Beyond creating a unique entrepreneurial hub, Gemini Africa, based in Egypt, intends to fully play its role of mentoring to talented African youth who deserve to build a better future. Explanations and Portrait of Adly Thoma, CEO of Gemini Africa.
Interview by Daouda Mbaye
If you had to succinctly summarize your background, what would you tell us?
I am the CEO of Gemini Africa. In addition to over 20 years of business management experience in renowned local and international organizations, I am a project and risk management speaker who has traveled the world. I am a professor at the University of Agora in the United States, a postgraduate instructor and consultant within the EMEA region at various renowned institutions and institutions. I am also an international award winner, guest and panelist at influential events with leading institutions like IFC, African Union, TEDx and many more. I sit on the board of directors of several organizations and am a member of think tanks and innovation committees. I also have the role of mentor in entrepreneurship, judge and jury member in many panels, summits and regional, continental and international initiatives for young people.
What is the objective of Gemini Africa through the recent creation of this hub of African startups?
Our motivation to create a unique entrepreneurial hub (e-Hub) in 2019 emerges from the values on Gemini Africa rests, namely to promote the vision of a collaboration that replaces the competition, with the deep conviction of the role and the integral responsibility in supporting resilient entrepreneurs and bright young people in Egypt and across Africa, because they deserve a better future. Added to this is a boundless aspiration to have a positive impact on the ground on economic growth, not only on individuals, but on the continent as a whole.
We believe that to achieve this impact and be able to build a better future, we need to tackle the most pressing business challenges to ensure business continuity and financial sustainability for startups.
Our Gemini Africa e-Hub is the answer! It includes not only an ever-supported community of mutually supportive startups and entrepreneurs, but also an extensive network of partnerships of key ecosystem players to provide a broad and diverse portfolio of services and support.
You are in the process of selecting candidates for the Pitch with the Gemini Africa Uplift Startups Initiative. What kind of support do you envision for them?
We are designing all of our flagship programs to benefit from the e-Hub by offering support to winners through three tracks … Gemini Africa 3M.
The first, Money, is about investment opportunities and financing options. The second, Mentoring with Coaching, capacity building and business advice. And the third, Matchmaking to exploit business opportunities and provide the right access and exposure.
In terms of impacts, on employment, innovation … what are you waiting for?
We look forward to seeing the impact of our programs manifested in the first place in economic growth and increased employment through investments and business matchmaking to implement projects and unlock business opportunities. Likewise, the promotion of innovation by injecting technological advances by supporting the execution of entrepreneurial technological ideas. Finally, the social impact by spreading positivity and hope through capacity building programs and coaching activities.
Gemini Africa has so far recruited from English speaking countries. What about French-speaking countries?
It is part of our aspiration in 2021 to expand our reach and impact on the African continent and therefore to include French speaking countries is definitely on our roadmap this year. We have already started to seek partners, on the ground in various parts of Africa, to facilitate the implementation of upcoming programs in Africa.
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