• In 2018, civil society will provide leadership… but

In 2018, civil society will provide leadership… but

At the dawn of 2018, the continent faces a turning point in its evolution. While civil society has never shown so much appetite for entrepreneurship: it has become more vocal on these issues various demands. This naturally creates a clear distance in the relationship between elites and the general populace. And yet…

By Chams Diagne, founder of Talent2Africa

 

Civil societies are the main architects of a more liberal “new world”. It is in this spirit that they affirm without complexity only a single economic will: to undertake continually. This trend is also considered beneficial for the continent, which will need to create 50 million jobs a year by 2050 to facilitate the integration of young people into employment, according to the World Bank.

However, one element of our time is positive : we have never had son many people wishing to start a business.

When 20 years ago, young people dreamed of joining the public service. From now one, the trend has been reversed so abruptly that political leaders have not been able to adapt quickly to this new situation. In Togo: nearly 40% of working women are already self-employed entrepreneurs, according to the Ministry of Economy.

It is the emergence of this new situation that has widened the gap between civil society and economic and political leaders.

Would this pit be incommensurable? Certainly not, no! On the one hand, because political and economic elites in some countries can still play a major role. This is the case in Cote d’Ivoire, where public authorities organise the public-private consultation committee every year. That is always a success because many entrepreneurs from the informal sector encounter government departments, which offer them a minimum of cover, insurance and supervision.. On the other hand, start-ups – and more generally small and medium-sized companies – are still fragile ecosystems. In a recent study, the IMF explained that 84% of small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa were not getting sufficient funds to sustain their activities. Finally, not everyone is destined to become a startuper. This is why the emergence of these new ecosystems does not eliminate the absolute necessity to develop real industrial and agri-food policies.

 

That is on this precise segment that we intervene. When the objective is to develop technical know-how, the continent can also rely on these diasporas. Often graduates and experienced, these young professionals, whom we recruit and then train in the realities of the field, must benefit from a legal easing on the conditions of obtaining visas from the States. This would bode well for a better synergy of skills in Africa. Finally, the countries where these diasporas are located also bear some responsibilities. During his visit to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso: Emmanuel Macron, the French president, wanted visa facilitation for those from the continent who studied in France. It is a positive measure because it participates in the exchange of skills

Today: if we speak of a gap or even mistrust between our political and economic leaders in relation to our peoples, it is because the naive idea that the needs met by a private structure could be wrongly substituted for the role of public action has been allowed to circulate too much. In Cameroon, the start-up Traveler specializes in road safety by designing a gearbox that records the excess speeds of buses. However the success of this company should not make us forget the commitments made by the Cameroonian state to improve road safety. Road safety, especially on board buses, cannot be solved by a start-up alone. Finally, in 2018, the challenge will also be to bring together civil society actors and decision-making powers throughout the continent… For in 2018, it is no longer time to identify the reasons for this gap, but to assess what each of us can contribute to the development of our countries.


 

 

Photos Chams Siagne, founder of Talent2Africa

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