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AfDB’s Adesina: “Youth are Africa’s best asset, invest in them!”

Africa’s underinvested youth are in need of urgent attention and youth entrepreneurship investment banks must become the focus of global support, the African Development Bank head Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said Monday in a discussion on scaling up financing for the continent’s youth.Adesina was speaking at a virtual roundtable at which he presented a novel concept for youth entrepreneurship investment banks. The roundtable, organized by the African Development Bank, came a day ahead of the Summit on Financing African Economies convened by President Emmanuel Macron.Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya, Jean-Michel Severino, CEO of Investisseurs et Partenaires; Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Phones; Yana Kakar Global Managing Partner Emeritus at Dalberg Advisors; Yvonne Otieno, CEO, Miyonga Fresh Greens, and other representatives of the private sector joined in the meeting.Otieno urged the world to believe in the youth and to put their hands in their pockets.“Take a risk on us. You will never regret it,” she said in a moving presentation in which she described her career trajectory which began in a bookshop, progressed through journalism, to starting her own business growing French beans on 1.5 acres of land.“Failure is only a weakness if you don’t learn from it,” said Otieno.With lack of access to finance a serious bottleneck, the proposed youth entrepreneurship investment banks would coordinate financial and non-financial actors and partners to more effectively support youth entrepreneurs.“We must support the youth to go beyond looking for jobs. We must unleash the entrepreneurial drive and capacities of the youth to create jobs, Adesina said. “We must grow, finance and support large scale successes of youth-led businesses in Africa.”

Source: Further Africa

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