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Elumelu: Youth development will drive Africa’s growth

Elumelu: Youth development will drive Africa’s growth
January 22
13:52 2020

Tony Elumelu, chairman of the United Bank for Africa and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, says youth development and massive private capital investment will drive Africa’s growth.

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Speaking on a panel at the 2020 UK-Africa investment summit that held in London, Elumelu said investments should be directed towards critical sectors like electricity and human resources.

“Africa needs massive private capital investment to enable us drive the sectors that will develop the economy, especially sectors like power. Access to electricity is very critical if we are to develop our continent,” he said.

“We have a huge youth population in Africa and I think that is our biggest resource as a continent. So, in order to talk about the development of our continent, we must prioritise this segment and focus on how to empower them.

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“Empowering the youths will help us create jobs and alleviate poverty and I think that this empowerment must start from creating an enabling environment, from making sure we have roads, mass transportation systems and most importantly, fixing the problem of shortage of electricity on the continent.

“If we do all of this, we will unleash the enormous potential that resides in Africa and in these young people.”

Discussing the achievements of his foundation, the UBA chairman said 9,600 youths have been empowered with seed capital to grow their businesses during the last five years.

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“During lunch, I interacted with some alumni of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship programme who said they were beneficiaries of $5,000 support in 2015 from the TEF, and today, they have just completed raising U$3million becoming one of the biggest food chain providers in Rwanda,” Elumelu explained.

“These are some examples of what such interventions can do. We support, give them an enabling environment, provide a platform and think of our prosperity in a sustainable fashion.”

Other speakers on the panel were David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, Runa Alam, Development Partners International CEO, and Nick Read, Vodafone Group CEO.

The summit was opened by Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, on Monday to discuss future partnerships between the UK and African countries.

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