Chairman of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) Group, Tony Elumelu has highlighted the economic recovery plan for President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders.
While speaking at a roundtable discussion made up of African leaders, including Dr. Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala, the Special Envoy of the African Union on Covid-19 and Tidjane Thiam who is also a Covid-19 Special Envoy responsible for mobilising international economic support for Africa, the renowned billionaire admitted that Africans can be empowered to become more productive and self-reliant, as the novel coronavirus presents an opportunity to reset the continent’s economy.
“I see this pandemic as an opportunity to reset Africa,” Elumelu stated.
While pointing out that Africa has all it takes to have a competitive economy, Elumelu advocated for a martial plan that will galvanise the entire continent and make it less dependent on the ‘circularity of debt’ from developed nations, which according to him, has been a major setback.
- Mobilization: Elumelu believes that to have a functional economy in Africa, Buhari and other leaders in the continent, needs to adopt the Tony Elumelu Foundation style of mobilising people. He explained that the mobilisation also includes putting resources together. His words; “I feel that as we engage the rest of the world in providing relief, we need to look for a more fundamental solution to Africa’s challenges. I have often argued for martial plan overtime. We need to mobilise everyone. If we have a martial plan that mobilises resources to address particular issues, then we can mitigate against this constant begging for assistance. The truth is that we have resources to help mobilise people. As the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we committed to endow $100m to support young African entrepreneurs and we have been seeing the positive results this has yielded so far.”
- Electricity: The billionaire expressed a belief that the best way to ensure the stability of the macro-economic environment, empower small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), and fix youth migration, is a reliable power supply. He said, “it is evident that if we can fix access to electricity, then we are in for a better and more resilient economy. There is an urgent need to prioritise our youths and empower our SMEs. The people who work hard need to be encouraged.”
Here’s what we think
Unmask NG understands that poverty is one of the major problems African leaders have been battling. To combat this challenge and boost economic developments, Elumelu’s counsel cannot not be taken seriously. For instance, erratic power supply is a problem in Nigeria, crippling businesses, and the economy at large. And until this lingering challenge is addressed, the chances of having a functional economy will remain slim.