The 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa was held in Cape Town, South Africa, last week. More than 1,000 regional and global leaders from government, business, civil society, and academia came together for three days to discuss this year’s theme Delivering on Africa’s Promise.
With an expected annual growth of 5% in 2012-2013, sub-Saharan Africa continues its transformative journey from a developing continent to a hub of global growth. According to the World Bank, almost half of Africa’s countries have attained middle-income status. At the same time, the continent’s positive outlook is threatened by fluctuating commodity prices, rising inequality and youth unemployment.
To build on its achievements, Africa’s leaders need to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness, foster inclusive growth and build resilience in a volatile global environment. Accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking talent are critical success factors in this new leadership context.
World Economic Forum on Africa 2013
As one of the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013, MYC4 CEO Mads Kjær was invited to participate in the Forum. More specifically, he represented MYC4 in the session “New Solutions: Scaling Social Innovation” where he was joined by Erna Sittig (Uthango Social Investments), Sameer Hajee (Nuru Energy Group), Iqbal Survé (Sekunjalo Investments) and Juliana Rotich (Ushahidi). The session was moderated by Bruce McNamer from TechnoServe.
The objective of the session was to explore how social innovation in Africa can be scaled up for greater impact? The dimensions to be discussed were:
- Leveraging experimentation of social enterprises
- Fostering innovative partnerships and financing models
- Targeting policies and incentives for growth
In the synopsis from the session, these key points are highlighted:
- Like any business, from day one, social enterprises should think about the process by which they will scale
- Partnerships between social enterprises and public sector actors should be built on common interests
- A critical challenge when scaling social enterprises is transmitting the culture, values and ideals that are at the core of the business
Like many other Forum participants, Mads made sure to share his experiences and impressions on Twitter, using #WEF and #WEFAFRICA to join the online conversations. See some of his tweets below – and go to Twitter to read the rest, including some from his visit to the Nairobi office earlier this week.