The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, has called on all arms of governments across Africa to unite to implement policies that will help the continent overcome its current economic challenges.
He made the call while speaking at the 2016 Edition of the World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ and Africa Pension Awards.
Elumelu said, “For us to take Africa out of its current economic situation, we need to have all hands on deck; the executive, legislature alongside international partners and the private sector. All of us have to work together and stop blaming each other.
“While the executive arm should do more, other arms like the legislature should play their own role by reviewing extant laws that are no longer supportive of the current developmental trajectory of the continent.”
He also challenged African governments to take deliberate measures to support entrepreneurship.
“Africa’s large population is also Africa’s greatest opportunity but this demographic dividend can easily become our doom if not well engaged. We must deliberately empower our youth through entrepreneurship so that they can create jobs and eradicate poverty.
“At a time like this, we need to infuse hope in the people and change the narrative of Africa rising, to a risen Africa,” Elumelu stated.
In commending the role of pension administrators in Africa in savings mobilization, he said “we need domestic and international capital to help fund our infrastructural deficit,” adding that, “If we don’t fix this, entrepreneurship will not thrive and economic transformation will be an illusion.”
Also, a former minster, Senator Sanusi Daggash, said the pension system should be expanded to cover the informal sector, stressing the need for the government to take bold steps, by improving public finance management.
Minister of Public Service, Uganda, Wilson Muruli Mukasa, also said with a little more effort and corporate unity of African governments, the Africa rising dream can be achieved.
The Director-General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, in her opening remarks, said the World Pension Summit, Africa Special, was organised to deepen discussions built around ensuring pension funds are invested in the real sector for visible and measurable impact on the economy, while enjoying retirement benefits.
She said the Africa Pension Awards is designed to reward excellence in the pension Industry.
Present at the event were stakeholders across the continent, diplomatic corps, captains of industry and top government functionaries.