Making Futures: Young Entrepreneurs in a Dynamic Africa
Making Futures brings together 18 young entrepreneurs from 14 countries doing incredible work across the continent. Their stories are both inspirational and aspirational; providing a template for readers who might be interested in embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey, and allowing others to see the incredible energy and work that is happening across the continent. There's the story of David Sengeh, who has worked on combatting malaria and lack of energy in Sierra Leone before turning to custom-made prosthetics, to Farida Bedwei, co-founder of the largest microfinance banking software platform in Ghana. These are entrepreneurs who are helping to reconfigure the narrative about Africa by simply making things for the masses of their population. They represent what is possible and what can be scaled up in different African contexts, despite the dysfunctionality witnessed across the continent. With such diversity of stories, readers have access to potential business ideas, while learning a little about the history of that country and what it takes to build a business in an emerging economy. These men and women have done it and are doing it! This collection equips readers with intimate knowledge about the markets and growth across the region, and how young creative entrepreneurs are identifying problems as opportunities and seeding growth in a continent that has been long overlooked, but is poised for explosive growth and opportunity, enabled by technology.
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Authored by Sangu Delle, Managing Director of Africa Health Holdings, Chairman of Golden Palm Investments Corporation, TED Fellow, Tutu Fellow, one time Africa’s Young Person of the Year, and forwarded by Henry Louis Gates Jr, an American literary critic, teacher, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual who currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard, Making Futures is an excellent piece of literature that is interwoven to encapsulate the ingenuity, creativity and innovation of a new generation of Africans that are ready to redefine the continent by building wonderful businesses, NGOs and social enterprises geared towards achieving the African renaissance.
From the incredible story of Eric Muthomi, an amazing young Kenyan who creates value from Bananas, to the inspirational narrative of Gregory Rockson, the genius Ghanaian techie, who is disrupting the pharmacy industry by connecting people to pharmacies for easy accessibility of medication, the Author, Sangu Delle, after having travelled to 45 African Countries and interviewed over 600 entrepreneurs, has compiled a balance of 17 inspirational, well-selected entrepreneurs (9 men and 8 women), who are doing incredibly great exploits in rewriting the sorry narrative of Africa.
As the writer notes in his introduction, that the technology revolution, coupled with globalization, has ushered in a new era for the continent, exemplified by an economic leapfrogging, Making Futures makes a case for a growing Africa pioneered and managed by us Africans and none else. It further argues that Technology is only a means to an end and not an end in and of itself. Thus, technology is not a sufficient tool for development. It is necessary, but not quintessentially sufficient.
Sangu Delle concludes the book on a very remarkable note by acknowledging that, as ingratiating as entrepreneurship may seem, it cannot essentially solve all of the problems of the continent. He avers, and I blurb, that Africa has to revolutionize its educational system to fit the global standard and the needs of the changing world, that there is the need to implement policies that will promote the equity financing of start-ups, and last but definitely not least, African governments need to support young businesses to grow and that young entrepreneurs should consider public service.
The book is indeed an incredible read!
If you are an economist, interested in development issues and foreign policy of Africa, or, heart on knowing how foreign aid affects Africa, you should definitely catch a read of Dambisa Moyo’s ‘Dead Aid’. On the other hand, if you love to read novels and beautiful life stories of great men and women, you definitely should land your hands on Barack Obama’s ‘Dreams from My Father’ or Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’. But if you are an entrepreneurship enthusiast, an investor searching for novel ideas to invest in, a young entrepreneur looking for inspiration and opportunities to venture into entrepreneurship, or want to be in the know of the amazing untold story of a growing Africa championed by none else but us young Africans, you should have to grab a copy of ‘Making Futures; Young Entrepreneurs in a Dynamic Africa’ for yourself.
It surely is a must read for all young Africans, entrepreneurs, investors and all African Governments.
BAYUONI DRAMANI MAAZU.