Chief Obasanjo was the main speaker at a breakout session at the ongoing 25th Anniversary and Annual General Meeting of the Afreximbank. The former President who spoke to the question of “Are African Development Finance Institutions living up to the visions of the founding fathers?” said he was worried about youth anger.
According to him, “I am a bit worried. I am worried because whatever we may think about our problems, my worry is about the youth anger and frustration going into explosion in any of the countries of Africa.”
He emphasized that “one problem that can consume all of us because it has no religious or territorial boundaries, or ethnic boundary is the youth anger, frustration going into a big explosion in many of our countries on the continent.”
He urged African leaders to “learn a lesson from the Arab Spring. Demography should not be a disaster. It should be an advantage.”
African leaders he said “must be realistic and aware of innovations and new technology around them. The present realities of our leaders, some of them who have been in uniform are still there as leaders today. The way they are reacting to issues now is different from when they were in uniform.”
To check youth restiveness and unemployment in Africa, Obasanjo argued that “if 50% of the population are not educated, trained and given skills to help themselves and the society there is no way that the society can make the needed progress.”