__Dig deep, see far, soar high.
“Have confidence in the young people, give them a chance and they will surprise you!” said my good friend, the late former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. How right he was, and is. When I read your thousands of comments here each week, I am awed. I salute you for your vision and also resilience in storms (that is the life of an entrepreneur).
Did you know that, thanks to millions of you, our Facebook page here, turned out to be #1 in the whole world for the year 2018? Wow! Our Facebook page… together…focused on entrepreneurship in Africa was #1. I didn’t even know about this until one of you shared the link with me a few weeks ago.https://buzzsumo.com/blog/
Without doubt, this is thanks to you. I simply created this FB platform. It was all you who made it #1! If you don’t believe me, you can ask the ones who compiled the ranking! It’s truly you, and your interest in entrepreneurship, that has made this platform great. Thank you for teaching each other and also teaching me.
__You are busy building Africa’s century together and maybe you don’t even know it!
Now let me remind you once again, because#WordsMatter, that it is not just me who reads and (sometimes) get inspired by what you write. Unexpected people all over the world have mentioned to me that they read my posts, but especially that they enjoy learning from your comments and positive words of support you often give each other…
Some are investors, heads of state, donors, sports stars, ministers, philanthropists, or just recruiters looking for highly talented personnel from Africa!! Don’t ever feel that you aren’t heard, because you are. Please be sure to keep this in mind when you write. In the next series I am going to be featuring some of your stories.
You never know where it might lead…
I think many of you probably saw the Fireside Chat in Davos, Switzerland last week. The session was hosted by myself and Svein Tore Holsether (CEO of Yara). We were joined by two amazing young tech entrepreneurs, Ada Osakwe (Nigeria) and Rapelang Rabana (South Africa)… who I wrote about here in 2015. Wow!
It was like I was sitting between two rock stars! Last time I looked, we had a spectacular 5.1m+ views!! I hope you enjoyed it. If not there’s still time.
The main thing we talked about was a new partnership vision for young entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector that we are calling “Generation Africa”. We will launch it officially in the next few months. Stay tuned. This week in London the teams held some excellent planning meetings and more are coming soon with others who share the same vision. It’s really exciting.
Now what is most important is for us to make sure we are creating something that young entrepreneurs across Africa really want…
__What have you seen others doing that has been totally inspiring to you? I’m speaking today of people working, promoting or somehow involved in the “agri-food” sector in Africa:
# What are they doing that is inspiring?
# Why is it innovative or new or interesting to you?
# What challenges did they overcome?
As I read your comments, I will turn some of them into posts for a new 10-part series. If you have questions about what kind of businesses might qualify as “agri-food,” please ask. The Senior Class can help fill you in here. It may not be what you think!
__One more question: If you yourself are in the agri-food sector, what are you doing that might inspire others? Some of you have selflessly shared here telling me about others. I’m inviting you to shine, too.
A food-related #Product? #Process? or #Peopleworking on the value chain from “Farm to Fork”? Even if you’ve already shared here, please do again. The Generation Africa team will be studying your advice and stories.
If you don’t know what a “value chain” means, that’s part of the language of business you need to know. Senior class, please help. I’ve already given some hints.
Thank you once again to everyone here for making our African entrepreneurship FB platform #1. Please give a word of thanks to each other, too.
Let me close with a reflection by Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr which I know applies to many of you, especially your disciplined focus on trying to create jobs and grow your businesses, despite so many obstacles and tragedies that occur around you:
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”