Technocrat Media Nigeria
ABUJA – Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo says sustainable development in Africa could only be achieved through targeted investment in the youth.
Akoko North East/North West federal lawmaker made this note at the weekend in Abuja while speaking at the 1st African Regional Conference on adolescent and youth health organised by Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria (SAYPHIN).
While speaking on the topic, “Youth, Innovation and Economic Development: Towards an Empowered Future”, BTO highlighted lack of mentorship, deficient market intelligence, the problem of funding, poor leadership as some of the reasons why innovations fail in Africa. He added that the aspirations and needs of young people, and their ability to meet their full potential, remain largely unmet due to stagnating economic growth and limited opportunities for advancement.”
In Nigeria for instance, only one out of 25 startups survive after 10 years. 80% fail within the first five years. A scary 96% for aspiring entrepreneurs,” he explained.
On providing solutions to these problems, he recommended an urgent review and development of a proactive National youth policy to encourage entrepreneurship and vocational skills development. “The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) should be modified for skills development to enhance self-reliance. Also, there should be the provision of accessible funding for the development of ideas into innovations without undue bureaucracies,” he said.
He further called for the provision of an entrepreneurship mentoring scheme that will sustain economic development.
Participants at the conference were drawn from Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and other African countries.
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