The executive director of the Dangote Group, Hajiya Halima Aliko-Dangote, has urged millennials in Nigeria and across Africa to diversify from service-oriented enterprises to manufacturing and agriculture in a bid to fast-track the development of the continent and better life for its nationals.
Dangote said that the economic realities around the world have shown that the way to go was agriculture and that the youths must take the lead more when most African countries were still grappling with low economic growth.
Addressing the 58th Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja yesterday, Hajiya Halima Dangote said African countries had groped in the dark for too long and it was high time the millennials stood up to be counted as the future of the continent.
In her paper titled: ‘Roles of Millennials in Transition and Institution Building,’ she explained that the youths have the potentials to turn around the fortune of the African continent. She stated that “millennials are young ones born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, who account for 27& of the global population, about two billion people and Sub-Saharan Africa alone is home to 13& of the entire millennial population, ranking second to Asia”.
According to her, available statistics have also revealed that by 2025, 75% of the global workforce would be millennials, large enough to influence consumer spending patterns, change consumer business models and impact the global economy.
Amid intermittent applause from the lawyers, Dangote stated that the theme of the conference which is ‘Transition, Transformation, and Sustainable Institutions’ could not have come at a better time than now and therefore lauded the association for coming up with a subject that Nigeria and Africa needed to discuss.
The executive director also urged millennials and other relevant stakeholders to exercise restraint in the face of common desperation for wealth by their contemporaries adding that, “success in entrepreneurship takes time, dedication and hard work.
There is the need to disabuse our mind from the concept of overnight success. Industrialisation requires patience and perseverance.” She also emphasised on the Dangote Group’s achievement in creating numerous jobs and establishing value-adding industries and contemporary businesses through importation, manufacturing and backward integration to generate and highlight local content for overall development.
While noting that the achievement by the Group did not come easy, Dangote said, “The millennials should see these opportunities and diversify from service-oriented enterprises to manufacturing enterprises.
Manufacturing has the capacity to create numerous jobs, develop an economy, sustain jobs and open other linkages.”
Speaking at a breakout session of the conference, the chief executive of DAX Consult, Adaku Ufere Awoonor, said millennials were the most educated and assertive age group that were currently creating wealth globally pointing out that young people around the world were now influencing outcomes of political activities, while others had risen to positions of power and were making meaningful contributions to their societies.