively devoted to the financing of African SMEs, is organized in partnership with the management consulting firm AfricSearch, the African Guarantee Fund guarantee fund, the IFC, the pan-African bank Ecobank and the African Bank of Africa. Development (AfDB). Enabling high-growth African SMEs to become the Champions of tomorrow is the leitmotif of this continental event. This forum allows SMEs to access financing through banks, investment funds, guarantee funds, foundations and Business Angels, to increase their business networks and to benefit from the best advice thanks to experts specialized in development. SMEs present. And indeed, this forum which is in its fourth edition, offers this ecosystem with at one place, banks, actors who share best practices … An extreme ecosystem important. With 300 SMEs, a hundred financial institutions and experts for the next edition, 17 and 18 November in Kigali, Rwanda.

A model country in terms of promoting SMEs, education, support for young people …

Rwanda today, in terms of business development, especially the technology sector, is indeed at the forefront. Incubation issues like the Key Lab, a city of innovation … are realities. They understood that these initiatives are important. You can open a business in one place and get all the necessary documents. Which today allows this country to innovate enormously, even if the corporate fabric is not yet developed. In 5 to 10 years …

Like most projects today, the impact will not be before five to ten years. But the urgency is there, today. Do we have these five to ten?

These are companies that already exist. In Ivory Coast, it is not a question of how one will create these companies but how one organizes oneself to give them more subjects so that they develop more quickly. When we talk about national champions, it comes down to those that already exist. We are not going to work miracles. In the meantime, the ecosystem will encourage new creations. There is not a country in the world where SMEs are not supported, even in the United States, the most liberal country in the world, in Singapore … In Africa, the state must find the resources to develop similar programs.

In conclusion, Rwanda has also invested heavily in training. This is the key: to return to fundamentals by reinventing educational systems adapted to the realities, and the new challenges of the continent?

The worst is probably before us, if smart reforms and massive investments are made, because according to statistics, in 2050, ¼ of the world’s working-age population will be in Africa, and in 2100 almost half of the world’s youth will be African. With 80% of jobs in 2030 that do not exist today according to a study by the American company Dell and the think tank “The Institute for the Future”, and another report from the World Economic Forum that says that nobody knows 30% of the skills that will be useful in the next 10 years, it is clear that it is a real revolution that will take place in education and training. It is time to reinvent school in Africa in a changing world that is experiencing cycles of change faster and faster.



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