At the recent Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa in Botswana, Patrice Motsepe called for more urgent investments in young people.
President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and South African billionaire, Patrice Motsepe, called for the greater promotion of African football, also urging investments in young startups, at the recent Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa, held in Botswana from April 24-28.
In a keynote conversation on the second day of the summit, Motsepe took to the stage at the Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub in the country’s capital Gaborone, addressing as many as 600 entrepreneurs attending from across Africa and the world. The summit was also attended by Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi.
“The young people seated here, in front of me, reflect some of the brightest in the world,” said
Motsepe, adding that it is “an exceptional time” for Africa.
“We have got to invest in infrastructure and finance and encourage more young people start startups
and keep starting again.”
Starting businesses in Africa is not the same as in the rest of the world, he pointed out. The situation in Africa is marginally different and at this point of entrepreneurship in Africa, the continent should not feel obligated to compete with the rest of the world. Motsepe stated that what the continent needs currently, is more real contribution than anything else.
“There are 300 million young people between the ages 15-25 on the African continent. We have to
connect with them. We have to be where they are. We have to hear what they say. The future for Africa
is exciting and beautiful.”
According to the African Development Bank, 22% of Africa’s working-age population are starting businesses. The report further stated that this is the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world.
“The best ideas are not sitting in some corporate office,” Motsepe told the delegates in the audience.
“The hardest part of any venture is when you start. Because when you succeed, success perpetuates itself. There’s money available for opportunities, but they have to be profitable and sustainable. If it’s not profitable, try something else.”