Adesina Underlines Importance Of Skills For African Youths

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, stressed the necessity for concerted efforts from Africans to ensure that the continent’s young population is adequately equipped with the necessary skills for the changing global scenario.

Addressing the delegation from the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) during their visit to the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, he lamented that Our efforts for Africa’s 477 million young people are falling short. And that we are failing to tap into their skills, talent, and ingenuity.

Established in 2020 in Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling economic hub, as a non-profit educational institution, the university is steadily cultivating a prestigious reputation with global standards aimed at nurturing leaders in technology and management.

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.

Drawing on Nigeria as an illustration, he pointed out that in November, the African Development Bank greenlit $80 million to support the implementation of a knowledge zone project in Ekiti State.

The Ekiti Knowledge Zone is spearheading digital innovation and entrepreneurship, with projections indicating the creation of 26,000 jobs and an annual contribution of approximately $14 million in net economic benefits. Furthermore, the project aims to entice businesses from Lagos to relocate to the designated zone.

Adesina advised the university’s management to explore the possibility of establishing knowledge zones across various regions within the country and beyond. He also cited the Bank’s support for comparable projects in Cabo Verde and Senegal.

Read also: People Losing Faith In Nigeria’s Economy, Adesina Laments

Furthermore, the Bank Group president emphasized the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) program. With substantial investments totaling $618 million, the initiative is set to generate 6 million new job opportunities for young Nigerians and inject 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.

Addressing the audience during the visit, Dr. Omobola Johnson, Dean of the NUTM Scholars Program and Governing Board Member, highlighted the demographic projection, pointing out that by 2050, one in four individuals worldwide will be African. She emphasized the critical importance of nurturing high-quality young Africans to drive forward the development agenda for both Africa and the global community.

Additionally, Dr. Babs Omotowa, the University’s President, highlighted their achievements, noting that they are on track to build a prominent institution in Africa aimed at solving the continent’s problems.

Among those present at the meeting were Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, and Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialization, among others.

Africa Today News, New York

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *