African Knowledge Exchange Policy Forum
On 29th March 2017, GESCI’s African Knowledge Exchange programme organized a policy forum towards an inclusive policy environment for youth skills and enterprise development. The forum took place at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya. Present at the event were officials from the Ministry on ICT, Kenya, Ministry of Education , Science and Technology, Kenya, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Arts Kenya, Private sector,African Digital Media Institute and regional partners from Fundi Bots Uganda, Chanzo Capital ,South Africa and Bongo Hive, Zambia. In his opening remarks at the policy forum, GESCI CEO Jerome Morrissey introduced the African Knowledge Exchange (AKE), which has been running for four years now. Mr. Morrissey noted that AKE started in 2012 as a research project where findings were documented, it later moved to a second phase in 2014 which focused on idea progression and the last phase which saw 21 students graduate and seven mini companies developed focused on self employment and entrepreneurial-ism. This particular phase informed various aspects of Research, which brings in the 7 Theses on Youth Entrepreneurship. Nicholas Ouma Senior Youth Advisor , Directorate of Human Resources Science and Technology, African Union Commission presented on the policy response to harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth.He said that Enterprises play a huge role in the implementation of the Science,Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024.He also reminded the participants that for Africa, the way forward is to ensure that education and training count,specifically to respond to labor market needs. Eric Osiakwan,Managing Partner at Chanzo Capital ,a firm that offers capital and mentorship to entrepreneurs said that to succeed in entrepreneurship you have to identify problems and create solutions. Mary Hooker, Senior Education Specialist GESCI facilitated a session that saw participants go into groups and shared various ideas on networking,collaboration,job creation and entrepreneurship.Through the discussions GESCI has been able to link the Living Lab Research Project to these issues and a final piece will be shared. One of the Artari Kreations Start Up members said that the policy forum was good exposure to what the real world expects of entrepreneurs and with a little more mentorship,they will grow fast enough. GESCI organized this policy forum to ensure Stakeholders to share their knowledge and experiences in regards to innovation, youth enterprise development and the policy environment in the region.