Why entrepreneurship is key to Africa's development: Wiebe Boer, former CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation

Pregnant Sudanese businesswoman Shiraz Al-Tayeb Hamid, 28, managing director of her family’s plastics factory, talks to a worker at the plastics factory in Khartoum February 25, 2009, as her sister Sherein, who is a plastics engineer, inspects the shoes. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Africa is increasingly taking its place on the global stage as a continent of growth and opportunity.

Yet critical challenges remain, particularly the need to create a significant number of jobs for the continent’s booming population, and the need to build a cadre of home-grown business leaders able to access global markets and drive growth in a sustainable and inclusive manner. For this reason, African entrepreneurship is central to Africa’s future prosperity.

The biggest business opportunities in the coming decade will be created by Africans who start businesses, generate jobs and wealth, and capture growth opportunities.

Across Africa, necessity is the mother of invention. Reusing and recombining is a way of life and, in many cases, the lack of infrastructure, even old infrastructure, gives us a “clean slate” for new solutions. Responding to these challenges, Africa’s entrepreneurs are contributing a host of cutting-edge products and services, enabling them to leap forward in such fields as mobile and information technology, and to develop innovations in agriculture, transportation, healthcare and other vital fields.

Read more: Why entrepreneurship is key to Africa’s development – Agenda – The World Economic Forum.