Youth entrepreneurship organisations from six East African Commonwealth (EAC) countries have agreed to form an alliance, to be known as the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs – East Africa (CAYE-EA) – aimed at driving business and entrepreneurship in the region.
Government ministries and civil organisations from Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda unanimously voted in favour of forming the regional alliance, during a two day forum hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat in Uganda.
CAYE-EA is intended to establish “a thriving environment for young entrepreneurs in East Africa”, and as a result contribute to sustainable economic growth and social development.
The network’s mission will be “to connect, unify and build the capacity of young entrepreneurs across East Africa, so as to drive trade, advocate for change and enhance the entrepreneurship culture”.
“The potential for the new Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs in East Africa is enormous particularly in the context of large youth populations and positive forecasts for economic growth in the region. It will also create a united voice for advocacy to enhance the youth entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Katherine Ellis, director of youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
“[The network] will help address the unemployment crisis through promotion of youth entrepreneurship as a valid alternative economic activity across the whole of the East Africa region. We thank the Commonwealth Secretariat for making the formation of the Alliance possible, for it will transform the entrepreneurship ecosystem,” said Brian Randich, chairman of the Kenya National Association of Youth Enterprises.
The new network will follow the models of the successful CAYE-Asia, and the recently established CAYE-Caribbean and Canada (CAYE-C&C) networks.
CAYE-EA is expected to formally launch operation later this year.