Article Summary

  • Speaks that youths need investment, not empowerment
  • The AfDB recently set up a Youth Investment bank and African Pharmaceutical Foundation Technology Foundation(APTF).
  • These initiatives will youth will enable youths to grow their wealth and create jobs with a decent living, wages and social protection for all our young people.

President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwunmi Adesina, has called for increased investments in African youth to ensure Africa’s future.

Adesina made the call during the Africa Day celebration which commemorates the establishment of the Organization of African Unity on May 25, 1963. On Thursday, it was a side event at the ongoing 2023 AfDB Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

What he said

Adesina emphasized that although he is not against migration, he does not believe that the future of the African youth lies in Europe, Asia or anywhere else in the world.

According to him,

  • “I believe the future of Africa’s youth lies in an African growing wealth, growing equitably, able to create jobs with a decent living, wage and social protection for all our young people”
  • “If we think and we know that the young people are our best assets then we must invest in our young people,’’ he said.

According to the AfDB president, many countries on the continent have youth empowerment programmes which have not added value to the lives of the African youths.

He said:

  • I do not believe that what they need is empowerment in that sense, what they need is investment. We must start investing in our young people.’’

About AfDBs Youth Investment Bank

Adesina disclosed that the AfDB has created new financial institutions called Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks that will be spread out across our continent.

He declared that the bank would help young people start businesses and turn their innovative ideas into successful enterprises.

The bank president urged the continent’s economies to risk their resources and support the youth to foster their development.

  • That is why we at the bank are supporting and working to make sure that we can have the skills, the entrepreneurship, the capacity around our young people so that Africa can have youth-based wealth.
  • “It is time to have youth-based wealth in Africa. And to have that we need to have financial institutions on board and that is why the AfDB is taking the leadership of this issue,’’ he said.
  • “Our future is a bright future. As Africans our future will be brighter if we invest in our young people. They are not only going to make us proud today, they will make us proud tomorrow”.
  • “And as we think of Agenda 2063, I will not be here, I don’t know how many people will be here, so let’s have an agenda that can bring the hope of the future to the present.’’ 

Curbing Africa’s Dependence on the western world

According to Adesina, the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks will be dispersed throughout our continent.

He declared that the bank would support young entrepreneurs and help them turn their original ideas into profitable ventures.

The bank’s president exhorted the continent’s economies to take a financial risk and assist in the development of the young people.

He said,

  • And that is why we are also investing and setting up what is called the African Pharmaceutical Foundation Technology Foundation(APTF).
  • “That will allow Africa to navigate complex issues with access to technology, for making or producing medicines and vaccines, so we can protect ourselves”.
  • “We must know, we must have the know-how, we must have the capacity to develop drugs and medicines that fits our peculiar profile. That is how we develop our pride”, he concludes.