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AfDB President Advocates  Youth’s Future In Nigeria

In a compelling address at the 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership in Lagos, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, emphasized that the future of Nigerian youth is not abroad but within the borders of Nigeria. 

Adesina received the prestigious 2023 Obafemi Awolowo Prize for Leadership Award during the event attended by former heads of state, state governors, royal figures, and other distinguished Nigerians.

Expressing concern about the trend of Nigerian youths migrating to other countries, Adesina urged the nation to transform itself into a thriving environment rather than one to escape from. 

He rejected the notion that the potential of Nigeria’s youth lies outside Africa, emphasizing the importance of creating opportunities and quality jobs domestically.

Adesina highlighted the negative impact of the growing diaspora, asserting that sustainable development involves retaining the nation’s best talents at home while also leveraging skills abroad through flexible immigration and labor policies.

 He disclosed the African Development Bank’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s digital and creative sectors with a $614 million program, aiming to generate 6.3 million jobs and contribute N6.4 billion to the economy.

Addressing the demographic challenge of having 477 million people under the age of 35, Adesina announced the creation of the Youths Entrepreneurship Investment Bank to address institutional and market failure issues hindering the financial empowerment of the youth.

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), praised Adesina as a brilliant and exemplary figure representing the best of Nigeria. 

The event showcased the convergence of key figures celebrating Adesina’s contributions and advocating for a future where Nigeria becomes the focal point for the growth and prosperity of its youth.

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