Pan-African economic think tank Accelerate Africa (AA), has been launched in Tanzania marking a major step forward for the country, as it anticipated to help create a more vibrant and innovative business environment, allowing entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level.
Tanzania becomes the third to launch the network which brings together economic actors playing a leading role in their countries/communities, from civil society, business and government, to create a new generation of economic leaders focusing on infrastructure, agribusiness, energy, and digital transformation towards industrialisation.
The launch was done held on Thursday, February 23, during stakeholders’ engagement meeting for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and startups institutions done here in the city and participated by over 100 participants from different sectors.
The network continental coordinator Gilbert Ewehmeh said. The model of the think tank will be to create a sustainable business focusing on industrialization for poverty alleviation and sustainable economies. He said the network is focusing more on Africa as the challenges are the same and it is high time members took advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which most countries are not aware of.
“We have to start with SMEs as most of them are still in the comfort zone and are not aware of the many business opportunities,” he said.
The Accelerate Africa Country Coordinator Ms Pendo Lema, said the new move will assist SMEs and startups to grab available opportunities and get a clear understanding of current developments in the business world.
“We have the Accelerate Africa Summit coming up in June and all countries will be required to select representatives to the summit through a competitive process and only three will be picked to represent Tanzania,” she said.
The network also plans to start a program dubbed ‘Operation 100 entrepreneurs training’ which will among other things help the beneficiaries to access to funding and the aim is for each country to get financial supporters. The countries that form Accelerate Africa include Botswana, Cameroon, Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The network has already been officially launched in Cameroon and Rwanda and now Tanzania joins the list.