French President Emmanuel Macron has said Africa’s young people will through the vehicle of entrepreneurship drive the continent’s renaissance and sustainable development adding that Africa’s future was in Africa’s hands.
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“It is part of the same message and the same narrative which is to say nobody has to decide for our future. We are the one to decide, nobody has to lecture us which means that we have to take our responsibility, think about the legacy and sustainability of our deeds and how we share and develop our countries,” Macron told an assemblage of young African entrepreneurs.
He was speaking at an exclusive session hosted by the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Lagos during his recent 2-day visit to Nigeria, where he had no-holds barred discussion with 2,000 alumni of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP).
“But these new narrative is just to say Africa is the one to decide for Africa, to explain about Africa and to create its own model of entrepreneurship and its own culture and to explain it to the rest of the world – and not just to be part of the globalization where adjustments are always made despite of [African] people in a certain way,” he added.
“To young African entrepreneurs: never listen to people who are telling you to wait, if you believe in your projects: just [go ahead and] do it. Our role is to help the new generation to seize opportunities and rise to the challenge. This is what underpins a new, balanced relationship,” said Macron.
Speaking at the event, Tony Elumelu, founder of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program said: “The French President recognises the critical importance of African entrepreneurs to sustainable economic development on the continent – he knows the African narrative is changing and will change. His voice is refreshing and welcome. We want France and the rest of the world to realise that Africa is a continent of opportunities.”