The Ghana Startup Network in partnership with International Trade Centre’s Ye! Community, and Pan African SMEs Network has launched the 5th edition of the annual Young Entrepreneurs Summit, Expo and Awards, to empower, recognize and celebrate youth, women and young entrepreneurs in Ghana.
Under the Theme; Amplify the Voice and Support for Youth, Women and SME Businesses in AfCFTA implementation, this year’s edition is scheduled for 15th – 18th of December at a location in Accra, to be announced later.
The goal of this year’s Summit is to create the enabling platform for Ghanaian youth, women and young entrepreneurs to advocate and to ensure that the elements of the Protocol on Youth and Women will directly address their concerns to enable them trade on the one single African Market and to benefit fully from the opportunities availed by the AfCFTA.
The launching was held as a side event of a three-day dialogue organized by the Pan African SMEs Network in partnership with GIZ’s Support programme for AfCFTA, to have a one-on-one engagement with experts from the AfCFTA Secretariat for an expository dialogue on the Free Trade Area which is billed to be the biggest single market in the world.
As part of the launching, the Committee Lead for the 2021’s Summit, Expo and Awards, Ms. Esther Edem Tulasi stated that this year’s award will honor 25 young entrepreneurs in various categories, such as Male and Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Start-up Entrepreneurs of the Year, Student Entrepreneurs of the Year, Disability Entrepreneurs of the Year, Celebrity Entrepreneurs of the Year, Green Entrepreneurs of the year, Agrobusiness Entrepreneur of the year, among other industries considered.
Esther took the audience through the Summit and Expo registration and the Awards nomination processes, via www.yeawards.org, as well as explaining the nomination and selection processes of the Awards, among others, and called on all young entrepreneurs to register for the summit, as well as nominating themselves or other deserving entrepreneurs for the awards.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Startup Network, and the Pan African SMEs Network, Solomon Adjei called on Ghanaian delegations on the negotiating table of the AfCFTA Protocol on Youth and Women to consult widely the youth and women across the sixteen regions of Ghana, and to ensure their voices are heard, and their needs considered and addressed by this protocol, to help them maximize the full potentials of Africa’s Free Trade Area.
On his part, the Deputy Secretary of the Pan African Youth Union, Ahmed Benning called for the necessary policy frameworks and infrastructure for an industrial strategy if local businesses are to take full advantage of AfCFTA since majority of our people are consumers and if AfCFTA cannot meet their consumer needs, that void will be filled by markets like China, EU and the Americas.
He believes AfCFTA is the best opportunity to lift millions of families out of poverty, businesses to expand and grow into multimillion industries to build resilient societies and sustainable and resilient economies, and called on all to participate in it.