Japan-Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Forum

KEIZAI DOYUKAI (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) and UNDP are pleased to announce that the Japan-Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Forum will be held on Monday, August 28, 2023, to discuss how we should work together to support Youth Entrepreneurs in taking the lead in socio-economic transformation.

August 17, 2023
Event Details

28 August 2023

3:00pm - 5:00pm (JST)


At TICAD7 in 2019, KEIZAI DOYUKAI1 and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a Memorandum of Understandings for cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through business in Africa. Following this agreement, in May 2022, as a pre-event of TICAD8, an online exchange meeting between women entrepreneurs who are working to solve social issues in Africa from Japan and Africa was held. At the event, access to funds and other challenges to women’s enterprises, especially in Africa were discussed.

At TICAD 8 in August 2022, the Tunis Declaration was adopted by Japan, representatives of African member states, and co-organizers, including UNDP, which emphasised the importance of enhancing the African business environment and supporting Africa’s priorities of economic transformation and diversification in “Realising structural transformation for sustainable economic growth and social development”, one of the pillars of the Declaration. In addition, start-ups and private companies, including youth and women entrepreneurship, were identified as driving forces in the transformation to resolve social challenges in Africa.

In synchronisation with this trend, UNDP has been supporting a multi-dimensional programme, “YouthConnect”, which aims at connecting youth to their role models, peers, resources, technologies, skills and economic opportunities by filling the gap between youth and opportunities for an economic empowering environment. Furthermore, UNDP advocates that youth play an essential role in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which must be expanded in the next few years, and is promoting support for youth entrepreneurs and collaboration with various programmes related to youth business support.

In Japan, public-private partnerships to support youth empowerment and business support initiatives are considered essential, and various programmes have been implemented to support the youth in Africa. Further acceleration of this effort is required to encourage the realisation of socioeconomic transformation by young people both in Africa and Japan.

With this backdrop, taking the opportunity of the 30th anniversary of the TICAD, the “Japan-Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Forum” is to be held in collaboration with KEIZAI DOYUKAI and UNDP. The forum will focus on building an environment where young entrepreneurs can excel in making sustainable transformations and leading to the formation of discussions at TICAD 9 in 2025. 


Speakers (planned order of speakers)

  • Mutsuo Iwai, Vice Chairman, KEIZAI DOYUKAI / Chairperson of the Board, Japan Tobacco Inc.)

  • Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP

  • Aïssatou MBOUP GAYE, Student in Doctoral course in solar energy engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology / CEO, Hinomi211/ COO, Aisha Consulting

  • Busola Perez-Folayan, Student in Master course at Graduate School of Law, Kyushu University / ABE initiative scholar

  • Takako Suzuki, Member of the House of Representatives / Japan-AU Parliamentary Friendship Association / Deputy Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party

  • Takao Someya, Executive Director and Vice President, the University of Tokyo

  • Kazumasa Kimura, Vice Chairman, Global South Africa Committee, KEIZAI DOYUKAI , /Executive Officer, Toyota Tsusho Corporation

  • Ken Shibusawa, Chairman, Global South Africa Committee, KEIZAI DOYUKAI / CEO, Shibuawa and Company )


Keiichi Shirato, Professor, College of International Relation, Ritsumeikan University


Event title: Japan-Africa Youth Entrepreneurs Forum

Date: Thursday, 28th August 2023, 3:00pm - 5:00pm (JST)  

  • 3:00 pm - 3:05 pm, Opening Remarks  Mutsuo Iwai, KEIZAI DOYUKAI

  • 3:05 pm - 3:15 pm, Keynote Presentation Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP

  • 3:15 pm - 3:20 pm, Introduction by Moderator  Keiichi Shirato, Ritsumeikan University

  • 3:20 pm - 4:25 pm, Presentation by panelists and Panel discussion

  • 4:25 pm - 4:45 pm, Q&A  

  • 4:45 pm - 4:50 pm, Closing remarks  Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP

Venue: Big Conference Room, Nihon Kogyo Club

Format: Hybrid (Online: ZOOM)

Participation: Free

Language: English (simultaneous interpretation available in Japanese and French)

Co-organized by: KEIZAI DOYUKAI, UNDP  

Supported by: (TBC)

Registration: Please complete the registration for Online participation. (General Public can only apply for online participation)

 ONLINE registration




Chika Kondoh, TICAD Partnership Specialist, UNDP Tokyo Office (chika.kondoh@undp.org)