Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu expressed his opinion on the current refugee crisis in Europe and the role Africa can play in its resolution in a recent TIME Magazine feature.
The thought leader advocated for his cause of Africapitalism – the empowerment of local African entrepreneurs – as the solution to our continent’s poor economic climate, one which has driven citizens to become refugees in Europe.
“Most of the migrants are refugees from war-torn Syria in the Middle East, but thousands of others are actually from my continent—Africans seeking better economic opportunities, ” he stated.
He believes that Africa’s growing population, particularly that of its youth, far surpasses the opportunities being created by ongoing economic growth.
“What these competing stories about Africa reveal is a continent that is indeed experiencing a surge in economic growth, but growth that is not inclusive and is not creating nearly enough suitable employment opportunities for an exploding population of young people.”
“The only lasting solution to reduce the economic motivation of these migrants is to focus on creating opportunities for Africans at home by empowering local entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive and spread prosperity. I call this ‘Africapitalism.'”
Africapitalism is the ideal behind Elumelu’s initiative, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP). The programme is a $100 million flagship entrepreneurship programme being conducted by the Tony Elumelu Foundation that is set on identifying and growing 10,000 African entrepreneurs.
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This article was first published on 19th September 2015 and updated on September 20th, 2015 at 7:56 pm