LIVE FROM MOBILE 360 – AFRICA, KIGALI, RWANDA: A panel of representatives from enterprises and inclusion schemes cited increased access to education and partnerships as central elements to drive business and accelerate development efforts.
During the Young, Gifted and African session, some of the continent’s most innovative start-ups joined representatives from business to discuss operational challenges and barriers to equality.
Regional adviser for Rwanda at youth entrepreneur training scheme Digital Opportunity Trust, Violette Uwamutara (pictured, second from left), said: “We all know that knowledge is power, but we’ve found the majority [of] younger people are not well informed, they don’t know all the facts and they rush to go into innovation.”
She added increased education and digital community hubs were necessary to nurture innovators.
Mastercard SVP digital partnerships for the Middle East, Ngozi Megwa (pictured, centre), said the transaction company had developed its own training scheme to educate young women and increase their skill sets, but still found local staffing challenges.
“One of the biggest barriers we face is lack of access to talent,” she noted. “If you don’t have internet connectivity how do you develop? How do you grow? How do you [gain] access to things to help you to evolve and become more employable?”
Ezana Raswork, CEO of casual recruitment app Taskmoby (pictured, second from right) said start-ups like his struggled compared to Silicon Valley counterparts due to lack of infrastructure, with partnerships and investment key to help ideas become a reality.
“We had Taskmoby on shelf for a while before we converted it into a business,” he said. “When I compare what we do to a friend of mine in Silicon Valley it looks like we’re both walking on a stairs and at some point they get on an escalator when the idea is almost ready,” he said.