Yemi Osinbajo the vice president of Nigeria has called on African head of states, leaders and emerging business giants on sustainable contributions that will lead to the empowerment of the next generation.
Osinbajo was the keynote speaker at the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurship forum held in Abuja at the weekend.
In his speech, Osinbajo addressed how the foundation has created an impact. “By birthing this particular intervention, Tony Elumelu has compelled us to focus on what really matters, our youth and their dreams. The message to Africa’s emerging business giants is a clear one, How and what can you contribute, like Tony Elumelu, to empowering the next generation, helping them to realize their own dreams?” Osinbajo asked.
The 2-day forum held on the 26th and 27th of July at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja was it’s 5th edition. It had five African presidents and thousands of young African entrepreneurs converging to tackle the pressing issue of job creation and youth empowerment.
At the forum, Tony Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) reiterated the urgency in creating jobs on the continent to catalyse Africa’s development.
He said: “Extremism is a product of poverty and joblessness. Poverty anywhere is a threat to everyone everywhere,” he said. “If our leaders understand the reason and rationale for our youths to succeed, they will do everything they can to support them.”
Elumelu also reiterated the role of technology as a key enabler in accelerating development, citing TEFConnect, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs launched by the Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2018. With over 500,000 registered users, the hub provides a platform for entrepreneurs to network and forge business partnerships regardless of their location.
The forum ended with a tour of the UBA Marketplace, where entrepreneurs across the continent exhibited their products, as a pitching competition saw the winner walk away with a $5,000 grant from the United Bank for Africa (UBA).