By Lerato Mailoane

This week’s Tuesday saw the launch of the South African chapter of the Africa Economic Leadership Council (AELC) which featured as a keynote speaker, Mr David Makhura, the Premier of Gauteng City Region. The AELC is a business partnership amongst the business communities in Africa, this partnership seeks to transform the face of Business in the continent and grow our economies equitably, by supporting businesses especially SMEs all over Africa. Having being Inspired by the AU Africa Free Trade Agreement we are encouraged  to invite entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry expects across various sectors of the economy  to join on this special summit that will help with better solutions beyond COVID-19 and further re-start the economies across the continent.

Speaking at the launch, Premier Makhura called for competitive and conscious leadership in all sectors. “We need leadership that invests in education that will create more entrepreneurs. This will play a critical role in ensuring the African continent has ethical leaders who are well organised to grow the future of the continent.” 

The Premier further said leadership must understand the fast-paced changes in the economy and the threats it faces. “How do we position African economies and their future from the forces that are shaping and threatening human existence?”

Technological trends, he said, have the potential to alter the way we relate to each other. “Digital skills will be essential for the survival of future generations. Leadership should understand this transition and how we can move the public and business to respond to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).”

The Premier called on the next generation of Africans to contribute to ground-breaking innovations and be pandemic ready by building healthcare systems that can proactively respond to conflicts and wars.

Furthermore, he told delegates to come up with solutions to the rapid urbanisation problem and that the shift must be grounded on the spirit of Ubuntu. “We need to rethink the design of the cities. We need to build opportunities even in the rural areas.”

Founded by true sons of the African soil, the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Heinrich Hafeni (Namibian) and Percy Morapedi Koji (South African), both entrepreneurs have successfully navigated the challenges of setting up a business in the Travel and Tourism industry; and Manufacturing, Training and Development, respectively! 

Percy Morapedi Koji said: “Our aim is to create a conducive investment environment, we have to commence with reforms to the regulatory processes in order to smoothen the Ease of Doing Business. We need to move with unity, purpose, direction and urgency, in order to emerge victorious and deliver prosperity for all.  AELC will provide such platform to all entrepreneurs.

The AELC and private sector have heeded the call from the governments across Africa  to “implement and deliver”.

Other speakers at this groundbreaking launch were His Excellency Ambassador Veiccoh Nghiwete of Namibia to South Africa and Nicholas Kabaso, CEO of the Zambia Stock Exchange who applied the continental integration message articulated by the co-founders of the AELC.

In May the AECL will host the Namibia Intra-Africa Expo and Doing Business in Africa Summit.