- Says focus on agriculture, electricity, entrepreneurship way out
Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, has urged African leaders and development institutions to address the trend of unemployment crises bedevilling the continent.
He said this could be achieved by lending support and paying more attention towards the agricultural sector, creating access to electricity and developing entrepreneurship.
Elumelu said this while speaking on the theme ‘How do we create 10 million jobs by 2020?’ at the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Rwanda on Saturday.
He opined that access to electricity and increased focus in the agricultural sector would enhance entrepreneurship and tackle the challenge of unemployment through the creation of more jobs in the continent.
Elumelu, a passionate advocate of entrepreneurship and Africapitalism, also noted that the private sector has the responsibility to play the lead role in contributing to job creation in Africa.
He cited the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and its various investments in these key areas, adding that the foundation had committed $100million to supporting African entrepreneurs over the years.
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”.
The TEF boss stated that Africa can be self-reliant and self-dependent if the right infrastructure and government support are put in place to boost identified sectors.
In this regard, he commended the effort of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for his 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 stance, acknowledged that agriculture can create jobs for the teeming African population if youths approached the sector, not just as a way of life, but as a business.
He seized the opportunity to commend Elumelu for his work in entrepreneurship and pledged to support the work of the TEF in the creation of jobs.
He said: “I applaud Tony Elumelu’s work in entrepreneurship, because entrepreneurship is key. We will help to scale up what Tony Elumelu is doing. If others are doing same, we will succeed in Africa”.