Tony Elumelu, the founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation and chairman, United Bank for Africa, has insisted that only job creation will end terrorism and poverty across Africa.
Elumelu proposed job creation, inclusive growth and gender diversity as priority areas for Africa’s development agenda to achieve peace and stability on the continent while speaking on a panel at the Dakar International Forum.
The forum also had President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania, ex-President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and France defence minister, Florence Parly.
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.
Elumelu ended his session on an optimistic note, calling on all stakeholders to collaborate to win the war on poverty and insecurity.
President Sall accepted the need for the public sector to collaborate with the private sector to tackle poverty on the continent.