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The primary aim of SABDF Business forum is to get South African and non-South African youth together and start collaborating on a wide variety of issues affecting them, chief being the high unemployment rate.

This is aimed at breaking the borders of SABDF, and get the youth to collaborate strongly amongst themselves and build a strong Regional network that will be able to compete strongly with youth from other Regions of our continent and the world.

It is worth noting that the post-apartheid government of South Africa also celebrated young people as ‘national pride’. Their participation in the liberation is appreciated in many policy documents. The then President Mandela commissioned young people to develop a youth policy. This was an affirmation that young people can make valuable contributions in social and political life. During this time, the National Youth Commission (NYC Act of 1996) was legislated, and the formation of key youth institutions such as the National Youth Commission. These organs of state were led by young people themselves showing the confidence the government has on the youth.

The SABDF Business Forum Approach

Skills development has to be approached with an understanding that we are living and operating in a “VUCA” (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. If we do not assist and prepare these small businesses to enter the space with this thinking, then we shall not be doing justice to them.

A good example is how Uber is disrupting the meter taxi industry. Another example is how WhatsApp is disrupting the traditional way of communication. If we do not expose them to the harsh realities of the fast-changing rate of innovation, it is as good as not taking up the challenge.

The understanding and importance of promoting a strong SABDF Regional growth cannot be overemphasised. If the member countries’ economies are not stable, it affects economic growth and development of the whole region. How then do you prepare these young entrepreneurs to start thinking about cross border trade promoting Intra regional trade in a VUCA world?

How do we integrate Black and White Youth businesses while reminding them that the future is in their hands and by working together they can achieve more?


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