AFRICAPITALISM: The Way Forward For The African Youth [READ]

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Tony Elumelu speaking to young Africans. (Photo Credit: Brandessencenigeria)
Tony Elumelu speaking to young Africans. (Photo Credit: Brandessencenigeria)

Youths are supposedly the leaders of tomorrow and this suggests that a huge investment needs to be made on them in order to achieve that quest.

A nation that is devoid of active youths is apparently bound to go extinct because they are the life wire of every society.

Much has been said as regards hos these young folks can position themselves towards taking up the role as leaders by putting string strategies in place because indeed, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

So many thought leaders have painstakingly lectured the youths on what to invest in to achieve a better tomorrow and among these suggestions is the concept of Africapitalism.

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Though may not be such a popular term, Africapitalism is definitely the way forward for not just the Nigerian youths but the African youth as well.

Africapitalism is the economic philosophy that the African private sector has the power to transform the continent through long-term investments, creating both economic prosperity and social wealth.

The Africapitalism Institute, a Pan-African think-thank tasked with studying the philosophy of the concept was formally launched during the World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja, Nigeria in May 2014.

Tony Elumelu, an impassioned Nigerian entrepreneur who is the brain behind the Africapitalism described it as “the middle ground between business and philanthropy.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation has been living up to expectation supposed of Africapitalism, even though it requires an undivided dedication, focus, and at most hard work to achieve this.

In December 2014, the Foundation launched an entrepreneurship program that will devote $100 million over 10 years to identify and help grow 10,000 African startups and young businesses.

On what it will take to achieve a more encouraging entrepreneurship attitude among young Africans, Elumelu said: “The first is dedication, then vision, focus, ambition, and our ability to do things when we want to do them. We must always remain laser focused and aim to execute to perfection.

“Knowledge has no currency or value. It is priceless, and there is no greater gift than the gift of knowledge.

“Africans must come up with innovative, home grown solutions for challenges we continue to face.”

Explaining the concept Wikipedia writes: “Africapitalism entails transforming private investment into social wealth, with homegrown African businesses meeting social and economic needs by creating goods and services with an innate understanding of the local environment.

“These businesses can bring private capital to vital infrastructure like road transport and power generation, and can create jobs for Africans and an African middle class.

Being the cornerstone to African development, one of the things the Africapitalism concept sets to achieve is to promote entrepreneurship across Africa and this can only be made easier if the African governments do not slack in their primary roles of “creating the right environment for a new crop of entrepreneurs to emerge”.

Some aspects of Africapitalism share similarities to social enterprise schemes, which champion the dual pursuits of profit and social good through long-term investmentsSome examples of social enterprise initiatives include country-specific programs like the India Development Marketplace, as well as international ones like the UN Social Enterprise Action Hub, and those led by the Skoll Foundation in the United States and the Khemka Foundation in India.

In addition, Africapitalism has the potentials of creating a local value for the continent which has been majorly colonized by non-African countries.

Most of these countries having identified the continent’s natural resources shortly after the Cold War, exploited the people, though their exploitation helped to shape the economic situation of the continent.

Imagine what would have happened if these resources were resources with raw material exported as unimproved goods.

Africa is endowed with so much natural goodness with resources that if well tapped by her own, would impact positively on job creation and other social issues that is required to move the continent forward.

This is one of the reason why local value creation should be highly encouraged as it will facilitate more value addition within African economies to ensure more of the benefits of the continent’s natural resources remain in Africa.

Hopefully, the African youths will understand the concept and channel their energies into it in order to achieve the continent of our dreams.

It’s about time Africans started investing in their continent rather than allow non-African countries to tap their economic goldmine while they wallow in perpetual poverty and hardship.

SEE ALSO: It’s World Water Day But Do Nigerians Even Care? [SEE THIS]


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