Africa Matters' new Youth of the Month feature seeks to highlight young trailblazers making tangible change in Africa and the diaspora. Nyeuvo Amukushu is our first feature. Read her journey to be inspired.
1. Tell us about the work that you do, and the organisation you work with/for.
E-commerce. Online Media. Internet. I am a millennial in Business and Technology exploring Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Intelligence and Business Development. Currently developing a Financial Technology Point of Sale solution. I spend most of my time volunteering at the One Economy Foundation under the Office of The First Lady in Namibia.
2. How does your work create tangible change in Africa? And which groups are affected by your work? (i.e womxn, children, businesses, etc)
One Economy Foundation is aimed at building a bridge between the first and second economy in Namibia. I particularly volunteer in the Collateral Free Lending Scheme aimed at providing collateral free loans to lower income people in an attempt to break the poverty cycle. At the moment people in the second economy are effectively suffering from economic slavery. My FinTech project under going development is currently aimed at providing people who don't have the means of providing card payment facilities due to high rates, monthly rental and contracts to finally accept cards and thus grow their business with more transactions.
3. As a young person achieving so much in Africa and the world, what are the biggest challenges that you face and how have/do you overcome these challenges?
Current regulations are blocking innovation. Currently we have so many channels to pass through in order to get something done or certain requirements to be met in order to do something innovative which is why Africans duplicate so many things. In Namibia it takes 66 days to register a business, in my opinion it is incredibly too long. Internet is the answer to everything, e-health,e-education and e-government portals. In the very near future, the poorest of the poor will use technology to educate themselves. My biggest challenge is regulations and access to updated data; I mean the greatest thing about this age is that whatever information you need it is available to you, however in Africa information is still in hard copy and not online, we need to change that. To overcome such challenges, I have had to go the long way.
4. What is your advice to young Africans who are despondent about the future of Africa?
Africa is the next IT Girl. China had their chance, the time now is ours. The young generation needs to embrace strategic partnerships within each other, you cannot get to the top alone and stop depending on the government to offer everything. Without unity and partnerships its very difficult to develop throughout Africa. When it comes to business, the speed of market penetration depends on opportunities and circumstances, let us not duplicate ideas but build on what we have, make things better and easier for Africans.
5. Do you see yourself as a change-maker and why?
I am all about changing the narrative, doing things that I was told I can not do. Coming from a small town to meeting Her Majesty at the age of 19, is something not every young girl can say however it is possible. At the age of 19, I have successfully registered my own close corporation. Basically what my journey is trying to say is that your age, gender or race is immaterial. One needs to focus on problem solving and gain influence through results. When it comes to the FinTech project that I am working on, it is a change maker in the second economy as it really says pay via card facilities from the street vendor to the corporate, something not really done in Africa but is happening in the rest of the world.
6. What is your vision for Africa?
An Africa with adequate access to business growth facilities by successfully nurturing Start-Ups/Small Medium Enterprises through Funding and Incubation and providing access to supply chain opportunities.
[Read more about Nyeuvo on https://www.namibian.com.na/165920/archive-read/Queen-honours-Namibias-young-entrepreneurs. Follow her on Twitter @NyeuvoAmukushu]