Kenya is a “fitting” host for this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), as the country “epitomises the transformational power” of entrepreneurial possibility, according to Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking ahead of the GES to be held in Nairobi at the end of the month, Kenyatta said Kenya is ideally placed to bring together entrepreneurs, innovators and business experts, given the country’s history of making the most out of possibility in the name of transformational change.
“This July, the world’s foremost thought-leaders, business development experts, and emerging and established entrepreneurs and innovators will meet in Nairobi for the 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). And on the agenda will be possibility, so it is only fitting that this year’s summit is hosted by Kenya – a country that epitomises the transformational power of possibility,” Kenyatta said.
The president considered the specific transformations Kenya has seen – in particular Kenya’s increasing reputation in the technology innovation sector – saying the changes in the country reflect the rise of Africa.
“A land once known for its savannah, now earning international repute as a Silicon Savannah. Where the vibrancy of the economy is matched only by the verve of our youth. Where groundbreaking refers not just to one of the largest infrastructural projects in Africa, but also to our trailblazing mobile money transfer technology. A land that reflects the growth of a continent on the rise, a hub for investment, commerce, trade and tourism,” Kenyatta said.
Kenyatta also said Kenya is proof of the importance of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in order to bring about transformation, and solve pressing global challenges.
“[Kenya is] a land where we have demonstrated that the most significant driver for converting possibility into reality is innovation. And where we understand that investing in women and young entrepreneurs can provide the world with innovative solutions to some of our toughest challenges,” he said.
“Because that’s the potency of entrepreneurship, its ability to elevate people’s lives in a way that honours their dignity.”
President Kenyatta has been increasingly vocal in his support of Kenyan entrepreneurship in the lead up to the GES – which marks the first time the Summit will be hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa. US president Barack Obama is also due to attend, in his first trip to Kenya – his paternal homeland – under his presidency.
Disrupt Africa reported last week Kenyatta pledged to support female entrepreneurs in Kenya, and announced a number of focal areas for the government aimed at alleviating bottlenecks to entrepreneurship in Kenya, in the lead up to the Summit.