Youth Corner
Credits Michael P. Y. Asare (Founder, CARTAgro Initiative Africa)
Published on September 2, 2021

Building Back Better: The Plight of Social Entrepreneurship in Africa

For years, our educational system has been preparing young Africans as job-seekers. It is interesting and not surprising that each of the 55 countries battle huge unemployment gaps. Fortunately, the developmental agenda for a continent on the verge of being the most populous continent by 2030 started to reconsider the fate of its over six hundred million youthful population. Recent educational advancements have therefore considered entrepreneurship education to empower the average young African to champion their own future. We have options now besides seeking jobs to possibly create jobs.

While this laudable move for young Africans to innovate and create sustainable enterprises worth bridging the huge employment deficit was gaining unhurried acceptance, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. This pandemic has had several implications on our respective economies and an enormous shift to the nature of work generally. We have all been imparted either directly or indirectly. I would however want to draw our attention to that young owner of the small business recently started in your community or that young ambitious social entrepreneur who was committing every available resource to develop youth skills before the lockdown. This entrepreneurial demographic is in urgent need of guidance to help them build back better in a post pandemic world.

Further, since the enactment of the 2030 agenda most young African social entrepreneurs have begun to systematically align their core missions and visions to at least one of the 17 SDGs. In Ghana for instance, a number of young social entrepreneurs had planned to conduct SDG awareness campaigns and STEM training sessions to the vulnerable and marginalized communities in Ghana. However, due to the pandemic these plans had to change and affected these budding entrepreneurs from championing for the SDGs. The story got tougher for some of these social entrepreneurs as funding for some of their organizations was halted.Many young social entrepreneurs have also been faced with graver consequences such as shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These young social entrepreneurs are thus at crossroads and need the global community's support as they are the leaders of today.

SDG 9 calls for industry, innovation and infrastructure. Young social entrepreneurs are at the forefront of innovation in the world today. Recognizing this fundamental role they play and their plight due to COVID-19, it is therefore imperative that the global community plays a part in guiding them to build back better in a post pandemic world.