How can we address xenophobia in an innovative, relevant way? Abdi, Western Cape head of the Somali Association of South Africa, recognizes that Somali shop-keepers’ entrepreneurial spirit is a ‘way of life’. At the same time, he sees that xenophobic tensions have roots in the South African economy itself. In reaction, Abdi started a Spaza Business Course, in which Somali shop-owners and South African entrepreneurs share business skills, tips and tricks of the trade.
Abdi’s vision is a South Africa where the economic potential of migrant communities is used to push the country forward and expand job opportunities for all. He uses Eastleigh, a neighborhood of Nairobi, as an example – where Somali communities have joined with local businesses to create a bustling market place, developing the entire neighborhood and drawing in traders from all over Central and Eastern Africa. By opening knowledge and sharing skills, Abdi wants to help unlock business potential. “You’ll find in many countries, there is open business market, where everyone is trading … it is possible in poorer countries, why not in South Africa?”
Watch Spaza Below!