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Kilometre 51

Using cross border synergies to create a borderless Africa and to develop local content

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

In recent times, Sub Saharan Africa’s youth population has informed a lot of conversations globally. With more than 50 percent of the region’s population below 25 years of age and tens of millions more below the 35-year mark (World Bank), investors and the international community seem to see opportunities for tremendous growth and economic development especially if the region is able to get with the basics;
• Developing [youth] local content in order to harness their energy
• Moving away from extraction based economic models that have seen most of the region’s economy rely solely on oil, gas and mineral deposits.
This call to action mostly centers around the [negative] social impact of such an enormous amount of young people not being gainfully engaged.

Youth development and engagement, which encompasses employment, in Africa has remained a massive challenge for the private sector and global aid organizations. The inability of successive African governments to address and execute social schemes and initiatives like infrastructure, education, health and even citizen identification, continues to impact SME access to finance and private sector access to skilled labor which heavily impacts the growth of the private sector and SMEs, negatively.

The Kilometre 51 (KM51) project would decentralize opportunities by giving more [qualified] people equal access to opportunities and resources globally by

1. Mapping, spotlighting and creating 3,000,000+ yearly regional opportunities for the short and medium terms and 50,000,000+ opportunities, yearly, on a global scale in the long term (5-7 years) - through our crowdsourced notifications-only app.
2. Spotlighting and creating a network of 1,000,000+ independently cooperating entities (businesses) throughout Africa in the short term and up to 10,000,000 [globally] in the long term - through the same dedicated application
3. Catalyzing intra-African trade and active mobility through our triannual road shows

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our target beneficiaries are young Africans aged 12-40 in Western and Eastern Africa.
However, in the medium to long terms, we will accommodate consumers from more regions

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Our approach is simple. While we will use web/mobile apps to execute the actual networking, spotlighting and matching of opportunities, we have decided that to effectively map these opportunities, we have to combine our mapping approach with our media campaign by adding a touch of 'touch' which would also inform our Monitoring & Evaluation process.

For instance, while the Initiative for Global Development, cosigns the need for a roadshow to spotlight opportunities in Africa we have decided to execute ours INSIDE Africa.

Our roadshows will engage stakeholders (across board) on the topical issues that we wish to address under a giving cycle and then recruit youth interns for a month long brainstorming session to actually map areas/sectors of focus for a given period (as it affects youth/SME development) and available resources (tools and collaborators e.g advocacy groups) to the spotlighting process.

Finally, we would use our intelligent apps to catalyze activity across borders

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

CLIQIT is business services company that provides a range of business support services to SMEs and has also worked with the Nigerian government to plan/execute SME focused initiatives.

Expertise in sector

  • 5-7 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The Kilometre 51 project is a spin off of the annual Calabar international Trade Fair (CITF) - a 10,000 vendor trade event planned for African SMEs to be executed in Nigeria.

During planning and initiation of the CITF project, we established relationships with agencies and organizations across Africa and thought to execute a road show if we had to visit to have meetings.

After CITF was halted, we moved on to execute KM51 especially as CITF was also designed in house by the CLIQIT team

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

With Africa's youth population growing exponentially, so is the unemployment rate and the income gap expanding. Compounded by the inefficiencies of the public sector at meeting the social needs of citizens, analysts fear that the negative consequences of not engaging such a population could be catastrophic where social vices are projected to soar causing severe unrest and instability in the region.

With regional cooperating blocs like the ECOWAS, the East Africa Community and the soon to be ratified and adopted African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) our solution would open African youths to opportunities in the magic of new markets where their skills, expertise and resources can/would be appreciated - insulating them from the limitations within their own territory.

The best way to avoid youth unrest is to get them profitably engaged and this is why our solution, through its online and offline functionality, would decentralize opportunities to benefit all.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The KM51 project is unique and involves multiple stakeholder engagement at various stages. The idea is to influence government policy and development agenda while youths chart their course with our help.

We would work with both the Public sector - Trade Ministries/Chamber of Commerce, Foreign Affairs Ministries, Investment promotion organizations -, international development organizations - ECOWAS, Africa Development Bank, New Partnership for African Development, The United Nations Youth Envoy -, NGOs/CSOs organizations and private sector players (see list below) where we have established a line of communication/relationship with most/all of the listed organizations/groups listed here.

1. GBOWEE Foundation - Liberia
2. Initiative for Global Development - USA
3. Wakanow
4. African Initiative for Transparency, Accountability and responsible Leadership (AFRITAL)
5. PRIM’CO Sal - Abidjan
6. Telande World -Ghana

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Our community in this context is Sub Saharan Africa with a growing youth population who need the solution we proffer.

There is also the abundance of development agencies who are concerned about the consequences of the youth population bulge and are committed to solving the problem.

The expertise and resources in terms of research, funding and tools would help both our blueprint development and opportunities matching phases.

Geographic Focus

The idea is targeted at West and Eastern African countries

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Our project has phases with yearly cycles that recur.

However, app development and deployment as well as successful mapping of all target countries would span 18 months.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

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