Inspiring, Supporting and Provoking Africa’s next wave of Entrepreneurs and Billionaires. This is the vision of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
An atmosphere charged with excitement, hope and an awakening was the enthusiastic backdrop of the 2017 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum held in Lagos, Nigeria.
“We need to give from the perspective of empowering the recipient, instead of making them dependent on us.” – Tony O. Elumelu (CON)
The vision and idea of the TEF is a rather strange one. Catalyzing economic and social development in Africa through entrepreneurship. With “institutionalized luck” and creating an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish in a sustained manner.
We rarely find Africans who want to help each other. I might be wrong about this stereotype but majorly this is us. You could share in the comments how different this is in your country, i’ll really want to know. Also we’ve had to depend on aid, help and support form out of the continent (to contextualize it; not from our own family, community, country) for most breakthroughs.
“ As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break’, to look forward to enjoying some luck.” – Tony O. Elumelu (CON)
Mr. Tony O. Elumelu founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation
So Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON) a believer in creating a cultural shift and changing this stereotype set out with a foundation to do this. Let me help you get this with a flashback. Mr. Elumelu was fortunate to come into two opportunities at two stages of his life whilst very young. These opportunities that he took advantage of changed his life, making him understand that for some people small opportunities in life can cause rippling economic and societal transformations. There are many people who pass on without the necessary help to support the great ideas they had. Ideas that could have created an economic transformation in their communities.
With this he set out to seek and empower the next set of African billionaires. Committing $100,000 million Dollars of his own money ? for the next 10 years to identify, mentor, train and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa, who will raise 10 billion Dollars. This year marked the 3rd year of the TEF Entrepreneurship forum, graduating the 3rd set of selected 1,000 ideas across Africa. Ideas based on solving and growing various sectors of the economy; agriculture, health, technology, fashion, business, retail, education, manufacturing, entertainment, etc..
Tony Elumelu Foundation GHANA Entrepreneurs
25 entrepreneurs were selected from Ghana in the 2017 fellowship. I spoke to Asomaniwaa Owusu-Ansah an entrepreneur from Ghana, who applied to the program with a healthcare idea that seeks to help cancer patients across the country easily access drugs. She was buzzing with excitement from the invaluable depth of knowledge shared with her during the 12 weeks of mentorship and training. The $5,000 seed capital will also go a long way in helping implement her project.
Ken Oppong a 2015 TEF Entrepreneurship Alumni told me of the amazing help he got in creating a business plan, after unsuccessful attempts. If you talk to the gathered entrepreneurs you will hear stories of renewed hope, empowerment and the believe to transform their world.
TEF has taken an intentional step to increase the percentage of women entrepreneurs in the program. Another bold step in addressing the gender divide. This year there was a 3% increase in female applications. There were also 3 countries that had 100% female representation.
TEF encourages anyone with a transformational idea or business, that is based in Africa, is for profit and applicant is a legal resident of an African country to apply. In their own words “we have an opportunity for you”. To apply visit TEF APPLY.
“A starting point is about having a goal. You need to develop yourself for the future you want. When you are given an opportunity don’t mess the opportunity up.” – Tony O. Elumelu (CON)
Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON) pioneering a new mindset in Africapitalism
Mr. Tony O. Elumelu (CON) also the chairman of UBA Group, is pioneering a new ideology of Africapitalism. Africapitalism is about the kind of value you want to create. It is about changing the way we think about creating value. It is about businesses and the private sector playing a role in the socio-economic development of their communities.
“Africapitalism is an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to the economic transformation of Africa through investments that generate both economic prosperity and social wealth. We are focused on promoting the positive role of entrepreneurship in driving Africa’s social and economic development. In doing so, we hope to accelerate the spread of economic prosperity and social progress throughout Africa, strengthening the African entrepreneurial ecosystem”
Tony Elumelu Foundation’s CEO, Parminder Vir OBE said they have been able to operate a workable model that can be replicated by governments and institutions across the region. She said Tony Elumelu Foundation is ready and willing to work with these organizations in implementing and adopting their model. Also they are welcoming other organizations and institutions who’ll like to partner with them even reach more people, create more impact and affect communities.
