Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|August 30, 2022|3 Minutes|In Opinion


Ministry of entrepreneurs now!

Shouldn’t every independent African nation have a minister of entrepreneurs?  I think so; sooner, rather than later.

I think a powerful cabinet appointment to this effect would benefit the economies up and down the continent. It would act as an advocate for entrepreneurs to help them navigate the economy and create wealth.

An efficient and go ahead minister of entrepreneurs could also help risk takers to campaign for changes in regulations and legislation to help ease their cause as they look to invest and create jobs.

Algeria has led the way and seen a surge in start-ups after it took the bold step of appointing a 26-year-old as minister of start-ups and the knowledge economy.

Yacine Oualid took to the job like a duck-to-water and the number of start-ups boomed following his appointment and he appeared to have the right idea. Instead of spending his years moving from political meetings to political rallies, mouthing slogans; Oualid cut his teeth as an entrepreneur creating a company with cloud solutions for business.

“Innovation is not only technological. Even though nowadays many start-ups are closely related to tech, innovation can also come from the impact that an enterprise can have to solve social and environmental problems… This is something that we encourage as a ministry,” he was quoted as saying.

South Africa has also tried to marry the functions of government with its minister for the development of small business. It was created in the dingy days of disgraced former president Jacob Zuma. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams  – a youthful minister reshuffled into the job in 2021 from the ministry of communications- is trying to make something of the post.

Ndabeni-Abrahams has made all the right noises lionizing entrepreneurs and has launched a new fund to help the young among them.

Yet, is this enough? Ministers for entrepreneurs also need to sweep away some of the red tape and costly regulation that stand in the way of setting up business. Maybe then, there would be less need for funds to help people start up.

Also, a minister needs to resist the temptation to put new regulations in the way of the quest of energetic entrepreneurs to risk all – for that is what it is – in the cause of progress and wealth creation.

Let’s look forward to the day when every African nation will have a powerful and forward-thinking ministry for entrepreneurs.