…Reiterates plan to establish Entrepreneurship Bank
By Yinka Kolawole
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has challenged Africa’s young entrepreneurs to positively change the “one-dimensional narratives of Africa” through their skills, enterprise and vision.
Osinbajo said this in Abuja at the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum 2019, describing the current generation as the smartest that has ever lived.
He stated: “Our continent continues to be defined by unsavoury and unwholesome stories, which do not often accurately represent the reality of life and opportunity. The people in this room are the perfect and long-awaited counterpoints to those one-dimensional narratives of Africa that have sadly gained ground over the years.
“Outside on the streets of every village, town and city are many more individual embodiments of the potential of Africa. But we can change that story. We must fund young entrepreneurs and provide opportunities for capacity building. Our school curriculums must emphasize not just stem but critical thinking and entrepreneurship. And the promise of entrepreneurship bank must be kept.”
He noted that the continent’s landscape is “emboldened by multitudes of young people who are refusing to wallow in self-pity or frustration, who have realised that conquering the challenges of their environments are the milestones for outstanding success; young men and women who have come to fully understand the transformational power of technology in the 21st century.”
The Vice President further said: “Here in this room is a great representation of what the private sector can accomplish. It is also hugely inspiring to us as governments – and I am glad that a number of African governments are represented here – we are challenged to create the enabling environment for all of these young entrepreneurs to thrive.”
He commended the work of the Foundation in compelling African governments to focus on its youth and their dreams. “And the message to Africa’s emerging business giants is a clear one: how and what you can contribute, like Tony Elumelu, to empowering the next generation, helping them – you, gathered here in this room – helping you write, rewrite and revise the next chapter of your continent-changing stories,” he stated.
Osinbajo added that the world is waiting to see the exploits from Africa’s youth. “We are holding our breaths for the incredible achievements you will make,” he said.