News

April 3, 2024

Why African Youths must have right skills – Adesina

Adesina

L-R: Gauthier Bourlard, Director and Special Adviser, Office of the President, African Development Bank Group; Demola Adeyemi Bero, Board member, NUTM; Dr Omobola Johnson, Dean, NUTM Scholars Program and Governing Board Member; African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina; Dr Babs Omotowa, NUTM President; African Development Bank Group Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialisation Solomon Quaynor.

By Jimoh Babatunde

President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said that Africans have a lot of work to do to make sure Africa’s youth have the right skills in the new world trajectory.



Speaking while receiving the leadership of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM), who called on him at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire recently, said “We are not doing well enough for Africa’s 477 million youths. We are not harnessing their skills, talent and creativity.”
Launched in 2020 in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos as a not-for-profit academic institution, the university is building a strong brand with world-class standards to produce technology and management leaders.


Adesina told the University’s Board members, “What you are doing is in line with what the Bank is doing.” He highlighted several initiatives the Bank is rolling out in various countries across Africa.


He gave the example of Nigeria which last November received $80 million from the African Development Bank, following approval by the Board of Directors, to develop a knowledge zone project in Ekiti State.
The Ekiti Knowledge Zone is promoting digital innovation and entrepreneurship, will generate 26,000 jobs, and contribute about $14 million annually in net economic benefits. The project also aims to attract businesses from Lagos to the zone.


Adesina told the management of the university to consider establishing knowledge zones in other parts of the country and continent. The Bank has financed similar projects in Cabo Verde and Senegal.
The Bank Group president also pointed to the launch a year ago of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) program. The initiative, with investments of $618 million, is expected to create 6 million new jobs for young Nigerians and generate nearly $6.4 billion into Nigeria’s economy.


Another African Development Bank-financed initiative is the Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Bank (YEIBs) project, which provides financial and technical support for young entrepreneurs and their businesses.


Last July, the Bank’s Board of Directors approved $16 million for Liberia’s program. Nigeria could follow suit.


While pledging more cooperation with NUTM and other African learning institutions, Adesina said “We must become the workforce of the world. We have a lot of work to do making sure they (Africa’s youth) have the right skills in the new world trajectory.”


Dr Akinwumi Adesina and the leadership of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) agreed that equipping Africa’s youth with quality education and the skills needed to meet the challenges of the future is critical to ensure the development of the continent and the world.


Speaking during the visit, Dr Omobola Johnson, Dean, NUTM Scholars Program and Governing Board Member, said by 2050, one in every four people in the world will be African and therefore, “the quality of young Africans will be key to the development of Africa and the world.


Also, the President of the University, Dr Babs Omotowa, said they are making progress in building a great institution in Africa, to solve Africa’s problems.


The meeting was also attended by among others, Vice President for Agriculture, human and social development Dr Beth Dunford, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialisation Solomon Quaynor.