Over the next few days, I will be participating in the 7th Gathering of the Social Enterprise Alliance in Atlanta. I arrived on Friday evening and can now say that I’m 360 degrees ready for the meeting. I’ll be speaking on Wednesday, March 8, on “Social Enterprise in Africa: An Emerging Concept in an Emerging Economy”. Here’s the introductory opening of the presentation, and I’ll be sharing the entire content with you as soon as the meeting is over.
“Africa is a misunderstood continent. Unfortunately, much of the continentâ€™s information that is available to the world is that of unfortunate leadership, conflicts, emigration, economic incompetence, health issues and more. But just like every other human, the average African is daily faced with the challenge of meeting his/her needs, and possibly using such to follow up interests within their sphere of influence. In every society, it is important to note the various roles played by stakeholders (government, the private sector, and civil society in the larger frame of its definition) in pursuing a community where human dignity is respected, and sustainable livelihoods assured. While it is important to state that Africaâ€™s present socio-economic predicament needs a lot of deliberate efforts, I will deliberately focus on the role of civil society actors in their role as the mediator between the people (grassroots) and opportunities.
“This session seeks to discuss the role of the Social Enterprise paradigm in Africa â€“ as an emerging trend in an emerging continent â€“ and to discuss the value proposition of the idea of partnering with â€“ or supporting â€“ social entrepreneurs in Africa: those who are delivering value within developing economies but who are focused on people and development, rather than profit. The session will also consider possible follow-up mechanisms such as establishing a continuous bi-directional flow of knowledge and management expertise between the Social Enterprise Alliance members in North America (and beyond) and their colleagues in Africa. I hope that at the end of this session, you will have a better understanding of the Social Enterprise landscape in Africa, get updates (â€œfacts from the fieldâ€) from Africaâ€™s social entrepreneurs, and discuss practical networking concepts and opportunities.”
I have wireless access from this room (don’t be scared, I’ll still find time to sleep) and guess it’d be the same from the venue, so blogging will be no issue from here. I particularly appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to rest and reconnect with friends (see picture above, with Yomi Fasalojo and Dele Aluko) over the last few days, look forward to the Gathering, and can’t wait to get back to Nigeria. On Saturday, March 11, Fifth Gear Consulting’s seminar will hold in Lagos and I’ve been thinking about what to say over the last few days. As soon as I arrived at the airport on Friday, I had a better sense of what to speak on: The Blessing of Curses: Emergence of a New Generation of Leaders for the Nigerian Nation. I look forward to the experience myself… oops, you’re supposed to be in Atlanta. Okay, I’m back.
Talk to you soon…