Wednesday, July 04, 2018 3.00PM / Proshare WebTV
French President Mr Emmanuel Macron believes Africa needs to redefine its narrative, build an entrepereneurship that drives innovation and leverage on a vibrant private sector, to achieve progress as a continent.
President Macron shared this as the Special Guest at an interactive business forum powered by the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria.
It was an opportunity for the French leader to engage about 2,000 young African entrepreneurs empowered by the TEF, on ideas and strategies that can broaden economic development and progress in Africa.
In his opening remarks the President of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, CON lauded the French President for his visit to Nigeria and opportunity to meet with African entrepreneurs.
Mr Elumelu a billionaire business leader and philantropist said the essence of the interactive session was to provide an opportunity to understand the importance of the youthful African population, shape a new narrative for Africa and showcasing it as a continent of immense opportunities.
Macron speaking to the young entrepreneurs, notable Nigerian business leaders, bankers, financial experts, politicians, technocrats and administrators believed there were three issues that are critical for Africa to address, to experience advancement.
First he harped on the need for Africa to develop its narrative that will change its perception globally. This for him was a key responsibility of the youthful population who have to mobilize efforts in building a vibrant continent.
“Nobody should decide your future, you must arise and take responsibility for your continent. If Africa does not succeed, Europe and America will not”. he said.
In the second area, the 40 year old President made a strong case for Africa to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship, which is key for building businesses and transforming the economic landscape.
He was of the view that entrepreneurship was part of the answer to addressing the economic challenges in the continent.
The President noted that the French government has established the “Digital Africa Initiative” to support and encourage the growth of innovation in Africa, which is vital to boosting enterprise development.
Digital Africa according to the President will provide assistance to the budding digital ecosytem in the continent, tapping into the developments in the fourth industrial revolution.
For the third aspect, Macron emphasized the need for a vibrant private sector that participates in the economy, which was key to promoting access to economic development in the continent.
“I am a strong believer in the African private sector, because it is the best way for African businesses to transform the economies in the continent. The private sector has the capacity to drive inclusive economic growth across Africa” Macron shared.
To this effect the French President announced that his government through the French Development Agency, is providing a 1bn euros to support the African Private sector.