Yefa marches toward an African renaissance

Yefa, or Young Entrepreneurs for Africa, is a non-profit organization affiliated with TU Delft that aims to empower young Africans through the development of entrepreneurship and sustainability in Africa.

High-profile dignitaries and business leaders from around the world will descend on TU Delft this Saturday to attend Yefa’s inaugural event.

”I’m the hero of Africa,” the infamous Idi Amin once proclaimed. This and many more fallacies crown the epic delusions the ‘Black Continent’ and its people are lumbered with. Like a cursed, unwanted child, Africa has many names. 

To many, the story of Africa reads like a thousand miserable words: hunger, war, famine, deprivation, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment, disease, Aids… a concoction Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka described as a “Political Jungle”. The English writer Elspeth Huxley described Africa as a cruel continent that will take your heart and grind it into powdered stone without anyone ever minding. Yet, the darkest thing about Africa has always been the ignorance and misconceptions of this aptly named cradle of civilization.
Like everywhere, Africa has its own peculiar problems, the solutions to which are the responsibility of not just Africans but of everyone. Africa’s developmental challenges cannot be solved in isolation, because what affects Africa directly affects everyone else on the planet. It’s therefore our moral onus to rise up to the challenges that plague Africa.
The non-profit, youth organization Yefa (Young Entrepreneurs for Africa) has risen to this challenge. Yefa aims to empower young African professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset for starting businesses and investing in Africa. Yefa’s vision is to facilitate the sustainable development and transformation of Africa. A lofty ambition, but true to the African spirit: Yefa has highlighted high-level entrepreneurial skills training, peer-to-peer networking and information dissemination between young African graduates and the business world as ways forward in emancipating and empowering Africans and Africa. 

Yefa’s activities will include meetings, seminars, policy brainstorming sessions and creating blue prints for Africa’s sustainable growth and development. Yefa will also press home the salient point that Africa’s sustainable development begins with addressing issues like unemployment, intellectual brain drain, and ‘The Bleaching Syndrome’, a term that describes the sudden change of reasoning in Africans who’ve lived abroad.
It’s fitting then to ask: What is sustainable development? Does Africa need sustainable development? How will Yefa address this? How can education help solve Africa’s problems? Is sustainability really the way forward or just a trendy buzz-word or elitist phrase coined by academics?
Yefa’s inaugural session and dinner on October 11 should answer some of these questions. The program begins with an Entrepreneurial Masters skills class aimed at highlighting investment opportunities for young African professionals and their future business partners. The event will also showcase the entrepreneurial exhibitions of companies investing in or hoping to invest in Africa. 

Gracing this historical event will be high-profile dignitaries and business leaders, including Amstrong Okobia, Vice-President Bank of America; Adrie de Groot, Unido Director for Strategic Partnerships & Resource Mobilization; Venancio Massingue, Mozambique’s Minister of Science & Technology, who is also a TU Delft alumnus; Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, World Bank Vice-President (Africa Region); Jacob Fokkema, TU Delft’s Rector; and TU Delft students.
Will these high-powered attendees actually proffer practical solutions for the many challenges pulling Africa backwards? It’s certainly Yefa’s hope that events like this will help transform Africa into a bastion of hope, peace and progress.

To nurture new ideas and initiatives that can make a difference for Africa, Yefa calls on everyone to support this march towards an African renaissance. The youth of Africa and organizations like Yefa can help create an Africa at peace with itself, and only then will they merit the crown as ‘true heroes of Africa’.

Bemgba Nyakuma, from Nigeria, is an MSc studying Sustainable Energy.   

The Yefa event is on Saturday, October 11, from 16:00 to 21:00, at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science. To attend this event, send an email to: 

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