Entrepreneurship in Africa: a solution to unemployment @ The Red Lion Public House, Ottawa [19 June]

Entrepreneurship in Africa: a solution to unemployment

18:30 - 20:30

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The Red Lion Public House
47 Clarence Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9K1
The CIC National Capital Branch and its Africa Study Group, in partnership with Cuso International, invites you to our next Politics @ the Pub event:

Youth entrepreneurship in Africa: a solution to unemployment and underdevelopment?

Unemployment and poverty are major problems for any society. In most of the world, the poor quality of employment continues to disproportionately affect young people. Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest rate of working poverty — people who are employed but earning less than US$2 a day, and a very high rate of youth working in poverty. Africa has the youngest population in the world, and the number of working age youth is expected to have grown by 42.5 million between 2010 and 2020. Could entrepreneurship provide solutions to youth unemployment and poverty from underdevelopment? In recent years some African governments to address these issues, by improving the entrepreneurial and labour force capacities of young women and men.


Jane Onsongo

Professor Jane Kerubo Onsongo has been Deputy Head of Mission, Kenyan High Commission, Ottawa, Canada since July 2015. She was previously a commissioner with the Kenyan Ethics and Anticorruption Commission and an Assistant Director Preventive Services at the defunct Kenya Anticorruption Commission. Prior to joining the Anticorruption Commissions, she was an Associate Professor of Education at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi for over 15 years. At the University, she served as Deputy Director of Research and Head of Undergraduate Studies in Education. She also participated in building the capacity of women academics in research and scholarship in various institutions of higher learning in Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan through the Association of Commonwealth Universities Women's Programme and the Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE).

James Olabi Odey

James Olabi Odey is Project Manager, Entrepreneurship and Value Chain Development with the Youth Leadership, Entrpreneurship, Access and Development (YouLEAD) project, Cuso International, Nigeria. He is a Development Professional with over 12 years’ experience in the development sector across West Africa with focus on climate change adaptation and community-based natural resource management. He previously was a Project Director of a local non-government organization in Nigeria, a Coordinator of the Climate Change Network in the south-south region of Nigeria, and also served as an Adjunct Lecturer in the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. James holds a BSc in Geography and Environmental Science and an MSc in Geography of Forest Ecology from the University of Calabar.

Olugbolahan Mark George

Olugbolahan Mark George (“OMG”) is a financial services professional with over twenty-five years’ experience in private equity/venture capital, international finance, insurance and investment management. OMG is the Chief Strategic Officer of Mark-George Consultants (“MGC”), an international consulting firm providing training, capacity building, and management services. Its major areas of business include entrepreneurship training & manpower development, business development services for MSMEs, and management consultancy. The firm has carried out assignments for local and international agencies including the World Bank, USAID; DFID; UNDP, federal and state governments, and the private sector. MGC works extensively with the Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria on its training and capacity building initiatives in the SME sector. MGC is also involved in the assessment, design and implementation of development projects for governments, donor agencies and corporates, with focus on microfinance and enterprise development.

Victoria Schorr (Moderator)

The panel will be moderated by Victoria Schorr. Victoria Schorr is a member of the CIC’s Africa Study Group’s Steering Group and has worked with OpenAIR at the University of Ottawa since July 2015. She is a sub-Saharan Africa specialist with more than 10 years of experience analyzing African politics, economics, trade, and business. She holds an MSc in African Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA in African Studies from McGill University. Her areas of specialization include African political economy, African business and the private sector, international business and investment, international relations, behavioral economics, and development. She has written and published several articles, both academic and non-academic, and has an active blog through Facebook. Prior to joining Open AIR in July 2015, Schorr worked with organizations ranging from grassroots NGOs to the UN, as well as with several Government of Canada departments including Global Affairs Canada.
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