Under the theme, The African Century: Unlocking the Continent’s Biggest Opportunities through Inspiration, Innovation and Exploration, The Forbes Under 30 held its inaugural summit in Botswana, a country otherwise known as the Gem of Africa owing to its reputation as one of the world’s largest diamond producers. Across 5 days, young entrepreneurs and game-changers, one third from Botswana, one third from 30 Under 30 Africa and one third from the 30 under 30 community worldwide, convened in the capital Gaborone and later on flew to Kasane-the northern Chobe district and home to the national park that boasts the largest concentration of African elephants.
HARNESSING THE POWER OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The summit kicked off on April 24 in Gaborone where the newest and next generation of leaders focused on sustainability, innovations, entrepreneurship and unlocking the continent’s growth potential which is in its demographic dividend. The latter purports that Africa will account for 80% of the estimated 4 billion increase in world population by 2100, and the rise in the working-age population will boost Africa’s productive potential at a time when most advanced economies will be experiencing population ageing. This unfolding demographic transition will give rise to an enormous opportunity to unleash an economic growth spurt and help define the 21st century.
BOTSWANA ON THE GLOBAL STAGE
Speaking at the official opening ceremony held at the Main Mall, the president of the Republic of Botswana extended a hearty welcome to the young entrepreneurs and the Forbes community and stated that the summit stands to open doors for Botswana in the global market. “You will be agreeable, that anyone with the rare privilege of being touched by the watershed experience of Forbes Under 30 Summit cannot remain the same old self. It indeed disrupts the old adage that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. I am very optimistic that you game-changer delegates will have a watershed experience of a lifetime from your participation in this marketplace of ideas.” He further discussed, with Randall Lane-the Chief Content Officer, the development of the first-ever Forbes Under 30 summit Africa and the decision to choose Botswana as the first-ever African host country.
Some of the notable speakers included Dr Patrice Motsepe who shared about his journey of becoming a businessman of note. Another speaker Elsa Majimbo, the 20-year-old Kenya social media star discussed her rise to fame through the power of social media.
Held in Kasane, the sustainability segment of the summit started off with the Classic Chobe River sunset cruise where the under 30 listers and delegates enjoyed a 3-hour cruise, one of Chobe’s best tourism offerings. Talks on sustainability focused on equity and innovation and solving the most pressing issues of today and tomorrow. Historically, Finance, Textiles and Mining of diamonds have led to conflict, inefficient consumption and extreme wealth inequality. Three leaders in these industries; James da Costa Cofounder and COO of Fingo Africa, Nicholas Hanny Cofounder and CEO of NIKIN and Wanetsha Mosinyi Manager of Social Investment and Sustainability at De Beers discussed the progress they have made in trying to lead their respective industries ethically.
Amid an array of other insightful panel discussions, the day ended in a delightful sustainable fashion show showcasing the best young designers of Southern Africa. Closing off the summit was a night of dancing and feasting under the African night skies featuring local cuisines, bonfires and local entertainment.
By: Tloco N. Kelebemang