That was the “africaXchanger” 2017
22. June 2017
On 12 June 2017 the “africaXchanger - Young Leaders Hub Berlin” took place. We look back at an evening with inspiring success stories and exciting discussions.
Due to the enormous potential of the African continent and the importance of stable networks for social and economic success, the initiative called “africaXchanger – Young Leaders Hub Berlin” was called into being this year. The concept: four young African leaders from the energy, technology, and startup sectors present their exemplary success stories. On the stage, they meet with German counterparts and shed light on similarities, differences, and challenges of their respective jobs and lives. The event was organized in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and was initiated and curated by culture manager Dr. Stefanie Rau-Gerdts.
On the evening of 12 June, some 100 invited guests gathered in the Commerzbank building on Pariser Platz, with a view of the Brandenburg Gate, to follow the panel discussions of African and German young leaders. Following the welcome addresses given by Ute Weiland, Managing Director of “Germany – Land of Ideas”, and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel (MdB), Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), were the presentations with ensuing discussion. Dr. Amy Jadesimi (LADOL Limitless Opportunities Industries) and Jasandra Nyker (BioTherm Energy) discussed the topic of energy. William Edem Senyo (Impact Hub Accra) was invited to talk about the subject of start-ups and alternative financing models. The field of premium consumer goods was presented by Swaady Martin (The Swaady Group, YSWARA). The German counterparts, including Jörg Rheinboldt (Axel Springer Plug & Play) and Dr. Kathrin Gassert (project workshop), also actively participated in the dialogue.
The talks on the stage shed light on important issues. For example, the tremendous importance of private investments was stressed – capital that is often not made available publicly. The speakers also discussed the in part difficult search for qualified specialists as a starting point for future optimizations of the employment sector. Among the challenges that companies throughout Africa face is the often-complicated establishment of the necessary infrastructure. Still, the success stories of the African guests show that a strong entrepreneurial spirit can overcome all obstacles.
It also became apparent that there is no patent recipe for economic success on the African continent. Regional differences between African countries make it necessary to continually adapt to the respective conditions. The role of stable networks at home and abroad was identified as a decisive factor for building a business sector with lasting success. Such networks promote knowledge transfer and provide support that is particularly important for young entrepreneurs and founders.
The speakers all agreed on one thing at the end: they all see themselves as paving the way for a new, confident Africa that will play a decisive role on the international market in the future. They are promoting a change of perspective on a continent that for a number of years has developed from a passive actor into an active partner. Exchange with important industrial nations like Germany will therefore also be very important in the years to come.
Following the panel discussions there was a reception at which all of the participants could meet and network with others. Standing in smaller and larger groups, the participants were engrossed in lively discussion.
On our YouTube channel you can call up a live recording of the evening.