ROME – We must be good listeners,with a hands-on approach and ” let them tell us what they need.” If we take this approach we can be sure of finding the ” missing middle ring” of the chain which is necessary for the scaling up of enterprises that are exploiting the innovative vocation of young Africans.These are the words and threads that interlock and join continents and cultures,from north to south of the Mediterranean. Marta Sachy, Director of Aurora Foundation, spoke to the Dire Agency. She has Italian- Mozambique origins and studied social anthropology at Sussex University and at the British Institute of Development Studies, which she claims is of upmost excellence in the field of fair and sustainable development.
She talked about her experience at this English university during the ’70s , where a ” hands-on ” and ” inclusive development” approach were practised in which active participants take the place of passive recipients.These are two fundamental aspects which are necessary for international cooperation and that have left their mark on the international stage.
Today,she has come back to the theme of social enterprise with her interview for the Diasporas Programme at the Luiss Guido Carli. The title of webinar includes the words ” Italian and African Economic Prospects”,which the Aurora Foundation lists, pointing out the size of the community, which was founded in 2018, on the sudden impulse of lawyer Michele Carpinelli, and run by his family and a group of young people with previous experience in the environment of business cooperation with shared prospects .
Sachy pointed out “Our commitment is to help young people find work,and above all try to understand what aspects of the system work and what aspects,on the other hand,need help,undoubtedly because of the inadequate access to public or private economic resources in an ever more challenging social context.” She went on to say:“The assumption is that young Africans are smart ,well prepared and have a natural bent for technology and risks as do few of their peers around the world.”
In the European press you quite often happen to read about the sparkle of these enterprises, which are characterized by energy that never flags, not even in times of the pandemic.” The Aurora Foundation aims, above all, at scaling up and consolidating the initiatives that may have a social impact on the community”, pointed out the Director.
So with the advent of spring new ideas are springing up all around and those that can take root and grow need to be spotted. “Young people from Africa” went on Sachy, “have realised that they want to remain in their own countries and that in order to contribute towards the social-economic development they need to become “problem solvers” or even “worst scenario planners” who are capable of transforming the threats into opportunities. As a consequence they bring about a change in the system.The diasporas are in the spotlight at the Luiss and are an essential bridge with a view of cooperation and development: they are “bi-cultural ” and “transcultural” actors”. thus Sachy defined the diasporas.It so happened that the application to build a well in Burkina Faso ended up by giving life to a perforating cooperative,with excellent economic prospects that go well beyond mere economic aid. It all began back in 2018 in Banfora, a town of more than 150,000 inhabitants.The objective was that of guaranteeing everyone the right to water, in line with the town council’s plan which looks forward to 2030.The company is a cooperative venture that must guarantee at least 16 drills a year, in partnership with the NGO Shalom and Ocades Movement , the local charity.There are drill rigs and motor- compressors but the most important thing above all is planning.Let’s take the example of Arsene Hema, a Burkinan entrepreneur ,who graduated in Communication Engineering at the Milan Polytechnic and is now consultant for the Aurora Foundation in the area in and around Ouagadougou and Banfora. Sachy went on to explain, ” he knows both the Italian and local situations, the popular beliefs and the political implications.
We are supported by the weekly contributions that accompany the business plans,marketing and the identification work of clients. “According to the director, there are lots of young people of African origin who are both educated and well prepared, and ready to work with the aim of collaborating in the development of their country. Take for example Bruno Bruxtar and Sonya Agbodan, respectively fashion designer and brand manager and both Italians with Togolese origin.They have set up a fashion designer’s boutique “BB Style” in Ferrara, which unites the traditional Italian style to African style.It is thanks to the Aurora Foundation,that the partners of Dagoretti Fashion & Design Center have launched a project with Amref in Nairobi, in Kenya, where 25 mothers, aged between 18 and 35, work.
Sachy remembered with pleasure: “We spotted their brand thanks to intensive talent scouting. Thanks to very careful mentorship through the use of videos step by step, Dagoretti have focused on the production of reusable anti- Covid face masks.Know-how and knowledge of the local cultural and political situations have been our strong points.
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