By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
The President of Africa Development Bank (ADB) Adewumi Adesina has disclosed that, if properly nurtured, the agricultural sector would be producing the next generation billionaires in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
He also described that one of the important areas ripe for entrepreneurship is the agricultural sector, stressing that the size of Agribusiness in the continent would be worth $1 trillion by 2030.
Adesina spoke while delivering the 14th convocation of Bowen University lecture titled; “Africa’s Future: Positioning University to Nurture Develop Entrepreneurial Initiative”. He stated millionaires and billionaires of Africa will not come from oil and gas but from agriculture.
Adesina added measure of the growth of countries of the world should not be limited to the Gross Domestic product, saying that it should begin to be measured based on the contributions of the youths of a country to it GDP.
He stated that this would make many countries to support small and medium sized enterprises of the youth.
He also said Nigeria needs to set up a National science and Innovation Fund and set aside 20 percent of it earnings on oil to drive innovation for faster tech enabled growth. He said with this being in place, it would help power the Nigeria of the future
The ADB president also advocated for a structured institutional arrangements for supporting the development and commercialisation of innovations.
He said, “one of the important areas ripe for entrepreneurship is the agriculture sector. The size of food and agribusiness in Africa by 2030 will be worth $1 trillion.
The universities should move beyond agricultural science to agriculture as a business because future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will not come from Oil and gas but from agriculture.
The youths are not the future. They are the present. Our collective responsiblity is to prepare them to thrive for the future through entrepreneurship.
What is not measured does not get done. The measure of the growth of countries should not just be GDP. Nobody eats GDP.
Rather, we must begin to measure the contributions of the youth to the GDP, which I call Y-GDP. And that will make many countries to support the small and medium sized enterprises of the youths
Nigeria on it parts needs to set up a National Science and Innovation Fund, devoting about 20 percent of its oil earnings to driving innovations for the faster tech-enabled growth of Nigeria to power the Nigeria of the future.
Our university should move away from raw teaching into allowing students to experiment, try things, put ideas to work and be innovative. To do this, universities need to have structured institutional arrangements for supporting the development and commercialisation of innovations”.
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by his deputy, Benedict Alabi described the lecture as apt, saying it would help to design and own the future the country desires.
The governor who quoted copiously from an interview the president of African development Bank, Dr Akinwumi granted after the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meeting in Washington D.C., described investment in youth the solution to unemployment across the world.
This, he said, would help to drive entrepreneurship initiatives which would serve as weapons for unlocking Africa’s potential and attaining its future.
Congratulating the graduands, the governor, said the nation is waiting for their contributions to the newfound paradigm shift from white collar jobs to a world of job creation