Economist and entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu has said the time has come for leaders across Africa to implement a new development model that would help eradicate poverty in the continent.
He also noted that it was fundamental to help the youth see themselves as the change Africa was looking for and encourage them to lead the campaign against poverty in the continent.
This and other issues of development formed the crux of the two-day forum organised by the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Lagos south-west Nigeria.
“Our youths need jobs, plenty jobs, economic hope. There is so much uncertainty about the future.
“In Africa, we have tried different models to deal with these issues of poverty eradication, job creation and creating economic hope for our people – in fact, we know that we have not made much progress and in some areas we can even say that we have regressed,” Elumelu stressed.
Also according to him, aid inflow into Africa in the past 10 years is a whopping half a trillion dollars, yet the basic human development index has not significantly changed.
He, therefore, stated that the new development model which he referred to as ‘Africapitalism’ was of utmost necessity.
“A development model that embraces shared prosperity and local value addition, long-term investment and also private sector development and ultimately entrepreneurship is needed.
“Africapitalism is a development model that prioritizes our youth and creates hope for them. It is a bottom-up approach to development; an all-inclusive approach that brings development to everyone; one that creates economic empowerment and one that creates hope for the future,” he added.
Also Speaking at the event, was Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Osinbajo who expoused similar views.
According to him, the present generation of young Africans represented hope for the continent.
“I’ve always known that this group of individuals, this generation of young people will do the exceptional. Earlier this month I spoke at the Financial Times Africa Summit on the theme what makes Africa work – here in this room are seated the answer to that question.
“Across Agriculture, ICT, hospitality, fashion, energy, manufacturing and many other fields, the breadth and depth of talent and innovation on display in the current and previous Tony Elumelu entrepreneurship cohorts have shown that there is indeed hope,” the Vice President said.