In it’s 3rd year UBA, UNDP, AFD, Microsoft, Sage are partnering with TEF. Microsoft will be providing software solutions and trainings on using these solutions for the entrepreneurs. These partnerships will benefit entrepreneurs in the TEF network across countries in Africa. TEF is also advocating with governments to create enabling environments for businesses to thrive to boost economic and social developments.
A story of how an internship program changed a life. Microsoft 4Afrika’s Interns4Afrika initiative is providing a platform for Africans to develop and build skills.
The internship program offers young enthusiastic people an exciting experience with Microsoft and Microsoft partner organizations. You get to apply learnt knowledge, learn and develop new skill sets on the job. With this offer you work for 6 months on real projects and collaborate and learn from your colleagues as well.
Lutz Ziob, Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy shares on internship and why interns can be essential ingredients for companies undergoing digital transformation.
Photo : PC Tech Magazine
Six months ago, a young Kenyan named Gilbert Ngetich was living in Gataka, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi. Unemployed, but with a deep passion for learning, Gilbert would study by himself in a men’s washroom, as it was the only accessible place with good light and an electrical socket.
Today, Gilbert has a full-time job as a Cloud Engineer at M2M Systems Limited, a partner of Microsoft. One of the first tasks in his role was to travel to the international Microsoft Inspire conference in Washington D.C, to learn, network and make new business contacts. It was the first time Gilbert had ever flown on an aeroplane.
When interns, like Gilbert, enter the Interns4Afrika program, many of them have never heard of cloud computing, data analytics or machine learning. But we have seen how interns, even if only a few weeks into the program, are being entrusted by their host organisations to take on responsibilities that are unheard of for an intern. Similarly, we find that our graduates become very employable in digital marketing or technical services roles.
Internships are a necessary piece of the puzzle – bridging the last-mile skills gap between job-seekers and employers. Internships give youth the on-the-job experience and workforce skills they need to shape their career, while employers can scout for the best talent, gain fresh perspectives and access to youth who grew up as digital natives.
For companies undergoing digital transformation, an internship program could in fact be one of the best investments they make. Interns are, by nature, hungry to learn, highly coachable and more than willing to adjust to changes and disruptions in your business. Because they are less bound by old experiences, they are more agile, which can mean accelerated transformation.
What caused this change? An internship program.
An interesting scenario in Africa
We face a perplexing and unsustainable scenario in Africa. On the one hand, we have high levels of youth unemployment. South Africa’s unemployment rate, for example, recently hit its highest level in 13 years. In the next 20 years, over 330 million young Africans are expected to enter the job market, but only a third of them will be able to find wage jobs.
On the other hand, we have companies struggling to find and hire the right talent to remain relevant and competitive in the digital transformation era. Like Gilbert, who before had never heard of a Cloud Engineer, the 2016 World Economic Forum Report on growing economies in Africa reports that 65% of schoolchildren today will work in jobs that don’t exist yet. It adds that only 1% of these children currently completing school will have the required digital skills.
Bridging this skills gap needs to begin at school level. To effectively tackle the youth unemployment problem, we need to provide youth with improved access to the internet, devices and curriculum aligned to future job prospects. We need to identify the very skills that will get them employed and then deploy efficient learning approaches that will help them acquire these skills that lead to exciting career opportunities.
A large number of multinational corporations, including Microsoft, have launched free online learning platforms, designed to upskill millions of young Africans. But online learning – although providing a fundamental base – is not enough.
