AfDB on Course to Build African Class of Entrepreneurs

30/05/2012
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Though the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group hasn’t allocated a specific amount for promoting the African private sector, it is determined to build a class of entrepreneurs within the continent, the Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Mthuli Ncube said in Arusha on Tuesday.

“Our private sector development strategy is all inclusive in terms of equal access to job opportunities and support to small and medium enterprises to create jobs,” Ncube said at a press briefing on the sidelines of the 2012 Annual Meetings of the Bank.

The meetings are being held under a special theme, ‘Promoting Youth Employment’ with the AfDB maintaining that many jobs have been created in Africa but they are not enough to accommodate the number of young people in search of work.

Many young people in Africa find themselves unemployed or, more frequently, underemployed in informal jobs with low productivity and pay, according to the Bank’s African Economic Outlook 2012 report launched at these meetings.

According to the Bank’s chief economist, the AfDB is already a platform through which international companies come to Africa.

“We are a channel of capital flows for Africa. Through the private sector we invest in funds which are bringing capital to Africa. Our presence gives the right signal for the others to come in,” said Ncube.

On the question of capital markets, he said the Bank has a specific initiative to issue bonds in some countries and one of those countries being considered is within the East Africa region. He did not name the country.

Ncube said there were a few things that Africa should do to create youth employment by strengthening, among others, the energy infrastructure, the private sector and regional institutions.

In addition, he emphasised that governments should do more to allow a freer movement of skilled people as African nations push towards regional integration and a larger market.

“We don’t have youth targeted programmes, but the Bank is promoting the private sector and job creation through its support to vocational training colleges,” Ncube added.