I was in Berlin yesterday on an invitation from the Fed Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development, Germany, to participate at the Development Policy Forum & the #G20 Germany as a keynote speaker on the panel - “Jobs, jobs, jobs – But who does what?”. I took some time during the day to see the famed Berlin wall & the Brandenburg Gate which holds a lot of symbolism about Germany’s division & eventual reunification. At a point, East & West Germany were divided physically & ideologically over the role of government in the allocation of resources. Over time, varying manifestations of a free & fair market in which people have the same economic platform to compete equally have emerged as the preferred system of governance across the globe – with a few exceptions. The wall eventually came down in 1990 when the German reunification treaty was signed.
Government no doubt has a critical role to play & that is in creating the enabling environment which allows business and entrepreneurs to compete fairly and to thrive, creating more sustainable job opportunities, that can accommodate the burgeoning global population.
Africa’s key priority is employment - how to create jobs, sustainable and meaningful employment for Africa’s exploding population. Research shows that between now and 2030, 440 million Africans will be joining a competitive labour market, most of them in the rural area. Failure to create employment, will make all our efforts in policy, in infrastructure, in health meaningless. It is a priority only the private sector can solve.
As you know, this challenge is central to the mission of the @tonyelumelufoundation . My team and I know that entrepreneurship is the most important source & multiplier of employment.
This philosophy which I call Africapitalism is what I shared on today’s panel. It continues to guide our actions & practices in both business & philanthropy. Out success story in already empowering 3,000 African businesses, with a long-term approach of endowing a further 7,000 more businesses in the next 7 years is #Africapitalism in practice.