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I believe my purpose is to inspire, connect and empower  women and youth across Africa to fulfil their purpose through media and social entrepreneurship.

Women, we can’t neglect the fact that our history has led to women often being single moms and the heads of many households. Even in a society where women are empowered and have access to equal rights and equal opportunities, they still often are the ones who take on the everyday task of raising children.

These women are the backbone of their households and therefore the cornerstone of the nation because they spend their time nurturing the leaders, workers and minds of the future.

Youth, Africa has one of the youngest youth populations on the earth with 50% of the population being under the age of 35 and 50% of that group being under the age of 16. The youth are not only the future, but they are in many cases the present. Whether we are looking at middle and high class economic groups where youth influence certain household purchasing decisions or in less well-off homes where parents work tirelessly to make sure their children are afforded opportunities they didn’t have and in the worst case, the alarming number of child headed households. In these instances, children don’t have much time to be young, but take on many responsibilities in the place of their parents who have passed on due to illness. In either case, the youth is an integral part of society that cannot be ignored and as future leaders and change makers, it’s important that we take the time now to invest in them and nurture these young minds to create a future we will all be proud of.

Social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship is a big buzz word and, in some instances, the predicted formula to alleviating poverty and creating jobs across the continent. Truth is most Africans are quite entrepreneurial, in different parts of the continent you’ll find people on a small scale doing something with their hands to make a living and ends meet. The difference with entrepreneurship in Africa, is that people are generally trying to survive and often due to the lack of resources, are not innovating or creating new products and services on a large scale to add new value. Africa is also not known for tech innovations, which define much of the global entrepreneurship world.

However, this doesn’t mean we can’t create, innovate and add value to our countries and the world. Social entrepreneurship is one such aspect that seeks to innovate in business in a manner that empowers communities and creates products that address basic needs such as having access to good education, clean drinking water, quality health care, food and shelter. Business in general, especially larger corporations and multinationals that are publicly listed often care to increase shareholder value, often at the expense of the customer who may need the product then suffer from a price increase or staff who may depend on that job and then affected by retrenchments. To create a better and more sustainable future, we need to create sustainable businesses that are focused on improving the lives of people living in Africa and that can create jobs for communities or support a network of small businesses where people in a community can group together and produce what is needed.

Africa, a beautiful and rich continent and the only place most of us will ever truly call home. Our resources are still abundant and we need to stop exporting our wealth and importing our supported poverty. We must look at and support practical solutions to grow, support, develop, empower and enrich the continent and its people, creating products and services that add value and can be exported the world over, in Africa, by Africans for Africans.

The areas of influence to support Africans in Africa is unlimited. There is innumerable work to be done and everyone has a part to play. Our freedom is not our own and those of us who can must do for those who can’t do for themselves.

To book Ntsiki Mkhize for your next conference or event, call Unique Speaker Bureau on +27 (0)11 074 9800

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