A reliable partnership can provide mutual benefit to African and European stakeholders in areas including digital technologies and skills, both of which are essential for economic growth. Supporting digital entrepreneurship, including tackling the pressing needs of youth entering the job market, as well as the specific hurdles faced by women in accessing the digital economy, is key.
The session was designed as an incubator, bringing together various stakeholders, beyond traditional development actors. The event featured a genuine discussion about collective goals and challenges, resulting in concrete proposals, with a particular focus on women and youth, and beyond the ‘Big Four’ (Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya).
A number of challenges must be addressed to stimulate digital entrepreneurship in Africa. In this regard, the underrepresentation of women in tech can be tackled through inclusion and diversity programmes that feature and are led by women. To address business sustainability, entrepreneurs should partner with large corporations to leverage both their knowledge and access to markets. Governments need to create a startup ecosystem which combines public will, private sector creativity, investor funding and academic research.