Elumelu tasks African leaders on agriculture, electricity and entrepreneurship
The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu has urged African leaders and development institutions to address the deepening unemployment crisis in the continent.
Elumelu, who is the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) made the call yesterday at the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Rwanda.
He spoke on the theme “How do we create 10 million jobs by 2020?”
According to him, access to electricity and increased focus on the agricultural sector would enhance entrepreneurship and tackle the challenge of unemployment.
He explained that the private sector has the responsibility to play the lead role in contributing to job creation in Africa.
He cited the TEF, which has contributed to various investments in these key areas, adding that this is visible from the $100million commitment over the years, towards supporting African entrepreneurs.
He said: “Today we have businesses in 20 African countries and employ 30,000 people directly and 50,000 people indirectly. Agriculture, access to electricity and entrepreneurship have the potential to create more jobs in Africa.”
Elumelu said Africa could be self-reliant and self-dependent if the right infrastructure and government support were put in place to boost these sectors.
He commended the effort of President Paul Kagame for his brilliant initiatives in the areas of entrepreneurship and attracting key investments to the African continent.
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, who supported Elumelu’s position, acknowledged that agriculture could create jobs for the teeming African population if youths approached the sector, not just as a way of life, but also as a business.
Adesina commended Elumelu for his work in entrepreneurship and promised to support his foundation in the creation of jobs.
The Rwandan Development Board and the Founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, also held a meeting with Elumelu to discuss investment opportunities in Africa.
The youth summit, which was hosted by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, had over 2,500 invited guests from both private and public sectors.
Adeyemi Babington Ashaye, who is the Head, Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum, moderated the opening plenary session.
Other panelists include: Adesina, who is the President, African Development Bank, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe and the Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Kigali, Diane Karusisi.
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