Dakar – “Entrepreneurship can be taught,” Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, NEPAD Agency CEO declared at the 18th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism, held in Dakar, Senegal. “The onus is on all of us – political, policy, technical, public sector, private sector, civil society – to create and sustain the conditions in our education systems to allow learning on entrepreneurship to happen,” Dr Mayaki said.
The CEO was speaking as co-chair of a special high-level panel session that ran between 25 and 26 March. The session was organised under the theme Enablers for Employment and Entrepreneurship.
Dr Mayaki further pointed out that, “The numbers we have to deal with as a continent are massive. Therefore, the efforts we make should embrace specific efforts to leapfrog so that we can be delivering tangible impact at critical mass levels.”
One key element for this leapfrogging is technological innovation. In a world that is increasingly orienting towards knowledge economies, Africa will need to take deliberate policy and investment measures to accelerate and expand advances on the technological innovations front – of course consistent with the continent’s goals and targets on employment creation and entrepreneurship development.”
On 26 March, Dr Mayaki delivered the keynote address at the regional meeting on Innovations in Infrastructure Development and Sustainable Industrialisation. The meeting was held on the margins of the AU/ECA Joint Conference of Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Planning, Economy, Finance and Integration, that was convened by the President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) HE Mr Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava.
Dr Mayaki stated that regional strategic frameworks are necessary and should be aligned with national strategic plans, adding that Agenda 2063’s core philosophy is on industrialisation.
“The key to industrialisation is job creation for the younger population – hence the need to build our infrastructure. Africa had to go through a process of re-investing in Infrastructure and to think regionally. Before PIDA – the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (2010-2011), Africa didn’t prioritise regional projects and programmes, and hence didn’t know which one to prioritise. PIDA helped rationalise the prioritisation process,” Dr Mayaki stated.
Through its PIDA framework, the NEPAD Agency started a bottom up process with the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission. PIDA was set up as a continent-wide programme to develop a vision, policies and strategies and, as a programme for the development of priority regional and continental infrastructure in transport, energy, trans-boundary water and ICT. NEPAD Agency thereafter gathered all regional economic communities to look at how the priorities are linked, that is, the 50 regional projects of PIDA and took further measures to insert the concept of implementation through corridors in the regions, such as the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor with extension to Dakar; North and South Corridors, among others.
The reason NEPAD Agency used the corridor approach is that it is a better approach towards achieving higher economic density and a good learning curve in the creation of markets. These regional markets will allow Africa to play a central role on the global scene, therefore corridors are the perfect instruments to move projects in the right direction.
Source: NEPAD Agency