MEST Represented at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

by on Friday, August 8th, 2014, filed under Incubator

It’s been a fast-paced couple months at MEST! As you may remember, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker paid MEST a visit in late May as part of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative.

And just this week, President Barack Obama invited the leaders of nearly 50 African nations and 200 United States and African business leaders for the first ever U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

Among the representatives there: MEST startup co-founder and CEO of Leti Arts, Eyram Tawia.

Leti Arts, a next generation digital media startup based in Ghana and Kenya, re-imagines African folklore and historic legends. They have a rich portfolio of mobile projects that address social activism, civic education and community healthcare.

Eyram, who has been referred to as one of the first game developers in Africa, has won several noteworthy awards including the 2012 British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur and was also adjudged one of six Ghana Innovation Heroes, an initiative spearheaded by Google Ghana.

“I’m thrilled to represent young entrepreneurs in Ghana and Africa, who dare to make a difference through unbridled passion for big ideas, within one of the toughest business and investment environments. I want to show the world that Africa is ready. We have the people, passion and skills.”

The three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which closed earlier this week, featured active discussions on key issues, surrounding trade and investment between the United States and Africa.

While Obama promoted $14 billion in new investments by American companies in Africa, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ms. Pritzker discussed the work that her Department is doing to advance President Obama’s vision for the future of U.S.-Africa relations. During this speech, she directly referenced her recent visit to MEST:

“One of the highlights of my trade mission to Africa this spring was visiting the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in Ghana, where young innovators receive the training, mentorship, and guidance needed to take their ideas and turn them into vibrant businesses.”

These intrepid young Africans want to learn how to build thriving enterprises. If they had access to capital, there could be no limit to their potential.

With the speed of technology and the global reach of communication, these entrepreneurs can build their businesses using only a cell phone – then sell their products around the world.

Any young person with a good idea can bring their products to the rest of the globe.

At Meltwater, I witnessed what the future of Ghana and the entire continent will look like if we do everything we can to support young entrepreneurs and build lasting partnerships.

These aspiring entrepreneurs are living proof of what Robert F. Kennedy described nearly 50 years ago at the University of Cape Town: they represent “ripples of hope.”

AT MEST, we are delighted to have one of our own represent the African entrepreneurial voice and to participate in an event with this kind of global exposure.

It’s entrepreneurs like Eyram — and the 200+ graduates of our training program — that represent a new crop of African technology businesses that can compete on the global tech stage, while creating products and services that can better the world.

Here at MEST, one of our hopes and clear goals to influence US private investments in the tech sector of Africa; to continue to create jobs and wealth locally; and to remind the world of the talent, skills and passion on this continent. As Eyram put it with simple clarity: “We are ready.”

Some of the Eyram’s snaps from this week’s Summit

Photos from Secetrary Pritzker’s visit to MEST earlier this year