The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina says he does not believe in youth empowerment.
He made this own at the just ended World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings in Washington, DC.
NAN reports that Adesina made the statement while answering questions from journalists on the sideline of the annual meeting.
Adesina explained that most youths empowered do not have the required fund to grow their businesses.
“I don’t believe in youth empowerment, at all, because when you say you have empowered somebody and then you train them but there is no financing, investments for them to grow their businesses, what is the good of that? So, we must move from youth empowerment to youth investment”.
He talked on the danger of unemployment, adding that human capital investment could be futile if the youths can’t back it up with employment.
“But having said that, we can build all the human capital that we want, if young people can’t find jobs, it’s a crisis. We’ve got a third of the young people in the continent don’t have jobs, we’ve got a third of them that are underemployed. The rest that is probably employed and maybe not happy. So, that is a big challenge, and I believe that it is time to begin to put our capital at risk on behalf of young people. If we don’t, we are all going to be at risk.
“That why the African Development Bank is really supporting a major effort called Jobs for Youths in Africa, which is our big programme to help countries to create 25 million jobs for young people over a 10-year period, in agriculture, small and medium enterprises and in the ICT sector. You can imagine when you have 673 million young people on the continent, but you don’t even have the financial institutions that would support them.
“That is not acceptable. So, young people walk into a bank, they look lost, they are like in a forest. They don’t even know what to do, and the instruments are not developed for them. I have said it many times and I will say it again.”