The African Development Bank (AfDB) has proposed the establishment of a Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank, an initiative that will focus 100 per cent on providing funding for start-ups, small and medium enterprises across Africa.
The AfDB President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said this on Saturday in Abuja in a panel discussion at the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum.
Adesina called on governments in African countries to focus more on creating the conductive environment to support businesses rather than channelling their attention on Gross Domestic Product growth rate.
He said while it was good to focus on how to grow the GDP, the emphasis should be on economic growth that could create quality jobs for the people.
He also cautioned financial institutions to stop citing risk as a reason for restricting access to entrepreneurship funding.
In addition, he said that it was time to come up with safeguards that would mitigate those risks and unlock the needed capital for entrepreneurs.
“Its time for African leaders to shift from youth empowerment to youth investment.
“We need to set up Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank. This bank needs to unlock the entrepreneurial initiative in our youths by looking at assets and not risks,” he said.
Also, the President, African Export-Import Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, charged young entrepreneurs to be more daring and not be afraid to take risks in their businesses.
He urged them to never let the infrastructure deficit in most countries on the continent hinder them from being successful in their chosen enterprises.
Also, Chief Tony Elumelu, the Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the future of Africa in terms of development lies in the hand of entrepreneurs.
He said through partnerships from the African Export-Import Bank and other international institutions, the Foundation would provide more funding support to African entrepreneurs.