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Wed 19 February 2020:

‘I just believe we’ve got to be solution that we want to see,’ says Swati Dlamini Mandela

Africans should be key actors in creating solutions for the continent’s problems and avoiding its exploitation, according to a granddaughter of legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela.

“So I think it needs to start with ourselves. I think we need to be the ones who determine what that looks like for ourselves,” Swati Dlamini Mandela, a high commissioner at the Grand Assembly of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), told Anadolu Agency.

Africa’s relations with foreign countries can be beneficial, she said, however, the Western world may not be able to deal with Africa’s problems and Africans might have those solutions in themselves.

African people should come together and create those solutions for themselves because they come from very unique countries with different types of issues, Mandela argued.

She said people should sit around a round table and have panels or discussions on the problems.

She also raised concern about some countries approaching Africa for exploiting the continent, and warned Africans against this approach.

“People will always take advantage of you if you allow them. But if you say to yourself that I’m not going to be taken advantage of by this or that, then, in my opinion, you won’t,” she opined.

Mandela said African people can shape their future and path by looking into themselves.

“So I just believe we’ve got to be the solution that we want to see. It’s got to start with ourselves,” she added.

– Turkey is ‘fantastic opportunity’ for Africa

Touching on the WBAF’s World Congress 2020, she said the event was very beneficial for the African continent to understand the angel investment ecosystem.

“I think that it’s certainly a space for us as Africans that we are making headway then,” she expressed.

The event also provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to come and present their ideas in front of investors, she said.

Mandela stressed that it is important to invest in young people’s ideas, saying “the youth is the future.”

She said building a bridge with Turkey is a “fantastic opportunity” for Africa to learn best practices to create an ecosystem in the continent.

“We have to create an environment for people who can be innovative, but they need to be supported in terms of finance, mentorship and access to funding,” she said.

Turkey is an amazing, groundbreaking and pioneering country to create a hub for Africans to visit and learn its practices, Mandela added.

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