Tony Elumelu, the Chairman, United Bank for Africa Group and Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has said that the best way to tackle poverty is to create jobs.
He said this at a high-level panel which had in attendance President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and President of Mauritania, Mohammed Ould Ghazouani.
He stated that poverty was where extremism stemmed from in Africa.
“We know, and we say, that poverty anywhere is a threat to mankind everywhere. What manifests itself in what we call security breakdown or terrorism, or extremism is actually deeply rooted in poverty, in joblessness. So with due respect, we can have 101 seminars like this but unless and until we begin to address these issues of poverty, joblessness amongst our young ones, they will continue to allow themselves to be brainwashed by people who see no future, and they will continue to engage in extremism,” he said.
Elumelu noted that the younger generation, when invested in, will yield fruitfulness and tackle extremism, which he said had caused too much fear in many and that support given to the young ones will open their eyes to see how their “successes are translated into better and more secure communities.”
“There is a lot we all can do – the private sector, government, and development partners – in making sure that we focus on winning the war on terrorism; that we make sure we stem the migration of our young people crossing the Mediterranean through harsh conditions, in search of hope, when indeed we have more opportunities and resources in our continent. We need to work together to ensure that extremism is totally annihilated in Africa. It is possible but we need to work together to achieve this,” he stated.