The 4th Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Lekgotla will be hosted virtually from 14 to 18 September. The five-day affair, themed African Entrepreneurship through Technology, will be anchored from the Universities South Africa’s offices in Hatfield to a 1000- strong audience from all over Africa and beyond. The EDHE Lekgotla is an annual, national flagship event of the EDHE programme aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship within higher education.

Day One (14 September) will be dedicated to Studentpreneurs. The actual Lekgotla commences on Tuesday 15 September and carries on through the 16th, while the last two days will be devoted to engagements of the four EDHE Communities of Practice in Entrepreneurship, respectively aimed at the development of student entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship in academia, and entrepreneurial universities.

As the theme suggests, the EDHE Lekgotla 2020 will draw thought leadership on entrepreneurship from a host of tried and tested international speakers, including those from the broader African continent. The speaker line-up includes Dr Kusi Baochie-Yiadom, Head of the Incubation Centre, Ghana University of Energy and Natural Resources, while also being the Paramount Chief of the Suma Traditional Area in Ghana. He will speak on the strategic role of traditional leaders as economic change agents. Mr Baraka Mtungu, Managing Director, Quest Africa and Co-founder of UhuruOne, will speak about the success story of UhuruOne in providing education and internet connectivity to the unconnected in Tanzania.

Speakers from further afield will include Professor Michael H. Morris, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, in the United States of America. He is back as a speaker at the Lekgotla by popular demand, following a highly commended address at the EDHE Lekgotla 2018. He will address the conference on Global Entrepreneurship in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, whereas Ms Ceri Nursaw, CEO of the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education, in the United Kingdom, will talk about Deep Embeddedness, Benchmarking and Leadership in Entrepreneurship Development.

Other themes to be featured include Secrets to Establishing Multi-generational Family Businesses; High-tech Innovation in Africa, The University as a Catalyst for Entrepreneurial Change, and Rethinking the Role of Business Schools.

Dr Norah Clarke, EDHE’s Director, has described the 2020 edition of the Lekgotla as a massive and inclusive project. She says even though COVID-19 prevented a contact conference in 2020, “the pandemic has enabled us to be inclusive in approach. We are happier than ever to be linking up with our compatriots across Africa and beyond, all in pursuit of one common goal: ensuring the economic participation of students and graduates.” Thanks to online delivery, the Lekgotla 2020 will allow unprecedented levels of participation of both students and experts from all over South Africa, across the African continent and from other parts of the globe.

Founded in 2016 in the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the EDHE Programme, now being implemented from under Universities South Africa’s wings, is seen — in the higher education sector — as an answer to South Africa’s high unemployment rate. The Programme was established to grow student entrepreneurship and turn university graduates into job-creators; to foster entrepreneurship development in academia, and to develop public universities into highly enterprising entities. The Programme continues to be funded mainly from DHET’s University Capacity Development Programme.

The EDHE Lekgotla 2020 will be freely live-streamed on the Whova App and invites participation of all stakeholders.

Registration remains open on