© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

Symposium ”Enterprising Africa – perspectives for economic development for a young population”

The symposium will focus on the question of how Africa's economic potential can be unleashed, which actors will be crucial in this, and what role education, entrepreneurship, and business skills should play. Sign up now!
© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Kursaal Bern
Kornhausstrasse 3
3000 Berne
01. October 2019
17:00 to 19:30 o'clock

Every year 20 million young people in Africa enter into the labor market (IMF 2017). Economic development on the continent is dynamic in many regions, but not yet sufficient to enable everyone to find decent employment. Especially in rural areas, a lack of opportunities leads many to seek their fortunes either in cities or further abroad. At the Helvetas Symposium, we will discuss what is needed to drive youth-inclusive economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Program of the Symposium

  • 5 pm Welcome and introduction: Melchior Lengsfeld, Executive Director Helvetas

  • 5:10 pm A case of entrepreneurship for job creation and development in Africa: The Informal and Formal Economy,  Kizito Okechukwu

  • 5:40 pm Agripreneurs in Africa: Leapfrogging leveraging technology & innovation, Ndidi Nwuneli
  • 6:10 pm Break
  • 6:30 pm Take-aways youth pre-event
  • 6:40 pm Panel discussion on how to unleash Africa’s economic potential
    With key note speakers, Zenebe Uraguchi, advisor market systems development Helvetas, and Maria Prieto, Future of Work Specialist ILO International Labour Organization   
  • 7:30 pm Closure and Apéro

The event is moderated by Arnold Kawuba, Regional Lead Partner Engagement Africa, DSM.

The symposium will be exclusively held in English at Kursaal Berne.



The registration deadline has expired and the event is fully booked out. Please write to nadja.buser@helvetas.org for further inquiries. Thank you.

Are you below 30 with a link to Africa?
Join our pre-event!

Keynote speakers

Founder of LEAP Africa
Ndidi Nwuneli
Ndidi Nwuneli is a co-founder and managing partner of Sahel Consulting and has shaped agricultural strategy and policy in West Africa for a range of clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is also the co-founder of AACE Foods, a social enterprise working on value chains for smallholder farmers in West Africa, as well as the founder of LEAP, which works across Africa inspiring, empowering and equipping the next generation of dynamic, principled and innovative young leaders. Ndidi was selected one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and is the author of the book “Social Innovation in Africa” (2016).
© Helvetas
Executive Head of 22 On Sloane
Kizito Okechukwu
Kizito Okechukwu is the executive head of SEA Africa, a research and development firm focused on linking businesses to African markets. He is also the co-chairperson of the Global Entrepreneurship Network 22 on Sloane, which is Africa’s largest startup campus based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His past experience and roles include heading up guest relations, internal sales and marketing for the Tsogo Sun Group, editor for the African Entrepreneur magazine, head of research at the BAM-SA group, and associate at Centre for Creative Leadership.

Your contact person

Coordinator Symposium
Nadja R. Buser