Africa – a youthful, entrepreneurial continent where strong private partnerships are formed

Anne Linnee, US Consul General, Durban Consulate of the US Mission to South Africa, spoke at the US Business in Africa Awards, and explained that all challenges have a business solution. Never is this more of an opportunity than in Africa – the world’s youngest continent. Indeed by 2050, 1 in 3 people will be under the age of 35 on the continent. And yet, many of these people work in the informal sector. This reveals the untapped potential for doing private business.

An example of an incredible young entrepreneur is Kenyan Njeri Rionge, who has grown several tech-based multi-million-dollar companies across East Africa. Her company, Wananchi Group, began as an internet service provider and is now that region’s largest cable, phone, and internet provider. US private investors could seek out similar operations, with endless opportunities to grow across industrial sectors. African governments must enable an entrepreneurial business environment, says Angela Russell, Committee Member and CEO, AmCham SA, who spoke at the Awards launch.

Cynthia Griffin, the head of Commercial Affairs at the US Embassy in Johannesburg, added that these business environments must enable meaningful bilateral trade, where local people are employed, and where social challenges like poverty and inequality are meaningfully dealt with.