CGEA-hosted IOE-Business Africa Forum in Algiers: inspiring, supporting and nurturing entrepreneurs for a brighter future for Africa's youth

More than 300 participants were present for the opening ceremony of the highly anticipated IOE-Business Africa Enterprise Forum, which was generously hosted in Algiers on 18-19 February 2019 by the General Confederation of Enterprises of Algeria (CGEA). The participation of IOE member organisations, and entrepreneurs, from across the African continent was made possible by the financial support of the European Union.

IOE members from across the African continent were among the contributors and panellists who came together for this year’s IOE-Business Africa Enterprise Forum. The 2019 edition was graciously hosted by CGEA, whose business affiliates and high-level national government contacts joined the young entrepreneurs, as well as the IOE and ILO representatives, who brought their perspectives to the two days of deliberations and insights..

The theme for this year's Enterprise Forum, "Inspiring, nurturing and supporting entrepreneurs" was widely acknowledged as a shared priority.  It responded particularly to the need to put the spotlight firmly on delivering comprehensive, practical and concrete support to encourage Africa's youth to create their own businesses. The Forum acknowledged such action as key to alleviating the high youth, and female, unemployment rates on the continent; to providing a fulfilling and rewarding future for the millions of young people entering Africa's labour market each year; and to contributing to the sustainable development of the continent in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda, and the guiding vision of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The opening ceremony was honoured with words of welcome and encouragement from a host of leading figures, including Ms Saïda Neghza, President of CGEA; Ms Jacqueline Mugo, Secretary-General of Business Africa; and Mr Matthias Thorns, IOE Deputy Secretary-General, among others.

Setting the scene, Ms Neghza underlined the potential of Africa’s increasing youthful population to “provide momentum for the global economy”, as well as the efforts made by both the Algerian government and CGEA to implement programmes directed at bringing innovation, competitiveness and quality to youth-, and women-initiated SMEs in the country.  Mr Thorns’ intervention called for “local action for changing the reality on the ground”, highlighting the success of national apprenticeship networks through the GAN, as realised in Malawi and other countries.  He also called on employers’ organisations (EOs) in Africa to contribute to the global employers’ voice when it came to the achievement of the SDGs.

As Secretary-General of Business Africa, Ms Jacqueline Mugo highlighted the responsibility of the participants to channel their experience and expertise to ensure the right policies were in place to alleviate the social challenges that would continue to erupt as a result of inaction. For Ms Mugo, it was important to recognise that it was not enough to rely on FDI to unleash Africa’s potential, the answer to many of Africa’s challenges lay in transforming the rich seam of Africa’s ingenuity, which was often to be found in the informal sector, into formal entrepreneurship. She said: “Governments need to create an environment that is conducive to home-grown enterprises…to helping our people to do business successfully”.

Read the full summary report of the key takeaways here... or click on the link in the "Resources" section to download the PDF.

Please also refer to the "Resources" section for links to all the available presentations (in the original language).

We take this opportunity to kindly invite you to complete our short questionnaire on the Forum.  Your feedback will inform the design, delivery and organisation of our events to better respond to your needs and expectations in the future. Thank you in advance!

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