By TOM CHIAHEMEN –
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said that the bank is set to create 9 million direct and indirect jobs in the next 5 years.
Adesina made this known during his keynote speech at the 8th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year event, which held at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg South Africa on Sunday.
The President who received the African of the Year Award – 2019, spoke on the theme: Africans for Africa-Exploring the gains of a connected Continent, according to a release made available to NATIONAL ACCORD by APO Group.
The event had in attendance, His Excellency, David Mabuza, Deputy President, Republic of South Africa; Her Excellency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister for Corporative Governance & Traditional Affairs, South Africa; Hon. Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development, South Africa; Her Excellency Bongi-Ngema Zuma, the former first lady of the Republic of South Africa, Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, managing director, First Bank of Nigeria, business leaders, members of the diplomatic community among others.
The President in his speech, noted that, “with 12 million graduates entering the labour market each year and only 3 million of them finding a suitable occupation, youth unemployment has the potential to rise sharply.”
Continuing, the president maintained that, “considering the pace of change driven by the 4th industrial revolution, we must invest in re-directing and re-skilling our labour force. We must and we will prepare young people for the jobs of the future — not the jobs of the past.”
“That’s why the African Development Bank, as part of our Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy, launched the establishment of Coding for Employment Program. It’s designed to foster young digital entrepreneurs. We hope to develop 130 centres of innovation over the next five years to help create 9 million direct and indirect jobs,” he said.
According to the President, “we must also address issues of insecurity. Growth in West Africa has been dampened by the rising insecurity challenges, especially in the Sahel. Several countries in West Africa are spending a very high share of their budgets on security.”
A leader in agricultural innovation for over 30 years, Dr. Adesina emerged African of the Year in the 8th African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year award, garnering over 60% of the total votes cast by Africans from across the continent.
Dr. Adesina, who was Nigeria’s former minister of Agriculture, became the 8th President of the Bank in 2015, and has since gone on to lead the bank on what many analysts have described as an exceptional tenure.
He has also contributed greatly to food security in Africa, aimed at improving the lives of millions in the continent.
The Bank under Dr. Adesina has recorded many firsts and marked tremendous milestones.
The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year, is Africa’s premium vote-based endorsement, reserved annually for the Africans who are contributing towards promoting the continent and positively altering her narrative.
The event, which is in its 8th year has become a referendum of some sort by Africans on purposeful leadership in the continent. A shortlist of nominees is selected from results gathered via a Call for nomination – traditionally promoted via paid online and offline campaigns across the continent, Europe, and the Americas. The call for nomination and subsequent selection of Africans with the largest number of entries in 7 categories, is followed by a poll on our website: www.africanleadershipmagazine.co.uk and our social media platforms – through which the winners emerge.
The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (UK) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.