The African Development Bank (AfDB) has advised African governments to focus on creating jobs for the youth instead of being concerned about GDP growth figures.
Speaking on Saturday on a panel at the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum, Akinwumi Adesina, the AfDB president, proposed the establishment of a Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank.
This initiative, he said, will focus 100% on providing funding for start-ups, small and medium enterprises across Africa.
He said while it was good to focus on how to grow the GDP, the emphasis should be on economic growth that could create quality jobs for the people.
Adesina, who is Nigeria’s one-time minister of agriculture, cautioned financial institutions to stop citing risk as a reason for restricting access to entrepreneurship funding, advising them to come up with safeguards to mitigate the risks.
“Its time for African leaders to shift from youth empowerment to youth investment,” he said.
“We need to set up Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank. This bank needs to unlock the entrepreneurial initiative in our youths by looking at assets and not risks,” he said.
In his address, Benedict Oramah, the president of the African Export-Import Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, charged young entrepreneurs to be more daring and not be afraid to take risks in their businesses.
He urged them to never let the infrastructure deficit in most countries on the continent hinder them from being successful in their chosen enterprises.