• Friday, July 12, 2024
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Africa’s marred economic landscape rooted in lack of structure — Eziakonwa

Africa’s marred economic landscape rooted in lack of structure — Eziakonwa

Ahunna Eziakonwa, United Nations assistant secretary-general has said that the roots of development problems faced in Africa and other poor developing countries are structural, and not poverty of economic resources.

Eziakonwa made this known at the unveiling Timbuktoo Foundation fintech hub in Lagos when she said poverty is not in African DNA.

“The roots of development problems that we face in Africa and poor developing countries are structural, poverty is not in African DNA,” she said.

“What we have is governance poverty, from economic, and market forces, that extract from the poor, and give more to the rich. A political system designed to keep the vast majority of people in perpetual poverty and dependence.”

The founder of Timbuktoo Foundation said the proof of Africa’s rich economy can be seen in the dynamic leadership and wealth of Mansa Musa, who was the richest man that ever lived from Timbuktu.

She said that Africa is poor today because there is a broken social contract, between those who lead and those who are led, which is leading to social-cultural mayhem.

According to Statista’s Q1 report, “Around 429 million people in Africa are living below the extreme poverty line of $2.15 (about N3,500) a day in 2024.”

Eziakonwa disclosed that Timbuktoo has a team of innovators committed to solving the economic challenges for the poor and marginalised.

“Our team of innovators you just heard from, are solving problems for the poor and marginalised.

“Today, at UNDP and at the United Nations, we believe that financial flows and investment must be directed where it is needed and not away from it; and that’s also where impact is made, the market forces must be shaped in favour and not against the poor,” she said.

“Timbuktoo is changing the way development works, it is about overhauling the structure and culture of influence and influencers. It’s about restructuring power dynamics,” she added.

She reiterated that the initiative is geared towards a war against unrelenting poverty, and inequality.

She expressed optimism that with the innovation revolution ongoing in the continent, Africa will rule its world, and no longer be seen as a dark region.

“There is a spot that we’re looking forward to building, it is that spot where technology and talent meet financing and create impact.,” she noted

It is that world where industry, government, and universities converge that creates life-changing opportunities for young Africans who deserve this opportunity.”

The UNDP programme assistant administrator said the vice chancellor of Lagos University has extended to the agency a hand of fellowship to connect the university’s academia to the industry, for the solutions that must be had through research and development.

Besides, she said that there are many other such developments across continents.

The Timbuktoo has already built university innovation pods (UniPods) in 13 African cities as centres for research and development offering young innovators space to transform their ideas into minimum viable products and profitable ventures.

The foundation is also establishing thematic hubs as centres of excellence across Africa to offer a world-class one-stop-shop in the ecosystem and venture-building support in areas like FinTech, EdTech, MineTech, AgriTech, Creatives, SmartCities, TradeTech, and GreenTech.