Tony Elumelu, chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, has stated Africa’s growth is tied to the empowerment of its youths.
Elumelu stated this while speaking on a panel at the 2020 UK-Africa investment summit held in London.
According to him, there is need to optimally explore the continent’s huge youthful population to achieve its quest for meaningful development.
His words: “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.
“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.
“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.”
He stated since its inception, the Elumelu foundation has empowered 9,600 youths.
The UBA chairman added: “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.
“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.”