Josiah Kwesi Eyison: « The Africa-Europe relationship needs to be symbiotic »
Sharing an inspirational talk in the format of a TED talk this evening at the “Getting Involved” edition of Our Futur Africa-Europe Dialogues Forum is Josiah Kwesi Eyison, founder of iSpace Foundation Ghana. iSpace Foundation is a startup mentorship and resource mobilization hub that helps entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of starting up businesses in Ghana Africa-Europe relationship needs to be symbiotic.
According to Josiah Kwesi Eyison, entrepreneurship faces a lot of funding challenges at the start: “We are struggling to set up a funding scheme to fund early stage startups because it is difficult to get funders to fund them.”
In 2013, he founded iSpace Foundation to help entrepreneurs mobilize startup resources. « While running programs on human resource development, teaching young persons coding and tech skills, business pitching skills among others »… We are also advocating for policies that favor entrepreneurship. » Josiah hopes to build a space in Africa where Africans can stay in Africa and work high paying jobs in Europe without having to travel to Europe as is the case now. He hopes that the African youth can leverage the power of tech and the mobile technology evolution to excel in fin-tech and other technological endeavors.
The iSpace founder outlines difficulties in finding investors, absence of policies that encourage startups, lack of skills and mentorship among others as some of the major challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Africa. To him, this makes entrepreneurs dependent on funds from Europe which too are difficult to come by.
According to Josiah, “The Africa-Europe relationship now is a one-way relationship : they telling us what to do. We want a symbiotic relationship where we can also contribute something to what is being done and vice versa. What is happening now is that they give and give while we just take and take. It sounds good but in the end creates a dependency culture and we want to move away from that dependency culture. Right now, we want to be in the space where we can also contribute. We have the talents and we have the right people”
Josiah will be joining other panelists in the evening of Thursday December 1, to share experiences and proposals to improve the Africa-Europe relationship while adding value to the African perspective and highlighting the contributions Africans too can bring to the table.
Interview by Sah Terence ANIMBOM with Médias & Démocratie (M&D)