Youth Empowerment is a Big Scam – Akinwunmi Adesina

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Many youths who have been seemingly empowered with skills are still handicapped as a result of lack of funds or capital…

…youth Investment is the basic way to maximize youths’ potentials.

Contrary to various ideas of the government and various organizations on the concept of Youth Empowerment, the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, is of the opinion that Youth Investment is the basic essential way to maximize youths’ potentials.

Youth Empowerment is the concept which trains young people to acquire skills that will expand their chances of opportunities or simply, skills that will equip them in taking charge of their own lives, in such a way that will reduce their vulnerability and dependence on the system.

However, many youths who have been seemingly empowered with skills are still handicapped as a result os lack of funds or capital.  During an interview on the sidelines of the just-concluded World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Washington DC, VANGUARD quoting Adesina said;

“I don’t believe in youth empowerment, at all, because when you say you have empowered somebody and then you train them but there is no financing, investments for them to grow their businesses, what is the good of that? So, we must move from youth empowerment to youth investment”.

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“When we had challenges for very micro-businesses to have access to finance because you have missing institutions, we developed microfinance institutions for them. In the case of young people in Africa, you have government failure, you have an institutional failure, and you have missing markets to support them. They are just there, floating; there is nothing around them. So, I believe it is time to really set up youth entrepreneurship and investment banks that would basically support young people to thrive.

“That’s a big issue for me. So, it’s not just the capacity, but we must create opportunities for young people to thrive. You see, the young people are not just the future of Africa, I don’t believe that. They are the today of Africa if you take a look at it. So, whatever we have to do, we have to do it now”.

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