- Batswana businesses hail the summit
- Masisi says it is about the power of hope in young generations
After successfully hosting the Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa last year, Botswana will once again host the 2023 edition of the same symposium in Gaborone from 23 to 26 April 2023.
Themed Entrepreneurial Africa – With Botswana at the Centre, this year’s summit will be held over three days during which it will harness the power of entrepreneurial capitalism in a continent whose growth should help define the 21st Century.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has commented ahead of the conference: “For Africa, let us make the 21st Century a remarkable one for the achievements of great feats in human civilisation. This will be in part stimulated by the conversations and interactions afforded by the meeting of minds on occasions like the Forbes Under 30 Africa Summit.” As the President said at the summit last year, the Forbes Under 30 Africa Summit has been instrumental in aiding the youth of the world to become the torchbearers and change agents of development through entrepreneurship. It shows the power of hope in the young generations, he added.
The summit took place from 24 to 28 April 2022 in Gaborone and Kasane where Botswana had 200 delegates spanning various sectors such as manufacturing, creativity and technology, fashion design, and horticulture. Altogether 600 delegates, including those from Africa and other continents, participated in the Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa 2022. In addition to exchanging ideas and thrashing issue over four days, they explored the best of Botswana.
Beginning in Gaborone, the delegates heard from a wide range of speakers, both national and international, who spoke of their experiences in business and high-flying careers. The attendees were afforded a chance to immerse themselves in the culture of Batswana, sample their cuisine hear the sounds of a nation famous for its pristine wildernesses and enjoy the unique performances of its artists.
Halfway through the summit, they travelled to the world-famous resort town of Kasane, the planet’s largest elephant sanctuary, for a fully programmed agenda focused on sustainability. A sunset river cruise among the hippos and the crocodiles of the Chobe River was a welcome delight to end the day with a crepuscular show before a one-day safari that ranks among the best in the world became one the highlights of the summit the next day. The biggest economic beneficiaries were transport operators, especially cabbies who ferried the delegates over the days in their taxis. Hoteliers, the performing arts and events promoters also benefitted. These sectors were hard hit by the lockdowns and slowdowns occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and their resuscitation was a welcome shot in the arm and critical to the government.
Other business people also expressed gratitude for the event being in Botswana, saying they benefitted from the networking. According to McDonald Rabantetse, the Managing Director of Parallel Graphics Inc, the Forbes Summit helped him a great deal. His company offers various business solutions such as social media marketing, signage and branding, including graphic design services and printing of promotional items.
Rabantetse was a delegate at the Forbes Summit 2022, and this is what he had to say about his experience there: “I benefitted and enjoyed the summit a great deal. Significantly, it has given my business credibility and my clientele is growing as a result. “I’m seeing growth both in my business social media page and incoming clients. My network of local entrepreneurs has grown significantly and continues to grow. Some of them will birth new collaborations soon.”
He says among the few contacts international delegates that he has contacted, a notable one is Shaun Xu, a venture capitalist from California, USA. The two agreed in principle during the summit he would contact Shaun as soon Ranantets has finalised his other tech business idea for Shaun to see how he may help further it. Isabella Phole (née Tsheko) is the Business Development Manager at Royal Click, an ICT service company that provides professional services such as web development, mobile app development, schools and colleges management systems, CRM systems, technical support services, and multimedia solutions.
“As a woman in STEAME, I was selected to be one of the delegates to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit,” she says. “As a Business Development Manager at Royal Click, my role involves managing the operations and finances of the company. “Royal Click is an ICT service provider and a member of Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub. Our interest is in web development, mobile app development, school management systems, CRM systems, eGov solutions, digital interactive platforms and technical support services.”
Phole says participating in the Forbes symposium was beneficial because she met international businesspersons involved in different spheres, thus increasing her business network. “I gained insight into how to grow the business in an international space, making our company’s global expansion goal clearer,” she asserts. “The platform helped us engage with Google for Startups for both the UK and Africa, which was probably a highlight for us as Google is a tech giant that we have always aspired to closely learn from and work with.
“We now can, thanks to the event also helped me gain exposure. I have since worked organisations like Radio Botswana, GIZ SADC, the German Embassy to Botswana and the United Nations on projects in line with our business values.” As with every Forbes Under 30 Summit, the social and cultural opportunities will be world-class at this year’s symposium. Participants and other stakeholders will get an opportunity to hear from the government, learn more about venture capital and meet their business role models.
The summit will provide inspiration for the newest and the next generation of leaders. Like the one before, it will provide a platform for local artists, chefs and entrepreneurs and allow participants from around the world to experience the sounds and sights of Botswana while engaging in unbeatable networking and pitching opportunities.