NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – The Timeless Women’s Conference in Nairobi has opened today with delegates agreeing on the potential of High Impact enterprises in eliminating poverty in Africa.
In a panel discussion, speakers have recommended four strategies that will assist in building growth enterprises including access to long-term capital, an enabling regulatory framework and enhancing corporate governance.
UN-Habitat Chief Scientific Advisor for Africa Prof Oyeyinka Oyebanji, in addition, says that acquiring appropriate skills can take Africa to new heights.
We need to teach our people to have appropriate skill sets that can be used in today’s world. The problem is that we have a discrepancy in that you get engineers, for instance, working in the service sector because there is no job for them in industries.”
Oyebanji added that Africa is unfortunately still in the agricultural phase which will not push it to make the kind of progress made by developed countries.
“Any country that is successful today has had to go through the three stages required for any country to become rich: from the Agricultural revolution, then you move to the industrial revolution and lastly the service sector”.
“We need to have industries, we need to become producers, not just consumers,” he added.
Other issues that Africa needs to work on include creating employment – studies show that in Kenya for instance, one million people join the workforce every year against the 50, 000 to 100,000 jobs created annually.
There’s also need for empowerment, especially for women and girls.
“You cannot excel in kicking poverty out of the continent if you do not involve women. Women are the foundation of any society and if you do not include them and empower them, then it won’t work,” UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP resident representative Siddharth Chatterjee says.