6 December 2016
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United Bank for Africa (Lagos)

Tony Elumelu Addresses French Business Community at the inaugural Africa-France Forums of Youth and Entrepreneurship

Photo: UBA
Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President, Pierre Gattaz, MEDEF President, Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and Issad Rebrab, CEO, Cevital after their high level panel at the Africa-France Active Growth & Youth Programs (AGYP) organised by Le Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF)

Paris, France — - Says Africa Needs to Create Jobs for 200 million Youths by 2030.

Yesterday the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF), held the first gathering of the Africa-France Active Growth & Youth Programs (AGYP) tagged Africa-France Forums of Youth and Entrepreneurship. This initiative was launched to unite entrepreneurship networks and institutions between Africa and France.

Speaking at the opening, Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa (UBA), commended MEDEF and the French government for their focus on entrepreneurship development and advised French business leaders on the need to invest in African youths. "200 million young Africans will enter the workforce by 2030, but the government is only on course to create a quarter of the jobs needed. We need to encourage, enable and incentivise the youth to create jobs for themselves and others through innovative ideas that address societal challenges in a scale-able and sustainable way."

The 2-day event organised by the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF), hosted over 1,000 guests at this maiden edition tagged Africa-France Forums of Youth and Entrepreneurship. This initiative was launched to unite entrepreneurship networks and institutions between Africa and France. Key speakers includedAlgerian businessman Isaad Rebrab, CEO of Cevital and Makhtar Diop, World Bank's Vice President for Africa.

Elumelu pointed to the Tony Elumelu Foundation's $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme - which in the past 2 years has identified, trained, mentored and funded 2,000 entrepreneurs from across Africa each year -  as an example of the role business leaders can play to spur development in 'shared purpose' with the government.

Fellow panelist, Makhtar Diop, World Bank's Vice President for Africa, acknowledged that the public sector needs the support of private sector investment to "have a 'win-win' situation." Diop also stressed the need to equally empower women. "We have to help women have more access to credit, this is the present and future of our continent in terms of entrepreneurship."

Commenting on the launch of the forum, Pierre Gattaz, the President of MEDEF said, "We want to implement partnerships that foster development and add value to all stakeholders."

Algerian businessman Isaad Rebrab, CEO of Cevital was in attendance as a panelist.

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