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Published On: Mon, Jul 29th, 2019

Tony Elumelu: African Govts urged to set up Youth Entrepreneurship, Investment Banks

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…as UBA announces WizKid Brand Ambassador

By Etuka Sunday

African Leaders have been called upon to set up Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Banks to address the enormous challenges facing African entrepreneurs.

The President, African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina made the call at the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum in Abuja, Nigeria.

Dr. Adesina said, the Youth Entrepreneurship and
Investment Banks would address missing institutions, market failures and government failures.

He said, there was need for African governments to shift from youth empowerments to youth investments.

“African heads of states are here today, why do we have this problem, a growth process that is not creating jobs? That is because we have missing institutions. We have market failures.

“The current market system does not provide financing to them. And our governments are not playing their roles enough. Poverty is not an asset.

“I want to propose today that African governments begin to shift from youth empowerments to youth investments. We should set up Youth Entrepreneurship and
Investment Banks, to address missing institutions, market failures and government failures,” he said.

The AfDB boss said, Africa is not rising, but has already risen, saying that in terms of African growth “today you have 22 countries that are growing above 5%, you got 21 countries that are growing between 3 to 5%.

“The challenge that we have is that, we have 678 million young people that are out there in Africa, 12 to 13 million people enter into labour market every year and they can’t find jobs, only 3 million of them can find jobs. So when we talk about growth, the growth has to be a growth that creates jobs-and I don’t mean any kind of jobs, I mean quality jobs to have a decent living.

“So what we got to really do in my view is to look at the young people in our continent that are going
to grow to 840million people by the year 2050 and help them. We can’t keep postponing their future into the future. The young people are not
liabilities, they are assets,” he said.

The Forum was attended by Five leaders of African countries: President of Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, President of Senegal, Macky Sall, Prime Minister of Uganda, Ruhakana Rugunda and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who represented President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

They all agreed that entrepreneurs are the future of Africa especially in the area of jobs creation therefore, would be adequately supported.

The Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), and Chairman, UBA and Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu thanked the African leaders for their presence and support for the vision for Africa.

He was excited about a partnership from European Countries to train more African Entrepreneurs.

99% of European companies are SMEs, 85% of the jobs created in Europe are created by SMEs therefore, African entrepreneurs can replicate same in Africa.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is an African non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu and headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.

He believes that with the right support, entrepreneurs can be empowered to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s prosperity and social development.

The Foundation is intent on charting a new course for African philanthropy and does not operate merely as a grant-awarding organisation. It is a pioneer member of the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS).

So far, over 7, 500 African Enterpreneurs from 54 African Countries has been empowered.

Meanwhile, United Bank for Africa (UBA) has announced a popular Nigerian Afropop Star, Ayodeji Balogun, aka WizKid as it Brand Ambassador.

The announcement which was made by the Group Managing Director, UBA, Kennedy Uzoka at the UBAMarketplace2019 was in furtherance of the bank’s vision to integrate the creative industry into its plan.

“We don’t want to encourage people writing CVs. We want to encourage people to say what they can do and their goal must be defined from a standpoint of providing solution,” Uzoka said.

Speaking, WizKid said: “success for me is not the amount of money or properties you have, it’s the number of lives you are able to touch. I started my brand starboy because I wanted it to represent the whole of Africa.”

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