Buhari to African leaders: We must rejig our educational system to promote industrialisation

President Muhammadu Buhari says African leaders need to promote access to quality education as part of efforts to put the continent on the path of industrialisation.

According to a statement issued by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, Buhari spoke on Friday at the African Union (AU) summit on industrialisation and economic diversification, held in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic.

“Your excellencies, the African continent is blessed with a large youth population that can address our labour shortages. Therefore, we should tap this human resource potential that abounds in the continent by providing our youths with qualitative and fit-for-purpose education that recognises the labour market demands,” he was quoted as saying.

”In this regard, we must rejig our educational system and academic curricula to gravitate towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is the short way we can produce the next generation of managers for the industrial complex we envisage, one that will not be dependent on expatriates.


”They are the solution to the socio-economic challenges that have bedevilled Africa, particularly those worsened by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia- Ukraine war, as well as the effects of climate change, terrorism and banditry.

”Chairperson, let me call on all African leaders, our development partners and the organized private sector to team up and fashion a collaboration that will ultimately lead Africa to achieve full industrialisation by the year 2030.

”We can do this by simply taking advantage of our rich endowments in natural resources.  Nigeria is committed to advancing the accelerated implementation of the African Union programme for infrastructure development as a vehicle to deliver industrialisation.”


Buhari also told the African leaders that solving the problem of generating cheap and clean energy is key to the continent’s drive.

“It is no secret that we cannot industrialise the continent if we do not solve the problem of generating cheap and clean energy,” he said.

”Your excellencies, energy generation and distribution is an enabler for industrialisation.

“Africa is richly endowed with multiple sources of energy generation. We are richly endowed with hydro-carbons, coal, natural gas, solar energy, and hydro-energy. Yet we are lacking in the capacity to produce clean and cheap electricity to power our production, and manufacturing sectors.”


Buhari expressed optimism that the summit will provide the African leaders with the opportunity to explore collaboration in “pooling resources on a continental level to address the vexing problem of energy generation and distribution” in Africa.

The president added that the continent needs more foreign direct investments (FDI) in science, technology and innovation to drive industrialisation, “not forgetting our long-standing need for better tenors of trade with developing countries”.

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