The President of Africa Development Bank (ADB) Adewumi Adesina has disclosed that, the agricultural sector would be producing the next generation billionaires in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, if the sector is properly nutured.
He stated this during the 14th Convocation Lecture of Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State. The lecture was titled Africa’s Future: Positioning Universities to Nurture and Develop Entrepreneurial Initiatives”.
He stated that one of the important areas ripe for entrepreneurship is the agricultural sector, stressing that the size of Agribusiness in the continent would be worth $1 trillion by 2030.
Adeshina added that “millionaires and billionaires of Africa will not come from oil and gas but from agriculture.”
In addition, he stated that measures of the growth of countries in the world should not be limited to the Gross Domestic product, saying that “it should begin to be measured based on the contributions of the youths of a country to her GDP. This would make many countries to support small and medium sized enterprises of the youth.”
He also said “Nigeria needs to set up a National science and Innovation Fund and set aside 20 percent of her earnings on oil to drive innovation for faster technology enabled growth. He said with this being in place, it would help power the future of Nigeria.
The ADB president also advocated for a structured institutional arrangements for supporting the development and commercialisation of innovations.
‘The youths are not the future. They are the present. Our collective responsiblity is to prepare them to thrive for the future through entrepreneurship.’ He said.
What is not measured does not get done. The measure of the growth of countries should not just be GDP. Nobody eats GDP.
Rather, we must begin to measure the contributions of the youth to the GDP, which I call Y-GDP. And that will make many countries to support the small and medium sized enterprises of the youths.
He emphasized that this would make many countries to support small and medium sized enterprises of the youth.
The Universities should move beyond agricultural science to agriculture as a business.
“Our University should move away from raw teaching into allowing students to experiment, try things, put ideas to work and be innovative.”
This, he said, would help to drive entrepreneurship initiatives which would serve as weapons for unlocking Africa’s potential and attaining its future.