Africa’s development agenda must prioritise job creation, inclusive growth, gender diversity ― Elumelu
Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has proposed job creation for the youth, inclusive growth, and gender diversity as priority areas for Africa’s development agenda to achieve peace and stability on the continent.
Elumelu, also Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA), while speaking on a high-level panel with President Macky Sall of Senegal, and President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania at Dakar Forum stressed the need for urgency in tackling poverty, the root cause of extremism in Africa.
“We know, and we say, that poverty anywhere is a threat to mankind everywhere. What manifests itself in what we call security breakdown or terrorism, or extremism is actually deeply rooted in poverty, in joblessness.
”So with due respect, we can have 101 seminars like this but unless and until we begin to address these issues of poverty, joblessness amongst our young ones, they will continue to allow themselves to be brainwashed by people who see no future, and they will continue to engage in extremism,” he said.
He noted that lasting peace can only be attained in Africa by investing in young people across the continent.
In his own words, Macky Sall said there is a need for the public sector to collaborate with the private sector to tackle poverty on the continent.
“Addressing the threats cannot be done on a standalone basis due to the fact that the challenges know no borders,” he said.
Elumelu thereby cited the impact of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme as one of the practical ways the private sector in Africa can intervene to bring about peace and stability on the continent.
He also referenced the partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) to empower 100,000 young Africans in 10 years with a focus on the Sahel region for its first year.
“Activities and interventions like this will help to bring economic hope to people in this part of the world and they will become less involved in extremism.
“We support these young ones and we are beginning to see how their successes are translated into better and more secure communities,” he said.