Stage 1
16:15 - 17:15
Tech for Good
Startups Economy – Fairytale or Future?

Short thesis

Startups are paving our way to the future and today, every young person’s dream is not to become a doctor or a lawyer but a startup founder and an entrepreneur. Are we selling the next generation the right dream? Will the startup economy continue to bloom? Will startups and entrepreneurs help African countries break free from aid dependency?


In this session two speakers with opposing perspectives will discuss the questions if we are creating a fairy tale around the role of startups in our societies or if they are helping pave a path to a more equal, digital future. Henry is the founder of the Rwandan based startup Ared and Hamidou is a journalist from Senegal. Whilst Henry believes that startups and entrepreneurs can replace the old system driven by development organisations and NGOs, Hamidou thinks that this approach does not take into consideration the changes that are necessary on an institutional level, and wrongly relieves governments from their responsibility to ensure decent living conditions for all. He argues for turning the younger generation’s creativity and discontent into a generation of strong-willed citizens, not businessmen. Only then would social progress be sustainable. Together they will debate if startups and entrepreneurship or classic forms development cooperation offer more sustainable approaches to solving development issues.