This quote from the Little Prince of Antoine de Saint Exupéry makes complete sense to me. The history of the world clearly tends to show that very young entrepreneurs have succeeded in profoundly transforming parts of the world economy. I am mainly thinking of tech creators such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Evan Spiegel (Snapchat), or Pavel Durov (Telegram). African youth must no longer restrict itself; it has the obligation to develop our continent.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted our major vulnerabilities, and therefore revealed areas for improvement. These are all opportunities to be seized.
My involvement for Senegalese youth
I trust Senegalese youth. It has talent. In order to reveal itself and reach its full potential, it only needs to be supported. Insofar as possible, I try to instill new perspectives to the youth of tomorrow, and this through 3 main levers:
Support for young entrepreneurs
At Locafrique, our slogan is “You have ambition, we give you wings”. We are committed to supporting start-ups with good ideas, which find it difficult to obtain financing from the traditional banking sector. We will always support motivated and volunteer young entrepreneurs.
Recruitment of young talents
At Locafrique’s group level, we notice that the average age of our collaborators within our teams is extremely young. The same applies at the level of our top management. “To well-born souls, value does not await the number of years“; this is a vision that we have gladly borrowed from Corneille.
Inclusion of Senegalese youth in emerging markets
For those who do not have their mind on entrepreneurship we have also developed other solutions. For instance, we have worked on setting up Der Mond Academy. This organization is a subsidiary of Der Mond Oil & Gas, run by my youngest sister, Khadija A. BA.
The main objective of Der Mond Academy, in partnership with the Swiss group Techma-Iota, HSE (hygiene, safety, environment), is to improve the employability of Senegalese youth by offering them training. Once trained, they will be able to meet the requirements of international and local companies.
Senegal aims to become a strategic and dynamic destination for all activities related to the energy sector. Our challenge is to prepare the workforce and ensure the inclusion of Senegalese people in this new emerging market.
With this in mind, Der Mond Academy is currently working on the construction of a training center covering an area of 12,000m2 located in Diass. The objective of this company is to be able to provide training that respects international accreditations such as:
- OPITO (security, offshore Oil & Gas),
- STCW (security, fire, maritime),
- NEBOSH (health, safety and environment management),
- DAN (Workplace First Aid)
This training center in Diass will complete the training portfolio that Der Mond Academy has already offered since its creation in 2019.
I appeal to my young compatriots. Don’t waste your time on futile pursuit and worldliness. We have gaps to fill, and so little time to waste. We have competitive challenges to overcome in an increasingly competitive global environment.
I believe in you!