Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says the problem of unemployment in Africa is partly due to lack of skills among job seekers.
The AfDB boss made this known while addressing the press at the ongoing annual meeting of the development finance institution in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
“Our challenge is lack of enough skills; managerial skills to actually run industries properly and this continues to be a big challenge all across Africa so there is still a lot of work to be done making sure that you have the right kind of skills to be able to run industries,” he said.
“Capacity building of human resources is extremely important. We talk about the infrastructure a lot. The most significant infrastructure to my mind is grey matter. If you do not develop people skills then what will you develop?
“We are talking about the African continental free trade area, yes. It’s a market of $3.4 trillion but we cannot talk about that in theory. There has to be a huge industrial capacity.”
Explaining why the conference is focused on integration in Africa, Adesina, who is Nigeria’s former minister of Agriculture, said: “If we get our integration right, Africa will be more competitive, will be able to create a massive amount of jobs and, more importantly, Africa can develop in dignity and confidence”.
He explained that the AfCFTA will constitute the world’s largest free trade area, bringing together 1.3 billion consumers.