Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua ended his four-day official visit to Botswana on Tuesday after a flurry of activities and bilateral engagements, culminating in Kenya being granted the opportunity to host the third Forbes 30 Under 30 Africa Summit later this year.
This was a day after he took part as a panelist at the second edition of the prestigious Summit, which recognises the top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 years, organised by the US-based Forbes Magazine.
Early on Tuesday, Mr Gachagua held a meeting with the team behind the popular global summits where he floated a request for Kenya to host the third edition of the Summit, slated for later this year.
Among those at the meeting at the Avani Hotel in Gaborone, were Mr Randall Lane, the Chief Content Officer of Forbes Media and Editor of Forbes Magazine, Mr Julius Mwale, an industrial entrepreneur, investor and Principal of Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC)-whose roots are in Kenya and Shivish Soni of Sun Group, among others.
The Forbes team accepted Kenya’s bid to host the Summit owing to the country’s renowned credentials as a leading entrepreneurship hub in Africa.
Mr Randall and Mr Mwale will visit Kenya soon for detailed engagements with the Government of Kenya on the modalities of hosting the Summit.
Forbes 30 Under 30 is an accolade that shines the spotlight on successful entrepreneurs below 30 years.
Launched in 2011 in the US by the Forbes Magazine, the Summit has extended to other continents as a premier platform showcasing youth entrepreneurship.
During the panel discussion, the Deputy President said the youth have the potential of driving sustainable development through innovation.
“I started my first business while at the University of Nairobi. The youth must take advantage of governments which have given them a latitude and created an enabling environment for business,” Mr Gachagua said.
He added that digital innovation is key to entrepreneurship, hence the reason Kenya is investing in the 100,000km digital superhighway.
“This will trigger and spur innovations, and other startups across the country,” he said.
Botswana also hosted the first edition in 2022.
Among the Kenyans participating in the Summit in Gaborone is the popular boy band Sauti Sol, who were part of the premier performers at a concert on the eve of the Summit, attended by host President Dr Eric Masisi and Deputy President Gachagua, together with his Spouse Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, Principal Secretary for Diaspora Affairs Roseline Njogu, among other dignitaries.
Kenyan Ms Charlot Magayi, an award-winning safe cooking advocate, who is the founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves, will speak at the Summit.
She was a winner in last year’s Summit alongside Dr Joan Ruguru Kimani, Elsa Majimbo and Sylvia Gathoni.
On Monday evening, the Deputy President was hosted to a dinner by President Masisi at State House, which was attended by some of the youthful entrepreneurs from around the globe, whom Mr Gachagua interacted with.
He had earlier, after speaking at the Summit, held a discussion with Vice President Slumber Tsongwane.
On Monday morning, President Masisi hosted the DP at State House for bilateral talks.
Key among the issues was a request to President Masisi to consider renewal of permits for Kenyans living and working in Botswana and exploiting trade agreements to increase trade volumes.
On the sidelines of the Summit, the Deputy President discussed with members of Sauti Sol band on how they can contribute to rescuing the boy child from illicit brew and substance abuse.
On Tuesday afternoon, he visited the popular Botswana tourism site Kasane, which is about 1,000km from the capital Gaborone.