GHANA’S President Nana Akufo – Addo says the funds given to Africa by the Chinese government is not a charity grant but a loan that would be paid back after completing the loan tenure.
He made this known on Thursday while addressing African Entrepreneurs, Business leaders and Policymakers from 54 countries at the 4th, annual Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, Entrepreneurship Forum at the unveiling of a digital app to connect African entrepreneurs in Lagos.
In a question and answer session, Nana Akufo – Addo emphasized the need for Africa to become self-sufficient through private sector investments and youth innovation.
Reacting to a question, that he betrayed Africa by contradicting his Africa Beyond Aid mantra when his country took loans from China.
“Borrowing is different from aid. The $60bn loan given to Africa by China is borrowed with the intent that it will be paid back after conditions for the loans have been met. The key is to borrow money to create assets that would allow Africa pay back the loans,” he stated.
He said that providing affordable business credit, providing an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and the creativity of young entrepreneurs would reposition Africa on the pedestal of economic independence.
“Youths are at the forefront of technology innovation and creativity in Africa, with support from entrepreneurs like Tony Elumelu and the desire to succeed. Africa will stand on its feet.
“Africa capitalism has been the missing link in Africa’s development. The private sector should create synergy with government and make the sustainable development goals (SDG) realized which is the bedrock of achievements that would sustain democratic dividends,” he said.
“We all know entrepreneurship, anywhere in the world, is not easy nor is success guaranteed. All stakeholders – the private sector, governments, NGOs and donors – must make a commitment to use their respective powers to address the hurdles facing African entrepreneurs,” he said.
The Ghanaian President explained that the prospects of Africa maintaining a viable market economy capable of competing globally lies in a Pan- African trade co-operation among African countries.
” The promotion of Pan African trade would encourage African start-ups to develop and grow beyond the restrictions of intra Africa travel,” he said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu were among dignitaries who joined TEF Founder Tony Elumelu.
TEF, Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, on Thursday announced the launch of TEFconnect a digital platform to connect entrepreneurs at the 4th annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos.
TEFConnect is designed to connect entrepreneurs – mentors, investors, accelerators and incubators – all over the world, enabling them to learn, network and leverage on business tools.
The digital hub will convene the full entrepreneurial ecosystem across Africa and beyond including entrepreneurs, investors and the business community on one platform.
In a video chat, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the youths in Africa to change the narrative of Africa by embarking on innovative and creative ventures to step out of poverty.
TEF Founder and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Tony Elumelu said, from just an idea TEF has turned into a preeminent global philanthropic institution that is empowering Africa’s next generation of entrepreneurs and driving the continent’s economic and social transformation.