10 Things Kenyan media have not told you about Obama visit
A foreigner would be forgiven to imagine that the upcoming visit by President Barack Obama to Kenya next week will be all about homosexuality, motorcade, his security detail and who he will – or not – meet.
Little has been said about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit where he will deliver a keynote speech.
Here are some of the important facts about the summit that will enable budding African entrepreneurs to meet and learn from those who have done it and excelled;
1. This is the sixth summit after President Obama made the announcement in 2009 during his ‘A New Beginning’ speech delivered in Cairo.
2. The summit was meant to see how ties between business leaders, foundations, and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world would be deepened.
3. It has since then become an annual event with the first having been held in the United States of America (Washington DC), the second in Turkey (Istanbul), then the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and last year’s in Morocco (Marrakech).
4. Last year’s edition in Morocco saw Vice President Joe Biden announce that US and Volvo would partner to establish a training academy for entrepreneurs to train 150 students from Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal every year on maintenance of industrial and commercial equipment, technology and general business skills.`
5. Morocco also benefited from a MAD68.88million ($7 million) credit guarantee from Spain and US to help finance a cold storage facility at the Tanger-Med port to fill a gap in the country’s agriculture value chain enabling increased agricultural exports to key markets and facilitating job creation across the sector.
6. The 2013 edition in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur edition earned the country RM12.65 million ($3.3million) in business deals and led to the creation of an entrepreneurs’ incubator dubbed Beehive Malaysia.
President Obama was absent in the Malaysia edition, after cancelling visit last minute, but a video message of him was played and Secretary of State John Kerry was present in the Summit that saw more than 4,700 delegates from 123 countries, making it the largest since the inaugural 2010 event in Washington.
7. The 2012 edition held in Dubai had a video message from President Obama calling for SME’s to be supported and the speakers emphasised on job creation as budding entrepreneurs were encouraged to network.
8. The 2011 summit in Istanbul, Turkey was attended by Vice President Joe Biden who urged budding entrepreneurs to have an entrepreneurial spirit that requires risk and initiative, steadfast determination and a unifying idea.
9. The 2010 summit was the first of its kind after the 2009 launch of the programme, it had the least attendees and was the only one that President Obama attended.
10. The Unites States sends some of America’s top entrepreneurs abroad through the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship to speak in the summits and this year among those sent are the Shark Tank Billionaires.