The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, has called on all arms of governments across Africa to urgently come together to implement policies that will help the continent overcome its current economic challenges.
Mr Elumelu said this while speaking last night at the 2016 Edition of the World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ And Africa Pension Awards.
“For us to take Africa out of its current economic situation, we need to have all hands on deck; the executive, legislature alongside international partners and the private sector. All of us have to work together and stop blaming each other”.
According to Tony Elumelu, “While the executive arm should do more, other arms like the legislature should play their own role by reviewing extant laws that are no longer supportive of the current developmental trajectory of the continent” He also challenged African governments to take deliberate measures to support entrepreneurship. “Africa’s large population is also Africa’s greatest opportunity but this demographic dividend can easily become our doom if not well engaged. We must deliberately empower our youth through entrepreneurship so that they can create jobs and eradicate poverty” He further noted that “At a time like this, we need to infuse hope in the people and change the narrative of Africa rising, to a risen Africa”
In commending the role of Pension administrators in Africa in savings mobilization, Mr. Elumelu said that we need domestic and international capital to help fund our infrastructural deficit.
“If we don’t fix this, entrepreneurship will not thrive and economic transformation will be an illusion”
Also speaking, a former minster, Senator Sanusi Daggash believes the pension system, should be expanded to cover the informal sector. He stressed the need for Government to take bold steps, by improving public finance management. Minister of Public Service, Uganda, Wilson Muruli Mukasa, believes that with a little more effort and corporate unity of African governments, the Africa rising dream can be achieved.
The Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, in her opening remarks said that the World Pension Summit, Africa Special, was organised to deepen discussions built around ensuring pension funds are invested in the real sector for visible and measurable impact on the economy, while enjoying retirement benefits. The Africa Pension Awards is designed to reward excellence in the pension industry she said.
Participants across the continent, diplomatic corps, captains of industry and top government functionaries attended the event.