Fellow Africans, on behalf of AfCFTA Young Entrepreneurship Federation (AfYEF), I welcome you all to 2022, the year of aggressive capacity building and development for our members and non-members alike. 2022 is declared a year of building.

The Journey So Far!

AfYEF is a Pan – African Youth Entrepreneurship/Business Membership Organizations from across Africa that serves as a representative voice for young African Entrepreneurs on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) with a registered objective to:

a.) Mobilize and prepare African young entrepreneurs to participate and benefit from the AfCFTA agreement.

b.) Advocate for policy reform and implementation to strengthen the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem for AfCFTA.

c.) Facilitate Business to Business and access to markets for young Entrepreneurs;

d.) Provide a platform for sharing best practices and resource mobilization, external partnerships, networking, organize regional events on AfCFTA.

e.) Facilitate capacity building, information sharing and mentoring of young entrepreneurs for AfCFTA.

f.) Work with relevant stakeholders to facilitate access to credit and mobilize investment for young entrepreneurs.

g.) Act as a unified force for young entrepreneurs and promote social good.

h.) develop strategies for African young entrepreneurs towards maximizing the benefits of AfCFTA among others.

Our 2021 was largely focused on laying of foundation, creating awareness, mobilizing and setting up structures for the organization.

Needless to say, the AfYEF journey began late 2020, as an informal group of a handful of Pan – African Youth – led Entrepreneurship organizations under the visionary Leadership of Chief Malti-Naa Siita Sofo Hissan (founder of North Television, former staff of Ecobank Ghana and United Bank for Africa -UBA) having identified the urgent need to create a synergy as part of our collective strategy that should help mobilize and facilitate their members participation and inclusion in AfCFTA Implementation Strategies across Africa and in the Diaspora.

Progressively, on June 10, 2021, AfYEF was officially inaugurated with a 20 Entrepreneurship Member Organizations and 200,000 individual membership strength across Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Burundi, USA, Uganda, Cote D’Ivoire Niger, Kenya Rwanda, Mali, The Gambia, Zambia among others. Some of the highlights of major events includes;

On June 29, 2021, AfYEF made a courtesy visit to the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana on AfYEF prospects in Nigeria.

• On July 16, 2021 AfYEF signed an MoU with ASSI, the largest Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprise in Ghana.

• Same around same time, AfYEF had a meeting with the Group Executive Director & COO, The African Electronic Trade Group (eATrade Group), the largest and AU backed Intra-African Trade digitization and Made in Africa industry leader in Africa. We shall be meeting with the Chairman soon to sign an MoU on partnership.

• On July 24, 2021, AfYEF was invited to the International Conference Centre in FCT Abuja by African Youth and Talent Summit where our President & CEO delivered a presentation on AfYEF. This also witnesses the activation of the AfYEF Nigerian Chapter.

• On August 15, AfYEF received an Invitation to be guest Speaker/Panelist on a US global peer-to-peer CEO network in a silicon valley, a community of over 2,000 CEOs across 115 Countries on the occasion of their CEO Roundtable Series and this was ably represented by the Head of Training & Development, Evans Edebor.

• Same on August 15, 2021 Nigerian had a meeting with the Group Executive Director & COO, The African Electronic Trade Group (eATrade Group) with the prospect of meeting with the Chairman at Durban, on the sideline of the Intra African Trade Fair 2021 to sign a partnership deal. Unfortunately, owing to logistics, the organization could not make it to the Dubai, Niger and IATF 2021 which held in Durban. We are hopeful we will be able to make IATF 2023 at Cote D’Ivoire.

• On August 23, 2021, AfYEF met with management of Afro Arab Group (a financial institution in Ghana) as part of funding efforts for our members to begin a preliminary talk on Partnership to support youth and women financially.

• On September 4, 2021, AfYEF met with the leadership of All African Students Union(AASU), Technical Advisor to GIZ Ghana and the Deputy National Coordinator of Africa Young Entrepreneur, an organization with over 12 million membership strength.

• On October 5, 2021, AfYEF paid a courtesy call on the European Union Ambassador to Ghana to discuss among others how AfYEF members can learn from EU free trade and benefit from it.

• On October 28, 2021, AfYEF Nigeria visited the National Action Committee on AfCFTA for strategic collaboration and mobilization of Nigerian youths and Entrepreneurs.

• On December 1, 2021, AfYEF announced formally the operationalization of offices in five (5) countries namely Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, China and Zambia.

• AfYEF announced a series of AfCFTA Capacity Building Training Program for members and non-members alike including AfCFTA Masterclasses, 4-Month Trade Accelerator Program for Young Entrepreneurs in Africa etc.

• On December 10th, 2021, AfYEF participated at Kempiski Gold Hotel, the official launch of Global Africa Trade Advisory Chamber (GATAC).
Where we are Now!

In this New Year, we are beginning with Training a part of effort to strategically prepare and position ourselves ahead of massive AfCFTA opportunities that will be unveiled this year and beyond.

I have directed the Head of Training and Development to work out the modality to make the training free for all members and non- members alike for the 1st quarter of this year, meaning from January – March, 2022, nobody will be charged for any training fee. We are starting the year with free training as part of our effort to support and encourage our members in their AfCFTA Entrepreneurship journey, growth & aspirations.

The Journey Ahead!

Despite the challenges, as an organization, we shall remain resilience in our future expansion plans & growth aspirations which include:

a.) Activate AfYEF Chapter across all the African Countries by December 31, 2022.

b.) Connect and mainstream about 50 million young African women, youths and SMEs into our membership stream the next 12 months.

c.) Source and broker major partnership deals.

d.) Build a custom Database Management System (Aflink App) for the organization

e.) Have operational AfYEF International offices across Dubai, China, USA, UK, Europe, Asia Etc. for our members in Diaspora.

f.) Train over 7 million (virtual & in – person) Women, Youths and SMEs in our AfCFTA Entrepreneurship Training by December 31, 2022 in different Countries across Africa.

Fellow Africans, this is the journey we begin today, the journey to give young African Women, Youths and SMEs the power to change their economic, financial and social impact narratives through AfCFTA Entrepreneurship opportunities as critical levers towards achieving a better secured and more prosperous future.

The road is no doubt going to be tough and rough but we will remain undaunted; we shall remain committed to our abiding faith in the possibilities and prosperity of our great continent.

In short, 2022 we are going to build a better AfYEF to support AfCFTA and create jobs for the African youth.

Source: Ghana Web

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