Tony Elumelu Calls For Youth Investments

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Tony Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation  (TEF) and chairman, United Bank of Africa Group, has called for job creation and investment in the youths in Africa.

He said this while speaking on panel with the President of Senegal, Macky Sall and President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.

According to him, the major factor which will ensure peace and development in Africa is when the youth are adequately investment in.

The Nation news reports that other persons on the panel included Defence Minister of France, Florence Parly and former President of Burundi and representative of the African Union, Pierre Buyoya.

Elumelu said:

“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.”

According to him, as much as it is important to evaluate weaponry, and other means to tackle insurgency in Africa, ‘a lasting peace can only be attained in the long run by investing in our young people across Africa”, the Nation reported.

He referred to the impact which the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme as an example of one of the valuable methods in which private sector in Africa can intervene to bring about peace and stability on the continent.

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Elumelu also mentioned the partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)  which is geared towards empowering 100,000 young Africans in 10 years with a focus on the Sahel region for its first year.

He said: “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 further urged all stakeholders to collaborate efforts in order to eradicate poverty and insecurity.

“There is a lot we all can do – the private sector, government, and development partners – in making sure that we focus on winning the war on terrorism; that we make sure we stem the migration of our young people crossing the Mediterranean through harsh conditions, in search of hope, when indeed we have more opportunities and resources in our continent.

“We need to work together to ensure that extremism is totally annihilated in Africa. It is possible but we need to work together to achieve this.”

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