Internship Programs and Digital transformation
As important as hard skills are, there is also a deficiency in workforce skills, including communication, collaboration, agility and leadership. As we navigate through the fourth industrial revolution of business, these skills are becoming increasingly vital. When we speak about digital transformation, we don’t only speak about organisations implementing technology advancements. We also speak about cultural changes. Technology enables more collaborative, productive and agile working environments – and youth need the skills, attitudes and professionalism to successfully navigate these.
Workforce skills are often best acquired in real-world working environments. What we need, therefore, is a blended learning methodology, combining online learning with real-world, hands-on experiences. Interns4Afrika is one of the programs that combines the appropriate what (i.e. skills and capabilities needed), with an effective how (i.e. results-driven learning and training methodologies).
As Arkadi Kuhlmann, founder and CEO of ING Direct USA, said in an interview: “If you want to renew and re-energise an industry, don’t hire people from that industry. You’ve got to untrain them and then retrain them. I’d rather hire a jazz musician or a dancer. They can learn about banking. It’s much harder for bankers to unlearn their bad habits.”
For this reason, the Harvard Business Review coined a new mantra: Hire for attitude. Train for skill.
There are employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for African youth. What they need is the ability to adapt.
With any internship program, it is important to support the onboarding process;
provide training in marketing, sales and digital/technology areas; develop general workplace productivity skills; and offer regular coaching support and peer-to-peer mentoring.
It may seem like a lot of work, but the investment more than often proves worthwhile. Of the 400 internships Microsoft 4Afrika has driven, 80% – 100% of these graduates (depending on the region) have gone on to secure full-time employment – often with their host organisations.
There are employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for African youth. What they need is the ability to adapt to the changing economic needs and master the digital and vocational skills necessary to succeed in evolving business environments.
Modern technology is changing the way we work, learn, communicate, collaborate and entertain ourselves. It is essential for our youth to understand this digital transformation and seize the new, exciting opportunities being created by it. Africa’s youth need to find ways of participating in the process, or better, become the driving forces behind it.
As Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy, Lutz Ziob’s job is to ensure that Microsoft 4Afrika delivers opportunities for Africans to create world class skills. This means providing world-class education services, both online and offline to help develop skills for improved employability, entrepreneurship and global competitiveness. The 4Afrika Academy will offer technical, business and leadership skills to students, government leaders and the broad Microsoft partner community in Africa.
The Microsoft Tech Summit Johannesburg will take place on the 6th to the 7th of February in 2017. The event will take place at the Sandton Convention Center, Randburg, Johannesburg. Discover how Microsoft’s enterprise cloud solutions can help you stay competitive in today’s digital transformation landscape.
Tech Summit is a free, two-day technical training event for IT professionals and developers with experts who build the cloud services across Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows 10.
Microsoft’s General Manger and Chief Strategist Cloud and Enterprise group, James Staten will speak at the keynote event. He’ll be sharing on how Microsoft’s enterprise solutions can help you be more successful, more productive and add value to your IT organization in today’s digital transformation landscape.
Register and get more information for the Johannesburg event here .
The events will feature about 50 technical training sessions. Topics will range from Microsoft Azure, the hybrid platform including security, networking, data, storage, identity, mobile, cloud infrastructure, management, devas, app platform and productivity. T
There’ll be opportunities to speak to the experts and receive hands on help. You’ll also have the opportunity to trial and test some of these solutions at the Hands-on Labs. There’ll also be various sessions to shop during the 2 day events.
Are you planning and looking forward to attending? Follow the events on social platforms with the hashtag #MSTechSummit and #TechSummitSA . Tell us what you’ll be expecting and hoping to experience if you are headed there.
Surface Studio is Microsoft’s All-In-One (AIO) hardware that transforms from a workstation into a powerful digital canvas. The AIO PC is a revolutionary device made for creators and professionals. The device is to spur a new wave of creativity with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update.
At Microsoft’s October event we witnessed the announcement of a device no one was thinking of. Well not that AIO PC’s are new, but the idea and design of the product we saw, kinda.
Before i delve into this just check out the Surface Studio in this video.
Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President Devices, Panos Panay introducing the device said we built this device for Creators, to transform how you create and think about creating.
Surface Studio comes in a 28″ PixelSense Display with 13.5 million pixels, basically more than 4K. The surface team calls the display pixels true-to-life color. The Display features 192 dpi resolution, 10 point multi-touch at 3:2 aspect ratio.
It’s powered by Intel’s 6th Generation Core processors. There a number of variant customizations powering the device ranging up to i7, 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GPU, 32BG RAM and 2TB storage.
Available ports on the device are 4 USB 3.0 (one high power port). A Full-size SD card reader (SDXC), compatible Mini DisplayPort. A 3.5 mm headset jack and 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. It also spots a 5.0 MP front camera with 1080p HD video with Windows hello face sign-in. A 802.11ac a/b/g/n for Wi-Fi wireless networking, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology and Xbox Wireless built-in. The Surface Studio is Compatible with the Surface Dial for on screen interaction.
We built this device for Creators, to transform how you create and think about creating. – Panos Panay
” When the screen transitions from Desktop Mode to Studio Mode, it sits at a 20-degree angle, the same angle as a standard drafting board, making it ideal for sketching, writing and designing. The 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processors accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU deliver smooth and immersive graphics performance and the power to run professional programs such as Siemens’ NX™ software, taking people through their workflow from end to end. Now architects can sketch their ideas with the Surface Pen, put them into production using powerful 3-D modeling software, and review and mark up plans with a client, all on one device. ”
Surface Studio is a new class of device designed for how people naturally create and bring ideas to life. – Terry Myerson
GNPC in a bid to keep employees productive and connected on the go have chosen Microsoft’s Office 365. But this deployment has to happen without any kind of interruptions to service delivery, as such they turned to Microsoft Fast Track and Microsoft Premier Services Support to help with migration.
Godfred Ofori-Som, IT manager of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), talks about the decision to use Microsoft Office 365, the adoption and migration process in a blog post.
In our bid to ensure that our employees stay constantly connected and equipped to work everywhere, including in the field, we decided to invest in a robust IT structure and in tools that support on-the-go connectivity. This is crucial to support timely communication internally as well as mission-critical email with partners, customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders.
Godfred talks about how the they were already using some Microsoft services like Windows server, Windows OS and had a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. So based on that trust choosing office 365 was top and came natural to accomplish what they were looking for. Finding out about Microsoft’s Security support for hybrid and on premises deployments gave them a boost.
Our first step was to convince our management team that security and reliability wouldn’t be an issue. Once we established that Microsoft security capabilities are fully supported in hybrid and on-premises deployments alike, everyone was on board
The IT team had a challenge when it came to hybrid migration as they hadn’t deployed anything like this. Microsoft Fast Track and Microsoft Premier Services Support came in handy and helped assess their IT infrastructure and environment, and created an adoption.
We worked with Microsoft Premier Services Support, and together, FastTrack and Premier not only helped us deploy Office 365, but also developed a high-level view—a cloud strategy for the whole business. This included providing advice on how to migrate our other apps over time and get the most out of the capabilities and components of Office 365.
Microsoft FastTrack includes resources, tools and experts that help you rollout Office 365. The Microsoft FastTrack team believe a successful Office 365 rollout focuses on driving adoption and helping everyone understand the benefits of working in a new way.
Microsoft Premier Support services provides continuous hands-on assistance and immediate escalation for urgent issues, which speeds resolution and helps you keep your mission-critical systems up and running.
With the help of these Microsoft products and services, GNPC has moved their apps to the cloud.
Our employees are already changing the way they work. Managers can now share data with each other and access it even while they’re traveling—a new best practice—rather than store data on their computers. Employee communication and engagement have also been improved. Employees can connect on Yammer by posting photos, videos and more. Our Corporate Affairs department shares quick updates with staff on Yammer, which further drives collaboration among the teams within the business.