By Desmond Ogudu
Governor, State of Osun, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, has said that there is no better time than now for Africa to move from youth empowerment to youth investment for a better future of the continent.
He reiterated that there is need to have youth entrepreneurship and investment banks specially developed and dedicated to the young people in order to make the youth in Africa job providers instead of job seekers.
Governor Oyetola made this call on Saturday at the 14th Convocation Lecture of Bowen University, Iwo entitled,
“Africa’s future: Positioning University to Nurture and develop Entrepreneurial Initiative”.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Benedict Alabi, explained that investment in youths through entrepreneurship will unlock their potential as the nation is waiting for their contributions to the new found paradigm shift from white collar jobs to a world of job creation.
According to him, the University, as a major stakeholder, has an important role to play in empowering the youth with entrepreneurial skills that will make them self-reliant and become the pride for the African continent.
Governor Oyetola who described the topic of the convocation lecture as apt, said that the issue discussed was a phenomenal continental importance and is an attempt to design and own the future that Africa desires”.
He commended the Bowen University for always interrogating contemporary issues of development as part of its contributions to the intervention in the nation’s and the continent’s development.
He also gave kudos to the management of the University for honoring the President of the African Development Bank and Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, to address the topic of the convocation lecture who he described as one of Africa’s bright minds, who has a genius passion for Africa’s development and known for bringing uncommon perspectives to issues.
Governor Oyetola urged the University to give the recommendations of the lecture a wide publicity to galvanise universities in the country and in the entire Africa to drive entrepreneurship initiatives as weapons for unlocking Africa’s potential and attaining its future”.
“I do not believe in youth empowerment, at all, because when you say you have empowered somebody, and then then you train them but there is no financing, no investment for them to grow their businesses, what is that?”
“So, we must move from youth empowerment to youth investment. We must invest in the youth and unlock their potential. That is why I have been saying that we need to have youth entrepreneurship and investment banks specially developed, and dedicated to young people”.
“I thank Dr. Adesina for his passion for Nigeria, Africa and their development”.
“I thank the Management of Bowen University for inviting me and for making a giant step toward achieving the Africa of our dream”, Governor Oyetola said.