The young trees make up the forest

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Africa’s youth will determine its future. But if we are to build back better for tomorrow, we must support and equip our young people to enable them to lead the way to a more prosperous future for all.

In June, South Africa celebrated Youth Month with the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society.”

For those of you who do not recognise the name, Charlotte Maxeke was an amazing woman whose light is still shining bright today showing the way for South African youth. She was a religious leader, social and political activist; one of the first Black women graduates in South Africa and one of the first Black South Africans to fight for freedom from exploitative and social conditions of African women.

In paying tribute, the Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) recognises the past, present,  future  and leadership role of both our youth and the women of Africa in shaping the socio-economic landscape of not only this country but also of the continent.

It is against this background, that we welcome five new young Shared Value ambassadors and leaders from Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, who are joining SVAI’s Africa Council of 8.

  • Alaa Moatamed, Co-Founder, Presto (Egypt);
  • Dr Mumbi Wachira Associate Director, Doctoral Academy, Strathmore University Business School (Kenya);
  • Elizabeth Okullow, Co-Founder & CEO, Aafri Fudi (Kenya);
  • Regis Umugiraneza, Founder & MD, The Carl Group (Rwanda);
  • Talifhani Banks, Founder & Executive Director, Analytics Advertising (South Africa);

Our Africa Council of 8 are the voices of young leaders and part of the vanguard of the Shared Value Africa network, raising awareness and supporting the growth of our community across the continent.

As part of our mission to help Africa’s youth reach their potential, the SVAI’s Shared Value Africa Academy hosted its first Investor Readiness Workshop this month, in partnership with Three Arrows Impact Partner. The session unpacked what it means to be investor-ready and what is required when looking for funding in the future. The workshop also featured Jon Duncan, Head of Responsible Investment at Old Mutual, as a guest speaker.

Africa’s young leaders are truly inspiring Click here to download the Africa Innovates from 2020. It is a must-read supplement, which features the young and gifted, disruptors and game changers.

The young trees make up the forestOther SVAI entrepreneurial-focused engagements in the pipeline include the second intake for the Shared Value Africa Academy (SVAA) Purpose Playbook training that kicks off in July and the quarterly African Entrepreneurship Forum taking place on 31 August.

The SVAA partnered with Prof Suki Goodman, Head of the School of Management Studies at UCT, to evaluate the pilot group’s level of knowledge and understanding of a variety of subjects covered during the Purpose Playbook training. The report on the pre- and post-training comparative analysis is available online.

Both the training and forums provide life-long learning platforms, which have been carefully crafted to help our young leaders prepare for future challenges and equip them for greater prosperity

Another knowledge-sharing platform for both youth and women is the Sustainable SMEs Focused Dialogue hosted by Human Capital International, which takes place in Kampala on 29 and 30 June. Join business leaders from Uganda and across Africa to explore access to finance and technology options to promote Inter-continental trade for women and youth focused SMEs. If you cannot make it in person, it will also be hosted online via Zoom.

A strategic focus area for the SVAI is fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV), which prompted the launch of the GBVF #ITSNOTOK movement in 2020 in response to the increase in GBVF during COVID19

The purpose of #ITSNOTOK is to build mainstream GBVF awareness and to influence all to raise their voices and support the fight against this pandemic as well as to motivate private sector to take action and step into a supportive role.

In the lead up to Women’s Month in South Africa in August, the SVAI is partnering with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), to deliver a webinar on the ‘Role of Private Sector in Gender Based Violence (GBV) Mitigation and Response’. Join us virtually on 24 June and have your say on this critical issue.

This will be followed on 12 August by a forum focusing on the ‘Role of Africa Academia in Advancing Gender Equality and Eliminating GBV’.

In addition, as mentioned before, the SVAI is working with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on collaborative Gender Based Violence (GBV) research studies. We very happy to share that the research proposals were approved by the UJ Ethics Committee and is now in the field. If you are contacted, please set time aside to participate in the survey and demonstrate your fight this societal and business issue.

ITSNOTOKWe are calling on all companies to show their public support for this cause by amplifying the awareness messaging for Women’s Month. A quick win will be to support the purchase of #ITSNOTOK-branded buffs for employees to raise awareness and speak up in support of this cause. These buffs can also double up as a mask. It is a not-for-profit campaign specifically designed to create mainstream awareness. Email to make your voice heard

Last but not least, planning for the 5th Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit, which takes place from 8-9 November, has commenced with key stakeholders across the continent.

Check out our reportback on the CEO Connect that took place on 4 June, in particular the leadership discussion on competitive collaboration and the awe-inspiring keynote by Mark Kramer, as he reflects on a decade of creating Shared Value. The next CEO Connect is scheduled of 30 September and promises to be even more remarkable and insightful.

Our pre-Summit media campaign is also off to a great start with extensive coverage of the recent CEO Connect on CNBC Africa, online on BizCommunity and a feature on Shared Value that was published in the Mail & Guardian earlier this month.

All in all, June has been an eventful month. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for more announcements and media coverage as our countdown to the Summit continues.

Until next time!