Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation and chairman, United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu, has proposed job creation, inclusive growth and gender diversity as priority areas for Africa’s development agenda to achieve peace and stability on the continent.
Mr Elumelu said this on Monday while speaking on a panel that had President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania at the Dakar International Forum.
Other speakers on the panel were former President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and France defence minister, Florence Parly.
Elumelu stressed the urgency in tackling poverty, the root cause of extremism in Africa.
He said: “We know, and we say that poverty anywhere is a threat to mankind everywhere. What manifests itself in what we call security breakdown or terrorism, or extremism is actually deeply rooted in poverty, in joblessness.
“So with due respect, we can have 101 seminars like this but unless and until we begin to address these issues of poverty, joblessness amongst our young ones, they will continue to allow themselves to be brainwashed by people who see no future, and they will continue to engage in extremism.”
Elumelu emphasised that while it is no doubt important to discuss weaponry and other means to deal with insurgency, lasting peace can only be attained in the long run by investing in our young people across Africa.
President Sall acquiesced to the need for the public sector to collaborate with the private sector to tackle poverty on the continent.
He said: “Addressing the threats cannot be done on a standalone basis due to the fact that the challenges know no borders”. He called for a more collaborative approach to alleviate violence and extremism to boost investments in Africa.
Elumelu ended his session on an optimistic note, calling on all stakeholders to collaborate to win the war on poverty and insecurity.