Obasanjo partners Dangote, Edward to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
A NEW initiative spearheaded by former Nigerian President OlusegunObasanjo, in cooperation with the richest man in Africa, AlikoDangote and the Duke of York, Prince Andrew Edward is targeting to boost African economy.
The project is expected to promote entrepreneurship on the continent through investment, limiting investment risk and optimising reward. According to a report by The Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS), the project, which is called African Entrepreneurship Programme (AEP), would be a new initiative between Pitch@Palace and TGAIS targeted at developing the African private sector and stimulating innovation and technology throughout the continent.
The AEP will also create a platform for African entrepreneurs and young businesses in need of capital and mentorship to develop their businesses, providing them opportunities to present and connect with potential investors “Africa is a continent of growth and home to the world’s youngest population. We are very pleased to support Africa’s growth and develop its workforce through the AEP,” Obasanjo said.
Obasanjo disclosed to CNBC Africathat: “Government must create a conducive environment for people to want to invest, for people to want to risk their resources in investing, so they can get adequate reward for the challenge, risk and putting themselves on the line”.
He stated that, “corruption and entrepreneurship are strange bedfellows”, stressing further that a country cannot have corruption and expect entrepreneurship to go well.
While describing corruption as an antithesis to economic development, the former President praised President MuhammaduBuhari’s efforts to fight against corruption, “He has started well, I hope we will continue to go well and end well in that respect,” he added.
Obasanjo said though Nigeria has a large crop of educated Nigerians but that “the problems they have is that the education they have is not relevant… If you are going to talk about entrepreneurship you have to talk to people who are sufficiently trained in what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”
He added that people needed the necessary training as most Nigerian people are industrialists. TGAIS said it would facilitate a meeting between young AEP entrepreneurs and businesses in order to showcase their business ideas to potential investors, stating that its last year’s attendees attracted 235 billion US Dollar worth of managed funds.