May 16, 2016 (GIN) – Leaders from all over Africa and the world were gathered in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, at a conference organized around the theme “Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation.”
This year’s conference that ended May 13 drew more than 1,500 delegates from African countries and 85 countries around the world, 13 sitting heads of state and business representatives.
Siting the conference in Rwanda was especially appropriate since it is a leading nation in digital technology. The nation will be the world’s first drone-port, with drones delivering urgent supplies in remote areas.
During the three day summit, 12 “outstanding social entrepreneurs” from 11 organizations were cited by the Schwab Foundation for their solutions to social and environmental challenges, from child labor to women’s empowerment to climate change.
Of the 12, Luvuyo Rani of South Africa was the only Black. He’s the founder and managing director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies (“Silulo” meaning “We bring value through technology”) which now has 178 employees. He attributes his success to patience.
A former teacher of accounting whose mother owned a shabeen, he was inspired to start his own business. From selling second-hand computers out of his car, he was soon providing training in their use, opening an internet café, starting a computer school and installing software – all in a period of 12 years.
A host of challenges, including being blacklisted due to debt and having no funding to pursue his dream, faced him but did not deter him. He entered numerous competitions until he was finally recognized with a grant for his work.
Since then he has also become the founder and chairperson of the Ekasi Business Network that connects business owners and entrepreneurs from the Cape Flats.
Rani said he recognised the need for information systems technology in Khayelitsha and saw how many people were unemployed because they did not have computer skills.
“Through my experience I wants to give back to the community and will teach small-business people in townships to train and further inspire them not to give up,” he said.
Winning the award means he will attend WEF conferences throughout the world and interact with other global business people.